Friday, July 21, 2017

Mommy inc. | How to Schedule A Life

I always thought it would be kinda cool to be one of those “particular” people. You know; a health nut, or a neat freak, or a work-out fanatic. Hard as I’ve tried to be all three, I always fail to see the value in them eventually, and decide to let life be lived, instead of freaked-out-over. (Pass me another piece of chocolate please…)

However, I’ve always had a pretty particular idea of how I wanted to run my house. Not making the bed all day is a pretty huge mark of failure for me, and unnecessary clutter makes me purty agitated. Still though, I had (“had,” being the key word) a happy-go-lucky view of cleaning schedules. (Which means, basially, that I didn’t have one;  but things always got done eventually, and the house stayed pretty sane.)

Then Haven was born. When she came, my friendly, freelance version of housekeeping suddenly became grumpy and overwhelming. There wasn’t time enough in the day. Or the night, actually. I struggled to balance mopping, dusting, trash-taking-outing, laundering - and, oh wait! WHAT’S FOR SUPPER?!  with no sleep, and a snuggly baby who didn’t want to be alone. Ever. 

Good news: Babies learn how to entertain themselves by a year old. It’s not half as hard now, as it was when she was little-bitty. But about four months ago, I was getting pretty discouraged with the struggle and stress of my cleaning times always being interrupted. Clean house = happiness, for me. Cluttered house = troubled spirit. Basically. 

And that’s when I found out that schedules aren't just for superwomen with go-getter personalities; that’s when I found one that worked for me. 

See, I had tried schedules lots of times. The problem, was that I always tried to stuff my life into somebody else’s Microsoft Excel sheet, and check all the boxes. It never worked for more than a week. I tried Pinterest, and following other people’s suggestions,  - but nope. The baby still fussed on cleaning day, with the first room only half-mopped. Finally, through trial and error, I noticed that my own habits formed a pattern; so I followed them, and started tweaking the areas that needed help.

Here’s what I do to keep our house sane and comfy. Maybe it’ll help you recognize a pattern in your days, as well. But, no copy-catting! (It doesn’t work.)

Me and Haven get ready for the day.
Coffee and Breakfast happens.
Unload the dishwasher, tidy the kitchen.
Get something in my head for supper.
Make my bed, and tidy the bedroom.
Make a general de-cluttering/picking up run through the house.
Wash, dry and fold one load of laundry. 

Dust what looks Dusty
Sweep what looks Crusty
Wash glass that needs it.
Random stuff that crops up through the week. (Business errands, etc.)

Pick up the house again before Ethan comes home
Have supper ready fifteen minutes before I expect him to be home
Haven’s Bath
Haven’s Bedtime
Time for: showers, bean snapping, canning, an extra load of laundry, more business paperwork, or, maybe, if I’m lucky, a half hour on the swing with Mr. Pritchard. 

I also love it when I pick out tomorrow’s clothes before I hit the sack - but that doesn’t always happen. 

Obviously, I try to clean what needs cleaned, when it needs cleaning. I don’t wait for a particular day of the week, because trying to clean a whole house in one day with a baby, is exhausting to me. Just a wee little lot. Wiping down the toilet takes about 30 seconds - as does dusting the coffee table, etc. So it’s no biggie. 

T H U R S D A Y 
Is dedicated to changing sheets and sweeping and mopping all the floors. (Bedrooms only get swept most of the time. Not Sorry.) 

Also, handy hint: Keep a scrub brush in the shower, and give it a good brushing while you’re in it!  It’s much easier, and doesn't take very long. Every once in a while, you’ll need to bleach it out, but for a run-of-the-mill week, it works great!

I try (notice the emphasis on “try”) to make a point to de-trash the car and vacuum it.

 I go ahead and make Sunday easier, by packing the diaper bag, ironing the church clothes, making breakfast, a take-along-lunch (not always),  and snacks for Haven … the day before. Then we can just get up, get ready and go on Sunday morning. <Because we drive an hour to church>

I’m sure there’s a lot more that I should be doing, but this little workup keeps our lives running pretty smoothly. Don't get me wrong, though - come over before nine, and I’ll still be in my jammies. Drop in for a surprise visit, and you never know what you’ll find. Life is life. And sometimes, the baby’s teething and needs to be held. Sometimes there’s been no sleep. Sometimes things crop up on Thursdays and the house doesn’t get mopped. Lots of times, I overlook the dust, and do something else (hullo, canning season)… But for the majority of the time - this is what works for me.

As you come up with your own personal life schedule, please, PLEASE remember that you’ll need a little grace for yourself, too. Don’t be so crazy-structured, that you neglect what’s most important: that’s your people. They come first. Everybody can’t clean the house weekly. Everybody doesn’t have to. Do what you need to have done to feel comfortable and happy in your home.

Sure hope this was helpful - and please know that I didn’t write it because I feel like I have it all together. I don’t. I’ll be the first mommy to admit it. But if there’s somebody out there who feels overwhelmed and helpless - Y O U  C A N  D O  T H I S ! ! All things through Christ. Keep your house; don’t let it keep you.


Anonymous said...

Such a great post, Anna! You have learned such a valuable lesson in that schedules should be a tool not a dictator/master. Your flexible plan is perfect! There's nothing worse than going to someone's spotless house and finding Mama so grumpy and exhausted from "doing it all". You are an awesome mom and I'm so proud of how you manage your home!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you! I permanently needed to write on my blog something like that.

Can I include a portion of your post to my site?

Anna said...

I would be glad to let you share the post:) What's your blog address?