Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just not cutting it...

Well, my usual day to day activities are just not cutting it anymore. I am used to getting up fairly late (*so* not a morning person), just as my dh is heading out the door. I am used to being able to take care of children, home, meals, cleaning, etc. all during the day - then relaxing at night with dh. This is no longer a viable option.

I have been watching my home slowly get worse and worse in regards to tidiness and cleanliness. Now, it's nothing major - I have always been a bit of a neat freak - but these changes are not happening because I've carefully thought about it. It is happening because I feel as though I am losing control. Losing control of the order to my home. The happy rhythm I have become accustomed to.

Sooooo...changes need to be made. I simply can not sleep in as long as I have been. Yet I know myself, I KNOW I'm not about to become this chipper morning person. So I'm not about to set some unrealistic goal that I'll only fail at. I'm just talking about getting MYSELF up and about before the children. I'm not going for hours and hours of time - just enough to feel ready for my day by the time the babies head out their own doors.

I'm also going to teach the children WHEN they are allowed to come out of their rooms. Digital clocks in their room, teaching them that they MUST stay in their own rooms, playing quietly, until 7am (or 7:30 - whatever dh and I decide is appropriate). That way I will be able to maintain a basic morning routine without the worry of accidentally waking someone up at 6:30 and feeling behind.

Dh and I talked very briefly about my feelings today on the phone and agreed less time in the evenings will be allowed for simply relaxing (i.e. lazin' about) watching t.v. More time will be given for me to get some basics done while he is available to spend time with the babies. This will give me more of a 'jump' on my mornings as well.

I will also be coming up with a basic "plan of attack" for each day. Right now, I am flying by the seat of my pants - just doing what needs to be done, attacking one chore at a time, always feeling behind and not in control whatsoever. That is NOT how I like to feel. I have come up with enough "schedules" to know what is realistic, that each day will ebb and flow, and that some days will not look like my schedule at all! But to simply *have* a schedule will give me (and my children) guidance - which is invaluable.

Of course, I still need to re-think chores. My two year old is AMAZING and really wants to help. There are simple things she *can* do - so I need to make sure she is included in chore time. I need to begin scheduling Elijah into reliable nap times (he is almost 4 months old and has already begun scheduling himself for the most part) so I will have definite time slots available for educating. My eldest son, at almost 6 years old, rarely sleeps anymore during quiet times, so I hope to turn this time into more education time for him as well. He will use this time for quiet, self-led activites such as reading, flash cards, writing practice, worksheets, etc. Anything he can do quietly, by himself, in one location.

Geesh...look at all that!?!! I know it seems a bit overwhelming, but I feel overwhelmed as it is right now. I have cut out quite a bit of t.v. and computer time recently. After baby #4 came along, I allowed *way* too much of that and my son especially got VERY used to it. Now that they no longer have that t.v./computer time - *I* no longer have as much time for my housekeeping. Which is resulting in quite the messy home. I can't STAND that. I don't WANT that. There WILL be changes here!!


So anyways, there it is. I'd better get started....I need to regain a bit more control of my life. My children need more structure and stability. My husband needs a warm, comfortable, clean and INVITING home to come home to.

please pray....I'm gonna need it.
*Michigan Momma*

7 comments:

Tess said...

Lori,

I know how much you need to feel "in control", but remember, this is summer, you know, fun in the sun and all that. Enjoy your babies, they will not even want to be in the same room with you once they are teens (remember?). I remember all too well. Of course you don't think that will happen with your kids. Neither did I.

Also, don't spend very much time cleaning and such in the evenings when your husband is home. He needs to have your attention too.

Dust will keep, your family won't.

You can help a lot by doing things automatically. Like...

When you use a dish, glass or any other kitchen item, put it in the dishwasher immediately, don't stack it in the sink where it looks bad and adds to your tension. Have the kids help you with this. Run it, and empty it regularly, so it is usable again.

When you get out of the tub/shower, keep your soft scrub, comet or whatever right there by the tub so when you get out you can turn around and swish and wipe and rinse. This saves having to do intense scrubbing when it gets really dirty.

Swish bleach (that's what I use) around in both toilets on a regular basis. Just swish and flush.


When you get up, turn around and make your bed, it only takes about two minutes and you're done.

When you brush your teeth in the morning, take a towel and clean off the mirror above the sink. Make it a part of your morning routine.

Take your bath at night before you go to bed. The kids are asleep then and you can take your time and do your shaving and take care of your feet and even relax. I wash my hair every other day and I do it at night. Then I just dampen and dry and style in the morning.

You already have a system set up to have the kids clothes ready for them in the morning. Do the same thing for yourself, this saves time in the am.

Put the kids pjs in bins in the laundry room, rather than in their drawers. In the evening they can undress there and put their dirty things in a basket right there by the washer, and then put on their jammies. The older two DO NOT need to be assisted in this task, even if they whine about it. You can do a little reward thing for them when they act independantly.

In the morning after they dress (as much by themselves as possible) have them take their pj's back to the bin.

You have a timer on your coffee maker, so use it and this saves time in the am, and you might even get to drink a cup.

Limit toys to their play area, this is a lot less picking up for you or them.

