(Inside: Take care of your home and your heart. Simply daily tasks that will help moms be organized and feel joyful.)
“I can’t do this anymore,” I stated matter of factly to my husband.
I don’t know what made me say it; my defeated statement wasn’t planned. I just suddenly felt tired, even though my-9-months-of-the-year-working-mom-teacher-life hadn’t started yet.
But, I could feel it coming. My three boys and I had scoured Target for the last of the school supplies. We’d found a packed of pre-sharpened mustard colored pencils here, a pair of shiny scissors there… My sons and I had sifted through their closets, purging the too-small clothes, tucking the summer clothes in the back and bringing the fall clothes to the front. We’d marked our calendars with their soccer practices and tournaments schedules.
However, instead of feeling the excitement and anticipation of the school routine, I felt like the world was closing in on me. Free time felt 9 months away. It was only August and I felt like I was already suffocating.
I love motherhood, my teaching job, and being busy. But, I’d slipped into doing hectic life by “flying by the seat of my pants” and apparently the “seat of my pants” was done with me. A mental fog had rolled in and grounded my plane. Here I was at the end of summer, about to go back to teaching feeling overwhelmed instead of refreshed.
13 years of parenting has taught me to listen when my body says, “Stop, I’m tired.” I reflected on exactly what I needed to reignite my zeal for life and work and motherhood. I found I needed:
For 6 months, I’ve been playing with a schedule of motivating tasks each day both for my home (organization) and my heart (inspiration.) Even though I’m still working on this, I’ve found that when I stick to this schedule, I end up with more free time and a happier heart. Let me explain more…
Give me a printable of this schedule that I can hang on my fridge.Happy Home Happy Heart Free Printable!
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Cook 2-3 meals. Make your family meal for the night and double the recipe. Or cook up a bunch of one kind of meat and make into three different meals. For example, throw chicken breasts in the crockpot in the morning, then in the evening put together these three meals:
One meal is for dinner tonight. Put the second (and possibly third) meal into the freezer to pull out on a busy mom day.
Listen to an inspirational podcast while you cook. Need ideas? I have a list of best podcasts for moms for you here.
Set a timer for 15 minutes and clean out one messy area:
During the 15 minutes and while you clean, listen to inspirational music. Take deep breathes during the mindless task and let peace pour over you. Need a recommendation? I swoon over Lauren Daigle’s music. And your kids? Don’t worry – they’ll leave you alone to mentally refuel. They know you’re cleaning and if they get too close, they’ll be asked to join. That’s not until tomorrow babies, so give momma these 15 minutes…
After the family dinner, everyone helps clean the dishes and tidy up the house. There are 5 members of my family, so this is how we break it down:
Basically, every kid straightens his/her own bedroom and one other room in the house.
During the family meal, every person says something encouraging to the family member on his/her right. Y’all – this world can be haaaaarsh. Let’s intentionally schedule time to encourage each other. Our minds, bodies, and souls crave encouragement. Soak in the sweet words your family says about you. Then encourage them to “get going” on their after-dinner chore with enthusiastic gusto and hope they buy it.
After dinner, everyone does 1-2 chores to clean the house. Here’s what it looks like in our home:
Remember the house is already picked up, so everyone can have their choir done in 30 minutes. (Mommas, even if your children fuss, stay strong in requiring them to help. It’s so good for little ones to have chores – it gives them ownership over our home and builds their leadership skills.)
Related article: What Moms Can Do NOW to Raise Their Kids to be Leaders
At dinner, invite your family to express sincere thanks for three “things” in their lives. Reset perspective by facilitating a verbal gratitude journal. I love this quote about gratitude:
“Going ahead in the midst of the stressful circumstances and giving thanks in that moment – you can’t simultaneously feel stress and gratitude at the same time. So as a parent, to go ahead and start to give thanks to God resets the whole family.” Ann Voskamp
Plus, your kids will need a moment to give thanks for their home, because they are about to clean it. Cowboy up, kids – let’s make our home shine.
Get a free printable of daily motivating tasks to help you take care of your home and your heart.Happy Home Happy Heart Free Printable!
By Friday, I’ve had a busy week. I’ve been responsible for 4 days in a row. And I’m so ungodly tired. Please don’t anyone expect anything out of me. I don’t want to be wise, or hard-working, and at this point don’t care if I’m an organized mom or not. So the most I can expect out of myself is getting 2 loads of laundry through the washer and dryer. And honestly, I’m a morning girl, so this chore usually gets done before I go to work. (Thank you speed wash/dry setting.)
The inspiration is that your family has been organized all week. Your kids have been good. Or good enough. So now it’s their day – grab some pizza, let your kids binge-watch Netflix or rot their brains with video games. This is the day I refuel through blogging and drinking a caramel mocha with Friends on in the background. On YOUR Friday, find something that refuels you:
Again – the only chore I can stomach is another 2-3 loads of laundry. (That usually finishes the week’s laundry for my family.)
Exercise. Walk your dog. Play soccer with your kids. Hike a local state park. Breathe in fresh air and release those endorphins.
Take 45 minutes in the evening to with the family:
Sunday is family day/rest day. Most the day is restful except for the evening when we prepare for Monday. Find time to do something restful:
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That’s it. Most days, the organization action takes 30 minutes or less. You guys – I can waste 30 minutes trying to find a good show to watch on television. We won’t ever FEEL like being organized, so mind over matter here. Know that a little mom organization each day will give us more overall free time during the week and much more overall sanity…and dare I say…JOY!
I’ve been working on becoming a more organized mom now for 6 months (3 more to go until the school year is over). Already some small changes are making a big impact. I wouldn’t say to my husband now, “I can’t do this anymore.” Instead, I find myself saying, “It’s not about perfect, it’s about purpose.” I’m purposefully trying to daily be more organized, and when I fall off the wagon – which OF COURSE – I do…it’s no big deal. I just get back into my routine at some point and it all turns out “good enough.”
Moms, you can get inspiration from organizing and cleaning your house. You can create a life that renews you as you take care of responsibilities. Read on... #motherhood #tidyup #cleaning #strongmoms Click To Tweet
What about you? What organization or inspirational daily tasks do you do? Let me know in the comments.
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.