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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone!

I've long-read through the posts on this forum, but this is my first time posting here. I'm hoping that someone can help me!

I need advice on how to cure my SAHM laziness. I've been staying at home for about 6.5 years. We have three kids, two of which I homeschool (third child is only 2). I can't seem to get motivated to do more than the bare minimum of work that needs to be done around here (laundry, homeschooling, meals). I'd much rather be on the computer or crocheting!

I KNOW that I need to do more, but how do I get myself to get up and actually do it? This isn't fair to my husband who goes off and works hard for our family everyday, and it isn't fair to our kids who have to live in a disorganized house (and I'm potentially setting them up for failure as adults by teaching them laziness).

Help! Any thoughts or ideas? Anyone been here and got out of the laziness slump?

Thanks!
 

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Well, first, possibly expect a lot of "that's OK to be lazy" encouragement. I don't agree with that, however. Being home is not an excuse to be lazy (and it fills that horrible stereotype of SAHM) and I think it's wonderful you want more!

With that said, there are times when being behind happens...birth, newborns, illness, etc. We need to be realistic in those times, and easy on ourselves in that season. There are also times we can get into a rut that can take over and end up the new normal.

I find it helpful to remind myself if my job was for pay, I would do it to the best of my ability. What better reward than being home to cultivate little souls into adulthood?! Start small! Write or computer organize a daily cleaning/organization chart. Then a week, then a month. Then you can plan bigger projects, as well as daily laundry, kitchen, meal stuff, etc.

Many moms I know love the book Large Family Logistics, (it has ideas for all family sizes that work) though I'm organized and haven't read it. Plan on tackling one room, or one wall if really behind, at a time..that's it. Don't move on until everything in that section is 100% clean/organized. The sense of accomplishment is greater.

Assign chores. No family exists singularly. Toddlers, when taught to contribute, learn life skills early, and don't bristle at doing daily chores as they age. They need to help. Simple things such as gathering toys, or picking up crayons, putting shirts in a drawer, etc. A reward/privilege system works for us to ensure there isn't friction.

The key is wanting it more than you want to be lazy. It is a myth that you can't both 24/7 mamas AND have a peaceful, clean and organized home...I want my home to be where my husband craves to be, and my children are nourished-body and spirit!

I have lots of children, and although it isn't perfect all the time, most people don't understand how our home is clean and calm. People comment they love being in our home because it is peaceful and welcoming. It isn't without effort, but it is completely rewarding.

I have more practical tips if you want to PM me.

Blessings!
 

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If you feel that you can and you want to do more, just go for it. You like crocheting, very well, turn it into a small business and try selling your items on etsy or somewhere. Work doesn't need to be a burden and I'm not a fan of staying at home, cleaning and cooking all day long. Take a class or an online course, personal improvement is work too.
 

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She was asking about her home, though. Of course classes are great, but was asking about how to get her home in order.

This section is about SAH parents. I like to encourage mamas, not tell them how staying home isn't fulfilling. If you don't like staying at home, that's awesome for you, but many parents are staying home, and either find it absolutely fulfilling or need a bit of encouragement and a reminder about what a wonderful job they are doing as well, as it is largely thankless.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, MyFillingQuiver. I think all the time about what is different now than when I worked out of home. I'm very motivated and organized when I work a job, but I just don't have the same style at home. I can't really figure out the difference: payment, recognition, etc?

I will try the one room/one wall idea - I've been mulling over something similar for a while now. I just often find myself quitting something because another area "needs more attention" or because I just feel like I'm making no progress at all. Sort of a why bother attitude.

I agree whole-heartedly with your statement, "I want my home to be where my husband craves to be, and my children are nourished-body and spirit!". Now to just put the wheels in motion!
 

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@BombleMomble,

Yeah, don't beat yourself up about it! It's so easy to get in a rut..then something can pile up and seem too big to conquer, particularly when mothering little ones and day-to-day tasks take up most of the day!

I limit my computer time to only when i sit to nurse, and not every session, to ensure I'm actually paying attention to the babies, or reading to the little ones.

For us what works is doing all the daily/regular chores first thing in the morning right after breakfast. We are finished and ready to go for the day, and the house is presentable, puts us all in a nice mood, accomplished, etc. We then do our schooling if it's a school day. Then, after lunch, I rest or read or computer or make phone calls or sew, while the little ones nap and older ones have an hour of quiet/outside/free time. Then I have time for a bigger cleaning project and then some fun time with the kids before starting or finishing making dinner. After dinner I always clean the kitchen fully because I despise waking up to mess and dishes.

Anyway, what works for you may be different, but for us, it helps to have a regular structure and flow.

