Monday, February 3, 2014

The Stressed Out Mom Syndrome

Crazy mom pic

This is funny, and definitely has a bit of truth to it.

I woke up feeling really tired this morning and overwhelmed. How is it, that the house goes from organized and sparkling clean to a disaster zone so fast?  Why is it, that I am the only one with special super powers that enable me to see the peanut butter and honey stuck to the cupboards, and the berries from Saturday morning's breakfast smeared on the floor where they rolled off a plate and were stepped on? Why is it that the various clutter piles practically reach out and punch me in the face when I walk by, and the four hundred drinking glasses on the counter are invisible to everyone else? How does the mountain of laundry grow so fast.....and doesn't reach out and grab the attention of anyone other than me?

There are days, like today, I literally feel like this:


Can anyone else relate to this? I clean out cupboards, reorganize them and within seconds they are unorganized.....right under my nose. I organize all the home school materials and they pick themselves up and fling themselves on the various rooms....all over the house.  I mop the floor and a half hour later I slip on something slick that has dumped itself on my dry (formerly clean) floor or my sock sticks to a small pile of honey.

Ironically, my daughter called me this morning....and it turns out we were simultaneously up to our necks in the stressed out mommy syndrome. We are wired similarly when it comes to the way we run our homes. We both function best in a clean, clutter free environment. If everything is cleaned up and organized, we feel freedom to focus on teaching the kids and enjoying them. Unfortunately our kids aren't necessarily on board with us, all the time, especially the younger ones. She has really little kids and she is at a place in her life that requires a delicate, and stressful balancing act. She has three that need her focused attention during the school hours and two babies that are convinced she should be at their beck and call 24/7......and then there is the constant laundry and house work, meal planning, grocery shopping etc.  We came to the conclusion that we both need to do something different because what we are currently doing is no longer effective. After chatting, and trouble shooting for a while, we each let the kids take the day off from school today and focused on getting our houses back in order so we can function better. I decided that it is time for the boys to learn how to run the washer and dryer, so I spent a little time coaching them and giving them a laundry room pep talk. After that I made a laundry schedule. I will do the towels, and the laundry that their Dad and I generate two days a week. The boys will do their own laundry two days a week and the girls will take care of theirs on the other two days per week.  I have found that keeping up with the laundry that seven people generate is a full time job for one person, and I am hoping to do my laundry job part time from here on out.

Brandi and I decided that we are going to try getting together two days a week for school. The kids are really motivated on the days we do this and they enjoy their school work even more when they do it with their nephews and nieces and have some play time to look forward to when they finish. Brandi and I enjoy it too. I can free her up by taking care of her little ones while she focuses on teaching her school age kids since my kids are pretty independent and we usually enjoy some sort of project and/or some tea and a good chat on those days. We plan to meet at her house one day a week and mine the other.

I think this just might work....for a while anyway.


Over the past twenty-four years since I started home schooling, I have learned that flexibility is key.  If it's all too overwhelming, we put the books away and get our home back in order, re-group, pray and come up with a plan. Usually new plans work really well for a while and then we need to re-group again and that's okay!

I'm excited to spend the time with my daughter and grandkiddos and our kids are too. The boys are feeling pretty confident that they will do a great job taking charge of their own laundry and I believe they will. Hopefully their future wives will appreciate having men who can wash, dry, fold and put away laundry . I know this mom will certainly appreciate it.

So....if you are a mom who is struggling to keep up with it all, I want to encourage you to take a deep breath, give yourself permission to take a day off and re-group and try something new! Switching things up can provide just that sparkle of a new beginning that is needed to keep on keeping on.

Relax....really, every day it's important to take some time to relax.....and refuel, regularly. It really does help. Even if it's just a few minutes at a time, spread throughout the day. The time I can spend reading a little scripture and taking time to place all of my concerns and worries at the foot of the cross, really help. Also, asking God to order my day and give me wisdom and a plan,  brings peace and He has been faithful to do just that, time and time again over the years.

On that's tea time!


  1. You and I seem to be thinking along the same lines. I have declared 1/2 day on Friday as deep cleaning day with the kids help. We did it last Friday for the first time. After we finished, I had them walk with me from room to room and admire each room. We also went out and then walked back into our house to see what a guest would notice upon arrival. After their hard work, I ask them to help me keep it this way, so that our Friday cleaning day would go much faster. So far, they are working together. My 6 year old even gave me a reminder to put away my Bible and cold, cup of coffee that I left on the dining room table Sunday afternoon.

    My biggest problem if consistently following through with the plans I sit down and write out. I am a great planner and list maker.........not so great at sticking to it. My kids are used to it and just roll with mommy's latest and greatest "plan".! This one though, seems doable since it is just one day week. :)

  2. Lol, Jodi....I love that last line "My kids are used to it and just roll with Mommy's latest and greatest plan." I can totally relate to that. I have come up with new plans so many times over the years and then abandoned them a short time later. Ironically, they still actually get excited when I come up with a new one and abandon an old one. I think the change helps them stay motivated I guess it's good since it works for everyone. I love your half day on Friday plan. That would work well for us too. We implemented a thirty minute house cleaning focus each day after school before free time at the beginning of this year and it still works pretty well, but the laundry has been a MONSTER....that I haven't been able to pin down. I think this new plan might just work! We'll see. :) Anyway....I'm so enjoying your blog and hearing from you on mine again. What a blessing to reconnect here. (((hugs)))