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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Finding My Purpose

It doesn't take much to come up with hundreds of reasons to get myself more organized. If I look back on just the past 8 hours, I could list several. 

1) When I got out of bed this morning, I had to dig through the dryer and several laundry baskets to find clothes to wear.

2) The first thing my kids did this morning, besides holler and make a mess of their bedroom, was turn on the TV. They really had no intention of doing much else, other than request some sort of food that they could eat in front of the TV.

3) One of my children had to be told four times to get dressed. And when I turned off the TV to take away this person's distraction, they asked if they could play computer games. (No, I'm not looking for parenting advice. I KNOW what to do. I just need to do it.)

4) My children and I searched dresser drawers, laundry baskets, and the dryer to find clothing they could wear on a cold day, to someone else's house. (It was a Laura and Melissa day, as they call it. -We go to a friend's house every Wednesday possible.)

5) Once everyone was dressed, a little person who wears size 2T turned on the TV again. All three of them planted themselves in front of it. Once again, no one had any other plans. It's like the kids have no idea what to do with their awake time.

6) Ethan and Faith were very willing to start breakfast. The other two had to be "persuaded". One of them refused to eat all together, claiming they weren't hungry. After a while I was told, "What I really meant was I'm not hungry for what you gave me. Can I have cereal?" UH.HUH. That's what I thought.

7) While I attempted to teach Cherith reading and math, Ethan was playing in the bathroom, climbing on the kitchen cabinets, and unwrapping gum.

8) It took 45 minutes to put four kids in shoes, gloves, and coats. Fifteen of those minutes was spent finding socks, shoes, and gloves.

9) While at out friend's house, I realized I had only one diaper in the diaper bag and I did not pack extra pants for my "potty trained, but don't want to stop playing" child. I ended up having to put the diaper on him. Less than 5 minutes later, Ethan smelled quite strongly. Faith could have used a diaper change too. But nope. The big kid was wearing the only diaper I brought.

10) I have no idea how long it took to get the toys picked up and every one bundled back up again. We were definitely having some obedience/defiant attitude problems.

11) When I returned home, I had to put Ethan's pants on Daryn. Neither the laundry baskets nor the dresser produced pants that were his size.

12) During the 30 minutes between arriving home and getting the two younger ones down for their nap, at least 4 fights broke out. Once again, it seems like they just don't know what to do with themselves.

All of this is typical. Some of it is simply life with kids. But a lot of it could be eliminated if there was some sort of structure to our family life. I will admit that I got frustrated several times today and spoke harshly to my kids.

It saddens me that I don't even think of spending time with God's Word everyday. I don't always take the opportunities that present themselves to share the greatness of God with my children. I don't teach them what a treasure His Word is on a consistent basis.

It disgusts me that I snap at them frequently. It annoys me that they don't even listen half the time because they're used to hearing me speak that way. I don't want my kids to think of me as a bossy grump that they can never please. I also don't want unruly kids, simply because I am not consistent in the way that I handle character and behavioral issues.

And the degree of hygiene in our home... I am realizing more and more just how much my family's health is at risk.  I hardly ever remember to have the kids brush their teeth. I used to bathe my kids every night. I switched over to twice a week when I was pregnant with Ethan. But now, I will sometimes realize it's been over a week. I go months without changing bedding. The bathroom does not get cleaned more than once a month. There is mold growing on the kids' bedroom windows. Often the kitchen is piled high with dirty dishes that smell. The kitchen floor is often well sprinkled with crumbs (and yes, I have a crawling, everything in the mouth, baby).

My health is compromised by the toll of physical stress and sleep deprivation. I consume way too many calories in an effort to keep myself awake or as a simple reaction to stress. The amount of sugar I take in has resulted in the onset of infections (or at the least, feeds them). I really need to get serious and shed these extra pounds. I am finding it SO much harder this time around than it was after my other three babies. I have no idea why. But it just feels like such a huge deal and it totally stresses me out.

Wow! Ok... so this is plenty long enough. Here's my organization mission statement.

