20 January 2009

A Question for You...



I mentioned last week that I plan to start a new series called Building a Soft Place to Land. I meant it when I said that I hope it will be a dialogue. Mostly because if it's all up to me, this will be a seriously short-lived series.

So before we get started, I'd love to hear about some of the things that you struggle with in your effort to create a home for your family. I'll go first.

I struggle with:

  • My attitude - This "creating a home" thing doesn't come naturally to me so I can easily get grumpy about the whole thing.
  • Being consistent in planning and cooking meals for my family
  • Keeping things tidy


And that's just the beginning. It's your turn. Go.

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130 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

emily said...

My biggest struggle is the meal planning thing. Life is so much better when I plan ahead. My mood is better, my kitchen is cleaner, The Man is happier. Still, I neglect to keep up in this one area. I wish we could go a month without eating so I could have some catch up time.

Sarah Mae said...

Staying on top of housework...ENERGY!!!

I think I would be a great homemaker if I only had more energy.

Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

I have 3 major struggle areas:

1. meal planning- what do i make? I'm really tired of tacos every 3rd night of the week (okay, I kid, but it's seriously at least once a week).

2.) My son's room. He's almost 3 and he's almost like a tornado! I clean and organize and then it's all over the place again. I just can't seem to stay on top of this.

3.) Keepsakes!! I still have yet to figure out what to do with all of the little keepsakes we pick up throughout the years. Where do you store things from baby showers or weddings you've attended? What about children's drawings and such?

Help!!

P.S. I'm really looking forward to the series.

Songbirdtiff said...

1. I struggle with balance. I have a tendency to get started on a project and abandon things like laundry and dinner. I have to learn to stop when it's time to do something else.
2. I take on too many responsibilities outside of my home and I'm learning to let someone else do stuff.
3. Food. I hate thinking about food. I don't like cooking, so I'm trying to find a system that works for me. Menu planning DOES NOT work. I hate cooking every night.

MamaHenClucks said...

Letting go of the need to have a perfectly clean house, every day.

Lettting go of the idea that my children, who aren't that old, should see what needs to be done and do it, without me having to tell them (hubby says even grown ups don't do this all the time, that i'm expecting too much)

Jenny@ L.O.T.s of Love said...

I struggle with my attitude...I can be a real grouch! You've talked about it before...moms often set the tone of the house.
I also struggle with time management. Like now...I should be cleaning up the mess I just made in the kitchen. Working outside the home really means that I need to manage my time better when I'm home.
I am good at delegating. Don't underestimate your kids ability to do it themselves. My daughters will be 6 this week and have been in charge of making their beds EVERYDAY for about 2 years. Is it perfect? No, but it's done!
The meal planning I've got! Yeah!~

Marci @ All Things Wonderful said...

I always enjoy your blog. I think this is a great series idea. I struggle with the process of decorating. I want it all the be perfect, right now. But, I know it takes time.

Valarie Lea said...

As a working Mom, I struggle with everything. I am up early running around getting kids ready then off to work, to think about everything that needs to be accomplished, that I can't do, because I am at work. When I finally get home about 6 to 6:30 on a normal day, Its all I can do to get anything accomplished. The kids have been home and the house is a wreck, I feel like I am in a rut trying to get things cleaned and organized.

Sorry I sorta vented there for a minute. :)

mom2riandkayl said...

I have the same 3 struggles you do, but can add time management to my list. My days seem to get away from me.

Gray Matters said...

I have to agree with Emily - I'm horrible with planning meals. My husband is rarely home for dinner (we have breakfast together as a family and not dinner) so I usually take the easy way out and prepare something easy that I know the kids will eat - which sometimes means chicken nuggets and fish sticks.

And the whole deep cleaning thing is somewhat foreign to me. I'm great at picking up and surface cleaning - but I happened to catch a glimpse of my baseboards the other day and was appalled by the amount of dust!

Jennifer Allwood said...

1) cleaning.... why can't I just have a cleaning person????

2) I live in Lego land with 2 small boys. Legos and toys EVERYWHERE!!!

Jennifer

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Most difficult part for me is keeping a good rotation on our menus... just gets so boring eating the same things over and over and over....

Di

Kathy said...

My biggest problem is consistency. I have such good intentions -we start a routine or a new 'chart' or a menu plan ... but after a week or two we're off track again. being homeschoolers let's us make our own schedule - but sometimes I have a hard time being consistent with being in charge of it all - all the time!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Hey girl, sounds like a great new series (however short lived it is)! Looking forward to it!

xo

blessings,
m

Bee and Rose said...

Meal planning!!! I cannot get that down to save my soul! Planning ahead does make things so much smoother...I'm good with the ideas...it's the execution of the idea where I go downhill...

Love this blog!

Jen M said...

