Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Works for Me Wednesday

When I decided to stay home with my kids, I assumed that the day would be filled with lots of learning activities, fun crafts, and minimal housework.  Right?  After all, how much could my two year old do to the house?  Four kids later I will tell you there is a lot that kids can do to a house.

This weekend I rested and rested and oh, rested some more.  Today, I looked around and realized that I can never do this again.  I like to do a little each day so I am not overwhelmed.  This is what I do to make my life manageable.

1.) Plan for housework - For me, I begin my day with an allotment of time to chores that for me have to be done everyday.  I like my bed to be made, dishwasher  unloaded and loaded, and meals planned.  I also see to it that the kids pick up their toys.  If this is done, I feel like I can manage the day.

2.) Plan for a one-time activity each day - This is an activity that should only occur once in your schedule.  For instance, yesterday I sewed a skirt for my little girl.  Today, I will go through old VHS tapes in the attic and donate to the thrift store.  By doing this, I get to see something accomplished each and every day.  Let's face it- beds will be undone at night, dishes will be dirtied before the end of the day, and tomorrow is another day to feed the crew.  Do this one step and it will make you feel much better about your day.

3.) Schedule maintenance chores for the week into a calendar - Plan to clean bathrooms or mop floors.  Plan when to do laundry.  Plan, plan, and plan.  Make this an appointment to keep unless an emergency arises.  A television show is not an emergency.

4.) Enlist help - Little ones can help and should help.  Kids thrive when they know you need them.  Give them age appropriate chores and challenge them to help.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what they can do.

5.)  Enjoy today- Sometimes, I can get so caught up in what I have on my to-do list I forget about me.  Moms need down time too.  You can only run so much until you collapse.  Take a break and enjoy the quietness of nap time.  Set a timer and read for thirty minutes.  Run a warm bath and relax.  Do what makes you happy and you will be a better mom and wife.

I hope these tips help someone. I know that I often get overwhelmed by kids' activities and social responsibilities that housework seems unmanageable.  I have used the tips above and found that life didn't seem so out of control.  Good luck and happy cleaning!

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