Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guess What, Guys!?

I do not have it all together.

Today I'm lamenting the fact that I can't get every part of my life under control. No matter how hard I try, there's always (at least) one part of me spinning off into chaos. It could be something like my schedule, my avoidance of cooking, my spending habits, or my overuse of the computer.

During the holidays I ate like I was about to go into hibernation and now I'm working out and eating right to try to get my body back in order. I'm even cooking healthy meals! Now that I feel in control there, I'll swear if I cannot get a grip on this house. Is it just the reality of having a five and two-year-old? Or am I a failure as a woman? That's what it feels like.

Confession: we just took our artificial Christmas tree down last night. Curtis and I were sort of waiting each other out, hoping the other would make the first move. Now everything is in boxes, but those boxes are still in the hallway. Ahhhhhhhh! Laundry is everywhere and all the kids'  new toys are spread throughout the house. I haven't seen the surface of my desk in several months because I just pile things on top of it until I can't take it anymore. I just want my house in order, but as long as we're living in it, it will never be! If I could get 48 hours alone in these four walls, I think I could get it under control. But I don't know how to keep it that way when it takes 5 minutes or less for the kids to utterly destroy it.

Does anyone know the secret of having it all together? If so, please share. In the meantime, I'll just be watching Hoarders to scare myself into getting organized.

109 comments:

Rikki said...

I feel the same way...good to know it's not just me.

Brittany Fletcher said...

Amanda, If you need help, I would LOVE to help you out! Im currently living with my in-laws and am itching to clean/organize/be productive with something, but all of our things are in storage and I can't do anything with my mother-in-laws house. HAHA! So, if you want/need someone to come and help you get started, Im pretty good at it. lol! Praying for you guys!

Liz said...

Not to worry Amanda, we moms are ALL like that (unless, of course, we have a Nanny and a maid). Take a deep breath, get the kids to pitch in (I find the "let's see how much laundry you can grab" game works well :) ) and remember that the real house we need in order is our hearts.....but you already know that. :) Be encouraged we are all there in the middle of the mess at some time. See you Fri. night Siesta!
Liz Taylor

szantofamily said...

I have a poem in my sons room, cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow. So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
You kids are older but i think it still applies. We don't have to have it all together. We are doing what maters most, raising Godly children. It's ok if the house is a mess. If you can't bet em, join em.

Cason Crew said...

I'm pretty sure this is exactly how every mother/wife/woman feels! Hang in there. You are doing a great job. Just keep reminding yourself of what's really important in life. It doesn't matter how mess your house is or how late the Christmas decorations come down. It's all about loving your family and spending time with them. :)

Emily Doss said...

So glad you shared. I tend to look at other people and think they have it all together. I constantly feel like I can't spin all the plates at once, but also that everyone else can. :( That is not reality.

The Rabe's said...

While I do not have it all together by any means I have gotten my cleaning under control. I have a chore each day. Monday is store/laundry, Tuesday is dusting, Wed. is floors, Thursday is bathrooms and Friday is kitchen. Makes me feel productive but not exhausted.

Sherri D said...

Hahaha, love your "Hoarders" strategy! I need to do the same thing! And I haven't seen my desk in about 5 years! If you learn the secret of having it all together, please post it....this girl needs some organizational help. : )

Leanne said...

I have no secrets to share, but I'm encouraged by your honesty. I think all blogging moms should pick a day and post a picture of our laundry piles so we don't feel like we are the only ones who can't seem to conquer it!

jamie b said...

Girl, we just took our tree down on Friday and got it in the attic yesterday! :) I feel the exact same way as you...except I haven't quit eating like I'm hibernating. haha!

We are trying to get our house in order to put on the market, but I think it gets messier everyday.

Mrs. L said...

The key is that you don't HAVE to have it all together!! Loving your family and spending time with them is so much more important than the other stuff... it can wait!

Meggie said...

1. Glad it's not just me.
2. Our tree is still up, no end in sight (ornaments off though!).
and 3. Hoarders does a great job of making you feel like your house is not so bad (it never quite motivates me, but I'll take feeling better about my house).

Rosa said...

Our tree is still up too - I work full time and used to stress about it because we weren't ready to take it down Jan 1 and then it was time to go back to work and then it was such a big job.

Then one year hubby said "Why worry about it?" We made up a tradition: until Dec. 26 it's a Christmas tree. Then until Jan. 2 it's a New Year's Tree. Until Feb. 4 it's his birthday tree, then Valentine's tree, then my birthday tree until March 10. Then Spring Break comes and I get a day off and take it down.

I do take down all the "other" stuff (the stockings and wreaths and such) before I go back to work in January but we leave up the tree and enjoy the lights until mid-to-late March :).

Kelly said...

I stood up my son's dentist yesterday... had the appointment on my calendar for today. FAIL. Sometimes I wonder if I have it so good - with a great husband/kids/home/job/etc. - that the busyness is all that keeps me from getting too comfortable!

Kathleen said...

Can so relate. I feel that way a lot with 2 boys, ages 8 and 3. I try to keep up but there's always another mess so I never feel like I'm making any progress. And my 3 yr old wants to help but helping means playing with the cleaning supplies which isn't good, so there's some cleaning that has to wait until he's sleeping or preoccupied with something else. So it's very tricky.

The Johnsons said...

I laughed out loud at your last sentence. :)

Just come take a peek into our current living conditions and you won't feel so bad about your home. Promise, friend.

