WT 94: How Do I Manage My Home Without Going Crazy?

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Moms welcome back to Wire Talk! We are so grateful that you tune in each week to hear Karen answer your questions about motherhood. Today we are getting super practical with Karen’s tips on tackling household chores, dinner time and even some ideas for making family time a priority when your schedules are crazy.


Question 1: Being a stay at home mom, the chores are always constant - dishes after every meal, laundry, crumbs, tidying rooms w/ the help of toddlers. Wait did I mention the laundry?? :) How do I get these things accomplished and not feel like I’m neglecting my kids while they play. (Nap Time isn’t really an option as my 19 month old only takes a 30 minute nap).

Karen's Answer: Okay, let me put your mind to rest. Being a stay at home mom the job is NEVER done! I was just having this conversation with Kelsey last week. Especially the part about the laundry. So, there is that. But, then let me dive further and tell you about the guilt of neglecting your children while they play. Listen, you are a stay at home mom! For the love! You are with your children 24/7. So, don’t ever think are you neglecting them, because you are not. I personally think it’s a great idea for your children to learn to play by themselves without you around. It promotes independence and creativity. It’s a great habit to teach your children that you have work to do and they can play independently without you hovering over them all the time! So, let that go. I had to learn to do this too, at first felt like you that I needed to be with my kids all the time, but honestly, I was a better mom when I would pull away and do my thing and let them do their thing. Try it, you may like it. :) Set realistic expectations for yourself and then give yourself some grace!


Question 2: I have a 9 yr old, 12 yr old and 16 yr old and they are all busy (it seems like all of the time!) between school, sports and church activities. I joke with my husband that we should install one of those revolving doors because we are constantly coming and going from the house. We try to make dinner together a priority a few nights a week, but what are some other ways we can make family time happen with crazy schedules like these? I feel like my boys’ ages are a factor too (elementary, middle and high schooler).

Karen's Answer: Great question! Like you we had a seven year spread from oldest to youngest and we started having family movie nights. We would pick a movie that fit the whole crew, and Abby probably watched “older” movies than her siblings did at her age, but that is just the way it was. On Stubbs movie nights everyone was home, we would order pizza, and pop popcorn and hang out as a family. We tried to do that once a week. We also tried to eat together as a family. A few years we would go volunteer at a nursing home helping them set up for the holidays. We also made it a family event to go see siblings play their sports, watch plays, etc. As much as we could we tried to be team Stubbs, but it is hard the older everyone gets. Be aware and be creative. Sometimes you have to adjust the way you do life to accommodate the business of the new season.


Question 3: Meal planning is so difficult for me... really it’s something I dread. Ugh!! I have staple meals but any additional advice?

Karen's Answer: Girl I am the same way!!! I told Greg years ago, if he would tell me what to make, I’ll make it. So he started planning our meals for the week, and then I’d make what he wrote down, unless I couldn’t stand what he had. :) Greg ended up making a list of all kinds of dishes and he would choose from that list each week. Carve out about 30 min on the weekend to think through the upcoming week and plan your meals then. Here's Greg's list - y'all are welcome to use it!


Question 4: My husband and I both work and we are exhausted by the time the kids are in bed, but looking around the house there is still so much work that needs to be done. Our weekends are a rush of doing all the chores we didn’t get to during the week. How can we reclaim our weekend without killing ourselves during the week?

Karen's Answer: You may have to have one full weekend of a ton of work to get your home back to a manageable spot and then go from there. Get your children to help throughout the week, bringing their dirty clothes to the laundry room, not leaving them for you to pick up. Children can make up their beds each day and pick up after themselves. I also used to put a basket on the steps for those annoying things that lay around for weeks on end (a random belt, book, baseball glove, etc) then on Saturdays I’d take the basket upstairs and put things away.  I don’t know how old your children are, but even if they are four years old, enlist them in helping you. Greg and I used to carve out Saturday mornings for our clean up day. We enlisted the whole family to help , gave children chores according to their ages, then by lunch we were all done and we would go out and have lunch together as a family and do something fun or run errands or whatever. Emily always says, “Team work makes the dream work!” We played music throughout the house while everyone worked and it ended up not being so bad. Enlist your whole family to help and get your family out of the mindset that it’s just on you and your husband. It’s a family affair. Team Stubbs!


Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank you for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. If you want to have weekly encouragement emailed to you, visit birdsonawiremoms.com to sign up for Karen’s free weekly newsletter.

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Thank you moms, have a great day!

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