Part of this progress is in recognizing that I can't do everything every day and adjusting my expectations of myself. I have to stop and remind myself that I'm allowed to have short comings; that it's all right if my house is less than perfect; that the clean laundry left in the basket doesn't mean that I'm a bad mother or wife. I have a friend with four girls spaced, on average, fourteen months apart. At her house there is laundry in various stages, clutter on the counter, and dishes in the sink, but that is not what I notice when I go there. What I notice is that her daughters are balanced, loved, listened to, cared for, and play together cohesively (as much as four sisters can). My friend is gentle, conscientious, kind, and giving towards her daughters and towards my son and me while we are there.
I think the key is balance. I need to arrange my life, my plans, my thoughts, so that I do what absolutely needs to be done. Not everything that needs to be done, because I would never achieve the completion of that list, but just what will keep the mess from overwhelming us.
With balance in mind I made the conscious decision that I do house work 8-Noon (with a shower and some eating tossed in there for good measure) and then the rest of the day we take it slow. I may do some dishes or fold some laundry, but what I will do is take time for me and time to play with Stomper. In the evening I do a bit of dishes, mostly the pots I need to make supper, and then Stomper and I make dinner together (unless Jason is home, then he cooks). After the remains of dinner are put away I sit and I relax. I don't do chores, I don't do dishes, I don't fold or climb the laundry mountain, or take the dogs outside, I breathe, I knit, I snuggle with the hubby, and I enjoy the life that we have created....mess and all.