Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Looking for Advice

Would anyone care to share how they get everything done in a day without completely falling apart/falling behind? Things have been a bit rough around here of late. Dishes aren't getting done, meals are thrown together last minute, clothes are not getting washed, about the only clean room in the house is D's room. This wouldn't be such a big deal if it didn't stress us out so darn much. It is overwhelming to get home at 5:45, realize you have an hour and 15 minutes before your son has to go to bed, and you have 1) no idea what you're going to have for dinner, 2) no idea where you're going to get the ingredients to make the dinner, 3) no idea where the last roll of toilet paper is (please, God, tell me there's another roll!), 4) no idea when you're going to do all of the exercises / stretches he needs to do according to his therapists . . . and the list goes on. And where was the quality time in all of that madness? And as you stand in the middle of the kitchen watching the time tick away and trying to quell the rising since of panic, you are simultaneously faced with the impossible task of ignoring the absolute squalor that you are now living in.

Repeat. Every. Single. Day.

This is not to say we don't have our good moments. In terms of family, we are doing great. We are just having trouble getting the every-day stuff under control. I need some plan of attack so that we can lower the stress levels around here.

Thoughts?

13 comments:

Enat said...

Ugh. Sorry - no advice. I don't even have a wee one yet and this sounds like my life.

I did start grocery shopping on line and planning out my meals ahead of time. I got the idea from the everyday food monthly mag M. Stewart puts out. IN one of the issues she had a "pantry staple list" and I stocked my pantry (aka shelf from Menards in the basement) with those things and then planned away for the week ahead. It is one less thing I have to think about & we still have choices because we have a "meal list" for the week on the fridge. For back-up I stocked the freezer with some Trader Joe's meals like risotto & pasta.

Ugh again. I SO KNOW how you feel.

Mark and Sarah said...

Okay, this may sound really dumb, but I did it this week and I feel better even though I totally resonate with the squalor. I started by washing my kitchen sink...really really well. I soaked it first with some hot water and a little bleach, then I scrubbed it down and I even used a toothbrush around the faucet base. Now, every day I'm just giving it a wipe down and it still sparkles. Even though the floor is a mess (how can I ever keep it clean with two little spaghetti throwers?) the sink it clean and makes me feel good. Next I'm going to tackle an area of clutter and try to keep it clean. Baby steps! Oh, and one other thing I'm doing is goign to a meal prep place next week to make some food to throw in the freezer. Can't wait! :)

Cindy said...

Our biggest lifesaver is doing one HUGE shopping trip every 6 weeks. We also have added a small chest freezer to the house which has been wonderful. We try and plan meals the day before (doesn't always happen...but there is a Taco Bell right around the corner ;) )
We also de-junked the house. Took a whole van load to Goodwill. It has helped more then I can even say.
Routine is hard. Especially when you are working full time. Sorry I can't be more helpful but in all honesty...Justice is now 7 and we have just barely figured out a good routine for the family!! Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Cook your dinner in a crock pot. When you get home from work dinner is ready.

Stacy said...

ugg I totally feel ya! It's a tiny bit easier now the LUcy's older and she can help with some things (like not running away when I rake for example). The dinner thing continues to get the best of me. The days I have it together and throw things in a crock pot rock! I need to do it more, prepare at night throw it in in the morning let it slow cook all day ... the clean kitchen sink has helped me too (when i get in the grove) google fly lady and she has some great ideas for daily de cluttering and maintenance ... when I am on board with fly lady i am feeling good and even sleep better.

P. said...

Hints that I have heard:

1. When you run out of something immediately put it on a shopping list. Maybe also have 2 of common items so you never run out. When the first one is gone, put it on the list. You might do this with toilet paper and different food stuff.
2. Have extras of stuff the kids will need to take to school. The lady said she always had a tube of cookie dough on hand for when her child said at 9:00 pm, that they are responsible for the snack the next day. This avoids the panic trip to the grocery store.
3. Plan some of your meals.Even having sandwiches some nights help.
4. Another lady said they had sandwiches one night and then ran errands. This helped by not making all the errands occur on the weekends.
5. I bought a rumba. It is a little robot vacuum. I pick up the cat toys in a room and let it run. It keeps the cat hair down.
6. I am also like Sarah. I pick the thing the bugs me the most and clean that. One day I dusted another time I might work on a clutter area.

PB

Mama Papaya said...

Oh I hear ya Mama and raise you one projectile spitter-upper. Laundry is kicking my ass right now thanks to the McPukester.

