Mothering in a Mess

I wrote this post and then someone close to me told me I sounded like a depressed slob! I may not be chipper every moment of the day and I don’t have an immaculate home but I will say I am not a depressed mess! I may have gone a little overkill in my honest post because I tend to overthink things and judge myself more than I should. That being said I will update this a bit so you don’t imagine me to be some hoarder with dirty neglected children running around… hehe… so here goes!

I asked my two year old at dinner, “what fun thing did you do today?” He replied, “when I went swinging with daddy the other day…” I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal but that was 5 days earlier! He had been with me for 5 whole days and only remembered doing something fun with daddy (and I’m even the one who suggested they go!).

I felt so disappointed in myself. I keep waiting for my house to be clean and organized so I can finally be a fun mommy. I’ve heard countless times from older mothers… “let the laundry pile up and the dishes sit in the sink and just enjoy your children!” I understand the point of this completely but it also is the reason having a simple and tidy home matters even more to me!

I want to have a joyful home for my children to grow up in but the clutter and disorganization wears on me but I cant see past the overflowing junk drawer, the table and bar covered with mail or the massive amounts of laundry that never seem to let up. the pile of laundry I need to fold that never has enough room to fit in our dresser drawers. I let my home control me instead of controlling how I want my home to be! I use this one frustrating situation to dwell on 20 things – I need to get this house in order AGAIN, I should play with my children but the laundry needs folded, I should stop eating so much so I can lose weight, if I could get this place organized I could exercise, I’m probably a disappointment to my husband, nobody likes me…. blah blah blah. It’s sounds so crazy when I write it out. Then to top it all off I end my day with the GUILT most mother’s have – forcing myself to wonder if I’m doing anything right.

I start my day by sitting down on my couch – tired, discouraged and exasperated – and the day has barely begun. My response to the mornings and my level of productivity is so much influenced by how my home feels and looks. And from the moment I open my eyes in the morning I am aware of the clutter around me.

I start my day tired, typical for mommys, especially when my toddler doesn’t usually wake up a “sunshine boy.” My home already annoys me and then the frustration of his 6am morning screams of protest, “I do it! I do it!” doesn’t help. I am totally fine avoiding having to wash the pans or take laundry out of the dryer to fold… the problem is I’m not leaving those tasks undone because I am sitting there enjoying my sons – instead I’m sitting on the couch AVOIDING the messes I bathe and dress my boys, feed them, pick up around the house, do some laundry but then I don’t know where to put my surplus of belongings so I sit down and Pinterest for new recipes, read a book that actually isn’t even very good or do that thing I want to do ALL the time… EATING! snack on something I shouldn’t. I want to do art with my boys but I let the stack of papers on the table win and instead I tell myself or my son, “tomorrow we will paint after I get the table cleared off.” Instead of seeing my beautiful boys who are alive and well (since I check on them 10 times before I go to bed), I see a mess that they have to play in.

I know from the short amount of time I have had a de-cluttered kitchen and living room how much easier it’s been to keep it tidy. When I wake up to a clean and shiny home the first thing I want to do is unload the dishwasher and I’m ready for my next project. I want to do art. I want to do something fun with my boys. I want to plan a enjoyable evening with my hubby. And best of all I’m POSITIVE! But if I wake up to a mess I just plain give up I feel crabby and discouraged. I want to change this! I want to create a home thats easy to tidy so I have much more energy to do fun things with my boys and be more creative in my own art.

The picture is what my living room looks like as I write this post – I have been going through my bedroom and its easier to bring everything out here with my boys then have the boys in my room BUT this is NOT what my home looks like on a regular basis. In my harsh judging though its kind of how I perceive things at the end of the day. Each day is exhausting with two little boys, especially after taking them to Costco by myself. Yet I can still beat myself up for leaving a couple pans to wash the next morning even though I made a nice dinner and loaded the dishwasher all while my two year old keeps trying to jump of the couch while my baby is playing nearby.

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Yesterday was a good first step. Amidst a day of decluttering and trying to get my room done I was a able to pause often and enjoy little moments with my boys. I kept a happy tone because I was DOING something toward making my home a better place, making progress, not dwelling on my flaws. And at the end of the day I sat down (still surrounded by the mess) and had a movie night with my boys. It was the first time in a long time I went to bed with a cheerful heart and not one of guilt.

