Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Spring Cleaning Phase Three: Home Sweet Home
If you have been participating in all of the phases of the Spring Cleaning Series, then you are probably making great progress. By now, you should have purged as much negativity as possible from your life. You should have at least your first draft of plans for leading a debt free, financially productive life. Now let's take care of home.
Being a homemaker is a full-time job. You wake up early to make breakfast and prepare the kids for school. You stay up late working overtime for either your spouse or your children. You travel, shop, plan, organize, keep financial records, set appointments, cook and clean. You are an administrative assistant, chef, nanny, advice nurse, accountant, stylist, maid, handyman and more. You should organize your day accordingly.
When you wake up in the morning, consider that as your time to get ready for work. Dress yourself, feed yourself, and prep your mind for your day. Your work day begins the moment you begin to do for someone else. Whether you are starting breakfast or waking up a child, your work day has begun. Within two hours of beginning your day, you are required to take a break. Eat a snack, take a 15 minute walk, watch tv, do whatever you want for yourself and only yourself. Get back to your normal duties for no more than 3 hours. Take your lunch break. Eat, nap, completely relax. Continue about your day the same as you would if you were a full-time employee for someone else. If your spouse is the type to take over for you when he comes home you will be in great spirits by then. I make dinner between 4 and 5pm so that when my husband comes home, my work is done for the evening. Everyone eats, cleans up behind themselves and then crashes. If you aren't able to clock out at 5 or 6pm then take longer or more frequent breaks throughout the day.
Set a true schedule on a planner for yourself. Jot down exactly what you need to do and at what times. You will be less likely to feel down on yourself when you aren't able to accomplish something that day. You can simply reschedule it for another day.
This isn't just a good way to organize your day. It helps to maintain a positive frame of mind. Depression among housewives is very common, especially if the she was once the bread winner.
Once your child reaches preschool age, they are ready for age appropriate chores. Preschoolers enrolled in daycare are being taught to put away their toys and nap time blankets. Why can't your child do this at home? My 4 year old makes her bed, picks up her toys, puts away her folded laundry, and dries the dishes. My 8 year old, soon to be 9, washes dishes, wipes the table, maintains his room, washes is own laundry, puts it away, picks out his school clothes, vacuums, sweeps, curbs his dogs, and cleans his bathroom. By delegating age appropriate chores, I am able to focus on other tasks. It becomes less stressful trying to maintain the household. There are less things on my to do list.
The rule of thumb when delegating tasks is to only assign tasks that one can handle. My husband can't cook, so I don't ask him to cook. But he is strong enough to walk both of our beastly dogs at once. So he does. He's tall enough to dust the ceiling fans, water my hanging plants. He also loves to take care of the cars. When I'm too tired to gas up the rig, wash it or sit all day for an oil change, he's excited to do it. So I delegate to him.
Don't be lulled into believing that the only way to have family time is around the dinner table or over a board game. My family bonds while watching The Walking Dead. We also don't always bond all at the same time. My son and I bond during grocery trips. He loves math so he gets to calculate our total. He likes to feel like the future man of the house, so lifting heavy items and grabbing what I need off the shelves makes him proud. My daughter and I bond when we bake together in our matching aprons. Find out what your family likes to do and do it. It doesn't always have to be a Cosby Show affair.
Romance doesn't always mean sex, but it doesn't men no sex either. The only person as important as your child is your spouse. It's easier to neglect the love of your life when you have so much to be accountable for in the first place. So don't put so much pressure on yourself. There doesn't have to be an over-the-top stage performance to maintain the romance in your marriage. As far as sex is concerned, there is always the morning shower, lunchtime liason, or after dinner dessert. If your spouse has any time off available at work, choose a day to use it just for the two of you. Go to a movie. Have a picnic. Make love all day until it's time for the children to come home from school. If your children attend a daycare center, let them stay later. My husband and I maintain the mood daily by "cupcaking". Using affectionate nicknames, sending silly text messages, pinching butt cheeks and stealing kisses. Little seemingly ridiculous acts like these keep us in the mood until we can have time alone together. If that time is a long time coming, we at least get to enjoy each other until then.
Whether there are home improvement projects or small crafting projects, chances are they are undone and piling up in your home. When you're a crafter or a DIY-er, it can be difficult to resist a sale on items necessary for really cool projects you've seen online. The trick is simple. Remind yourself that the same sale that is happening today, will happen again. Don't start another project until you've completed your current project. You will experience the sensation of accomplishment rather than overwhelming frustration or chaos. I like to set timelines for my projects the same as I would a work assignment. My timeline is based on my expendable income. I budget one project per payment received. So, for the first two weeks of the month I made custom screens for all of my windows and my patio door. This project cost me less than $20 but it was very time consuming since I had other things to do on a daily basis. I also have a lot of windows. The last two weeks of the month are being spent planting my organic garden. Next month is summer dresses and regalia.
When trying to maintain a happy home, think simple. Don't be quick to take on too many tasks or projects. Your role as a homemaker is just as important as the role of the bread winner. Pace yourself with schedules and enlist your family members for help. Only then can they appreciate the weight of what you do daily. Always remember to laugh.
Posted by The Red Housewife