Column 33 – Back to School by the FlyLady, Marla Cilley

This time of year everyone is writing articles on how to get the children ready to go back to school. I know this is an important topic for you but we have left out the main person that has to get the children ready for the first day of school; YOU!

You are the one who has to get up and get the family moving each morning. It is your responsibility to make sure they go to bed and get the rest they need to have a productive day. Your summer has been filled with a “happy-go-lucky” spirit. No one really had a bed time or their alarm set for morning.

Then when it came to mealtime; everyone just ate whatever they could find when they got hungry. What happened to the structure in our day? What happened to our routines? If we are going to expect our children to jump on the routine bandwagon then we better be there leading the way; not just barking the orders.

We teach best by our example. Not just a simple do as I do, but an example that is set in love and from the heart. If you are not taking care of yourself; you are not going to be able to take care of your family and show them the value of routines.

Most of our lives we have run around putting out fires just to stay on top of housework, bills, jobs and the responsibilities of parenting. If you are a born organized person these things do not take a toll on you, but if you tend to get sidetracked then you know about putting out fires. A born organized person just gets things done and the people around them do not even know that it has been done. If you were raised by a born organized person you have experienced this for yourself when you got your own place. Wasn’t it a shock when the toilet started to grow things? Who knew that it was cleaned on a regular basis?

If you are this born organized person I am not putting you down. All I am saying is your children don’t know that this is what is happening. So when you tell them to go clean the bathroom or their bedroom they have no clue. Mainly because it was just easier for you to do it yourself than to show them that there actually is a routine to housecleaning and most things in life. For the other 80% of us that are not born organized there is hope! We can learn to be organized. Imagine that! Taking the methods that a born organized person does naturally and using them to help us gain control over our homes and lives and in the end give our children the tools to go out into the world on their own. Born organized people can’t even teach us sidetracked people what they do, because they have never had to figure it out; they just do it.

I have watched the people in my life that are born organized and what I have noticed is they tend to do the same thing in the same order every single morning. At first I thought that must be so boring and then I realized that it was brilliant. The brilliance comes from having the mundane things in life taken care of so you can have fun. Isn’t that what all of us really want; to have little fun. We love fun and most of the time we are having fun; except when we are beating ourselves up because the kids are late to school again because you over-slept.

It is time for us to go to school and learn something that will help us enjoy life without the guilt we place on ourselves.

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