Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting my You Know What Together

Having a child, multiple animals, a husband, a home and a job mean that I don't have the time or energy to waste being disorganized and/or inefficient.  My days off, once spent sleeping in, lounging on the couch or going to the beach, are now spent cooking, cleaning and running errands.  Yay for being a grown-up!

Here's pretty much the bare minimum goals I need to meet:
-Keep Rich, Lucy and myself well-fed with a balanced, mostly nutritious diet (this includes meal-planning, couponing, grocery shopping and cooking)
-Keep pets fed, healthy and happy
-keep the house free of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)
-Keep myself sane and fit by making time for running

In Charleston, it was just me and Rich and we had a lady that cleaned the house every other week.  All I really had to do was light cleaning during the week.  I never cleaned the bathrooms, mopped, etc.

Fast forward to moving back to Arkansas, and we lived with my parents.  They have someone that comes once a week to clean and mom cooked dinner every night.  Yeah, we got really spoiled!

I knew the fly by the seat of my pants wasn't going to work once we got settled in our new place.  I needed a plan. I needed to get organized.  Since I'm the kind of person that likes to read 4 books and 18 blogs about something before I actually do said thing, I started reading.  I came across Flylady and that's what I've been using.  Basically, it works on the premise of not procrastinating, developing daily routines that keep things under control so you don't get overwhelmed and have to spend whole days cleaning.  I printed out a schedule, added in tasks specific to our family (ie brushing the dogs), and got started.  I tweaked it for a couple weeks and now I have a pretty good system down, with the bulk of my "chores" done on my days off, Monday and Wednesday and the weekend.  Now the house stays mostly clean all the time, and CHAOS stays away :)  For example, my morning routine involves wiping down the bathroom counter and sink everyday and a quick swish in the toilet with a brush. That way the bathroom never gets filthy.  On workdays, I usually chop/prep the night before and put ingredients in the slowcooker before I leave for work.  My nightly routine involves laying out clothes for the next day, packing the next day's lunches.  It is a lot of work, but it's also nice to feel like things are under control.  Gone are the days of waking up, wondering what to wear, what to eat and running around like a crazy half-dressed person in the morning trying to get ready. 

Meal planning and the slowcooker are wonderful.   I plan so that I can cook on my days off, and eat leftovers or slowcooker meals on my workdays.  Rich picks Lucy up from daycare and gets home before I do so he can put simple things in the oven (like potatoes), then we can eat when I get home. 

Running-this has been a tough one because my Wednesday runs have gotten longer and are now too long for me to comfortably push Lucy, plus she gets bored on anything more than about 4 miles.  I feel guilty about it, but wind up taking her to daycare for halfdays on Wednesdays while I run and grocery shop.

Getting my $h^! together is definitely a process, and there are some mornings that the toilet doesn't get swished. But overall it's working and makes life so much easier.  Anyone have any other tips to keeping a family and household running smoothly?


Jess said...

My biggest tip? Husbands should significantly contribute to domestic chores. My husband does all our meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. I do the rest.

Anonymous said...

I think I'd die if my husband did the meal planning, shopping, and cooking! LOL

My biggest tip is to do what you're already doing - a little at a time. I try to wash one or two loads of laundry during the week so that it's not a huge mound by the time Saturday rolls around. Also, when dinner is cooking and I don't have to be RIGHT there staring at it, I'll do the floors in the kitchen and front room, etc. Or I'll unload the dishwasher.

Of course, I don't have a little one around... but that's how I stay sane with running, husband, work, and school! :)

Amanda said...

Jess, Rich definitely does his share, we just have pretty traditional division of labor roles. I'd prefer to never touch a lawnmower or scoop dog poop and he'd perfer to never have to meal plan (more than calling Pizza Hut and picking up a 6 pack.)

lindsay said...

um i have no tips. my house is CHAOS :) do you want to know the last time i cleaned the bathroom? probably not... you'd never come back to within 200 miles of SC ;) guess i should check out this flylady!

sounds like you are doing a good job of staying on top of everything -- i can only imagine how much harder it is with little lucy! obviously i can barely take care of myself and my house, i leave josh to fend for himself. don't be afraid to ask rich for help - i'm sure he would not mind pitching in to help you feel less stressed at times!

Carolina John said...

It's not easy to fit everything in. This is how many moms let their own fitness slip. Be sure you do something to put yourself first! be it running or some book time, or something else that makes you feel good about yourself.

Not having your shit together is how you see people on the biggest loser that never lost the baby weight and gained 100 extra pounds after their kid hit 13 years old. Don't let it happen to you!