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Monday, January 24, 2011

One Year to a {More} Organized Life, Week Four

Are you finding this to be hard, hard work? I am. I feel like I have one good day, and maybe... just maybe I might be able to do this after all. But then the next day is just pure chaos. I get frustrated with the kids or with just stuff. Then it's like... I don't think I can do this. I can't live life like this anymore, and yet I'm a complete failure at making it any better. It's just so hard.

I had one of those hours this weekend. All I wanted to do was make dinner. I was going to make some crockpot lasagna, but the crockpot base was in the dining room closet (sort of a pantry/craft/sewing/school/toy closet). I had to do a bit of rearranging to get to it. That's when I realized the crock part was in the bottom of the sink under the pile of dirty dishes. I had to spend 20-30 minutes doing dishes just to get to the crockpot so I could cook dinner.

As I stood in the kitchen rinsing dishes and filling the dishwasher, I turned on the stew... the mental stewing. "We live in a complete mess. There's not a single clear floor in this house. There's not a single clear surface in this house. The laundry is never done or put away. The dishes are never caught up. I try so hard to clean the bathroom often enough that we don't all die from scurvy. Why does it have to be all me? Why do I have to do it all? Why am I the only one that even cares if the house is clean or not?"

Am I the only one that does that? Enters into a complete, pitiful, selfish bit of inner stewing? I hate it. I hate when I start looking at things from pure emotion rather than any bit of logic.

I have a wonderful, wonderful husband that doesn't mind if the house is not in tip top shape. On the one hand, I love it. There are no expectations on me to keep a well organized, well cleaned house. I have never once felt pressured by him. But on the other hand, and with all due respect to him, sometimes I just wish it would bother him at least a little. Sometimes, I'm like, "Why do I have to be in here working when he's "just sitting there? Why can't he do the dishes for me?"

But when I stopped myself from enjoying my pity party, I began to think through things. I have my priorities all mixed up. We have a lot in our lives right now... a lot of slices in our pie, if you will. I've been trying desperately to make each slice even. But the thing is, they can't. I just end up running in circles and never fully giving my all to anything.

There are 168 hours in a week. Of those hours, my husband only has 31 waking hours at home (when he is not at work or school). Only 9 of those are during the week. The other 22 are the weekend days. During those home hours, he does a lot with and for the kids, he does his homework, and fixes any major problems we may have in the house or with the computers. Should I not be happy when he gets a chance to just sit and rest? Work, school, and fatherhood are some major, major chunks of pie.

And my 168 hours in a week? Hmm... honestly, I have no idea how it's spilt up. I know I've been trying to make it all even, and that's not working. I do know that one of the biggest chunks should be motherhood. I have got to spend more time training and loving my children and less time pulling them out of trouble. I have a feeling that I would spend a whole lot less time disciplining and being frustrated if I would take the time to lovingly train them. I need to view kids chores as training for the future, instead of an annoying battle of the wills. I need to view reading with the kids as a bonding time, not a waste of time.

I also need to just accept that housekeeping is my chunk of the pie. Like or not, it is my job to make sure it gets done. That doesn't mean that I can't enlist help or delegate some of the work. But I am the manager of our home. That's my lot in life. It's not a lot, but it's my life. ha.

Slicing the Pie

So the assignment for this week is to figure out what slices are in your pie and how big each slice should be? Then go through all the chores, projects, hobbies, dreams, and aspirations that you listed on the routine page from last week and prioritize them. Which ones belong in the biggest chunk of your pie? These will be A priority. Which ones will fit into the next largest chunk of pie? These will be B priority. And so forth.

You can do this however you like. I'll probably just take a different colored pen for each priority and mark a little A,B,C, or whatever beside each one.

NEW!!! Here's a worksheet to help you think through the pie slices, if you need it.

Post something about your journey and link up below. I'd love to hear how it's going.

For those that seem to have dropped the OYOL ball.... if it's because you don't want to, that's great... go do what you need and want to do. But if you really want to get a better hold on your life, but are just frustrated, don't give up. Keep going. I read a quote the other day.... A year from now, you'll wish you had started today.

