Help Mums thrive at home – a new series

I created a series similar to this a few years ago, however I’m wanting to reshare it plus share more tips, as I think it was valuable and can help so many mums that are struggling.  This new series is a guide to help mum’s thrive at home.

Helping mums thrive at home

I was a stay at home mum for 7 years, from when I was 12 weeks pregnant until my youngest started prep, now I am a work at home mum, being a full time blogger. I struggled to fall pregnant and when we finally did I took every precaution to ensure I looked after myself and my babies so I stopped working very early on.  Also being that my first pregnancy was twins I was exhausted from the very beginning.

I wasn’t always as organised as I am today, I’ve had my share of struggles and melt downs, as all mothers tend to do, but going through that helped me to adapt routines to keep the house under control.

my story

After having my twins I felt so tired, washing was piling up, clutter was crowding our dining table and I was just emotionally drained.  I put on a happy face at times while deep down it was a struggle.  I didn’t want to be like this, I had a different vision of motherhood.  By changing the mindset and remembering what I wanted in being a parent, I managed to pick myself up and create some routines and schedules that worked for me at that crazy time of my life with twin babies. 2 year later we then welcomed our youngest daughter, boy having one baby after having two at once was a breeze!  You can read my full personal story here.

This photo was taken 12 years ago.

{The Organised Housewife} Twin babiesAbout the Helping Mum’s Thrive at Home series

Through this series I will share posts to guide you through your struggles, find your sanity and to help you thrive at home.

Being a mum at home with young children you can begin to feel:

  • ground-hog day
  • lonely
  • tired
  • a financial strain
  • but it can be very rewarding

I will share with you how I managed to get myself out of my slump, created routines and find my happier self.  I will share a post each Thursday, with tips such as:

  • changing your mindset
  • creating routines
  • finding balance
  • stopping comparison
  • and many tips on managing the home

Being a stay at home mum was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. It is supposed to be a happy time for you to enjoy your children while they are young, as they grow up far to quickly (don’t I know that now).

Tell me what your struggles are

If there is an area that you are struggling with, the kids, home, meals, cleanliness, etc please add them into the comments below and I will try to answer it throughout the series.  Leave anonymous comments if you prefer.

Please help – share your tips

One huge favour I have to ask: Through this series can you please leave a comment and let me know your experiences, tips and advice on each of the topics, so other mums can read a variety of tips and choose which one may help them in their household.

I hope you enjoy the new series!

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Katrina May 28, 2015 - 7:49 AM

Hi Katrina!
I have two boys, they are 15 months apart. My eldest is 20 months and my youngest is 4 months. I am finding it very hard to maintain the stuff that gets moved by my eldest as I am getting over tidying up after him all day every day. I am training him to put it away but I don’t think I will see the fruit in that till he is a bit older. I love being organised and clean (I’m the type of person who goes over to friends places and helps them with their pantry etc!) so having a messy house makes me grumpy and distracted. Was wondering if you have any tips for me?


Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 8:51 AM

Hi Katrina, continue as you are showing your son how to tidy up, it may fee repetitive now, but it will be of big benefit when he is older. What a great friend you are organising pantries!!

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 9:51 AM

I have nice baskets from ikea in various rooms that I toss things into to keep the space clear. Then I sort through the baskets at another time or tip them out and get kids to help out things away with me. It’s actually good to show them how to “sort” – like “see all the doctors kit bits go together…now put these in the doctors kit box”. Sometimes the baskets stay full for over week. Kids don’t miss the stuff

Kristi November 22, 2016 - 4:07 PM

Hi, I’m a first time mum with a 5 week old daughter. The biggest struggle I face is the inability to complete many of the usual cleaning tasks such as, vacuuming due to having a c section. My finance is very supportive and completes some of these tasks, however, he is working full time and enjoys bathing and helping with feeding when he gets home. Housework certainly takes a back seat to family time.
I had developed time line of when and how I’d get housework and organisation completed prior to having my daughter, however, I went into premature labour at 32 weeks and from that moment was restricted to assist the pregnancy progress further. I relief heavily on my finance and my father to help organise the pantry etc. Yet I always felt behind in my organisation and cleaning, especially because I had my daughter at 37 weeks and hadn’t yet finished my full spring cleaning.
I believe it would be beneficial to have a pre-baby cleaning schedule for expectant mothers who have been put on limitation and for c section mums. Perhaps in the form of hints and tips to tidy without the physical effort and advice to hire help or seek support prior to and after the delivery.

Emma May 28, 2015 - 8:18 AM

Hi Katrina
I’m a stay at home mum and after working full time with the first three, having no. 4 changed the game completely! I feel like I am totally swamped with housework, after school activities, keeping finances in check, specialist appointments (2 x ASD + 1 ADHD) and cooking up to three dinners a night (1x FAILSAFE and 2 x sensory/fussy eaters). I wake up and start the day off fine but 1-2 meltdowns in, I’m off track for the day! Any tips/guidance/motivation from you and other mums would be awesome!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 28, 2015 - 8:58 AM

Hi Emma, I have got to say it sounds like you are doing a fantastic job! Being a mum certanly isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. I think finding your own routine is the key. I like to organise my house by cleaning and doing the washing on certain days, just so it doesn’t feel like i’m chasing my tail all day. Also another tip, try meal planning for the week. I swear by meal planning so i don’t feel frazzled at the end of a big day wondering what i am going to fee my family. I hope this helps x

Pippa May 28, 2015 - 8:23 AM

I was wondering if you have any tips on how to encourage a stress free homework time with primary aged children.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 28, 2015 - 9:03 AM

Hi Pippa, When my kids come home fom school they get changed and sit and have some afternoon tea. It just gives them an hour to unwind and resfresh then they sit down and do there homework. I make sure the tv is turned off and no other destractions. I am always close by if they need help.

