So it’s week three of the school term and my life is starting to take on a concerning and rather familiar theme. Chaos.  I have often referred to the general mayhem that we exist in as ‘happy chaos’, probably trying to gloss over the fact that I am hopelessly disorganised by making it sound like it’s fun. But actually, if I’m really honesty, it’s not fun, and the chaos is not happy but an altogether unhappy experience that I swore this year wouldn’t be the overriding feeling in our home and our lives.

In my simple new existence, there was just not going to be chaos. There was going to be smooth sailing from dawn until dusk and everywhere in between. I was going to be smiling serenely as I moved from my position at the stove, stirring wholesome goodness in pots of love and making early morning muffins, greeting neighbours as I walked the children (and various pets) calmly and early to school, playing endless hours of creative play dough with my girl, going about my shopping and cleaning whistling a happy tune under my breath and greeting my husband with delight and sweet shiny,faced children lined up when he arrived home to hang up his coat at the end of each day.

The trouble is, I hadn’t factored in that to make all the changes in our life, I would have to actually change the biggest thing of all, me. Completely. I am, by nature, disorganised and impulsive, hopeless at cleaning up after myself or keeping a schedule. If I were to record the most common things my husband says to me I feel sure the top two would be, ‘have you finished with that?’ and ‘slow down’. I move from one thing to the next with lightning speed, no time to put things away when I’m finished with them, there are new tasks to be tackled. And so, it is no small wonder, my children are largely the same and my poor tidy, schedule keeping perfectionist husband spends a large part of his home life in despair (the other part I hope, in joyful delight at the good bits). I know all this, yet am still surprised when after a day of cleaning and tidying, the house returns to its ‘just been ransacked’ state within a matter of moments and I feel dejected and frustrated and yell at everyone, demanding that they start picking up after themselves.

I tried scheduling chores for the boys and regular ‘spot tidying’ during the day last year but it didn’t last longer than a week. I have reminders in my phone to prompt me to look at my diary, so prone am I to forgetting appointments, although I’m actually still using my 2012 diary so it’s not much help at the moment.  I haven’t quite got around to getting a 2013 one, it’s only mid February after all, and they’ll all be on sale soon for sure. Our family planner sits lonely and unfilled in on the back of the kitchen door with notes for school activities pinned hopefully to January. I live in fear of being the mother who forgets to send money along with her child to the annual Mother’s Day stall and kind friends have been known to (regularly) text me on the morning of casual day or excursions just to remind me.

I don’t want to be that person anymore. Just like I don’t want the crazy in our lives and have made massive adjustments to create a simpler existence, I don’t want the chaos in me. I’m happy to be a little crazy now and then, but I need for our home to be peaceful and organised, for me to be peaceful and organised. For me to reach my small, modest goals each day (like using the gym membership I’ve had for seven years for more than stopping by the cafe for a take away coffee) or taking teddy for an early morning walk each day which I scheduled last year and did once.

I have my moments of brilliance. It’s just that they are very short lived. I start with so much enthusiasm and determination and then it just kind of evaporates after the initial burst. I think perhaps, I need to list the most important changes I want to make, turn them into small achievable goals each day and give myself time to change the habits of a lifetime. I know that order creates freedom. I know to give myself the time to do things I want, I need the structure in place to deal with the things I need to do first.

I want my friends and family to stop expecting me to forget, to be late, to not be able to rely on me. I want them to suddenly realise one day that I turned up every time, that they didn’t have to step over a million toys and piles of laundry when they came to my house, that I wasn’t frazzled, wasn’t rushing, that I was peaceful, happy, calm, organised.  I want to open my diary every morning and not be surprised and not have that sickening shot of adrenaline hit because I forgot someone’s birthday the day before .

On Saturday, I saw an elderly lady being walked into a nursing home, bags and boxes of belongings coming with her. It made my heart break a little bit and I thought about her all morning. Was she happy? Was she satisfied by the life she was leaving behind. Was she at peace entering this final phase? Did she have enough memories to sustain her? Had she lived her life?  I want to be everything I can be, the best version of me, and give myself, and our little family, a real chance to be and have this beautiful life we trying to create.  When I enter old age, I want to look back and say ‘Wow, I really gave it everything I had’ and smile. I don’t want regret. I don’t want to be held back by my habitual lack of organisation. I can change. One small step, one tiny achievable goal at a time. Every single day.

Everything I want for me, for us, depends on me finally, really, permanently making these changes. The biggest obstacle to our dream life is me and I don’t want to be in the way anymore. I have David Bowie on repeat in my mind and I know I can do this.

It’s time…


(any tips gratefully received ;)


  1. No matter what happens, KEEP WRITING. There is something honest, beautiful and satisfying reading about you exploring the deeper parts of life, and discovering more about yourself and your family as you do so.

