Your testimonials provide the inspirations for many of our essays. Please don’t ever stop e-mailing us. Your messages and stories are such a blessing! Thank you!” – FlyLady
FLYing on Maternity Leave
I am currently on my maternity leave in Canada (one year). I found your website about three months before my baby was born and started my BabySteps then. I have a 14-year-old stepdaughter, a 6-year-old daughter, a 5-year-old son, and a 4-month-old baby. Everything is not perfectly clean, but it is a lot better. I’ve decluttered my kitchen, bathrooms, and master bedroom so far. It took me several months of “zones,” but they are now done! And the rest of the rooms are well on their way. I have donated boxes and boxes of stuff! I wake up excited about flying and know that by the time I return to work, my routines will be so engrained that it’s going to be easy handling it all.
I’ve started putting your website address on the congratulations cards I attach to baby gifts. With a full year off work, it’s an excellent opportunity to prepare yourself and your home for your return to work. And the 15-minute intervals of housework are easy to manage, even with a small baby. When my husband comes home from work, he comes home to a happy family in a clean house. And I feel that I’ve been productive. I have something to show for my time at home.
You’ve been talking about postpartum depression lately. While I’ve never suffered from it, I have sometimes felt that I’m not contributing a whole lot to the family during my time at home — and that’s an awful feeling, when you’re used to contributing and getting positive feedback daily at work. Yes, I’d been taking care of the baby, but that’s all I managed to do with my first two. This time, it’s been completely different. I feel happier and more capable. My husband is amazed at all that I can accomplish. For the first time ever, I feel that my job performance as a wife and mother is every bit as outstanding as my job performance at work! And this is sooo important.
I just wanted to thank you for your fabulous website and your excellent tips. My before-bed, morning, and laundry routines are making a real difference in our lives. And my children love the clothes kids!! We even made heads for them out of cardboard!
Flying on Maternity Leave
Because he noticed all the emails saying “Where are your shoes?”
Flylady & Crew,
Today, I am typing this while having major “puddles.” When I started out as a FlyBaby, my DH didn’t think much of it (he thought it was just another phase I was going through). When he saw my written routines, my control journal, and the 20 lbs that I decluttered from our home, he then got a little more curious. Last week, on my birthday, I knew that he was very appreciative of my BabySteps. My DH bought me your book and a pair of slippers that look like oversized tennis shoes! He told me that he loved what I was doing in the house and with our kids. He also told me that he loved the calmer atmosphere that the “slightly” less-cluttered house had. Our kids (ages 3 and 1) listen more, play better together, and just seem like whole different kids (structured routines = less tantrums & stress) — lol! The slippers were something that he got me because he noticed all the e-mails saying “Where are your shoes?” Because of a medical condition, lace-up shoes are uncomfortable & painful, so he thought these were the next best thing. Thank you, FlyLady, for not only helping me to create routines, but for helping me to love myself (and family) even more than I thought was possible!
Flying in purple puddles in Saskatchewan, Canada
FLYing at the Store
I just had to write you and tell you that all of the things you have said in your e-mails have changed my life tremendously, but one thing above all literally changed me in so many areas, that I had to write and tell you.
It has been a few months ago, but you e-mailed us telling us that we needed to plan our menus and shop in stores closest to us, etc. Anyway, I absolutely had been so frustrated over my monthly grocery trips and had been trying to make ends meet as we get paid once a month, but I was failing miserably. Getting paid once a month was horrible, and I didn’t know how to make it work and not run out of food. I got your e-mail, and it was like something hit me right between the eyes. It was so simple, and I had been making it hard.
Once a month I would go to the grocery store and go in without a list and buy what would get me through the month, as well as buying big amounts. It would blow my budget, but I wanted stuff that would allow me to go in at 5 p.m. and throw open the freezer to find something to fix for supper quickly. I call them crisis meal fixers. My meals were awful, thrown together, fattening, and had absolutely no love mixed in at all. It was something that would let me off the hook one more day. After all, it meant we weren’t eating out, and that is what I needed to pacify my husband. I could see it on his face though, even if he didn’t say it, and that he was thinking that this is a terrible meal. Usually over-cooked, wilted lettuce, tasteless veggies, etc.
Since you sent that wonderful e-mail, I started planning my meals one week before I go to the store. The reason I plan a week before I actually go is I am able to add things to the list that I might forget when I first do the list. I go twice a month now. I divide my money in half and spend only half and put back the other half. In the past, by the time the next grocery trip came around, my grocery money had been spent on eating out, movies, fun things, making multiple trips to the store and picking up junk food as well as what I need, etc. Also, I had a fear when I went at the beginning of the month that I might run out of something so I would buy too much food, and as a result, the more I bought, the more my family ate, and most of the time they didn’t need what they were eating. They were overeating. I realize now, thanks to you, that I wasn’t trusting God to stretch what I had already and felt like I would never have enough. NO MORE do I do that. My grocery money goes for groceries and only what we NEED until I go the next time to the store. I have now been able to start a diet and stick to it, because always before, I wouldn’t have the money I needed to buy lower-fat foods and would get discouraged and quit.
Since I started your grocery system, it is flowing over into the area of taking care of myself as well as my family. I am more aware of what I spend everywhere. I buy what we NEED once a month and do not keep going back to buy more. My meals are healthy, and I have the ingredients and recipes on hand, because I make sure I write out the recipes I am going to use the next month and put them in a strategic place in my kitchen so that I won’t have to hunt for them when it is time to cook a new recipe. Because of this, I have now lost 17 pounds as I am fixing lower-fat and tasty meals. I also use food first that I have on hand and make my menus from that food first, and I have saved a lot of money by not having to throw out old, outdated, freezer-burned food. Thank you so much for changing my life.
