Monday, March 14, 2016

How to Blog With Clean Floors and Happy Children

How to Blog with Clean Floors and Happy Children

Where Does the Time Go?

Do you ever wonder where the time goes?

One of my weaknesses is getting sucked into the black hole of the internet or email. I come out 2 hours later thinking, "What the heck?! I sat down to write and did nothing!"

Then, "Dang it! Now I've written nothing and the house is a mess and the children won't play nicely."

Do you ever have that frustration? Something similar?

Yeah, well.

I've noticed that if I'm on the computer, they will not play as well because they expect to be able to have screen time, too. It comes back to the old adage, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Does that work for anyone? I doubt it.

"If Mom can be on the computer, why can't we?" think the children. Really, I do see the logic.

So, I am slaying that beast! One day at a time.

Keeping It Real in the Kitchen

I stay in the kitchen now after the older girls go to school. I do the dishes and clean up a bit. My 2 and 4 year old daughters finish their breakfasts, change out of pajamas, and then set to playing with each other. Sometimes, like this morning, we spend a few minutes reading some books.

I feel so blessed they are such good playmates. They truly enjoy each other's company. And they can play by themselves. My four-year-old loves to set things up in patterns or draw. My two-year-old loves to read books to herself. Both are absolutely delightful to watch.

While they were occupied doing healthy, imaginative child play this morning, I swept the kitchen floor. Then I mopped it. After that I did the same thing to my hardwood floors in my living spaces.

Was there joy? You bet there was!

I put on my Amazon Prime playlist and went at it. When that ran out I listened to inspirational talks about the love of God and creating unity. The time flew by. My floors look awesome. And I feel true joy at how the morning went today.

I know, for a fact, I would not be feeling that way if I had sat in front of my computer the whole morning. I'd feel tired, cranky, and completely unfulfilled, which, by the way, is exactly how my children act when they've had too much screen time.

Computer time definitely has a time. After all, I wrote this on a computer. It's putting a limitation on it that is the sticky part. Instead of knocking this out in one day, I worked on it piecemeal, making sure I devoted time to my kids and house first.

The Power of Manual Labor

What is it about manual labor that is so rewarding? I'll let people far wiser than I share (full, awesome list here):

"No man e'er was glorious, who was not laborious." Benjamin Franklin

"A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work." Geoffrey Norman

In no way am I minimizing the very serious effects of clinical depression by liking this quote. I know from personal, family experience how difficult that truly is. But the depression Mr. Norman is speaking of is, in other words, crankiness, which arises from sitting and staring and not moving enough. It's definitely an affliction in our society today. Bodies need to move!

"No man is born into the world whose work

Is not born with him; there is always work

And tools to work withal, for those who will...."
James Russell Lowell

This one! Yes!

My work is motherhood. It was born with me. I firmly believe whether women are mothers or not, that gift is within them.

What a blessing it is to me! 

I spend all day with my children and am guilty of taking that privilege for granted. My husband works hard for a reason. And it is not for me to pass off my privileges to a screen. There can be joy in housework!

I may have a sparser blog, but I have clean floors and happier children. That means when my husband gets home from work he doesn't walk into more stress. And that is good every day of the week! 

I'm stepping back for the benefits of my family and myself. I'm reprioritizing. I'm doing more service for my home and family. And my body and mind will reap the benefits of being more active and living in a clean space. 

Step Back, Prioritize, and Serve Others

For more on stepping back, prioritizing, and serving those around you see this article: 3 Simple Keys to Secure a Happy Work-Life Balance

How do you combat the endless battle over time and priorities? I love to learn from other's examples. Please share in the comments!


  1. This is my life! Except you seem to be much better at implementing your observations that getting sucked into the vortex of the Internet makes everyone crabby. Thank you! To be honest I love to write and I get real joy from looking at a finished piece of work and saying "I wrote that!" but it's no substitute for actual, 3-D, real life manual labor in the real world. It's a tricky balance for me to find.

  2. You always make my day, my dearest Kathryn, your blog posts are always so inspiring and comforting for my soul, I'm so grateful to you for this, sweetie !
    I love the quote you chose so much, as well, thank you for sharing !

    May the remainder of your week be blessed with joy
    sending love


  3. I love your post here Kathryn! It's so true and a great weakness/temptation for most/all of us. Your advice and insight are incredible and should be read/forced by everyone who has a computer or device of any kind. Thank you so much for your time to write this fabulous article that I needed!

  4. You are so right! It's not always easy, but I often have to remind myself to take a step back and reprioritze. I love my blogging, but I love my children more, and they aren't going to be little for long.

  5. I completely know what you mean. When I get to working around the home and can see the physical difference in what I've done, I feel amazing! And when I cook or bake something, it's just the best. I've been having too much screen time lately and it's been making me cranky and giving me headaches. Plus like you, I feel unfulfilled. So right now, I'm going to go spend some time with my hubby and our two little nephews. :)

  6. This feels like it was written just for me. I'm in a hurry to get my blog working well so I can make money to pay of debt. It's a great goal, but my housework is seriously suffering lately. I think it's definitely time for me to put some better parameters in place. I think I need to accept the fact that I can't work at the pace that many entrepreneurs do while I still have a little one at home.

  7. I would love to monetize my blog, but it is not something I need to do to support my family. I've told myself I'm on the five year plan. Five years from the start of my blog is when my youngest will be going into kindergarten. Everything I do now is just in support of and preparation for when I can really take off without having to worry about taking care of children during the day. It makes it easier to think small steps for the long term.

    You have a great reason to be monetizing. Paying off debt is so important. I guess you have to decide whether or not the house situation bothers you and your family enough. Some people don't care. It totally stresses me and my husband out! You can come at it from your child's perspective, too. She/he won't care if you pay off your debt now if that means you spend less time with her. I don't know. That's tricky. What does your husband think?

    I'm so glad you found the post useful. I'd love to know what you decide to do!

  8. You are spot on, Jessica. It's wonderful to know where your heart is. There will be plenty of me time when they are old enough to go to school.

  9. Yes! Thank you for sharing that with me. I love connecting with people over the sweet and simple basics. It's so easy to complicate my life with things that just aren't as important as what is all around me. I hope you had a great time with your Mr. and nephews!

  10. Kathryn, I LOVED being a stay at home mom and raising my kids, although every day certainly wasn't a picnic. I shared this on FB the other day, and my daughter, who is a stay at home mom of 2 kids, WITH a home-based business LOVED IT! So inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  11. You are right, we all have time pressure, to do the house jobs and blogging and this and that takes a lot of time. i am also like you when I sit and do my blog and other things on computer, time is flying. Lets organise and give time for all other activities also. Good post dear.

  12. Wonderful post, and you are so right. I know I get sucked into the dark vortex and before I know it I haven't gotten anything done.

  13. That is my most dreaded trait when it comes to computer time! I am so easily distracted! Glad I'm not alone. 😊

  14. Thank you, Sadhna. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Scheduling has always been a weak point for me. Thank goodness for alarms on phones. Otherwise I'd always be flying by the seat of my pants! 😊

  15. Thank you for telling me that, Cathy! That made my night. Blogging is still just a hobby for me so I don't have nearly as much pressure as your daughter probably does. I'm so glad she could find something meaningful in it. Big smiles! And, yes, being a stay at home mom is the best!!

  16. Haha! Yes, I should be forced to follow my own advice more often. 😉 In fact, the other day I had to keep my little girls busy for a while so I let them play the Kindles for way too long. By the time I was able to have more individual time with them, my two year old was in full melt down mode. I know it was because of too much screen time. (Sigh) It's a constant battle! Thanks for your awesome encouragement!

  17. Dany, you are so sweet to me. Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed the quote as much as I!

  18. You write so well, too, Jenny. And I kind of have a sense of what kind of mother you are from your posts. Your kids are blessed to have you as their mom. Thanks for reminding me there is also joy in a finished product straight from our minds. That is worth a lot!

  19. Kathryn, we can all relate and it's good to be reminded that we need to step back and prioritize. I chuckled when I read all the clearly are speaking for all of us. Thanks for the reminder.
    Hugs, Lynn

  20. Kathryn it may be that we have too much leasure time on our hands. The quote above struck a chord with me. We have too much time and that it why we become depressed. There is nothing more rewarding that work and for me at least working on my projects and creating something out of nothing.

  21. So many choices to make when the kids are little, it only lasts so long. Sometimes we need to set priorities, and the little ones are at the top of the list. I know that you have long term goals, and that's really smart and you and your family will benefit! Love that!

  22. Thanks, Nikki. Sometimes it's hard to plan for the long term. With a family it's very easy to be in-the-moment all the time. Hopefully we'll see the benefits when it's all said and done. :)

  23. You've certainly had a lot of success with your projects, Mary. I think it's really great to see what you come up with. Using your creativity like that is inspiring to me!

  24. Thanks, Lynn! Yeah, I guess I did strike a chord. I'm glad we're all more or less in the same boat. It makes for good company. :)