I struggle with my family's "interference". I am trying to create a home that is clean, tidy, welcoming, cosy etc and my DH and two DSs do normal things like leave their stuff lying around, move things I've put "just so" etc. I really have to make a point of reminding myself to let go and that:
1) my family is way more important than my home
2)even though I do it for them as much as myself they perhaps don't place the same importance on a put-together home
3) in the long run it doesn't matter
4) I'd rather have my family around me messing up my home than a be lonely and alone in a pristine showhouse.

Kimberpeas said...

1.) Keeping the house tidy; after work, working out, dinner and dishes, I just feel like laying on the couch rather than cleaning up.

2.) Finances; struggling with the desire to create a comfortable, beautiful home and stick to our commitment to work towards financial peace. It's hard to have the patience needed to save up for these things!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

My biggest struggle by a long shot is getting laundry folded and put away in a timely manner. I sure wish there were a laundry fairy. That would make my life so much easier ;-)

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

I have to agree with the meal planning being one of my struggles. As moms, we have so much responsibility. I get overwhelmed thinking about the health of my children is in my hands!

The other is taking care of myself. I work from home, keep up with 2 blogs and volunteer in several areas at my church. I want to still do things I'm passionate about while also making a great home and memories for my family. I sometimes forget about taking care of myself. I have to really work on making myself workout, relax and go to the doctor and dentist... just your everyday things!

Kara said...

I struggle with remembering to be patient, not being a perfectionist, and keeping my house clean. I am teaching my boys to clean, but I struggle with letting it be "good enough". I try to remember that it doesn't really matter that they leave a few streaks on the windows, at least they are learning.

Sara F. said...

I am sooooo glad to hear that someone else has these same challenges! Cleaning/organizing is very difficult for me and I have never figured out why!?

I'm looking forward to seeing how you and others meet these seemingly ordinary challenges!

Sara F. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jemm said...

Ditto, all of the above. Plus
1) LAUNDRY,oh my, LAUNDRY
2) deciding what school papers, art work etc. to save from my kids

Wendy said...

I struggle with meal planning very often. I have a low energy level and I would rather decorate and "play" with the house than clean it. Whew! That's alot to confess. I think I'll go rest now. . . Ü

Every Day Blessings said...

My biggest struggle is getting the kids to help. I really need to use this time to teach them but often it is just easier to do it myself but then I get behind and grouchy.So I guess attitude would be an issue.

jeanne said...

Hello Kimba, I struggle with time management in keeping up with household duties. I love my home to be a lovely place to be at all times. I need to keep my closets etc. neater and balance my gardening with the inside demands of cooking and laundry. I love to be outdoors.

Nice post Kimaba, this is fun.

Hugs...Jeanne

Pretty Organizer said...

I struggle doing the things I need in order to prepare myself for the day:
Reading my scriptures daily
Morning personal prayer
Quiet meditation

If I do these things I am more in a mindframe to create that soft place for my family. My answers are kinder, my hope for the day is greater and I am more in tuned with the needs of my family which, though I joke about my role as mother, are the very things that bring me joy... meeting the needs of my family.

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

I struggle with finding the balance between what I like and what my husband likes. He graciously lets the house be my domain, but I still want him to enjoy living here, too. I also struggle with being envious of the ease with which it seems others can pull it all together.

Jessica said...

I find it hard to juggle working a full time job and keeping up with the every day housework! While I'm at work all I can think of is all I want/need to do at home and then by the time I get home I'm to worn out to do any of it. Its a nasty viscous cycle.

Cary said...

I get completely overwhelmed with the whole thing. I get all these wonderful ideas about decoration my home, but once I get started, I get overtaken by clutter that I cleverly keep hidden away. Then there's the money issue- no matter how thrifty and clever you are, it still costs money to make a home. Then there's the meal thing- I'm a terrible cook so fortunately hubby does most of the cooking. He's an excellent cook. I attempt to plan menus and cook, but the effort usually fades after a week or so. Truth is, I only attempt to cook because I like wearing aprons. Sad, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Ditto on meal planning (why are I surprised every night that it's dinner time again?) and keeping the house neat and clean. My kids are teenagers and used to make their beds every day but it seems to be a lesser battle with all else that goes on with teenagers. Looking forward to the series!

rossandconnierockon! said...

Thank you for asking! I struggle with clutter. We recently completed a small makeover on kitchen and bedroom, ridding ourselves of lots of stuff, and now I am having a problem with "allowing" anything else in! I also continue to find things that are considered keepsakes--but struggle with where to put all this "stuff."

I also cook things too long. I can cook, just not well! All suggestions welcome!

Vindiciti said...

Meal planning? What's that? I don't get the clean-house thing either. I have four kids: 11, 10, 5, and 2, and the middle two have autism. Kids aren't much help. My hubby is Army, so he's gone, then he's gone again. After that, he's gone.

I heard this quote that fits:

Cleaning house while your kids are still growin' is like shovelin' snow while it's still snowin'!

I'm an inherent clutterbug, so that's the major issue for me, I guess.

Alison said...