During room time only have a few items, their favorites down for them to play with. They need to put one toy away before getting out another one. They have way too many toys in their rooms and when everything is everywhere, they can't pay attention to just one thing and enjoy it.

Less trauma for clean up. "I can't!" They are just overwhelmed by the task.

Reward, reward, reward good behavior. Bad behavior, gets them trouble.

Explain to them that you need Help, so you will have more time to do the fun things with them. No help...no fun things.

After dinner when you clean the table, set it for breakfast, this saves time in the am as well.

Know what bothers you the most if it doesn't get done. Do those top three or four (not 12) things first. If you have more time, then do more.

Set the timer for yourself. Give yourself say half an hour to do certain things and REALLY MOVE, to get as much done as you can before the times up. Pick the most conveinient time to do this ie, kids room time or quiet time.

Finally, make sure you have some time for yourself, even if it doesn't all get done like you want it to. Learn to be satisfied at a level that is "good enough". Pick a time for yourself when you need it most. For me, it is in the am when I need to sit down and enjoy my coffee. Crochet, sew, read, listen to music, play your clarinet, watch one of your favorite programs,etc. but again, don't do it for three hours. Set a time limit and stick to it as much as possible.

Finally, be flexible!!! When there is an opportunity for fun with the kids, Dean, friends, DO IT!~ you can catch up later, just start over the next day.

I love you, but you are too hard on yourself. I hope some of these suggestions, (that's ALL they are) can help you out.

Love,
Mom

Tess said...

I know you can't BELIEVE, I STILL have something to say, but I do.

During all of this daily routine, listen to Christian music and pray, pray, pray. Pray when you clean, pray while you get ready for your day. Pray with the kids. Pray in the car. Pray at night.

Concentrate on keeping an attitude of gratefulness! Contented is a great place to put yourself!

I'm praying for you all, all the time.

Mom

Anneatheart said...

I know how you feel Lori...about this time last year my baby was about 4 months old. She was sleeping through the night till about 6-6:30 am, and since my husband has to get up then, I would just stay up, go make breakfast and get dishes unloaded from the dishwasher, make his lunch, feed animals, start laundry etc..

It became such a habit, I still do it most of the time, I didn't today because we both slept later for some reason. My girls wake up between 6:30-7am, but they can't open their door as we've childproofed it. We've always done this because sometimes they'd wake up way before us and start snooping. Now my baby sleeps late, so I have more time with the older ones and getting some things done before she gets up. Honestly, I don't watch TV anymore. I let my girls watch some shows on Noggin and their movies off and on, but in the evenings my husband watches what he wants if we watch it at all. I'm doing better on computer time too.
I have mapped out so many different schedules for myself only to see them flop. I did make a master schedule just to have there for me to reference to. We rarely ever do everything on it. I make a to-do list for each day and put it in my binder as a guide. I am still trying to get used to having my oldest at home with me (she goes to all day preschool during the school year). Basically, if I can cook, do dishes, do laundry, tidy up clutter and sweep/vacuum, things are ok. Cleaning the bathroom is one of my least favorite things, but I do it at least once a week.
Again, we've been doing lots of fun things since it is summer, and there are a lot more little hands to get into things than I have to keep them out of it, so it's much more relaxed. My husband and I talked about what was acceptable etc. Just ask him what he wants you to do. I'm sure you know all this. Good luck with getting things in order, I'm still trying to myself.

Sorry this is longwinded...oh, and what exactly are you doing as far as diet etc. for losing weight? I"m just curious because I need to lose 50lbs or so myself. Thanks!! Love ya Lori!!

Jessica

Anonymous said...

hang in there- don't be so tough on yourself! I am trying to lower my expectations just a little, and trying to instead enjoy my little newborn. I, too, and very set on having a perfectly clean house at all times- and I learning, with a nursing newborn, that sometimes it's just better to pay attention to her, and leave the house be. My husband likes coming home to a clean house, also, but he also helps out when he needs too. I am just realizing that that is life with lots of littles, and I am trying not to feel guilty when things aren't as tip-top in shape like I like them to be! Trying, I said- I don't have it mastered yet! I still have my grumpy moments when the house is in upheaval! I have learned to incorporate the kids' help alot more since Chloe has been born. I just point as I am nursing her- "Put that away, put this away, do this, do that", and the system seems to be working well! Now as far as deep cleaning.... Thinking of you, Cassandra
It's a Wonderful Life

Anonymous said...

Forgive the errors- I am holding a nursing infant in my arms!
~Cassandra

Julie said...

The best thing I did was train my kids to stay in their rooms until I get them up. They may read or play quietly but they must stay in their rooms. It just makes it so much nicer to come out to a house that is still quiet and in relative order. Of course I always go into my children's rooms with a smile and a hug and a bright good morning. This is something I think they so deserve for waiting patiently.

*MichiganMomma* said...

Oh Julie, what a great way to handle mornings!! Mornings are so *not* my thing. But this sounds like a great idea! I can wake up to a relatively all put together home, nice and calm, and then prepare MYSELF to greet my children in the morning as the wonderful blessings they are!

It just sounded so nice the way you put it. I will be implementing this ASAP! Thank you!

~Lori