The last 8 weeks have flown by. What have I done? Have I accomplished anything? I have rested a lot and had a lot of fun doing crafts, baking, decorating for fall, reading, playing Skip Bo on my Kindle Fire, and writing. But many days I felt were just wasted, sitting in front of the computer, because I didn’t know what to do. Often, I found myself needing to scramble to get dressed and ready to go right before it was time to pick up the children. Basically, I have been undisciplined with my time, and maybe there was a purpose in that, what I needed, so to speak. However, I have had a nagging feeling for the last week that I need more. I could easily see myself fritter away the year reading blogs and crafting. Neither is bad, but I want more of a schedule. After visiting with my counselor and praying, I feel called to write a rule of life, in the same fashion monks at monasteries use. Of course, I am not a contemplative, but I want to schedule my day to accomplish things all the while praying and resting in the midst of it.
I read A Mother’sRule of Life years ago and was impressed. I never really came up with much of a plan, though. However, with more free time now and feelings of loss over homeschooling, I feel a need for something. So, here is my Domestic Rule of Life for myself. (The first part is the Rule and then the schedule follows)
(St. Benedict writing his Rule, from Wikipedia, Public Domain)
My Domestic Rule of Life
My job first and foremost is to be a wife and mother. This is the vocation I have been called to live. At this particular juncture of my life, I feel God wants me home, caring for my children and husband while the children attend Catholic school. That may change in the future, but for now, I am to be a homemaker exclusively.
I am going to be using the 5 P’s from A Mother’s Rule of Life: prayer, partner, person, parent, and provider. All of these must be included in my day. Obviously prayer is my time with God including Mass, adoration, confession, Bible and other spiritual reading, the rosary. Partner time is the time I nurture my marriage. After God, marriage is the most important thing. Person means taking care of me, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This one is very important to me because I have neglected it for so long. The provider means I care for the house, provide meals, and tend the laundry. The parent role is that of being a mom to my children, teaching them about God and tending to their emotional needs. Taking care of the prayer and person needs should really help improve all of the other areas.
Beside the hours of 6-7 AM and 3-10 PM when I am managing the children and their school activities, I have 8 hours of my day alone. In prayer, I feel God is calling me to live a hidden life as Mary did. I also feel like God has been calling me to rest and be kind to myself, not requiring things that He does not call me to. I will have a schedule similar to monks in a monastery. This will give me a feeling of accomplishment while attending to all of my duties along with restoring my soul. I also hope to pray without ceasing as I go about my duties, praising God for the blessings of each thing. I am also going to have interior silence daily as I walk.
I will humbly attempt to fulfill my duties faithfully without seeking the need for attention or praise from anyone. God sees all things done, and His glory is all that matters. My job, while hidden and unappreciated to the world, is one of the most important duties in our times. I am humbly learning contentment with my state in life.
Each Sunday, I will meet with my husband to see what I accomplished during the week. He will act as my accountability partner like a superior in a monastery.
I will have a basic schedule, with things that change daily, so it is more of a loose schedule to follow.
6-6:30: rise and read the Bible and pray. Child 1 up.
6:30-7 unload dishes and get lunches packed.
7-7:40 Children leave. Go for walk.
7:45 shower, dress, fix self
8:00 breakfast and read on computer
9:30 changeable (study for doula certification, garden, bills, crafts, etc.)
11:30 clean kitchen and eat lunch
12:00 read and nap
1:30 changeable (grocery store, volunteer work, laundry, clean house)
3:00 pick up children