19 answers

Any Tips / Advice on Just About Anything

Lately, I feel like my life is spinning out-of-control. I need help in so many areas that I couldn't pick a topic. I am struggling with: keeping my finances in control, organizing the house (which is in massive disarray from my hoarding/procastinating tendencies added to my seemingly excessively busy life), kids behaviors, trying to have a more equal split in household responsibilities w/ my husband, and more. My parents didn't do the best job in teaching me about these things. I feel like I am in a whirlwind/hurricane with no branches to grab onto, no rescue boats in sight. I feel as though I am headed for a breakdown or metldown. Any suggestions, PLEASE HELP!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I know exactly how you feel. For my finance issues, I pay ALL the bills at one time so I know what is left over. Dont spend it if you dont have it. Housework: do a little every day. Wheather its before bed or in the morning before work. I throw a load of clothes in b4 work, then put them in the dryer when i get home. I also sweep and vacuum at least every other day. I sat my hubby down and told him i need his help. Hes in control of the garbage and getting the dished into the dishwasher. The major cleaning like the bathroom or mopping gets done on the weekends. It doesnt take long if you split it all up, and keep up on it because it gets out of control FAST. I am a perfectionist and hate clutter so this might be easier for me than you, but try it. Once you get a schedule set up everything goes much smoother. TRUST ME

As we are finishing dinner each night I ask my husband if he wants to clean up from dinner or give the baby her bath. It prevents him from getting up and going to the couch while I do both but gives him an option so he doesn't feel like he is being forced to do either. His decision usually corresponds to how many dinner dishes have to be washed by hand, but at least I don't have to do both.

More Answers

Hi B.,
One of my saving graces has been www.flylady.net what an incredible sight for organizing your life. I highly recommend it as it works and...it's free! Good luck!
M.

Tackle ONE little project at a time- maybe the bathroom or livingroom. Have a family meeting and let everyone know that they also have to do their part in "helping" keep the house clean. Maybe buy a clothes hamper or basket for each of their bedrooms- what gets washed is what is in the basket. Helping them also start "picking up" after themselves will also help you- give them a list of chores to do each day and maybe have one big cleaning day per week (ours is Saturday morning) we all get up and help clean the house from dusting to mopping. Then maybe that evening we "treat" ourselves to pizza and a movie or whatever. WHen I clean cupboards- I take one cupboard at a time. Also, get yourself a little journal (can buy them at wal-mart) and write down each of the bills every month- I write the due date on the outside of the envelope before I put it in my bill pile as well as write it in my budget/bill journal and that way I know what is coming out and when. Just one small step at a time and before you know it everything will fall into place. Our rule here is; if you get it out, YOU pick it up- even if its ten minutes before bedtime to tidy up- everybody pitches in- every little bit helps. Also, we clip coupons around here from womansday.com or manufacturer coupons. I look for coupons BUT ONLY for stuff that we buy or use. Talk to your husband and get a game plan together. Even if it is, sitting on your steps , after the kids are put to bed, and talk about this plan and remember Little steps adds up to big rewards in the end.

Okay,,, BREATHE!!!! You have a very busy life!!!

It will get better over time... I remember when our girls were young and my dh worked two jobs and I thought we would never save any money... things are so much better now --- I still feel overwhelmed but not like I did then.

God needs to be in your life - if He isn't already - not just in YOURS but in your FAMILY's life! Taking time out for Him will actually help you have time that you never thought you would have.

reply to me if you'd like to talk or email back and forth... where are you from?

R.
NE Ohio

Schedules work great. I'm a stay at home mom now but I was a single parent for several years when my 3 kids were very young, and very close in age. I worked full time and went to school, it was NOT easy to balance it all.

Bills, pay bills online every paycheck, sort them by date due. For me that means my house and car payments get paid the last check the month before since they are due on the first. and set up direct deposit for both you and your husband. this saves running around, trips to the bank, stamps and trips to the post office. Do not use credit unless it's an emergency, staying out of debt really helps remove stress from your life.

Your kids are old enough to help. Mine are 10, 8 and 6, they make their own beds, put their own clothes away, wipe down the table after dinner, wipe down the sink after they brush their teeth, put their own clothes in the hamper, pick up their own toys, help feed the pets, load their own plates into the dishwasher, help set and clear the table and have even dusted and rant he sweeper for me when it just had to get done and I couldn't do it. mind you when i have time i will do their chores but they know how to do all these things and will if asked saving me a lot of time.

Talk to your husband, even if it's simple things like him putting away dishes, and starting laundry before he leaves int he morning, or folding a load from the night before, it can really help. Also simple things like if you cook, he cleans up, can go a long way.

organize, take a weekend and find a home fore everything, declutter and get rid of what you don't use or need. the less stuff you have the less work you have to do to keep it all in order.

and most importantly, ask for help, take time out for yourself and your husband and your family, and just go with it. truthfully no one really cares if your house is a mess. you'll have plenty of time later to clean and have the picture perfect home, right now you are a busy working mom to small kids, enjoy it.

