Sometimes it feels like you’re only just surviving, or even going backwards. The whole house is a mess. It’s closing in on you and you don’t know how to get out of survival mode. You can’t even get one job completed because of your kids’ constant needs and everything is in the way of everything else.
Maybe you’ve been sick or your kids were sick.
Maybe you’re really tired from pregnancy or busy with a new baby.
Maybe you’ve just had a really busy week.
The most recent time things got out of control for me was when I was too sick to get out of bed. ABC kids played non-stop while my 2-year-old Lucy and I ate baked beans out of the tin. 😦
You’ve got this.
You’re a woman and can do anything. Things will be normal again soon!
The first steps out of survival mode:
Start with the 3 most important aspects of homemaking (everything else can wait):
1) clean clothes
3) clean dishes
Why that order? It’s in order of the amount of time required.
Firstly, clothing takes time to wash and dry, so you need to get the laundry done first. Not all the laundry, but enough so you’re not wearing dirty clothes around. Put on a full load of some clothes for everyone. Let the towels and sheets and any fussy clothing (unless its needed for school or work) fester in the laundry basket for a bit longer.
Secondly, meals take the next longest amount of time. When planning easy meals, try to plan for lunch and dinner to contain 2-3 vegetables and 1 serve of protein each. It doesn’t matter how it’s prepared or if it’s some weird combination, we’re just focusing on basic nourishment.
Check the fridge and freezer for leftovers. Hopefully, you will have some emergency meals frozen. If not, do you have some random things in the fridge you can throw in a pot together and warm up, or cut up and serve as a nibble plate? Salad and cold meat is good, so is something out of a tin.
Try to minimize pots and pans used if you can, to save on dishes. Better still if the meal can be eaten with hands. Serve in mugs, cake tins, ramekins or anything else in the cupboard if you’re low on clean dishes.
Breakfast can be cereal, fruit, yogurt, toast etc. Lots of easy options.
Snacks can be fruit, more leftovers, or more breakfast options.
Lastly, dishes can hand washed as needed immediately before a meal. Once you’ve got the clothes and meals sorted for the day, it’s time to get a load of dishes done. Fill the dishwasher or hand wash until the draining board is completely full if you can.
Hopefully you’ve made it to this point and you’re starting to feel a bit less stressed?
If you have the energy, one more task now that will make all the difference…
Go and find a clean plastic garden rake. Yes, a garden rake, go get it. If you don’t have one your second best choice is a wide, stiff broom.
Now, starting at the entrance of your home, begin to rake everything lying around on the floor inwards. Now rake the kitchen, dining and living areas toward the lounge room (or somewhere out-of-the-way) and make a big pile in the corner. Don’t bother with the bedrooms unless you need to rake a path to the bed.
There. The house is already looking better.
Now all you’re left with is washing faces and brushing teeth and you can collapse in bed. Don’t push yourself, you need your sleep. Tomorrow you can build on what you’ve achieved today.
You did it! Everyone is still alive. Things can only get better from here.
When do things get out of control for you? How did you get out of survival mode?