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Keeping it ALL together - meal planning, cleaning, discipline, school, etc


momee
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So how do you?  (written as my WTM planner sits on the shelf mocking me!)

 

I start one thing and do it well while the other things fall to the far border of my attention :)

 

I struggle mightily with personal discipline.  Waking early, I can do it for a week/two.  Same with exercise, meal planning, whatever.  Good news - I have been doing school EVERY DAY for months - no distractions with the kids.  What a blessing it's been to all of us to be home, doing our work.  We're almost finished with all of our schoolwork - and we skipped nothing!!!!!  Week 28 of 33!  Huge brownie point for me!!  

 

I do have our days scheduled into my gmail calendar, am up to date on my YNAB budgeting for three months now, have Plan to Eat up and running and this week and next's meals plotted out, I'm dressed and "made up", the beds are made and dinner is already on the stove.  It's really nice and I realize how much it contributes to the peace of our home..but I don't do it all the time.  

 

Love to hear thoughts from a wiser woman than myself who would say they are consistently caring for their home.  I'm a well functioning, happy mom but this one thing, consistency, is beating me down.  I feel like I am constantly falling short in one area or another, and they're big things for our family.  (Date night with hubby or devotions with the kids or cleaning the cobwebs or..insert whatever here really).

 

We're about to have my mother and father in law MOVE IN with us.  Might be just the kick in the pants I need, but then again, it might not.  I guess I'd just like to sit down and talk to an older/wiser mom but they're all busy IRL so I'm posting here.

 

Just looking for thoughts, a blog suggestion, or book rec to get me focused and refreshed in the calling to keep at the hard stuff.

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I don't think it's possible to do it all perfectly every day.  There are only twenty-four hours, after all, and you need to spend at least a few of them sleeping. ;)

 

I go through phases.  One week I might be extra focused on hsing, the next on cleaning, and so on.  It all seems to balance out in the end.  

 

Don't be so hard on yourself.  :grouphug:

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Thanks so much for the hugs Mergath.  I agree.  I am hard on myself and maybe that is what is happening today but I don't think that's really at root here.

 

Honestly what's got me bothered?  I'm lazy.  Cleaning is not as fun as going out shopping.  My kids don't really WANT to do devotions so I don't fight it.  Getting dressed, going to gym, battling the youngest to get up that early, etc.  So I don't.  I don't have a chore system, the girls are always arguing over who does what, and we've been homeschooling since they were born.  How can I not have a chore system?

 

I heard our pastor talk last night about how he learned to just get up and do what needs to be done as a young man.  I didn't learn that.  If I don't want to do something, I don't.  Don't want to cook dinner?  Then we go out.  Alot!

 

Maybe I'm not being as clear as I could be about the issue - self control - self discipline - I don't know what the term is.  I actually cooked dinner I had planned last night.  That doesn't happen often, yet it should be happening almost every night :)  not an occasional event for which we all celebrate, know what I mean?

 

One of my girlfriends meal plans and makes those meals every night.  Well, occasionally she plans in pizza but it was on the plan.  I've planned for over a year.  Not once! have I made more than three meals on it.  Bought all the ingredients, threw some of those costly things out, but definitely did not make them all.

What is up with that?  I'm 43 for goodness sakes.

:cursing:

 

DH is so patient but I know these things bother him sometimes.  He's a doll though.  Would never say a word.  That's almost worse for a personality like mine though.

 

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So I need to come up with realistic priorities?  I agree.  But what are they<>?

I mean I don't work.  I am home ALL DAY.

Having dinner on the table and the house clean, and school done are pretty realistic for each member of my family :)  Having groceries and not running out of milk is reasonable.  I'm picking on food because it seems to be a big issue here with dh's diet and two teen girls plus a picky kindergartener.  Add two diabetic in laws and the situation will not ease up anytime soon.

 

Not being snarky, really hoping to discuss this with moms who live it every day.  I thank you so much for the dialogue.

 

It's my job, to feed everyone, keep the bills paid (success finally), stick to a budget (ARGH!), have the house "clean" (dh loves it that way), and educate/discipline/disciple the kids.  I just feel like sometimes that job is so fluid...it's hard to reign in all the cats I'm herding I think...

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Would it help to connect some of these habits you are wanting to start to something you are already doing? For example, if you want start cooking, have a part of your day that is stationary be the launching point for starting dinner. Getting meat thawed and produce chopped the night before can also help with dinner prep. 

I don't see how old your kids are, but could they help so it's something for "them" and not just for you? Sometimes that helps me get what I need to done if I look at it as good for my kids. 