17 comments:

  1. I'm going to TRY this. It's kinda scary how much this post sounds like me right now - Overwhelmed and not sure what tactic to try next in this whirlwind life. As much as I hate that others go through the same, it's nice to know there are others. :)

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  2. Really? I think you read my mind!! I woke up this morning thinking that my priorities have been out of whack and that I need to sit down and really map some things out! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. I am with you on every single word you wrote. You were inside my head. I think the pie thing is a great way to get you to think of how we want to spend our days, life. I have a question I would love to know what other moms think, How much time should we allow for free time, guilt free, such as reading blogs, or facebook, or magazines where we literally are doing nothing. There has to be a slice of pie for that.

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  4. Thank you for this reminder! It's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone lives to make my life easier. I forget that my husband has a long day at work and I should not expect him to come home and take care of my responsibilities. They are MINE! :-)

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  5. I had a similar day last Friday, except it included poop on me and the carpet, as well as pee on the stairs. Toss in a rough night of sleep, no nap for me, a cranky toddler who's nap wasn't long enough and an 8 week old who kept crying and I couldn't figure out why.

    Once I get things a little more figured out, I plan to have part of the toddler's nap time to be "guilt free, spend on whatever I want to" time. :)

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  6. Taking care of yourself is your slice of pie. No one else can do it for you. Part of taking care of yourself is resting and doing things you enjoy. Even Jesus rested. He spent fun times with His disciples (I'm guessing... they were after all, human). I think it is very important. If we are mothers though, that slice is probably going to be smaller than the motherhood one. But it should be there, none the less.

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  7. I really need to get on the ball with this OYOL thing!! :) Off to write my post..

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  8. @Laura: My 7 month old was once an 8 week old who kept crying and I couldn't figure out why....that lasted FOUR months! I hope yours is much shorter :-)

    I'm having trouble with my pie....I have too many slices....

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  9. Shannon, does it make easier to think of it as roles?... like one slice would be wife, one mother, another one homemaker, etc. You probably don't want one for each thing you have to do (vacuum, chagne diapers, etc).

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  10. I just wanted you to know that I haven't dropped the OYOL ball...we just moved last weekend. I'm still with you in spirit, and plan to be with you in practice by next week. :)

    www.thepumpkinpiepatch.blogspot.com

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  11. You could be typing this right from my thoughts. Wednesday my husband got home from work and needed to leave about an hour later for a class and wouldn't be home until bedtime. My one important goal for the day was to come up with something for dinner. I failed. It was a chaotic day and I put off thinking about dinner until he got home from work. We then decided to order pizza since the kids had their Book-It certificates and we would only need to buy a pizza for us. Two things were wrong with this: 1. We were spending money that could have been better used for something else. 2. My husband ordered the pizzas and due to phone issues, he left ten minutes late for his class.

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  12. I swear you could have been sitting right in my home while you wrote this. I always think "why can't I just get it together?". Some days go sooo well and others....well...I'm here on my couch while there are a million things that need done. And this is where it snowballs. I need to accept that sometimes I'm just not going to be able to finish everything, but that doesn't mean that I'm not making progress! Thanks, I'm gona get off the couch and clean up :P

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  13. Finally got this posted tonight!

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  14. Brenda: Just realized you responded to my post before - didn't get a notification - sorry! Hmmm, roles....that might have made it easier to visualize....I might have to redo my pie graph! Maybe I can figure out where those hours went if I do that!

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  15. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! I stumbled across your blog recently (actually, I believe the Lord led me to it) and it is just what I need! The thoughts you describe here sound like the exact thoughts that go through my head and weigh me down. I try so hard and spend all my energy every day, but I'm feel like I'm failing in every area of my life. I can't keep my house clean, I need to spend more time with my kids...and my husband...and God. I have so many things staring me in the face constantly that need done; some I may never get to. God's calling me to serve Him in a new way outside the home, but I don't know how I'll fit it in. Plus, I'm planning to begin homeschooling this fall...how will I get ANYTHING else done then? I yell at my kids way too much, the entire housekeeping load falls on me and my children are too young to really help out, so on, and so on. (By the way, my girls are 4, 2, and 7 months.) I'm praying I can find some real help and encouragement from you. Thanks for being so genuine with your thoughts and then offering practical help!

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  16. Monika- hope you can find something that helps from my old posts. Unfortunately, this DO NOT have it all together mom can no longer find time to continue the OYOL posts. :P

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