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Thursday, April 17, 2014

A few tips from a non-supermom

 Every home and every family have their own way of how they operate and function. The Duggar family with their 19 children definitely have it down to an orderly science. With nineteen children I would think it's absolutely necessary in order to keep up with everyone's needs, and avoid sheer chaos. 

 I find family size along with the ages of the children have a lot to do with the level of organization necessary to run. Back in the day when I was the mother of one little one, I didn't have to get up as early to make it to Sunday mass on time, and I spent less time in the evening preparing for bedtime. And I think it's a good thing that the transition to more needs and organization comes gradually with the growth of the family. If you would have shown me a Sunday morning in the Palladino with three children back when I only had one, I would have been very much overwhelmed. However now in it, I can honestly say that it gets easier. Not easier because things just get done themselves, or that the children magically know how to do everything for themselves, but because organization and planning becomes mandatory for survival. And you get better with experience! 

  I've always been honest about my struggles with keeping an orderly home, and how I'm pretty much imperfect at everything I do. But because we're all mostly healthy, dressed, Bella makes it to school everyday, we have home cooked meals and regular bedtimes, I realize that somehow our family has managed to function by meeting the normal cornerstones of life. So for fun, and lack of inspirational topics, I thought I'd blog about tips I've found help our home run more smoothly and less stressfully, and most important happily! 

 1. Nothing has to be perfect. Nothing. Chances are your children aren't going to notice if your meals aren't pinterest worthy, but they will notice (mine at least) if there's something green in them or if they're badly timed( too late/early). I find sticking to ordinary-ish type food and dinners works best for my family, spaghetti, chicken and rice, taco's etc. Jay also is a fan of the ordinary style meals, and is known to complement the most when it's a throw together meal like one of the ones mentioned above.
Meal times are a must, especially dinner, the end of the day is when we're ( meaning all of us) most tired or on edge. We aren't sticklers on a time to the exact minute, but we do try to stay in a specific time frame, I keep it versatile according to Jay's schedule as well as summer when it stays lighter longer. Yet we usually eat between 5:30-6:30 most days during the week. 
Also...cleaning and chores, this is an area that I'll be forever working on mastering. To an outside person our home may appear more disorganized than it actually is. Jay and I have a certain way of doing things that works for us, but may be different than what works for the next family. I do the washing of clothes, bathrooms, bedding and the washing dressing of the children. Oh yeah, and the cooking! Jay helps with picking up toys, washing the dinner dishes, holding babies, taking out the trash and teeth brushing with the kids.  This obviously doesn't cover all our responsibilities but you get the idea, it's a team effort to stay on top of things and I'm blessed with a husband who agrees on that point. But still, as I said before nothing is perfect, and I've learned that if we're going to work together we can't criticize the way the other person chooses to do things. 



2. Make things simpler if you can. I am not super mom, and don't pretend to be. I cannot juggle tons of different activities, commitments while keeping my childrens home life stable. Some moms can, and that's great! But that's not me. We stick to the basic cornerstones of our routine day, inside time, meals, outside time, park and an outing once or twice a week, along with mass on Sundays. I find keeping it simple is good for the whole family for two main reasons: Structure, and less family stress. One example of keeping it simple for us is Easter breakfast, I pinned some cool brunch recipes for quiches and fancy cinnamon loaves...and than I asked myself,why? With three little children why would I go through the trouble of cooking these fancy brunch dishes, when they and my husband would rather have doughnuts? So I nixed the brunch, and will be picking up some assorted doughnuts, which  is a rare occurrence and every bit as special! Only less time in the kitchen for mom. 

3. Stay best friends with your husband, and enjoy your children. This may sound easy, and it can be on good days and times with little stress. When the kids are all happy and healthy, and you and your husband get to spend quality time visiting and talking with one another. But some days the unpredictable happens, and people are irritable and time is limited, I find it helpful to always remember that trials pass and love remains. Good communication between spouses is vital, along with mutual respect for the other person. We should be careful not to take them for granted just because we can. Some days I get to enjoy my children from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.( culprit Lucy). Yay!!!!. My cheerful spirit starts to dwindle by 10:00 pm. when already it was running on borrowed time. Watching your baby sleep has a miraculous way of helping you to forget all their restless hours and fussy times. Make time to watch your baby sleep, even just a quick peek...precious moments. 

4. Put God first. We're terrible at getting family prayers done, but we try! We pray with the children before bed, but I know we could be doing so much more. We strive to trust in God's will when often times we don't understand it yet. I'm lucky to be married to someone who is much stronger in that area than I am, and helps keep me accountable when I'm lazy or forgetful. 

 Just a few thoughts from a non-super mom striving to get by. Happy Holy Thursday all!

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