Dawn said...

You.are.not.alone! I heard this quote a few years ago and I repeat it often - "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." And, don't tell anybody, but we haven't taken down our real tree yet. ;-)

Kelli said...

This is exactly how I feel right now. As I get one area in control then it normally means one gets out of control. I am learning the fine balance of what HAS to remain reigned in and in control and what can allow a bit of chaos in this season. Since contrary to belief we CANNOT do it all. Thankful for Chris and friends who remind me while I am not wonder woman, I can be a wonderful woman (mom, wife, friend, etc). And you my dear are a WONDERFUL WOMAN! :)

Perublossom said...

I've been telling my husband a lot lately how frustrated I've been with not being able to get everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) under control. Since I've become a mom, God constantly nudges me when he wants me to notice my Martha-ness. UGHHH!
"But God, the house won't clean itself! The weight doesn't just come off! The food doesn't jump out of the fridge and into the crock pot! Someone has to do it." Sigh...a wise friend of mine constantly advises me to set aside expectations and rest in the Lord. (No solutions here, ha ha. We all just have to deal with it I guess.)

Ashley said...

You are not alone. I have clean and dirty laundry laying around, dirty dishes in the sink and on the counter, beds unmade, hair dryer and makeup still on the bathroom counter, blankets on the couch, and I'm sure a whole lot more! It's frustrating! We all struggle with it.

LeAnna said...

Welcome to normalcy! I think anyone who has young kids can relate, and if they say they can't, I'm inclined to believe they are either lying or they have regrets because if their house isn't suffering, then something else surely is. My kids are now 13, 11, and 8--all boys--so the "messy" issues continue to some degree.

One thing that helped me was to figure out what was bugging me the most and set a timer to work on that particular thing for 5-10 minutes without interruption. This means that phone calls weren't answered, kids' needs had to wait for the most part, and nothing else was tended to until time was up. If the kids are home, they can even "play" along by picking up their toys and taking them to a designated place. Sometimes making a game of it is great motivation. How much can you do in 5-10 minutes? Sounds elementary, but for me, the sheer magnitude of ALL that needed to be done was overwhelming and kept me from getting any ONE thing done. Even if you can't complete the task in that short of time, you would probably be amazed at what you can do. It also helps counteract my other tendency which is to get sidetracked with other tasks which I was noticing along the way.

Regardless, remember it is a season. This too shall pass. :)
LeAnna

Kristi said...

Amanda,

You have all the things together that matter, girl. I say, go grab a quick frozen yogurt, revel in the fact that you're smart enough to know you don't have it all together and enjoy. Besides, what would us moms do all day if we finally DID get everything "perfect". Everyone on here knows good and well we'd just make something else up that needed "fixing". ...grin... :)

Beth said...

Ann Voskamp had a link on her blog a week or two ago with an organizational schedule. Every day, except Sunday, had one thing you can do to help get organized. I printed it off and have been trying to do it every day. It helps me feel like I have a hold on this house!

Kelly said...

Thank you for making me feel better. I've been so down about the state of my home lately. I told myself the other day I would have a clean house when they go to college I guess.

Ashley N said...

This is an area I constantly feel defeated in. I also have a 5yr old and a 2yr old, and I just never seem to get on top of it. I think Satan sets this trap for us as women....we want to equate success in this area with success as a mom, and when we have out of control homes, we're harder on ourselves than we should be. Wish I had some great cleaning/organizing tips, but I don't...I'm fighting (and losing) the same battle!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Good grief, Amanda. I FEEL THE SAME WAY! I feel like I'm doing a much better job at being a mindful mom lately. I am forcing myself to sit and play with my kids and leave the screens alone! It's good. I'm enjoying a lot of peace and joy with the two little ones who aren't in school.

BUT! For the life of me, now I can't figure out how to blog! I would love to find some balance here. But I'm starting to think that's an elusive and possibly mythological concept. Maybe we can't achieve balance in one season - maybe it's a life of balance. Someday, I'll have time to write again. Someday, your house will be under control. But by then, maybe we will be behind our keeping up with our kids' homework. GAH!

Word of Hope Ministries said...

1. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

2. Just do the next thing. Be content with that because organized housework is a never-ending job no matter how well or poorly we do it!

Katie said...

I think the secret is nobody has it all together. And I don't have kids-just a dog (though he acts like a 2 year old)-and there are plenty of things that I wish I could get a handle on.

When I start to feel overwhelmed, I try do two things:

1. To consider whether the thing I am worried about will matter when looked at with an eternal, Biblical perspective. And fortunately, after re-reading Proverbs 31 to make sure, the Bible does not say "A wife of a spotless house, who can find?" I have a feeling that your family is much more blessed by a healthy mom who has the energy and stamina to spend time with them than they were ever harmed by a Christmas tree being out past the Christmas holiday.

2. Pray about it and give my need for control (and ooh girl, I want to be in control so much!) up to the Lord.

Thank you for your willingness to be so transparent! So refreshing!

Andrea said...

You should definitely check out The Nest Effect. She has tons of tips and is doing monthly challenges to help get your life in order! I'm loving it so far!!
http://www.thenesteffect.com/

Jeannie (HAPPY HEART) said...

I sooo understand how you feel today. I have not been able to get things together since Christmas but I promise it does get better as the kids get older.

