Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day By Day

Welcome to my Type-A house struggles. If you are not type-A, please don't give me a bunch of "oh this really isn't important," "don't be overwhelmed" comments. A clean house, clean laundry, tidy room, hot cookies, and a decorated dwelling ARE important. At least, these things are important to my husband and to me. In my imagination I want to be Martha Stewart, Giada, the Pioneer Woman, my organized-perfectionist-Grandmother, and the exemplary mother. Ever tried to be all those people? It's impossible.

Let me try to lay out the new plan by starting with the old dilemma.

The beginning of my day normally starts with a to-do list like this:

1. make beds.
2. shower. put on makeup too.
3. tidy house.
4. do week's worth of laundry.
5. iron all the clothes in the house (slight stretch, but the ironing mound makes me feel this way)
6. clean bathrooms.
7. vacuum bedrooms.
8. make 4 course dinner.
9. make cookies. clean up mess too.
10. go for a walk. playing at the park is important.
11. decorate the wall above the couch.
12. contact a friend with encouragement.
13. be an attentive, intentional, involved mama.


Heaven help me. By the end of the day I have made dinner, somewhat gotten dishes put away, folded one load of laundry, stared at the toilets in disgust, choked over dirty diapers, and made myself feel like a failure because I can't live up to my own expectations.

It's tough because I am a mild perfectionist, (as is my husband) and I have yet to meet all my expectations for the day. This leaves hubby and myself frustrated, my house a mess with started-but-hardly-completed projects, and a baby who just wants mama to stop freaking out about the house and to come play.

So I have begun a new system. I am only allowed to do project during the day.

I still vacuum the floors for a crawling baby, make dinner, tidy the house, and wash diapers every day, but I am only allowed to deep clean one item.

For instance:
Monday is laundry day.
Tuesday is ironing day
Wednesday is bedroom and home office day
Thursday is bathroom and kitchen day
Friday is living room day
Saturday is play with my family/catch up day.
Sunday is rest.

In taking only one job per day I can deep clean baseboards, ceilings, fans, or even windows if I wanted without feeling behind! This sounds so "DUH!" to a lot of people, but to me it is hard self-discipline to only tackle one project. While doing laundry I had to consciously work hard to keep from tackling bathrooms. I felt like I needed to start a million other things, but I knew if I did laundry wouldn't get finished. In staying on target, I had time to play with baby, take a short nap, clean the kitchen, make the beds, have Bible study, and welcome a husband who was all smiles that I didn't have a dozen projects started when he got home.

There are many other areas in my life to trim away so I have more free time to bake those cookies, play peek-a-boo, go for that walk, or make that phone call. It's about making things happen, one day at a time, one task at a time, one moment at a time.


Jessica Shae said...

Ah, I love this post! I completely understand what you mean, though I haven't experience it on the same level you have as of yet :) I've found myself stressing several times as I've pushed myself to make sure the house was perfectly clean, laundry done and put away, candles lit making the house smell nice, music playing, hair and make up done, and a nice big dinner completely ready to serve the second my husband walks in the door!

Your plan sounds like a good one though, and one that I might have to implement soon :)

Sandi Clark said...

You are absolutely right to do your list that way! I used to do the same thiing and now that the boys are gone I tell friends with little ones~ the peek a boo are waaaay more important than the dishes. Enjoy the little things in life because they grow waaaay too fast :)

Sippy Cups and Pearls said...

I love this post! I just thought to myself that I need to take it a little easier on myself and maybe do 1 or two things a day instead of trying to tackle the entire house - to me, a clean house is more important than me getting out of my pajamas on the morning. ha. (still working on that part of staying home) haha. anyways, thanks for your list...might make mine very similar! by the way, Sheyanne Brown gave me your blog URL! glad she did - newest follower!