In 2018, I quit my job in Project Management to look after my newborn son. I should preface this next bit by saying that motherhood has been the most wonderful and fulfilling experience of my life. I know how lucky I am to be able to spend my days with this amazing, tiny human we created. Every day he makes me laugh and I am in constant awe of him. That out the way; I also found it hard. Really, really hard. This is my story.
What got me, wasn’t what I had expected to grapple with. It wasn’t the endless nappy changing, the sleepless nights, the back ache, the tears (his and mine) I took all those things in my stride. It was actually the mental hurdles that took me down. I agonised over my identity. Who was I now that I didn’t have paid employment? Was I *just* a Mum? What was the answer when people asked me what I did?
My identity had been so wrapped up in my career, my perceived value tied to my pay-cheque that I didn’t know who I was now that those things were gone.
All the days merged into one
I don’t know what I expected; but one of the things I found most difficult was the sudden lack of structure to my week. The natural ebbs and flows that came with gainful employment were gone. There was no Thirsty Thursday, no Friday Feeling, no Saturday lie in, no Sunday re-sets ready for a new week, I didn’t even get the Monday Blues. Instead it was a continuous rotation of meals, naps, washing-up, trips to Lidl, baby classes, sleepless nights and of course snuggles. Day after day after day.
Don’t get me wrong; I know that motherhood is one of the most rewarding yet difficult jobs, I knew that I’d never worked harder; I also know that my husband couldn’t continue running his business and bringing in the money if I wasn’t a stay at home mum. But what the head knows and what the heart feels isn’t always aligned and I just felt a bit…useless.
So what changed?
One day I heard Dave Ramsey talking about the role of the ‘Home Economist’. Almost immediately, this flipped everything on its head. I stopped thinking of myself as ‘unemployed’ and ‘stay-at-home’ and started treating my new role as my job. I started to regain some control.
While the amount of money I could bring into our house was limited; I could reduce our outgoings by meal planning, negotiating bills, finding deals, mending and making do with things we had.
I implemented my own structure to my weeks and months. We made sure weekends were as restful as possible. We celebrated Friday nights, and the end of months. I meal planned, set us household goals, cleaned, budgeted and wrote list after list. I applied all my project management skills to running our household.
What does life look like now?
Now I no longer feel useless, I am useful. Our house is cleaner than ever, we eat healthy meals we enjoy. We spend far less but live an abundant life. Weekends are restful and fun, we have time to spend as a family.
I often wonder why I never did this before. So many people put so much effort into their jobs and the companies they work for, ensuring that sales are high, outgoings optimised, processes streamlined. It seems foolish not to apply the same thinking to your household. Home-life gets neglected, houses aren’t a tranquil place of rest, but bring stress, bulging with excess stuff to clean and maintain. Lives are busier than ever before. But I’ve found another way.
Is Life-Organising for you?
You don’t need to be new parents or married for this approach to work for you. I believe everyone can benefit from bringing a bit more organisation, and a bit more simplicity into their lives and I would have really benefited from using this approach when we were both childless and working full time.
For us, life organisation has resulted in;
- More money
- More time as a family
- More free time
- More fun
- More exercise
- A cleaner home
- Healthier meals
- Less stress
- Less food waste
- Less arguments
If any of these things appeal to you; then maybe you could benefit from getting a bit more organised in your life. I wrote a post going into depth on all the ways getting organised has benefited us.
Let’s keep in touch.
In the interests of keeping it simple, you can find me on Instagram or you can email me. I’d love to chat.