Have you ever wished there was more time in a day? Wondered why you can never get everything done that you planned on doing? Or you saw on Facebook that your friend was able to homeschool her kids, make bread from scratch, go grocery shopping with 5 kids in tow, hang all of her laundry out on the line, sew a new set of curtains, plant a garden, workout for an hour and even have time to play board games with her kids and wondered what you were doing wrong? I know I have!
Here’s the secret…..
Most people CAN’T really keep up with this schedule every day, especially if you have kids! We all have productive days now and again. Social media is great for making us feel guilty when we see everyone’s posts about their “perfect” lives. Not often do we see people post what their lives really look like; the piles of dirty dishes, baskets of clean but not folded laundry, unswept floors, frozen pizza and french fries for dinner, etc….
I used to let it bother me that everyone on social media seemed to have it more together than I did. I would spend each day trying to achieve everything I felt everyone else was apparently able to do. Then I would try to change too much in my life at the same time. I would make everything for our meals from scratch, while making all natural soaps, lotions and laundry detergents (mainly for Abigail because she has super sensitive skin), clip coupon to save as much money as possible, try to keep the house spotless, the laundry washed and hung out on the line to dry (to save electricity), read the latest parenting advice and keep my kids entertained with fun projects so they weren’t watching tv. All this while trying to keep up with all of Joshua’s appointments and cleaning up everything he got into.
The only thing this accomplished was to wear me out and stress my family out because they couldn’t really “live” in their own house. I realized I was having an issue with pride…I wanted to be able to “do it all” too….then I asked myself what benefit this was going to be in the long run. It’s not like I was going to win a prize the day I accomplished everything on my “to do list”. Sure my house would be clean and my family well fed but what would my kids remember? Would they remember the homemade healthy meals or that their mother only cared about a clean house? I want them to remember the time I spent with them, not the time I spent cleaning the kitchen counters for the 50th time that day. I was allowing my pride to get in the way of enjoying my kids fully.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to want all of those things and if you are able to do it all, everyday, I’m happy for you! But I’ve decided for myself and the happiness of my family, during this crazy season of life, that I needed to “let it go”. This doesn’t mean that I’m not doing housework anymore, I’m just working on not needing my house to be “perfect” all the time and learning to be CONTENT! I’ve made some changes to my daily routine to save me some time and allow me the chance to spend more quality time with my family.
Here are a few things I do differently now:
- I don’t always make my bed … yikes!!
- I’ve started shopping at Aldi because they don’t take coupons but still have great prices that allow me to stay within our grocery budget and they have a good selection of gluten free food for Joshua. (I do occasionally use coupons at other stores if I happen to have time to look up the coupon match-ups)
- I do a load of laundry a day so I don’t get overwhelmed on the weekend.
- I found some products on Amazon that work for Abigail’s skin so I don’t have to make them all.
- I made our menu plan super simple. (I love to cook and used to make elaborate meals only to find out my kids wouldn’t eat it, so I’ve decided to keep it simple and make healthy meals that I know everyone will eat. I end up not spending so much time cooking and my kids eat their dinner so it’s a win-win!
- I do my main kitchen clean up once the kids go to bed so the next morning I don’t start with a disaster. This makes a huge difference. The days I skip this step, I feel like I can’t catch up.
These small changes have allowed me to maintain a (relatively) clean house, feed my family healthy meals and even work on a few DIY projects around the house. I wish I had learned that I don’t have to feel guilty for not being able to “do it all” years ago! (I will admit that it’s tempting to relapse when Martha Stewart tells me what my house “should” look like.)
Life is short and I want to enjoy my kid’s little years. The laundry and dishes will always be there, but those precious little faces won’t. One day, they will be all grown up and not need me anymore….then I will have plenty of time to clean my house.