But I have to admit, now that the kids are in pre-K and first grade, it’s getting easier. We’ve got FaceTime to talk to Daddy; the kids have lots of activities to get me out of the house and interacting; and once the kids are asleep in their own beds (finally, yay!), I know how important it is to take full advantage of that me time.
But let’s be honest, when it comes to the disaster part of the equation, Daddy or no Daddy, the house gets messy quickly. The toys, the mail, supplies from my last blog project, school art projects and assignments (seriously, how much paper do they use?) … it’s all stacked up and/or strewn everywhere.
Crap just accumulates. Doesn’t it?!
You know all those Facebook photos of your friends’ pretty clutter free homes? Yeah, that’s not my house. It’s probably not their house either, much of the time.
If I have friends coming over, that’s when the real deep cleaning begins. That’s when the toys finally get shoved into the play room, and when the sink is dish free. That’s when you can see the surface of the kitchen island, and the dining table actually has room for dishes and a lovely smelling centerpiece with a nice cozy glow. (Speaking of…check out my tutorial for a simple and beautiful DIY vase made with a canning jar, duct tape and twine below!)
Anyway, when the house is a disaster, I know my brain cannot fully relax. When my senses are overstimulated with toys papers, and dishes piled high, it adds to my anxiety like you would not believe. And yet, I still let it get to that point so much of the time! I have to admit, I am lazy lazy lazy when it comes to housework. I cannot stress the lazy enough. I’m not ashamed to admit I am a terrible “homemaker.” OK, maybe I am ashamed but I’m saying it anyway. Isn’t John a lucky fella?!
I am however proud to say that lately “Team John & Cristi” has been doing a lot better. We have been trying our damnedest to be a bit more proactive around the house. He’s always been much better at it than me. But together we can become an unstoppable force when motivated. We even FINALLY got a new kitchen faucet after a gazillion months sporting a broken one. The kids recently moved into a bedroom together with new bunk beds and the majority of the toys went into their playroom.
Most of the time though, these big accomplishments are not the norm. But even so, I still need to find at least a little peace and tranquility at home. It is imperative. Even if it’s just a few small things. Baby steps can actually help me reduce stress. So what are these little changes that make the most impact? For me it’s all about the senses, particularly what I see, smell, touch and hear. I’m leaving out taste because that can get me into trouble, and cause even more stress. Damn carbs!
But I digress.
So back to the other four senses.
For me, a glow is one of the most relaxing things to see. It’s a big reason I love the holidays in our home so much. During the winter season, our house is filled with lights and candles, and I often forget that little trick during other times of the year.
So, while I was shopping for the usual cleaning supplies at Walmart, I stopped by the candle/air care aisle to help me find that peaceful glow for spring. Using these types of candles is also a great way to incorporate lovely spring scents at home. And of course fresh flowers are the perfect sight and smell too.
On the bathroom counter, right next to that sometimes stinky toilet, I put a little melted wax scented lamp that I just love. It’s pretty and keeps the bathroom smelling wonderful. And seriously I just love that glow!
And in the bath, where the kids toys are usually piled up to kingdom come, I did a little switch out for a more serene bath-time experience.
As far as sound goes, another sensory stress reducer for me is music. What we hear can make a huge impact on our level of stress and anxiety. All it takes is my iPhone and a little speaker, and I’m transported. I just can’t get enough of the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1. Love the soundtrack and the film so much!
And speaking of creativity, here’s a quick little tutorial for that DIY Vase. I love it because it literally took 5 minutes, one canning jar, twine and gold duct tape. Oh how I love me some duct tape!
DIY Mason Jar Vase
Step 1: Purchase a canning jar with removable interior lid.
Step 2: Wrap gold duct tape once around the middle of the jar.
Step 3: Cut 3 strings of twine, each 36 inches long.
Step 4: Wrap all 3 strings around the top of the jar (it should go around 3 times.) Tie using a square knot and clip ends to desired length.
Step 5: Add water and flowers, and enjoy a little extra beauty and tranquility!