I too struggle with organization but mostly consistency! I also keep trying to 'feather the nest' but I bring in so much stuff that I have no place for it all, and don't need it either.
Probably an issue is procrastination too, and attitude. There is an unending list of things i need to do, but I get tired of doing everything all by myself (when I have 5 people perfectly capable of helping) and i find ways to put off things to be done.

oh reform us kimba!!

Christy Y. said...

I love the "why am I surprised every night that it's dinner time again?" from Anonymous. It's the same at my house. I can not plan a month of dinners. I'm just trying for a week at a time which is hard too. One thing I've been trying is some freezer cooking where things are already cooked and you just use them when you need a meal. You still have to thaw them out the night before which requires a lot of forthought on my part. So I'm getting down the basics of freezer cooking where I cook things that I can pull out and put in other things. Like last night I pulled out the frozen bbq chicken (the chicken was cut up before freezing) and warmed it up for a pizza topping. It was really good. I'm looking forward to the rest of this series. Good luck gals! :)

Cricket said...

Hmmm...I HATE cooking and I HATE cleaning. Yup, that about sums up my struggles! Perhaps I need an attitude adjustment! I'm getting ready (the next couple of months) to go back to work part-time out of the house. That will be a time mgmt. problem, too.

Tote, Debby, Sammy and Caleb Jimenez said...

I don't know if anyone has said this yet, but money.
It's hard wanting to do so much with our house, but not have ANY spare money. I mean, NONE!
It killed me not being able to shop the Christmas clearance stuff! ;)
If I had to pick another it would be organization. We have such a small house with no storage and it's hard to keep things not looking cluttered when everything (and everyone for that matter!) is on top of each other. I'm not real good and creativity when it comes to organizing!

Kellye said...

Hi Kimba!! Thank you so much for this series, and please don't make it short lived. I need it BIG TIME!! I want more than anything for my home to be a safe, secure, refuge for my husband and 2 daughters but here is where I struggle...

1) Consistency. I start a new routine, new idea, new plan and the next day POOF...its gone! I so wish I could be consistent and keep things the same so that my kids know what to expect...which I believe is so important for that sanctuary home we are all trying to create.

2)Time Management. WHOA! The day gets away from me and before you know it, its time to go get the kids and Im still in my pjs in front of the computer with my coffee. BRUTAL!! I wish I had better time management skills.

3)Prioritizing. I take on too much outside of my house which makes it impossible for me to create that environment I want so much. Then when I do get to my "soft place to land" I crash like a ton of bricks and everyone suffers. I am dealing with this weakness right now though and am learning to say NO NO NO so hopefully it won't be a struggle for much longer!

Julie said...

I agree that I stuggle as well with the three things you already listed. I would add ...

1) Taking care of myself. I stuggle with making my quiet time, self care and hobbies a priority.

2) Finances, as someone else mentioned, I stuggle with wanting to create a nice home and staying within our budget.

3) Making my home fun. I sometimes feel like I spend so much taking care of the house, schooling and all of that type thing that my kids will never think of their childhood as fun.

Carrie said...

I think I would have to agree with Valarie Lea. Also being a workin Mom outside of the home, I have a hard time balancing both work and home.

When I am at work, I think about all of the things that need to be done at home and when I am at home vice versa.

But if I had to narrow it down to three. It would have to be...

1)Laundry...I am not sure why but laundry is a HUGE problem in this house. Even though the kids are 17 and 15, somehow this has become my job. Even though "Big Daddy" helps, the kids don't!!

2)Meal Planning...again, working outside of the home seems to put a damper on this one. I really do like to cook. But after working all day, I am either to tired (or maybe it is called lazy) to cook. Or I tend to forget to take the frozen meat out, etc. So then, we tend to eat out more often then our waistlines and pocketbooks can handle!!

3)I guess this would have to be just overall getting everybody to pick up after theirselves. I will find myself cleaning on my days off just to find everything a mess a day or two later because everybody is either to tired or lazy to pick up after theirselves.(And yes, I am including myself in this one!!{{{BLUSH}}})

Lissa said...

Let's see, my biggest struggles would be:

1. Keeping the house picked up, especially since everyone takes stuff out and I am the only who puts it away. My husband is the only other person old enough to help, and he constantly uses stuff and leaves it out.

2. Accepting my temporary space and still making it beautiful. We are renting, so I can't do things that are permanent and don't want to decorate just for this space.

3. Being patient, especially when the budget only allows for so many projects per month. I have to really prioritize each month and stick to our written budget.

4. Laziness. Sometimes I just want to read blogs and nap when I should be caring for our home.

AnNicole said...

Oh my gosh...I already feel better just reading everyone's comments! I had no idea so many other women struggled with meal planning and keeping a clean and organized house. I honestly don't know why I felt it was just me, but somewhere in the back of my head I thought that all those "real" moms out there were on top of this stuff. Phew!

I can't wait for your new series!

Lucy said...

