It hit me today that staying at home is my job. I’ve always called it my job and that it is thankless, and no one really gives me credit for the work I do and my husband keeps telling me I need to go out and get a full time job, and blah blah blah. But it really hit me today that staying at home is my job. And I have really sucked at it!
I think if I did actually work for someone, they probably would have fired me months ago. I rarely finish projects I start. I usually do not get all of my work done, and if it is done, it is sometimes done only half way. I end up getting sidetracked a lot of the time doing busy work on the computer (aka playing Solitaire) or pulling out endless dandelions.
Until recently when I found these amazing women who use Home Organizer Binders, or whatever you call them. They had schedules for cleaning, that way I didn’t feel like I had to clean the entire house every day and cleaning became much less daunting. They had templates for menu planning and grocery shopping. The last two weeks have been so much easier when I don’t have to think up something for supper and then find out that I don’t have all the ingredients.
Yes, it has taken me quite some time to get to this point. But hey, I always say I am late to the party! What is nice about the menu planning is that I can show my kids the weekly menu and they will comment how they like or dislike one of the days. My other new thing is “If you don’t like what I am making, you can make your own supper”. Of course I have also instituted the dice for those children (really just the oldest) who do not eat enough vegetables.
I never really had pride in doing what I do every day. I more muddled through the day hoping that I would get enough time to sit in quiet for a few minutes before heading off to bed. I would look at the pile of dishes and wish blissfully that someone in the family would have been kind enough to have volunteered to do the dishes. The stacks of laundry in the basement would constantly harken, yet I would turn away and head outside before the socks could kick me in the proverbial butt and throw them into the washing machine.
My house was a constant mess. Not to say that it is now the picture of perfection, but there aren’t dishes stacked from two days ago waiting to be washed. There aren’t any socks that have been given life because they have been sitting in the basement dirty for so long. Dirt hasn’t piled up under my kitchen counters to the point that a small child could eat off our floors and feel satisfied.
Coming to realization that I need to have pride in our house, even if we don’t like where we live, has made me want to do better. Not because my husband has become accustomed to the fact that our house will never be spotless and he will have to do some cleaning when he gets home from his 12 plus hour days. Not because I am eternally embarrassed to have my childrens’ friends come to our house and hear them say “Your house is messy”. Not because I don’t want to spend two days trying to clean my house prior to having a birthday party or other event here.
I have to have pride in the job that I do every day or I am going to sink into a well of despair only to cling to those ideas that I am actually doing a good job, when I am not even doing a mediocre job. I think there is truth to the fact that having a clean house adds to happiness.
Our house will never be spotless. It will never be a picture that can be submitted to Better Homes and Gardens. I think the amount of care that I put into our home said a lot about the amount of care I had for the world around me, and it was saying that I had very little. Well, mark May Day 2012 as the day that I set about to change that. I am determined to change the way I handle things.
I was (and still am) so hesitant to schedules. I like to do things when I like to do them. I will get to them at some point. But some point sometimes doesn’t happen. The worst part about that is that my older two kids have gotten so use to me not finishing things that when I start something they don’t even mention what it will look like finished. It’s crushing really. I hate it. I can’t stand it. I always took great offense to comments such as these, but now that I have a system that I like, I think I can stick to, everything might just turn around.
****Disclaimer****As a rule of thumb, or maybe generally speaking, I do not consider myself someone who writes about myself or my family at length (ad naseum) online, but I really felt so strongly about this today that I decided to post it. And, I have really fallen in love with the Home Management Binder idea. It really is fantastic. I have provided several links where I went to get ideas for my own binder. I suggest everyone use one, especially if you are like me and hesitant to being on time.
****The links will be available after naptime. Thanks!