A Clean House...
What kind do you put on yourself?
I’m going to talk about one that I think a lot of women struggle with, and that is having a clean house.
Honestly, my health journey has taught me a lot about this, but before I had my injury and in the earlier years of it, I was much more stressed about my house than I am now (most of the time).
I can remember how down I would get on myself for having such a messy house. Not health code violation messy, of course, but messy none the less. I had two busy little girls at the time, a few cats, a couple dogs, and I’m the kind of person who would like to spend good weather out of doors and bad weather indoors crafting (not deep cleaning), and it showed. Still, I would guilt myself about it, so much that my husband bought me this plaque one year
I remember the panicked-yell-at-everyone-and-clean-like-crazy modes I would go into before company was coming over (ok, I still do sometimes). And, even though I would work for hours to get the house presentable, I would still apologize for it being a mess when the company came.
I’m even guilty of canceling some play dates because I didn’t want anyone to see how bad of a housewife I thought I was. How prideful was that? And how foolish?
As I’ve mentioned before, my current injury sometimes makes standing long enough to wash the dishes a challenge. And honestly, most days washing the dishes and feeding everyone is all I really can do, housework wise. And I’ve learned that is ok.
I’ve learned to delegate chores out to my children, and to resist the urge to make sure they do them just perfectly. It’s good for them to see that they are contributing to the household, to get used to doing the work, and to learn to do it cheerfully (that is a challenge sometimes, but it’s worth the effort!).
I highly recommend giving your children chores, even if they are young. I start my babies with putting their toys back after playing with them and so on. I figure that if they have the ability to take their toys out of the bin, they have ability to put them back in. It’s not like I make my children slaves and they spend hours working around the house, but we delegate so no one is carrying all the load. I highly recommend it! Many hands make the work light.
I also try very hard (and often fail, but I try!) to not make them feel like everything has to be just perfect. I don’t want my sons to be the kind of men who expect their hard working wife to have a pristine house when they come home from work every night. I also don’t want my girls to be hard on themselves when they find, a few babies into their lives, that they can’t keep up with everything all the time and have a perfect house. Giving myself grace helps to teach them to give themselves grace.
Re-reading this, it makes it sound like I am totally past getting upset about my house, that my house is now perfectly clean because my kids do all the work, but neither is completely true. Sometimes I get very frustrated, especially when I want to do something and it hurts so bad to do it that I can’t. But I’m working on it.
I just want to say: give yourself grace when it comes to your house, mama! You don’t want your kids to think back to their childhood and remember a mama who was constantly stressed about the house. Instead, concentrate on making good memories with the kiddos, even if they are messy memories, and delegate! Use the fun times as rewards for after they get their chores done. It works!
What tips and tricks do you have?
God bless you,