Liz May 28, 2015 - 8:25 AM

I just need all the help I can get and love all your tips, what I love most is that your not a glossy magazine with general tips when I read I know you have tired them and if they have worked for you then I will try them.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 28, 2015 - 9:01 AM

Oh thanks Liz.:)

Vicky May 28, 2015 - 8:25 AM

Hello Katrina,

I need help with patience.

I have a just about three year old and a just about five year old who are at each other all day.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 28, 2015 - 9:00 AM

Hi Vicky, Ooh being a mum can be hard work but it is also rewarding too.:)

Bec May 28, 2015 - 8:54 AM

Hi Katrina,
I am a mum of 2 boys, 8 and 6, I work full time and have my own party plan business. My big things for me are, my house seems always messy and I just can’t seem to catch up, routines and declutter. To be able to not freak out if someone just pops by because my house is messy.

Aimee May 29, 2015 - 9:07 AM

Hey Bec and Katrina,
Bec, we are in identical situations. One tiny phrase I recently heard was ‘if it doesn’t bring you joy, lose it’. I’m still in the process of de-cluttering and organising but I’ll tell you that it is such a breeze! I never realised I was holding as much useless stuff. Then I figured that if it doesn’t have a home, or can’t be given a home then it really isn’t neccessary either, in my mind. Anyways, hope this helps πŸ™‚

Rochelle May 28, 2015 - 9:06 AM

I just wanted to say what a beautiful photo of you and your gorgeous twins when they were babies!!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 28, 2015 - 9:18 AM

Ooh thank you Rochelle, what a beautiful thing to say! I too love that photo, only feels like yesterday. My gosh where does the time go x

Tanya May 28, 2015 - 9:48 AM

Hi. I have one 4 year old boy & have been trying for number two for over a couple of years. I work 2 days a week & hubby works full time . His on perm nightshift & has a 2nd job on weekends. I struggle with everything & get very cranky & jeoulous of hubby . When it comes to night time I am buggereed & can’t be bothered doing anything ( very lazy ) . Any little help with everything especially routines would be appreciated.

Melissa May 28, 2015 - 6:28 PM

I am in a similar situation, my hubby comes home at 11pm and often works 2nd job on weekends.
Call your night time after the kids have gone to bed as “me” time. My kitchen is always tidy and the toys are packed up but the rest of the cleaning can wait for the following day.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 8:54 AM

I don’t think your being lazy at all your just exhausted. And to tell you the truth I am the same, my evenings are usually make dinner, I potter around between dinner and putting the kids to bed with washing and tidying up, but pretty much as soon as the kids are in bed that’s me time. I usually relax and catch up on TV, very rarely is there any housework involved. I’ll definately add this to things to blog about during the series πŸ™‚

Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me May 28, 2015 - 10:01 AM

I find that struggling to turn off from work, I work from home, when the kids are home is really hard. Especially as my deadlines are all over the place and not all mine are at school yet. I find 9 to 2.30 just not enough time to get it all done! Love this series Kat x

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 8:55 AM

Ooh Emily, I am the queen of switching off even though I have 1000 things left on my to-do list, I can help you with this one!!

Summer Whittaker May 28, 2015 - 10:51 AM

Hi Katrina
I am a mother of 5 kids ranging from 2 – 18. I have a 14 yr old who has a disability & a 10 yr old with sensory processing disorder. I don’t work but my husband does 6 days a week. I feel like I’m always irritated with the kids & my husband & I often feel overwhelmed with how much there is to do all the time. I have routines in place for everything but they are often disrupted due to the kids behavior & there constant fighting. How can I get back control of my house?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 8:57 AM

Hi Summer, sounds like you have quite alot happening in your household and routines are very helpful, hopefully there are some tips in the series that can help you, kids fighting is a great topic!!

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 10:00 AM

Maube you could try getting the older kids to do more. It’s just not possible for you and your hubby to do everything. Do they all have chores? If they do, maybe they need more! You have to all work as a team. And don’t forget that every 6 months as they are older it will be easier as they can do more independently and contribute more to the household

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 10:00 AM

Maybe you could try getting the older kids to do more. It’s just not possible for you and your hubby to do everything. Do they all have chores? If they do, maybe they need more! You have to all work as a team. And don’t forget that every 6 months as they are older it will be easier as they can do more independently and contribute more to the household

Amy May 28, 2015 - 10:56 AM

I am a stay at home mum with my eldest 5 who started prep this year along with my 4yr daughter and my 3yr son not to mention I have a 15yr step daughter. My husband and I also run a business from home.
I was put onto your website from a friend of mine and found it so fascinating. I am wanting to be so much more organised. I think I know what I want to do in my head but seem to struggle so much in putting it into practice. I need help! I feel I am stuck in that rut and can’t find my way out. Hoping you have some advice for me.

