Thursday, December 13, 2012

My mom, the Flylady, and the number 5

My mom mentioned to me awhile ago, how hurt she was that Seester and I didn't seem to learn how to keep house from her. Somehow, we needed more than her instruction on keeping a home and we had to look to The Flylady.

She didn't understand where she went wrong.

She didn't raise us wrong, but nothing I was going to say that day is going to change her mind about that.

Here's the thing. No matter how you were raised, you have to find a way to maintain your life your way. For Seester and I, The Flylady got us restarted.

Seester learned that she doesn't have to be a perfect housekeeper, which was tough considering the fact that we grew up in a house that said that if you weren't going to do something right, you shouldn't do it at all. Ever day the house was vacuumed, bathrooms cleaned, kitchen cleaned, top to bottom throughly. No such thing as a quick wipe down. (really crusty dishes could be left to soak overnight, but if any dish went back in the cabinet with a bit of food still on it. we washed every dish in the house)

With a crew of 3 children, this is a little easier to achieve. (Pie and Brother were too young to help when Cousin, Sister, and I were doing chores) We took care of most of the cleaning freeing my parents up to change diapers and work on freelance jobs. (Seester changed a lot of diapers too)

Please note that my mom remembers the household chores differently than we do. She remembers keeping up on the whole house while working full time and raising babies. We remember that we had a list of daily chores that had to be done before she got home. And that after dinner was cooked, we did the dishes and mopped the floor.

So, Flylady told Seester that as long as her sink was shiney, it's okay to have a dish on the counter or sweep and not mop. To take little nibbles of the housework instead of trying to "eat" it all at once. With two toddlers, I think this has brought Seester a lot of peace.

She taught me that I'm smart to make lists to keep track of myself, and that I can do anything in 15 minutes. Well, for me it's 5. I get distracted in 15. I would like to work up to 15. In the mean time, I will work in multiples of 5. I set the timer, I go. 5 minutes. If I get distracted, I refocus. 5 minutes. I am amazed at the things I can get done in 5 minutes.

I don't really discuss my cleaning habits with my mom anymore. I learned that it is a sore spot and makes her feel like a failure when I share my success in this matter. I support Seester when she talks about the system, and I continue to adapt it for my uses. I too have learned to take my housecleaning in little nibbles. Imight only be one person, but I sure do make a lot of mess!

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