A few years ago, I heard the name “FLY Lady” on an online forum I belong to. One of the founders of the forum is married and blogs about her cooking. I think I was recently engaged at the time and had asked her how she keeps everything organized. Between working, housework, cooking and the forum, among other commitments, I was feeling very overwhelmed about getting married and how well I would be able to balance everything. In fact, I’m still having a hard time. I looked over the website for a few seconds after she’d mentioned it, but then closed out of it and never went back… until a few weeks ago.
You may or may not have inferred from my previous entries that although I’ve only been married just over 2 yrs, my husband and I are already on our 2nd child. Daughter #1 (Jelly Bean) will be 1 yr old in exactly a week from today; daughter #2 (Baby Ruth) is expected this December. In addition to being a wife and new mom, I’m also still working as a full-time public school teacher and as a part-time (unpaid) pastor. (I preach 2x/month, lead cell group Bible Study 2x/month, and lead worship 1x/month.) I also run my IGNITE! Prayer Ministry meetings on Thursdays and lead worship there.
I used to take seminary courses and had to drop that when I realized I couldnt spend every waking moment that I was not taking care of my daughter doing homework for my class! >_< It was exhausting. Not to mention that my baby was 3 months and I’d had no sleep since she was born. By the end of this yr, I’ll also be taking leave from my job until next Sept. And I’ll be stepping down from my pastorate position at church and possibly switching to my husband’s church where I was ordained. I’ll be glad to cut some of my commitments since I really need to focus on my girls and building the IGNITE! ministry. I also have something else up my sleeve that I’m purposely keeping off this blog. It’s big – really big. And I’m so excited about it!! 😀
But I was talking about FLY Lady, yes?
Once it hit me that summer was just a few short weeks of giving way to the start of the new school year, I felt very motivated to get my act together and start a routine. I’d returned to work last March once my baby was turning 6months, and I was STILL sleep-deprived and unmotivated to teach. I had no plan for managing the workload of grading HW, exams and projects during the workday so that I could be free to care for my daughter once I got home. Thankfully, God’s grace worked it out so my principal told me to just take it easy and not focus exclusively on Chinese language lessons. Since I could do more cultural lessons, it cut down my workload immensely. I just took all of my free periods to cram in as much grading as possible and I refused to take as much late HW as in the past. But once I got home I was so exhausted. A full day of work and then having to care for my Jelly Bean, and THEN finding out I was pregnant AGAIN! O___O! No wonder I was so tired…
This time, knowing I’d be facing even more grading and paperwork since I’m teaching ELA, I HAD to have some sort of plan. I remembered the FLY Lady site and decided to go pay her a visit. Best decision I made! I do think the site needs a major overhaul because it’s very packed and difficult to navigate, but once I found the BabySteps and signed up for the daily emails, I was FLYing high! (Hehe, pun intended.)
Thanks to the FLY Lady, my bathroom sink is shinier than it’s been in a while. (I know she wants us to start with the kitchen sink, but I have no problems there. It was my BATHROOM sink that was driving me crazy.) I also lay out my clothes each night, and I discovered a few areas that the FLY Lady would call a HotSpot and cleared most of the stuff out. In addition, my husband has helped in the area of refilling my water bottle (not hers, but a generic one), and cutting fruit for me each night and keeping them cold for me in the fridge. In the morning I can just take both out of the fridge and toss into my tote bag. (Forgot to do that this morning, though! D’oh!) My husband is actually better at routines than I am. He’s a therapist and has said to me repeatedly that I should have some sort of night routine to wind down and reduce my stress. (Did I mention how amazing my husband is and how I want to re-marry him over and over?) I read all kinds of blogs about being organized and about how homeschooling moms keep their houses tidy, meals planned and children educated all while keeping sane. So clearly it’s not impossible. I just havent sat down to think how I myself would get started. And to be honest, I dont have to do everything myself yet. We live with my in-laws in THEIR house, so there are areas I never touch, like cooking and laundry. (Every wife in the world hates me now.) Not to mention that I’m 7 months pregnant, so I am ‘not allowed’ to do a lot of these domestic chores. Working full-time is enough stress on my body; I need to focus on caring for myself. [Wow, I’ve really got it made. Why am I still stressed? Oh yea – so many other commitments! -__- ]
Anyway, I guess I’m saying that I’ve found my start at getting more organized and less flustered about how our part of the house looks. I’m truly on my way to becoming a FLY Baby. Thanks FLY Lady!