Well...this is not how I do it all! (keep dreaming!) Chamberlain broke a huge bowl in the pantry the other day, so she is closely monitored around the dishes!
I'm so encouraged by hearing how other moms manage their days. So at the risk of sounding completely self-centered (but it's my blog, so there) I'll share a little about how we do it all.
Here goes. Confession: I rarely cook real meals during the week. We do a lot of easy lunches. We do a lot of easy dinners, too - there's no shame in crackers and cheese and fruit for dinner! I read to the kids during lunch and dinner, and usually eat while I'm putting their meal together. I find that confining them to the table with their mouths (usually) full of food is conducive to better listening!
Vin almost always cooks dinner for us when he gets home from work so I can knit or catch up on business stuff. We both cook on the weekends.
We don't watch tv. The only exception is during football season or the Olympics, and the occasional-but-very-rare (go ahead and laugh) Jeopardy. We do watch movies, though (but we're picky, have you guessed?) and I can usually finish off a hat or two while vegging on the couch.
I read and knit at the same time. Vin got me this really cool book-holder-thingy (mine's a Book Gem) that holds my book up so my hands are free. Occasionally I have to search for it on his side of the bed because he steals it when I'm not using it (he likes to eat ice cream while reading - which is not as productive as knitting, but...I digress).
The kids all have chores. Iree vacuumed the boys room last week! Yeah! They all help with dishes (well, not Chamberlain, see above), cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the catbox, and all kinds of stuff. Mattie reads out loud to the younger ones while I do my chores, and Iree can even read out loud now, too. So we all take turns.
It's not perfect, and there are days when it feels like we'll never get past breakfast. Some days we spend more time disciplining and bossing than reading. But those are balanced by the other sweet times, like Sunday afternoons when we read eight chapters in one Narnia book, or spend the afternoon making and delivering a meal to a family in need. We've even been known to take the kids to a Tea Party or two, and we can now say that our nine year old knows more about the US Constitution than most of our current Congress (ah, couldn't help it; that one was just too easy to pass up).
It's a very simple life. The kids are worth it. Homeschooling is worth it. Our marriage is worth it. Doing it all together is a beautiful thing.