Thursday, July 11, 2013

Eye Opening: Our family Vacation

So I feel like having children is this MASSIVE magnifying glass on your flaws and shortcomings.  Three years ago, I would have said that I didn't really have a vice/major sin issue (HA!!!).  Today I can look you in the eye (or not, since I'm typing at a computer screen), and admit that I truly struggle with coveting.  I have huge jealousy issues when it comes to things that others have that I think make their life easier.  I go into the mode of 'oh if I only had X, obliviously my life would be sparkly and happy and oh so wonderful'.  I find myself wanting the open space in someone else's home, wanting a little extra income for more date nights,  or even wishing that I could have experienced life with only one baby at a time.  Yep, it runs deep.
So how does this tie into our family vacation???  Well, I think I've been quite a sourpuss the last few years on various vacations because instead of enjoying the moment, I get caught up inside myself thinking 'if only...'    And for that I apologize to all of my family and the people who put up with me on a daily basis ;op  So this time, I put my best friend to work praying for me and stepped forward into vacation mode with the mantra of 'enjoy THIS moment'.  When my coveting tenancies reared their ugly heads, instead of going into my jealous state, I starting make a mental list of what I could change when I got home - or if it was something beyond my power, I let it go.

I ended up having the best vacation I have had in YEARS... and it wasn't because it was some exotic destination, or a change from the daily grind of caring for three toddlers, it was simply because I changed my attitude.  *i'm actually working on a post about making 'visiting family' the BEST VACATION EVER!

date night in DC - you can't see the Washington Monument behind us ;op
Pool Time!!!
Baking with the kids - My sister and I have made this Flag cake every 4th of July for years!!!
Monkey Joes - bouncing insanity!
and of course some matching PJs (PJ's are the ONLY thing you will ever see me go all 'character' on - but come on it is GABBA!!!!)
One of the key areas that hit me was the cleanliness of my Sister-in-law's house - I was in awe.  She has and keeps a GORGEOUS house WITH A TODDLER.  It made me realize how much I miss the 10 months after we had the boys that we hired a cleaning service - it made a huge difference in being able to keep up with everything.  We can't afford that at this point, but instead of just wishing I could have that again, there are things I can do to try to keep things more manageable.  A clean house just makes me feel less frazzled, it makes me more desirous of having people over, and it honestly seems to foster better play in the kids!  My house will never be spotless, and most likely it wont ever all be clean at one time, but it can function with better organization and a plan.

A PLAN????

Well yes, I pinned THIS on pinterest about a year ago - hahahahahahah!  And THIS.  Both are easy breakdowns of how to clean your home in about 20 minutes a day.... now even 20 minutes feels like a lot to add onto my already chaotic day.  So here is my plan:  in order to get into the habit, I will take the first 10 minutes of nap time to do one thing on the list on the MAIN floor of the house each day.  Once I am in the habit, I can adapt and expand to make sure that I eventually cover the whole house, but at least this will be a starting place for me.

What do you think???  How do you keep your home clean with a house full of kids???

Hugs, and remember to enjoy THIS moment!!!


  1. Having two at once is a game changer! There are so many challenges to face that most will never. And keeping the house clean is such a losing battle - a little at a time is a good way!

  2. I've always had trouble keeping my house clean (shame!), even before my daughter was born. It seemed always easier to leave it all to later. Then I would use an entire day to clean it all. It was tiring and when the next day off arrived it was all messed up again. I've been trying to get myself a bit more organized and have tried a lot of different technics and tips. I did get much better, still not satisfied yet. I don't follow any particular plan but I usually set daily goals. And I love it when I get them all done by the end of the day... bit by bit.

  3. Great advice! I think attitude makes all the difference, and I'm always working on mine!

  4. WIth four children under the age of eight, my house in never really clean. And it bugs me. A lot. When I clean, I like to just do it without interruptions, which is impossible. :) So maybe I need to change my attitude and do 20 minutes a day. :)

  5. I remember the days before having children when I could clean the whole house on a Friday afternoon after work. HA! Not anymore! The 20 mins a day idea sounds great...I really need to do something like this. We are selling our home, so it has to be clean all the time in case we get a request for a showing on short notice. Best thing we did to help keep things clean was rent a huge dumpster and get rid of a ton of stuff we don't need.

  6. Now that I have older kids, I would say getting them to help and owning the fact that it is their house too is the biggest help. That being said, I think the training starts when they are little. So remember you might not have the immaculate house right now because you have little helpers, you will have bigger helpers in a few years who will clean up after themselves if they've been trained to. Even now, I let them "clean" their room to a certain degree and then it's up to them if they want it immaculate. But other parts of the house are cleaned to my standards. Not sure if this helps you in the moment, except for the fact that I overlooked more when they were little and expected less of myself when it came to my expectations of a clean house, so that I could enjoy the time with them. I still do a good 20 minute sweep of the house after they are all in bed. Oh and I used to clean the bathroom while they took a bath (non harsh chemicals of course). That meant our bathroom was pretty clean at least:)