So this year MOPS has a theme called "Our Beautiful Mess"- when I first heard this, I thought what a great theme. I mean don't we all want to acknowledge the messes of life and be real with each other?
So here is my beautiful mess... something that I know many of you cleaning, organized moms will cringe at.
I know- it's scary isn't it? I mean where do I even begin to explain the anatomy of this mess? Shall I start with the bubble container that is hiding behind the lemonade container turned upside down? Both of which have been on my counter for months. Of course they have moved closer and closer to the sink, but still. Or should I address the butter that is sitting out that needs to be refrigerated? Maybe the non intentional science experiment that has started growing in my fridge only to be moved to my sink area.
So why this picture? Why not one of my kids working wonderfully doing their work for the week? Because you've seen those and you know how they look! This is something that I feel we all need to see in the beginning of the year.
Overwelmed? Yep. Undershowered? Yep. Losing laundry throughout the house? Yep. Exhausted each night? Yep. Wishing you had magic powers to clean the place up? YEP!
This is where we are all at. Atleast those of us "normal" moms. I think every year I get about a month into home schooling and wonder, "What the heck were you thinking?"
Then I remember. This too will pass. I will eventually clean the messes up in the kitchen, under the table, and those scattered throughout the entire house. My house may not be the cleanest most presentable house all the time, but it does get this way during times of stress- I'll be honest and say my kitchen resembles my mind right now. So even though I will go through a cleaning rampage and get it done, it's just a lot of work!
So what are your ways to minimize stress?
What are you doing that will help you stay calm and healthy while you work non stop at home and care for and teach your children?
Here are some great things I am using that I love. I'm sure you've known about them much longer than me.
1) Chore Charts!
I have a love hate relationship with them. But recently I found a site that does it all for me, so serious jackpot! You can make your charts for just about anything here. I'm really working towards independence in our home and trying to get my kids to just do all the right things without me needing to bug them. So we implemented these and they actually love them. It takes about 10 min to create one and they save so you can make it faster for subsequent children! Plus it's free.
2) Simplified meals and recipes
Now I'm sure you all have your great recipe sites you love, and there are a million great bloggers out there that have amazing recipe / menu organizers. I've tried them all. So I'm just going to make a post about my favorite recipes of the week. Starting this weekend, I will have that as a link. But here is my favorite dessert recipe that is oh sooo easy! Homemade fudge! I tweek it a little each time, so far my favorite by far is a butterscotch and chocolate fudge. (I always double the recipe). So I do 3 cups semi sweet and 1 cup butterscotch.
3) Simply Fun Ideas
Do you ever feel like the day is so much busier than you had dreamed? And you are not as "fun" or making the right memories at home? Well I do. So I have decided that at least once a week I will promise to get on the floor or snuggle on my bed and do something that is truly "fun" with my kids. We've done painting their faces, making tents out of blankets, having "tickle time"- I mean the list is there in our heads. We don't need Pinterest to define fun. We knew "fun" before Pinterest was invented. It should require little prep and loads of smiles. Might be a little bit of clean up, but that's what hoses are for (or showers if you are not in the hot south). Sometimes it's simply playing play do with them, and enjoying a phone free play time.
4) Phone free, gadget free during the teaching day
Now I depend on my phone to teach by playing music off it throughout the day, so I do have it around. But I do have a strick rule of not taking any calls or answering text while we are teaching. I remember the day when I didn't have a cell phone and we would just take the ringer off the hook. Why can't we do the same? I've taken FB off my phone during the week and put it back on during the weekends, but truly I might just take it off all the time now. I mean I still have a computer if I really want to know what everyone is doing in their lives.
So that's it. Real and simple.
My kitchen at it's worst and my hope is that you will see we all have some beautiful messes in our lives.
When I go to bed each night I do not want to think of all the things I didn't do,
but rather all the things I did do!
Today I spent hours of one on one time with my kids. Today I invested in them not decorating! Today I was home while they smiled and laughed and heard their cute stories. Today I was alive and well to teach them about all that came up in my heart today.
Now you try it. It's good to think on these things.