I will organize my life for the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of myself and my family.


  1. WOW! I could not have written a better example of my life right now, except I only have two kids. It sounds like we are living almost identical lives. I wholeheartedly agree with your purpose statement. Thank you so much for your honesty! Let's do this journey together.

  2. Ouch! You are incredibly honest. I'm not sure I could lay it all out like that :) I find that when my kids expect a daily screen time, they spend all their free time looking forward to the TV. Like you said, they just don't know what to do with themselves. When I'm strong and take all screen time away, they're much happier and better able to use their time productively. And then they're so happy when I do allow an occasional movie! Oops - they're asking for TV now - better get off the computer.

  3. I'm letting my husband read your post so he can see it's just not me. LOL! You've made me so happy.

  4. Wow! I had to check which Blog I was reading. I thought, for a moment, that I had written this, and just didn't remember doing so! LOL Thanks for this honesty. This is definately a day in my life, too.

  5. I could have written all of that too! I've felt horribly disorganized recently, especially over the holidays, and now I'm still so exhausted that I can't seem to make myself focus. The past few days I've felt like I hardly accomplished anything all day. Thanks for sharing--it's nice to know that others have the same difficulties and to be encouraged to get organized for the sake of myself and my family.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Kinda sad that I find encouragement in your post but it is soooo nice to know that others in my situation struggle in the same ways. I'm pretty sure I've never read such a candid post from someone who likely takes as much pride in their "work" as I do. I really, really appreciate your honesty. At least now I know that others in my shoes wouldn't give me the "worst Mom of the year" award. I am inspired! Can't wait to see what this journey holds!

  7. Thank you from a mom who's sink is overflowing, laundry needs to be folded, and children think they need to watch television. I am looking forward to reading your blog. Thanks.

  8. My kids aren't big enough to turn on the TV... although my 2 year old can somehow manage to run the remote/DVR better than any of us. Both our TVs are raised, one mounted, one on a pretty high built in above a fireplace. And I am SO thankful for that! Haha!!

    You know, I've thought about a post (or series) about how I organize my chores. I think it could help you (and everyone else). I often get asked how I "get it all done" with so many kids. And I won't go into details here, but I will say that I don't spend hours cleaning.

    I think you have inspired me.

    (And reminded me that I do need to put a new pull up for Logan in my bag...)

  9. Wow - I really needed to read this today. Thank you for your honesty. I only have one and she is 6 mths but I also work full-time. My house is a D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R. and I am actually blessed to have someone clean for me two times a month. I tripped over the three laundry baskets full of clean clothes in the middle of the night and this morning I tripped on the three piles of dirty clothes. I didn't have time to take a shower again today before work (it has now been 4 days since I've had one!). I was frantically putting food together for my baby to take to daycare this morning because once again I didn't have it ready. I could go on and on.....also, I spend every waking minute doing stuff so how on earth am I supposed to find more time to do everything I'm not getting done?!

  10. as already stated by others - I could very well have written this

  11. Yep, but it would be nice if you didn't watch me and change the names and call it you. No really, I was relieved to know I am not the only one in this predicament. So many "get organized in the new year" projects are written by people who don't seem to need it. Now, perhaps that is because they have discovered the magical secret, but frankly, it just makes me feel so far behind that I will never catch up. Count me in as following and trying along with you this year!

  12. AHHHHHHHHHH! Oh Honey, I just want to cry reading this post. It seems as though you've struck a very intense chord for all of us. You are not alone!

  13. Just found your blog. Your life sounds pretty much exactly like mine. I have 5, 3, and 1 1/2 and number four is due in May. I also have another 5 and 1 1/2 year old that I look after every day in my home. I struggle with the snapping at my kids, not teaching them more about God, etc, just like you. It's good to know I'm no the only one.

  14. I really appreciate your honesty! Looking forward to going through this with ya! :)

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you for having the courage to be so honest! I just this morning finished putting together my family schedule, which we REALLY need! Things are in major chaos around here. I am facing so many of the same things as you...minus the television and plus two more kids. I need to get things in order!