Thursday, August 4, 2011

Purposeful Days

I've been reading Erin's blog for quite awhile. In one of the comments on my blog post about Southerners, an anonymous commenter attempted to call me out and said I do not like her. Little does that dummy coward commenter know, Erin's blog is one of my favorites and I talk with her pretty regularly on twitter.

Well, today, Erin stepped on my toes. She blogged a week or so ago about a home organization notebook she was working on. Lots of our common acquaintances on twitter were talking about how she inspired them to do the same.

Earlier today I tweeted this:

But then, I read Erin's blog post today. She hosted a link-up for those that created home organization notebooks. As I was reading her blog, I felt really convicted. Erin pointed out that as a stay-at-home mom, if you don't implement structure, you don't have any structure. And OUCH! I realized that while I have been making an effort to be the best mom I can, if I'd implement a little structure, things would be much more smooth around here.

To begin with, I am going to make one of these darn notebooks. Some tabs that I plan to include are:
thirty-one- for keeping up with the tasks I need to complete for thirty-one

kodimade- same as above

meals- I am very, very bad about meal planning, and I think this costs us extra money because we end up eating out more, or not making the best use of the ingredients we have

home- I'm a terrible housekeeper. I'm awful about letting things get very out of hand, only to be very stressed and have to spend hours (or days!) cleaning. I think if I make a weekly schedule and monthly schedule of chores, the task won't seem so daunting. I'll also include things like paying bills and making appointments such as pest control.

kodi- a tab that will have lists of goals for myself, and even schedules for things like Bible study etc. I also plan to give myself "assignments" for each day, such as, read 1 chapter in a book for fun, watch 1 episode of a TV show or movie. I think this will help keep me accountable for spending my time wisely.

goals & rewards- I also need to focus on some short-term and long-term goals for our family. Paying off debt is a really big focus for us right now, so I want to keep a record of our accomplishments in these areas for the month, and reward myself (and Nathan) for good behavior as well as punish bad behavior. Some other goals are going to be getting out of bed at a certain time, being in bed by a certain time, and only having x amount of "screen time" (TV/internet)

AND the two most important tabs:

manning- I have been really failing manning as a SAHM. Since Nathan has been gone, I've let him watch too much TV, not read enough books and I haven't enforced independent play, which I believe is important. In addition, I'm going to do some planning on things I'd like to work with him on daily, such as counting, colors, letters etc.

deacon- while his needs aren't as broad as Manning's, I still need to make a point to get on the floor and play with him, read him books, sing him songs etc. Because D is such an easy-going baby, it's often easy for me to plop him in his exersaucer or jumperoo and let him play alone for awhile. This is important, but I know all too well how fast these baby years are going by, and I need to soak up every minute.

So, thank you Erin for holding me accountable.

Mommys- any ideas on how I can improve our day-to-day structure? Any advice on any of the tabs I mentioned as struggles- namely housework? How do you do it all?


  1. Hi Kodi! I have in the past done a daily household "chore" list and it worked wonderful. I made the chores simple and ones that needed to be done. Such as garbage and recyclables out, pay bills, vacuum, laundry (by category - mine were separated by kids, towels, adults), and the like. It really helped with the chores and keeping the house in better order. I hope this helps!!

  2. Kodi, I know you were looking for a bible study to do, and I just finished a study called "called to be a keeper". I'll be blogging about it in more detail in the next couple of days, but she really talks about how as a woman how we are ordained to run our homes in an organized manner. Obviously this will look different for everyone, but it really made me step back and be accountable for every minute of every day and really look at where my priorities are. I would highly recommend breaking your days down by hour to see what you normally do... it will really show you if you are out of balance in one area or another.