Also, maybe give yourself some rewards for each habit you are wanting to add. So, if you cook dinner M-Th, F is takeout night. If you don't, then you have to cook on Friday night. I don't know..just brainstorming here, but something like that.

 

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It's my job, to feed everyone, keep the bills paid (success finally), stick to a budget (ARGH!), have the house "clean" (dh loves it that way), and educate/discipline/disciple the kids.  I just feel like sometimes that job is so fluid...it's hard to reign in all the cats I'm herding I think...

 

Those are a LOT of jobs. Feeding everyone & educating can seriously take up the whole day. I see it happen here constantly.

So, you may also need to compartmentalize. M-F could be for the above 2, Saturday could be for cleaning and paying bills and Sunday could be for planning and shopping for the following week so you can stick to your budget.

I personally do not think it's realistic to expect to do all of those things on a daily basis. 

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So I need to come up with realistic priorities?  I agree.  But what are they<>?

I mean I don't work.  I am home ALL DAY.

Having dinner on the table and the house clean, and school done are pretty realistic for each member of my family :)  Having groceries and not running out of milk is reasonable.  I'm picking on food because it seems to be a big issue here with dh's diet and two teen girls plus a picky kindergartener.  Add two diabetic in laws and the situation will not ease up anytime soon.

 

Not being snarky, really hoping to discuss this with moms who live it every day.  I thank you so much for the dialogue.

 

It's my job, to feed everyone, keep the bills paid (success finally), stick to a budget (ARGH!), have the house "clean" (dh loves it that way), and educate/discipline/disciple the kids.  I just feel like sometimes that job is so fluid...it's hard to reign in all the cats I'm herding I think...

 

For meals I let every person in the house pick one that they want for dinner that week. So it motivates me to make those dinners because if I don't, someone will be disappointed! One meal I choose, so I suppose there is some flexibility on that day.

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I've gotten better at all this stuff since I started out as a new and very overwhelmed wife and mom six years ago, and the trick for me is to get really good at one thing at a time.  If you haven't been doing all this stuff daily, trying to start it all at once is going to make you crazy.  I started with cooking, and focused on that until cooking three meals a day was like second nature.  Then I went from there, working on cleaning, hsing, etc.  Now I'm at the point where all this daily stuff is so ingrained I can do it on autopilot.  That doesn't mean it all gets done every day, of course.  Like I said, I still tend to focus more intensely on one thing at a time, but the other stuff still gets done to some extent.  Self-discipline becomes less of an issue because you're so used to doing it that it doesn't seem like much of a chore anymore, just something you do.

 

It helps to make the stuff more fun, too.  I save the bulk of my cleaning for night after dd is asleep, and watch TV while I'm doing it.  I plan meals that I enjoy cooking and eating.  

 

Also, if you find yourself sitting there, knowing you should do something but completely unable to make yourself get up and do it, that can be a sign of depression, and you might want to speak to your doctor about it.

 

 

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Great thoughts.  I like the doing one thing at a time statement, seems to be how I approach things.  Learning a new skill that has to do with that task, like adding in YNAB to my checkbook balancing/bill paying routine took some time but now it's on autopilot and running well.

 

I think I don't give myself enough credit for the things I AM doing.  Running a house, supporting various ministries, helping friends with meals, helping in laws pack up three hours away.  I'm a busy mom.  Something has to give, right?  :)

 

Maybe I've got a bad case of superwoman syndrome.  I think I've taken all those amazing things my friends do every day and combined them into one unrealistic picture of what I (bold and cap) should be doing.

 

I am definitely not depressed, though I appreciate your putting that in there for anyone reading who may be.  I'm far from it, loving life and actually full of energy most days.  I just wish I had a little more discipline and didn't find myself behind the 8 ball in certain areas.  I heard a lady say she was making tater tots and hot dogs for dinner.  I haven't made something that simple in a long while, my meals are from scratch and take time.  Homemade chicken noodle soup is an effort.  Quinoa and black beans with roasted sweet potatoes take effort.   Maybe I just need to bring in some hot dogs once in a while instead of feeling like everything has to be picture perfect.  And hey= my kids like hot dogs.  DH and I don't.  That could be date night :hurray: , two birds with one stick.

 

Trying to make light here, it's not the end of the world, just sharing a struggle I know I can't be alone in as a stay at home homeschooling mom.

(and thanks for the reminder, MeghanL, my girls are almost 16, 13 and 6.  Plenty old enough to cook~!~

 

Trish - I love your thought of pleasing one person a week in the meal making.  That would be fun - and motivate me for sure.  I think that's another thing I need, just some simple motivation tricks.  I've been cooking for 20 years.  It gets old sometimes.