Summer Whittaker May 28, 2015 - 11:39 AM

Hi Amy
What I find helps me is to give all the kids jobs to do. We pay the older ones an allowance, but our 2 yr old thrives in praise. I allow myself extra time to do things when my youngest is helping so I don’t get annoyed when she’s taking a long time to do things. You could also reward the kids instead if giving them an allowance by playing a game with them.
I hope I have been able to help in some way πŸ™‚

Amy May 28, 2015 - 2:06 PM

I will take any advise I can get. I am determined to have a clean and structured house I know I feel better about myself and life when I do but find I fall out sooner than falling in and “And a new start” occurs more often.
Some days it feels like I’m just banging my head against a brick wall trying to get help or getting the kids to help.
I guess my persistence will pay off as they get older.
Thank you ????

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 10:09 AM

Just stop worrying so much. It’s in your mind. My attitude is “oh well who cares!” People love my relaxed attitude. ill live in a tidy organised house sometime in the future! But the angst you feel is not worth it bc it only stays tidy for a short period! Just keep the kitchen clean and your office clean. You seriously have it bad working from home bc you can’t escape for a day. It’s not you…it’s your situation. And the situation will change soon as they get older and can do chores. Just try not to worry. Have some nice toy baskets around and throw toys in them to clear the space quickly so you can feel better.

Jodie May 28, 2015 - 11:29 AM

I can’t wait. This sound really good for me right now. Thanks

Kelli May 28, 2015 - 11:46 AM

Groundhog day – oh yessssss!
This will be great for getting my motivation boosted.
8&10 yr olds at school and 15mth old whirlwind – always seem to feel like I’m treading water and getting nowhere!!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:00 AM

everyday feels like groundhog day with little ones…. hopefully you’ll enjoy my tips πŸ™‚

momstheword May 28, 2015 - 11:57 AM

Your blog is one of my favorites and I am excited about this series as I love organization. My home used to always be a mess because I just didn’t have any good habits and I was always embarrassed by it but just could seem to get or keep it clean.

I did finally figure out how to pull myself out of the mess using the four box method and just developing some good habits. I also made sure that I taught my children some good habits and I even built a chore training time into our homeschooling. This is good because my oldest grew up and married a self-proclaimed “neat freak!” πŸ˜‰

Now my kids are grown and I am in a new season of life, but I hurt my back recently again so now I am just basically doing surface cleaning and keeping things picked up so it doesn’t get away from me.

The nice thing is that you can go a long way on surface cleaning if you’ve managed to keep everything else in order! πŸ˜‰

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:01 AM

surface cleaning is a great tip momstheword, it does help to keep the home tidy at a first glance, and it’s usually just that that can be the first step to getting back control.

Daisy May 28, 2015 - 4:55 PM

Hi kartrina
I’m struggling with the endless tidying and cleaning. just when I get on top of it it looks like a bombs gone off, my youngest literally tipping toys out as I’ve just tidied them up!
I’ve got three children 6, 4 and 2 my 4 year old has autism and my youngest is also being looked into for similar reasons.
so we have a daily battle of just getting basics done! And a husband who is in the millitary so mainly a one man show! Any help, tips, advice would be appreciated! Luckily I’m able to be a stay at home mum so at least it’s one less thing to juggle πŸ˜‰

Melanie May 29, 2015 - 12:21 PM

you sound amazing!! Like a FIFO wife – what a struggle. I hope Katrina has some good tips for you!

Daisy June 4, 2015 - 3:28 PM

Ah thank you Melanie! ????

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:09 AM

Hi Daisy, I have great tips on getting the kids to tidy up after themselves, however kids with Autism may need a different routine… I’m going to do some research for you and add it into the series πŸ™‚

Daisy June 4, 2015 - 3:18 PM

Thank you so much katrina! πŸ™‚
With three kids, I know I’m not going to have a catalog home. But would love to be able to get the kids to just tidy up after them selves with toys!
Even spending a small fortune at ikea on toy storage hasn’t helped I’ve tried chore reward chats putting it on the routine chart (miss 4 understands more when it’s visual)
And I’m now running out of ideas apart from staying up late to get it all done or get up super early! So I can stay on top of things ????

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 10:14 AM

Don’t worry it sounds like we are all in the same boat! I guess you could try saying that toys are only for the bedroom and they can play in bedrooms or a designated space. Or toys that seem to have bits everywhere and they don’t tidy up can get put in a box up high and only brought out on rainy day. My doctors kit is always spread from one end of the house to the other and never in the box! πŸ˜‰

Daisy June 26, 2015 - 2:52 PM

That would be a great plan except my 2 year old posses the powers of spider man!!! He will climb everything to get to them. so I tend to have everything lowers level to stop him climbing as he can get to the top of my big storage units! How? I have no idea I’ve tried leaving out boxes so it’s harder to climb nothing seems to work! Think they just have too many toys to begin with! My house looks like toys r us daily ha ha

