Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Homeschooling + Messy Houses + My Brain = Too Much
I'm not sure who made this meme, but I can strongly attest to its accuracy. It doesn't matter how clean the house was yesterday, today, the house will be just as messy as it was before you cleaned it yesterday.
Now, you know I adore my life as a Mom. I wouldn't trade it for any other full-time job on the PLANET. I absolutely love staying home with my kids every day. I can't imagine a different life. I don't want a different life. I have the life I always dreamed of.
That said, I do love a clean home. And since my kids are not making messes at daycare all day, they are at home making messes.
It's just what they do.
They pick up one toy, put it down, grab some scissors and cut up a piece of paper into 30 tiny pieces, then they grab a snack that comes in some sort of package and they forget to throw away the package, then they get a cup of water and leave the cup in some strange place because they spotted a ride-on toy to play with in that moment. Then it's time to change clothes for the 3rd time, leaving your clothes on the floor, despite the fact that Mommy told you exactly where to put your dirty clothes about 50 times. Then they decide to get some milk, which requires a second cup. But there are two of them, so that means a total of 4 dirty cups. Somehow, by the end of the day, nearly all of the kids' cups are dirty.
The cats like to knock things down off of countertops and tables... that only adds to the daily chaos.
The dog thinks that peeing and pooping in the house is acceptable about 30% of the time.
Many times I need to quickly tend to one of the little ones, so I lay books on the couch that will remain there for days. We get mail every day, most of which I immediately put into recycling, the rest I have no idea what to do with so it just sits in piles all over the place. At one point I did have a paper solution because I organized file folders and binders to hold such papers, but that requires work too, which I don't have the time for now.
This type of stuff goes on for 8 hours or so and you've got yourself a huge mess. If I could follow them around and clean up after them and consistently encourage them to clean up after themselves, that would be great...but I homeschool. During these same hours, I need to be present to teach. I have to teach, clean, and discipline all at the same time. That's not all, though. Theoretically, I need to plan meals, cook them, and do the laundry at some point. Those are the things I have been failing at the most, so thankfully I have my wonderful husband who is there to take over these things for me most of the time. I'd much rather have it all together though, so that he wouldn't have to do so much after coming home from work!
Having 3 children under the age of 10, homeschooling, and having a clean and well functioning home?
One can only wish.
Coming to terms with the fact that I absolutely cannot and will not ever consistently have all three of those things has been my biggest challenge this year.
My second biggest challenge: the strange new diagnosis of epilepsy. Though, it's not exactly new. Apparently, I've been having seizure activity in my brain for years and just wasn't aware of what it was.
It may explain why cleaning the kitchen isn't just "cleaning the kitchen" to me, but something I have to mentally prepare myself for. It's not just one task but 100 little tasks that result to one clean kitchen. I feel like I am pushing myself to think through each task, "Put away the salt. Put this dish in the dishwasher."
When my entire house is a mess, every room, every floor, every bed... I get completely overwhelmed. I So much so that I feel that all is lost. There is no recovering from this. Why bother? It's a full blown panic attack at times.
This happens multiple times a week. Breaking up the task of cleaning it into smaller tasks seems nearly impossible.
If I ever do get the house clean, and I'm diligent about maintaining it, it still only lasts about 4-5 days, tops. The kids, especially the 3-year-old, know how to completely destroy a room in a matter of minutes. Try getting said 3 year old to clean up her mess and you end up with a bigger mess. :-/
To help with this problem, I have had the goal to simplify every aspect of our life. One way to do this is to get rid of stuff. I am trying to go through everything I own and get rid of as much as possible. This even is too much for me to think about on most days.
So here I sit, in my messy house, with another headache, dealing as best as I can with the dizziness, trying to figure out some way to balance all of it. I've read numerous other blog posts by women who say things like, "You don't need to balance it all. That's okay. You're doing your best." Yes, that is true to an extent, but when you're me, and your brain can't handle the chaos, you have to find some sort of a solution, at least SOME sort of balance.
I've made charts. Schedules. File systems. I've invested in expensive planners, which I use, most of the time. I have a calendar hanging up in a very obvious place. I check my Google calendar daily.
There is just too much to keep track of in this life. Even when I step back and look at the situation from an eternal perspective, I am still baffled. It seems like so much, even when I scale everything back.
I'm going to have to think about this for a few days or weeks... if I figure it out, I'll let ya know. ;-)
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