Organization isn’t something I grew up with, it’s something I learned. I actually grew up in a lot of clutter. Very little was thrown away…you might need it someday. It was when we had company coming that it became crazy deep cleaning madness. So much stress.
I really wasn’t held to getting chores done on time or at all, but even as a child I liked being organized, when it mattered to me. I would pack for vacation and sit in the car waiting for the rest of the family, frustrated that we never left at the time set. I planned my birthday parties months in advance. Christmas gifts were wrapped and ready to go before the tree was even up.
My room was usually messy but I loved how it felt when I put it in order. Order has always created a sense of peace for me. I always knew God had gifted me with administration since I was eleven, but I told him it sounded really boring. I didn’t want to be a secretary (since this was the first thing that came to mind). I demanded that he give me something creative to do. I’m sure God laughed about that.
After having Annie, I was still pretty clueless about how to run a home. I remember a girlfriend asking me how often I wiped out my oven? I didn’t want to tell her I’d never wiped out my oven, never even thought of wiping it out. So, I ask her, “How often do you wipe out your oven?” She told me and a light went off in my head. I could actually schedule when I did chores, rather than waiting until I had a mountain of things to dig my way out of.
That was a life changer for me. I set days for vacuuming, laundry, cleaning the bathrooms and anything else that needed to be done on a regular basis. Wiping out the oven was on an as needed basis only. I adjusted with each child but having a schedule allowed me to plan a day off each week, well as much as you can as a mom. It was a no-make-the bed day, no-dishes, wash, or vacuuming day. This also allowed me to be done with chores by the time the kids went to bed so I could have a little down time too. Who doesn’t need that?
For you mom’s working away from home, I get this might feel impossible. You can still set schedules, just remember to give yourself some grace. Your time with your kids is way more important than how clean your house is. The work will always be waiting for you. I still encourage you to plan a day just to enjoy your family. Believe me, what feels like a never-ending story of babies, diapers, kids sports events and parental responsibilities, is really a blip in the scope of your whole life.