Monday, March 31, 2014

How to be a Housewife (Without Feeling Like a Slave)

Now, don't get the wrong idea here... I'm not sending a passive aggressive message out there to men (do men even read blogs?) that women hate doing house duties. We love it - right, ladies??? (wink, wink) And I'm not complaining either. (Although I do despise laundry, I love a clean house; so it's a double-edged sword.) One thing I'm BIG on is positive thinking. Sometimes, it is hard to be positive if you are feeling overwhelmed with dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking... oh yeah... LIVING IN and maintaining a home. So, I thought sharing my thoughts on this topic could maybe help some disgruntled wifeys out there.



1) Don't hate, delegate- I'm a huge fan of starting young with manageable tasks around the home. There are a bunch of lists floating around the interwebs of chore lists for kiddos, and a lot of them are pretty dang silly (one suggests letting a 2-3 year old put dishes away, um no!)  -- but my favorite one is fromKids Activities Blog. 

2) Be thankful - It's easy for us to list all the things we are thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving, but there are plenty of things to be thankful for day-to-day. I'm lucky (spoiled), and my husband makes dinner almost every night. We always thank him for dinner. We also ask each other what is something we are thankful for, what is something funny that happened today, etc. (More on our dinnertime questions here)

3) Get up early (earlier) - What is that, you say? "I already get up at 5:30 flipping AM, Tara, should I even bother going to sleep?" I feel your pain! I can't even think about waking up without my daughter sensing it and beating me to it. Make it 15-30 minutes earlier. Plenty of time to put on some coffee, fold and put away a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher.

4) Make it part of your routine - I know some families that designate a day or two a week for a laundry extravaganza. If this works for your family, then excellent! I prefer doing small loads daily (start a load when the last kid is bathed and in pajamas) and just make sure to get it in the dryer before the rest of us go to bed. If I think about it, I sometimes get the clothes folded and put away each night too. Dishwasher usually gets ran every other night. Obviously this depends on the size of your family.

5) Speed clean - Ruth over at Living Well Spending Less wrote an excellent blog post about Speed Cleaning. In fact, everything Ruth puts on her blog is absolutely amazing... I think speed cleaning is best accomplished if you treat it as a race with a definite time limit. If you are stopping ever couple of minutes to check your phone, read your email or look at what everyone else is up to on Facebook, you will be much less speedy and efficient with your time.

6) Simplify - Are you stuffing 8 pairs of clean socks into a sock drawer of about 20 more pairs? Me too; I actually just did this exact thing this morning. Simplify, honey. The less stuff there is around, the less stuff there is to get dirty and need cleaning. This goes for EVERYTHING in your house. Garage sale season is around the corner; get to simplifying! I LOVE this 40 bags in 40 days challenge that was designed for Lent, but I believe you can start it at anytime. I missed starting this for Lent, but I may just do it in preparation of my first summer garage sale.

7) Make your space pretty - I know that there is little that is fun about laundry, but think about how much better it would be if you were doing laundry in a cute laundry room instead of a dark, bare-walled, messy little room (mine has no windows) where lint goes to die? Spruce up the rooms where you do your slave labor (kidding), and you will find more joy in hanging around in there. Other rooms that could use some sprucing up? The kitchen, the bathrooms, heck the whole house!

8) Stop comparing - Especially if both adults in the home are working, it's easy to feel like the housework load isn't always equally divided. If you are able to delegate some of the housework to other members of the family, great! But if you aren't, and the buck does stop with you, then stop comparing. Stop counting the loads of laundry that you have done that week that someone else hasn't had to do. Stop thinking about how many times you have vacuumed up a mess that someone else has made. Just stop thinking about it like that. All this will do is cause major angst and major issues. And guess what? The chores will still be there after you are done throwing a hissy fit.




43 comments:

  1. Thank you for your ideas, I really think they will help. I get overwhelmed and frustrated sometimes and its good to know other women feel the same way. One suggestion I can add is have your kids help declutter the house before bedtime. Even my two year old helps when he sees the big kids doing it. I also bought some plastic baskets at the Dollar Tree for them to gather their toys, books, etc, so they can make one trip to put their stuff up in their room.

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    1. That is an excellent idea Erin! Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. What a frickin 'heck' load of crap. As she 'heck' says, just do more and stop complaining'. Heck, you women sure do fuss. You are a full human being. Stop acting like you are less.

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    1. I'm sure sorry that you feel that way and felt you needed to respond in such a negative way. As I stated first and foremost, I was merely serving some suggestions to help people feel less stressed. And I will continue to say heck, and whatever else I want, because it is my blog and I can post whatever the heck ;) I want. So thanks for stopping by, and please know that your bullying isn't going to be acknowledged any further.

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    2. Complaining that someone is complaining? Good job there.
      Why bother commenting negatively on a blog you needn't read/reply to?
      I clean a lot and I really enjoyed reading this blog, not just for it's helpfulness but for the way Tara writes and expresses herself.

      And if you copy her saying 'heck' because you find it annoying, then I should copy every word you've written because I found your entire comment annoying.

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    3. Thanks for having my back MAX!!!! :)

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  3. Thank you right now I'm on pintrest I stead of cleaning my son's room cause its so messy haha I also despise laundry and that's a great idea to do it in small loads. Thanks for the tips :)

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    1. I did the exact same thing (cleaned and reorganized my step sons room) two weeks ago! Glad I was part of your break from the work. I have definitely found I hate laundry less when there is less to fold

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    2. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. If you're doing laundry at 9:00 at night after working outside the home, cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, helping with homework and bedtime routines, you really don't care how "cute" your laundry room is.

