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Getting Off Track - Help For A Reader

by Kelly
(California)

Guess what Mom? -- There are stickers in the cereal box!

Guess what Mom? -- There are stickers in the cereal box!

Kelly has trouble staying on track with her household management. That is neither an uncommon problem, nor one she or anyone else should be ashamed of.


It happens to everyone from time to time.

In fact, for me, the times I get off track are much more frequent than I would like -- basically everyday.

While I advocate routines and schedules, and I really do think they help, Kelly brings up a very good point.

Life throws us curve balls, and can change up the most well intentioned routine or schedule.

What should we do when this happens to keep everything from getting completely out of control?

Below is Kelly's message and question in full, and I would love for other readers to comment to this post and tell what works best for you, or if nothing else, give Kelly words of encouragement and support because I know I have been there myself -- trying to come back from the chaos.

I look forward to hearing some of our readers' collective wisdom!

Kelly says:

I don't really have a solution for this but it is my main problem. I can plan and organize everything into manageable tasks throughout the days and weeks but following through with everything is my biggest hang-up.

Some days are better than others, but for me there are days when I resist completing any chores and everyday is different.

I have gone as far as making a velcro chart with a daily schedule for my children on an hourly basis and it is not strict at all by any means.

On the right side I have little picture reminders for me- for laundry, bath, one major cleaning task, putting clothes away, emptying and loading dishwasher (have to do this when youngest is asleep or it's near impossible), cooking, and trash.

These also have velcro so that I can move them around as I see fit.

In my mind I feel as if everything would be "easier" if I had a set schedule and everyday was the same... but I just don't seem to be that type of person.

This could also be due to the fact that we are a military family and my husband's schedule changes very frequently. For this current 3 year span he will be home 7 days out of 30.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely,
Military Spouse and Mother of Two.

Taylor again:

Kelly, my heart goes out to you, because I think we have all gone through times in our lives where things just don't seem to be going right.

Let your negative feelings go, though, if you can and try not to beat yourself up.

Try your best, but be realistic. With little ones you get a lot less accomplished than you would if you just could do it without interruption.

This is a season in life, and you shouldn't be hard on yourself for not being a Super Woman.

Chin up! Things will get better!

Photo by box of lettuce

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Plan on interruptions with kids - make them part of the schedule
by: Debbie

With kids I find that my schedules need to be much looser. Perhaps try to say something like, I will do x, y and z today whenever I can fit them in. Then, start trying to do them first thing in the morning, and eventually you will get them done (assuming you don't try to do too much). Basically, plan into your schedule that you will be interrupted by your children so that it doesn't put your whole schedule out of whack -- the interruptions are part of the schedule.

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Being Off Schedule Is Life
by: Anonymous

Life happens and when it does, make lemonade from your lemons, and you will find your groove and you will get back on schedule.

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Me Too!
by: Candice

I'm struggling right there with you, and rigid schedules are too much for me. Going to try smaller goals. I want to tackle huge tasks and make everything perfect=huge fail :( So I am trying to do just one task regularly no matter what, just one. :) We can do it!

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Keep trying! Babysteps!
by: Anonymous

Routines and babysteps :) And no, I don't get all my things done either (why can't the dishwasher load itself?) Somehow it is harder when hubby is home/gone on an irregular basis. But everything that does get done blesses my family, and when I look at it that way it helps me want to get more done.

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Hang in There
by: Anonymous

This is a fantastic site and I feel for you because no one explains how mentally exhausting being a mother is.

Chin up though as I have told my sister who has just had her first, remember every year it gets easier and better. And they do go by very quickly.

My dear partner tells me "Mum try and complete one job a day any more is a bonus, and as the kids get bigger try for two". He is such a sweety and it is so true.

So don't be hard on your self. Everyone is facing the same thing and trying to cope.

Relax and enjoy your kids, they grow fast.

Cheers.

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15 Minutes
by: Anonymous

You can do anything for 15 minutes. Pick a task and go at it. Try using a timer...you'll be surprised what will happen.

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Pick one thing
by: MamaBear

When your kids are smaller and more of a distraction than a help, pick just one thing to get done each day (and I DON'T mean - declutter the entire basement). Sometimes, for me, it was simply "vacuum the living room". I used to start with three items, but if I only accomplished one thing, I felt like I had accomplished something.

It may also help if your spouse can take the kids somewhere for an hour or two each week so you can have some time to work AND relax (that's important, too!)

As the kids get older, they can start helping you with whatever your task is for that day. Yes, it takes more time when they 'help', but they're learning to take care of the house and eventually, they'll be able to do these tasks without your help (leaving you time to do bigger tasks).

This is not to say I have the perfect house (far from it), but when I do these things, I really notice a difference. And remember, they won't be young forever. As long as your house is reasonably clean, they'll remember the time you spent with them more than a clean or messy house.

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