You can do it!
 

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Hi, everyone!

I've long-read through the posts on this forum, but this is my first time posting here. I'm hoping that someone can help me!

I need advice on how to cure my SAHM laziness. I've been staying at home for about 6.5 years. We have three kids, two of which I homeschool (third child is only 2). I can't seem to get motivated to do more than the bare minimum of work that needs to be done around here (laundry, homeschooling, meals). I'd much rather be on the computer or crocheting!

I KNOW that I need to do more, but how do I get myself to get up and actually do it? This isn't fair to my husband who goes off and works hard for our family everyday, and it isn't fair to our kids who have to live in a disorganized house (and I'm potentially setting them up for failure as adults by teaching them laziness).

Help! Any thoughts or ideas? Anyone been here and got out of the laziness slump?

Thanks!
I am following this thread because I need the same kind of motivation. :) Frequently. @MyFillingQuiver - that's such a nice way of putting it ("I want my home to be...") Pretty much my aspirations as well...it's just like you said though - you have to want it more than you want to be lazy. Which for me is at least half the battle. ;-)

I will tell you that at times, I have benefited a lot from FlyLady. Somehow just jumping in on whatever day her routine is on and doing as much as I can helps me feel like I am doing more every day to make my house more peaceful, productive and pleasant for everyone who lives and works here. I am the type to be VERY easily discouraged, and her emails are always quite positive.
I definitely recommend signing up for the "lite" version though, otherwise it's a LOT of email. Or just go to the website (flylady.net) and look at the daily flight plan and do what's relevant for you.

I personally hate books on family/household organization unless they're more reference books (like "Home Comforts" which has things like how to clean x stain out of x fabric). Someone gave me Large Family Logistics a few years ago and I found it unhelpful and was honestly a little bit outraged that someone had spent money to buy it for me...it seems like a massive waste of paper. But that's just my opinion. ;-) The small amount of useful information contained in the book can easily be found online. Don't waste your money.

Best of luck with your attempts to improve your surroundings. :) Keep your goals small and manageable and dwell on your successes at achieving those goals. My MIL always likes to say - see the donut, not the hole. ;-)
 

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I definitely think that programming tasks into your day is a good way to go about it. I also find that having a reasonable definition of what is "enough" really helps. For example, I tend to do chores by time rather than by completion because I am too much of a perfectionist. I was spending so much time in each task that other very important things were getting ignored. I decided on an amount of time each day that I'm allowed to spend on certain tasks, and that has to be enough. I definitely triage within those time constraints so that I get the most reward out of my work.

On a daily basis I try to think of my home in a "dress for the body you have now" kind of way, making it as good as possible without making major changes. On a broader scale, I'm also working on a total home reorganization project, but that generally happens in chunks here and there and doesn't factor into the daily plan.

I had to organize stuff like this in my head because I was suffering from MAJOR perfectionism paralysis. I knew I couldn't fix everything, so I just stared at it all in hopelessness and gave up. Nowadays I feel like I have a better balance and my house looks pretty good.
 

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I definitely think that programming tasks into your day is a good way to go about it. I also find that having a reasonable definition of what is "enough" really helps. For example, I tend to do chores by time rather than by completion because I am too much of a perfectionist. I was spending so much time in each task that other very important things were getting ignored. I decided on an amount of time each day that I'm allowed to spend on certain tasks, and that has to be enough. I definitely triage within those time constraints so that I get the most reward out of my work.

On a daily basis I try to think of my home in a "dress for the body you have now" kind of way, making it as good as possible without making major changes. On a broader scale, I'm also working on a total home reorganization project, but that generally happens in chunks here and there and doesn't factor into the daily plan.

I had to organize stuff like this in my head because I was suffering from MAJOR perfectionism paralysis. I knew I couldn't fix everything, so I just stared at it all in hopelessness and gave up. Nowadays I feel like I have a better balance and my house looks pretty good.
I can sure relate to this :)

Some folks I know call me Martha Stewart, sort of as a compliment, and sort of a ridicule...to diminish what I strive for. If folks don't find value in it (and many couldn't care less about a peaceful, clean home) However, it's my job and my calling! I take pride in it!

I did have to back off a bit w/my perfectionism..I was going to spend too much time and sacrifice my daily experiences with my children to always have absolute perfection..and I don't want that to be my legacy. However, it really doesn't take that much time an effort to stay on top of a home that is already clean, organized and decluttered, and it doesn't have to sacrifice relationships to do so.
 

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You have three kids and you homeschool. That is a lot of work already! You only have so much energy. Perhaps it is okay to be lazy- to just relax when you can?