A lighter flybaby in Texas!!!
Housework done incorrectly….
Dear FlyLady –
Saying “housework done incorrectly still blesses your family” isn’t negative. It frees me to Fly! My dear mom is BO and a complete perfectionist who fusses over every detail.
One day as I was making my bed (which I have done for three months after not doing it for about 30 years!), I thought about how if I tried to help my mom make her bed, she would usually tell me no, it had to be a certain way. And if she does let me help, the sheet has to hang down exactly the same amount on both sides, the pillows have to line up just so, no wrinkles anywhere. Often she would redo what I had done. The lightbulb came on: no wonder I never made our bed — I could never do it “right,” and it would take five minutes. Well, with a comforter and pillow shams, it takes about 45 seconds, and even if there are a couple of wrinkles, or the blankets are crooked, it looks good! And my family is blessed. Now if I miss a morning, they say “What’s wrong?”
So I like to repeat the “housework done incorrectly” mantra as I sweep or mop or whatever, so I don’t hear that little voice in my head saying, “You should move the furniture to do this right,” or, “What about the baseboards?”
You are so right, FlyLady! Perfectionism makes us think we can never do our work “the way it should be,” or that it will take too long, so why start? The underlying message is that WE will never be “good enough” — no wonder we feel defeated and give up before we start!
I am only beginning to FLY, and have a long way to go (BabySteps!). But even a little bit of Flying makes a difference. My almost 21-year-old DS, whose room barely has space to walk through, came in one morning while I was working in the kitchen and proceeded to clean off all the cabinet doors! Talk about Purple Puddles!
So thank you, FlyLady and crew, for all you do, and for your wise advice. Keep FlyWashing us!
FlyBaby in NM
It is amazing how our children watch us…
I cannot believe the change you’ve made in my DD (7). For years I’ve worried and been upset about her not acting like a girl and not liking girl stuff. I didn’t realize what the real problem was. With your pamper missions, I finally started taking care of myself and treating myself to things that I hadn’t enjoyed since having children. Nail polish had not touched my nails in years. Anyway, what I realized was that I was finally modeling “girl” behavior for her, and she followed right along behind me, enjoying the bubble baths, nailpolish, etc. We even got our hair professionally done — together. This was the first time in her life she’s had a haircut I haven’t given her. I was hesitant to let her cut her long hair off, since she likes to wear her comfy boy hand-me-downs so much. I was afraid she wouldn’t look like a girl at all. But, she is so cute and so happy with her new look! No more complaining in the mornings as we are fixing her hair.
I didn’t realize how much I had changed until I saw it reflected in DD. My husband is very happy with my appearance, and I am not raiding his side of the closet anymore (my comfy clothes are clean — usually). LOL.
Also, my husband called from work last night. I was watching a movie with the kids. We had popped popcorn, played a game, and were getting ready for a slumber party in my bed. He could not believe I was in a good mood and having a good night. I have to admit about a month ago my children and I had taken an Internet quiz on life expectancy. I can’t remember what I had chosen for “How do you feel most of the time?” but my DS (12) and DD (7) looked at me and said, “No, Mom, you’re unhappy.” I asked, “Do you think so?” ”Yes, Mom, you’re unhappy,” and DS checked the box for me. I thought, Yes, but you are not supposed to know that. It really bothered me that they were right.
I have not felt great for about two years. I had been to three different doctors and had found some relief. My husband had begged me, please try one more. I had put it off, and put it off. I was doing OK. Finally, I made an appointment last week. One more try. The doctor looked at my medication and asked, “How do you stay awake?” Anyway — new meds. Could be why we had such a good night last night. Already I feel I have more energy and things don’t look so difficult. I wish I hadn’t procrastinated with this for so long.
So thankful for FlyLady and Friends and routines. Feel like I’m finally getting on the right track. The most important goal in my life is to raise my children well, and you have already shown me ways to develop and pass on good habits to them. Can’t wait to see what happens now with my newfound energy. I thank God for you! You are truly inspired. Thanks so much!
FlyBaby with FlyFamily in Idaho
Just what the doctor ordered — REALLY!
Thank you. You are just what the doctor ordered… REALLY! I was feeling down and behind and frustrated with everything. I have three children: 5, 3, and 2. My doctor mentioned Flylady, and my house hasn’t ever looked this good. I only started last week, but I feel great, and everyone seems to be benefiting from it. My kids are already becoming FlyBabies, too! The 27 fling boogies are great, and I’ve already donated six garbage bags full, two boxes full, and a chair to charity. After several sneezing attacks, I would have to recommend taking an allergy tablet before every boogie. I like having the reminder e-mails telling me what I’m supposed to do. Thanks again.
Happy Flybaby and family in Georgia
Thank you for Family Fun Day
Dear FlyLady and Crew,
Thank you so much for Family Fun Day! As a payroll SHE, I tried to do all the laundry and housework on Sat. I didn’t think I had time to just play with my DH and three children. Recently, it hit me — as I do my very small routines during the week, I am getting everything taken care of so I can play without guilt on the weekends. I am enjoying this time with my DH, DD (7 yrs), DS (5 yrs), and DS (1 yr).
Thank you so much for this. My DH and I went through a lot to have all three of our precious children, and I had gotten sidetracked about what was important. Thanks for reminding me that my family is what is truly important.
Flybaby in IL