I did it!

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Do you ever feel like texting someone a picture of your folded laundry, non-frozen dinner or empty, clean sink just some so another person knows you did it?

I used think it would be so nice to become an adult and get good at things like folding the laundry when it needs folding, or making a non-frozen dinner every night, without it feeling like a huge accomplishment. I thought the Domestic Goddess talent would somehow kick in around the time I had my first apartment, like a mothering instinct. Kind of how I thought I’d turn into DJ from Full House when I turned 16.

Then I became an adult (I guess?) and discovered those things are actually life skills, things you have to  practice and learn to do better. Meal planning, cleaning the kitchen for the third time in one day, the tomato sauce smeared on the wall– the struggle is real.

My sister-in-law recently shared a video of my niece trying so hard to put two blocks together. When she got them, she squealed, “Did it!” and then tried again. Every time she got it, she was just as excited.

And you know what? That’s about how I feel about every time I get to the end of the day with dinner cooked, the kitchen cleaned, the toy tornado picked up, and maybe some laundry  folded & put away. I’m still waiting to feel like a zen homemaker instead of a frantic toddler mom in yoga pants and sort of clean hair when Bryant walks in the door to find me in a war zone of a kitchen wiping gobs of dinner off our little Ikea table.

I’m not very good yet at cleaning as I go, or using my time in the most efficient way. But I’m learning. A few favorite survival tactics: I’ve learned that if I make dinner way early (we’re talking any time after breakfast), I can avoid trying to juggle raw meat and hot pans with clingy, tired toddlers. Cooking before the witching hour is my favorite life hack to date.

I also find it so much easier to get laundry actually put away if I fold each item as it comes out of the dryer. Obvious, right? But somewhere in the sleep-deprived early months with the girls, I stopped doing that and started throwing clean loads into a basket as quickly as I could to make room for the wet load to make room for the dirty clothes. In reality, folding one or two loads of laundry doesn’t take long, but it’s a major mental hurdle for me. So, back to folding as I go.

And, I’ve just started using a (generous) list of rotating meals to pick from each week, to make meal planning go faster. My hope is it will also make shopping & cooking faster, since they’ll be recipes I make all the time, like throwing together a batch of our favorite muffins.

What are your favorite ways to make the homemaking easier? Or should I just start wearing pearls & heels as I attack the mess?

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One thought on “I did it!

  1. Definitely wear the pearls and heels. 😉 I’d say you’re on the right track, for sure! I’m tackling similar things every week myself…buuuut I’m not chasing toddlers around. 😛 BIG difference there. Hehe. You’re rocking it! I admire your ambition!

    I think the key for me when I was chasing toddlers as a nanny still applies to me now as a teleworker: consistency and planning ahead. Develop a routine that you can maintain at your current stage in life, wavering when needed, of course. Children thrive on consistency. If they start to learn that a specific time is “cooking time” or “play time” or “insert-whatever-time,” they will be more cooperative for you. Especially if you’re explaining it to them and giving them parameters for what is allowed during that time every day. That really helped me when I needed to clean up the kitchen and my littles were ready for the next thing. They got used to playing while I took care of that.

    I am finding that there are certain times of the day/days of the week that are easier for me to get specific tasks done like laundry, meal prep, shopping, and cleaning based upon when my husband is home and my work schedule. These are my optimum, most motivated times of the day. Figure out what those are for you… you’ll find yourself getting more accomplished during those times. It sounds like you’re on the right track because you’re preparing dinner earlier in the day. 🙂

    I’m also trying to work on a rotating meal plan. I don’t know why I didn’t do that sooner. I am always trying to create entirely new meal plans every week which gets exhausting and expensive. Here’s to us trying to make a rotation plan instead!

    A few other thoughts that may or may not help: I try to do laundry on specific days… this frees me up on other days and allows me to plan ahead around my laundry schedule so that it doesn’t pile up.

    But this is all a work in progress, of course! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like I’m never doing this perfectly or able to keep up! You’re doing an incredible job, girl! Keep at it!

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