Did anybody? Did your mother teach you when you were young?

LONGING FOR “NORMAL”

I was raised by an emotionally absent mother, who was probably clinically depressed. She had her own way of “keeping house”, including being a bit of a hoarder, and she didn’t want my intrusion into her world.

I longed for structure and order in my life and my home, and the summer I was 7, I got a glimpse of what “normal” looked like. I was able to begin spending summers with my grandmother, which I did for the next 6 or 7 years.

At grandma’s house, I learned to wash dishes. I learned to tear lettuce to make the salad. I learned to dust. I learned how to use a vacuum cleaner. She even helped me make a chart of what needed to be done on Saturday, so that on Mondays (my pastor grandfather’s off day) we could go to the beach.

I learned structure, I learned order. I learned that one must work if one wants to play.

AS A YOUNG WIFE

These are skills I tried to carry into my own home, as I married young and had my first place at 17. The problem was, I had WAY more time in the unstructured home than I did at my grandmother’s. I was constantly torn, and still am to this day, from wanting structure and order, but lacking the discipline to keep it in place.

That is why I KNOW many of you are struggling. I know you weren’t raised with structure and order. You weren’t taught to clean house and to plan meals, and to plan out your grocery store trips.

In the past 20 years, I have had some pretty good success in building in some structure and order into my life as it does make things run much easier. I have learned that the effort put into maintaining the order is less than the benefits I reap from doing so.

LEARNING HELPFUL HABITS

Much of this that I learned in the past 20 years stemmed from our 8 year stint of homeschooling. The mainstream homeschool parent is all about creating a schedule and keeping order. Well, there was a lot of talk, and books, and speakers on the subjects anyway. I still think that we all struggled, but I did begin to see the benefits outweigh the efforts, and the habits I learned have carried over through the years.

Those habits include things like planning my meals, and grocery shopping once a week for all the meals. Or creating a chart of cleaning tasks that needed to be done to keep the house in decent order, and how often to do them. Or a laundry system, which I tried many different ways that worked at that time in my life. Or learning to designate certain places for items, and making sure they were returned there.

These are not the easiest habits to learn, but if you do they can make a world of difference in your home. And these are just a few of the things I have learned over the years.

TRYING TO JUGGLE IT ALL

I know that other moms, especially younger moms, struggle with learning how to “keep house”, especially if you weren’t taught the best techniques and routines. And you feel like a failure, and like you can never ever get it all done. I know this because I have been there. Which is one reason I created this blog and the corresponding Facebook page. I wanted to be a help and encouragement to other moms who were struggling.

INTRODUCING THE STRESSED MOM SOCIETY

I am expanding the help that The Stressed Mom gives by creating the Stressed Mom Society. The Stressed Mom Society (SMS) is an ongoing training, teaching, encouraging monthly membership program to help moms like yourself who feel like can never do anything right, finally learn HOW to do it right.

The Stressed Mom Society is JUST launching here at the beginning of May, and for more details, I encourage you to register for one of my free workshops (topic this month is Putting Your House on AutopilotTHIS next week, beginning Tuesday, May 2 at 9PM EST, or Thursday, May 4 at 8PM EST or Sunday, May 7 9PM EST. You can get more details or register by clicking here, but don’t delay, there are limited spots available each month, so you don’t want to miss out!