I've been in your houses and they're all spotless. I've walked in my stocking feet on your clean-enough-to-eat-off-of kitchen floors. I've laid my coat on your freshly made bedroom-sanctuary beds. Your kids' toys are all lined up neatly on the appropriate shelves. Your carpets are vacuumed in perfect lines...
What's that? I didn't just describe your house? You have peanut butter smudges on your kitchen table and dog footprints on your back door, too? Whew! Thank you for telling me!
I'm going to tell you a little secret about me. It might be your little secret, too. Without moving from my seat here on the couch, I can see 9 pair of shoes, 2 pair of dirty pants, a dirty shirt, one dirty sock, half a dozen scraps of paper, a granola bar wrapper, 4 toy cars and a wooden train, 3 baskets of (folded) laundry, and...and...and... It's true. When you come to my house you won't see this kind of chaos. It'll be clean..."company clean." My kids' rooms will be picked up (but probably not vacuumed), the bathroom will be spotless, and the kitchen will be clean enough. If I have time I'll actually mop the kitchen floor, but chances are I'll do a once-over with a Swiffer Wet and call it a day. I'll load up all that laundry and plunk it on my bed, which you'll never see because it'll be in the one room in the house with a closed door. You do NOT want to go in there!
Want to hear another secret? I've had it in my head, for a LONG time, that I'm the only one that does this. I've had it in my mind that the rest of you are perfect little housewives with perfect little clean houses. Nothing is every out of place. Nothing is ever left dirty in the kitchen sink. Your kids are bathed every morning and they never ever forget to brush their teeth. I've had it in my head that I'm pretty much the only slacker when it comes to the whole "caring for my home and family" thing.
But guess what? I'm not alone. Nope. I have a sneaking suspicion that one or two or a hundred of you are just like me. Oh, sure, give me 30 minutes and I can throw together a "company clean" house that won't be an embarrassment. Stop by unannounced, though, and I might just hug you at the door and send you packing! I bet a few of you are just like me. It's not the lack of know-how. It's not the lack of want-to. It's probably not even the lack of motivation. It's more a lack of planning, for me anyway. You see, when I go to bed at night I don't have a list made of what I'll do the next day. When I wake up in the morning I don't have a plan before my feet hit the floor. I should, though!
About a year and a half ago, I stumbled onto a website called Motivated Moms. If I remember correctly, a friend on facebook mentioned that she is a "motivated mom" and had accomplished everything on the list that day. I wanted to be motivated, too! I looked up Motivated Moms and found a website claiming to have exactly what I already knew I needed: a mommy chore chart! I ordered a calendar right away and set to work!
The Motivated Moms chore list is set up in kind of a weekly rotation. There are daily tasks to do, but then each day of each week there are certain jobs to accomplish. Some of them are things I'd never think of (rotate mattress?) and some of them seem so mundane you could never forget them (clip children's fingernails). Sadly, those mundane tasks are the ones that seem to be most neglected around here! The weeks come in a bit of a pattern, and before long you just know what to do. "It's Tuesday! I need to clean out my purse." "It's Wednesday, I need to clip the kids' nails." "It's Saturday, I need to water my plants." How wonderful, though, to have that little box to tick off at each task! The daily tasks are "no brainers" too. Unfortunately, things like exercise and read my Bible are the things that get pushed to the back burner when life is hectic. Not true, though, when I'm faithful about using my Motivated Mom chore list, because I have to tick off those boxes!
I admitted to you last December that I was kind of behind in turning my calendar pages. I vowed to myself that I would do SO much better in 2011! I told myself I didn't need a new calendar, I would just write the new year's dates over last year's and use the same calendar. I told myself if that didn't work, I'd make up my own chart. It would be easy. But I didn't. And I didn't. You see, the beauty of the Motivated Moms chore list is that it's already made! Someone has already tested it out. Someone has already done all the planning! All I have to do is turn the page! I could do this myself, but I won't. And my house will be messy. And I won't be able to welcome you when you stop by unannounced, at least not without fear that you'll see my secret messes!
Speaking of messes, let me tell you a little about how amazing Motivated Moms is, at least for me. I've already looked at the calendar for the first week of January, folks, and I'm scared. That first Tuesday you know what I'm going to have to do? Dust my bedroom. Eek! We've been down this road before. It was the first job on the first day last time I did Motivated Moms. And what did I have to do? I had to clean my room so I could dust it! (It was pretty protected from dust that first week, as everything had a pretty good cover of stuff.) Guess what, folks? I'm going to have to do that again. My room is definitely not dustable right now. A couple days later I had to vacuum my kids' floors. But guess what? I had to clean their rooms so I could GET to the floors! (They have room cleaning rules, now, and I won't have AS much trouble.) I was washing a load of laundry EVERY day, unless there wasn't any to wash! I was sweeping the kitchen and mopping the floors and and and... And that first couple weeks was HARD!
But then something amazing happened. I looked around one day and my house was clean CLEAN when I got up in the morning! Sure, there were a couple toys here and there, but I was proud of my house! That day when it came time for my chores, they took about 15 minutes and then I was done! And the next day and the next day and the next day...15 minutes!
People, it wasn't perfect. I wouldn't have wanted you to come in with a white glove and inspect. But it was clean enough that I would have been perfectly content to welcome any one of you into my home. That's why I'm such a huge fan of Motivated Moms! That's why I'm starting again, and this time at the end of the year I'll purchase another $8 calendar...because it's worth it!
I've got my 2012 calendar printed. It's 3-hole punched and inserted into a binder. There's already a pen in the binder pocket. I am SO ready to get this Motivated party started! I want you to join me. TChore lists are just $8 from Motivated Moms, and you can choose which of several formats you prefer! Who'll make a commitment to use a Motivated Moms calendar alongside me?
(Want to commit, but don't have the $8 to purchase a calendar your self? Enter below to win a Motivated Moms chore list!)
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