I do like the site by Fly Lady and I try to do at least the daily room task that she post on her site and you really do start to see a difference in your house with a little time. She also gives alot of tips on cleaning. I love the tip about keeping your sink shiny!

PS Don't sign up for the emails unless you don't mind getting a alot of them :)

Marla Taviano said...

I feel your pain.

Molly said...

HOLD.THE.PHONE!

Im Sorry, you do NOT have it together. I thought that was a Texas thing...

Darlin, I'd be scared if you had it ALL together!

Tara said...

Amanda~ So this is what I tell all my girlfriends who are in your stage of life......"IT GETS EASIER!" My kids are now 12, 9, and 6. But when they were smaller I thought I would have no hair left by the time they graduated kindergarten! When kids are small we want to have everything together and look like the other ladies...you know they perfect ones! Well there really aren't any. Now that I have made it through graduation (with a full head of hair) Our life and simply calm down!

Brian and Sarah said...

I so get wHat you mean! I struggle too, but I only have ONE child!! I'm five months pregnant with our second and fear what our house will look like when I'm keeping up with two! The other night I had an absolute bawling meltdown - i realized our three year old daughter had asked me so many times over the past several weeks to play with her and my answers were always "I can't right now, I need to vacuum...finish these dishes...get the laundry started....send this email off for work" etc. I felt
HORRIBLE and so guilty!! I've tried to make a point to stop what I'm doing more...but I'm still struggling with the anxiety I feel over never getting all of the house together at once. Our tree is down, but not the house lights outside and we had new floors put in Back in September and still haven't found the bottom of our bath tub that we used for storage while that was done!!! Maybe when they're in college??

Dionna Sanchez said...

Someday you will have a perfectly clean house and no kids living at home and you'll miss these days. Just do what you can do - when you can do it. It will always be there - your kids won't.

Michele said...

I have seen 2 quotes lately that made me feel better as a Mom of 4 regarding my home: 1. "A sparkling house is a fine thing if the children in it aren't robbed of their luster." 2. Excuse the mess, my kids are making memories. That said. Most nights around 11:30 my husband will ask me why I am up straightening the house when he knows that in a few short hours they will do it all over again. I remind him to consider what it will look like tomorrow if I don't! But I also know that everyone of us constantly needs some area in our lives that causes us to say "I don't have it all together." (I laid in bed just this week telling God that over and over. And. OVER.)Because if we don't then the enemy has us fooled. So really you are in a good place today!! :)

Judy said...

Hoarders always does it for me! (or visiting my parent' house...)

Sarah said...

Oh! I needed to read this tonight! Totally feeling that, too. My oldest (of 4) turned 8 today, threw up tonight (please, Jesus, may nobody else get it!), my house is a disaster from running around all day, laundry baskets overflowing with dirty laundry, first night of Bible study tonight (yay, James!!! ☺) and leading a small group (did I mention my daughter throwing up less than an hour before it started?)... Totally don't have it all together! Hugs to you and encouragement that ALL of us moms are in the same place. <>

Bourg Family said...

I am the same way and I always imagine EVERY other mom/woman alive has an immaculate home while mine looks like a total disaster. Thank you thank you thank you!

P.S. Pluto, MIckey, & Minnie are still inflated on my front porch in their Christmas attire.

JottinMama said...

This is me.

I too have a 5 year old and a 2 year old...and now a 2 week old. They can undo a clean house in about 10 seconds.

I know one day I will look back and actually miss tripping over matchbox cars and baby dolls. But as for now - they can make me crazy.

Help me, Jesus.

Right there with you,
Katie :)

courtney said...

flylady.net helps you set up routines and a system to keep your house in order - and emphasizes NOT to strive for perfection. i don't keep up with it all the time, but enough so that my house could be "company-ready" within 30 minutes. unless i have to scrub poop off the walss, that is...

Theresa Miller said...

Amanda, your life sounds precisely like mine and no, I can tell you with four kiddos almost eight and under, you will never have it all together in these areas! It's a constant juggling act and I have finally accepted that.

We, too, just took down Christmas decorations yesterday, boxes everywhere, and today I put those boxes away. Accomplishment! Never mind the tornado that hit our down stairs!

happymcfamily said...

Fall into an endless supply of money and pay someone else to keep it together for you. At least I think that would work. I certainly don't know from experience ;-).

Rhonda said...

Just echoing their encouragement. I can't even get into our room without navigating piles of laundry and I have not cooked a meal in 3 nights.AND I had a honey bun for lunch today because I left the carefully planned lunch I packed at home.

Sherri Smith said...

If we had it all together and did everything right....I think Jesus would be taking us home =). A little chaos keeps us humble!

Casey C. Springer said...

It is a cycle and I have 5 in my home...and they are some messy people. They joke that I am OCD. I'm not and I know that because my house would be spotless and it isn't. What helps me are choosing my battles. I fight the desk battle and have learned I place all filing in one basket and that helps me think its clean. Then on a rainy day, between a movie and laundry I can catch up on filing, and shredding. Menu's are a huge help for not having to guess dinner. Laundry--my kids help. Even the 2 year old. We do several quick pickups each day, and that helps. You can time it like a commercial and see who can pick up the most things and put them away. I know that some people clean their house in sections...that doesn't work for me but some people love cleaning one part of the house 1 day and the next part on the following day. Sorry if I have rambled. I hope some of it helped. Be blessed Momma!

Jeni said...