Mel Bell May 28, 2015 - 6:49 PM

Hi Kat,
Be kind to one another. Be true to your friends. Those are two things that were important to me when i had my daughter. My husband came home one day in a foul mood. He yelled that why if Lauren can keep her home clean with two children why can’t i with just one. Horrible I know! I rang Lauren upset and she said, “Mel it is only clean because we always have arranged catch ups!’ We chatted about how, as women, we sometimes set each other up for failure. Lauren promised that when we next caught up that she would leave the house as it truly is. What a kind friend! From that day on neither one of us have felt the need to do the crazy clean up when each other are due for a visit. That soon shut my grumpy husband up. By the way husband, with a little marriage counselling, is a changed man. Lucky for him!
With love and friendship, Mel

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:12 AM

Ooh what a lovely story Mel, do you mind if i share it in the series. Lauren sounds like a truly wonderful friend x

Mel Bell June 1, 2015 - 12:40 PM

Share away, Kat. We need to be each other’s greatest supporters. That’s why I am a, ‘Me too’ type of chick! Whenever i hear a girlfriend or someone at the shops or at the park talking about how they struggled to get dressed this morning or to pack lunches, I am like, ‘Me too!. Makes each of us feel better and recognise that, yes, other people are like me – not the perfect mum but a real mum. You do a wonderful job, Kat. The responses to this post are a reflection of you and your love for all of us.

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 10:18 AM

Good on you! Spread the word. My friends come for coffee we often help each other tidy as we talk. My friends are always doing the dishwasher and cleaning my benches (they can’t help themselves) and it’s so wonderful! So I have lots of coffee dates at my house!! I’m happy – friends are happy – and kitchen is cleaned!

Meg May 28, 2015 - 11:22 PM

Similar to some of the other posts, I am struggling with basic rituals due to working shift work so no 2 weeks are the same & having an autistic child with sensory issues with food makes meal planning & preparation very challenging. It feels like survival mode all the time which is very unfulfilling & overqhelming

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:14 AM

Sounds like quite a few family with austic kids are struggling so I am going to add some posts into the series that may help x

Renee May 29, 2015 - 6:58 AM

Hi, mother of 4 (14, 5, 4, and 1).. Things that work for me;
Declutter once a week – I go around the house or pick one designated drawer/ area and I fill a bag/or box of stuff to donate (or throw out.. Rubbish/ broken stuff) seriously I do not know how we get so much stuff in this house!
Febreeze in the cupboard for those days that the uniforms didn’t make it to the washing (& the wheels have fallen off type of morning) and we need a uniform! Give it a good spray – At least it smells fresh!
Meal plan/ shopping list !
I schedule EVERYTHING in my phone (once I read a schl newsletter I schedule upcoming dates that I have to remember (because seriously I know I won’t!)/ also set reminders to give myself time to plan ie – book week costume etc.
Packing clothes up and storing (label gender and size)/ give away/ sell/ donate after each increase in size – with an under 2… It really can become overwhelming with the amt of clothes you have/ because of all the sizes they go through!
Storage boxes in a bookcase hide a multitude of sins (read toys/ mess)
No screen time in the morning until dressed/ breakfast eaten bags packed.
And lastly (because I am always working on this) get up and shower before the kids get up (mine start to rise from 5.30/6.. And my 1yr old still sometimes wakes in the night) but I find if I am dressed/showered I am in a better frame of mind… And can deal with the meltdowns when they occur…
These are just some things that keep me sane in this challenging role…
Always days where i get pushed to screaming point, and look around and think “why do I bother?!” but I have to step away remind myself they will not be this young forever and deal with the disarray that is kids πŸ˜€

Melanie May 29, 2015 - 12:24 PM

awesome tips! I do a lot of these myself, and you’re totally right – they’re really a necessity (especially the schedule and at least a rough meal plan). Nice work πŸ™‚

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:15 AM

Renee these are fabulous tips, do you mind if I share them in a blog post?

Renee June 11, 2015 - 12:10 PM

No probs… I’m looking forward to hearing some other ideas πŸ™‚

Bree June 5, 2015 - 12:25 AM

Thank you for sharing this! I have 4 sweet kids, almost 11, 4, almost 3, and 4 months. I have been having one heck of a time adapting my routines from 3 kids to 4. Plenty of days I don’t bother making any plan because I know it’d go out the window by lunchtime anyway! I’m striving for a balance between the routines that I know benefit my family so much and the continual adapting that has to happen, without getting disheartened or feeling helplessly buried. Yikes!

Naomi June 11, 2015 - 12:48 AM

Thanks for sharing Bree. I have really struggled with keeping on top of things since child number 4, who in herself is an easy child, but the stretch from 3 to 4 kids for me was exponential. My kids are aged 9, 7 and a half, 5 and a half, and three. I just feel like the last three years has been a continual cycle of catching up and drudgery. my goal is always to think ahead and be organised, but I am often too tired to do all that is necessary for that to happen.

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 10:22 AM

Don’t worry I feel the same. I’m like “I can’t think about tomorrow bc I’m still coping with today!”
I just tell everyone I’m useless and ask everyone to remind me of things and they do. Sometimes I have 3 friends reminding me of the same thing. Love them. Can’t do it without my friends

Bree June 19, 2015 - 2:04 AM

Yes, it is a real balancing act, that is when I don’t just crash in the evening! I am working with the older 3 to get them into a habit of certain tasks. Whenthey do little things around the house it makes a huge help for me! As long as I stay consistent they do great.
“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can” (I believe Arthur Ashe said this) is a great one for me. I can’t do everything all the time, but I can do what I can do. The kids’ childhood memories don’t need to be how clean they kept their room, but I need some semblance of order for my sanity so I can be present making fun memories with them and helping prepare them for the beautiful lives they have ahead. Yikes! No small task!

