Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Home UnManagement or Flying by the Seat of My Pants

I gave a short whirl to a new yahoo list run by a mother of many the other day. It is called Large Family Logistics, and it is likely to be of immense help to young mothers who are newly inducted into the logistical nightmare of doing it all (homeschooling, home making, childbearing, cooking, laundry, etc.) with a large and growing tribe. This is not a discussion list; it is similar to Fly Lady in that you get sent regular notices telling you to do such and so and such and such a time. This gal also has a blog with more personal information about what is going on in her life if you need a more personal touch.

These lists are great if you are the sort of person who likes order and likes being regimented. It does all the thinking for you. Just follow directions and you too can have a clean, organized home, complete with canned veggies from your own organic garden.

Alas. I find such programs to be an exercise in frustration and a means of creating guilt and anger at myself and my family who usually doesn't want to get with the program. This doesn't mean that I am totally unorganized, as the title of this post would suggest. But I have always found that no one has a system that fits my life/lifestyle perfectly, and I have usually ended up frustrating myself and my family by my attempts to fit myself into someone else's idea of how life should be lived. In my own personal (and humble) experience, I have found that the best thing to do with all such systems (Gregg Harris, MOTH, Fly Lady, Large Family Logistics, Don Aslett, etc.) is to learn the principles behind them and then adapt them to your own situation. Then the system that develops is more organic to your family and easier for everyone to keep to. If you don't do this, you can end up with yet another way of needlessly flogging yourself for failing at keeping the "law" of good house management that someone else has devised.

My house is not a clutter-free and antiseptic paradise. But I can usually make it presentable within a relatively short period of time if I need to. And even if my day looks a lot less structured than that of others, things are still getting done. House work is completed, school work is done, people are fed, clothes are cleaned. Phooey if it doesn't match the ideals and standards of someone else! It works for us.

No comments: