Monday, January 3, 2011

Do Your Routines Work for You and Your Family?

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A new year never fails to bring with it a new resolve. This year I will make sure my laundry gets done! This year I will keep the bathroom clean! This year we will actually sit down together and eat home-cooked meals around the dinner table! Year after year I made lists full of those resolutions with the best of intentions, but year after year, my best efforts quickly fizzled out. My resolutions became guilt-propelled arrows of shame Satan used as daggers in my self-esteem. “This place is a mess,” he hissed. “You don’t know where anything is. What kind of person lives like this?”

Then my mother-in-law introduced me to FlyLady, a website serving tens of thousands of perfectionistic procrastinators (or procastinating perfectionists!) as a virtual mentor. She didn't know that I had been praying for someone to help me with my household duties, but I had been, and FlyLady literally changed my life, and my family's life.

Marla Cilley is the bossy but loveable “FlyLady,” and she believes the enemy wreaks havoc against moms and their families when it comes to home management. “Housework is not pain or punishment,” she says. “That’s just the way the devil turns it against you.” Cilley believes that every woman actually has routines in place--it is simply a matter of whether or not her routines are working.

Think about it: Your routine may be to leave dirty dishes in the sink (presumably “soaking” LOL), to madly search for the car keys every time you have to go somewhere, and to have mounds of laundry to face every weekend. Please don't read judgment in that--for many years, that was the story of my life. If your “routines” are robbing you of peace and tranquility in your home—which ought to be your safe corner of the world--then your routines need to be changed! Until you decide to do something, Cilley says, “You’re depriving your family of a wonderful home, a nurturing mother, and a caring wife.”

I recently re-visited the FlyLady philosophy as I read back through Cilley's best-selling book, Sink Reflections. I definitely need to brush up on several things, but truthfully, just reading back through the book I realize how it changed my life.

I'll never forget my son David's reaction when I first began "flying." He was around 8 or 9 years old, and he had just gotten up and was coming to the kitchen to find me. He eyeballed the clear counters and freshly-mopped floor of my clean kitchen and asked, "Who's coming over?" Huge moment of revelation for me: Did my kids think a clean house was for company only? Shouldn't the house be clean for the family who lives in it every day?

I interviewed Cilley by phone for ParentLife magazine several years ago, and she is just a joy. I told her how she was the mentor I had prayed for, and she got choked up--she truly loves helping people just like me--and maybe just like you! I'll be sharing portions of that interview this week, and I hope you'll join me! btw, if you're already "flying," leave a comment--I would love to know about it!

And if you've got any Christmas money leftover, I urge you to get Marla Cilley's book. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. Don't you want to love the home you live in? And don't you want to get off your own back about it, and actually do something besides beat yourself up over it? Think of it as an investment--in yourself, your marriage, your children, and your home.

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TerriG said...

Hey Rebecca: I have dabbled in flying for a while. I may get beyond the baby steps this year. I just watched a few of her videos on her web site, she is so down to earth.
My favorite fly lady mission is the 27 fling boogie.

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Hi Terri,

I love her philosophy--jump in without trying to catch up!
I plan on doing lots of those 27 fling boogies this year!

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