This morning I thought about following Brynn's example and opening myself up to whatever question you might have. Then I thought of questions like "How do you spend a typical day with your 4 boys?" and actually that question alone was all it took to get me to change my mind about this honesty movement.

(but here I go, answering the one question I was hoping to avoid. Is there such a thing as extreme honesty?)

Well, the thing is, lately we've just been kicking it and riding out the winter months. We were dealing with sickness for a good (bad, very bad) month. Last week it all finally went away, but I can't seem to remind myself that "Hey Natalie! You're kids aren't sick anymore, get off your duffer!" We're spending way too much time just killing time (yes, lots in front of the TV, I'm so ashamed) and while I know that's not okay, I can't get myself into gear. And the sad part of it is, I don't even feel like I'm in a slump. That's usually my other excuse for being lazy and whittling away the days. I feel dandy, I just don't really feel like being productive.

I am doing some things. I'm very focused on potty training Tays, getting Austy to sleep better, and eliminating whining. I'm seeing success in these areas, so that's good. But at the end of the day, if you were to ask me how I spent my day...well, it's embarrassing how little I really do. Really.

This isn't one of those posts where I'm looking for you to jump in and say that I'm doing a good job or how I have 4 boys under 5 and I should cut myself some slack. I know myself and what I am doing and it's just not good enough. I have been cutting myself some slack, yards and yards of it. You don't know, so trust me on this. I'm not one of those people who strives for perfection than beats myself up when I fall short. I have a fairly realistic grasp of what I'm capable of doing, and I'm all about patting myself on the back when I've made my bed in the morning. But I've taken being easy on myself to the extreme and something has got to change.

I checked this book out from the library again. It was very motivating last time I checked it out, over a year ago. But I haven't yet motivated myself to open it. How's that for lazy?Clearly, a change is in order. So, there you have it. The embarrassing truth about my reality lately.

But there is hope. (this is where you come in to save the day) I can set my lovely phone to beep at me whenever you comment. If you comment "get off your duffer and go clean the kitchen!" I'll get it instantaneously and you'll be giving me a dose of just what I need. So, please do. I don't usually beg for comments, though I always enjoy them. But really guys, I need your help. Tell me the time has come to get moving. Tell me to pick up all the toys, to vacuum my bedroom, to throw away 25 things within the next minute, to wash the mirrors, scrub the toilets, to tackle that leaning tower of laundry, to spend 5 minutes on windows, or organizing the toy closet. Urge me to sweep and mop my floor. Load/unload the dishwasher, get dinner started. Be creative, if it's a chore, it's a pretty safe bet that it is undone. If you're going to vacuum your family room, tell me to do it too.

At the end of the day, I'll let you know how much of it I accomplished (and then you can tell me how great I am, just kidding. seriously. kidding.).

Please. If you care at all, consider this a crucial intervention on my behalf.

PS. I realize a productive day isn't just a day spent cleaning, but a clean house always motivates me to be more productive and proactive in other areas of my life, so it's a great place to start. And I really need to get started. Can I stress that enough?


  1. I'm totally in on this intervention, Natalie! I'm gonna tell you what I have been needing to do, then we'll do it together.

    - Finish just two loads of laundry!
    - Don't just clean them; fold them and put them away!
    - Mop that kitchen floor! Ew! It's gross!
    - The counters seriously need some scrubbing! Do it!
    - Wipe down that shower!
    - Then...don't forget QUALITY time with the kids. Still do something inside, but something meaningful, like an art project, or get all the couch cushions off and make a hut with blankets, then have a reading day.

    Good luck! I think this was honest enough, heh heh.

  2. Start with the laundry. You can always do other stuff while the machines are doing their magic.

  3. Natalie,
    Time to clean the kitchen. Call me.

  4. Haha, this post made me laugh! Partly because I have a snow day today and haven't really managed to get out of bed much.

    Ok, so on to bossing you around - I'm pretty sure there are some dishes you could be washing. (Regret asking now?) lol

  5. What I'm trying to figure out is how you have time to do anything else but take care of 4 under 5? Sorry, I know that's not being helpful.

    Back in the day, when I was having a lazy one, I would get up and do something productive during every commercial. How's that for being honest...

    Okay, I say decide now what you are having for dinner and go do one part of that right now.