Motivation. Energy, because my health isn't great. I find it hard to think up meals when I'm tired...I go blank! Cooking which is creative and easy. My hubbie is allergic to cheese so everything has to be cheese free! (seems meal planning is a running theme!)

Also there are things that need doing each day which aren't negotiable. That means the things that are further down the list don't get done, get worse, and LURK there and taunt me!!

Betsy said...

Consistent meals, not enough focus on playing with kiddos, time management....just the top of the list.

meandmom said...

Another working mom here....struggling with the schedule. My biggest struggle these days is accepting that I am not a SAHM anymore and that I can't hold the same expectations of myself that I once did. I must admit that I long for the days when I could repaint furniture and pull out my glue gun for a project. I just plain ole don't have time anymore.

I try to put things in a simpler strategy....for example....I subscribe to Martha Stewart's daily dinner recipes....not that I always use them, but they are a help when I can't thing of what to make for dinner. I would love other strategies that keep my home feeling like home versus just a place to sleep at night.

Misti of Studio M Designs said...

My struggle at this point in life is remembering to stop and take daily time with my boys individually. Sometimes I take for granted that they entertain each other but that they still need and want Mom to take the time to sit and talk or just watch their favorite show with them. We spend lots of time together, but it consists of running to practices, or the grocery store, or me sitting on the computer...my goal is to stop running so much and stop to enjoy my children. My oldest will be in college in two years, then our whole world as we know it will never be the same. I want to know that I have soaked up every minute!
~Misti

l33t-dreams said...

My biggest problem is finishing projects. I've been working on painting my kitchen for YEARS. I think two years have gone by that I've had sample swatches of colors on the doorframe. I also took all the switchplates off when I painted and never put them back on. Now I have no idea where they are! So, yes finishing projects/finishing touches are my downfall.

Deciding on "my" style is another one. I like so many different things! It's hard to integrate so many tastes into a single house.

Linda said...

You see, it isn't all about the meal planning and preparation, even the clean-up! If I could put all the people in here who have that issue, I could be good at helping them out! For me, it is getting to all of the "stuff" that comes in the mail, finding time to read the magazines that come in the mail (and I only get ones that I absolutely love and can't live without, so it's not that many) and keeping the island clear of clutter. Husband tends to "file" things in a basket on the island and the basket overflows and then it is encroaching onto the rest of the island...growing, growing, piling. You get the picture.
If I could take a couple days off each month to just clear the clutter, it would be great.

pcb said...

I lose steam when it comes to the meal thing and also cleaning the bathroom. Like another commenter, things like baseboards and corners really don't get done (and let's don't even talk about shutters).

Sheryl said...

Meals are hard. We have 3 teenagers and it seems like it's harder to get everyone to eat at the same time, and they are so darn picky! My husband is the worst. I was spending a lot of time making nice meals and they weren't appreciating them at all, so I stopped. I guess after 22 years of marriage I am just tired of making dinners!

As a working mom, it's also hard for me to stay on top of the house. I'm back to doing flylady's daily zone missions because they help so much.

Someone mentioned money and that's a hard one for me as well. We simply don't have the funds to fix things up around here the way I'd like to. BUT, I'm trying to be resourceful.

Sheryl

Kristin said...

I hate doing the dishes! That after all is what dishwashers were invented for! But alas we bought an old farm house with no place to put a dishwasher! My other struggle is wanting to crash in the chair when my son goes to bed, which leaves me pretty much no time to do anything after working from 7:30 until 4 during the day!

Angie said...

i struggle with meal planning and staying within the grocery budget. I also feel like I have laundry comeing out of my ears!!! But the biggest thing I struggle with is making time to play with my kids. It seems like in order to keep the house up I am busy all the time!

3LittleByrds said...

Mine is definately the meal planning and the motivation just to cook as I hate cooking. My other is just letting things go. I have a tendency to be anal with the order of my house and wanting things where their suppose to be and my family just doesn't get that. I'm trying to get better at that and just remember it will get done and everything doesn't have to always be perfect all the time. It's hard though.

MaryCatherine said...

I struggle with meal planning! we have a budget and I have a hard time staying on it. Also, when my husband leaves on deployment and I am left alone with my daughter I struggle with getting overwhelmed which can sometimes result in a rotten attitude on my part :(

And my laundry/craft room...it's scary. I need to find an easily accessible way to store my craft supplies-yikes!

Kelly said...

Hi Kimba!

1) I want stuff NOW. It drives my hubby crazy... I need to learn how to say, it will come later if not now.

2) Meal planning, I need to get my butt in gear for that.
I always wing it every single night at dinner time.

3) Stop being a grouch the time and learn to love my blessings.
(I REALLY am struggling with this one right now)

Hope all is well with you, girl.
Kelly--
(blissfullydeaf@comcast.net)

Gina said...

My biggest struggle is perspective, I tend to get one thing planned in my head for the day (clean house, orgazize this, work on that) and then my kids always have a different idea. I shouldn't be surprised, they're four and two, but I have such a hard time rolling with it and letting go of my plans and ideas. When I do my days are always easier and I usually end up getting the essentials done, but it's such a struggle for me.

