Monday, January 21, 2013


As I said before, I love being a mom and now a grandmother.  Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your baby grow into a responsible adult, loving them with all your heart and watching them raise your grandchildren.  It does take a lot of work and patience and part of that work involves setting up routines and schedules that work for your home.  Each family is different so each system should be customized to fit the needs of your household.

If you are a working mom, then your system will be different than a stay-at-home mom.  No one system or schedule is right or wrong.  It should be what works for you and your family.  Believe me, I tried many types of organizational schedules and routines and had to keep redoing them because for one reason or another they just didn't work.  So if something is not working, start over.  It doesn't mean you failed, it means that system is not right for you so find another.

I do believe everyone needs a schedule whether it is a calendar on the wall, a planner, a white board just something where you can see what is going on for the week and the days ahead.  This is nothing new to you I'm sure but you would be surprised how many moms fail to write things down and then wonder why they miss dates such as birthdays, soccer practice, PTA meetings, get togethers with friends, etc.  If your calendar is up where you can see it every day, I say in the kitchen, you will see it and know what you need to accomplish or what is coming up in the next week.


There are all types of calendars and now you can even print out pages from the Internet.  Make sure they have enough space to write your daily activities in the blocks.  I find this is so helpful for appointments especially since I'm always forgetting them.  When you have infants and small children, there are always doctors and dentist appointments, school activities and other obligations that take up your time so be sure to schedule them on your calendar.  Also remember this is a great way to keep yourself from over scheduling and avoid too much stress in your life.
Now you can even schedule appointments on your I phone but if you don't always have your phone near you, you might not see the message or hear the alarm.  I still think a hard copy of a calendar in the kitchen where you are several times a day is a good idea.

If you are a working mom, then another calendar in the office as a double check works well too.
One of the changes I've noticed over the years is that parents have felt the need to keep their children in several activities at once filling up their schedules too.  Are we giving them too much to do at such a young age?  Are we stressing them out and cramming their lives with too many activities?   I have seen children so busy 5 days a week that they barely have time to breathe.  They are in school all day, have after-school activities, homework and then it starts all over again the next day.  When do they have time just to be a kid?  This is another reason your schedule is so full.  Reevaluate what your children are doing and maybe you can scale back a little and reduce the stress on everyone.
On your calendar also schedule your household chores.  You say you don't have time for cleaning.  Well you can clean many things in a short time if you devote a block of time to that one task and spread the tasks throughout the week.  On Monday you might write "clean master bathroom".  So now it is Monday and this is what you will do.  Find a 15 minute uninterrupted block of time and go like crazy and clean that bathroom.  Set a timer and have all your tools ready. 

You will be surprised how fast you will clean it when you know you are under a time limit.  Once that timer goes off you are done and the bathroom will be clean.  Wow you got that chore done.  Now on Tuesday, pick another chore say vacuum the living room and do the same thing.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and find that uninterrupted block of time and just do it. Keep the kids busy with homework or another activity.  If they are very young, occupy them with coloring or an age-appropriate movie. Do the same thing for the rest of the week and you'll have the whole house cleaned by the end of the week.
If you look at the whole picture such as "I need to clean this whole house and I'll never get it done", it is too overwhelming but if you break it down into little blocks of time, it will get done and you will feel a sense of accomplishment without stressing yourself out.

I believe the key is organization and a little effort put into scheduling and sticking to it make it possible.  Of course there will be days when the schedule goes out the window and everything falls apart.  We all have those days but then you pick up where you left off and start again.  Don't get discouraged, it happens to all of us.  Kids get sick, moms get sick (although we don't get the warm fuzzies and chicken soup).  Babies need lots of TLC. 
You think you don't have 15 minutes, well think again because you do.  I used this system for many years and it worked.  Sometimes I blew it and felt inadequate, a failure, a lousy housekeeper, a bad mother.  I got so depressed because again I wanted everything perfect.  Forget it, it never happened and I had to adjust my expectations.  Kids don't need perfect.  They need you.
So pick yourself up, and get back on track.  You are fantastic and wonderfully made.  You are God's creation and he picked you to be your children's mom, that special person to raise and protect his precious children.  You can do this.  Start small and work toward the big things.  I'll talk about how you can handle the big jobs such as cleaning the refrigerator, stove, cabinets etc. in another post but for now just concentrate on the every day stuff. 
You are a blessing to your family and your attitude means so much to the temperature in your home.  When  you are happy the rest of the family will be happy.  Don't get discouraged by what you can't do, concentrate on what you ARE doing and the rest will fall into place.  Until next time .....

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