Adventures of a Working Woman: How to Clean Your House & Keep Your Sanity

2014-07-24 18.05.50
and so it begins…

Am I the only one that is running on caffeine and Jesus? My days start before daylight and end long after sunset. On any given day I am burning through the midnight oil and into the next day’s allotment! As I scroll through Pinterest I am bombarded with pins and posts with lengthy/complicated cleaning schedules, tips for cleaning tile grout, and fancy new techniques to fold my socks. I can help but think to myself, “Is this real life?” I don’t know about you, but right now I am lucky if I can find a pair of matching socks (I swear my dryer eats them), and the shower grout is the last thing on my mind when my head hits the pillow each night! I don’t need another thing to add to the to-do list and I CERTAINLY do not need another thing to feel overwhelmed or insecure about.

I have to get rid of my perfection infection at the front door. I live with a two year old. My husband and I work…a lot. We love to travel and escape on adventures whenever we get a free second. My faith, my family, and our amazing memory-filed adventures are what matters most to me. While I often have to put these things into perspective for myself and realize that is truly important, I also know that our lives function more smoothly when we are in a doing life in a tidy home. Things just seem to flow, and we are able to truly relax in our space. While my husband and I work outside of the home, and we both do our fair share of the work, I feel a certain responsibility to my family to make sure that our home is one that we can truly take pride in.

So…I did what I always do when I feel overwhelmed. I made a list. I gave myself 30 minutes each day and divided the tasks over a week. I set a few ground rules for myself: #1 Set a timer for 30 minutes max, and stop whenever that buzzer dings, no exceptions! #2 Only touch the clutter once, this means no piles and no pushing stuff around from room to room. #3 Put away perfection! I made this chart to help me visualize everything and added these tasks into my planner each week.

I have found that often even the most well-intentioned plans cannot run on willpower alone. If I have a system in place I can in turn build a habit, and that consistency over time allows me to build momentum and find success (with a little help from that caffeine and Jesus, of course)!

Check-Out The Schedule I Use:

Working Girl’s Cleaning Schedule

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Mommy Milestone: When Parenting Feels Like Failure

I am pretty sure that parenthood is a constant practice in the art of failure. You see,  I know that this parenting gig is going to be full of ups and downs, but as I clean up an “accident” off of the kitchen floor for the 1,232 time during our never-ending potty training saga I feel a twinge of guilt. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I get her to understand that the she needs to go in the potty instead of all over the floor in front our dinner guests from Church. What will they think? Maybe I should consult the all-knowing Mr. Google….

So here I am tonight. I am acutely aware of the fact that I can not and will not always be able to do the right thing for her (despite my best intentions), but ultimately it is Christ who holds her future. I can not make her into a good little girl, productive citizen, or successful adult, no more than I can grant her eternal life. Tonight I rest in the fact that He is all that she or I will ever need, and He certainly does not have a fear of failure.

 

Coming Up For Air…

How many times have you swam in the ocean or a swimming pool and dove down as deep as your lungs and your legs will take you? As every inch of your body searches for the water’s surface you stretch and strain, and when your nostrils fill with air you suddenly feel relieved, rejuvenated, and filled with life-preserving and sustaining oxygen.

This is my life. A new job, a new house, a little girl who is all of a sudden a toddler, and a husband whom I have had the blessing of sharing life with for over seven years. With new professional responsibilities and a more demanding work schedule the past nine months have been a time of growth, pruning, and sacrifice. God has humbled me in some areas and given me courage and strength in others. This year my prayer has been (will continue to be) for wisdom.

This year, like all of the years past, I have cried, laughed, and loved. God in his mercy, grace, and faithfulness has been steadfast in guiding and equipping our family even in the midst of my doubts and fears. While each day brings new challenges, it also brings opportunity. I look forward to the start of each day and coming up for air…

PS: We didn’t get a ton of action items off of the bucket list, but we managed to have quite a bit of fun!