Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I dreamed my whole house was clean...

So here’s a little piece of my heart. Everyone knows that I’m an open book and I don’t hide much.

I've been feeling down lately because I can’t be “the perfect wife.”

Mike and I are both teachers. That means that our feet hit the floor before the sun comes up. We work hard all day and make it home just as the sun is making its “farewell”. I try to cook something mildly edible and plan lessons and activities for the next day.

 Don’t miss-read my post. I’m not complaining about work. I love my job and it’s my passion. I wouldn't be happy if I wasn't pouring my heart into preschool.

But I don’t think that I was prepared for the adjustment marriage was going to take.  Again, don’t miss-read me. Mike and I are doing fantastic as far as relationships go. He’s my best friend and I’m so happy to be with him! What I wasn't prepared for was the whole responsibility of running a home.

I know that all of the veteran moms are reading this and thinking “yeah, just deal with it” but how in the world do I juggle meal planning, cooking, cleaning, working, socializing, blogging, and crafting? Please! Give me some wisdom!

I feel like I can’t do everything I want or need to
 so I have to let things go here and there. Before I know it, the dishes have piled way high or I haven’t picked up a crochet hook in a month. Our bed has just been made after several days of looking like a hamster attack.

Where is Martha Stewart when I need her?


  1. Oh man, I struggle with this one all the time. You have to stop being so hard on yourself though. The reality is, there are only 24 hours in each day, and sometimes you have to prioritize what's most important. If that means you eat frozen pizza more often than you'd like to admit, it's okay. :)

  2. This is going to be a long comment and I apologize, but you did ask for help so here goes! :)
    There is no such thing as a perfect don't try to be perfect. Expecting things to be perfect leads to paralysis. It takes some time and adjustment and practice to be in charge of your own home. The best suggestions I would make are to 1)Prioritize- you make a lesson plan for school, make your priority list for home. What has to be done today, what needs to be done every day, what can be done a few times a week. Make the list visible in the house, fridge is a good place. When you get up in the morning and put the coffee on, (or whatever you do for breakfast), check the fridge, what is on the must be done list for today? Is there something you can do right this minute? Like put in a load of laundry, or take something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner? Break the tasks out into smaller pieces and streamline the things that need to be done, such as queing laundry in baskets by colors, darks and reds, and whites so that when you take something off and it needs to be washed you just drop it in the appropriate basket. When the list says do laundry then grab a full basket of clothes, no sorting necessary, and start a load. By the time you finish breakfast and collect your stuff for work, the load will be done washing and you can put it in the dryer and start it before you leave for work.

    1. Since eating out is expensive, one priority will probably be to plan and prepare meals. This can be a daunting and time consuming process, but much can be done to simplify things a bit. Plan simple meals that can be put together quickly when you get home from work for week days, leave more labor intensive meals for special occasions or week ends. Set aside time a couple times a week to do preps that you will use in your every day meals. Wash and dry your veggies for salads and make a "salad box" that fits in the bottom of the fridge. A plastic container no longer than the interior of your fridge is wide and tall enough to hold plastic pint sized freezer containers and still get the salad box lid closed. This will hold individual ingredients for salads or precut veggies for quick meals. When you are ready to prepare your meal, pull out the salad box, and fill individual bowls with whatever you want for a salad, it will just take seconds. Raw vegetables are much better for you than cooked anyway, so save time on cooking them and just put your veggies in a salad. When you are making meal plans think about your main dishes, if you are having chicken as a main dish say 3 days in a week, then buy chicken in a large package,(buyers club works well for this), divide the chicken into individual ziploc bags for each meal, two servings for the meal and 2 servings for leftovers or lunch. Slice chicken into 3/4 in wide slices and cover with a marinade, like teriyaki for one night, fajita seasoned marinade for a second night, and for the third, white wine or lemon juice and olive oil with italian seasonings. Pour marinades in designated ziplocs and label, lay flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer and freeze solid then stack. On your priority list, remind yourself to take the bag from the freezer in the morning so it will be thawed by evening. With your veggies pre chopped and your meat marinating in the freezer, pulling the rest of a meal together and cooking the chicken (Beef or whatever), will just take minutes.

  3. If pasta is on the menu, don't just cook enough for one meal, cook a whole pot full, then divide it into quart sized freezer bags label and freeze. When you need pasta pull one out of the freezer, place in a bowl and pour hot water over the frozen pasta. Let sit while you assemble your salad, then drain well and serve topped with your sauce, (which you also made in bulk and froze in bulk)or with your white wine chicken and an Alfredo sauce (bottled or homemade and frozen). If you set aside time once a week to make these kind of preps then the daily evening meal will be on the table in no time and the clean up is much less for each meal since there are less pots and pans! Rice can be cooked ahead and it freezes beautifully, just thaw in a bowl of hot water, but leave rice in the ziploc.
    For week day meals make up a list of easy favorites and for your busiest nights have a standing meal for that night, you know... spaghetti night or taco night... then when you prepare the meal make enough for a four four meals, one "Spaghetti night's" meal a week for four weeks.Freeze the sauce in four individual bags, as well as the pasta in individual bags. For the rest of the meals, plan enough meals for two weeks and go through the list twice in a month. You can switch them around the second two week period so that it doesn't seem like the same meal set over again. Keep you monthly plans on file for future reference, so that after a couple of months you can just pull out the old list and use it again, no planning necessary!
    2)Many hands make light work- do the chopping and do ahead food preps together. Turn on some music pour, a glass of wine and make it an event. Divide the repetitive chores between the two of you. You wash, he folds, you cook he cleans up or visa versa. Don't stop at the counter or sink with the dishes from dinner, rinse them and get them all the way to the dish washer. If you have to wash by hand then don't leave dishes in the sink to pile up. Wash as you go. It only takes moments and is very liberating, since you won't have stinky, nasty dishes declaring themselves to you next time you use the kitchen. Make the bed as you get out of it, do it together. Once it is a habit you won't think twice about it.
    I could go on and on but I will stop now and tell you that I would be very happy to talk to you more about this in an email if it would be helpful... just leave me a reply and we'll work out how to have a longer chat! I hope this helps! Hugs! Elle

  4. Hi, Something that helped my mom many years ago and is helping me "run my home" and teaching is a website with some basic guidelines for keeping things tidy, avoiding perfectionism and planning. I'm still trying to get my plan together to just keep my to do list going, but it has helped just in the last month. Check out
    Praying for you and your family.- Beth Calhoun

  5. You have gotten some good advice in the comment above. I'll mention a couple of other things like bed making. When you get out of bed, just grab the sheet and pull it up. If you both do it, the bed will be basically made. When you empty the dryer, fold the clothes as you take them out. Then putting them away is more likely to happen. One thing that has been sinking into my mind lately is that complaining, even the mental kind, uses up a lot of time. It actually takes less time to do a job than to complain about all that you have to do. As my husband often reminds me, The joy of the Lord is your strength.


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