I am a lazy person, but I don't mind that about myself. I like to not be busy as much as possible! I have one child. And when I have free time I do a lot of relaxing. I just like it that way.
Maybe reconfigure your expectations of yourself and allow yourself to enjoy your downtime. Crafting and being on the internet is a fine use of time in my opinion!
 

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I am not lazy per say. I just do the job of two people and sometimes get overwhelmed...or just slowed down by the mundane. And yes, I struggle with sloth. I also struggle with 'why put it in the drawer if I'll just have to put it back in another couple of days'
Do you have a seven year itch?

Anywho...my blanket suggestions:
-diet.
Is there a particular time of day where you just can't get through as gracefully?
For me it was the afternoons. I added a very simple smoothie of oj, banana, protein powder, and yogurt when I was pregnant with my second and found it helps. Gillian Mckeith has great books for this. (Right now it's mid morning...looking at changing my breakfast options to provide more protien)
You may lacking vitamin d or something...maybe just look for a minute...when in doubt eat kale.

-move some furniture
With spring in full swing, I like to throw open some windows and rearrange the living room. It forces you to clean those secret places and makes one feel more energized (and if your lucky, you'll get so lazy you'll purge instead of moving it). I also switch the side of the bed I sleep on which annoys my husband but I find it helps me rethink my rut.

-appeal to your inner child
Just recently I had to do some purging that I wasn't looking forward to and, honest to pete, I put money in jar. When I was done I bought, wait for it, specialty candy like candy Legos, King Arthur flour chocolates (stupid Wilheim with his super yummy chocolates...^_^) , some of those nail polish sticker things, and some magazines I don't normally buy...you know, things not in the budget. But you could buy big girl things ^_^

-take a step back
So...this winter I took the kids to nyc on a field trip, yea! When I got home I was so embarrassed with myself. I hadn't realized how complaisant I had become. It gave me a new perspective on my house and made me work a little harder.

-are you being professional?
Last year I tried being "more professional in my workplace". I started dressing for success. (No more pjs at 10am ~.~) I think every February, it's just so gray...why get dressed. I also started keeping a log of what I did with my time.

-flylady
I'm still not sure how I feel about her...but the parts I like: keep the kitchen sink clean and (modified) when you just can't get the job done set a timer for 15 minutes everyday until it is done. For those 15 minutes feel the burn as you match socks and line up creases on slacks before hanging up. When the timer goes off just stop and walk away. (And yes, I have days with a checklist and a timer...15 minutes all the way down) its my fake it til you make it technique.

-exercise
Ugh...can't believe that came out of my mouth...best to stay on track: yoga

-fresh cut flowers...but nice ones...bird of paradise with something green that lets the eye move.
I dunno why but fresh cut flowers brighten everything.

-secret mommy night out
I have a friend. We aren't best friends, our kids are opposing ages, we don't hang out in the same social circles, we don't talk often, we don't know each other well enough to discuss our personal drama, and we don't confide in each other for anything...but every couple of months we set a date, go to a movie and then dinner where we talk about...not our lives. It's great! I keep it under my hat as my secret escape.

If this wasn't what you were looking for so sorry...but hope it helps.

And...I don't know about its okay to be lazy (it is but not always) but it is important to look within and take the time to ask tough questions...who am I? Is this the woman/role model/mother/wife/educator I want/should to be? If Hans shot first does that make him an excellent marksman or a scoundrel? Is it possible I need to renegotiate a compromise that isn't working for me? (either homeschool or marriage or parent trap)

Lazy is sometimes conserving energy in an emergency situation or rethinking or (taking time to avoid) burnout or putting myself first for a minute or subconscious communication with myself that needs to be addressed or just regression where your being a baby (hate this one...but a good whine or cry helps)...

Peace love and tofu
M
 

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I'm sorry it's so long...it's chronic
 

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Wow our families are almost identical. I've got a homeschooling 9 and 5 year old and a 2 year old. Mine are all boys. Some days the 9 year old takes all day long to get through schoolwork, leaving me worn out with little time and energy to do more work after that. I cook the meals and clean up after, and try to get the laundry cycled through. I vacuum and sweep pretty often, and wipe counters as I notice they are messy when I'm using that room anyway. I make sure the kids do their chores, especially animal care, daily. The kids drag too many toys and blankets and couch cushions out to play making huge messes, between cleaning them or nagging the kids to clean them up, walking them through schoolwork, and all the minimum household stuff, my day is full enough. I also make sure we get outside every day that the weather is tolerable, important for everyone's physical and mental health. I work on the yard or the garden while they play out there, and stop to play with them some.

