Surviving the Dishes, Diapers and Laundry

Gesly Susan   |   April 10, 2018 

Over the last month, I have found myself scrambling to catch up on house chores. Well, I guess that is pretty much the common and constant woe of every mom but the last few weeks have been exceptionally challenging! My faithful dishwasher decided to give up on me, my baby has turned into a poop-master (read poop-monster) and my laundry basket seemed to be always set on auto-refill.

"Dishes, Diapers and Laundry" has been quite the triple threat. Of course, this is beside the other gazillion other mini-little-errands that magically creep into the day. I am sure every mom out there wishes for more hours in the day to just "catch up". Time and energy seem like the most elusive commodities at the moment, closely followed by sleep.

My husband and I were pretty much in survival mode for the few months after our baby was born. Meals were basic or take-out. The house was not anywhere close to perfect. Piles of little messes stared at me from every corner of the house and on the rare occasion I found a few minutes to conquer that little pile of mess, I would just want to curl up with a cup of coffee. Never have I ever been overwhelmed by such an amount responsibility, lack of sleep and constant fatigue. All this while bouncing between the immense joy and constant worry that a newborn brings.

Months have passed by and I am slowly settling into the frantic rhythm of motherhood. Here are few things that the Lord is patiently and ever-so-gently teaching me along the way to manage time, home and sanity with a new baby.

1. Pray! Pray! Pray!

I have learned a whole new way of praying ever since my son was born. I barely get to sit in peace and close my eyes and just pray but instead I try to pray either out loud or in soft mumblings while conquering those dirty dishes or sorting that pile of laundry. Many times, these are more like chit chats, conversing with the Lord about the challenges of the day or the burdens of my heart.

"Pray without ceasing" -- I never really understood that verse like how I do now. The Lord wants us to be in constant communication with Him, and that might not be with bended knees or closed eyes. It can be done during the most mundane moments of everyday life! As much as I sometimes cringe and complain about being a stay-at-home mom, it is truly a luxury to be able to have that opportunity to intercede whether for your family, yourself or others.

To begin practicing this, stick post-its with prayer/ praise points on your kitchen cabinets or over your sink or anywhere that would serve as a reminder to pray throughout your daily tasks.

2. Plan! Plan! Plan!

Last Christmas, my sister got me a planner and it has the been a life saver! I also have an app called "Google Keep". These two have helped to make our life and home a little less chaotic. I have the worst memory in the world; I can't remember dates, numbers, names OR faces. I need everything to be written down. Ever come back from the store realising that you forgot to buy that one thing that you needed to try that new recipe on Pinterest?

Well, that was me all the time.

Now I use Google Keep to store all my different lists -- a grocery list, an Amazon list, a list of chores, etc., and I can even make a "to-do" for the hubby and share it with him. ūüôā Now who wouldn't want that?

3. Have a routine

This is has been the biggest challenge. I realised that during my college days or when I used to work this never really seemed to be a problem. At work or in school your days already have a structure in place that allow for you to automatically fall into a kind of routine. However, whenever you are a stay at home mom, especially with young children, all that "flexibility" of time turns into a lot of spur of the moment appointments and engagements.

I understand that its hard to have a rigid routine in place when you're at home but it really helps young children to understand what to expect next during the day even though it's rare that the day turns out exactly as planned. Even in creation the Lord has set a time for the sun to rise and set and a season for every kind of weather. Sure, if might rain in the peak of summer once in a while but for the most part we can be prepared and know what to expect.

4. Not everything has to be Pinterest-worthy

I have to admit that I am a little Pinterest-crazed. I probably have 25 boards on it, mostly spurred by my desire for my house, clothes or culinary skills to look a certain way. I have often been hesitant to host people because I wouldn't have the time to prepare the 4 course meal that I would find fit to serve them. I still struggle with this because I think that every other mom on Instagram seems to be able do it while sporting their baby on their hip with some finely toned arms and a spotless, white couch. But the truth is, that's not real! Nobody has it all together. I bet behind more than a few of those pristine couches there is a jungle of toys and a half-eaten sandwich a toddler saved for later!

5. Working as for the Lord

Sometimes after a whole day of running behind your kids and catching up on errands your energy is completely spent but you seem to have nothing to show for it. There is no paycheque, no one saw you skip lunch so you could get dinner prepped in time, no one knows you were up all night holding your sick baby. And every once in a while someone blissfully ignorant will ask, "What do you do at home all day?"

As much as I would like to throw my hands up and rant in high pitched tones I have to remind myself of Col 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."

It could probably take years before our children realise how many sacrifices we make for them, or even for ourselves -- to have the pleasure for seeing our children grow into well-rounded, God-fearing adults. But there is really no guarantee they will. Sure, our love for our children is the driving force behind all the time and energy we lavish on them but, beyond that, we need to remind ourselves that God has entrusted them in our care to raise them in His ways. We give account to Him and continue to labour for Him.

These are the things that are helping me survive these last few months. I still have the dirty dishes that needs to be washed, crumbs of baby crackers that needs to be swept and the bottom of my laundry basket still seems far out of sight -- but I’ll get to them one by one. Until then, I entrust myself, my home and my little one to the One who always has it all together.


Photo Credit : Unsplash

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Gesly Susan

Having moved from city to city and country to country in her growing up years, Gesly recently moved to Canada making it her new home. Having a background in social work, she enjoys working with children with special needs, traveling, writing, deep conversations and music.

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