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Thanks so much for the hugs Mergath. I agree. I am hard on myself and maybe that is what is happening today but I don't think that's really at root here.

 

Honestly what's got me bothered? I'm lazy. Cleaning is not as fun as going out shopping. My kids don't really WANT to do devotions so I don't fight it. Getting dressed, going to gym, battling the youngest to get up that early, etc. So I don't. I don't have a chore system, the girls are always arguing over who does what, and we've been homeschooling since they were born. How can I not have a chore system?

 

I heard our pastor talk last night about how he learned to just get up and do what needs to be done as a young man. I didn't learn that. If I don't want to do something, I don't. Don't want to cook dinner? Then we go out. Alot!

 

Maybe I'm not being as clear as I could be about the issue - self control - self discipline - I don't know what the term is. I actually cooked dinner I had planned last night. That doesn't happen often, yet it should be happening almost every night :) not an occasional event for which we all celebrate, know what I mean?

 

One of my girlfriends meal plans and makes those meals every night. Well, occasionally she plans in pizza but it was on the plan. I've planned for over a year. Not once! have I made more than three meals on it. Bought all the ingredients, threw some of those costly things out, but definitely did not make them all.

What is up with that? I'm 43 for goodness sakes.

:cursing:

 

DH is so patient but I know these things bother him sometimes. He's a doll though. Would never say a word. That's almost worse for a personality like mine though.

This is like talking to my twin from another dimension!!!!

 

I have the same problems- all of them. And the sweet patient husband who just rolls with it....

 

I have the best intentions- I set my alarm for 6:30 every night- but every morning, if we aren't going somewhere- I stay in bed until I hear the baby calling from the crib. Today- that was 10:00 am :-/

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Maybe I've got a bad case of superwoman syndrome.  I think I've taken all those amazing things my friends do every day and combined them into one unrealistic picture of what I (bold and cap) should be doing.

 

 

I think this is very insightful.  I feel like you glossed over it, but it might be the root of what you're trying to process.

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Delegate, delegate, delegate! One person can't do everything! You aren't giving yourself enough credit for what you're already doing.

 

Kids can do chores (i.e. Housekeeping), cook, handle at least a portion of their own schoolwork, even meal planning with guidance. Two birds with one stone, right? You'll get the help you need and they'll learn to be more mature, prepared young adults. ;)

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Honestly what's got me bothered?  I'm lazy.  Cleaning is not as fun as going out shopping.  My kids don't really WANT to do devotions so I don't fight it.  Getting dressed, going to gym, battling the youngest to get up that early, etc.  So I don't.  I don't have a chore system, the girls are always arguing over who does what, and we've been homeschooling since they were born.  How can I not have a chore system?

 

I missed this comment, momee.  I think this is also very insightful.  Most of what it means to be a responsible adult is not fun.  If this assessment of yourself is honest and true (and not a function of the 'superwoman syndrome') then, (gently saying this) you need to just grow up and fulfill your responsibilities. 

 

Basing your daily actions on whether or not you want to do something, or whether or not it is easy to do is not the path that leads to 'keeping it ALL together' which you indicated is your goal. (again, said gently with compassion and love)

 

:grouphug:

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I'm in agreement that those are all things that can/should be done during the day.  They don't need to be difficult.  

 

Dinner on the table every night - Plan to Eat is very helpful.  I would also stock the freezer with a few things that are easy to make for dinner in case you don't get everything prepped or are short an egg or something.  I like Costco lasagna or frozen chicken patties as an emergency quick dinner.  Throw a few recipes on the calendar that are easy to fix also or are crockpot meals so if you are out running errands you aren't tempted to eat out.  Who wants to have McDonald's when you've got a roast in the crockpot?!?!

 

Clean house - Do a major simplification of your house.  Get rid of toys and excess decorations.  Get an organization system in place that even a young child can follow for toys.  Do a little bit each day.  Have a stack of cloths in the bathroom so after getting dressed you can wipe it down quickly.  Make a point of cleaning the kitchen each night.  The whole house feels cleaner if the kitchen is clean. Be ruthless with clutter.  Dust a room a day.  It takes five minutes and makes you feel so good inside.

 

Laundry - At least one load a day is the best way to stay on top of that beast.  Five minutes to start a load.  Two minutes to switch it to the dryer.  Ten minutes to fold the clothes.  I fold all clothes and leave them on the table next to the dryer.  It is everyone in the house's responsibility to grab their own clothes at the end of the day and put them away.  