Hayley Tehan May 29, 2015 - 10:20 AM

Hi Kat!
I’m so glad your email landed in my inbox today. Everything g you said in your story sounds like me. I am a mum to four aged 12, 6, 4 and 1. I am forever exhausted, housework controls my life and I always feel like I’m doing something or driving someone somewhere. I myself am in a rut and hate that the days all blend into one.

The hardest part is I don’t feel like I am me anymore. I have no friends as no one understands what caring for four is like. I need help and what you have to offer sounds like it could really help!! Well other than ditching the kids and hiring a maid …

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:17 AM

Hayley I want to send you a great big cyber hug, I had kids 10 years before all my friend started, so I can understand your lonliness, have you tried any of your local mothers groups, they may help you to get out of the house even if it is just for an hour. Anyways… I am sure you will enjoy some of the posts I have coming in the series…. be kind to yourself, hire a cleaner if it helps your sanity xx

Victoria Stevens May 29, 2015 - 10:42 AM

I really enjoy your blog -so honest and about what is really happening in most homes everyday!! Thank you. I struggle with all the paperwork my home has (bills, children’s artwork, notes, messages, etc) and how to maintain it. I love this idea for this new series you are going to be offering. Best thing I have recently started is a menu. Has been a great addition to our home & my sanity!!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:18 AM

Hi Victoria, I have a great post in the series about organising your bills, and one from a reader sharing how she keeps hers organised too, hope it will help you x

Melanie May 29, 2015 - 12:19 PM

hi, just a small comment my hubby has heard from husbands at his work: these guys are working as long as they can and trying to get as much overtime as they can because they have a wife at home with the kids. They’re struggling financially, and completely fatigued. When they hear my husband has a wife who works they say “you’re lucky”. And it makes me wonder if the wives (and husbands) are reviewing their financial situation / budget before they make the decision to be a stay at home mum. We’d all LOVE to be SAHMs (or at least part time), because at the end of the day the decision is usually financial. But it doesn’t seem fair that these guys are working really hard because the wife has just Decided that they will stay home. I just urge couples to sit down and be transparent about their money before they take the plunge xo

MrsB May 29, 2015 - 1:30 PM

This is an interesting comment. I actually hear quite the opposite from my husbands work colleagues – that they are working longer hours to avoid going home to their families because it is ‘easier’ than being at home with their children. I have been a SAHM for 9 years now. My husband and I chose this option because it was best for us and our ideals of raising a family. We made cut backs where needed and gave up on extravagance. We have survived and I feel fortunate to have been in this position. Now that my youngest has started school I will be returning to work so that we can focus on providing the lifestyle we dream of.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:23 AM

we have done the same MrsB, we have been on few family holidays over the years and like you we don’t buy extravagent items, so that we could live comfortably on my husbands wage while I stayed at home with the kids, each family needs to work out how they can manage it.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:20 AM

I cover this in the first post of the series, how I decided to be a stay at home mum and how we worked it out financially.

Ally May 29, 2015 - 12:28 PM

Oh I can’t wait for this series. I really struggle sometimes with the never ending treadmill of preparing meals and cleaning up. It seems like as soon as I’ve cleaned up after one meal I’m preparing for the next, and cleaning up again and again (and again…).

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:24 AM

Ally…. my kitchen stays messy throughout the day, I make sure I have a clear area of bench space, but all the dirty dishes just pile up for me to clean up in the evening…. I’ll add this into the series to show how this works with my sanity πŸ™‚

Tired Mum May 29, 2015 - 1:12 PM

I have a special needs teen, very active toddler and a tween who feels left out. Balancing everything is too much and no matter what I do the tween is whiny.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:29 AM

I maybe able to help with this tired mum, I have 2 kids needing a lot of help with their schooling and one that just aces everythng, but I feel that child feels left out, so I can share what I do to balance out the ‘attention’.

Bronte May 29, 2015 - 3:09 PM

I hear you all & one thing whilst reading between the lines is in my opinion “you ALL (including me) need a very big, very relaxing DAY OFF, out of the house if possible” ME time is ESSENTIAL to get our mummy brains back together and refresh. However, this has to be planned & consistent (a bit like an RDO) something to look forward to, so that your one day off is not spent in such relief that you just ball your eyes out the whole day, it’s suppose to be truly enjoyable, something just for you! Because… deserve it!!! Happy mummy Happy home!

Just another point – I’ve found most mums (I refer to acquaintance types, ie school, playgroup etc) face to face they pretend to be totally in control & nothing phases them… oh and they baked 30 muffins before school this morning for the canteen? & look perfect for the P & C meeting which by the way they are now running for P & C president? huh? etc etc obviously a different story here coz we don’t know each other so can tell the truth. There should be more honest mums face to face & they should stick together. Maybe be the first one to admit you may need a break or advice from a close to home mum & suggest doing a deal with them to get some help or a break & visa versa, return the favour. That’s if they will admit to needing it. Ladies, we need to work together & help each other! I’m sitting here with my feet up, music on & a glass of wine at 3pm because I’ve organised a sleep over with a wonderful mum at school, the kids are getting off the bus at their friends house & I get to have a well deserved bubble bath later, maybe a movie, yummy dinner, read a book ahhhhh, I’m beside myself and will return the favour to her next weekend, everyone’s happy & the kids love it. Let’s all pull together outside of the site too.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:33 AM

Your very on point here Bronte, with both your points. having a day off, I think after some time out you can also be a better wife and mum for it. Our playgroup organised an annual girls weekend away, it was such fun, meeting new people and getting out of the house.

