Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Perfectionism raising its ugly head?

Or is it just self-improvement and wanting to be the best I can be?

I feel like I go back and forth with this and am never satisfied.

Don't get me wrong - I feel overall I'm a pretty good mom. Because I was an elementary teacher, I am used to dealing with lots of kids at one time, and I am pretty patient, which obviously doesn't hurt. But I also feel I could be doing so much more as a mom. There have been many afternoons where I have just let them watch tv much longer than I had planned to. I justify it to myself by saying that it's educational, and it is, but three - four hours in a row of anything is not good! I have the best of intentions, but then I get tired, or lazy, or just . . . I don't know, and it's really hard to follow through.

It's funny. I feel this way in my role as a mom, as the one in charge of the house, as the MOMS Club president, as a Hebrew school teacher - I could be doing so much more! I have fabulous ideas, but it becomes more and more difficult to follow through. I guess I just get overwhelmed by life. I have grand plans, but I try to do too much and it's all I can do to keep my head above water.

If I apply the FLYlady principles to my life, I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life would be ten times easier. So why don't I do it? That's the twenty-five million dollar question.

So here's my plan:
I am going to pick one different type of activity to do with the kids each day, even going so far as to assign each a day. Monday - playdough, Tuesday - painting, Wednesday - board games/cards, Thursday - cooking, Friday - scrapbooking (which translates to letting them use stickers, glue, and scissors, maybe leftover pictures). There we go. After "quiet time" (my attempt to get the boys to take a break while DN-A and J nap) (okay, it's also my attempt to give ME a break!), we will turn off the tv and do our activity. Maybe I'll first do a school type activity with the boys before J wakes up, like letters and numbers. Yes, that sounds doable.

As for the house, I need to stick to my routines and go to bed on time. They're definitely inter-related. If I don't go to bed on time I have a hard time coping and want to nap by 2. If I DO go to bed when I should (in bed by 9, lights out by 10 at the latest) EVERYTHING is so much easier! So here is my plan for each day:
1) Get up BEFORE the kids and shower and dress
2) Swish and swipe the bathroom
3) Get the kids dressed and straighten up their rooms BEFORE we go downstairs
4) Clean up from breakfast after we eat
5) Throw in one load of laundry

That's the morning (my AM routine). After lunch my plan is to:
1) Clean up from lunch and make lunches for tomorrow
2) Dry clothes, fold them, and put them away
3) Finish dinner if not done already

Then after dinner I will:
1) Clean up from dinner (wipe off table, chairs, counters, put all food away)
2) "Shark" (love my cordless vacuum!) the dining room and living room
3) Put all toys away
4) Prep dinner for tomorrow

Obviously I will involve the kids as much as possible in all of that, but that's my plan.

Okay, feels good writing it down. Let's see how I stick to it.


Anjali said...


You are a fantastic mother! I would never describe you as lazy! Still, I share your frustrations and struggles.

Here's are some ideas that work for us -- have the boys clean up their own toys every night before bed. Even Julia is old enough to put toys in a toy box. Play a fun song while you do it and call it the Clean Up Song. Give the boys wet paper towels to wipe up tables and floors after meals.
Also, don't forget that the boys are old enough so that they shouldn't have to be entertained either by television or by you. Make them come up with their own craft ideas and do them without your help.

You idea about having every dressed and rooms cleaned before going downstairs has always worked well for us. It saves so much time.

Best of luck!

Chaotic Mom said...

Are we great minds thinking alike? I've been thinking this exact thing and started this with the boys! I was going to blog about it this morning. :)

I have so many cool books of things to do with the kids, but I'm usually too tired to do them at the end of the day. I've gotten to the point where I am even uncomfortable around groups of kids, and I know that's not me. I'm just burned out.

So I promised myself I'd spend more time actually doing some of the cool things with the boys. Yesterday I picked out a project, a candle votive: tissue pieces glued to a cheap glass bowl ($1 store items), and we made them! The boys were so proud, and I actually had a great time. Today we're going to glue things to homemade cardboard frames.

You are a cool mom, Rachel. I agree with the Flylady thoughts. Now that I'm finally sticking to basic routines I'm finding more time and energy to spend with the boys.