I remember when I first started this homemaking journey thing back when it was just me and the hubby and I thought this is a piece of cake I’ve got this down. But then my sweet baby boy joined our life and quickly it turned into mayhem. In the midst of the sleepless nights, feeding, laundry from exploded diapers and milk stained tops, it felt like I was barely going to survive.
Three kids later, I realized that in order for me survive this homemaking thing, I needed to come to a place of acceptance.
who I am
how I am wired
and what I have.
This didn’t happen overnight but as time has gone by I have gotten better at it. I’ve accepted that I’m okay with disposable diapers. I need to be okay with our small kitchen. I’ve come to terms that I’m not half super woman and I can’t do it all, nor do I want to do it all. I’m learning to accept the help when offered and I’m even better at delegating now. Before, if you came to my house for dinner and you asked to help me I would never dare delegate a task because in my mind I had to do it all. That’s what good hostesses do, right?You’ve come to my home to relax and enjoy our company not to work or to bring a side dish. Long gone are those days.
So we are back on track now, with our 21 Days: (re)Discovering the Heart of Our Home series. Last week, I shared 7 Habits of an Effective Homemaker and I wanted to follow that up with the things I don’t do. I kicked off our series by discussing some foundational stuff that is easy to over look and not spend much time on, if you didn’t read day 1-3 go back and spend some time there. As I have said before, not everything I’ll share will fit with your family dynamics and that’s fine, skip it or tweak it to make it work for you. The stuff like discussing what your family is about and getting a routine I see as foundational, however you choose to incorporate them is up to you, but don’t skip these.
Here I share the 10 Things I don’t do in our home in order to keep sane, things like–
10+ Things I Don’t Do In Our Home to Keep Sane
- I don’t dust. Really does anyone does anymore? Just kidding, I know some of you do, but I just never got into the habit if doing this task. Plus, where we live it’s pretty much a waste of time because the dust constantly rolls in through the door cracks and windows.
- I don’t do chores. I do household chores but I don’t do the chores that are designated for my children which we call family contributions. They make their beds. They straighten up their rooms. They sort and fold their clothes. They pick up the dog poop and so on…
- I don’t pick up toys! Since they were two years old they learned to pick up their toys. It took lots of patience and reminding and I still have to remind them but it’s so worth it. So, when they come to me frustrated and ask “Where’s my Lego toy?” I simply answer with, “I don’t know bud. You are responsible for cleaning up your toys, so I don’t know where you left it.” Letting your kids own some of the responsibility of making your home a home not only gives them a sense of purpose (I matter and what I do matters) but also it helps with that whole entitlement attitude that comes when we do everything for them.
- I don’t make homemade bread. I do cook from scratch some times and I really do enjoy it but there are lots of things I have decided are best bought to make my life more sane. So discover your happy medium and come to accept what it is. If you’re buying your sauce, bread, beans, desserts, pizza… it’s okay. You need help getting dinner on the table so you stop by the grocery store and get a rotisserie chicken, it’s all good. Accept where you are in life, and consider your wiring and come to terms with it. Now I’m not saying eat and serve all the junk food you want and just say that’s how you’re wired because that’s not healthy for you emotionally or physically.
- I don’t work on weekends. I try really hard not to work on weekends this is my family and fellowship time so we try to leave these two days to schedule lots of family time.
- I don’t bathe our children every night. My kids are older now but when they were younger I did not bathe them every night. I have friends who do this and all I have to say is if it works for you–go for it! But this mama never did or will!
- I don’t make my husband my only friend. My husband is my best friend in life but as much as I love him and enjoy being with him, he can’t be my all and all. There are some things men just don’t understand and honestly they just don’t care to be included in, so be intentional and find some women friends. It’s not fair to our spouses that we count on them to be our all and all.
- I don’t put the clothes we wear in the laundry basket unless it’s dirty. You better believe we wear things a time or two before it makes it into the laundry basket. Just to clarify things like socks and underwear are always in the laundry basket after being worn once.
- I don’t stay cooped up in my house all day. As a counselor you won’t believe how often I have to tell women, to please leave their house–go for a stroll around the neighborhood or walk around your park. I’m not talking about some grand outing, simply go out and enjoy nature even if it’s your garden. “Spending time in nature has been shown to lower stress levels, Seattle-based environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagon tells The Huffington Post. “Just looking at a garden or trees or going for a walk, even if it’s in your own neighborhood, reduces stress,” she says. “I don’t think anyone understands why, but there’s something about being in a natural setting that shows clear evidence of stress reduction, including physiological evidence — like lower heart rate.”
- I dont’ stay in my pajamas or yoga pants all day. I know one of the perks of staying home is you don’t have to get all dressed up but “getting dressed” doesn’t have to be something fancy, jeans are just fine. Sometimes life gets mess and if you look bad, we feel worse. But you’ll be amazed how changing up that t-shirt for a blouse will change your whole look. Or wearing flat comfortable shoes instead of tennis shoes changes your outfit. I recently read this on another blog and love it, “To me, getting dressed makes it feel like I’ve carved out the tiniest bit of time for myself. It shows that even though my life is so not about me these days, I haven’t completely forgotten about myself.”
- I don’t work all day. I schedule in some time to do other things in my day. You can see over here how I block off my day to be more productive.
- I don’t clean like my mom does! And that’s okay. Our whole house does not get cleaned up in one day. I split up the tasks throughout the week. If we are having company I quickly do the areas we are going to be using but other than that household cleaning happens in increments. For example, Monday I sweep and mop. Tuesday I do a load of laundry and bathrooms.
- I don’t stay plugged in 24/7. Oh, let me tell you it’s tempting to sit and my desk and work or “work” on my laptop but it’s not good for me. It’s not good for my body or mind. When we are plugged in all day we have a feeling of connecting with others but in reality we are not. We need that real social interaction with our kids, family, friends so get off that cell phone.
- I don’t do everything on a whim. I hate schedules but I’m learning that I need them in my life in order to create time for what’s important to me. Otherwise I find myself being pulled to random things that take away from my priorities. It’s important that we have some routines and consistency in our day no matter how much we object having it in our life. Good ol’ wise Ghandi reminds us of this truth, “Our actions express our priorities.”
- I don’t try to parent and run our home by myself. It takes 6 of us to run our home–God, my spouse, my 3 children and myself. We run our home like a team even though the reality is I’m at home most of the day so I do end up doing a lot more to run our home but every one pitches in. My husband and I parent our children together, even if sometimes I don’t agree with his strategies. Some of us struggle with being control freaks and we prefer to do everything ourselves because that’s the only way we know it’s done “right” but this is not healthy. We have to learn to let go. Who cares that your spouse changes the diapers and uses half a bag of wipes. Or that he washes dishes and stacks them in a weird way. Let it go!
As a faith-based person I also need my devotional and prayer time in order to function. I try to do this in the morning after my kids and husband leave the house but do it when ever you can even if it’s in increments throughout the day. That’s how I did it when my kids were babies.
Also, if you can afford it, consider hiring house help one day a week if that is what will help you stay sane.
My sweet mommas, we need to accept that we can’t do 100 things to the glory of God but we can do a few things excellently!
What are the things you don’t do in your home to keep sane?
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