The Time-Consuming Endeavor of Housekeeping

A week ago, I told you about going to urgent care because of chest pains.  I took this as a warning that I needed to slow down my life.  I told you that I was going to write about this process, and then I didn’t say anything about it for the next two weeks.

2012-6-Alaska BonVoyage

Despite what Facebook might say, we are not all on vacation all the time. We all have days where we just need to get the work done.

I felt I needed some reflection on this before I implemented changes.  It’s my tendency to come up with some great overhaul plan for my life only to burn out on it a few weeks later.

This has made me wiser though.  I’ve found it better to implement changes more slowly in my life, more thoughtfully before I make decisions that might be hard to undo.

One small change I’ve made is having a down day on Mondays.  It’s still a work day, but I’m trying to stay home that day, getting laundry done, the bathroom cleaned, sheets changed, and just getting the house back in order after the weekend.  I don’t want to schedule appointments, run errands, or go grocery shopping.  I just stay home.  I’ve tried to get most of the laundry done on Mondays before, but I also plan other activities, and it can create a stressful day.  No more of that.  Stay home.

What astonishes over and over again is how I continually underestimate just how much time it takes to run a household of seven.  Keeping cleaning socks in the drawers and food in the refrigerator and dirt off the floor is truly a full time endeavor, and yet I often treat the housework like an afterthought.

Why is that?  Well, for one, housework isn’t exactly glamorous or stimulating so it’s easy to put it off for other things.  But that doesn’t change that fact that it’s tremendously important.  I want my family to look forward to coming home.   I want there to be a sense of order and peace and warmth and comfort and acceptance.  There is nothing more soothing to me than the sound of dishwasher or the smell of a good stew.  Getting a strong start on Monday just helps the rest of the week run smoothly.

And yes, I admit that I was getting just a bit restless yesterday afternoon as I was putting in my sixth load of laundry.  (I did watch a few of my favorite television programs while ironing and matching socks).  There still seemed so much to put away. Everywhere I turned, there will little messes.  Over and over again, I had to track down children and get them to clean the messes up (which is far more work than cleaning it up myself).  But it’s good to hear the vacuum on and realize that you’re not pushing it.  I even asked my fifteen-year-old to get an Amazon package ready to be returned, and he got online and got the return slips printed off.  I was impressed.  (I believe our children are far more capable than we give them credit).

At the end of the day, I felt  satisfied when the laundry was put away and the kitchen was clean.  There was a sense of balance and order, and I was so pleased that I didn’t even feel bored.

We live in a time where boredom is considered the worst thing to endure.  We must play a game on our phones or check Facebook or watch youtube before allowing ourselves to get bored.  But the reality is, some housework is tedious, and if we feel ourselves above doing it all, just who is going to do it for us?  Yes, we can get the rest of our family to help, but the lion’s share usually still falls on the mother.  In the end, we are the only that care enough.

What successful housework routines have you implemented?

Come tomorrow where I will talk about ways to keep from getting bored.

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