For several years, I used to spend time telling anyone who would listen about Flylady and how the system changed my life. Because it did, back when I had two tiny children under three and I was going under rapidly in the sea of chaos.
Then I kind of forgot about it a bit for another several years. I think everything started falling apart around the time I got pregnant with Three, was hideously sick and exhausted, and spent weeks lying on the sofa looking green. Then I had a baby and had a 4 year old and a 6 year old as well, and I never quite got my routines sorted out.
That baby is now getting on for 8 years old and I’ve been floundering, badly, in the chaos of my house and my life for a very long time. Despite remembering that Flylady’s system had worked for me way back when, I somehow didn’t think it would again. I don’t know why.
And then I got desperate, just like I had got desperate 11 years ago. And I got my sink shiny and have kept it like that now for a couple of weeks. It has spread from there. Very simple routines are happening. Bits of the house are getting tidy slowly that haven’t been tidy in a very long time. Today I managed to email my college assignment to the tutor three whole days before the due date. That has never happened before.
And there is space in my head.
Space, and my head, don’t go together as a rule. Google ‘adult symptoms of ADHD’ and you get a complete description of what my entire life is like. Truly. It’s scary how accurately that list of symptoms fits. I didn’t fit those pieces together until a friend gently pointed that out. My head is a noisy sea of everything, always. I can’t get it straight. My working memory is very poor. I forget things, unless I write them down, more or less instantly. I tune out unintentionally in the middle of conversations and then realise in horror that I actually have no idea what my friend/child/mum just said to me, for all I have been sitting there nodding and smiling at them.
Flylady works by building routines up, slowly and very very simply. By letting go of the idea of perfection and just doing it anyway. By getting rid, 15 minutes at a time, of the clutter that is choking the life out of us. Well, out of me, anyway.
I have tried, and tried, and tried to do this household management thing on my own. For years and years. And I just can’t. I’m simply not wired that way. For someone with as many ADHD characteristics as I have got (which is virtually all of them), Flylady just works, I need help. I need to be told what to do.
Just like in other areas of my life, I have tried to be independent and strong, but it is only when I admit I’m powerless and ask for help that things start to improve.
Today, as well as getting my college work in early, I have done several loads of washing, swept the floors and the stairs, vacuumed in the living room, watered the plants, planned meals for the week, made a shopping list, been to the supermarket, had a cup of tea with my mum, unpacked all the groceries, helped the children unpack all their bags from their time with their dad, and made all of tomorrow’s pancakes to keep in the fridge overnight because I have a busy day tomorrow. My sink is still shiny, the dining room is tidy, the living room is tidy, the bathroom is tidy and the hall is tidy.
Thinking about that, a while ago, was when I started wondering what on earth had happened to my life and who on earth has replaced me.
And then I remembered that this is the person I was, for several years while I was following Flylady’s guidelines. I’ve been here before. It’s amazing to be back.
I just need to keep accepting, every day, that this is who I am. I’m a disorganised, chaotic, distracted individual who has many strengths but family organisation and household management are not, and never will be, among them.
I will always need help. And at the moment, I’m giving in to that. One day at a time, of course. But today, I have found space in my head, for the first time in what feels like forever. I barely recognise my life, this day. And that is GOOD.
(This isn’t a sponsored post or anything. And I’m not trying to brainwash anybody. I purposely haven’t linked to the webpage in this post because I did that a week or so ago. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but bloody hell it works for me!)