Noone ever said everything has to get fixed all at once. Start with baby steps. As far as finances go, sit down and write down all of your expenses each month, including groceries and gas. Then write down what income comes in and figure out if anything is left over. If nothing is left, go through your daily routine on paper and figure out places where costs can be cut. If you eat lunch out at work, start packing lunches. If a coworker lives close, talk to them about carpooling. If you eat out, even just once a week, start always eating at home. If you have a cell phone, cut back on minutes. Cable bills, internet costs, and home phone bills can all be decreased too.

For the house chores, start by focusing on one room at a time. Go through closets and things that are out in the open. If you haven't used it for the last year, donate it and keep track of what you donate so you can claim it as a tax deduction. If you find you have a lot of the same thing, cut back to which one you use the most. If you have clothes that you haven't worn for the last two seasons, get rid of them. In closets, too many blankets, coats, and shoes just take up space so donate what isn't a necessity. Once you have one room done, move to the next, then you'll only have a weekly cleaning to do in the room you've finished. In the kitchen, go through food and if it's expired, trash it. Take note of what you have in your cupboards so you can cut back on groceries for a few weeks while you use food up. In bathrooms, if you have lotions or perfumes that you haven't used in a long time, give them to someone you know. Little things can really help like when you get the mail, sit down and go through it right away. Junk mail goes straight in the trash, bills go into a bill organizer with different dates of the month so you can keep track of what's due when. Also, stop buying things just because they're a good deal if you're doing so. Once you get your house in order, it will be much more pheasible to sit down and figure out an upkeep schedule with you and your husband. One thing I always make sure of is that my dishes are always clean and put away and my kitchen counter is always spotless. Just having that done feels really good when you walk into it. For laundry, try doing one load everyday. It doesn't take much time, and eliminates laundry buildup. Don't think about how the "house" needs organized, instead break it up into smaller jobs. Maybe do one room a week, or more if you have the time to. I always clean out my pantry and closets every 3 months or so and it's amazing how many things I end up just throwing out that maybe at one point I had placed there just because I didn't know what else to do with it. Also, get a two drawer filing cabinet. It's a great way to keep organized. Have a file for every member of your family. Every doctor bill that comes in, file under the particular individual's name. Have a file for mortgage papers, tax deductions so you don't have to scramble around at tax time to get papers you need, one for insurance info., car payment stubs, credit card stubs, and whatever else you tend to keep statements or papers from like report cards. Everytime you go through mail or write bills, file the papers in the appropriate spot right away to avoid accumulating piles of paperwork. Have a spot somewhere for the kids to keep their backpacks. THere's nothing worse than kids coming home and throwing their things from school wherever they land. Consider hanging hooks inside closets that are designated for bookbags. Since your kids are young, I also recommend having hooks for their coats also, that way they're put away without you having to do it for them. I have a large pantry that I have hooks on both sides of just for these purposes. Have boxes or rubbermaid bins for those things that no matter how hard we try, they just end up accumulating like AC adapters, extension cords, yellow red and white tv cords, and other electrical things that fit into that category. For the kids' rooms, have them clean with you so they can see that everything is going to have a designated spot from now on. EVery night about 15 minutes before bedtime, have them run in and make sure everything is as it should be. Also, get them in the habit of making their bed everyday, it rubs off onto other areas of their lives. My kids have made their own beds since they were 3, may not have been too pretty back then, but hey, they were made right? There are so many things that can be done to keep things organized, but first you have to go through and get rid of things that are not useful. You may be hoarding because of an area of your life that you are unhappy with. Try to look at your life and figure out what it is, and try to be thankful for what you do have in your life.

Everything has a solution, so don't feel hopeless, just feel motivated. Take it one day and one project at a time. You'll get there!!

I know exactly how you feel. For my finance issues, I pay ALL the bills at one time so I know what is left over. Dont spend it if you dont have it. Housework: do a little every day. Wheather its before bed or in the morning before work. I throw a load of clothes in b4 work, then put them in the dryer when i get home. I also sweep and vacuum at least every other day. I sat my hubby down and told him i need his help. Hes in control of the garbage and getting the dished into the dishwasher. The major cleaning like the bathroom or mopping gets done on the weekends. It doesnt take long if you split it all up, and keep up on it because it gets out of control FAST. I am a perfectionist and hate clutter so this might be easier for me than you, but try it. Once you get a schedule set up everything goes much smoother. TRUST ME

B.,
I agree with most of the comments about perhaps seeing a counselor to help you feel better about you so you can devote yourself more completely to your family.

I've had depression for years. Sometimes it's good and manageable, other times it's not. Last year, I was diagnosed with cancer, and it helped me put things into the proper perspective. Then, I lost my job in May, and it felt like the world had turned against me. In 12 weeks of unemployment, I felt like I didn't get anything done (other than finding a new job).

We don't have family around either, so 5 months of chemo with a newborn and a 2 year old fell completely on us with occasional help from friends/neighbors. it can add up and feel like you're at your breaking point.

Good luck. I hope you find the solace you desperately need. I did find that an antidepressant to smooth me out was the best ting for me so I could focus on my family appropriately. I hope you find whatever it is you need to help put things in order.

Get connected with a mom or parent group in your area. Try www.mops.org or your local hospital. Hire a babysitter so that you can go connect with other moms in your area. You need some "me" time.

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