I just loved this post. I can breathe a little easier knowing that even Amanda Jones doesn't have it all together. Children sure can mess the house up quick...but its so worth it :)

Sunny said...

There's this poster I've seen on pinterest that says "Please excuse the mess, WE LIVE HERE" ... That's my motto! Thanks for the post!...let's all take a deep breath... :)

Tara G. said...

Seriously, I just wrote in my prayer journal not 5 minutes ago a prayer about how I make progress in one thing to just fall in another area! I honestly don't think it will ever be all neat and tidy, but I do believe there is a balance. Two books that have been helpful for me are A Life Well Spent by Russ Crosson and Margin by Dr. Richard Swenson.

Unknown said...

Hi Amanda,

I am not one to usually comment, but, I so feel your pain! :) Having a clean/neat house almost always eludes me...

However, a couple of things that have helped are the FlyLady website which someone mentioned earlier. I love her helpful tips. Can't say that it has magically transformed my house (ala Mary Poppins), but her "set your timer for 15 minutes" tip has changed my life. You can do anything for 15 minutes. And it is amazing how much of a difference 15 minutes can make. Even kids can help for 15 minutes if there is a timer set. We make it a game at our house - I give them things to put away and they run all over the house putting them away. It's a win-win - they get to run all over the house and I don't have to, plus the house gets cleaner :)

The other thing that our family instituted this year after Christmas and the millions and millions of new toys :)
was a 5-toy-rule. Every night before bed our boys (ages 7 and 4) get to pick out 5 toys to play with for the next day. Everything else has to be put away. That rule alone has helped immensely with the toys all over the house chaos and has cut down on the "shove everything under the bed and now the room is clean" problem as well :)

Hang in there. This too shall pass... or at least that is what I hear!!!

Nancy Jensen said...

My goodness! Did I steal your blog? I could have written this exact blog post! I have no solutions for you, sweet Amanda. All our Christmas stuff is finally boxed but still in the house. Looking far worse than the tree ever did.
I just wanted to let you know you are not alone nor are you a failure at motherhood, womanhood or anything else! Real life is messy. Don't expect it or yourself to be perfect or you will spend your days frustrated.
If I have a spare couple minutes I will tidy one area or run the vacuum -- whatever is making me feel craziest. I can't do everything, but sometimes that one quick thing makes me feel better

tiggerdaisy said...

Neither do I. Nobody does I believe. I think we "think" others have it together when they are just organizing their chaos or we are choosing to see what we want to see. :(

Thanks for your honesty. Sometimes when we admire people, we tend to put them on a pedestal. And I'm glad to know that you have everyday life issues just like I do.

You know, I hate that we go through these life issues, but surely they are beneficial to us in the long run!

Prayers and blessings,
Rebecca

lavonda said...

It does get easier the older they get. Promise.

My strategy is to try and work on just one room at a time. And if you do just one room a day, usually within a week or week and a half, it's all organized and clean.

You know what? If I had 48 hours alone in my house, I'm afraid there would be so much napping going on I wouldn't get much organizing done! :)

Missy said...

I completely relate. As I have started my annual "health kick" and spring "tune up" the time spent in exercise takes away from housework ... which then piles up. You can imagine that my tasks as a single mother of three are NEVER done and most of the time I struggle to balance the priority items with what continuously gets overlooked (hello - kitchen floors need mopped?).

Thank you for being real!

kuliejellogg said...

A to the men. I have 3 kids 4 & under so I just pick up as I go - literally. I have an internal "rule" to not leave one place (room, car, house) w/o something in hand (toy, trash, paper) for the place I'm headed next. It's small, but it helps!

annette said...

It might help to know it is a stage--right before the kids all go to school seems to be the worst for house orderliness. You are doing the most important thing in making time for your children. The rest can wait most days, unless you run out of underwear. JK-I do like FlyLady's strategies though of 15min. a day-www.flylady.net. It seems to get me on track if I fall off the wagon, (and I still do after 30 years) Love your heart, sweetie.

Mammy said...

I have just read 43 comments from you sweet young women who are trying so hard to keep it all together. I am a fifty-something grandmother. My house still gets cluttered and my frustration level rises. But trust me on this, sweet ones: These are the best days of your lives. When your nest is empty and your bathroom sink sparkles, you will sit and reminisce about the days when your home bustled with activity. Enjoy each day as God sends it and remember that a clean house is not all it's cracked up to be. Blessings to you today1

Barbara Head said...

Stay-at-home moms are GROSSLY underappreciated. I give you great kudos and to all the stay-at-home moms out there: YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!

Barbara Head said...

Stay-at-home moms are GROSSLY underappreciated. I give you great kudos and to all the stay-at-home moms out there: YOU ARE APPRECIATED!!!

Jill said...

Oh gosh. I could've written this!! I have a 5 and 2 yr old as well. Weve started making the 5 yr old more accountable for his things. It's an effort that I pray pays off in the near future. The 2 yr old princess is another story. ;)

littleapgirl said...

My husband and I did two things a few years ago, and it has made a big difference. (1)Cut down on the number of dishes *in circulation* at one time, so that when we do a dishwasher load, it takes care of all of them that are there. (2)Cut down the amount of clothing in circulation so that laundry gets done without extra clothing being available. I know with babies/toddlers that is pretty hard, but we really all have too many clothes and stuff. We agree after a missions trip, but then let it come back in.

Melanie said...

