The Rut

Just after my dad died, I was out for a smoke and started walking a sort of labyrinth pattern into the snow, making a path in a spiral and back out through the center again. I walked it over and over and ended up taking a shovel and digging it deep into the snow, and it became a place for my daughter to run around and play. But I would pace around it when I went out for smokes by myself all the time.

We made it outside today! After being reminded by a few people, I finally remembered to actually make use of my wrap and the baby slept while I was wearing her, when I couldn’t have otherwise put her down… Derp. So she stayed sleeping while I helped the girls get dressed and took them outside. And while we walked a circle into the snow, and started pushing the snow around to shape the beginning of walls because they wanted to make a snow fort.

She stayed sleeping while we came inside, while I made them lunch and cleaned up lots of our main living area. I got so much done!

We had a lot of company today. My mom came to visit, and some friends with their kids. The girls got so much attention and got to play, and I got to catch up a bit and have some company, and someone around to hold the baby and help her stay sleeping.

It was a little hectic but so nice, and most of the mess we made was clean (cleaned by my friends son mostly!) by the time everyone left.

But as soon as everyone had gone, and the sun began to set, it was mayhem all over again, just like last night. I guess I expected it this time, but I didn’t handle it very well.

My baby started fussing instead of just nursing and sleeping, and my toddler dumped all of our vanilla extract out on the counter.

Then she spilled yogurt drink all over herself, then after I cleaned her up she spilled more on the couch and on the floor.

And after I had cleaned that up (while the fussy baby is crying, waiting for me) my toddler wandered off without her pull up since she’d slipped it off with her yogurt splattered pants.

She snatched a toy from her big sister enough times that my oldest freaked out so much that she hit herself in the head with a little mirror somehow. And shrieked in my ear, while the baby was still fussing.

And a little while later the toddler came back to let me know that she pooped in the other room.

So again, I had to leave the fussy baby crying out to clean her up. And there were bits of poop across the floor. I yelled at her to not clean it up herself, multiple times, because I didn’t feel like I could get to it and she kept trying to go towards it with some wipes… Ugh.

So somehow after all of that we all managed to calm down. I didn’t manage to get supper started, but the poop got cleaned up, and I picked up all the clothes we’d been looking through earlier.

We had a sort of lazy supper when Drew got home and took the girls outside a bit longer afterwards, so at least we all got some air and they got a bit more exercise and space to play.

Bedtime is late again here but the girls helped us clean up toys and things this evening and they’ve been quiet and calm as they settled down.

I’m thinking about help, feeling provided for. Part of me still feels like I should be doing more now, exchanging directly, giving more back. But I am so grateful to everyone that listens to me, reassures me, everyone who has brought me things, taken me places, come over and tried to help me manage the house, and sent needful things from afar.

It feels nice to know so much is taken care of when I can’t stay on top of everything myself, or between Drew and I. It still feels strange though, lots of questions of deserving are coming up for me. I feel pretty loved anyway… I still feel anxious and get mad at times, sunset especially apparently, but I feel like I can actually enjoy our little family and the people we know and love more again. I don’t feel so stuck in my ruts.

Decluttering Challenge Introduction!

I think it’s that time again for me. I do this periodically and I feel like it is always ongoing – trying to clear out all the “extra” stuff so the things we need, use and love are easier to access, use and put away.

And it gets hard sometimes! With young children I don’t always feel like I can allow myself long spurts of dedicated time to really get to the bottom of piles and the backs of closets.

But I feel quite motivated now to give this another dedicated attempt. And unlike challenges I’ve done in the past to get me going, where I’d try to reach targets of certain amounts of items just to make progress, I’d really like to go deeper this time and feel like I have actually finished something at the end of it.

I’ll be sharing my progress here for anyone who would like to follow my own steps or be inspired to create their own structure for getting to the bottom of their own messes!

So, first things first, before getting started, I’ve been working on a list room by room, listing all the things I know need to be done in each place by task. I’ve included some cleaning things in this list, because my regular maintenance is spotty at best, but that is not necessary and will actually be easier to tackle after the moving of “things” is done if you have deep cleaning that needs done, too!

Just to show you what I am working with here, this was before I thought of the laundry room, garage and shed so it’s incomplete. I won’t copy out my list word for word here as it’s specific to me, but I will go through the steps I take in each place as I tackle each area so you can see what I actually did.

So to start, I encourage you to make your own list specific to your own living spaces, and what your problem areas are and what you know you need to do with them. This will help you get to the root of your own clutter and should help you a bit more than just following my template exactly.

I’ve just started in on my bedroom first, it is definitely not the easiest place to start but it makes sense. So my next post will come when I have completed that and it will go over what the state was before and after and what I did to get through it all.

If nothing else, I hope watching me push through and just get things moving will help you get some momentum going too if you’ve been feeling stuck!

Please feel welcome to share your own efforts and progress along the way too, either here or on my Facebook page! It would help me, too, to see what others are dealing with and what they do with it!