I totally agree with what Julie said about making home fun, I want that so much for my kids and I usually get in the way of that!

Looking forward to your ideas!

Jason said...

I struggle the most with the actual cooking. I can plan and buy, but sometimes when I get home {work full time right now} I just want to be lazy. Like fast food lazy. That is my biggest struggle.

Jason said...

Oh, and I am signed in as my husband. My bad!

- Traci
www.thegarbers.blogspot.com

:)

Kelly said...

I am so looking forward to reading this series. It's comforting to see I have a lot of the same struggles as everyone else. I used to be so good at keeping things clean and organized before kids but 3 kids later I feel like I have adult ADD. I'm not joking when I say that!! I struggle with time management, lack of energy, and most of all lack of motivation!!! I used to enjoy cleaning, now I dread it.

Lisette said...

Top Struggles would definately be:
~Finding the time to be efficient in the day - getting more done - not letting it pile up
~LAUNDRY- keeping on top of it
~CREATIVITY in everyday redundancy (example - cooking - could add a bit more variety)
And last but not least...
~Appreciating it all - its so easy to lose sight of what's really important!!

Mama Dog said...

Making dinner at the end of a long day is hard for me. Especially when the kids have activities and I'm running around in the car for a couple of hours and then I have to come home and feed all these people! But I definitely do much better with a plan. Also the clutter control. I'm just bad at it. I'm a stacker no matter how many strategies I try to implement. I'm looking forward to your series Kimba!

Penny said...

Meal planning is a big one, for me.
Maybe guests could post "real" recipes. That are easy to make.
It may solve the problem that most of us have ~

Runner Mom said...

Picking up after everyone else!!! I do not enjoy that!

Spending too much time reading blogs when I should be cleaning and doing other stuff! But this is more fun! I am going to set the timer on the srove to better manage my time. I HAVE to!

Hugs!
Susan

PS--I can't wait to get my heart pin!!

Megan @ Little Bella Bean said...

I struggle with keeping the house clean! I tend to be a clutter bug. Part of it is I have SO much stuff in such a small house. I need to use my space better, and build more shelves. Plus I tend to use my time for more creative purposes than cleaning...ack! =)

Erin said...

LAUNDRY! I think it ate my master bedroom. I can't seem to ever stay on top of it.

I love your blog. Thanks so much!

Kristy said...

I struggle with the repetitive chores - you know, the ones that really are never done, like dishes and laundry. I'm such a to-do list person, but I hate seeing the same thing on my to-do list day after day or week after week. I feel like I'm not making progress.

Kelley said...

I love this idea, Kimba, and I believe that we could learn so much from one another.

I struggle most with simply staying on top of everything. We love to entertain but, the way that my housekeeping is these days, having someone over takes a week's worth of work to pull off. I really want to be the kind of housekeeper who would never stress at the appearance of an unexpected guest. I'm not looking for perfection here just something better than all or none. Right now, when my house is clean, it's REALLY clean but when it's not....oh my!

I also struggle with meal planning; that seems to be one many of us have in common.

Amanda Jo said...

I struggle with:

1. Keeping my home Christ-centered instead of self-centered.

2. Keeping my house picked up and nice looking.

3. Keeping my attitude in check. I fight laziness and bitterness ALL. THE. TIME.

Southern Bride To Be said...

1)Budgeting!

2)Being "the listening ear" that my fiance needs...even after a long day at work.

Mama Lou said...

I struggle with deep cleaning, the grout in my house is my own private hell. I know it is ultimately an issue of maintenance but I just don't have the time or patience for it.

Seeing laundry through to completion is also a challenge for me. My husband does his laundry and the kids every other week but I struggle to stay on top of all 5 steps (as FlyLady would direct) when it is my turn.

And sticking to a budget. I can trounce a budget in a single day and have a good excuse too. The 47 bags we donated to goodwill is a testament to my spending prowess.

tidymom said...

I struggle with the face that I get really stressed out that I clean and it doesn't STAY clean - I feel defeated when I clean the bathroom for example, to go in shortly after and find toothpaste spit every where, hair in the sink etc........I have to just BREATH........THIS I struggle with.....

~Tidymom

Kimm said...

I struggle mostly with my expectations. I wake up most mornings with grand plans of what I will accomplish that day. Life usually gets in the way, or I run out of energy and then at the end of the day I feel disappointed in myself and inadequate. And, of course, those feelings in me don't help to create the right atmosphere in my home.

Lana said...

I always seem to have papers or stuff sitting around everywhere!! Keeping tidy is definately a struggle for me!

Kyla said...

Ahhh . . . so many struggles. I'd have to say a few of mine are:

1. Budgeting
2. Meal Planning
3. Good Organization . . . I've got lots of organizational stuff, but they just don't seem to "fit" what I'm trying to accomplish . . . if ya know what I mean.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Holy cow - can you tell that you hit a nerve? We all desire a softer place to land...it's just the landing part that is a little rough.