You are not a failure as a woman! I only know of one woman who has "it all together" and she takes meds for anxiety. So, technically, neither does she.

It will get easier to clean and organize when your kids are a bit older. When they are both in school every day. But I think finding that balance of what works for you, what you're willing to live with and what you're able to get done is one of the great challenges of being a woman/wife/mother. Know you are not alone.

Thanks for keeping it real!

The Leavins said...

Ha! I have a 2 .5 year old and 9 month old son and my house suffers because of it! I am a wee bit obsessive compulsive so I pick up the house probably 30 times a day...I know! I'm crazy! However, I saw this somewhere and it totally put my OCD mind into perspective: My home is not a museum! It is the place where children play. Just remember that...or at least use it as your excuse!

Ali said...

I'm the exact same way! :)

Love reading your blog cause:

1) you love Jesus
2) you love your family
3) you struggle with anxiety like me
4) you say not perfect even though I think you are
5) lots of truth...LOVE #27 on the previous post - I'm praying to grow in that area

~ Ali

Organize U said...

Amanda MoJo! First of all, you WILL get your MoJo back. So hang in there. It's still January. Secondly,perfection is not the goal, just a little more peace. Turn on your favorite praise and worship music and just BEGIN. Some things I can suggest to you (without actually seeing your space)as a Professional Organizer is start by Purging. Simplify the mess before you implement systems.Go room by room and fill one bag per room with trash and one w/donations. You are in a messy season of life with kids, but you can eliminate some of that stress by living with less. After you've accomplished a good purge, start at one end of the house and work your way up (room by room). I would suggest starting in the kitchen/living room. Make a pile of things that do not live in that particular room and return them to their proper space. Inventory what areas do not have a designated "home". PRAY. I always pray before, during and after I've brought some order to my space. We serve a God of order. Praise the Source! Make a list of the top 3 areas that are in constant chaos. Ask yourself? Do I have a system(containers/inbox/designated living space) for the things in this area? If not, make another list of things To Buy. If you have a system in place, it's much easier to do a quick clean sweep. If not, things just get piled higher and higher (and homeless).This is also the perfect time to make organizing your space a teachable moment for your kiddo's. Give them tasks that they are able to help with and teach them the importance of taking care of their things.Because whatever they learn at home, they take it with them to grandma's, to friends houses, to college, and into marriage. They can begin to learn now the importance of caring for their space. Create systems in their rooms/playrooms that make it easy for THEM to help clean sweep at the end of the day. It should not all fall on moms head. Set the timer in the morning after they go to school for 20-30 min. to do a whole house "clean sweep". Not perfection, just returning things to where they live to bring some working order to your day.Work on that desk of papers piled high. ALWAYS open the mail over the garbage can. Buy a "hotbox/inbox" for papers that are important for today and this week. When kids come home, before bedtime, have an ALL FAMILY clean sweep for 15 minutes. Set the timer and turn up the tunes. Make it fun. Make it routine. Make it a goal to begin and end the day with clear workspace(countertops, desk,etc.). And reward yourself for being MORE THAN A CONQUEROR over your home space. Not perfection...but a work in progress. I could go on an on...but hopefully these are some tips to get your started. And if all else fails, call me. I do travel and I have family in Houston! Happy New YOU!

Wonder said...

"a perfect house is no place to raise children". :). that's what I keep telling myself, it's good for their immunity or something. honestly,my girls are 8 and 10 and what I've realized is that I'd rather have them + friends in my kitchen learning to bake and making a HUGE mess that may or may not competely be cleaned up until...later. I don't have a high energy level so my choice is making fun and loving memories, sitting down and watching tv with them...and our b'room will prob. always have nail polish on the sink or floor somewhere. sigh. (and I love it!)

~ Laurie said...

You can't even sit on our couch now because of the clean laundry thats all over it...and there is dirty laundry at the top of the stairs that needs to be washed.
I agree with letting the kids help pick up...encourage them to! As for your desk...if you don't know whats on it, you could probably pitch it!

Jill said...

Crystal Paine has a new book out and she has great ideas for organizing our homes. She suggests setting a 30 minute timer for a room and just picked up all the clutter and put it in one of 4 boxes labeled, Trash, Keep, I dont know, and (i've forgotten the other) maybe Give Away. When your 30 minutes is up you deal w/ the 4 boexes and whaaala. That room is decluttered! You are not alone for sure!!

Terrie and Carley said...

I haven't read everyone's post so please forgive me if I repeat here. My babies are 21 and 18 now and I so remember the season you are in right now. I am one who functions better in an organized home than one that looks as if a hurricane has come through it. I compromised with myself in my younger years allowing my children to have their rooms in organized chaos, the kitchen can have dirty dishes in the sink and stuff on the counters, and the master bedroom can be messy, but...the family room and bathrooms had to be clean and somewhat organized. My grown children can't remember if they house was clean or not, but they sure do remember forts being built in the dining room, acting out Robin Hood in the family room, and the countless of games that we played. Make memories and let the stuff pile up where it may pile up.

PS...I know many people who are just now getting their Christmas decorations down. There is no shame in that. You live life!!

Jodi said...

Today it is 6 degrees below zero where I live. Talk about desire to stuff oneself and hibernate!! I've heard great things about Flylady, also the Motivated Moms app is great and provides a list of suggestions for each day that you can check off as you complete. I recommend getting help occasionally--with cleaning and organizing. When I've felt discouraged and overwhelmed (pretty much my daily defeat), a couple hours of assistance has been a sanity (and marriage) saver!Thanks for this post Amanda :)

The Burgess Family said...

