Last week, I touched on how I menu plan and save money on grocery shopping. I didn’t title it as part of the Organized Home series, and it wasn’t on a Thursday that I posted it. But since I mentioned in my last Organized Home post that I would touch on menu planning in my next post. Menu Planning is a GREAT way to carry on with the organization theme in your home, and I encourage you to read my post last week to see if there are any tips that might help you incorporate a weekly or monthly menu plan into your routine.
Now that I have written about creating a plan and carrying out a plan, there is one thing I need to address….OBSTACLES in the way of your plan.
Let’s face it, we all have days (some of us more often than others) where the kids don’t behave, we are in a funk, or the day’s plans are all messed up. We have a sick kid that needs to go to the doctor last-minute. Our husband’s schedule has a hiccup, and dinner needs to be ready sooner or later than usual. Kids are teasing, fighting, being ornery or defiant, which results in less help from them with household work or a much longer time needed for them to complete one chore. This, in turn, creates a delay in OUR chores. Or we have days where Mom is crabby or tired or crabby and tired. (Of course, those days NEVER happen here. I am just speaking for those of you that get crabby.) 🙂
I am easily thrown off my game plan for the day when any of the above issues arise. I have found three things help me, even if it is just mentally, when the routine/schedule is gone for the day:
1. Just do the basics.
And by “basics”, I mean the very basic.
Is everyone fed? Is everyone clothed? (Doesn’t matter how many days old the clothes are….just, are they wearing clothes?) As long as those two items are a Yes, you will be fine. No, the laundry didn’t get put in. No, the baking plans didn’t happen. No, dinner wasn’t prepped.
That is OKAY. As long as you scrounge up something for the kids and yourself to eat (even if you have your husband pick up a pizza because you cannot think hard enough to throw a meal together quickly), and everyone has clothes on….it will be OK. Sure, your goal is to not spend money on food outside of your grocery shopping, but it happens. Things happen you don’t plan for or can’t plan for. It won’t ruin you to make an emergency food purchase. Unless the emergency food purchase is steak or lobster….then I think you have better really consider the emergency part of that phrase. 🙂
2. Fit in a household task if and when you can.
Some days, you have a two-year old that feels absolutely miserable and will not let you do anything but hold them. All. Day. Long. And that is OK! Some days, that is the “task” you need to do. Referring back to #1, as long as you have done the basics you will be fine. If you have a moment to throw a load of laundry in or sanitize the doorknobs, even better. Find five minutes to disinfect the area the sickies are in the most. Or pop in a DVD for the crabby kids to sit and watch. Or strap the little on in the highchair with some toys and put the big kids at the table with a bunch of craft stuff and let them have at it, while you sneak away and dust or clean bathrooms (or eat a giant candy bar in private!).
Even though the goal is to get (and stay) organized, we have to all be a little go-with-the-flow on the crazy days. Otherwise, we will drive ourselves nuts.
3. Give yourself some grace and start back up tomorrow.
For me, the “give yourself some grace” part is most important. I, typically, still try to cram in every task I have on my list when it is an unexpectedly crazy day. Yes, I become crabby and crazy. Yes, I snap at the kids and demand some time to myself. Yes, I push them all away (very often) to check off my lists. Yes, I am depleted emotionally at the end of the day and am really crabby with my husband.
This is NOT the way to handle being thrown off the routine. I have to accept that I will not get everything done. I have to be OK with that and extend some grace to myself. There is no way I will have a completed checklist every single day of the year. It is impossible. If I don’t give some grace (and maybe ask for some grace from the family) to myself, I will be angry and crabby with everyone.
What are those verses?…”If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (I Corinthians 13:1) That whole chapter talks about what love is. For me, when I read this, I see that it doesn’t matter what good I try to do for my family….if I don’t have love, it is meaningless.
If I clean all the messes and bake all the bread….but don’t have love for my husband and kids to take care of their immediate needs and cuddle and snuggle them when they need it most…it is pointless. We have all the other “regular” days to complete our To Do lists. We won’t have always have our kids as little ones to hold and cuddle, to wipe noses and just sit and snuggle with. We will not always have babies that want to be held and rocked. But the dirty floors? They will always be there.
Organization takes a lot of discipline. Part of the discipline, though, is knowing when you need to take a break from the rigid routine and just be with your family. We all have those days when things or people are “off.” We will get through them, and we will have another day to finish up the To Do list. But we can’t go back and make up for the love we kept from our family because we just had to get things done.