 

Exercise - Make it a family event.  Go for a hike together or a bike ride or a walk around the park.  (Um ... do as I say and not as I do with this one.   :ph34r: On the days we do it though we all feel great. )

 

Getting up early - I wish there was a magic pill for this because it's my biggest fail.  I try to schedule appointments first thing in the morning otherwise I won't get up.  

 

Don't waste time doing silly things.  I try to limit my time on the internet - that's one of my biggest difficulties because I work full-time from home so it's very tempting to play on the internet instead of work.  Don't watch TV.  Read only at night.  Simplify your shopping trips or only buy things from the internet.  

 

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I think the personal discipline is a major key.  You can't get there all at once, though.  Pick one or two things at a time that you want to make into habits and do them until they are.  Don't add anything else until it's just automatic that you get up early and workout, or meal plan every Tuesday evening. 

 

Another key is having engaged and active partners.  Husband, kids, those in-laws who will be moving in with you.  Unless they're all under 3 years old, they can all actively help keep the household running smoothly and neatly.  Even a 3 year old can be taught to put the toy back in the easy-to-reach bin after they are done with it, which = less clutter for you to pick up, trip over or break your vacuum cleaner when you don't see it and it gets sucked up there.

 

I work outside the home, and on the farm.  I have my routines down pretty well and I manage to get it all done, but ... I have the two keys above and I use them, and it can get hectic sometimes even then.  I also let go any idea of keeping my sanity, but then, I'm pretty sure I didn't have much to keep in the first place. ;)

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Random, thanks for saying that. I have no idea of whether it applies to the op, but it may apply to me and I'm even older than her!

 

One of my challenges is that I think I have become a bit too self indulgent during the last 10 years of homeschooling. If we were on a roll with the schooling, the laundry could wait. If it was the first glorious day outside in a long time, then we would take a "Mental Health Day" and go sit on the hillside visiting with the pets and "doing nature studies". I think my problem started out with not doing things that were not convenient. But then it slid more toward not doing what I didn't want to do. Add in a dash of procrastinator by nature and a bit of depression, plus a whole lot of "so blessed that I have a lot of leeway here", and you end up with someone who has trouble with self discipline, whose house needs a serious deep cleaning, who struggles to get any of it together - not even thinking about getting it ALL together!

 

I think a lot of it has to do with feeling overwhelmed. I tend to look at the big picture rather than breaking it down into parts like I should. I know that I can clean like a fiend and be a real whirlwind, but I can only do that for a day here or a day there. If I could ever find the discipline to do a full week of that, a good majority of my backlog of work would be done. So I am as open to input as the op. Thanks to those of you willing to share.

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psssttt...

 

Not one person on this board or on the Internet has it together all the time.

 

I do better now that my youngest is 6. Really.

 

Focus on food since it really seems to be bugging you.

 

I don't do a meal plan. I have a list of 7 dinners to fix each week and I make sure that I have ingredients for those on hand after hitting the grocery store. Every morning, I get out the stuff for it. It has helped me quite a bit to go to cash for food. If I have cash on hand to go out to eat, okay, then go out, but when the money's gone, I have to cook.

 

Picky, diabetic people.....

 

Meat plus a salad or meat plus 2-3 veggies. You eat it or you make a PBJ.

 

Devotions...Move it to a time of day when you will have the energy to do it. If I try to do it in the evening I'm too tired to push through. Keep it simple. A verse, a song, and a prayer is plenty for your kids' ages. I do my own personal stuff in the am before anyone else is up.

 

I agree with focusing on 1 thing at a time until it is a part of your habit.

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If you do all those things, (a full day of school, a planned meal three times a day, and a clean house, exercise, get up early etc, no cobwebs) how much energy will you have at the end of it? 

I'm a big fan of having a plan that flexes, and sticking to it, but you can wear yourself out trying to keep up with some ideal that isn't reasonable. I sometimes get caught up in the ought-to-do's that I end up whirling around in circles and not doing anything. It's just too much.

 

On your meal plans: you can usually make three things on your list. I can usually get that done too. I have exactly three days that I can get cooking done: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Every other day has a leftover, sandwiches, or something like baked potatoes on it. We have a more or less set in stone lunch menu. The kids know what to expect, and I know exactly how long it takes to get it ready.

 

On housekeeping: I decided that I was willing to put exactly 1 and 1/2 up to 2 hours four days a week to cleaning. I don't mean laundry, dishes and the like. Those get done every day in the morning before school, and right before bed. But sweeping, bathrooms, mopping, dusting...I'm just not the kind of person who can spend a whole day cleaning. I get bored and cranky. 2 hours is my cranky limit. I'm done then. So I set the house up on a routine where I clean a set number of rooms that takes just that time to do. If I get done early, I get to go play.

