Just because I have 5 kids does not make me a super mom.
Just because I drive a mini van does not make me a super mom.
Just because I have a home management book does not mean I’m a super mom.
I am far from it. I don’t pretend to know it all. I just know what I know and I learn from my experiences. Lately I’ve been getting lots of experiences.
My oldest son is 2 and a half years old. For the most part of the past year he has been a whirl wind of crazy. Nothing is too high for him to climb and nothing is safe from being thrown on the ground. Many tears have been shed trying to figure out what to do around here to keep some order. My son has the sweetest smile and gorgeous blonde curly hair. Don’t let him fool you. He is a tiny loveable decluttering disaster! When I feel like I have too much and I need to declutter he is the first one to break something so I have something to get rid of.
Sometimes I wish I was supermom. I wish I could just be let go of the household chores and just enjoy my little tornado. But I can’t. I wish I had a cape that would allow me to just shake it and poof my house is clean and dinner is made.
But I am not supermom.
I have bad days. My kids have bad days. Sometimes you’ll call me or see me out in public and we are having bad days. Shoot you might catch me on a day when I haven’t showered and might even be wearing the same comfy clothes from the day before. And that’s okay. Next time you see or call me I might be clean and using my nice voice all day long. I’m allowed to have “dirty Mondays” (no cleaning no showering just fun days!) or “dirty Fridays” or “dirty first week of March.” And that’s okay. You are allowed to have them too. Just don’t give me the stink eye when I’m having one. Or my children has one. I promise I won’t give you the stink eye. And I won’t even make a comment about you having your hands full because I know your hands are full but your heart is even fuller.
Not every day is a perfect day. But every day is a gift from God. He gives us 24 hours a day to get done what needs to be done. Then He does that again the next day. By the end of the week He even gives us a rest day.
I may never be a super mom but I can become a better mom with every parenting choice I make.
Tomorrow is another day to enjoy my precious children. Tomorrow is another day to get the chores done.
Tonight I choose to be super mom. I choose to get my rest so I can be on top of my game tomorrow.
Super moms most certainly sleep because regular moms sure don’t.
I love taking care of my home. It’s my little safe place in the world that I get to decorate all for myself. However with 5 kids under 9 (my oldest is now 8 and my youngest is 7 months), it’s only really clean between 11 PM and 7 AM- most of the time. I’ve been desperately trying to get a handle on my home management now that I’m working 8 hours a week. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but working 2 half days has really taken a toll on my house in addition to all of the recent activities of my family. I feel like I’m always 2 days behind in everything. I really really dislike feeling out of control. So I decided to start making my own home management notebook.
What? Not everyone has a home management notebook? Shocking stuff I know! Some times I think most people live like an episode of Hoarders or Clean House (which is what I watch when I feel out of control and then I realize a few toys on the ground isn’t so bad). Our basement recently flooded so I’m taking that as God’s way of saying declutter!
Recently most of my home management inspiration has come from Large Family Logistics and most recently Time Warp Wife. I love both blogs so much! They have reminded me so much about how home management is such a lost art. Martha Stewart made it cool again to be so involved in the home and to make things from scratch. Being more involved in my home doesn’t mean I’m going to spend every day on my hands and knees scrubbing everything. It means I’m going to take pride in my home and my family to give them the best that I can.
Okay so that doesn’t mean I was a slacker before. Sure my house has been known to look like Toys R Us exploded in my living room and you could probably eat off of my floor because there was a whole bag of pretzels on it at one time. Taking pride in my home and family means I’m going to take a conscious effort to improve my homemaker skills. Every day I’m going to work a little bit harder at scrubbing the crayon off the walls. I’m going to plan out how I want each room to look. I’m going to declutter and give away what I can so that it can make someone else happy instead of bringing me stress.
So starting tomorrow I’m going to wake up with a smile on my face and I’m going to be grateful for the opportunity to make my home special. I’m going to wake up to a sparkly bathroom that I just scrubbed down from top to bottom (the bathroom should always sparkle because people who use your bathroom have the time to look at how well you clean while they are busy using your bathroom!). After my work meeting I’m going to focus on my kitchen as it is the heart of our home. I will then work on finding the balance of family, faith, and home.
Tomorrow is my first official laundry day. Normally I just do a load or two every day and it’s just crazy! Now the book I’m reading Large Family Logistics suggests doing 4 by 4 meaning 4 loads washed, dried, and put away by 4 pm. To me this just sounds crazy overwhelming! I’ve never done laundry on only one day ever. I usually just toss in a load of every color and wash. I’m curious to know if having a laundry day will help me to feel more in control of the laundry or just make me spin into a dirty shame spiral of clothes.
