Friday, March 9, 2012

It's a New Dawn...

As most of you know (if you've been reading), I officially became a stay-at-home-mom this past Tuesday. I'm still working four hours a week for the family I just stopped nannying for (for, for, for - ending with a preposition, UGH), but those hours are hardly enough to even call it a "part time job." If you know me, I thrive on lists, routine, and organization. If you know me even deeper, you know that I not only have an insane(ish) need to have a clean and organized house, but I also desperately want to be the best mother I can. I've put a lot of pressure on myself in preparing to stay home with Little S and soon, Bean. I think most mothers strive to be the impossibly perfect version of themselves and over the past three years, I've had to get a grip on reality. The sad truth is that I used to (and may still) have a small form of OCD. I don't count my steps or turn the doorknob X amount of times before I enter a room. But I do panic and break into anxiety attacks when my house work gets ahead of me and I can't seem to get a leg up. Do you know the feeling when something is so far past your ability to save it that you can't figure out where to start, so it just gets worse? That is when I panic. And no, my house is not ever in a hoarding state or so unclean I wouldn't let my kid lay around and roll on the floor. But if the dog hair gets out of control, the laundry piles up too high, or too much "stuff" gathers in one spot, I feel like my world is spinning to fast for me to catch up.

That said, I realized that in order to stay sane with this new lifestyle of staying at home, I needed to make a weekly schedule. Some people think it's over zealous or too ambitious. But for someone who really NEEDS a schedule, I think it will work really well for me. I'm very interested to hear what other SAHMs do to keep their house tidy, their brain sane, and their children educated and entertained each week. I hear there are several blogs out there to help me with these things, so if you have any suggestions for blogs I should start following, please leave them in a comment below!

So far, this is what I've come up with for a cleaning schedule and daily activities for the small fry:
(cleaning in pink, activities in blue)

dining room, kitchen, dishes
nature walk/park

living room, laundry room, do laundry, dishes
*take trash to the curb when Husband forgets, ahem
barnes & noble for reading/train table play

girls' bedrooms, guest bathroom, put clothes away, dishes
story time at the coffee place

master bedroom and master bathroom, do laundry, dishes
library for children's computers and reading time

(I've vacuumed all the rooms as I've gone, but I'll vacuum the whole house on Fridays. Don't think I'm too neurotic. My big dog is a shepherd/husky mix with black fur. You would vacuum often, too!)
play date or park if nothing else is scheduled

That's what I've thought up so far. I know it seems like a lot and it seems over-scheduled (maybe not for some people... Is anyone like me?), but I feel confident about it. Of course, there will be days where something gets in the way or weather doesn't permit the outdoor plans, but that's what chalkboards, books, board games, and movies are for. I do want to schedule 1 hour of "school" time for Little S each day because she's starting preschool this fall. She is very smart and loves to read and learn, but I need to structure something around a sort of preschool lesson plan so I can help prepare her. 
Blogs? Suggestions? Does anyone else do this or homeschool? I desperately need resources. Although my degree is in education, I did elementary ed and don't feel as confident with finding preschool materials!

Thanks so much for sticking with me through this year-long transition between the full-time office working mom to full-time nanny who gets to take her kid to work to official SAHM. It's been something my husband and I have been working toward for a LONG time and I'm so blessed to say I can finally do it. It's not going to be easy, especially financially (oh, couponing, budget-meal plans, money saving blogs?), but we are committed to making it work for our children! And I'm glad to be getting dressed in something other than yoga pants all the time!

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