 

On school-(which by the way if you haven't made yourself a gold metal and hung it round your neck you should go do so now!) I'd like to do school five days a week. Realistically, I have four days to do school. I'm working right now on adapting myself to that reality. I work part time, and school just doesn't get done on Sundays as it should because I don't get my day of rest. Just a reality I have to deal with. I have to let go of the five day ideal and take reality and run with it.

 

On exercise-Set yourself something you can do right now. Right now, I've been getting over a nasty case of plantar fasciitis. Not cool if your favorite form of exercise is running. But my dogs like a long walk daily. So I've been walking with them at lunch, one mile per set of dogs, so I've been putting in two miles a day of walking most of the time. 

 

On getting up early-The only way I've found to do it is to go to bed early, and to have something to get out of bed for. My dogs wake me up every day. I can't NOT get out of bed, because they need me to take them out, and get them breakfast. I have a diabetic cat as well, who needs his insulin every 12 hours or he gets out of regulation for the day. I might want to get out of bed to write, or to have a cup of tea in the quiet, but what really gets me moving are the things it is impossible to ignore. 

 

On chores for the family-my guys have been doing their own room and cleaning their own bathroom this year. Next year I start them on learning how to load a dishwasher, put away dishes, and fold laundry. We will probably put these on rotation after they have learned the process. I spent about six months in training them to clean their room and do the bathroom in an effective, quick and relatively bloodless manner. So don't just assign tasks, expect a training period for that new job.

 

That's about all I can come up with right now.

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I have three main jobs during the day: Housekeeping, Homeschooling, and Cooking. I can do a mediocre job at all three, or drop one and do a great job at two. Occasionally I get outlier days where everything is awesome, but I don't expect that daily. I'm way past the 'perfection' years :-)

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That's awesome that you are on the ball with homeschooling! Asa homeschooling parent, that is the second most important job, closely following parenting. Figure out the next important thing for you and then work on that next.

 

You know that disciplined character that you mentioned your pastor had? I wonder if that wasn't partly inherent in his personality. Eg. My oldest is so discipline and she surely didn't get it from me. I am scattered brained and pretty laid back. I'm working on it and it is so much better than 10 years ago.

 

Hang in there and please, don't be so hard on yourself. :)

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I have three main jobs during the day: Housekeeping, Homeschooling, and Cooking. I can do a mediocre job at all three, or drop one and do a great job at two. Occasionally I get outlier days where everything is awesome, but I don't expect that daily. I'm way past the 'perfection' years :-)

I have said this sooo many times! I can handle 2 of the jobs, but not all three in the same day! (I'm at the end of a pregnancy right now and I actually can't handle any of them at the moment.)

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If we could do it all all the time, we wouldn't need to prioritize things.  Setting priorities for the day, week, year etc. sometimes helps you get the most important things done so you don't have to worry too much about the lesser things that don't get done.

 

Remember, we live our lives in chapters.  What's realistic for the chapter you're living right now? Is there anything you're doing now that really should wait until a different chapter of your life?

 

Some people find it beneficial to keep several written lists on hand:

 

critical

urgent

important

extra

 

It helps them consciously classify each thing that comes up and prioritize it. It could cover whatever time frame works for you.

 

Also, the ages of your kids and if you have any adult dependents makes a very big difference.  Teaching your kids to do things for themselves and to help around the house as soon as possible makes a big difference.  Most Americans have shockingly low standards for what kinds of chores their kids can be doing at what ages. There are threads here that cover that.

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Kuddos to you for keeping up with the schoolwork!

 

"So how do you?"

 

I don't. Who can?

 

It is impossible to get "everything" done.

 

I keep a running to do list and each week/each day I pick and do what HAS to be done each day. There are many things I seldom get to - like cobwebs.

 

The rule is that something ALWAYS comes up to broadside my plans. Or I run out of energy before I can do half the things I want to.

 

We are a busy family right now. I feel like I'm never home. If everyone gets fed and get where they need go and feel loved then we are doing good.

 

I have had to greatly simplify how I approach cooking: simple meals that don't require me to think. Easy no-think crockpot dinners for those days on the run.

 

Everyone over the age of 8 does their own laundry. Kids clean their own bathroom. Kids mop and do chores for me once a week (when I make them do it). I should have them do more but my 3 oldest in ps high school truly are busy and sleep deprived!

 

 

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I have simplified meals and hired someone to do the deep cleaning twice a month. I also make the minions, I mean kids, do things like rotate laundry, unload the dishwasher, straighten rooms, take out trash and recycling, etc. Some weeks are better than others. This week I'm running on fumes with a teething toddler.

