From a recent comment here on Home-Ec 101:
I have one child that lives at home and a teenager that moves in and moves out lol, and also another child that is with me every other weekend. When I get my house clean, it stays that way for a couple of days then it’s dirty again. I am also a single stay-at-home-mom and I homeschool my youngest child.
How can I organize the chaos? Sometimes I seem to have it together and there are times I want to pull my hair out!
I see so many moms that always look like their house is clean, and their make up is fresh, but not me! I’m the one you see in the store with my hair just tied up in a messy knot, and if you come to my home I have to move something so that you can sit down. lol
ANY ADVICE ?????
The first thing to do is STOP comparing yourself to other people.
You are only seeing the face they want you to see. They aren’t inviting you over when their house is a wreck, you aren’t seeing them when they first tumble out of bed in the morning, and you certainly aren’t seeing them when their kids have the flu and they’ve been under a deadline and and and and.
You cannot compare your life where you see every moment, good or bad, with someone else’s best foot forward.
It’s not a fair comparison and if you convince yourself it is, you will never measure up to your own expectations and you will be miserable.
To be perfectly honest, I stress myself out all the time with this stuff, because I have put myself out there as a resource on this subject. I feel as though my house has to be company ready at any moment. This also makes me feel like a hypocrite at times. It’s all just that internal critic having a field day.
People are more concerned about themselves than they are about you.
I know this on the rational level, I’m still working on convincing that little voice to take a hike. Does it make you feel a little better to know you aren’t the only one?
I also have to say this. I am not a licensed therapist nor am I a doctor; if you constantly feel overwhelmed, you NEED to talk to a licensed professional about your feelings.
Still convinced you’re alone? Read this post: Feeling Desperate
My friend Angela England and I did a presentation at BlogWorld Expo in October on Professionalism and Productivity and while some of the tools and tips won’t apply to your situation, you may pick up a few nuggets and tools that will help you. Ang and I are also both homeschooling parents. And we both fully admit there are times that are rougher than others. If I ever tell you everything is absolutely hunky dory all the time, I’m lying, and I want you to call me on it.
As far as getting your house in order, understand that it’s not a sometimes thing, it’s a constant process. Once you adjust to the fact that maintaining a home requires constant, low-level upkeep, it will begin to feel a lot less work intensive.
There are many tips and tricks I have learned and tried in my book Home-Ec 101: Skills for Everyday Living – Cook it, Clean it, Fix it, Wash it.
It’s easier to quickly wipe down your bathroom every day than it is to give it a thorough scrubbing after the dirt and other nastiness has time to accumulate and adhere to the calcified toothpaste blobs.
As far as actually gaining a little control over the chaotic nature of your life, there are lots of things you can do to bring a little order into your home. Don’t attempt to do them all at once.
Finally some specific tools you may find useful:
See that yellow sticky note in the upper right of this post? (click through to the site if you’re reading via email) Click it, it’ll take you to a weekly chore chart, print it out and start following it.
Alternately, if you want LOTS of email reminders and encouragement, maybe FLYLady is more your style.
Google Calendar – calendar that can be synced between computer and phone
SayMmm – meal planning tools. You’ll find many Home-Ec 101 recipes on SayMmm.com
SavingDinner.com – complete meal plans and grocery lists. I used Leanne’s mailer while I was adjusting to life outside the traditional workforce, back in ’03 or ’04 (long before I started Home-Ec 101) and I’m happy to see she’s still going strong.
Home-Eccers, what tools make your life easier? What do you recommend to Frustrated?
Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.