When I find my energy levels flatline in the afternoon I try to eat less carbs and more protein and healthy fats, especially an egg breakfast, it keeps the energy up and headaches away. I sit down to knit or surf the web as a reason to sit still for a few minutes between jobs which I really need. Crafting seems like a rather productive break time activity I wouldn't try to quit that. And computer is good for learning what's going on out there or learning about things and it's quick and easy socializing. But decide your minimum around the house is going to be a little more and work on that, keep the breaks a little shorter or less frequent. When you say I'll do it when I finish this row/round, mean it. Wake up with one main project in mind for the day in addition to the basics, too.

It does help me to have people over now and then so I have a reason to clean up, no it won't stay that way but at least it'll be pretty clean at that moment in time, you know? Invite someone over for dinner or a playdate or a small party, or let somebody do one of those Pampered Chef things or something at your place. Take note of that date and work toward having things reasonably clean and organized then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you, thank you, thank you! You ladies are all so amazing! So many good things to think about and implement.

Today I took MyFillingQuiver's suggestion and picked one room and worked on that (in addition to daily things - laundry, dishwasher, etc). I had been avoiding it (the dining room) because I thought that it would be too daunting, but it was nowhere near as hard as I thought!

Mamaprovides - so many lightbulbs with your post! My diet and exercise are atrocious! Fortunately, I was blessed with a pretty good metabolism and am somewhat athletically inclined, so I find myself often thinking "oh, I'll start exercising in the future - when I need to." What a plan...

I like your idea of rearranging furniture - it's something that I like to do, and have done it often in the past. It does make things seem fresh and new. I didn't move any furniture today, but in just the work I did in the dining room made it seem different somehow.

I do need to work on the professional part. I'm often in pajamas or shlumpy clothes throughout the day. Even sometimes when my husband comes home from work. Then I'm embarrassed. I appreciate it when he looks nice for me - I'm sure he would like it if I put some effort in for him!

JamieCatheryn - I really do struggle with telling myself I'll get back up after this row/round and actually getting back to work! It's so easy to say just one more row.

Thanks again, all you ladies, for your thoughts and suggestions! Hopefully I can really make some good strides and form better habits!

I will say this - I was once watching a video about an organizational expert who was doing a Q&A session. One man asked something along the lines of, "Well, what do you do with your time once your home is organized?". I was simultaneously embarrassed for that man and for myself, because I had once thought that same thing. Some of us learn more slowly than others... :blush
 

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I give up...
What Do you do with your time when you are done organizing?
Is it cookies?
^_^

I'm glad it helped.
The only thing I forgot to say is sleep...
 

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I am more productive in the morning so I do the bulk of my work then.

When I'm having trouble motivating myself to do a specific job, I ask myself if there's going to be a more convenient time or if I'm going to feel more like doing the job later. Usually the answer is "no", so I just get it done. If there's an actual, legitimate, more logical time to do a job only then can I delay the work.

I have a lot of reminders set into my phone, for things like wiping out the fridge shelves and microwave, cleaning the coffee maker, oven, etc.

I use UnF*ckYourHabitat for inspiration and ideas. Flylady is a little too advanced for me, ha ha! One suggestion they have is to take a before and after picture for yourself, so you can see the results of your work.

I try to take time to reflect on how good it feels to have a job done and rate whether it felt like more or less work than I anticipated. My aversion to certain jobs has lessened because they are a lot easier than I used to think they were.
 

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I needed to read all of this! Very helpful! Thank you ladies. I wanted to add that there is a difference between leisure and laziness. We as human beings *need* leisure and times of rest which help to calm us and energize us, rejuvenate and refresh us. (Think: reading a book in a hammock, going for a walk, taking a bath, sitting in silence, praying, ect). That is not laziness at all! It's feeding your soul! And i personally think that it's a tragedy that it is so lost in our culture. I have lived in cultures with the "siesta" where all businesses shut down from 12-2:00pm everyday! So people go home and rest with their families. It's beautiful! But I digress. Anyway, I'm not speaking directly/only to the o.p here, I'm just making an observation and adding my two cents to the conversation. ;) So I leisure is good and important and we shouldn't be an over-worked stressed-out burnt-out crazy woman who has no time to breathe or sit still (and people can see that) but more importantly, our kids can feel that. Whereas, I think it comes to a balance of having priorities (kitchen clean for 30 mins then knit) and being disciplined (meaning forcing yourself to do the things that you need to do, even if you don't want to). TO take a well-deserved break after a long session of work is just as necessary as the work that was done. IMO.