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oh, try this.

 

If you are like most moms, you probably have electronic limits.

 

So when a child comes to you asking for screen time, say. "Yes. But first....."

 

Pick up 10 things in the living room

 

Wipe down the bathroom counter.

 

Scrub and poke 6 potatoes and stick them in the oven. (even if it's 10 am, that can be done in the morning)

 

Put your laundry in the laundry room.

 

etc. etc. etc.

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First, I'd recognize that you're different from anyone else out there and you don't need to be doing what your friends are. I have friends who get up at 5:30am and do Bible study/quiet time before their kids wake up, make their husbands breakfast before they leave for work, and then start on an elaborate breakfast for their kids. For a while, I thought maybe I should attempt this too and then would get angry if I fell asleep doing Bible study. Turns out? Oh yeah, I've never been a morning person and my husband prefers the household to be asleep when he's getting ready to go to work because it's just easier on him to zip around and then out the door. Someone during a Hello Mornings challenge told me, "You know, God made you who you are. If you focus better and get more out of reading your Bible in the evening, sleep in in the morning and then read your Bible at night." Sounds simple, doesn't it? But I didn't give myself the permission to do that until someone else pointed out that we're all different, we have different strengths, and that's fine.

 

I also agree about delegating tasks. I hate cooking, so my husband does it. He also does the grocery shopping but more often than not, I'll write up the meal plan and grocery list for him. My kids are all young yet but I've started having them take their clothes down to the laundry room, feed the dog, wipe off the table and counters, take their dishes to the sink, etc. All little things but hey, I don't have to do it if they're doing it. And it gives me the time to dash around doing some chore that is necessary at the time being. 

 

Figure out what you're really good at. Recognize that and stick to it. If you really feel like you must add things so you can DO ALL THE THINGS, do it one thing at a time so you're not overwhelmed by changing everything all at once and then throwing out the chore chart/meal plan/exercise schedule. :)

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I can't say I get it all done all the time, but here are some things that help me:

 

I keep myself motivated by reading blogs about homemaking

 

I follow the flylady routines

 

I have a cleaning lady that comes in for deep cleaning twice a month (this is for "insurance" in case I slack off of the flylady routines)

 

I meal plan (print out a blank calendar for each month and write dinners on it). Lunch and Breakfast are quick and easy (oatmeal, cereal, cheese toast), Lunch is almost always leftovers or an Amys organic burrito, pbj, frozen chicken tenders, or frozen pizza - all with fruit. Suppers are usually easy - baked chicken or fish or a roast in the crock pot with steamed veggies and a grain or potato or spaghetti or tacos (or we go out to eat a couple of nights a week if I am tired and we're not wanting what I have planned).

 

I have a curriculum (CLE) that is largely independent so I can do housekeeping while my girls are doing school work.

 

Exercise is a work in progress (and something I posted about here asking for suggestions). I now have 2-3 days a week that I can go out for a run (same days every week). Otherwise I will go out for a bike ride with my kids.

 

Laundry I am working on - just posted here recently looking for suggestions - but I think I have a routine now to keep on top of it.

 

I can tell when I am getting burned out so we usually do 6 weeks on/1 week off (of school). I really recharge during that week off. I will take a day or so to just rest - lay around and do nothing and then I am ready to get going again and usually spend the rest of the week decluttering/organizing or doing something really productive.

 

So I guess for me it boils down to reading motivational (homekeeping) blogs, keeping a set routine, and taking regular breaks to recharge. As mentioned, I don't think anyone has it perfect. I know for me, what really suffers is doing crafty things with my kids. Unfortunately, after school and lessons, I allow my kids to watch movies while I relax and get supper started.

 

ETA: I also have chore lists for my girls - just simple things like making beds, cleaning up table after meals, and picking up.

 

 

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Such wonderful wisdom here.  There is so much I want to comment on but for today - I will do a happy dance (seriously, hear Earth Wind and Fire playing in the background? - You're a Shining Star -).

The kids and I should have gold medals around our necks - so much important schoolwork has been done well this year, it's been amazing, the house has been clean almost all the time, my girls have learned to cook so many new things AND we have all, as a family, helped out at church more than your average bear.  We've even lost weight and made it to the gym and swimming alot~

 

Many! things are being done well here and it's a big fat lie that I should have to do it ALL>

 

Thanks, from the bottom of my heart for your encouraging comments.  Some of my thoughts just aren't true (or helpful) and I thank you all for being in on some of the conversation that goes on in my mind.  Daughter, wife, mom, friend, servant, student.  Lots of roles, just one person.  That glass is more than half full so thanks for reminding me.  Wish some of you could come over for coffee and tell me in person, but alas, internet will have to do.

