simple blog

A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thriving During the First Trimester

3rd Baby, 1st Trimester

The first trimester can be a bit of a challenge whether you are a first time mom or a fourth, like I. Because I have a family to serve, I decided I would make provisions ahead of time to insure a smoothly run home even when mommy was run-down. In a few simple steps I felt prepared to face my first trimester with grace.

1.Determine daily and weekly chores you are responsible for.
My daily responsibilities are meals, homeschooling, laundry and dishes. Weekly chores include, (but are definitely not limited to)  sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning out the fridge/pantry.

2.Assign each day a chore so you can get it all accomplished with out exhausting your energy levels. Here is an example:
Monday: Meal plan and clean out fridge/pantry
Tuesday: Classical Conversations (our homeschool group, more on that later)
Wednesday: Dust entire home  
Thursday: Pay bills and clean bathrooms- toilets, floors, counters
Friday: Sweep, mop

Weekly meal planning
Sometimes we have the same thing every week and sometimes we mix it up. During the first trimester it was easier for me to stick to the same basic meals. Grocery shopping was simple and prep was almost automatic.
I like to prepare all of my meat for the week on Mondays. I am already dirtying up the kitchen so why not make it an ultra productive time? This way daily meal preparation is much easier and if my energy levels are low, I can easily throw something together using my precooked meat. I call my cooking style "slow and low". I simmer my food on a low heat for a long period of time. This allows me to fill up two pots with chicken or beef and let them cook on low with little effort on my part. I only have two pots to clean and I have meat for the rest of the week.

Monday: Stuffed Potatoes
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday with chips, salsa and guacamole plus a side of fresh pineapple 
Wednesday: Our version of hamburger helper using Annies Organic Whole Wheat Shells and Cheese, spinach salad and fresh fruit
Thursday: Baked spagetti with raw carrots and green beans
Friday: Salmon patties with mashed potatoes and asparagus 
Saturday: Stacked enchiladas with beans and fiesta salad
3.Seek help. If you have children, are there ways they can assist you in completing the daily items in your home? Responsibility is good for children and they will feel accomplished knowing they are serving their family.

Make beds
Laundry (put a load on after breakfast, transfer to the dryer after lunch and put away after school)
Wipe down surfaces
Declutter home for 15 minutes. You can break this up into 5 minute segments and involve you family. This is essentially tidying up and putting things away. I am attempting to train my children and myself to put things away as we go but somehow there are always miscellaneous items floating around.
How the kids can help...
Make their own beds
Unstack  dishwasher
Fold towels and put away their own clothing
Clean their bathroom (my son sweeps and my daughter wipes down surfaces and my youngest likes to wipe the floor)
Take out trash
Feed chickens
My son will sweep and my daughter will wipe down the table while my youngest and I stack the dishwasher and put lunch away. We sing while work. The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength was one of my favorites when I felt like I was dragging.

 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1

4. Commit your ways unto the Lord.
Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit your works to the LORD And your plans will be established." Pray over you list.
Remember that all of life is worship and seek to glorify God during this time of life. Also remember that "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Draw your strength from the Lord because,"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
Ask the Lord for strength and wisdom to help you during this very short season. Remember the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:17 "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,"

Blessings and joy to you and your little one. I hope you find this helpful and that it spurs you on towards the beautiful prize that awaits you!

Grace and peace,
Adoring Family