An old picture of me from when we were first moving into our house here.
I guess we all have housekeeping jobs that we dislike and reasons or excuses that we use to avoid doing certain things when we should – or ever. Patty Gardner at Homemakers Daily posted a couple of useful articles on this subject. [As usual, probably disclaimer on some content of this site. I’ve actually read very little of it.]
Patty wrote a two part article:
Some of her observations are so accurate, and some of her suggestions are really helpful. But, as she seems to make clear, to really overcome the difficulties you’ll have to work out a plan that will help you according to your particular needs.
There are few things I want to emphasize or point out.
First off, she stresses that if you’re dealing with health issues and that’s a hindrance to your cleaning, not to overdo things when you are able to work. This is so important. I have learned this the hard way to my sorrow. When we feel better and we start overdoing things we’re very apt to cause a new flare up or such.
Secondly, more than once in certain situations she recommends lowering your expectations. This is something that my mom taught me by example, but I still struggle with it in some areas. I also know there are some people who really let their expectations rule them. Be realistic about your situation and decide what is really important and what people will really notice. I know one person who regularly goes “crazy” when company is coming and will clean things that no one is going to see – and if someone does see them they should probably be rebuked for putting their nose into some place that wasn’t any of their business. You really don’t need to clean the shower of the master bath when company is coming for dinner. Close the curtain or hang a towel over the door if there’s a remote chance someone might need to use that bathroom. If your lady friends are coming for exercise and Bible study and there’s a load a laundry that needs to be folded in the living room carry it somewhere that they won’t be. It is not necessary to fold it and put it away if you’re already struggling to get things done. Also, people aren’t likely to look behind your dressers or in your laundry room on casual visits. (I know some of my readers may wonder at this kind of advice, but I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous behavior – when company was only coming for the afternoon and dinner. Sorry to say, I’ve done some silly things myself in this line!)
In point No. 7 she recommends if you have kids making them help you with chores, and working together rather than at different times. This is good advice. However, one thing she seems to indicate is that certain ones in her household did certain jobs all the time, or their preferred jobs. I strongly recommend mixing things up and making everyone take a turn at all chores suitable to their age – and, yes, that means the boys too. Sadly, there are some homes where the boys get away with not learning to do certain chores because it’s “girls’ work”. One day they may be very sorry or hindered by that, mothers, so don’t deprive them of the full education they may need to run a household if they remain single or “wife” is sick in bed or, even worse, dies. There are also some homes where certain jobs are considered “men’s work” and so the girls never learn to do them. This is just as unhelpful for the same reasons. By having everyone learn all jobs they can cover for each other, and there won’t be holes in your house work when someone is away or leaves home.
My mom and I experienced this because for some years my brothers were always the ones to clear the dinner table and wipe it after meals and we girls cleaned up the kitchen. Mom and I both have struggled with remembering to wipe the table because of that. For me it’s partly an irritation thing because for so long someone else did that and I only had to do it when he annoyingly forgot. You get the picture. This is why I recommend sharing the chores around. Plus, if you share them around the least assertive person won’t get stuck with the most tiresome or tedious chores all of the time that no one else wants to do. If you had a few siblings or have a few kids you know what I mean.