Lindsey May 29, 2015 - 6:55 PM

I have been following your blog for quite some time and love it! I began meal planning after seeing you post about it and it makes supermarket shopping and dinner during the week so much easier, so thanks!

We have 4 kids (8, 6, 3.5 and 13mths) and what I find hardest is having to stop what I am doing so often – stopping to do school/kindy run, stopping to put the youngest down for a nap, stopping to help with toileting/change a nappy etc. I find that I am not very productive and don’t get much done during the day (either chores or playing with the kids, homework etc). Any tips??

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:35 AM

Yay, so pleased that the meal planning helps you! It’s a big sanity saver for me. So can I ask, what task are you stopping to do all things things mentioned above? I think you will enjoy the series and the tips shared within.

Lindsey June 1, 2015 - 10:50 AM

It’s kind of hard to explain I suppose. For instance I decided to tackle the lounge/kitchen floors the other day but by the time I had tidied a few toys up out of the way, helped Miss 3.5 with something and something else that came up (maybe it was putting dinner in the crock pot??), I didn’t end up getting started as Miss 13mths woke from her nap and needed lunch, then I needed lunch, prepped the rest of the dinner veges and it was then school pick up time. I find I have to have all chores done and dinner prepped before school pick up as after is taken up by afternoon tea, nap #2 for the youngest, homework/reading, cooking tea etc. Another example is getting the ironing done, I do it when the youngest is napping but it isn’t always finished before her nap ends especially if I have to stop to help Miss 3.5 with things, it takes a few goes to get the ironing done (and I only do tops, most pants).
Doesn’t help that we have been renovating/extending on and off for the last 5.5yrs and there are LOTS of areas that need decluttering/organising.
And my biggest ‘enemy’ is that I get disheartened by half done jobs so then procrastinate πŸ™
Really looking forward to this series

Jessica May 29, 2015 - 7:48 PM

I am soo looking forward to this series!
I have a two and a half year old Miss and six month old B/G twins. I am drowning in housework and my anxiety is skyrocketing. I feel like a huge failure and need serious help getting my head above water and regaining some control over the house.

Roslyn May 30, 2015 - 7:54 AM

I just had to let you know- YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!! I hope Kat’s tips help you to feel less anxious, but from one mum to another- please be more gentle with yourself. Life is hard for you right now. You’re more than likely sleep deprived, and still physically recovering from carrying/ delivering twins. You are SUPERWOMAN! I wish I could come and give you a hug and let you know “if your kids are still alive, you are a success as a mum”

It won’t always be this hard, I promise. xxx

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:39 AM

Jessica, you are not a failure you are a mum to 3 kids under 3 that is hard work. I think you need to set yourself some boundaries, find what is acceptable to you, perhaps it is that your house is tidy, but not clean. That one room is a mess but the living areas are organised, or like me the kitchen is a mess through the day but is tidy before you go to bed. You will find some tips in the series that will help you and I’ll add one in about balance for you xx

Georgia June 12, 2015 - 10:32 AM

You should go and speak to you GP. I would have a mental breakdown if I was you with twins. I would not cope. Seriously you should talk to your GP so she/he can check you aren’t clinically anxious or depressed. If you are, they will start you on some medication to get you back on track and out of your own head. I promise you that you won’t “feel like a robot”. The idea of these medications is that you once again feel like you and you can get up and face the day. X

Jessica Broadbent June 12, 2015 - 3:17 PM

I have seen my GP and am seeing a counsellor. I don’t have depression and medication was discussed for my anxiety but we are trying in home support first (starting Monday). I’ve also asked my husband to find work locally and save FIFO for when things aren’t so crazy!

Melanie Saunders May 29, 2015 - 7:49 PM

Looking forward to this! πŸ˜€

Rebecca May 30, 2015 - 7:56 PM

I have a Hubby and two kids 5 and 8. I work 4 days a week from home and Hubby does his fair share. What I cant seem to keep on top of is the toy clutter. We have toys in their rooms & in the rumpus plus lounge too. I feel like they have too much but also they play with everything so find it hard to decide what to keep or donate or bin :/

Shen May 30, 2015 - 10:21 PM

I’m looking forward to this! My girls are 21 months and 3 months old. We’re renting my mum’s house and it’s been a slow process of getting her things out and ours set up. Been general housework, major organisation and setting up rooms, and just wanting to play with my kids, I feel like I have 100 things I want to do each day (and yet I just want to have a coffee or nap by myself!!)

[email protected] Urban Mum May 31, 2015 - 1:43 PM

Oh I do wish I had this wonderful series when I had my bubs….I am out the other side now with ‘Tweens’ ‘ (a whole other ball game…)…I have always been super organised, even managed blow dried hair most days when the boys were tiny, I just couldn’t learn to let some things go and I ended up a total frazzle after a few years. Congratulations on your fabulous blog full of great resources… X

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 1, 2015 - 9:41 AM

My are all in the tween phase at the moment too Monique, hormonal, such fun times!!

