Thursday, March 7, 2013

Organized Chaos

Ever since Nathan was born I have been in a bit of a fog.  I definitely noticed this after Elliana too.  However, I still felt like I was able to hold it together, just barely.  This time, I've totally given up.  Often you can hear me saying to someone, "If I don't get back to you, please remind me.  I won't be offended.  It's just that I can only hold so much information in my brain."

Often the most pertinent information revolves around who needs to be dressed, taken to school, when the baby needs to eat, or what needs to be done with the wrestling, fighting brothers in the other room.  As an aside, I swear, the spirits of Jacob and Esau have arisen in Caleb and Joshua.  Those two fight/wrestle constantly...often Caleb is serious and intent on beating Joshua for bugging him or something like that and Joshua is laughing his head off the whole time, simply pleased his big brother is paying attention to him.  Isaac and Caleb don't do that to each other.  Caleb idolizes Isaac and Isaac sees Caleb as his equal.  Enough said.   Somebody help me, I don't know what to do with my middle boys.  Will it ever end?

Anyhow, back to my fog.  Due to my aimless lifestyle, I am really coming under the conviction that I need to be more organized.  I'm not the most organized person but I'm not totally unorganized either.  I'm kinda a weird mix.  I am a free spirit.  I like being my own boss.  For instance, I hate meal planning because I really like seeing what I feel like making that day rather than having my calendar tell me what to do.  So much of cooking for me is about being excited about what I'm doing.  How am I supposed to know what will be exciting to me in three days' time or what I'll feel inspired to create?  This is my dilemma with meal planning. You'd think nearly eight years into my job as a stay-at-home mom I'd have some of these things ironed out, but I don't.  It's hard to reconcile my personal tastes with these aspects of life.  However, I'm also pretty methodical too.  In order to move all of these little people through the day, I have to be somewhat structured.  My free spirit always runs into my logical side at some point and then straightens up.
Just one of many problem areas in my house!  
That's where the organization comes in.  I'm really realizing that if I expect to keep my head above water, I must get more organized no matter what my fighting free spirit says.  It's about survival here.  Things like laying all of the kids' clothes out the night before, having everyone get everything ready for the next morning (lunches, snacks, etc...) and assigning seats in the car, make my life so much easier.  I don't know why I fight it.  I think it's some sort of sick independence that wells up in my heart and wanting to get it together just fine at the last minute!  I blame my attitude on being American.  That individualism pervades even the deepest recesses of my heart!!  Ha!

But Nathan's addition to our family has been my tipping point in so many ways.  I can't manage well flying by the seat of my pants.  I can't do it.  The only reason I've been able to muster a semblance of organization is because I have a fairly good memory.  But, like I mentioned before, my brain is too full at this point and it cannot take much more information in.  Therefore, the crutch I used to rely so heavily on is faltering under the weight, which causes the regular trip-up.
Everything...including shoes!
I shudder to think of how many times Steve's gone to look for undershirts/undergarments in the morning and his drawer is empty.  Or how baskets of clothes can sit on the couch for the days because I simply cannot get to them.  Some things I need to let go of-like perfection.  But I also have to be more organized and much more creative.  Part of that creativity is continuing to train the kids to do more things.  They're awesome at it and feel very useful.  It builds their confidence.  The older boys are at the point now too, where their help is really helpful.  Cleaning the house once a week takes half the time now because of all they can do.  And I don't have to go fix it all now like I used to have to.  Often, their work is sufficient.  Josh and Elle need more training though and that takes time.  Time is something I lack often so I have to remind myself that it's worth it in the end.  It really is.

One of the many blessings that comes with managing a home is the ability to set the tone for yourself.  My husband trusts me completely and gives me a lot of room to make decisions, set schedules, etc...and I really flourish in this environment.  So it's a really delicate balance-I want to be who I am but I also want to do a good job.  Part of learning and stretching is knowing when you need to change and grow.  I need to achieve somewhat of an organized chaos.  Yes, that's it.  Organized chaos.

Nightly ice cream-don't judge!  Cathartic medicine that helps me organize for the next day!
That's where I am at...I'm taking the few brain cells I have left and aiming them at trying to get my act together more.  I need to plan ahead.  I don't always have to like it but I need to do it.  Anybody else feel this way??  I'm sure, the more I stretch myself to do better, God will meet me there, and help me get better one step at a time.

One step at a time.


  1. I often feel like I'm one step ahead and 3 steps behind. It's a blessing to me because it keeps me very humble!

    1. Your response encourages me!! You're does keep us humble, doesn't it?!

  2. I am in the same spot, and I'm only at baby #3! Much of your post rang true with me, wanting to do it my way, but then realizing that my way often leads to someone running out of uniform pants or me panicking because the baby needs to eat but I have to get a lunch made in the morning. And my husband is AMAZING about not critiquing or criticizing even when he runs out of laundry or I forget to make a phone call.

    At any rate, I am not one for "systems" but I have used Motivated Moms in the past and it has really helped me keep on top of the house and Bible reading at least.

    1. Jodi, Anytime you've got a bunch of little people underfoot it doesn't really matter how many of them there are. It's just crazy! Thanks for the tip on Motivated Moms. I'll have to check that out! Congrats on your new little one, by the way! Take care and great hearing from you!