Thursday, October 16, 2008

When it's all too much.

I apologise for not doing my usual organised long post today - but I'm afraid I've had a bit of a wobble. Now I am sure that those of you with kids will know this 'all too much' phrase quite well already, but the rest of us also have our moments. Respect to all you mums though!

This week on Monday a stomach bug kicked into my system - it was tiring and draining and I stayed off work for the whole of Tuesday even struggling to make a cup of tea. By Wednesday of course the whole ordeal was over and it was back to my usual routine of keeping busy. But it's amazing how one day off threw me, and two days on I've fallen even further behind with housework. Last night after making dinner we took our beautiful Greyhound for his dog training class and the dog trainer once again pointed out that his feet look very sore and we need to get it checked. But we've already had his feet checked and I'm making him some booties to protect his feet - but at that point I was tired and that was just one more thing on my list that hadn't been done... and then I got that sinking feeling that it's all too much and I can't possibly get everything done in time (such a drama queen I am!). Now I know this all seems very dramatic over a pair of dog booties that need to get made, but it's been building up since we returned from our holiday - and the house honestly is in a bit of a state. It didn't help that I went straight back to work after our trip, but how did it get like this?

Picture taken from Balt Amour.

So what do you do when it all gets too much? First thing I think is to sit down with a cup of tea and sort out my mind. This is where I struggle with housework - it's too easy when things get out of control to sit down and ignore it - or ummmm, do some blogging, oops. So here I am with my research again to see what those of us who feel out of control can do to get back in control without pulling our hair out. But for the rest of you, please share your tips of how you keep on top of juggling it all? Do you religiously follow a routine? Do you use to-do lists and reward yourselves when it all gets done? Do share!

I've discovered that when it all gets too much, you need to break things down into smaller, less daunting tasks and prioritise. Disorganised spaces makes for mind clutter because it stops you from switching off. For me, it's all about how tidy the house looks - once it's tidy, I don't mind the cleaning! I'm going to keep it simple and short- writing a long list of things will just make it more daunting and unappealing. Here's how I'll start:
  1. De-clutter... easier said than done. But few things give me a kick start to clean as much as throwing out clutter. I'll start with every unnecessarily kept magazine, catalogue and pamphlet. Then I'm going to sort through my jewellery and put all the things I've no worn over the past year in a charity box. Next up is make-up and toiletries - I'm chucking those out of date creams I know are lurking in the bathroom cabinet.
  2. Put some washing on - one more pile of dirty washing out of the way already makes a huge difference to how the house feels and the idea of fresh smelling white laundry tumbling in the washing machine already puts my mind at ease.
  3. Sort out the pile of done washing - pack away socks and pants and get the rest ready for an iron.
  4. Make dog booties
  5. Have some chocolate
  6. Tomorrow - get back onto the usual cleaning routine and do that pile of ironing.
So that's my list of things to do after work, it won't get everything done that needs doing, but it'll be a great start.
Lucky for me, my husband cooks well, so he can take care of dinner tonight. Perhaps that's one of the secrets, don't try and do it all yourself - but it's so hard not to want to do it all perfectly all the time and then not feeling like a failure when things don't all get done. I need to remind myself however that perfection is not what we should strive for- but by being the best we can be and
occasionally switching off to let things be is not the end of the world.

Today I've learnt that focusing on one small task at a time, and a bit of chocolate to aim for makes anything achievable.
I'll let you know if I get back on track! Don't forget to let us in on your secrets of getting it all done! It all seems so petty now.
Hopefully in no time I'll be ship-shape back to the happy busy vacuuming person - Anthea Turner style! Ha ha, I wish :)

I'll be posting again at the weekend with my normal more organised posts... that is if the chocolate hasn't distracted me too much!
Have a lovely Friday tomorrow!


MelMel said...

Glad your better now!
I make a list each evening while watching TV......i aim for 5 things to do each day.....and then tick them off as i do them....that way i feel as tho i've achieved something.....then i can be lazy all evening Blog, read mags and watch TV or read....I know i don't have children...but i do childmind from home and i'm restricted as to what i can do in terms of housework...never ironing or cleaning floors...or anything dangerous.....and i do get my Minded kids to help....they can dust with a damp cloth or hoover....i think it teaches children valuble skills....running a home is worthwhile and its everyones job to do their bit!
Its true if you can get on top of really do have more time for yourself!
A really good post...very helpful!:>)))

MelMel said...

I think we all help each other....great this blogging biz!
I find your posts very interesting...I'm going for a soak in the bath now...then meeting two ppl of here!!!! No doubt there will be a post tomorrow!From all 3 of us!

Ivy said...

I feel better already just knowing I am not the only one who goes thru things like this. :)

You are very wise in saying you just have to take one thing at a time. Letting your mind go wild will only make matters worse.
Taking action, even if small at first, is the cure.
I love that you said, "perfection is not what we should strive for"
It's so true and knowing that we have done the best we can do, keeps us at ease.
Thanks so much! You're the best! As always.

Melissa said...

I am so glad that you are feeling better.

I think the trick is to remember that in 5 years, it won't make a difference at all.

I love your idea to eat chocolate. That always makes me feel better.

My husband always says your spouse comes first, then your children (if you have any), then your job, pets, and house. I think that helps him to prioritize.

Hang in there and enjoy a cup of tea with some chocolate on the side.


Judy said...

Glad you are feeling better. I try to make a list of what has to be done and cross it off. It is amazing sometimes how fast things on the list disappears. Tackle one project and then move on. Of course if I get distracted by blogging then the list calls me.

Mary said...

I am so, so sorry you were under the weather, but I have to tell you ... it was comforting to know that even a super organized person such as yourself feels ... less organized.

I'm just glad you're feeling better.

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Hi lovely...
I too been feeling just like you lately!
Specially now that I work full time on my website... I no longer have too much time to play!
Hence the reason for not visiting you sooner!
I`m so behind on everything!
Reply to comments, tiedying up the nest, me time... whatever that means... one thing I have been keeping up with is:
eating chocolate!
And lots of it too!!!
I`m sure that I have put on weight and have some spots too!
Yuck! LOL
Now... I`m feeling guilty and ugly too! which doesn`t help!!!

Unfortunately, I don`t have any ideas to share!
Although I do have a to do list... even on my blog!
Which I find it very comforting every time I cross them off!!!
By the way...I`m glad that you are feeling much better!
Did your DH got it too!
Its horrible isn`t it!
I would love to see your dog wearing his booties!
OHHH... how sweet!
Kisses to you
My lovely Friend.

Debbie Moss

Pixiedust said...

I get like this often, in fact I'm going through it right now. I'm burying my head at the moment and pretending it all doesn't exist. The bathroom is my bug bare, but I know that once I've cleaned it I will feel much better. I treat myself with chocs too, but normally eat them before the chores! xxx Pixie xxx

MelMel said...

Thanks for joining in...its fun!
I'm so enjoying it!
When my little charge went to sleep today, i whipped my bedrooms curtains down and washed them.....they are the lace ones from they were 90% dry when they came out, i've put them back up!
phew another thing of my list!

I've got guests next cracking on with quite a few things....just wish i could decorate and get new carpets.....oh well all in good time!
At least we will be clean!
.....another job...tops of doors!!!!eeekkkkkk!

Judy said...

Oh yes I have my lists and when I'm done I get to do something fun even if it's just sitting and relaxing with a cup of tea.

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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