Deanne May 31, 2015 - 3:33 PM

Hi Katrina,
I have a 3 & 2 year old and am 6 months pregnant with #3, I also work part time. I am a very organised person and have no problems keeping on top of meals, laundry and keeping the house very tidy however when it comes to the big clean – toilets, bathrooms and floors in our 5×3 house I just have no energy left and I am horrified that I’m now leaving them for months. Any tips for how to get these big jobs done??

Tamika June 1, 2015 - 12:01 PM

Hi Katrina
I need help organising an decluttering everything! My kids at 2.5yrs and newborn, I’m a full-time student and when I’m not on mat leave I work part-time so I really want to use this time to get organised especially as my family will be posting to a new location in December.

H. June 1, 2015 - 12:27 PM

When I returned to full time work my children were 12 and 9 and my husband, a schoolteacher, was home before me each day. On 20cm x 15cm cards I wrote out our family meal recipes – one per card. (This was in the days before computers you understand.) On Sunday night I pulled out the cards for the following week’s meals and put them on the kitchen windowsill so that if I was delayed, either Miss 12 or my husband could start the meal. It worked for us.

Jammie June 3, 2015 - 10:31 AM

Hi Katrina,
Looking forward to reading all your tips & tricks in this series. I have 2 boys, 11 & 5. It’s only this year since Mr 5 has stared prep that I feel like I’m a little in control & can breath a little. I am a stay at home mum & looking for some ways to earn money from home. Mr 11 is Autistic & has epilepsy so working regular hours is not an option. Mr 5 was an absolute whirlwind & I never thought I’d see the light at the end of the tunnel with him. I had to invent child locks to keep Mr 5 out of things & we had to remove so much furniture from out house as he climbed endlessly. It looked like we were moving it was so bare. My mum kept saying “hang in there it’ll get better”. It did! Eventually…. There were days I wondered if I’d make it. I think what got me through was my mind set. I absolutely refused to give up, quit or give in. I also tried hard to ignore the “guilt voice” in my head. You know the voice that all women have that makes them feel guilty about everything. I found keeping less of everything (toys, linen, clothes, shoes) was the key to keeping things tidy.

Tash June 3, 2015 - 11:14 AM

Hi Katrina,
just recently found your blog, so glad I did. I have been ‘meal planning’ for the last 9 weeks. It was really hard at first so not to overwhelm my self I did one meal for the first 2 weeks then 2 meals for next 2 and then jumped to 4 meals, then jumped to 6 meal, that was pretty hectic. Learning new types of meals, researching what I could freezer or cook ahead for the next day. was a giant learning curve but I can see the results for sure. I’m not as stressed any more about ‘what’s for dinner’ . I have only one adult child who is getting married at the end of year and the guilt that has surrounded me for struggling with been not organised nearly consumed me over the years. I’m a single mum and have worked 40+ hours/week for most of my daughters life and I know it’s hard to keep organised. I’m really glad my daughter has been able to see me become organised and how I figured it out, and she has also taken on board some of the great ideas that I have learnt. I can highly recommend doing these kinds of meal plans and home organisation things, I wish I had looked on the internet sooner for help. just don’t get overwhelmed, just change one or two things slowly and master that before adding a another. If I can do it anyone can πŸ™‚ (and it’s never too late to start)

Kaycee June 3, 2015 - 3:41 PM

As a mum of 4 (daughters) aged 8,6,4&2, I find that I am constantly tidying toys – especially the small piece ones like Barbie shoes/polly pockets/legos etc.
I find these 3 things make the biggest difference to my sanity….meal planning, making sure my kitchen is spotless and dishwasher running before I go to bed every night (and emptied first thing in the morning), and wiping the bathroom surfaces over each night too….I feel happy to wake up and walk into a clean bathroom first thing – gets me starting the day in a positive mood!!
Definitely NO screens before school time.
I do a load of washing each night (turn it on on auto so it is freshly washed when I get up in the morning)and hang it as early as I can, just my way of keeping on top of it.
I also make lunches the night before, and pack the lunchboxes so that is less to do in that horrible morning rush (Obviously where I struggle the most!!)
Girls are responsible for their own rooms and make their own beds each morning (I do help miss2 tho)
And yes, even tho I have these tips, I am still a mum of 4 that is looking forward to these tips while trying to keep my house in order while being there for all 4 of them, dividing attention evenly, being a wife to my WONDERFUL hubby and still keeping in touch with OUR friends as well as the girls’ friends.
Sorry, not put very well….

Karen June 4, 2015 - 9:42 AM

Hi Katrina,
have just found out i’m pregnant with third child, delivery date is the start of the school year 2016, am worried about how to get out the house and organised in the morning to drop my eldest son at reception (1st yr of primary), my second son at Kindy all with a newborn and a husband that wont be able to take time off other than when I am in hospital, help! It is worrying me just thinking about it. I have an Italian mother-in-law who turning eighty and wants to help but I’m concerned about her age and not wearing her out, she loves to cook so maybe i’ll ask her to help me that way.

