I have never been neat or organized. This may be a shock to some, while others know my “beautiful mess” all too well. My dream is to have that beautiful living space where everything has a place and my house is always ready for surprise visitors. The reality is that my floor is always covered in toys and food crumbs. I hardly remember where I put anything and sometimes I feel like any progress I have made is completely undone the next day. My frustrations with cleaning and organizing turn into stress. This stress appears to snow ball throughout the day leaving me irritable, exhausted and self-defeated. Something needed to change! Hopefully doing these 5 simple things can help to ease your stress and create a better home environment for you and your family.
1) Stay off your phone- yah I can feel the eye rolls and “pfffffts” right now. Seriously, scrolling through Social media and constant checking for new emails is the biggest time waster. If you start your morning with this activity, you are not able to stay focused and productive. I check emails twice a day and check in on social media at certain times that my schedule allows. I only pick up my phone to complete work such as writing and editing after I have had a workout and breakfast. I start checking and responding to emails after I have gotten the girls breakfast, while they are making their beds and getting ready for the park or the day.
2) Make your bed- I started this routine when my husband and I got married, 7 years later he actually does it too. It may seem simple, but starting your day with a nicely made bed motivates you to do other activities that give you same satisfaction. Once that one activity is done, you will naturally organize and clean other areas.
3) Morning workouts- I know working may seem to have nothing to do with organizing but you would be surprised! I have heard on more than one occasion from friends that workout with me, that starting the day with a run or a 30 minute workout gives them the energy and motivation to check things off their list! If I miss my opportunity to workout before the kiddos wake-up, I will set my mind to workout while we are at the park that morning. Convincing myself to make time for this is a big step to success.
4) Have a plan- this is the hardest step and has taken me years to master, I am still struggle with it. In the morning after I put clean dishes away and start a load of laundry. In the evening I load the dishwasher and fold the clothes. This doesn’t happen every day, but you must have goals. I have also started meal planning. The evening struggle at dinner time was my biggest issue. Having a plan for dinner eases my stress level immensely. We have also decreased our grocery budget by 25% since we started. I typically plan out our week on Sunday afternoons. My husband either puts the girls down for a nap or takes them to the park or other activity while I relax and make out our food and activity schedule.
5) Get plenty of rest – I worked nights for 7 years before I started staying at home with my girls. I cannot stress enough the importance of sleep. If you are having trouble going to sleep, ask yourself a few questions. Did I get enough physical activity today? Is my phone the last thing I see right before I go to bed? Stay off your device at least an hour before you go to bed. Activity on your phone keeps your mind working, instead read or watch something for entertainment (fiction). The morning is the best time to be productive for work, cleaning or even to take the kids to the park. It can be a struggle to get things done and to bed on time, but not taking care of yourself will sabotage all your efforts. Some of you may have babies that are struggling with their bedtime routine. My toddler and preschooler still get up in the night and come to my bed. I give you permission to take a nap! If you need the rest by all means take it!
My kids deserve the best of me and taking care of myself allows me to better take care of them. If I do not plan for success for my day and my family, I am planning for failure. I struggle with keeping a routine, but anything done for three weeks will become habit. The benefits that I get from planning have made our life happier because we are able to spend more time together.
My husband comes home to a wife who is proud of her accomplishments. I am guilty of greeting my husband at the door and knocking him over with my complaints of the day. You’re life is what you create it to be. My issues of inadequacy were just that…. “my issues.” Once I learned that I wasn’t in competition with anyone else but myself, I started to see my shortcomings as a challenge. I am proud to say that I no longer cry on my bed with a pile of laundry taller than me. I wake up and look forward to my day. I enjoy being a stay at home mom more now than I could ever imagine. Being a stay at home mom is the toughest job I have ever had. At home, you do not have a manager to keep you accountable and on task. My only accountability comes from my girls who insist that I feed them every three hours. They could care less about the laundry or the dishes I have piled up. I am the manager, the boss and the creator of my own destiny. Stop asking yourself “how do I get more time” or “what am I going to cook for dinner?” Instead you should ask, “How am I going to take over the world today?”
morning run with Zoey
walks to the park are always an adventure
planning for activities with my family is just as important as planning meals.
making time for my health is the biggest gift I can give myself and my family
when the kids are at grandmas
Meatballs are the best way to get three meals in one! Spaghetti and meatballs, meatball sliders and zucchini boats!