We have all been there…the edge of the cliff of our sanity with nothing but a loose grip on reality holding us back from leaping into the abyss.
Okay, well maybe that is a bit dramatic.
But really, those first years with small children it can feel like it is all we can do just to get by, let alone get ahead. Every house is filled with things that need to be done: laundry, dishes, sweeping, dusting, improvements, and on, and on the list goes. With 3 kiddos aged 6 and under it feels like I have spent the last 6 years simply keeping my head above water. Add in all the adjustments we have had to make since my chronic illness reared its ugly head and my grip on sanity (and a clean house) is tenuous.
Over the years I have discovered a few things to help make life a little easier- at least in our crazy house- from a mom on the edge.
Chores, Chores, Chores
I am not going to give you a handy little printable chart to help you decide what your child SHOULD be doing at a certain age. There are a million trillion of those available on Pinterest. While helpful for some people, I believe you know your children best. You know what they are capable of doing and you know what needs to be done. I certainly am no expert- just ask my kids, they will tell you. But what I WILL say is that life is a lot easier if you have your children contribute SOMETHING to the daily chores.
Have them make their beds, help unload the dishwasher, gather up dirty clothes,or clear their place at the table. Chores like this may seem ridiculously mundane and tedious to us. To our kids (at least the younger ones) it makes them feel excited to learn how to do something new and “grown-up.” It also can go a long way to developing independence and learning life skills. As a warning though…if you are a perfectionist, you might want to look the other way, or swig a hefty class of wine before beginning because at the start, it will certainly try your patience.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Study after study has shown that children (and even adults) thrive with appropriate structure and routine. Holy cow is this ever true! I’m not talking drill sergeant, little tiny robots kind of routine. I’m talking a loose sense of structure to your day so you don’t lose your freaking mind. Sit down and develop an idea of how you would like your day to look. What MUST get accomplished? What would you LIKE to accomplish? When do you like to do certain things? But seriously, give it a try, you won’t regret it.
Little Things That Make a BIG Difference
- The Wet Brush Little Hairbrush I have no idea about the science behind this little number or how is works so awesomely, but it does. With 2 little girls, one with thick hair, and one with thin long hair, this little miracle has been priceless. I bought a little one so the girls could use it easily by themselves but it is also available in grown up size. Right now, Amazon has the little one at a great price of 6.75. Not hearing shrieks or wiping tears at every hairbrushing = priceless.
- Bins, Boxes, and Baskets Seriously, anything that gathers, stores, and MOST importantly HIDES your crap should be at the top of your list. These are pretty easy to find anywhere, however I will say that if you love organization that is also pretty you need to check out Thirty One. Perhaps you have been living under a rock the past 10 years or so and haven’t heard of Thirty One…If that is the case, you have to check them out. My consultant is Jenny Bunnell and she is absolutely wonderful. Here is the link for her website- I’m sure she will be happy to help you with all your organizational needs. (sigh….ahhh, organization)
Yep. You read that right. When in doubt have a seat with a strong beverage of your choice, a good book, and try not to look too hard at your house falling down around you. Take it from by blogging bud Gemma over at Life is Knutts– Gin is your friend. In fact, she has some pretty fantastic drink options in her Drinks Cabinet to help you get through even the most trying times…
Until next time, kick up your feet, kiss your kids, and try not to take a flying leap into the abyss…
Keep smiling and make every day a Sunday.