My Desire...

is to start this summer off on the right foot. I have recurring nightmares of our new brother getting here and life spiraling out of control. Being at home is not easy. Just ask any mom who does it on a daily basis. I will be the first to admit that my home has been more tightly run and even cleaner since I went back to work. When you are home all day with small children the house never has a clean moment. You prepare three meals a day in the kitchen, plus snacks. You spend the majority of your time entertaining your children either outside or playing games. In the summer we desire to be outside as much as possible so that really leaves us little time at home. You can typically find us at the pool!

But all this leads to a very unorganized and chaotic home. At my very core, I love order. I thrive off of routine and I NEED a plan. For everything! I like weekly meal plans, cleaning schedules, organized grocery lists and strategic timelines for every minute of my life. Since having children, however, I can't seem to make it all work. Most days (especially when I was staying home) I felt like nothing ever got accomplished and I stayed a mental and emotional wreck.

Reality is setting in that in roughly 20 weeks we will welcome baby #3 to the fold. As excited as I am about this new adventure it literally scares me to death to think about going back to 3 more years (at least) of chaos. I just can't do it. I won't do it. I am going to spend some time next week making some organized to-do lists that might help with the transition. Erik warns me not to set unrealistic expectations and I will try my best not to. However, I've got to meet this challenge head on! No holds bar. I will win this fight!

I found this article today and thought I would share it. Hope you enjoy:

1. Routines. Organized moms serve dinner at the same time each night, have strict bed times, have after school routines with homework and socializing. If you want to be an organized mom, you have to have a routine you stick to. This might mean that you get your child up at the same time each day, and expect them to get dressed and make their bed before they come in to breakfast. You may have a few different routines, such as your morning routine, your after school and evening routine, and your weekend routine. A routine helps you, the mom, keep things on track, and helps your children to know what to expect, and what is expected of them.

2. Meal plans. Organized moms do not spend extra time in the grocery store, or standing in front of the refrigerator trying to determine what to prepare that night. Organized moms take a few minutes once a week to create a meal plan for the week. Monday: Soup, Tuesday: Chicken, Wednesday: Pizza, Thursday: Hamburgers, and the list goes on. The idea is that if you know what you are going to make you can be prepared throughout the day. For example, if you are going to roast a chicken for dinner, you will need to get it out of the freezer in the morning in order for it to be defrosted by dinner time.

3. Rules. Organized moms have rules or guidelines for their families. They may be simple like dinner is at 5:30. Or they may be more complex like, no friends, television, or snacking until your homework is completed. A mom can’t keep the whole family organized without some participation, so rules, and guidelines are helpful. Make them clear, and enforce them.

4. Time off. An organized mom does not let herself get overly stressed, or overwhelmed because she knows when to say no, when to de-stress, and when to take a break. She knows that when she is starting to lose her cool, that letting dad take the kids to McDonald’s rather than fixing a nice meal, is sometimes better, even if it is not the healthiest option. The organized mom knows when she needs a break, and figures out how to take one.

5. Organized home. The organized mom has an organized home. She creates a place for everything so that school mornings are not spent hastily trying to find shoes, backpacks, pens that work, etc. Instead, everything has a place, and the kids know where things go, and contribute by being sure to put their backpack on the hook, in the cubby, or whatever the case may be, the night before.

6. Back-up plans. Organized moms always plan ahead, and prepare for the worst. They carry a spare outfit, some cash, and phone numbers of friends and family, just in case. They take things in stride. So, for example, if your tire goes flat while driving, and it is your day to do carpool, the organized mom has the numbers of the other carpool moms on hand, and knows which ones can typically swap days. So, have a back up plan.

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  1. So glad I talked to you this morning and was reminded to read your blog...I needed this post! I'm struggling with staying home and I am praying about going back to work. Your post was an encouragement and great reminder that I'm not a freak! LOL

  2. Love the article. Looks like I've got all covered, but need help with #4. I thrive on routine and tend to be a wreck when we get out of routine. You are right, I can see how staying home would create craziness. Work is part of my daily routine and to be honest, things are WAY smoother during the week. Its the same thing every day. Get up, get dressed, wake Mills, dress Mills, bags in the car, off to Mimi Junes, work, get home, supper, bath, reading and play time and finally (after fixing bottles and packing bags) BED! AAAAHHHHHH!

  3. please let me know when and how to get it all together. I feel like I am treading water and getting no where!!!!

  4. Just now reading this...I'm so far behind on reading blogs...I'm an avid believer in routine... Routines involve repetition. Repetition involves predictability. Predictability involves stability. Stability involves security. Kids crave routines because routines make kids feel safe and secure. Hank would call me a "NERD MOM" but that's just the way it is...:) - I need to post that on my blog...maybe it will help my kids with their children in the future.