What a Day Without Rules Looks Like

Last night I was told, “Sleep in tomorrow, Mum. You’re overtired. You haven’t had much sleep in the last 48 hours.” So I slept in.

When I got up the kitchen was deserted. Everyone had had breakfast, washed the dishes and cleaned up, and disappeared. I found myself some cereal and made a cup of tea, and then went back to the warmth of my bed to enjoy my breakfast. I was discovered a short time later.

“Mum! You’re awake. I was waiting for you to wake up so I could make you some porridge.” Gemma-Rose looked at my bowl of cereal with disappointment.

“Perhaps you can make some pikelets for morning tea instead,” I suggested. This idea was greeted with a smile.

When I’d showered and dressed, I went in search of everyone else. “What are you all doing?”

Sophie grinned, “Self-edification!” She meant self-education. It’s a family joke.”I’ve written a blog post about my sewing. Can I show you?”

The house was clean and tidy. There was even washing on the line.

“The basket wasn’t quite full,” said Charlotte, “but I decided to do some washing anyway. If I’d left it until tomorrow, the basket would have been overflowing.”

I joined the younger girls in the family room where we worked on our own projects for some time. Mid-morning Gemma-Rose made a batch of pikelets and everyone appeared for morning tea. Then it was back to work.

“Shall we have lunch?” Imogen asked about 12.30 pm.

“Informal or at the table?”

“What do you think? Informal?”

“Yes. Sounds good.”

Imogen and Charlotte collected the orders and they made lunch. Everyone helped clean up afterwards. Then it was back to reading and writing and piano practices.

“Have we decided what we’ll have for dinner?” asked Sophie mid-afternoon.

“I’ll make potato and red pepper soup,” I offered.

“No you won’t,” said Imogen. “You’re tired. I’ll do it.” I have such bossy daughters. I didn’t protest.

When I noticed the shade overtaking the garden, I snuck out and brought in the washing. Good thing someone was playing the piano otherwise the girls would have heard the pegs falling into the bucket, and I wouldn’t have been allowed to do the job on my own.

Soon Imogen will start preparing the dinner. I will wash the afternoon tea dishes. Someone will set the table for dinner. Andy will arrive home from school. Callum might make it back from his day out in time to eat with us. If he doesn’t, we’ll put his dinner aside for him to eat later. Duncan will appear from his bedroom where he’s been studying all day. We’ll chat around the table, swapping news. Then the dishes will be washed and dried by hand, everyone helping.

After dinner, the girls will play a computer game or watch a DVD or read a book. Perhaps we’ll sit together in the family room and chat while we enjoy the warmth from the gas heater.

About 7.30 pm Sophie will say, “We’d better get ready for bed,” and then she and Gemma-Rose will head off to the bathroom.

I will say, “Do you want me to tuck you into bed now or do you want to read in bed for a while?”

If the girls say, “We’d like to read,” and then I don’t arrive at the right time to turn off the light, Gemma-Rose will come looking for me. “We’re tired. Can you come and say good night to us please? We want to go to sleep.” They like a proper kiss and hug before closing their eyes.

About 8.30 pm Charlotte will appear saying she is tired and is going to bed. She might read before turning out the light. Imogen might join her, but then again she might stay up chatting to Andy or they could watch a DVD together. I have no idea when the boys will go to bed because I know I will have headed off to my own bed long before they start to think about sleep.

Our day looks very ordinary doesn’t it? The chores were completed. Everyone was helpful and considerate. We all worked and ate meals together. We made a few quick decisions that were mutually agreeable. A few decisions were capably taken out of my hands. The girls will go to bed at a reasonable hour. So will I. Nothing interesting at all about our day. Just a quiet peaceful day.

A day without rules? It’s not as exciting or as wild as it sounds. What a boring blog post. I bet you were hoping for something much more interesting. Sorry!

Image: totally random and nothing to do with the topic. I added something interesting to liven up this ordinary post.

edification: ‘The act of edifying or instructing, or the state of being edified; improvement of the mind; enlightenment: most frequently used with reference to morals or religion.’ Sounds like Sophie is doing the right thing even if she meant self-education!

PS: Sleeping in late isn’t typical, but then again, not having hardly any sleep in 48 hours isn’t typical either! Everything else is pretty much normal.

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  1. Reply

    I didn't find it boring, sounds like the perfect day to me 🙂

    I like the photo too. He's very cute.

    1. Reply


      I love quiet days, where we can stay home and just be together. I'm quite happy living a 'boring' life. Glad you like the photo!

  2. Reply

    Slightly off the topic but I was wondering how you get "Andy and Me time"? I find one of the reasons I ask my girls to head off to bed some nights (they have a suggested bed time but we don't strictly enforce it) is for time alone for me (man they can talk!) or simply for some quiet time with Iain. I find he enjoys the time alone with me (don't get me wrong ADORES his girls and spends time everyday playing with them) but he really likes to have time alone, just with me, which two little girls don't quite get yet … lol

    BTW please feel free to not answer this, feel a bit rude asking but I just find this is one area I have to juggle sometimes. I can sometimes find myself putting my girls needs ahead of my mans and need to remind myself now and then to keep "stoking the relationship fire" … lol

    1. Reply


      There's no problem asking this question! I think you are so right: 'my man and me' time is very important. Andy and I always spend an hour together alone after dinner, so we can chat and catch up with the day's news. We can always retreat into our bedroom if the kids insist on hanging around, but usually we just say we need a little quiet time. We don't wait until the kids have gone to bed to have time together, because I am an early to bed person. Andy usually works to a late hour, preparing school lessons, and I couldn't possibly manage to stay awake until he is ready to go to bed. Not ideal but just the way it is.

      We always make sure we have time alone at the weekends. Every Saturday afternoon we'll go somewhere together, maybe have lunch out or coffee. We take time on Sundays to sit and chat. Our children get plenty of time with dad so they are happy to go off and let me have him to myself. Actually, they sometimes say to Andy, "You need to take Mum out for coffee." They recognise it's important. Maybe as your girls get older they will 'get it' too!

  3. Reply

    I'm glad the girls helped you have some rest xxx

    1. Reply


      I was spoilt! I hope you get some similar rest tomorrow. I imagine you need it!

  4. Reply

    Oh to have such order and self-motivation/discipline in my home. Inspiring.

    1. Reply


      I wrote this post as one in a series. We were discussing the need or otherwise for rules, in order to encourage order and discipline in our children. Of course I have also had many disorganised days in our years of homeschooling. I hope you will read my posts about tired mothers and difficult days (there's a label in the side-bar) so you get a balanced picture. Inspiring… maybe. But I wouldn't want to give anyone the impression that we live a perfect life. Typical days change over time. At the moment life is very easy compared to when we had little children in the family. We just persevered through the more difficult times and yes, life has ended up relatively tranquil! I'm sure that's the way it is for many long term homeschoolers.

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and stopping to say hello!

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