 

Hugs to all of you for serving your families as you do.  It seriously, is not easy.  BUT SO WORTH IT!

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Many! things are being done well here and it's a big fat lie that I should have to do it ALL>

 

 

This! :iagree:

 

Mothers who are also teachers who are also wives who are also housekeepers...you get the picture...have so many reasons to be proud of themselves! Don't listen to that little voice that says you're failing, because you're obviously not!

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Homeschooling, family fun, and cooking were my priority.  Then we would all clean up the house together pretty thoroughly on the weekend. 

 

The main clean-up job during the week was of course the kitchen, and the kids would rotate in to help with that.  (They would clean up dinner every night by themselves, Monday - Friday.)

 

Laundry =  I'd keep up with the washing part of it myself (til the kids were older -- then they often did it themselves);  we'd all do the folding/sock sorting together while watching a movie.  Fun times!  :)

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Such wonderful wisdom here.  There is so much I want to comment on but for today - I will do a happy dance (seriously, hear Earth Wind and Fire playing in the background? - You're a Shining Star -).

The kids and I should have gold medals around our necks - so much important schoolwork has been done well this year, it's been amazing, the house has been clean almost all the time, my girls have learned to cook so many new things AND we have all, as a family, helped out at church more than your average bear.  We've even lost weight and made it to the gym and swimming alot~

 

Many! things are being done well here and it's a big fat lie that I should have to do it ALL>

 

Thanks, from the bottom of my heart for your encouraging comments.  Some of my thoughts just aren't true (or helpful) and I thank you all for being in on some of the conversation that goes on in my mind.  Daughter, wife, mom, friend, servant, student.  Lots of roles, just one person.  That glass is more than half full so thanks for reminding me.  Wish some of you could come over for coffee and tell me in person, but alas, internet will have to do.

 

Hugs to all of you for serving your families as you do.  It seriously, is not easy.  BUT SO WORTH IT!

 

I love this! 

 

:grouphug:

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I get totally overwhelmed with all of my wife/mommy/homemaker/teacher/etc. responsibilities, too. Mmm...maybe on a monthly basis? ;)

 

It IS a lot to do, there IS a lot of pressure out there to be the 'perfect' supermom/wife/homemaker/etc., and NONE of us are perfect. :) 

 

OTOH, there are some things that are *really* important to me, that I desperately *want* to succeed at, that I find myself failing at. :( 

 

The hardest part for me is that I'm in a very fluid stage of life! Every time we establish some chores & routines...we go through a week of the stomach flu, or 3 nights of the croup, or a week of revival meetings at church, or a new baby!, or...you name it, we got it. :) So I have to learn to be flexible myself. To let things fall apart for a week, or a month... And then start back up again. My kids are getting to the stage where they need some more chores. I've gotten some great ideas from threads here... I haven't exercised consistently since the baby was born. I *need* to be up at 5:30 to stay on top of things, and I haven't been able to get myself out of bed before 7:30... 

 

Some things - the picture-perfect house, for instance - will not happen until my kids are old enough to take on a lot more responsibility. And then we'll be homeschooling full swing...so I'm not so sure it'll be much cleaner than it is now. :) 

 

Other things (getting myself up by 5:30, exercising every morning, etc.) are *really* important to me. I can't let it bother me that they're out of reach right now...but I am taking baby steps toward establishing them again. :) 

 

I think you have to decide what you need to get on top of, and what you need to let go. For those things you want to work on, be easy on yourself, but start mapping out how you plan to achieve your goal...and then start with the baby steps. :) 

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I have nothing to offer you in the way of help, but wanted to thank you for making me laugh! I can keep about 3 things going well at any given time. Work has to be one of those things. The other 2 tend to be parenting and schooling. I am in awe of those who are able to "do it all," truly. I'm just not. All of the books and planners in the world are not going to make me what I'm not, and when I finally accepted that (like, a year ago!) I became a much happier person.

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Then again you might look back on that glorious day you spent outside (lots of people don't get to do that).  Or the hillside visiting with pets. 

 

Are you necessarily going to look back with fondness because you always had your sheets perfectly flat?  KWIM?

 

 

In principle, I agree with you, Wendy... but.... but...

 

OMG! I soooooo love a perfectly ironed flat set of sheets perfectly hospital-cornered!!!  :w00t:

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Delegate, delegate, delegate! One person can't do everything! You aren't giving yourself enough credit for what you're already doing.

