Oct 6, 2011

mommy resolutions

Spending a few days taking care of the child and the home all by myself while the hubs was on a business trip was quite a daunting task.  Add to that a demanding, time-consuming (ask any teacher), full-time job, and you have too few hours in the day.  Those three days were quite stressful, but they helped me appreciate my husband and his help that much more.  But, I also realized that I can do better.  Basically, nothing about what I did during the day really changed when PJ was gone, which leads me to believe that, when he is home and able to help, I should be able to do a better job of being a wife and mommy.

Lately, I've been feeling pretty swamped in all of my jobs, but especially in the area of my home.  I've had the idea in my head that I can only do "home things" on the weekends, things like grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc.  In general, this is true; weekends are a great time to plan menus and shop, scrub and scour, and sort and fold.  However, this tends to leave very little time for FUN, which, obviously, is a problem.  I want to spend more time doing FUN family stuff instead of freaking out about how we're going to get everything done if we happen to go out of town for the weekend.  This has been on my mind a good bit lately; I even found a post that I started a few weeks ago but never finished about this same thing:

"We spent the weekend in the most awesome house overlooking a lake, and I freaked out all last week about leaving for the weekend and the things I would not get done because of it. Things like grocery shopping, laundry, grading, cleaning, you know, all those things I am too tired to do when I get home from work, so I push them off until the weekend. And, seriously, I was upset that I was not going to be able to do them because I was going to be stuck at a lakehouse with our friends. I must be insane."

Overall, I just want to feel more successful and less stressed, like I am doing a decent job of all of my jobs.  Enter my mommy resolutions.  These are small changes I am committed to making so that I can have more fun and feel better about my life. (Some of these are things that I think normal, "good" moms are probably already doing.  Don't laugh!)

1.  I will split up the chores and do one each weeknight.  Surely I can manage one household chore per night.  Vaccuuming, laundry, and grocery shopping won't seem like all-day affairs if I do only one at a time, right?

2.  I will get up when my alarm goes off and get straight in the shower.  This probably seems dumb, but my alarm is set for 5:15, which is too early.  I end up pushing snooze 50 times and then convincing myself that I must have a cup of coffee before I can possibly shower, which just makes me run late.  I'll just set my alarm a little later and actually get up when it goes off and go straight to the shower. (I tried this one this morning.  I set my alarm for 5:30 and got up on the first ring.  But...I talked my-half-asleep-self into a cup of coffee before my shower.  Grrr...  BUT, I left the house a solid 15 minutes earlier than usual!!  Yay for less rushing and more time!!)

3.  I will not leave dishes on the counter or in the sink.  I'm really bad about the dishes...don't judge me! (Managed this one this morning!  Two points for Jessica!!)

4.  I will make Cara pick up her toys, especially in the living room, before she goes to bed.

That's only four things, so it's not like I'm trying to completely overhaul my routine and my life, but I think they will make a huge difference in my peace of mind.  Any additional tips or advice?  How do you keep your house running smoothly while still making time for the fun stuff?

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  1. Haha, I HEAR you - the bain of my existence is this nagging feeling that I could actually be awesome at all of my jobs if I just had a little more time to do each. I HATE the feeling of never ever having enough time!

    My mom made a comment to me a few weeks back about the importance of having margins in your life and it really stuck with me. I don't want to pack so much into each day that I don't get to just sit on the couch and watch Jack play (my favorite activity which I don't do nearly enough) or read a book. I'm trying to cut back a little so that I have this time.

    One idea that works for me is to try to use Jack's meal time to clean things up - since most of the time his meals need to be before our dinner is ready, I'll use the time he's eating to clean up the living room and the kitchen. But I also like the nights where it does work that we are all eating the same meal together, but I do this on the weekends at lunch and since his bkfst lasts longer than mine, during part of his bkfst.

    I also make myself a to-do list each Sunday (including the normal cleaning like bathrooms and sweeping) and star the things I want to do the next day, then I cross them off as the week progresses.

    that's all I've got though!

  2. Your mom is so wise! Cutting back feels almost impossible to me though--maybe I'll just stop grading papers! :-) I think one of my biggest problems is thinking that I am the one who should do everything, when in reality, I'm doing Cara a disservice by not teaching her to keep her toys in her room, pick up after herself, etc.

    PS--I hear Jack is almost completely potty trained??? How did you do that? We are kind of stuck right now...

  3. I think you have the right of it...tackle in small doses. I try to do one load of laundry a day. Put it in as soon as I get home that way it has a chance to make it to the dryer before bed. It may not get folded that night but you win some you lose some ;)

    And making the kids clean up toys before bed...definitely a sanity saver. I usually do it myself because I can get it done quicker but teaching them to clean up after themselves is certainly an important lesson and as long as I remind them early enough, they can get it done before bedtime.

    Best of luck!

  4. This is great--one of the British bloggers that I read has been talking about this very thing. She too is working in small increments so that the tasks aren't so daunting. She also calls it "home loving" instead of house work! I started my small increment "home loving" 2 weeks ago and everyone at casa de Phillips is happier!


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