  6. I just washed the baby...and myself! Changed two poopy diapers, gag, and threw the towels in the wash. But I want you to grab Austin and chase the rest of the gang around the house squealing until you're filled with that happy adrenaline buzz. :) then maybe you can clean the kitchen, my least favorite chore, or that bathroom you are sitting in with Taylor all day.

  7. I'm sorry but I can't be much help in the motivation category. I am having the same problems. Although, I do notice that I get into this unproductive phase about this time every year. I'm tired of the cold and mud and I feel like all I've been doing the past few months is being inside and cleaning my house. It usually just takes about a week of warm-play-outside-weather. To get me going again.

  8. Hmmm...take a nap!
    (Wait, is that not helpful?)

  9. got rambunctious with the big boy cup and had to clean the kitchen table...and the floor. how's your floor looking? mine was dirty!

  10. Make a to-do list of what you would like to accomplish today. That always motivates me.

  11. You need some serious slack here! OK, so I'll let you know what we have done today so you can feel better about yourself...we went to music class, went to Walgreens and spent $1 on a package of Huggies...took Michael to school, and folded laundry. Did I mention that we watched two shows in there too. After writing it out, it almost sounds productive, but not so much!

    Ok, so here's what to do, if you clean the bathroom today, so will I. I've been meaning to get to that for a week and a half! I shouldn't be so honest about that one...gross! I did clean the toilets the other day. I jut always get distracted in the middle of it and the paper towels aren't upstairs and by the time I get myself up there, I don't want to go back down to get them. How's that for lazy!

  12. Just found your blog and read this post and I am laughing my head off. Not at you but with you. I have 4 kids myself and and currently pregnant with my 5th and I have had the same you describe!! It is soo hard to be motivated in the winter, isn't it?? And darn that TV it is just too easy to turn it on and occupy those kids with!! Good luck getting motivated... But please do NOT feel like you are the only one facing this!!

  13. This is basically my last 2 weeks in a nutshell. I was perfectly content sitting with my macbook on the couch like ALL DAY while Leah played with toys or watched movies. I finally decided to change it up on Monday, I called and got Leah set up for gymnastics classes on Thursdays, we went to story time at the library yesterday, and I'm getting my hair cut and colored on Friday. Leah was getting serious cabin fever. Winter is the pits!

    And as for your chores, I think you should organize your junk drawer in the kitchen. HA! You asked for it!

  14. So as selfish as this sounds I usually have to do something to kick up the motivation, like I need a hair cut, a new pair of shoes, or some new pens if I have an assignment to do. Sean is perfect at motivation. The boy is like a machine and then there is me who literally has to give myself a pep talk.

    I guess it is a bad thing on my part if I always have to jump start me to jump start anything else. I guess I am not talking about the day to day but more so when I fall off the wagon.

    Also, I set a timer and I say I am going to do this much work for this amount of time and whatever is undone by the time I am done, it just stays that way. I find that I am more productive in that hour than I would be in stretching that out over the whole day.

    But honestly, I should never give out advice in this area!

  15. Join the club!!! Try a small little goals of doing things and put it on the side of your blog for all to see and make sure to put a deadline. It has worked really good for me. Just cleaned out the food pantry for the first time in who knows how long. What are you going to do today?

  16. I didn't blog much yesterday because I've spent too much time in front of the computer lately. Too bad I missed out on your clean-athon. Hope it went well! I had one planned for Friday before reading your post, but then this morning I committed to babysit 4 kids from 7:30am-5:30pm tomorrow so fat chance I'll be cleaning then after all. It should be interesting (7 under the age of 5 for a whole day) to say the least. Maybe I should clean today instead? I wanna be like you, so I'll give it a whirl. :) Hope your computer starts behaving!

  17. Steven Covey would say to spend a bit of time "sharpening the saw".

    I tried to help my daughter-in-law PREVENT a little toy clutter by making a toy cabinet that won't let the grandkids get another toy until they put one back. You can see a movie of it a http://www.furniture-that-gets-kids-to-pick-up-toys.com/ .

  18. OK so I am two days late on this - I have been so crazy busy lately I haven't even turned on the computer! So go cut out or have the boys who are able cut out some hearts and let the boys (and you!) tell you about all the things they love. Write them in the hearts and tape them all over your house. Let them choose where they go, or at least let them stick them to the walls :) There, you have just decorated for Valentines Day.


what do you think?