Taming the Chaos

You heard it hear first. I am a hot mess.

Really. I had to brush CRUMBS off of my laptop when I picked it up to start typing this post. I don’t know where they came from. Well, I mean… I can say with 100 percent certainty that they were left by one of my two little monsters sweet angel children, but the actual crumb source is a mystery to me. If I was a crumb detective, I would suspect a toast-like substance, but nothing remotely close to  fitting that description has been consumed in my house in the last 48+ hours, and especially not on top of my computer, so there goes that lead.

But, I digress…

I brushed the crumbs off and picked up my laptop and now they’re glaring at me from the couch. Whatever, I’ll vacuum them later.  My kids already asked for grilled cheese for lunch and I’m sure there’ll be more.

My point in sharing this is that sometimes it feels like my day-to-day mode is trying to catch up. Just barely surviving. Treading water. Not making the forward progress I want to make.

In late 2017, it seemed everywhere I looked, I saw stories and blog posts about self-care. And to be quite honest, all I could think is that I don’t have time for self-care. Even the simple ideas seemed unrealistic to me. How can I pursue my best life when I’m constantly just trying to stay afloat?

And so, I’m starting small. For 2018, my idea of self-care is making small changes to enhance my quality of life over time.

  1. I set clear goals for 2018. I’m a dreamer, but I have a tendency to be vague and as a result my big ideas stay dreams. It’s all about changing the narrative in my head. For instance, instead of “I want to blog in 2018” it’s “I want to blog x number of times per month.”
  2. I’m partnering with my partner. Instead of spinning my wheels in frustration or letting things go until I lash out out of anger, I’m making my goals and challenges known to my husband on the front end… and asking for his help. For instance, for years (literally) I’ve been trying to make room for fitness in my life. It has always been the first item to fall off the priority list, while my husband works out religiously three times a week. So, this time I shared the challenges I face in making it to the gym (#workingmomguilt) and he’s helping me to avoid the roadblocks.
  3. I’m planning ahead.. a little at a time. I found a simple weekly calendar dry erase board in the dollar spot at Target. It was like $2, but you could also easily recreate your own with any dry erase board or even on paper. Pinterest is your oyster… but again, baby steps for me. I created columns for different priority areas (house/home, health, personal) and on a weekly basis, my husband and I are setting aside 20-30 minutes to plan out our week. It helps keep us coordinated and focused .
  4. I’m buying more things in bulk. I’ve always had trouble committing to the 12 back of paper towels, but guess what? We are never going to stop needing them. Where we can, we’re stocking up on things, so that our regular trips to the grocery store are more manageable and more focused on perishable items.
  5. I’m meal planning. Again, not wanting to overwhelm myself, I’m planning on a weekly basis and include it on our weekly calendar. This started as an effort to save money and eat healthier, but it’s also making life easier. Who needs to figure out what to cook on Wednesday at 5 p.m. after a day full of meetings and kids whining in the backseat? No thank you.
  6. I’m forcing myself to tackle the little stuff. You know, instead of ignoring the socks on the bathroom floor for a week, I’m making a conscious effort to look for them and pick them up. Full disclosure, this is more challenging for me than I would like to admit. I’ve always been more of a clean in one large session kinda girl, but I know it makes things easier in the long run and it means a lot to my husband, so I am trying really hard!
  7. When all else fails (and when it doesn’t) I’m resting in my relationship with God. When I feel discouraged, I pray. When I feel anxious, I pray. When I feel joy, I pray. Are you picking up on the trend?

These are small shifts, but the impact is powerful. These small changes are reprogramming the rhythm of my household in a positive way… bit by bit…

What are the small things you do to tame the chaos in your home? I’d love to learn from others.

Now to deal with the crumbs…

26 thoughts on “Taming the Chaos

  1. theycallmetater says:

    2 and 5 are the big ones for me. I need to get back on track with my diet and exercise. Meal planning is a good way to make sure I’m eating right instead of eating whatever is easy after a long day. Thanks for the thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelsey @ There's Something About KM says:

    I’ve set aside ten minutes a day to review/add to my planner. If things come up during the day that I need to write down I do so, but having those set minutes have helped me feel less chaotic. I’m also focusing on your #6 – if I take off a sweater I’ll immediately put it on a hanger and not over the couch/on my bed; I’ll tidy the bathroom sink (makeup, hair products, etc.) when I’m finished getting ready and not put it off for a week. Here’s to a less chaotic 2018! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Janice Wald says:

    Hi!
    I was just recommending productivity tips to my daughter this morning. I have blogged about productivity tips as well many times. I believe in compartmentalizing which helps me make sure I have time for everything.
    Maybe you can check out my blog. I write about blogging tips which will help bloggers be more successful. I also have blog parties like Susie.
    Susie sent me!
    Janice

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Audrey Kalman says:

    Headed over here from Susie’s. You call these changes “small” but it looks to me as if they will have a HUGE impact on your life, especially #2. I struggle with that too. It’s inspiring to see someone commit to taking these steps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Faith Illuminated says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Audrey. #2 is seriously forcing me to reframe my thinking. Some days I fail, but I am definitely trying! 🙂

      Like

  5. writingmindmapper says:

    Pick up the hose before going to bed – socks, books, bills, dishes are done, straighten the cushions etc. With no kids around it is so quick and the place looks like you have already cleaned when you get up in the morning. Do the beds, dishes, surface wipes, toys away every day and pick one room each day to dust, vacuum, and do any sorting. It means on Saturday you can put on a CD of a rhythmic, pumping sort of music (Garth Brooks in my case) that lasts an hour.Give everyone jobs and say when the music is finished we should be and if we are we can ……… insert here something your family likes to do. It works. No tantrums or parents yelling and maybe free time to do things you want and like to do

    Like

  6. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    The biggest thing is to stick with your plan. Even if you falter and skip a few things on your list just pick it up the next day and keep moving forward. Don’t stress out!

    Susie sent me! Dropping by from her party.

    Like

  7. lydia says:

    Great post!! #2, partnering with my partner is a biggie. I struggle with that one a lot. I actually have a lot of the same goals as you do! I am with you on the self-care thing. It is hard. And while some people might not see these shifts as self-care, I, 100% think that it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Faith Illuminated says:

      SO HARD! And everyone is preaching it so heavy… This is all I can do right now. I’m just trying to survive some days! 🙂

      Like

  8. Elise says:

    Great post! It’s hard to plan for meals and to plan your own schedules because sometimes you have to do overtime and all. I hope I’ll be able to plan meals and stick to my plan.

    PS. Susie sent me!

    Like

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