 

Kids can do chores (i.e. Housekeeping), cook, handle at least a portion of their own schoolwork, even meal planning with guidance. Two birds with one stone, right? You'll get the help you need and they'll learn to be more mature, prepared young adults. ;)

I'm also like a long lost twin. My dh always says the above advice. But i really struggle with getting it all done, purely laziness on my part. I can find plenty of excuses but i know myself what is good enough... I also don't know that finding the next trick or motivator helps much, long term. I do find that sheer will power for 3 weeks helps to form a habit.

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I really think you need to get with it, no excuses, and be consistent.....with delegating! Honestly, it's probably the thing we super women syndrome people are the worst at. I still struggle, but I'm getting there. No reason why your kids can't do their own washing, drying and folding clothes, make a meal one night of each week, and spend twenty minutes as a family every morning or afternoon having a cleaning blitz. Also mil when she comes, assuming she's able. Assign her a duty that is her responsibility. Get fil, again assuming good health to do yard work, or getting kids to activities, or whatever. Even if they don't enjoy good enough health, there's surely something they can do to contribute.

Make meal prep, cleaning etc, part of school work. We called it home economics. The person cooking that days meal is exempt from cleaning to do meal prep instead.

I don't think you're crazy for wanting to get it all done, but it's crazy if you expect to do it all yourself. :-)

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I could have written your post myself! I'll share a couple of things that have been life changing for me...first, I hired someone to come clean once a week. I got over the guilt of not being able to do it all. Best decision I've made! I'm very thrifty but this is worth every penny and I will scrimp in other areas to keep her coming! It keeps all of us accountable to keep things in good order so she can clean...it allows me to spend more time with family and makes me much more hospitable because I'm not always concerned with the condition of our house. Plus, she is a fellow homeschool mom so I feel like it's a win win.

 

As far as meals go, keep a stocked freezer and pantry. We bought a grass fed cow this year, I stock up on chicken when it's on sale. It costs more in the short run but pays off in spades since you always have a protein to cook without running to the store. I keep meals simple most of the time..plants & animals!

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I have had to accept who I am.  I am not a do it all kind of gal.  And I'm happier not doing it all!  Here is how I don't do it all:

 

Homeschool:  has gone great this year... until I got overwhelmed and just plain stopped teaching my K to read.  But the other three are well educated!  They do much of their work independently as I have picked curriculums for that purpose.  :)  I think I'm getting a video curr. for reading for the poor Ker... ;)  Best thing I've done for this is a daily printable schedule from fivejs.com called "weekly assignment sheet."  Keeps all of us on track.

 

Cooking:  Much of our meals are based on the frozen aisle from Costco.  Or from my collection of crock-pot recipes.  Also, on their weekly schedules for school the older three have "cooking" once a week and have to make a meal or treat.  I don't really help them, they just jump in - plus they love it!

 

Housekeeping:  Ummm... I'm always behind but we do a daily "sweep" of the house before electronics are allowed.  The kids "sweep" through the house together and put everything away.  It's awesome.  When I feel like it, I add in vaccumming or dusting or wipe down the bathroom counters.  It takes them 15 minutes and it makes such a huge difference!  They also have meal routines that include dishes, handwashing, sweeping, and wiping the table.  It's great.  We do all major cleaning together as a family and then do something really fun afterwards for incentive.  I'd hire a housekeeper if I could...

 

Laundry:  We don't have dirty baskets in the bedrooms anymore.  When they get ready for bed, they run their dirty clothes to the laundry and put it in the right colored basket.  That way, everyday I can walk in and just throw a load in - it skips the step of collecting it and sorting.  Makes a huge difference!  When it's washed and dried, it goes in the family room in a pile and they put their own clothes away as part of the "sweep."

 

Waking up early:  Yotally overrated and not within my genetic code.  Cereal or bagels or eggs for breakfast that everyone can get themselves and for the youngest.  Sleep in.  It makes you happier. 

 

Sleeping in a bit and not stressing about being the perfect mom and wife gives just enough energy to play outside with the kids and be up for a bit of "tea" in the evenings.  And really, those are both far more of a priority to me than a clean kitchen floor!  (Not surprisingly, it's more of a priority to my clean-freak hubby as well!) 

 

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I can't. At all. 

 

I use the analogy of a balloon when I talk about this with my husband. Our life's chaos is a balloon, and when I tackle one area it just bulges into another. The house is clean? We've not done school in a week. Lots of fun kid projects? You can't walk on the kitchen floor without sticking in something. I hope this is a phase (little kids, busy life), but my fear is that I'm doomed for a lifetime of disaster.

 

What's worked is - getting rid of LOTS of stuff, paring down responsibilities/needs/tasks to the minimum, and having good routines in place. 

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