I posted a creative meal planning alternative today...just ironic that everyone is saying meal planning is one of the hardest thing.

This makes it fun.
http://inpassionatepursuit.blogspot.com/2009/01/creative-meal-planning-part-two.html

Hopefull said...

I pick up and tidy 'cause its fast and easy. I struggle with dusting and cleaning good regularly and it just looks down right dirty sometimes. Really, I have no excuse - we all love it when its clean, I have 3 able bodies helpers and I sure find time to go to blogland!! :)

Littleton5468 said...

I am also terrible with the attitude. It also doesn't come natural to me!

Meal planning is hard, and I despise the grocery store!!! I found the best book that helps me. It is called DON'T PANIC-DINNER'S IN THE FREEZER by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell, and Bonnie Garcia. Seriously, it is the BEST. As I type I am making homemade pot pie for tonight and 2 other nights. It is easy and delicious. Everything I have made has been great. Everyone should definitely check it out. After I make dinner for the next 5 nights I will have dinner plus 10 meals in the freezer. Can't beat that.

Littleton5468 said...

Wanted to add if you forget to pull the meals out of the freezer there are a lot that you can pop in the microwave on defrost, then go about getting dinner ready. Very helpful for someone like me who, ALWAYS forgets. Then when I get the one to defrost, I go ahead and pull the one for the next night while I'm at it because you know if I didn't, I would be doing the same thing the next night!!

Also, DITTO to every single comment. I see myself in ALL of them.

Kimberlee said...

Food seems to be a pervasive problem for all of us. :) I struggle with it amongst friends who plan ahead/freeze meals and here I am, a SAHM with kids who don't come home until 3:30 and I STILL fail. Doh!

Budget planning. I'm trying to get my DH on board, but he just doesn't get it. It stresses me out to no end.

Windy said...

My attitude and time management! Meal planning and doing just takes getting used to, and it's way cheaper than eating out!

Jenn in MN said...

I sometimes struggle with attitude toward the daily repetitious tasks that have to be done to maintain some sort of order.

I don't often have time to do the "fun" projects that I think would make my home prettier or nicer.

My husband and I have different ideas about what would make our home prettier or nicer and I don't know how to balance that so I don't do much except try to keep things clean and orderly.

Jenn in MN said...

I also struggle with how to organize my kids chores so that they can be more consistently helpful. I'll take any tips you have!!

Mindy said...

I struggle with mom guilt! (Not doing enough/for/with the kids.)

Rita said...

Learning to keep meals at home simple so that I'm not tempted to go out.

LuLu said...

Meal planning... I use to love love to cook... now I don't mind cooking if someone tells me what to cook. Thinking of the meals have worn me out.
LuLu

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

I feel like I'm inconsistent. I'm gung ho and then I fall down. I want to stay on top of the household duties without feeling like that is all I ever do is cook and clean. Sometimes I tend to be all or nothing.
When I have everything clean, neat, tidy, and under control I am MUCH happier and kinder.

Skygrl said...

It's ironic to see so many of you struggle with meal planning. That's where I excel. I love to cook and try new recipes. And I cook almost every night. My hubby knows he lives well in the food dept! LOL But I am far from perfect. I hate to clean! I struggle with managing my time at home and finding the motivation to clean and clear the clutter. I also have so many great ideas about decorating the home, but I am horrible on the the follow-thru. I have such a hard time making a decision that I end up doing nothing!

Brenda said...

the biggest struggle is keeping the 'clutter spots' cleaned. Everyone (kids and husband) have a favorite spot for dumping things!

and keeping the shoes organized in the hall closet. Everyone just throws them in and shuts the door.

Kris said...

1. Getting anything done with a 6 yr old, 3 yr old and 1 yr old under my feet.

2. What to do with the junk my kids accumulate but seem they would die without.

3. Keeping up with the housework


It's hard to keep a happy heart and good attitude when I often feel like a hamster stuck in the wheel doing the same repetitive things. (Should I say that again?) :)

kristi_temple said...

My biggest struggle is balancing everything. If the kitchen is clean and meals are prepared, then the laundry piles up or we don't finish up all of our homeschooling for any given day. Or it goes the other way, we have a great day of schooling and I get laundry done but, the kitchen is a mess and I have nothing ready for dinner. All I can do is kepp on trying my best.

Carri said...

I think I completely agree with your list.

Keeping my temper and myself from nagging is definitely top on my list though. Sometimes I feel like abroken record.

Victoria said...

I tend to only do housework and NEVER start any of my projects because I don't have the time to do them once all the housework is done. I also tend to be a little ADD and work all day but not accomplish much.

Erika said...

Energy
Organization
Attitude
Procrastination (probably my biggest nemesis)

Leigh said...

organization
motivation
balancing my checkbook
getting rid of sentimental things...