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Tidying Up

As you get to know me you will learn I LOVE coffee and I LOVE books. What I don’t love is buying books new, especially fiction because it’s pretty much guaranteed I will never read them again… there are too many books in the world for me to re-read anything less than amazing. This means I NEVER go to new bookstores unless I have a gift card and even then I don’t necessarily enjoy the experience. Here’s an example:

As a wedding gift we received a gift card to Barnes & Noble. It took us 5 years to go and actually buy books. Almost immediately my husband picked out a historical book (I think on Ninjas or something like that) and there I was about to have a panic attack because I had to find a book… that was worth the money and I wanted to keep (plus I was 7 months pregnant and could barely bend down to look at anything on the low shelves). Finally I found a mystery to try. We bought our books (I’m not thrilled at all because I will probably find it at a yard sale during the summer for a quarter), we go home, the next day I check the same book out at the library and read that one. I didn’t return the book in time so now I have a brand new copy of a book I didn’t read and am hoping to pass on as a future gift (don’t worry… it was good).

The point of that (probably unnecessary) story was – I love used bookstores way more – BUT at a Christmas gift exchange I went after a gift card to a new local bookstore/ coffee shop. I have been reading more non-fiction so I though there was hope – I knew I had to find something good that I would want to keep! Thankfully my husband is a book lover as well so we made the gift into a date. We dropped the boys off with MeMa and enjoyed a fun search of books while sharing a White Chocolate Maple Spice latte… mmmm!

The bookstore was small but surprisingly had a very good selection. I was impressed! That same day my mom had mentioned a book she wanted to read and low and behold there it was sitting on a shelf at the entrance. The book is called, “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo (the title of the book really is in lowercase form).

I know, I know… Sounds a little dumb for “The Book” I was considering buying but I want to be honest… I need help in this area of my life! My two little boys are both under the age of 3. When it comes to keeping my home neat and tidy this rarely happens unless company is coming over. It’s not horrible but it still is a far cry from how I want my home to be and feel on a regular basis. After a quick flip through I knew this was the one – the book I would be taking home gleefully.

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I spent my next day reading the entire thing. The book explains “the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.” Kondo walks you through the process of de-cluttering your entire home by category. Starting with clothes, books, papers, etc.

I don’t want you to spend your entire day reading one long winded post so I will stop here and keep your informed of my progress with some scary honest pictures. Here is a preview of all the clothes I had to go through… wait until you see the finished picture and how many bags of clothes I got rid of!

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The point of this post was to share with you how much I want YOU to read this book too. It’s been so worth it in such a short amount of time! If you care to join me in this process please feel free to share your progress with me. We will have simpler homes that are easily manageable and tidy as well as realizing we don’t need so many things! Let us Live Simple and Live Good!

Avocado Toast

Every Tuesday my husband volunteers with my brothers’ Boy Scout Troop. While he is off re-living his Eagle Scout days the little boys and I get to hang out with “MeMa.”

This past week MeMa had been raving about Avocado toast so this was our dinner plan. It did not go quite like we imagined…

First, one avocado was a little past saving so she tried hers with a pre-made container of guacamole – bad choice – do not try this at home folks. So only I was to enjoy avocado. Then the fried eggs stuck in the pan no matter how much the pan was greased. Sigh…. an unplanned popped egg is the worst!

Finally, we managed to salvage one egg for my toast. I was hungry, drooling, ready to take a bite of this lusciously green avocado and egg mixture spread across a piece of divine bread… but first a sprinkle of salt… and a grind of pepper….

This beautiful moment was ruined by the breaking of the pepper grinder – an entire bottle of peppercorns dumped over the entirety of two slices of toast! Yes, I managed to scrape off a good amount but this tasty treat was a little too peppery and not as good as my dreams.

Fast forward to this morning…

In my own home, with my own pan (that also likes to pop all unpopped things) and a kinder pepper grinder – I managed press on, overcome pan obstacles and to finally experience this delicious and simple meal.

For those of you who detest avocado then this will classify as one of those weird dieting foods you absolutely do not want to try (carrot raisin salad is one of those for me) but for those who love avocado as much as I then this is a wonderful, simple, healthy food that will bring you joy as much as it did me!
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Avocado Toast
High fiber bread – (I love Silver Hills The Big 16 bread from Costco – it has 5 grams of fiber and only 1 gram of sugar per slice and it tastes great!)
Avocado
Egg
Salt and Pepper

Use anywhere from a half to a whole avocado depending on size and how many slices of bread is being used. Mash it in a bowl.
Heat a small pan on medium high with a little bit of oil (safflower oil is a healthier good oil to use). Add egg to pan and start toasting bread. Cook egg to your preference – I prefer mine a little runny but not too runny.

Spread avocado on toast, top with fried egg and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Sink your mouth into yum! For breakfast I eat one slice but if this is your dinner or lunch then you can double up with 2 pieces of toast each topped with an egg.