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I wonder how all the great writers came to write what they did? I mean did they have a plan in their head before they got it down on the page… or did they just write?

Sometimes I have a plan. And it works well.

Sometimes, like today, I just sit down and the words start coming out of me. Like a release valve. It lets out the steam that is building up inside of me…

And it has been building up for a while now. I haven’t had hardly any time to sit down to write.

Organizing beginning school - and a party while staying sane

So today I am sitting down for the first time in almost two weeks and I am waiting for the washing machine to finish and then I will put more washing on, but I am ignoring all the rest of the epic mess in the house.

There are still decorations up from my daughter’s unicorn 5th birthday party. I haven’t removed the fabric I used as a table cloth yet. Some of her presents are still on the floor in the living area. The dining table is COMPLETELY covered in craft stuff and paint and random bits of papers with bulgy eyes that my son made into shapes and then had to paint… the extra chairs we brought in from the garage for our guests are still in the house. And there are still some party food sitting in unopened packets in a box under the table in case they were needed.

Organizing beginning school - post 5th birthday party in my house
Current post party state of my house… and how it has been for about 4 days…

As far as chaos goes… well, I am staring at it right now!

Meanwhile I have swirling ideas for my blog and other ideas for other potential income earners I could do… and there are renovations to be investigated on the house, since we just refinanced our mortgage to enable a bit of cash for those.

And my health hasn’t been wonderful recently with how hard I have been pushing myself and how much I have not prioritized eating well during this busy time…

Since the kids have been struggling to sleep on the hotter nights we have had (summer in this part of the world!). And there has been so much excitement over the birthday party and starting school. And these things have meant so much change which my son tends to cope with by getting extremely silly and aggressive towards his sister and I…

In the midst of it all, there were 2 weeks of swimming at school. Which he adored. But it exhausted him (and everyone else!).

Now he is refusing to go to school if he can’t go swimming. And he insists that he needs to go to the beach. With his school friends. In a bus. TODAY.

Did I mention that when he has an idea in his head, he talks about it endlessly?!? Persistence is one of his strengths…

Good luck to the teachers!

Perhaps this is why I often feel somewhat crazy.

I get this from one kid:

“But I didn’t say you could take me to school today!” (He tends to imitate the language that others use around him – in this case he has picked this up from his lovely teacher!)

And this from the other:

“Mama, it’s time to go to school. I want to go to school…!”

So I am busy reassuring one child that we are going to school while trying not to aggravate the other while still moving us towards actually getting into the car. Once we are in the car and kids are strapped in then it is GAME OVER.

I win.

For the record, I have always won.

But there have been a few times that we have not made it to the car… those don’t count in my tally though. My tally. My rules.

Anyway, I started by asking how great writers get their writing so good. I hope there are some who don’t actually have a plan. Coz that seems to be more and more often these days!

What I really want to share is how I attempt to maintain sanity in the chaos of these times where I am just running from thing to thing.

Organizing beginning school - birthday party food
Party food

Have an end in sight

Seriously.

Don’t have this as a lifestyle or you will go crazy for real.

I knew that 2 weeks of swimming where I had to be availbale to help changing into swimwear beforehand and out of it after would take all my afternoons. I also knew that the weekend after swimming was the best time for my daughter’s birthday party. AND that she would need quite a few school visits so that her brother could get used to her being at school, which would mean all morning. So I did know ahead of time that it would be crazy.

And I knew it would end.

Changes mindset in a big way if you know something will end!

Plan

Do what you can to plan ahead. Have easy meals in the cupboards. Get party prep done ahead of time. Break down what you want to happen so that it can happen.

I had cleaning to do so our house was nice. I wanted to decorate our house. I needed to do a few things for party prep, like baking the cake and having a game of “pass-the-parcel”.

Organizing beginning school - party decorations
Party decorations

A week before the party we ended up inviting the 4 girls from school that my daughter had connected to in her visits. So that brought our invitees up to 16…! Plus parents… some of whom I did not know yet!

So I needed a plan to make them comfortable in our home as well, since most other people were friends and had already been to our house.

Really for me a plan is just thinking ahead. So for example, I decided to set up a craft table for the little girls to go to when they arrived… partly so that their parents would also be able to relax a bit more and get out of the doorway and see their kids get involved in something! It wasn’t too hard for me to do and it proved a hit with the quieter kids who didn’t want to explore the play room upstairs or the trampoline outside.

Give yourself grace

You know how you get a “grace period” sometimes with things like returning library books before they charge you? That is what I am talking about.

Don’t be hard on yourself. Take a minute to realise that you are busy and making mistakes can happen. Give yourself grace before you say anything to yourself that you would not say to anyone else…

I have been told to ask myself if the words I am saying in my head are something that someone who loves me would say to me. The clinical psychologist suggested that as a Christian I might like to use God as that person, but the idea holds if you use someone you feel safe with.

So for me, I ask myself if those are words from God in my head. If they don’t seem like something God would say to me, considering that I think he is really loving towards me, then they are not words to listen to.

That is how I do it since honestly I can’t seem to stop the words coming up when I am tired and stretched and busy… but I can stop listening to them.

And you know what?

The more I do this. The more I am gentle on myself, the more I am gentle to others. And the more I can like myself. And the more I can like and love others. AND even more amazing to a perfectionist like me, the more I like what I do.

I made a unicorn birthday cake for my daughter. I watched a youtube clip and thought I could do it. Then on the day my piping nozzles for the icing were not right. So I had to make the best of it. And the actual cake was not my best work. A bit dry. So I served a cake that was alright but not the best I could do.

organizing beginning school - 5th birthday unicorn cake
Unicorn cake

And it was ok. And I got a number of compliments.

Give yourself grace. Be gentle to yourself.

Life is hard. Don’t make it harder.

Organizing beginning school - unicorn party cake inside

And now having managed to write all of that I am feeling like the steam pressure has been released and I can go back to getting my house sorted to a degree of organization… well, enough. Enough to be calm, anyway!

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