Bree June 5, 2015 - 1:09 AM

Katrina, I really enjoy reading your work and your tips and experience have helped me so much! I am trying to get my routines back in place after the birth of my 4th baby in January, which has thus far required quite a bit of self-reinventing. I have also been planning for summer break for my oldest, which starts in just one week. I think my biggest fears are that the kids (aside from baby) will spend the whole summer with screen time and it’ll be over before I get to enjoy time or activities with them. I’d say my biggest challenge has been getting my middle 2 (ages 4 and almost 3) interested in home school again after the post baby hiatus we’ve been on. Also, I’d like for my oldest to continue some light schoolwork over the break to ease her upcoming transition to junior high. Any tips or tricks, or even a bit commiserating would be of great help!

Jude June 5, 2015 - 12:44 PM

Hi Kat,
I’m really looking forward to your series. I haven’t found much to read on my current stage which is working part-time with children at primary school. I want to do a great job of the home stuff but at times it is isolating. I wonder if other people have ideas of how to make it work. I have been wondering about ideas like baking days or spring cleaning days with friends so we can do stuff together – without the cost of eating out while getting stuff done at the same time. I have tried a big baking day where a friend and I got together and made pizza bases in bulk. I wonder if other people get together for spring cleaning or baking days? How would you organise stuff like buying ingredients, sharing the work around?
Two Tips for All those lovely, hardworking Mums of preschoolers that I got from my friends that were sanity-savers:
1. do a toy pack-up a while before preparing tea, maybe about 4pm, and then give the children structured (non-mess) activities while I did tea. I had a cupboard in the hallway near the kitchen door with jigsaw puzzles in it so 4:30pm was puzzle time. I taught the kids to choose one puzzle at a time, do it, then put it away etc. The house stayed tidy of toys at least for the end of the day. When they were too young to do this independently they would be given some sort of fiddly activity such as pegboard, teaspoons and cup or crayons and paper to do while seated in a highchair so they couldn’t mess up the house. I had a list on my fridge of about 20 things I found might keep them busy. If I had a screechy baby this time of night they might go in their cot for 15mins for a catnap. Often it just got them (and me) through to bedtime if I didn’t have a visitor around to hold them. We don’t use electronic entertainment hardly at all and I do find that the children have learnt to entertain themselves. If you feel they need more to keep them busy they actually might need to spend some time and energy helping them learn to engage in quiet play and creative activities rather than looking for over-stimulating activities.
My other tip is to plan for downtime in the day while the little ones either rest or have a quite playtime in their room eg looking at books on their bed. This is not hard to teach your children to do if you believe they are able to! And of course, with little ones, success rate on the “Mummy left alone” time was prob about 75% but it was SO much better than nothing and pays great dividends. My view is that little ones don’t understand that Mummy needs rest so we need to be big people and just make it happen and understand that they won’t love it all the time. Just make sure your children’s needs are met before you expect them to play on their own eg fed, rested, plenty of love every day etc
Just a comment too for all the Mums of little ones that your wonderful hard work providing for them, playing with them and love to them is so precious and needful and those little seeds of love produce a beautiful harvest in years to come. Don’t give up! It is so worth it. I don’t know how many miserable moments I asked my husband whether it really was all worth it. I never felt like I was “getting anywhere” but I was. Children are like little trees – slow growing – and we can help shape them into something beautiful. I spent quite a few years as a full-time Mum, spent loads of time with them, thanks to a supportive husband and don’t regret a moment of it. I feel honoured now that the children love being with me despite my imperfections, want to share all their ups and downs with me and remember with fondness our early years together.
I don’t actually like routines much (still struggle with them) but to just set up some basic ones recommended by my friends with older kids were a real lifesaver. I am thankful for all those Mums who have “been there, done that” and had time to share.
Kat, I wonder whether you might be able to suggest helpful books/other reading on this topic too. I had a few books that were great and I am sure there must be more out there…

Jude June 5, 2015 - 12:47 PM

Oops! Sorry that was a bit long.

Jodie June 8, 2015 - 2:33 PM

Hi Katrina, I’m interested in your routines to keep the house clean. I’ve not long gone back to work part time and my daughter is 12 months old. I’m finding it hard to keep on top of everything so any help would be really appreciated.

Siobhan June 11, 2015 - 1:57 PM

Hi Katrina, i love seeing your latest posts and receiving your daily reminders. The thing i have the most trouble with is keeping track of where im at and where to start. I must admit, im getting better but im looking forward to your new series.

Kate - Kat's Assistant June 19, 2015 - 8:39 AM

Hi Siobhan, Ooh thank you for your email! I am super excited about the Helping mums thrive at home series.

Kirra July 9, 2015 - 10:11 PM

Hi Kat, i am a stay at home mum to a 2.5yo daughter and my hubby works night shift 13 days out of a fortnight.
I need help with: β€’staying orginised and on top of housework β€’ staying calm in the 2yo’s storm β€’ keeping the love alive in my relationship and β€’motivation and positivity. Thanks very much πŸ™‚

Sylvia Robinson August 17, 2015 - 11:17 AM

Hi Kate, I’m a long time follower, love your site and tips etc. I did read along time ago, cannot find it now -:how do you break up your day including what time time do you wake and what is your everyday routine. I too work from home, still cannot manage all in a day. Sylvia

Jacqueline January 1, 2016 - 11:08 PM

I need help keeping my wardrobe organised πŸ™ especially a better way to store my handbags , they currently live on my bedroom door


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