Things that have helped me find my own chaotic zen:

Sunday during nap time is cook like crazy and get some meals in can for the week.

Grocery lists. We working, schooling, parenting folks can't remember everything so write it down as you go. I plan a few meals a week over the weekend to make sure I get what I need at the store.

Power cleaning. Every night I spend 15-20 minutes cleaning. It doesn't feel overwhelming this way and usually everything is done by the weekend, allowing for a couple days off.

Amazon.com. I am an Amazon Prime member. Free two day shipping on lots of things. So when I discover that we have one roll of toilet paper, we have 48 rolls of kind of rough, but totally recycled toilet paper at our door in 2 days. Same for wipes, paper towels, etc. Although I am really trying to give up paper towels. Sigh. I will miss them. Same theory with vitacost.com. Saves money and time for all of our hippie products.

Before I go to bed, I try to tackle things that can slow us down the next day. If I we are having stir fry I chop what can be chopped. Clothes are set out. Coffee queued up. For some reason I can do all this in minutes at night when it takes forever in the morning.

And lastly, I have decided that sometimes budgeting for a little help is worth sacrificing in other areas. For instance the pooper scooper. No more lattes, but no more scooping poop in the rain once a week. Have enough of the essentials to not have to run a load of laundry mid week or desperately hand wash something. Bottles, Figgy panties and jammies are two essentials that I purchased enough of to never run out mid week (unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong).
Along those lines, find a spot to keep an extra laundry detergent, package of tp, dishwasher soap, Dr. Bronners (because it can be any soap you run out of except the previously mentioned ones), soy milk, etc. When you pull from the emergency supply, write it on that list you are diligently keeping. Oh, and if you are making your own baby food, I am loving the Baby Cubes. They are so much easier than ice cube trays. Spending a little to save a lot (of sanity).

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to motherhood:) You are going through very normal things...guess what? You'll figure it out! It's not always easy and it's not always fun, but the easy and fun times will far outweigh these "ugly" times! Not that you need to be told, but lists are small miracles...they get you motivated! Hang in there...just wish I could help out:( Give that beautiful baby boy a big hug and kiss for me!! Love ya, Mom

Nels, Amber and AnaElizabeth said...

I second the person who said flylady. It has helped me more than anything else. I am a teacher and our baby was placed the first day of school so I had to figure it out fast. Flylady helped me organize and feel like I had time to spend with my daughter and still have time to spend on my school work and house work.
she is at flylady.net

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTINA!!!!! I WISH I WAS THERE TO HELP YOU CELEBRATE!! LOVE YA, HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD B-DAY!!!

KATE

Jess said...

I'm sure there's lots of useful hints about how to cook healthy dinners fast, or how to keep your house clean in minutes...but I don't have any of those! What I do have is 4 crazy kids, tons of laundry and a messy house!

I must admit I am a total clean freak! So it's been really hard for me...but the biggest thing that I've had to learn to do is to LET IT GO! Who cares if the toys are put away, if the toilet is clean, or even if the dishes are done everyday! Little D won't remember any of that. What he will remember is what an AWESOME mom you are! How much time you spend with him, playing, reading, cuddling, that's what it's all about!

Chandra said...

You have some AWESOME ideas here but just one more. If you have any time on the weekend, spend a couple hours and do some mad cleaning. Mon-Fri our house is pretty messy. It's so hard with the three boys getting anything done. I can't imagine have the little time you do. So if I were you I'd do crockpot meals or cook on the weekends and make freezer meals.

Mostly though I wish you a stress free life! It's so hard to balance everything and it's so easy to beat ourselves up. I've learned to accept a messy house and just try my best to hang in there most days.

Good luck :)

Amber said...

My favorite way to make life a little smoother is to create electronic shopping lists. I use AllRecipes.com or RealSimple.com. You decide on a few recipes, add them to a grocery list, and the needed ingredients are generated on a list that is categorized by grocery aisles. Awesome! You have a week's worth of meals AND the ingredients you need to cook them. Plus, you can add additional items so toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. aren't forgotten. We keep our handwritten list taped to the inside of a cupboard (so it doesn't get misplaced). Oh, and any recipes that we really love I add to my electronic cookbook so that I can add it to future grocery lists. Probably my favorite aspect of using e-grocery lists is that I, or hubby, can put together the list at work/school and hit the store later in the evening.

P.S. RealSimple.com has great organizing suggestions, in addition to tasty, kid-friendly recipes... :)