There is a lot of pressure on moms nowadays. We feel we are expected to feed our children only organic food, make sure they can read 3 years ahead of their grade level, and of course be sure they only watch 30 minutes of television a day. Don’t get me wrong, I buy organic (when it’s on sale) and I love reading to my kids (even if it is the same book every night). I also limit television to a few hours (unless I need to cook dinner, then it’s a Dora Marathon to the rescue).
The longer I am a mom, the more fun it is, because I realize I’m not sweating the small stuff anymore. So how did I reach this epiphany? I owe it all to Flylady. When I decided to become a stay at home mom, I figured it meant I could play with and take pictures of the baby all day long. I know I was blessed to have a baby who napped which meant I got to nap too, I mean I couldn’t vacuum and wake her up! This meant no housework would be done until the weekend which led to me resentfully cleaning for hours on end, instead of having fun with my family. Around the time my second baby came around I learned about the Flylady program. Flylady was started by a woman named Marla Cilley who came up with great ideas like “you can do anything in 5 minutes” and “progress not perfection.” She basically teaches you how to make your own routines like “shining your sink” every night, so you don’t have to wake up to a sink filled with last night’s dishes (come on we’ve all done it!) She is also big into decluttering “you can’t organize clutter” (amen, sister!)
So why Flylady? It means “finally loving yourself” which of course is nearly impossible for any new mom to do. This program helped me figure out small routines I could do daily to keep my house from looking like an episode of Hoarders. I noticed in the first 30 days, I was able to see my countertops, I could walk in my walk-in closet and of course I was greeted by my shiny sink every morning. Now did my house stay looking like a picture in Better Homes and Gardens? No way, because baby number 3 came along and world’s greatest napper (baby #1) quit napping. The great thing about Flylady is that you can always start where you are. Instead of feeling guilty for not cleaning if I decided to go on a playdate (aka drag my kids to the mall) instead, I feel that I did at least accomplish a few things that will keep my home looking half-way decent.
My daily routine is to fix beds, dress to shoes (because you would wear shoes to your full-time job wouldn’t you?), start a daily load of laundry, swish and swipe my bathroom sink and toilet, unload the dishwasher, and do a five-minute room rescue. This really only takes about 20 minutes everyday. It’s also really important for my girls to see me putting effort into making our home look nice. I think it makes them feel cared about and they like to help because “mommy doesn’t look miserable cleaning.” To really “flywash” aka brainwash myself into having a more positive attitude towards housekeeping I even purchased Marla’s book, Sink Reflections.
There are some people who are “born organized” who work full-time with kids and still have the nicest house on the block, I just happen not to be one of those ladies. In my case it takes effort and a positive attitude. I think my house looks pretty darn good and I get plenty of complements too.
Suzette is a mom to 3 young girls. Originally from Northern California, she and her husband have lived in Georgia for the past 9 years. Suzette has a master’s degree in counseling and plans to one day be a life coach. She likes cooking healthy, fitness, fashion, music and loves gritty tv and golf. She is on twitter at http://twitter.com/Misssuzq