But I do find myself having that paralyzed perfectionist flaw as a pp mentioned. I get so overwhelmed that I can't get the job finished perfectly, that I find it useless to even start. Or if I work on it, I am so disappointed that it's not "perfect" still that the energy it takes out of me being so disappointed really sets me back in my work. I haven't heard of this fly lady so I am going to look into that.

I'm curious to hear from moms of just littles out there. I'll listen to anyone's advice but I know that older kids playing with smaller kids can be helpful for mom to get things done! And I don't have that yet! ;) I have a 12 month old and a just turned 3 year old. They are both high needs and the 1 year old goes ballistic if I'm not holding him while I clean up or do the dishes. But he is a big boy and my back hurts too much if I do it for too long. Sadly He does not like to be a carrier either! Hasn't liked it for months. We cook everything from scratch and don't use a microwave so we have a ton of dishes and i can just not get on top of it!! :( I'm so sick of it! If the dishwasher is open when he is awake he comes running and tries to climb on top of it (which he is capable of) incessantly, but he's going to break the door and it's not safe. He screams and screams and it is just so stressful to me and even if I'm talking to him calmly or give him little plastic dishes to play with, he just fights with all his might. It's like he's jealius of the dishwasher because that is the one time that I won't immediately pick him up. (Usually have to put stuff down, close the dishwasher, wash my hands and dry them, then pick up. Ya know, all that time!;) Anyway, I get done what I can when he is napping but it's not working. I hate that the food dries on by that point and that the amount of dishes is so large by then, I just get discouraged. Any tips would be appreciated.
 

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Hey, that sounds familiar! My DD1 also hated carriers but always wanted to be held. Not easy to get stuff done that way. Is he receptive to sitting in a high chair with some fun kitchen gadgets for a little while? My DD liked sitting in the high chair because it brought her closer to my level while I did dishes and whatnot. By 18 months she was helping me unload the dishwasher, though. It was a big nerve wracking.

On the dishes issue, I totally get the cooking/dishes problem. I do a lot of that, too. Is it possible to reduce your dish load, just for a few months? You could adjust your meal plan specifically for this - larger batch cooking, more no-cook meals like sandwiches or salads, one pot meals like stews and soups, grilling or foil/parchment pouch cooking. Also serving some foods on wax paper instead of plates, or in little paper muffin cups. Sometimes reducing the problem is a lot easier than solving it, but it may require a short term compromise on your ideals.
 

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Yes those are all great ideas! Thank you! I think simplifying our meals and aiming for one-dish wonders will help a lot. My dh is a holistic health coach and integrative nutritionist so our meal plans are pretty involved. We use pots and pans for breakfast lunch and dinner and a lot of snacks too. And even when I make large batches so that we just have leftovers or have to pull something out of the freezer, like I said, no micro-waving means using lots and pans again. Ugh. I love the way that we eat and it has changed my life but I grew up with my mom mking LOTS of processed convenience foods in the microwave so clean up was very small. My husband works a lot and is not a good cleaner. I mean, honestly, he's a slob. Well just has bad habits. Drops everything right on the floor. Will leave spills and messes all over the sink. Leaves his dirty dish right where he sat and leaves all the food out ect. So cleaning up after him and the kids all day just wears on me. (We've already had many talks on changing his habits but I've had to accept that I cannot change him. He has to do it himself). Anyway, I think I will work on getting all the nutrients and vegetables into one-pot meals and supplying our meals. That would at least be a great start! Thank you!
 

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Goal Setting & To- Do's

Hi!
I know this post goes back a few months but I am curious, did any of the tips and tricks you have tried implementing work?

I know for us, (family of 6) summer was "lazy" for us. I use the term lightly because as moms I know we are anything but. Laundry piled high and meals were less healthy than I had hoped.

Sometimes, what works for me is to-do lists and goal setting.


To stay on top of everything other than the minimums, I write a list and prioritize that list sometimes by times/deadlines.

For example: bills have to be done by this day, or coat closet should be done by back to school time.
If something is bigger like organize all the bedrooms I them make goals that are more long term 15,30,60 day goals.

At times I get carried away and set unrealistic goals but getting it on paper and visualizing the week and month really helps gauge where I am at and where I could use improvement.

Also even schedule in sometime for computer and crocheting, this way you are less inclined to do this when you have a "deadline" to meet.


Hope this helps and curious to see what has worked for you in the past.


I have a little print out chart on my website that you can print and put on your fridge or keep in your notebook. It's on how to set goals and crush them! I'll post the link( or try to ) for whoever is interested, scroll down and click on goal setting chart :)

Jamie
http://www.jamiecapone.com/family
 
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