When I was about Emma's age, my favorite chore around the house was cleaning the bathroom. I remember gleefully scrubbing the tub with cleanser and swishing water around in the toilet as I cleaned all its porcelain surfaces. My mom did part time work as a custodian when I was a teenager and my very first paid job was cleaning our church. I wasn't as gleeful about it then (sorry mom). Needless to say, I know how to clean.
But nothing prepared me for keeping my house clean while mothering small children. Keeping a house is easy, right? Emma was a mess maker and by her second birthday I was beginning to realize this job might be harder than it looked. I would turn my back for 2.3 seconds and Emma could have the entire flour canister emptied into a sink full of water. Having baby #2 who is now in the mess making stage doesn't help me keep house better. The other day I thought the girls were playing nicely upstairs, but soon discovered Mandy had emptied a tube of toothpaste around the bathroom, then tried to clean it up with toilet paper that she dipped in the toilet. Yum. Let me take care of that mess right after I finish dinner while nursing baby #3.
As a stay at home mom, no matter how much I accomplish in one day, there is still more to do and more that will be "un-done" by little children in the matter of minutes. The kid-stuff messes combined with normal wear and dirtiness in the house is discouraging... um, disgusting.... and just plain nasty. I've tried all sorts of things to keep order and cleanliness in my house. While some things are great ideas like the House That Cleans Itself, the Fly Lady, or even MOTH, I had not found anything that helped me with the day to day as well as all those bigger project that there is never any time for. Reading a book is great, but I needed something now, yesterday, and tomorrow.
Enter: Motivated Moms Planner
I know a couple of moms who follow this checklist and they love it. Ya, ya. A checklist. I can make my own "to-do" list, thank you. I wasn't interested. Then my sister started doing it too. I was at her house and saw her well organized daily list. I saw her sense of accomplishment as she was able to get things done even with me over to her house and my 3 extra children under foot. I think it has been about 5 years and 3 children ago that I felt any sense of accomplishment while keeping my home. I went home and bought the Motivated Moms Planner for $8. It is a one time fee and what I get is 365 pages of lists that I print myself. Some brilliant person already went to the work to write out everyday chores and rotating tasks that need to be done.
I've been doing this for about a week and a half. Honestly, I love the concept and it is really working for me and mine. My house is cleaner. Another benefit is that my husband is able to easily read my list and see what my day looked like without looking around at Chernobyl, I mean the house, and asking, "What did you do today?" It's not all roses. It is a heck of a lot of work to get the entire list done every day. I've only done EVERYTHING once. This housekeeping job is hard work. Check it out the Motivated Moms Planner if you are feeling stuck. Let me know how you keep the sanity in your house...