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All opinions are mine alone. #EraseStress #CollectiveBias

Being a human is hard.  Being an adult is even harder.  Being a parent, on top of being an adult and a human is kind of the hardest thing ever.  Not only are you responsible for yourself, but now you have spawn that is totally dependent on you too.  Wait a sec, I can barely clean my own room – who the heck thought it was a good idea to add MORE responsibility to my plate? Oh yeah, me.  Oops.  But here’s the problem (deep breath) I’ve added ANOTHER spawn to my full day, and I am losing track of my day.  But, Tall Dad and I came up with a great plan on how to keep track of it all…

But before we continue, let me just explain why I’m a crazy woman.  Between my son, my new daughter, a burgeoning media company that Tall Dad and I created on the fly, keeping my house in order, maintaining a reasonable social life, and, oh, that small thing of being a good wife and having some time to myself – my day never stops.
Whether its doctors appointments, meetings, more meetings, nap times, date nights, etc., we ALWAYS have something going on.

It’s actually gotten so bad that Tall Dad literally wakes up, every single day, and the first words out his mouth are not, “hi my love”, or, “good morning,” or even, “god you look so beautiful in the mornings even with your bed head and smeared make up.”  Nope.  None of those.  No, Tall Dad’s first words are, “what do we have planned today?”
Romantic, right?
It’s not his fault though. Our lives are insane. Someone once told me that this time in our lives, right now as you read this, is the hardest time in any persons life.  Married for a while, with a couple of kids, too many bills to pay with not enough income coming in. 

You know what? 

They were right.

I look around us and see marriage’s failing all the time. I see parents struggling to make mortgage payments and losing their jobs. I see people losing focus and giving up because they feel like they have no other choice. 

Goodness, I think people my age are single handedly keeping the therapy business afloat.

So while I see all this, I do the natural thing any loving woman/wife would do – try to fix it.  Tall Dad and I are constantly talking about what we can do better.  Not just for our kids, or financially.  But, for us.  This self examination has become almost routine in our day – asking what we can accomplish to become a stronger and more loving couple.
Oddly enough, one of the subjects we find most difficult to tackle isn’t necessarily being physical, or paying enough attention to one another.  We both love each other to the ends of the earth so it’s easy for us to make one another feel special.  

Rather, the hardest subject has always been the daily tasks around the house.

Yup, cleaning the kitchen, taking out the garbage, emptying the cat litter, cleaning the cars, organizing the finances,  doing the laundry etc.  All the mundane stuff.  We both have a visceral hatred of all things mundane.  But, I had to do something.  So I came up with our time management matrix that goes on our fridge.

I learned about this time management matrix in college (I think it’s called the 

Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle), and I honestly think it’s saved my sanity more than once. 

  • First, you need to write down every item on your to-do list. The obvious, the overwhelming, and even those little annoying things that just need tackling.

  • Now you should have a scary piece of paper, littered with different items which need to be done…but have no fear, the time management matrix will solve this!
  • Grab a piece of plain paper, and you divide it into fourths. You label the quadrants as: Important and Urgent, Important but Not Urgent, Not Important but Urgent, or Not Important and Not Urgent.
  • Now you will take the items your to-do list, and start putting them inside the appropriate quadrant. If something needs to be done within the next two days – then it is urgent. If it is something that has serious consequences if it isn’t done, then it is also important.

For example: 

Bills that are close to being overdue – URGENT and IMPORTANT

Different tasks can belong in different quadrants for different people. For example, our cat litter completely ran out today. Normally picking up cat litter would be important but not urgent, but unless I want my kitties to leave treats for us around the house – I need to buy some quickly.

  • We write these to do tasks in either a Red, Blue, and Black in utilizing the FriXion Erasable Pens (I found them at my local Target – and I love them because when you erase the ink there is NO MESS – unlike my old erasable pens from the ’90s! The FriXion Erasable Pens ink can even erase from fabric!!)

The red tasks are mine, and the blue are Tall Dad’s. When we complete the task, we just erase it! 


I keep our to-do list up on our fridge so we both see it each day, and make a new to-do list almost every week to make sure that our list is current with our needs. 

Is it earth shattering? Nope. In fact – that solution is pretty mundane in and of itself.  But, with everything that piles up on our plates, its made for a very easy and accessible plan that we can look at every day and know what’s on our plate.
Now, we just have to figure out a way to actually start completing tasks on that whole list….
Wish us luck!

How do you find ways to erase stress from your day-to-day chores?

PS – The brand Pilot, who makes the FriXion Erasable Pens, has partnered with STOMP Out Bullying – the leading national bullying and cyberbullying prevention organization, to help build awareness and fund educational programs designed to reduce and prevent bullying in schools across the country.

  • With your purchase of Pilot’s FriXion Clicker erasable gel ink pens, you can help Pilot support & fund STOMP Out Bullying programs to ‘erase’ negative bullying behaviors and ‘rewrite’ positive, productive solutions.
  • Pilot will be making a minimum of a $125,000 donation to STOMP Out Bullying, spanning 2015 and 2016. If annual sales goals are exceeded, additional funds will be donated. The additional funds, beyond the minimum $125,000 donation, will be determined based on sales performance & purchase quantities.
  • Join Pilot’s efforts and let others know that their FriXion Clicker purchase can help erase bullying and back-to-school stress. With your support, together we can write a new chapter in U.S. schools

There’s a deal on the FriXion pens that I mentioned  at Target– From 8/23 – 8/29 20% off: FriXion Clicker pen 3pk Assorted and FriXion Clicker pen 3pk Black