Needing more than the Messies Manual

by Gwen

My husband and I have 6 children ranging in age from 16 years down to 22 months. I am a class one disorganized person.

Do you know "The Messies Manual" by Sandra Felton? Tried that. Do you know Emilie Barnes and her "15 minute" series of books? Tried them. Do you know "FlyLady"? Trying her now (now means for the last 3 years) and I still haven't 'got it together'! I have set up Flippers, Schedules, Control Journals, Planners, Calendars ad nauseum. I am the only one who looks at them and I still can't do everything I put on them! Is it any wonder our eldest son (14 years and Aspergers Syndrome) rebels at the thought of following the planners I've made for him? My son resists my planning things because all the authors I have read or tried to follow have been American and he dislikes things American with a vengeance.

Menu planning is the only thing that sort of happens as I have to rotate foods due to intolerances and allergies of 2 of our children.

Add to that our involvement in Scouting (Venturers down to Joeys and I'm a Cub Leader aswell as a District Commissioner), music (1 singer and 2 violinists), husband working 3 part time jobs (electrical technician, TAFE teacher and Retained Fire Fighter) then our family committments at our church (music, singing, creche and various other things that crop up) I end up with my head spinning at times! I've also recently been diagnosed with BPPV (a balance condition causing chronic dizziness and nausea) just to add to our family chaos.

Our eldest daughter (16 years) started full time TAFE and part time work at the beginning of this year. She is also learning to drive and needs to get her required 120 hours (NSW driver) up before September so that also has to be tracked. Our vege garden is a disaster as I never seem to get around to working in it with the children, although it's previously been one of our most successful educational tools.

Then, there's the list of craft work we all would like to complete! I no longer live in fear of anyone finding out how bad my organizational skills are as my close friends are well aware. I dream of the day I can keep things tidy, the children will happily complete their allotted life skill tasks for the day, dinner will always be nutritious and on the table at the appropriate time and hubby and I will have 5 minutes to ourselves. I might one day even get around to putting our photos on disc so I can display them on the computer. One day.......

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Aug 21, 2009
Give yourself a break!
by: Jackie

Hey Gwen,
Unfortunately I know just how you feel and changes do need to happen. I suspect you are just like me and you feel like you have to DO everything, all the planners and lists are your way of trying to get some semblance of order in your home so you might be able to relax a minute. Well, I decided that time was never going to come so I just needed to relax anyway- with six kids in the house and so many demands there is just not enough of you to go around so I'm not going to tell you how to do it I'm just going to suggest that you give yourself a break and go with the flow for a while. If all the jobs aren't done and it's 9pm, sit down. Nobody else has to work so hard from the time they get up till the time they fall into bed. It may sound harsh but I'd suggest giving up a few (or all)outside commitments - your church would understand that as a mother you need to look after your family first,that is the job God called you to do, you can go back to those commitments when the baby is older and a couple have left home! We live in North Vic with seven kids so I really do know how you feel! You can email me at if you ever need a chat!!

May 11, 2009
by: Anonymous

Wow Gwen..
You've listed quite a number of areas you would like help in!
Is another planner going to work? You've seemed to try it all?
I agree life can feel absolutely crazy at times - especially as some kids get older (16) are involved in TAFE or other outside the home activities, getting the driving hours up ... pretty full on.

I hope a planner would help you write it down, prioritize, fill in check boxes and help you see the big picture.

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