  3. I have one of these notebooks/binders. I plan out meals, to-do tasks, need/want lists, debt charts, bills due, coupons, grocery lists, calendars, etc. I love being organized like that, so I always jump right into my binder and see what's up. I think that what helps me is doing things by specific days. I always do Syd's laundry before swim class (Tuesdays), so her laundry is done on Sundays or Mondays. Liam's laundry generally follows, and then so on. Play time is based on naps. We always play together after naps. Usually he plays more independently when he first wakes up in the morning. That way I know that I've spent time interacting with him, because with Sydni being home right now, time flies by fast and I'm not sure which direction I'm going. I vacuum pretty much everyday after Liam's first nap because I know he'll be on the floor the rest of the day. I clean my kitchen floors at least once a week for the same reason. I don't know if any of this will even help at all, but the binder keeping all of my information together helps me.

  4. If you haven't checked out Flylady you need to do so! Her site offers some GREAT advice on home planners and creating a system that works for you. I don't do it all, I can't possibly but with the Flylady system I'm taking babysteps to accomplish things that I wasn't able to before. Look it up and see what ya think!

  5. Oh! I love this idea! I have been wanting to have a notebook to carry around to jot down ideas, but I was worried because I thought it would all be just random. Never thought about organizing one.

    I think you are doing a great job with your 2 little ones having a husband who is gone. I know first hand how demanding having 2 babies so close in age can be. Housework, unfortunately takes a back seat. As much picking up I do, the house is still a mess! All the things you have recognized have been heavily on my mind with mine. Not reading like I used to, not interacting as much now that they like tv shows. And, I have ZERO structure! I desperately want some structure too!

    Your post has been inspiring/motivating for me to start organizing our lives. And what better way than a notebook. I have barely zero to little memory these days. lol. I have to have things written down!

    Good luck with your plan!

  6. I feel the same way you do Kodi! I am inspired by Erin, and all of the other mom's who have blogged about their planners. It seemed so overwhelming to me at first, but that's when I realized that it's because I am starting from SCRATCH with the daily routine! I got so caught up in my baby's routine, that I forgot about one for me, and our household. Thanks for this post!

  7. I am so inspired as well. I just sat down this morning to put ours all together with the worksheets in them. I'm hoping it helps me be a happier person. I too spend days working on getting things under control after I've left them for so long! It's hard to prioritize when I feel like my to-do list is a mile long. I need motivation, so hopefully this is it! Otherwise, I'll need a housekeeping buddy as much as I need a workout buddy, ha! Good luck :)

    If you get any toddler activity/schedule suggestions for M, would you mind sharing them in the future? Thanks!

  8. It's hard to have a system in place when you're so busy that you didn't even realize you needed a system. Before forcing myself to get organized, I felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants every day and I just ended up wasting time. I feel so much more productive now when the boys nap and I feel like I can give them more when they're awake. I'm sure that over time we'll all find ways to get more organized and change our routine up to keep it interesting. I am looking forward to Hudson going back to school in the mornings so he can be back in a routine away from his brother. :)

  9. FLYLADY!!! For real. Changed my life. She's a bit cheesy, but it works if you stick to it and do BABY STEPS like she says. Also -- GET DRESSED every day! I'm still a work in progress, just like you, but I feel like I at least have my nose pointed in the right direction. :D Good luck!

  10. i started off with setting a time to get J out of bed--8am.. so that gives me time to get up, shower, dress, do dishes (i do them in the morning so I can spend my time with hubs and J at night) and get a load of laundry in should that be needed.

    I sweep and mop the floor now either when it's nap time or while J is eating... this is pretty much daily so the ants stay away (live in florida near a canal!)

    I pick up the house usually right before hubs comes home... J can't help with that just yet.. but he's getting there!

    good luck.. it will all work out! breathe!

  11. I want to make one too, I think it would help me feel less overwhelmed every day.

  12. I'm super late in catching up on posts. Forgive me.

    I printed out printables to do this...even bought a binder...and thought, "This is silly!" but I'm with you...and I want to at least try it. I don't manage my time well many days, and if nothing else, this has to be good for that! I'd love to see yours when it's done!


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