Jennifer said...

I tend to be rather OCD...and I really like a place for everything and everything in its place. I keep my home clean and (too) neat. I love that it looks nice but sometimes it is too "uptight" and not exactly welcoming. My biggest problem is finding a balance - a cozy haven and a nice, tidy space!

greedygrace said...

My struggle is time and energy. By the time I get home from work, have dinner, get the kids ready and put to bed, I am exhausted! The last thing I want to do is clean and organize and decorate!

Amy said...

I too get very grumpy when I come home from work and don't have dinner planned and the house isn't tidy. Once I am grouchy, it's not a peaceful haven for my family. My hope is that the Lord will help me this year with these things.

Messy Jessy said...

My homemaking pitfalls come from letting life happen "to me" rather than being proactive in every way.

Really? Christmas is in December?
What? My kids grow and need food?
Come On! Since when do I need a matching scrub top and bottom for work?

My goals are simple. Bring my brain to the table and show up for my life.

I look forward to your series. I'll be building a foundation right along with you.

Don't worry about dialog. Looks like we've all got a bunch to say.

Missie said...

I struggle with finding the balance between my expectation of "tidy all the time" and what is realistic for my family to still function smoothly and have fun. The specific area of the household management that I have difficulty with is paperwork. I am amazed and overwhelmed by the amount of paper that comes into the house each week. Thank you for doing this series. It is comforting to see we are not alone.

Rosie said...

I struggled with other's "idea" of what our home should be. It took me several years to be comfortable with our family identity. That came with maturity and hard lessons learned. We marched to a different drum beat in our home and other's were not always comfortable with that. I learned to quit apologizing for who we are and relax with being us.

jenjen said...

Kimba --

I struggle with menu planning: figuring out what to make for dinner and actually getting to the store to have the ingredients when I need them. I hate grocery shopping! I also hate putting laundry away.

I need some motivation!

Thanks!
Jen

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I have to say, Hello my long-lost twin!! I have the exact same struggles - it really is like you took the words out of my mouth.

The hard part for me is that I can have a really good day or two, and then in a matter of a few short hours, everything is back to disaster mode.

I know my hubby would love to see some consistency.

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Hands down...meals! I don't enjoy cooking. That may have something to do with being harassed by four precious children while trying. I don't know...I'm just sayin. Definitely something I need to work on!

starsfault said...

My challenge is to SIMPLIFY. I'm an empty nester, with a much beloved hubby of 38 years, 3 kitties that make me smile, and a dear Tennessee Walker Horse that melts my heart. I struggle with my desire to live a simplier, humblier home life, less house, less possessions, less fuss. Hubby likes big house, more stuff. We don't live fancy, but still I feel weighted down by THINGS.

I want to transition to the "two spatula" lifestyle. Let me explain - I have 5 spatulas in my utensil drawer, we need two: one for the cast iron skillet, one for the non-stick. Hubby likes one for pancakes, one for this, one for that, and pretty soon you have 5 spatulas when you really only NEED two. Maybe even ONE would do it all...

I want to create THAT home, where life is simple and we want less, are CONTENT with less.

Blessings ~ Eileen @ Star's Fault

abeachcottage said...

s struggle with tiredness, over committing to things and then getting grouchy because I haven't got the washing sorted

that's the tip of the iceberg...but I'm pleased to say meal planner I have down to an art with the aid of my crock pot and OAMC I never really have to worry too much about what's for dinner

Sarah

JanMary said...

I think everything has already been covered!

Feeling at times overwhelmed by it all, yet feeling guilty as I am able to be a sahm, and that is such a privilege.

I want to enjoy these years, not spend the time nagging the kids to pick up after themselves!

Melanie said...

I struggle with being content. We have a beautiful home in a great neighborhood, and it works very well for our family. Yet I'm constantly focused on all the little things I want to change, which takes away the enjoyment of the everyday.

Dreaming of Mermaids said...

it's all difficult at different times. Sometimes I excel in one area, but then slack and struggle in another. It changes all of the time for me.

This simple Life said...

Meal planning and organization are big ones. My counter top gets seriously cluttered because I can't find a good solution for the day to day junk.

Susie Harris said...

Meals!! I have a hard time planning this. See Im a people pleaser and that means trying to make something that everyone will eat. Not as easy task with two teenagers and a 8 year old. When I do plan ahead its wonderful. Im trying very hard not to use fastfood as an escape plain. Also not an easy task. Im looking forward to hearing your plans. Maybe with your help and ideas I just may enjoy cooking again. Have a good one~

duchess said...

I definitely struggle to keep things picked up, sometimes it looks like a bomb exploded with children's toys everywhere.
(I also detest cleaning - that probably doesn't help.)

Kristen said...

Probably my biggest struggle is time management, I can have the best of intentions but loose them all in what seems like minutes but is actually hours.

Also, I despise doing laundry! I don't know what it is, but folding and ironing clothes drives me insane!