    I can also heartily recommend a daily dose of either yoga or meditation – it takes a couple of weeks to build the habit, but I promise you it’ll make you more calm and peaceful in the face of chaos, and might even help you find some more order in yourself.

    30 mins a day. That’s all. (I do mine between around 5:45am and 6:15am, before my kids get up at 6:30… makes such a difference!)

    Take care, beautiful.
    Is. xo

  2. Oh Tuesday…I am right there with you. I live my life in a bit of a spin…multi tasking like a champion (starting everything, finishing nothing) I feel your pain.
    I did read something helpful in a magazine on the weekend:
    BE a one task woman: mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment…and multi tasking is one of the greatest enemies of mindfulness. The problem with multi tasking is that we’re doing one thing while worrying about half a dozen other things (this so describes me!). Focusing on the one thing that needs our attention not only helps reduce stress, but also helps improve our efficiency and effectiveness”
    I hope you don’t mind me sharing that with you…I found it quite helpful..and am hoping to use it in my day to day life.
    Be kind to yourself…and make small changes, one step at a time. Good luck xx

  3. Louise Tee says:

    hey I thought someone was looking at my life and writing about me when I read this!
    I have only really made two changes that so far have worked and made a difference in my ‘organised choas’ of a “life at home with the kids but running a business at the same time” – one was to lose the paper diary at the beginning of 2012 and bought an app called Informant for my phone – so far has worked the best – can set it to remind you the day before etc of things to do; along with that I bought a kikki-k wall calendar and wrote all the school holidays / pupil free days in and big birthdays – it worked for most of last year, except the one day I sat like an idiot in the kindy parking lot on a pupil free day ;)
    The other big thing I did this year was delete my personal Facebook profile – so far it has saved me heaps of time wasting and I really don’t miss it. I still have my business page – I am the admin of that page under another name and have no friends therefor no feed and it is great.
    I really enjoyed your post – thank you! and one day I would love to take Israel’s advice and calm the monkeys in my head down enough to meditate – just five minutes would be bliss.
    Louise xxx

  4. Tuesday,

    Understand that what you are going through, most of us go through as well. Like the bursts of inspiration. I totally get that. My boss told me this morning that I’m awesome at what I do – I’m just not awesome as much of the time that I could be… through his eyes.

    We always want life to be better than it really is. From the small catch we had a few weeks back, I thought you came across strong in will and abundant in happiness.

    Maybe it’s time we caught up for a chat again..

    Keep smiling gorgeous. And keep up the writing like Israel said. It really helps if you’re doing in on a consistent basis. It’s turned my life around!

  5. Ohhhhhhhhhh thank goodness!!! Your thoughts and ideas have resonated deeply with me! I too have great intention of making 2013 a little more organised, and not letting myself drown in the chaos of morning school runs, unrealistic expectations (from both me & the perfectionist husband!!) and decided to chuck on some rose coloured glasses!

    Now, I’m not one to excercise (EVER) but I have started an early morning walk with a mum from school – 6.30am (sooooo hard,but sooo good!)And it sets the day right!

    I’ve colour coded the calendar (school, kinder, work, home) and leave it hanging inside the pantry door (viewable every time I grab something to eat, which is quite often) and I made a paper pocket, also inside the pantry, where I keep all the notes that need to be returned/filled in/read, for easy access.

    There are systems in place – just a matter of remembering them :)

    • Laura thank you so much for reading, I LOVE your colour coded calendar idea!! :) I’m so doing that. And the morning walk. that was my one change for this week :) xx

  6. Sheye Rosemeyer says:

    My darling, my eyes are stinging reading your words. Tuesday, I promise you, however you are doing it IS the best way. It may not feel like the easy way at times but this is the only way you know how. I too used to be so stressed over not ticking all the boxes..wishing I could be those organized mothers and imagining how much better life would be. The thing is, I have realized something..that along with my disorganization comes an ability to adapt, to be spontaneous, to roll with the punches and to teach my kids those attributes too. And they are attributes. I know plenty of very organized people who don’t cope well with change. It’s never perfect. Sure, balance is good but it’s not like you can go and buy it in a box. It’s enough to just try for it..a little bit each day. And when you fall down in a spectacular forgiving sweetheart. We all do some things brilliantly but it can’t be everything. The stress of trying to be that near perfect Mum robs you of so much simple joy. Let it go. You don’t feel it today but I know I’m not alone in saying you are truly one of life’s special people and an amazing Mum. The “bits of brilliance” you reference are there in abundance and they will never be overcome by the human ‘flaws’ that we all struggle with.
    Sending you so much love and permission to be imperfect. We, and your beautiful family, love you no less.

