Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sammy Jankis Wrote Himself Endless Notes. But He'd Get Mixed Up. I've Got a More Graceful Solution to the Memory Problem. I'm Disciplined and Organized. I Use Habit and Routine to Make My Life Possible. Sammy Had No Drive. No Reason to Make it Work

When I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom, I knew it would be hard.* If I'm not meeting deadlines or sales quotas, or striving for a raise, then there is very little pressure and since I work best under pressure, I now find myself working...less than my best.

Last week at a Relief Society activity we had a guest speaker come talk to us about meal planning and couponing. I was not impressed by her couponing, nor by her meal planning, but she did say something that struck me. She had four children, did the accounting, ordering and filing for her husband's business  and worked outside the home as a lawyer. All her meals were home-cooked (either crockpot or made ahead freezer meals). They always ate dinner as a family and played family games after dinner. Now that her children are grown, she can say that they all turned out successful (A lawyer, a CEO, a doctor and...I can't remember the last one). She said that the only way she could do all that was to be organized. "Organization is the key to success!" is what struck me. She said she was driven to be so organized because her dad gave her a hard time about working outside of the home, and he drilled into her that she "better make it worth it." So she did.

It was the motivation I needed. Why isn't my house clean? Why do we only have oatmeal for breakfast? Why doesn't our family play more games? Why isn't my blog updated? Why is my first novel still unedited, my second novel still only half written, and my third, forth, fifth and sixth novels still only in my head?  Because I'm not organized!  I can do so much more if only I organize!

I decided that even though I'm not a fan of freezer dinners (I like to cook. I like making dinner) I could get behind the idea of freezer breakfasts!I then created a weekly chore chart that dictates two areas a day I need to clean. At the end of the week, the house it clean! Of course, the exception is the kitchen. If I do not clean that area three times every day, it becomes eligible to be declared a hazardous zone. So the kitchen is always on my chore list.

Ash also had chores everyday. They correspond to the area I'm cleaning and are all age-appropriate chores. That way she is learning valuable skills at the same time.

When I'm done with my chores for the day, I'm done cleaning. I don't have to feel guilty about sitting down and writing. By the time Drek comes home I've cleaned and written, which means our free time can be spend playing games.

So far, I've had great success. I even feel like I have MORE energy, even though I'm doing more. My chart is much healthier motivation that a mad scramble to clean the house in the last few minutes before visitors show up at the door.

*What I didn't know was how much fun it is to be a stay-at-home mom and how much I would love it.


  1. That's awesome. Lately I've been feeling decidedly unorganized, and now I think I should fix it. I love the chores idea! Cleaning the house in daily segments in brilliant.

  2. Cleaning the house in segments is about the only way I can handle it. I've slipped recently because of being overwhelmed by guests.

    I am sometimes organized to a fault - I have been called "the spreadsheet queen". I think the only danger is that you have to be able to handle it if something outside your control disrupts your organization (I don't think that's a danger for you, though!).


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