So tomorrow I’m going to wake up early and make friends with my laundry room. I’m going to start the diapers and then clean up the laundry room. Now our laundry room is kind of creepy. It’s not pretty at all. I really wished it looked pretty like the ones on tv but it’s not. It’s a cold floor with a washer, dryer, an old table for folding clothes, some under the stairs storage room, and a litter box. Glamorous I know. But tomorrow it will be my favorite room in the house.
Another key point was to be happy while doing the laundry. Ridiculously sounding as it is I am excited to try to put it into practice. Why should we be happy and joyful about laundry? Well our great grandmothers didn’t have fancy washers and dryers like we have. They had to boil their clothes or take them down to the river to wash. I’m complaining about walking down 10 stairs and there are women today who do their laundry by hand in the river. There is no reason why I can’t march my behind downstairs to start a load, dry a load, and fold it before bringing it upstairs. I think I self sabotage myself about putting the laundry away longer than it actually takes to put it away.
So here is my exciting Saturday:
715 wake up, let puppy out, turn on the coffee pot, and start the diapers in the washer.
745 put diapers in dryer and then start a load of clothes
9oo put away diapers, move clothes to dryer, start load of linens. (I wash sheets every other week regularly but I probably change them a few times a week since we have a toddler who is potty training)
1030 Fold clothes and move linens to dryer
1100 Clean up laundry room. Make it easy to access
During all of this I plan on making a laundry cheat sheet for my 8 year old and my husband. Both know how to read but fail to read the directions frequently. I fully intend on taking Sunday “off”. There will be no set chores to be done. Of course I’m going to pick up the toys or mop up a spill but I want to spend my time enjoying my family. I need to remind myself on the days that my house looks like a disaster that the children are only young once and one day when my house is clean for more than 3 hours during the day I’m going to be sad. No one ever says “I wish I would have scrubbed the toilet more.” but they do wish they would have played more Candyland or sledded down the hill until only hot chocolate could warm you up.
So what are your exciting Saturday plans?
Yes I know it has been a very long time since I’ve blogged. I have been a bad blogger. Life has gotten in the way! Raising 5 crazy kids takes some time and effort. Our computer was way too slow for my fingers and I’d type and wait a minute to see if I spelled everything correctly! Now I’m typing feverishly from my daughter’s laptop.
2011 is going to be a great year! I can feel it. I’m becoming more at ease with being the mom of 5. You would not believe how much more laundry a little one can create or how fast your house can get turned upside down when you are nursing a baby! It’s a crazy life but things are now starting to fall into place. I just started reading Large Family Logistics and it has helped me to add more joy to my daily housework. Yes I said it. Joy and housework together.
Smiling while you are cleaning has been a huge uplifting change for me. I think about how blessed I am to have all of the modern conveniences to make my house clean. I also think about how blessed I am to have a house to call a home. We have lived in our home for almost 10 years. There is crayon on the walls and toys everywhere but I can’t imagine life without either one! The kids have also been learning how to clean and keep tidy. I want them to have pride and ownership of their home and possessions so teach hing them how to clean does that for them. Cleaning has been best taught in this house by example. I show them what to do and then help them to be successful at the chore. Who doesn’t want kids who like to make their beds or wipe down the baseboards?
I’ve also been taking each part of the house and devoting my day towards it. It doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring the rest of the house but that I’m focused on cleaning and decluttering on one area. That has helped me to stay focused on one project at a time that I can accomplish. Don’t you hate when you are organizing and in the middle of it everything is all over the place? Well giving myself some daily focus has helped me to accomplish something even if I have all of the kids home or if Jason is not napping that afternoon.
So here I am writing again and smiling as I think forward to 2011 and all of the exciting and new things I will learn, experience, and write about.
When I was young I wanted to be a mom above everything else. I dreamed of being a lawyer and a writer. I remember being in second grade and telling my teacher that I was going to Harvard Law. In fourth grade, I wrote books and I wrote lots of them. I went to graduate school to become a teacher right after getting married thinking that kids would be in the future. 9-11 happened right after we got married and it was then that I really thought about starting our family. Now 9 years and 5 children I am at home being a full time homemaker and mother. My days are spent cleaning, cooking, laughing, and hugging. Now the wonderful parts of the day when there is peace in my house bring me lots of joy. The hard parts when everyone is cranky or forgot their listening ears at school are the parts when I start to question what I’m doing.
For me, finding mommy mentors have truly helped me to become a better mom. I read a variety of blogs and I try to apply some of the been there done that moms tricks of the trade to making my life easier. With a house full of kids I need to have things in some kind of order. Am I expecting every day to be perfect? Heck no! I have 5 kids- I’m lucky if I can shower or go potty some days! What I’m expecting of myself is to find a way to help me get 5 kids into adult hood without ended up on Clean House, Hoarders, or Jersey Shore. I want to give them values and ownership of their bodies, lives, and possessions.