    • love and appreciate you just so very much my darling friend. That you took time out from your sleep deprived twin-heaven bubble to call me today meant more than you can imagine. Thank you honey xoxo

  7. Hi Tuesday,
    I’m someone who lives her life on a strict schedule and is ALWAYS organised. I organise schedules and events with the precision of an army general, and organise food and clothing for said events with the detail of a quartermaster. My kids are always early to school, I’m (to quote Carly Simon) “where I should be all the time”, and my house is clean.

    Yet my life is not always tranquil and relaxed! This is because I have three chaos demons living in my house. Four if you count their father. Not one of them notices piles of toys/books/camera equipment/full bins/cat poop in the garden/dirty dishes/overflowing hampers. And as I’m an obsessive cleaner and tidier, I spend a lot of time shouting at my kids to “just bloody clean up!!!”. This drives my disorganised, messy husband mad.

    On the holidays he set me the challenge of going for 5 days without vacuuming or doing ANY other cleaning or chores. It was REALLY hard for me. But we both learned a valuable lesson. Not the same lesson. But a lesson.
    Mine was that if you don’t clean daily your house doesn’t actually explode.
    Anthony’s lesson was that if you don’t clean at least the floors every other day you attract ants. This may only be the rule if you have an exceptionally grubby two year old. Which we do.
    Anyway, we both accepted that I can just clean twice a week, and vacuum or sweep under the food chairs every second day.

    One thing I noticed during these mad days was that I had a lot more time to just play with my kids. And they were happy. They loved it in fact. They also loved not being hurried or nagged to tidy. However, they also got annoyed that their clothes weren’t all in their cupboards when they wanted them, and got hungry if dinner wasn’t ready on time. They liked going to bed later than usual, but they got ratty by day 3. They liked me not telling them to pick up their toys, but they got annoyed when the two year old terror broke them. So the kids learned a little something too. Eventually they decided that the Mummy who chilled out on a towel in the backyard with a glass of vino and a book was not their kind of Mummy!

    Anyway, the point of my rambling response here (and yes there is one) is that the grass is always greener. I’m pretty much the anti-Tuesday in terms of organisation and housework. Are my kids happier than yours? Not at all! They’re probably pretty much the same as yours in spite of different environments. Mine are happy little campers, but they’re not thriving moreso because I’m Bree Van de Kamp to your Susan Delfino.

    If you personally want to arrange your life moreso, that’s a great goal. But work out WHY you want to change. And if you DO decide to change, then pick one behaviour or change per week. Just one. Otherwise your kids will think you’re a complete lunatic after the novelty of the sudden change wears off.

    • Toni I just love this. Really. Thank you for your fabulous perspective on things :) Massive food for thought. playdate this week? xxxx

  8. oh, sorry lovelies, i seem to have posted as our lovely admin KristyW but her posts are actually from me :)

  9. Not THIS week Tuesday. I’m off to Qld Thursday AM for a funeral, and not back until Friday afternoon. But NEXT week on Monday or Wednesday I’m free as a bird. Let me know which suits and how about you and Willow come over. We can have coffee, and the smalls can play.

  10. Tuesday I have never come across your blogs before but saw this on on FB! You are a beautiful writer and thank you for speaking the truth! I have resonated with your words and you should not be hard on yourself!! You would be speaking on behalf a lot of moms including me!! We try to do our best and that’s all that we can do!!

    • thank you so much Jackie for your lovely words and thoughts. You are so right, we are all just doing the best we can, somedays it seems to go a little better than others :)

  11. What you describe is normal to me. I get up at 6:30am every day to walk the dog, I make lunches and lay out uniforms the night before (most days!), I have a colour coded calendar on the kitchen wall I created in excel (it expired a week ago). I’m pretty good at those things – but getting out of the house is still totally chaotic, and I’m still late for work almost every day – my little people march to the beat of their own drum, and their drums are not in harmony with other parts of my life.

    My house is constantly a mess and I never get to the bottom of the washing basket – I’ve just learned to accept it and relax about it. I hate being late, but often am (only by 10 minutes, 15 max) – I’ve learnt to relax about that too. It’s not ideal, but it’s a reality of a life as a woman-who-does-too-much. I’ve realised that no amount of stressing will get me there faster – so I just take a deep breath, and let it go.

    I’ve made some pretty big changes in my life recently to try to reduce stress – diet changes, cut back on work (outside home only 3 days per week), go to meditation class one evening per week. These strategies have reduced the stress, but not the chaos – I guess they’ve just help me accept and cope with the chaos better.

    Do you really need to change?, or is it just that you need to change the way you feel about your chaos? xx

    • Hi Julie
      Thank you so much for sharing :) Your life sounds a lot like mine. I think maybe for me a little of both, I need to stop sweating the small stuff so much but also being a little more organised would help the flow of our life so much more. Just got to strike that happy balance :)