That last part is sooo funny! I do the same thing by watching hoarders! I have a 5 and 4 year old and I feel like our house is always a big playroom!

Stephanie said...

I. Feel. Your. Pain. Welcome to my world, the world of feeling like I just conquered something, only to realize that now 10 more things are in chaos :) I am a stay at home Mom too (and Pastor's wife) with my 2.5 year old and 15 mo old and there are many days that I want to get in bed and cry because I feel like I have lost control of everything I ever "thought" I controlled. The house, the bills, the laundry, the groceries, my quiet times, etc., etc., etc. I was just lamenting that very thing recently when a dear friend reminded me that we stay home for them (the kids) not so that we can be a slave to the convenience of doing chores 24/7. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. When I worked before we had kids, my house was never perfect, but I didn't spend as much time beating myself up over it. But now that I'm home and I'm IN it constantly, it's all I can ever think about somedays. The Lord is gently reminding me that my purpose in life is not to be a housekeeper. A daughter of God? yes. A wife? yes. A mom? yes. A family member? yes. A friend? yes. An obsessive housekeeper? no.
I'm sure you've decided by now, after all these comments, that you aren't alone! Thanks for the honesty...I loved your article today on the first year of your church plant! Praising the Lord for what He's doing through you and in me. Grateful for that grace that covers us all!!

Josh and Jill said...

Thanks for sharing that. Those are my sentiments exactly today! The reason I'm even on the computer is to avoid all the things that feel out of control! LOL!

amanda said...

check out the FlyLady way,,,, it's a real lifesaver/sanity- saver.... Flylady.net

A Cup Bearer said...

When I was a young mother with 3 small children, a book came out called "Side-tracked Home Executives." Not only was it a funny read by 2 funny women, it gave suggestions for keeping an uncluttered, well-ordered (and clean) house -- with supper on the table! (You can still get it, btw.) A number of us put it to use, and though I no longer have to use the "system," I still wash sheets on Monday because that's when I learned to do it according to my card system. :-)

Keep the faith! Those little ones DO grow up -- and have babies!!! And then you really don't care what your house looks like, because you know the important thing is rocking and playing and making memories with those grandbabies.

Tracy Jones said...

You are NORMAL!!:-) Enjoy the messy times of your life, because I promise you days are coming where everything will be in order...it is that season of your life when your kids will be grown and on their own and coming to your neat and tiddy home to visit...my oldest son graduated from college and is now across the country serving God & Country as a United States Marine (oh how I miss picking up after him, now he is sharpening/leading a platoon of men of his own), my middle son graduated from college and now is about to begin his second year of professional baseball and travels all across the country (oh how I miss picking up after him and washing the same clothes/uniform over and over and over, my youngest daughter just graduated from college and her high school sweetheart of 6 years just asked her to MARRY him (oh how I am going to miss picking her hair out of the roller on the vacuum cleaner, now I am crying)...oh precious Amanda, YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT & WELL DONE for this season of your life that is one of the messiest and unorganized times of your life that will pass, I promise it will as you take in everyday and play play play with those precious youngins:-) Don't listen to the liar of all liar's that hates Christians...he is the looser and you are the winner! Keep running, and don't hesitate to ask for help/hire some help too to clean and organize so you can keep lovin and enjoyin those youngins!! P.S. Only listen to those like me that are cheering you onward in Jesus with great JOY! Cheering you on in Jesus & Here for you just a little further down the path of perseverance!!

Cooking Up Faith said...

Well, after Christmas I got my house super organized, cleaned, and felt SO in control of my home. This has been hard for me...I have 4 kids under the age of 8. But... I thought I was starting the year off right and I would for once have an organized home...when my husband came home and surprised us with a golden retreiver puppy!! That tossed any sort of clean and organized right out the window!! So, I get done what I can in each day. I think of Jesus and how he was with a crowd and a woman touched his cloth. He had all sorts of people around him, but he stopped, and wanted to know right then and there who touched him. He stopped everything to go to what was important in that MOMENT. I try to remember to do the same when I feel like things are in chaos...what's most important in this moment...may God bless you with much peace. :)

Tabaitha said...

I needed to hear this today!

It seems like in the last three weeks, that all of us have been sick and with different illnesses. When I think that I have that under control, one of the cars breaks down. My laundry is piled up and my poor husband had to tell me that he was almost out of underwear, which means to please do the laundry. My kids toys are all over the playroom and it drives me nuts to see chaos in my house. However, the minute we "clean up" my two year old will have her barbies and princess all over the floor with her pretend makeup. My 4 year old son will have hotwheels everywhere. Thankfully my 3 month old isn't old enough to really play with toys yet.

Amy said...

Amanda I read your blog post this morning and I have to say I am right there with you sista! Seems like I can get one thing under control but then another one creaps up on me. I just don't know how to do it all. So, this afternoon when I read this article you immediately came to my mind. Funny how you think of people you have never met except in the blog world. :) Anywho, here is the link. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html

Carrie said...

If I lived in your city, I would soooooo be your best friend:)

Wendy said...

I don't know if you will see this comment from the huge sea of comments that you would have to wade through to get to this one BUT I think most of us moms know exactly how you feel.