Fishmomma at Life As Mom created a morning high five plan that I adapted for us. We are not morning people and asking the girls to get 5 things done before school would just result in them missing the bus. There are days when I don’t think Paige is going to make it out the door with shoes on. So I made us a Good Night Five. If the Good Night Five happen every night I will be so excited! The girls have a hard time getting to bed at night because when you have three little chatty girls in a room it’s like a slumber party every night.
Good Night Five
1. Get homework done/ Story Time
2. Shower, hang towel, get dressed
3. Good Night Chore ( sweep room, put away clothes, clean up toys, etc)
4. Brush teeth and hair
We started this tonight and I have to say we were successful. So successful that Stephanie laid down for 20 minutes and then came out to do her homework. I’m hoping once we get back into the routine of fall that we can start to add a Morning High Five and introduce more chores to the girls. And maybe even Daddy Blue can get in on the high five because he needs to learn how to put his socks in the clothes basket too!
How did you introduce chores to your children?
My cloth diaper adventure started when I was a baby. Disposables made my little butt rash up so my mom went old school on me with cloth. So when I was pregnant with Julia, who is now almost 8, mom talked me into using cloth. She even bought me my first diaper- a Bumkins All in One from Christine at Snuggle Hugs. 8 years later Christine is still my diaper lady. I’ve tried just about every kind of cloth diaper from the start. Right before Justin was born I went on a cloth diaper binge and I bought a ton of pockets, All in Ones, and some fitteds. I was so excited to have him just to put him in them!
My motivation to cloth diaper comes from a variety of sources:
1. They are so stinkin cute! Seriously boy cloths are not that cute especially after you’ve had 3 girls. Cloth diapers are a great way to be fashionable.
2. To save money- Cloth can be inexpensive if you have restraint. Most of my stash is one size fits all so I should be good for a while and I won’t need to purchase anything new…that is until I feel the need to spice my laundry up.
3. To save the environment When are clothes get dirty do we wash them or buy new ones? We wash them of course! So diapers are the same idea. Lots of people talk about how it doesn’t really matter because you are using water when you wash them but they never take into account the amount of energy and water needed to MAKE a disposable. Not to even mention how long a disposable will sit in a landfill whereas my cloth diapers will be reused over and over again by at least 1 child (my prefolds have lasted 4 kids now) or how cloth diapers can be sold to be used further.
4. To protect my baby’s booty- Paige had awful diaper rash from disposables and so does her little baby brother. If he’s in a Pampers for more than an hour his little man area breaks out into a rash. I feel HORRIBLE when I put him in one (I bought 1 pack before he was born 5 weeks ago and I still have half a pack to go through still) because it just looks like it hurts. When he’s in cloth I have nothing to worry about because there are no chemicals touching his butt. Just soft fleece or cotton.
I know that cloth diapers aren’t the right choice for everyone but they might be the right choice for you.
Have questions about going cloth? Do you already cloth diaper? Let me know what you think about going cloth!
Hello readers! It was a great crazy summer around here. I thought of this little old blog so many times. When I was nursing my newest little one or when the kids were sleeping but most often when the computer wasn’t working. Oh yes this was a summer of wonky computers. Jason turned off the power switch one too many times and killed our computer. The one we have now is a little slow so it makes my words go a lot slower than my brain and my fingers. Sadly that put my fingers out of the mood to write but not my head. I am going to promise to myself to write more often now that I have “mommy office hours” in the afternoons.
So what is new in the Chasing Blue house?
Well, I’ve been cooking from scratch a lot more. Thank you to our August Martha Month (even if I didn’t get to write last month I did Martha stuff you know!) I learned how to cook a great deal more. Also I fell in love with the Pioneer Woman again. Her cookbook rocks. I’m getting ready to make her breakfast potatoes now!
The girls all went back to school so it’s just me and the boys in the afternoon. We’ve done some cooking, cleaning, and shopping but mostly fishing my cell phone out of crazy places. I wish they just made a cheap waterproof phone!
Most importantly our newest blessing was born! He was 10 days late- yes it was just as frustrating as it sounds! It was a beautiful birth- 3 hours of labor, no pain meds, and 2 pushes until my handsome Justin (who was nameless for 3 days) was born. He weighed in at 9 pounds 12 ounces and 21 inches long. Justin so far has survived 5 weeks of life within this crazy chaotic love filled house so I think we’ll keep him. 😉
So what’s new in your world?
I’m off to make my breakfast burritos!