We all want that clean, organized and perfect house, right? The one where everything is perfectly in place. The one where every corner of the house is perfectly clean. No food in the carpet, no fingerprints all over the windows, no stepping on toys everywhere you walk. And, maybe even fresh bread on the kitchen counter-that is also perfectly clean. Am I right, or am I right???
Welp, if you have kids….THAT AIN’T HAPPENIN’ GIRL!
Reality is a bit more….messy.
Here’s my kitchen reality (at least when I am baking).
Here’s my den reality (when we are doing school).
Here’s my kitchen sink reality (almost every minute of the day).
As moms, we can make ourselves super stressed over the running of the house. We can look at other moms and say, “oh man, she has her crap together!”
Although it may seem that way sometimes, that is not always true. We need to try our best to keep a clean and managed household, yes, but if that pursuit is not in-line with our priorities, then what’s the point?
Home-work. Or, as you might call it…house work.
I have been asked how I make my home work so well while doing so much stuff (leading worship, having a side job, homeschooling, managing a worship ministry etc).
To be honest, I don’t have it all together. Not even close. But, I do have a couple tips that work very well for me and my busy home life.
First off, if you are a busy mom…that means that you have children. Am I right?
If you have children and are doing everything for them…that is your first mistake.
Children are so much more capable than you think. Children need to have chores. There, I said it! Don’t slap me :-/.
We tell our children that every person in a family has a job to do to help the family work efficiently. They totally get it now, but it took a lot of consistency at first. My children are such blessings, and they tend to be very helpful…so I lucked out there.
I know a lot of moms who do all the laundry, all the dishes, clean their kids rooms, make their kids beds, etc. Hey…if that makes you happy and that’s how you do it….all power to ya!
But, that is NOT how I do it. And I believe that it is beneficial for kids to learn responsibility and work
ethic. But, hey…that’s just MY opinion.
With that being said, I do have a few tips that work well for our home, and these tips also keep me sane in the process…
1. Plan one day a week to “deep clean”.
Every Monday, I choose to “deep clean” my house. Not the whole thing, just usually the main living areas. What I mean by “deep clean” is that I usually move the furniture around and vacuum, dust and clean under and around everything. As for the kitchen, that is also the day that I make sure to clean the stove, microwave and counters well. Mondays are also usually the days I do the main bulk of laundry (towels, sheets and misc), because it is easy to throw a load in while you are cleaning. I love accomplishing “Two birds with one stone”.
We live on over 6 acres of land, and it is full of dirt (obviously). I swear that dirt gets into every nook and cranny! So, for me, it is important to be able to deep clean, once a week.
If you have a large home, you may need to plan two days a week for deep cleaning.
2. Plan one day a week for Laundry.
I like to plan a specific day (Tuesdays), for cleaning my husbands and my laundry. That way, I know that it will be done at least once a week.
Of course, there are things that come up and also “dirtier weeks” where I will need to do more laundry. But, setting a day for just our laundry really helps.
3. Plan a day for when you meal plan and grocery shop.
Tuesdays are also my meal planning, coupon, grocery list and shopping day. So, technically, I start the kids on homeschool, and then I sit down with my handy dandy meal plan schedule and laptop. I usually look at whats on sale and then plan my menu according to the sales. That really helps me save a lot of money.
After school, I usually go shopping and do any errands that I may have. I try not to just go “into town” for one thing. Clumping errands together is another way that I save money, not to mention the gas money I save.
4. Assign laundry and dish washing days to your kids.
My two older boys know how to do their own laundry. YES, IT IS TRUE! between the ages of 5-6, I train my kids how to operate the washing machine and how to do their own laundry. I also show them how to fold and organize their clothes.
Having them be able to do their own laundry has saved me sooooooooooo much time! Also, when they run out of clean clothes, they learn that having responsibilities are very important, and it affects them. They learn that, “some fairy does not come and do everything for them”. LOL.
I also have the older boys do dishes about 4 times a week, after dinners. As they begin to have better “hand/eye coordination”, they will be doing dishes after every meal…eventually. YAY!
I also have my two oldest make lunches, most of the school days. That gives them the ability to learn how to make their own food. And, it gives me a little “breather” from making every dang meal!
5. Don’t kill yourself over homeschool.
What I mean by that is, you don’t have to do school every single day, for 6 hours at a time! I plan 4 days a week to do school with the kids. 9am-12:00pm.
I used to try to do 5-6 days and that just DON’T WORK FOR THIS MAMA!
I have learned that 4 days is more enough to finish our weekly homeschool obligations. We do Monday-Thursdays. That way, when daddy has the weekend off, we can spend quality family time with each other.
We start usually at 9 am. That way, it gives me time to get up and do my bible reading, workout and shower. We also try get done by 12:00pm every day. Notice how I said “try”. Not every day runs perfect, but typically, we get done around 12pm and then gives the kids the rest of the afternoon to play and use their imagination.
I have learned that it is OK for kids to not being doing school ALL DAY LONG. Not only would I lose my ever-loving-mind, but they probably would too! I can’t believe how long kids are in public school for every single day of the week! (that’s another subject for another day).
6. Take a “Day Off”.
I choose Sundays for my day off. You might ask…”what do you mean by day off? We are moms, we don’t days off!” Although that is true, I try to have a day where I don’t clean or cook anything. No dishes, no laundry and no cooking.
Doesn’t that sound nice? You see, I typically plan enough meals and dinners, where there are always leftovers on the weekends. That way, on Sundays, we have a lazy family afternoon (after church) where we just hang out. No expectations. No work.
This weekly “day off” really does keep me sane. They really do help me a lot in a typical crazy busy week!
Also, just a little “tidbit”…take an actual “DAY OFF”. If it is at all possible, take a day for yourself every now and again. I like to do a trip “down the hill” ALONE every few weeks. It really helps me get a rest from all of the mundane house chores, homeschool, feeding children, dishes and laundry. If you are an “extroverted introvert”-which I am, these kinds of days refresh me so well! If you are an “extrovert”, then maybe plan a day away with your girlfriends where you go have lunch and maybe get your nails done. These kind of days are so beneficial to us moms!
Also, date nights with your husband is very important. My husband and I haven’t been on a date in a couple of months, because of crazy schedules…but because it is important to us….we will try to plan one soon. If you can get a date night with your husband every couple of weeks, or once a month-it is so important. Of course, if you are in a busy season of life, as I am, then you really have to be intentional about making date nights a priority.
I would say, that date nights are the most important thing (besides spending time in the Word and in prayer) to a busy mom life.
I have learned that if you are not keeping your mind, body and soul healthy, then none of that clean and organized house matters!
I encourage you to sit down with your husband (maybe on a date night ;)), and discuss what your family priorities are. And then start implementing things that will help to alleviate some of your stress.
Hey, managing a household isn’t for the weak! It’s tough work! But, I believe we can do it mamas, and we can do it well!
I hope that this post was helpful!