Content Amidst the Chaos

Just another weblog

Manage-it Monday January 11, 2010

Filed under: Manage-It Monday,Our home — jps23 @ 9:34 am

Okay, I’m going to try and get back into the routine of my regular posting.  With the kids going to school and me on maternity leave, I actually have a little bit of spare time!  I must say that this time makes me a bit envious of all those stay-home moms that send their kids to school and get to stay home to clean and organize their homes instead of managing homeschool supplies and materials and learners on six different levels!  Don’t get me wrong.  I love homeschooling and I miss the more traditional form this year, as we are participating (and teaching) in a 1st grade homeschool co-op class at our church’s preschool.  I want us to be home.  We feel like God wants us to be home.  But I am not going to lie, homeschooling can be hard and overwhelming at times!  But I digress…

One of the most frequent comments we get as a large family with so many little ones is “I don’t know how you do it!”  Now, it is helpful to have systems and routines in place to make it work smoothly, but you can put those in place and if folks don’t follow them, then they don’t work!  Right now, with so many young learners that I am still in the process of training, the only answer I have for this is that my house doesn’t get managed.  If you don’t clean your house, you gain a lot of time in your day!  Now, we pick up from time to time and we sweep immediate messes, but I don’t get to really clean that often.  I am working on training the kids to help in that arena, but we aren’t quite there yet.  Most of the time, while you are cleaning one area, they are destroying messing up another one!  And, when you do get something clean, it gets undone way faster than it took you to clean it.  I’ve wanted to get a housecleaner, but you have to have all your stuff put away so they can actually clean, and we are rarely out of the house, and I just am leary about letting a stranger in my house while we aren’t here.  So, I’ve decided to manage my housecleaning by hiring my sister to clean it!  She could use the extra money, she’s awesome at cleaning up (which is funny because she used to hide old plates and cups under her bed!), and I really can’t manage this part of my life right now.  Now, if I couldn’t hire her, I would just let it go.  And here is why or how I am able to do that…

excuse this HOUSE

Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there;

Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere.

For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the doors;

I should apologize I guess, for toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children, and we played and laughed and read;

And if the door bell doesn’t shine, their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I’m forced to choose the one job or the other;

I want to be a housewife…but first I’ll be a mother.

I don’t know who the author is of this little poem, but a dear friend and mom of six (three in college now) gave me this beautiful poem as a gift a while back.  She’s been there, done that, and the t-shirt is already fading, so I think she has some insight that might be beneficial to me.  Clean houses are nice, but the kids don’t care about that.  They want you, and I prefer that they have clean hearts and minds above a clean bedroom.  Now, I’m not criticizing any of you moms who are more particular about this.  I just struggle with managing it, and while that is the case, I’m going to choose kids over clean and pay my sister to do the rest!

How do you manage your households?  Please post, as something that you do may work for us, too!


3 Responses to “Manage-it Monday”

  1. catherine boozer Says:

    I feel the same as you do about housework, in fact, I think I would have written exactly the same words!! I have a different poem, but very similar in meaning- My mom cross stitched it when I was a baby, and it’s hanging in the hallway on the way to my kids bedrooms.
    I talked to a grandmother this weekend at my sister-in-laws baby shower. We were discussing housework, and I was saying the mess doesn’t bother me, and she said she regrets doing housework all day, she wishes she would’ve spent the time with her kids.
    I have to admit, I DO NOT LIKE playing make believe- I didn’t really do well at that when I was little- so as an adult, it’s like pulling teeth for me. But I do like to set up the dollhouses and train tracks, and play games.
    We hire a housecleaner about once a month to do a good clean sweep, she comes for six hours, and does whatever she can get done during that time. The more picked up the house is, the more she can get done.

  2. Heidi Says:

    I’m with you! It is a constant up hill battle to maintain anything resembling order around here. One of our problems is that none of us are naturally organized, ordely, neat people. That makes for a huge mess that doesn’t really bother anyone. I have to make myself notice the clutter and mess before it gets overwhelming. This is the beast I have fought my entire life. Will my house ever be clean?

    • jps23 Says:

      That is EXACTLY our problem. I’ve explained to my mom that we lived like this for so long in our smaller house because we had no place to put the stuff that the kids don’t notice the messes here because they are USED to that! We aren’t naturally organized either. The oldest knows where all her stuff is, but her systems make no sense to me! It’s more of a packrat approach to organization!

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