THis is what helped me: www.flylady.net

Flylady has helped me NOT to feel overwhelmed anymore and to get some routines going to where I can keep my life in order. I am amazed by the change in my life from it.

Megan said...

You summed it up for me too. I am trying to tell myself I will miss it when they are in college, but it's hard when you keep stepping on legos w barefeet and scraping food of the floors under the high chair. And I am not sure where my hubs and I are going to sleep because I got a moment of ambition and wanted to organize all of my girls clothes on my bed, but a baby who wouldn't nap this afternoon never let me finish.

April said...

I often feel like one of those plate spinners! If I get one plate spinning well, another one is wobbling precariously!

And our tree is still up, ornaments and all. But at least that's not totally my fault. The boxes the ornaments go in are in the attic, and my husband has to get them down. :)

The Hulens said...

Girl, your post could totally be mine right now! Now just imagine that your house is on the market, and every day you wake up daring the showing service to call and schedule a showing. I just wanted to let you know that I'm in the same boat, and we aren't failures as women....just living normal chaotic lives! It is a good thing the good Lord is organized : )

Lisa said...

Amen and amen. I regularly think, if I could just be alone in this house for a few days, I'd get it under control....when, in reality, even if that did happen, it would go kaput in a matter of minutes. Hang in there :-)

Debbie G. said...

My christmas tree is still up too. And mine is a real tree! LOL. Ornaments still on it etc. My only excuse is my job which is sucking the life out me (15 to 20 hour days). Luckily my kids are 22 and 24, so it doesn't bother them at all. Matter of fact when I told them i was going to finally take the tree down this weekend, my oldest replied "Why? It's not February yet."

ctobgui said...

Hey Lady, thanks for your transparency. There are a few things I ahve tried that have really helped over the years. In our small home with 4 kids under 5 things needed to be in order or I would go mental. Firstly, can you afford a cleaner once every 2 weeks? If not that's okay try structuring your day and your kids day. A great resource on this is On Becoming Toddlerwise by Ezzo and Buckham. Whilst your toddler is playing in her room for an hour you could use that time to complete a couple of chores. Aiming for 1-2 chores per day initially is great. Then build up working around your toddlers routine. Teach the kids that there are only certain areas that toys are allowed and ALL toys need to be picked up when mum says play time is over. This keeps the house orderly. Also I ahve found menu planning for a fornight is much better than for each day. You can do one shop a week for fruit and veg and supermarket shopping fortnightly. Hope these little tid bits help. Believe me it gets more manageable as the kids get older. Our eldest is now 12, our youngest 6 and they all have chores they complete weekly and mama is very happy :-). Bless ya. Lidiya

Jeannie (HAPPY HEART) said...

Hey Amanda- I was driving by kids to school this morning when I heard Scotty Mcreey's song Dirty Dishes. It made me think of your post. You gotta hear it but have a tissue handy.

katy said...

I don't have it all together but enlist the kids in a few chores, like picking up toys. Even separating laundry. My boys are 12 & 9 and they each have their favorite chore. 12 year old empties the dishwasher and 9 year old does the laundry. Seriously, them doing those 2 things have lighten my load. Have Jackson run the vacuum in his room. Have AB run a hand held vac on the steps or on the floor.


I'm doing the biggest loser at work (school) and it's great encouragement as I am a bit competetive.

Something always gives, just don't overbook your calendar. Always reevaluate the kids activities and your activities outside the home.

If you are spinning out of control, the kids will too!

Sharae said...

I am so glad that our worth and value isn't based on us performing any of those behaviors! I think everyone has an area of their lives that tends to buckle when too much pressure is applied. I have a six and three year old and yet my house is nearly always tidy, laundry always caught up and dinner on the table at night. It helps I have a man who loves to live this way too! We are both products of cluttered, chaotic homes and we went the other way! : ) HOWEVER, eating well and exercising go out the window at their first chance! Today is MY Start Over Day #1 with surrendering this area to the Lord AGAIN. Thank God for His new mercies every morning and His great faithfulness! Pressing on!

kuliejellogg said...

This life is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming. We are not now what we shall be, but we are one the way. The process is not finished, but it is actively going on. This is not eh goal but it is the right road. At present everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed.
- Martin Luther

Becky P said...

Hi Amanda! I can so relate- I too am ready to hibernate for the winter because of the storing of food I did in December! We have four daughters, and clutter is a part of our lives. My aunt and uncle, who are empty nesters, shared a verse with me from Proverbs: "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean."(14:4) I know I am probably misinterpreting this verse, but their point to me was that there will be a day when my empty home will be clean. Hang in there! You're doing a great job!

Buffy said...

I'm just so glad to know I'm not the only one.....!

Talley Family said...

Girl I am right with you! God has humbled me beyond believe. When I was little I thought when I got married and had kids my life would look like a beautiful present wrapped up neatly with a beautiful bow! Wow was I wrong! Nothing about my life is wrapped up in a pretty bow but God is right there with me and I draw to Him more than I ever would if it were the way I dreamed! Love ya!

Trudy said...

You make me laugh so much Amanda! I love the idea to watch "Hoarders" to scare you into organizing.

Our real tree is still up too and I can't see my desk either. To top it off we just got a puppy so with Marley plus 4 boys I think my house will never be in order again!

