About Common To Moms

There are many common life experiences we share as women, and sometimes life is less than glorious. That’s when we need a little inspiration to get us through the day. Welcome to Common to Moms, where we find motivation for meaningful living on our every-day journey as women, wives and mothers.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Plan for Taking Back the House!

In the past, I have tracked habits here at Common to Moms.  I've done this partially because the public forum is great accountability for me and partially because watching someone accomplish something is great motivation for others. 

This year- 2014- I am planning to make A LOT of changes in my life.  Mainly, my goal is to move past survival mode and choose to live in a more peaceful and complete way.

I'm happy to report that the process has already begun.  In the last week or so, I have already begun to do things like use my calendar to plan my life at least a week in advance (this helps to quell the chaos in a life full of doctors' appointments and therapies), taken back grocery shopping and meal planning, cooked a little, saved receipts (to soon use to do some budget tracking) and made a plan for how to take back my house from the chaos of twin pregnancy and almost a year of  3 children 3 and under.

Today I want to break down my plan for taking back my house and share it with you. 

First, I feel the need to clarify that although I have needed to improve my habits on cleaning before, this is not the only thing crying out for change in our current life circumstances.  It's more that while I was busy nursing, changing diapers and changing toddlers, stuff began accumulating in the corners of  our home.  And while some things grew, other things began to get lost in the shuffle.  Showers, make-up, clothes that fit, quality restful time all began to dwindle while chaos increased.  Life was hardly ever completely crazy, but neither was it truly complete.  Satisfying? Yes.  Fulfilling? Almost.  Complete? Not really.  The start of the new year has me realizing that what will get lost in the chaos of babies and small children (if I'm not careful) is peace at home and a respectable me

"Taking Back the House" to me means getting rid of clutter, working on cleaning habits AND adjusting our home to function for six people instead of four.  Let's face it- almost DAILY I run into problems trying to squeeze a six-person-life out of a four-person-home. I have been reading a lot about organization, cleaning and home management (as well as a little personal soul searching) so I have come up with a pretty comprehensive plan (at least I think it is!) for how I'm going to tackle taking back the house.  And as I mentioned before, I think its both helpful for me and inspiring to others to share it here on the ole' blog.  Consider this a life over-share and if you want to join me as I attempt to conquer some major disorganization and lifestyle adjustment, then I can only say thank you!  Any and all support and encouragement are welcome.

Without further adieu- here is the plan to Take Back the House.

1. Divide my home into three zones.   

Zone 1- Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen & Laundry
Zone 2- Master Bedroom
Zone 3- Kids Rooms and Bathroom

Admittedly, I have chosen the hardest zone to tackle first- mostly because if I can conquer these areas of my home then I can DEFINITELY continue on and conquer the rest!

2. Chose a starting point within Zone 1 - The Dining Room!

3. Make a list of every stitch of clutter or randomness in that space and what I need to do about it.  The goal here is to check things off the list until the area is completely clutter free.

4. Keep this area CLEAN.

5. Celebrate my clean and de-cluttered space by changing things in the space to better fit our family including but not limited to changing or updating decor.  This is definitely the FUN step!

6.  Rinse and Repeat to the end of a zone, then take time to reflect and re-evaluate the process.  Share on the blog and keep moving forward.  Taking the entire year to complete all three zones is definitely allowed- it will be no small task!

So that's the plan in as much detail as I can predict!  Stay tuned for my Dining Room Over-share Post!

Till Next Time,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year's Post: Looking Forward to 2014!

This post is difficult for me to write since the last year of life (or more) has been truly about surviving.  When I take time to assess my life over the last year, there are a lot of wonderful memories as far as life events goes... the twins being born, my grandparents' 80th birthday bash, Peanut's amazing progress in the last month, Melody growing and beginning preschool and dance, seeing my family SO much in comparison to other years, seeing how much people care about our family by how they have helped us this year and so much more!

However, there is a part of me that has definitely grown tired of the surviving aspect of the last year. 

At the end of the twins pregnancy it was difficult just to walk!  Then I recovered from a c-section, Peanut started having surgeries, Melody started school and dance and I jumped back into a part time job.  Fast forward to today and I have grown weary of nights without sleep, days without showers, months without wearing make up and a full year of feeling like making it through the day is an admirable goal.

It is time.

2014 is when I get my life back.  When I start living my priorities again.  I know there will still be days where the goal is just to survive, but I simply cannot live that way as the rule anymore.

I don't plan to change this by sheer determination (though that will be a part of it).  I sincerely am prayerful that God will carry me through this year and mold me into a better ME than I currently am.  I know I don't have any reason to feel guilty about where I am- in fact, there is probably good reason for me to think it could take MANY years to return to feeling some kind of normal under the circumstances.  But something in me is yearning to regain my lost dignity a bit, and I long not to feel defined by the needs of the current moment constantly.  Changing this will take time and effort, but as I said before- this is the time.

So without further adieu- in no particular order:

My list of changes to make in 2014.

1. Return to pumping and quit using formula (as much as possible) for the twins for the times I am not around or they need a supplement.
2. Get serious about saving money for a down payment on a new house. 
3. Take time to unplug from the TV and the computer more often.
4. Make our home organized and presentable.  (Clear out the clutter that has accumulated from being pregnant and adjusting in life and finally get good- or at least better- at cleaning and tidying.)
5. Make myself organized and presentable. (Return to making lists, wearing make-up at least occasionally, wearing real clothes rather than house clothes, etc)
6. SLEEP MORE and choose health over convenience.
7. Take time for God, service to others and fellowship with my church community.
8. Spend more time with Christian.
9. Get out of the house!! Both alone and with the whole family. 
10. Find more ways to stay positive and relaxed.
11. Let go of mommy guilt!
12. Prioritize items of importance on my to-do list, not just the urgent ones.

Unlike typical New Year Resolutions, I know that this is a list that will take time to tackle.  It would be ridiculous to attempt to change all of these things about my life at once!  Yet, at the end of next year, I hope to have made significant progress in many or all of these areas.  After all, when I look back at my life this time last year, we have come a long way! 

So tell me, what changes do you plan to make this year?

Wishing you the happiest of years in 2014!

Love, Rachel