Debbie said...

I agree with the whole meal planning thing...I just can't seem to take the time to sit down and put together a weekly meal plan so that I know what we are going to ahead of time instead of scrambling at 5 pm. I try to do a nightly tidy so that the house isn't a mess when I wake up in the morning...but I am inconsistent about the big weekly clean. The other thing I struggle with is indecision...I am afraid to start a project and then end up not liking it....so I wait and wait and wait and up looking at that can of paint that I purchased last May in hopes of repainting the powder room...does it ever end! Great idea for a post and series!

Shanna aka Eli n Lucas's mommy said...

I struggle with prety much everything - healthy meal planning, keeping things in their place, organizing, things to do with the kids, my attitude, how to balance everything, the list goes on & on.
I can't wait for the series....I love your blog!

Jessica said...

I would have to say meal planning. The whole process of it, choosing what to make, grocery shopping (Ugh! hate it), then cooking it. I dislike meat so it's a constant struggle for me to handle and cook meat. I'd be happy if we could just all eat cereal every night...why won't they go for that?

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

I have trouble with setting limits with the kids and getting serious about chores...I tend to let the kids walk all over me...then wonder why they don't take me seriouly....

The Donahue's said...

Let's see, I have a list of struggles: Housework-its boring, meal planning-boring and takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r, and my biggest one is that decorating does not come naturally to me, and I would much rather be having fun outside than be inside. but I also think if my house was a place I enjoyed, it might be different. I look forward to reading your ideas.

Becky said...

My stuggle is the me time. I get so busy with keeping the house clean and trying to spend "quality" time with the kids that I never take time for me and after a few weeks I have a really clean house and all folded laundry and I am unhappy.

Jennifer said...

MERCY! as Jen said, this series has definitely struck a cord with many moms.

I actually have meal planning and laundry somewhat under control and will email you with what I do so that you can share some alternatives. I don't have my own blog (yet? - still praying about whether it would jsut cause me to waste MORE time on the 'puter or if would help me clear my brain!).

ANYWAY, my struggle is with my attitude toward my kids. Too many times, I'm snapping at them and letting "them interfere with my to do list." My heart breaks when I think that I have probably left them (4 from age 4-11) with the impression that my to do list is more important then them. I want them to never doubt that I love them and that they are my priority. I dont' want them to remember always having a clean house but having a Mom who loved them, played with them, listened to them, read to them, talked to and with them.

Reborn said...

Cleaning! Yuck yuck yuck. Especially the bathroom. I always have to emergency clean before people come over, and that is stressful!

Anonymous said...

Staying on track. I am amazed at how little it takes to throw me off track. I no I do not suffer from ADD but I meal plan for a few weeks, keep my housekeeping up for a few weeks, and then one little thing and I am off track and I struggle to get back..

Marian said...

1. Waking up consistantly. :( Sometimes its at 5:30 other times 9:30.
2. Being grumpy! I can be a grumpy grump face.
3. Taking care of myself. I don't remember the last time I pampered myself. There's not enough time!

june@craftyniche said...

Time management
Budget constraints
Keeping the house tidy and organized

kari and kijsa said...

We would amen all your struggles!! It seems there are never enough hours in the day!!!
blessings,
kari & kijsa

Still Learning said...

Keeping all six of us organized!!! Boy o boy does that one bite me in the butt.
Meal planning is another biggie. What's for dinner tonight? Oh, crap the meat is still in the freezer!! Yeah, that's me. Working on it though.

Sarah said...

My biggest struggle is meal times, I did ( & must get back in the habit of) doing a 7 day meal roster, it made life so much easier, with then only 1 trip to the supermarket & a top up once or twice for fresh fruit & veges depending on what we are having.
My other issue is putting away the washing after it has beed washed & dried, it usually ends up in a big pile on the floor in our bedroom. I am going to designate 1 night per week wich will be purely for making sure the housework stays up to date
Sarah xxx
Shabby Roses & Pretty Things

Keri said...

I have a hard time doing it all at once. I can either have clean laundry and dinner on the table, or we can do all our school work and have no paper piles everywhere. Apparently it's not possible to do both in my little world.

Audrey said...

I struggle:

-keeping up with everything I want to do in creating/keeping my home: meal planning, activities with the kids, clutter-control, decorating, chores
-keeping my focus long enough to follow through on tasks
-developing and maintaining organization systems...so I have more time to work on new ideas.

Life of Preston said...

ditto.
ditto.
and
ditto.

please, please help :)
can't wait to read your series! thanks!

The Dearborn Family said...

I know I am a little late here, but I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and share what my struggles have been and are. I think for me the biggest problem is that there is a pervading sense of unsettled-ness in my home. Being a military family we move alot. This time in my life feels almost like my own personal 40 years in the desert, just wandering around waiting for a home. I get lost in dreams of an idealistic future and all that I could and will do when we are settled, and miss out on the now and all that I could make of it.