But "Organize U" please keep going on and on....just reading your post gave me a little lift :)

Hang in there Amanda!
Trudy

connorcolesmom said...

one thing I have learned after 12 years of being a parent is that the little things - like the house being clean, laundry put away, or clean floors - they really don't matter.
I have learned, often the hard way, that life is about the memories, Love, and blessings God shows us each day!
Have a great weekend
Enjoy the SSMT!

Lauren said...

Hey Amanda! I can COMPLETELY relate. For about 9 months after we moved halfway across the country and after Jane was born, I felt like I could barely keep my head above water. It was a constant struggle. Eventually, things settled a bit and I got my feet under me again. Do you think some of this might be attributed to transitions for your family? If so, give it time.

And, honestly, a while after I got my feet back under me, I still hired a cleaning lady. She is, hands down, the best gift I've ever given myself. Especially since, as these other comments make clear, being a mom and keeping up with a house are usually mutually exclusive. :)

Stacy said...

Oh my, this is my life! As a homeschooling mom who has been fighting depression, who has a husband who works full time and part time in ministry. If I work, then the house is falling apart, if I school, then work falls apart. I think it's a woman thing that makes us all want to have everything together.

Katie said...

I have come to the conclusion with the help of my brain being properly medicaded (no condemnation ladies) that while I have 2 incredibly lively, wonderfully, spirited children of my flesh living (not just residing, but living) in my home, my life will not be organized. No matter how desperately I need it to be. Tis the season. And for this moment (yep, at times, it's all I can handle) it is well with my soul! Go you, $9 Anthro jeans...what a sweet, sweet God.

Peggy C said...

The best gift I ever gave myself was to let myself off the hook and say "I am not a super mom/woman, and I never will be". We need to stop comparing ourselves to those we admire and work in the gifted-ness that God has blessed us with. Soar!

Amber said...

Okay, so I'm late on this one (my pinterest addiction has been over-riding my blog addiction, I suppose) but I can SO relate and it makes me feel so much better to know I'm not alone! Our Christmas decorations were put away last weekend, only because that's when my husband caved and got that ball rolling, haha!

We have 3 babies who just turned 5, 3, and 1 and although I needed to make New Years Resolutions along the lines of getting shape and eating healthy, I feel like it's taking all I have to resolve to get our house organized so I can do a better job keeping it clean and spend more time really pouring love into my kids and less time on the computer! (So sorry for the terrible run-on.)

So anyway, I guess I just wanted to say, thanks for your honesty. I'm right there with ya. Hang in there, mama! You can do it, a little bit at a time!

Ingrid said...

I use to try invite friends around once a week or two weeks at the most to ensure I tidy the house. But now my theory is once a friend see's I'm capable of having a tidy house the first visit, I don't have anything to prove the next.

If your house clutter bothers you, go out! Helpful? Not so much!

themarketplacegirls said...

All my chicks are out of the house now but FlyLady totally saved me ! Her system is user friendly and though I didnt follow it to the letter it made a huge difference in our home ! Check her out at flylady.com :) This too shall pass :)

Melissa F. said...

keep on keepin' it real...just hear me say ... you are normal :)

Christy said...

AMEN sister! Thank you for saying it out loud. I, too feel that, despite my best efforts, there is always at least one area of my life spinning out of control, and if I could only get 48 hours in my life without my kids, and my computer (ha!) maybe I could get it mostly clean and organized? SO, thanks for telling the truth. Blessings.

Susanamjohn said...

Amanda, Check out flylady.net. It give you ideas on keeping your house out of CHAOS ( Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). And encourages decluttering. I don't stick to it exactly, but the daily routines make a big difference. I hope it helps! I love your blog! :-).

Shellie Paparazzo said...

I'm glad to see that someone posted Romans 8:1 Now I don't have to:) I will just say it another way, give yourself some grace! I have to tell myself this often. I tend to get all up in self-condemnation, so no one needs this more than I do! And let me just say that when you're kids are five and two, it's sort of just how it is! Not that we shouldn't try to find ways to get more organized, but yes, give yourself grace. And YOU. ARE. NOT. A. FAILURE. AS. A. MOM! Far from it! You're doing a great job!!! You have great kids! I can tell! And they don't come out of the womb like that! I know! I have two of the most strong willed children on earth! Chloe's mostly sweet and compliant, though she does have her moments. Don't they all. They are born sinners, just like we were after all. Anyway, I'm having a hard time wrapping this up, so I'm just going to end it. Oh, don't forget to check out my blog: http://www.spaparazzo.blogspot.com/ I'm sure after catching up on reading everyone's blogs I'm going to write a post where I have something incredibly profound to say. NOT!!!! :)

Rhonda said...

A Mom who whose kids are in the high school and middle school stage passed a magnet on to me that some wise person gave her a few years back. I keep it center stage on my fridge. It says: Cleaning the house while kids are growing is like shoveling snow while its still snowing." Hopefully ya'll in Texas can relate to that:)

Michelle Thomas said...

I am blessed beyond measure to read this and let it sink in that i am not that only one that doesn’t! The enemy loves to lie to me that every one besides me has every and all aspects of their home and life in order at all times of course and looks beautiful doing so. No wonder i feel like i don’t measure up. As soon as I seem to have “success" adding one new area in, i seem to drop another - like your example. If i make going to the gym and cooking more of a priority my house starts to suffer etc. This year I am going to try and realize ONE MORE TIME that I can Not possibly do it all. So the house might be a little messy....but i went to the gym and made dinner - yay! (along with everything else i accomplished as well.) God Bless your honesty Amanda!!! Thank you!