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    1. I also wanted to point out that "lent" is a religious period before Easter; "lint" is the stuff you clean out of your dryer.

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    2. Yes you are absolutely correct, except it is also capitalized ;) thanks for the correction!

      And you may not care if areas of your house are "cute" with how busy you sound, but I do.. May be silly to you but I like decorating so to each their own.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    3. I like my laundry room cute too Tara, and thanks to my awesome hubby it's a cozy little place. I don't have kiddos yet and I'm still up doing laundry after working all day and I'm glad to have a warm, nicely decorated room to do that in!

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  5. I Love all these suggestions. I actually do several of them also. It's amazing how the smallest thing can make your day run so much smoother.

    While I am here let me say it's 9:42 and I just finished my last load of laundry for today.... Doing laundry for a family of seven I can assure you that one big help to me in keeping it all caught up IS a cute and tidy laundry room. When it is messy and unorganized I very much dread having to go in there. I loath doing laundry but like you love clean clothes. A nice, clean, cute laundry room IS a help in my laundry motivation area.

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  6. These are excellent tips! The haters are just too embarassed to admit that they actually relate to every single one of them and are just too high and mighty to fess up to not having their *heck* together (<-- not the word I really wanted to use there). In any case - you handled them so well!

    On to business - having a cute laundry/bathroom/kitchen/any room makes me feel SO much more motivated to keep it clean and tidy! Plus getting little things done throughout the day helps a ton so at the end of the day I can hang out with Chris and have a few minutes of precious moments with him before I crash for the evening. It is truly about finding that perfect balance of housework and doing the level of what feels DONE to you and downtime. To each their own! :) xoxo

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    1. Thanks for the love, cous!!!! After revisiting this post to comment on comments, I am reminded a) how much I despise laundry and b) how ugly my laundry room currently is. :) Need to rectify that!

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  7. Wanted to comment but I never can remember my credentials for WordPress (clearly, I do not blog, lol) but this is Brandy Gardner! I think your blog is super cute, GO YOU for putting out positivity and light! Just wanted to say I enjoyed the read!

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    1. HEY BRANDY! So glad you gave my blog a read. I am all about the positivity and light, sister. Especially here in Chicago, where both positivity AND light seem to disappear completely during the winter months! ;) Thanks for saying hello :)

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  8. hi..lovely post!!!I was just wondering if you would love any guest posts in the area of empowerment and optimism targeted at housewives and working mums...I'd love to keep in touch with you!!

    Cheers,
    Jassie

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    1. Hi Jassie! Better late than never, right?!? I would love to chat about a guest post!! Send me a message at taraboyd24@gmail.com!

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  9. I am soo glad that I found your blog. I usually do not read them. I am struggling in the same areas. It is refreshing to know that I am not alone in this struggle. Keep on being positive. I am finding that clutter can have an effect on our moods.

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  10. I have a blog but can't remember the dang info on my phone ( lazy me has that stuff saved on computer lol). Just wanted to say I love this post. I can also relate to the needing a cute laundry room, or house. I'm a writer so it's a lot easier to get motivated to write when the house is a clean one.

    I'm awake now at 5 am though I don't need to be and about to go start my son's laundry before his next feeding. :).

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  11. Your last paragraph, about comparing, is so me. I get so caught up in being home all day, that I start comparing and I make my husbands and my life miserable. I guess hearing from someone else who has felt the same helps. And you are so right, the work is still always there. Thanks for the tips and advice!

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    1. I still struggle with comparing, especially when I am tired and cranky. So.... I feel ya there sista! Thanks for reading and commenting ❤️

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  12. I love all of your suggestions! There are days when I don't know how I'll get it all done, but it is very nice to know I'm not alone! I also can't believe half of the negative comments I read. This is a blog people, if you don't like what a post entails, don't bother reading it. And sure as "heck" don't comment on it! lol

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    1. Whittney, thanks for the positive love!! I don't get the negative Nancy's either, maybe they are fussy over huge piles of laundry ;) thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!!! Xoxox

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  13. When I saw the title, I thought it was going to be one of those "whiny" posts. Still I clicked. And I was so encouraged! You are spot on. When I start to complain about the fiftieth (hyperbole here) load of laundry that day, I am working on being thankful for those who wear them. And a washer that works. (I have had times in the last few years that mine did not.) And a laundry room with a place to hang them. And.....well you get the idea. Pleasant surroundings that are not cluttered keeps me from being overwhelmed. I have grown kids, and am still working on this because there was not this advice when I was younger. Keep on talking and encouraging. :)

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    1. Hi Sherry! I'm so glad that you clicked, read and commented. Thank you!!! Isn't it crazy how the laundry never ends?? I feel like this (feeling overwhelmed and grumpy) is something that a lot of adults can attest to, especially when there are little people in the house! Thanks again for commenting!! I'm glad you enjoyed the post :)

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  14. This is a very realistic view of dealing with chores. I really appreciate that.

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    1. I appreciate that you appreciate that!! :) thanks for reading!

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  15. Thanks for the "pick me up words". They made me smile. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a rut. Does anyone else feel like this at times? I will use your words and push through my work, and getter done. Besides, what do I have to complain about. My hubbie does all of our laudry! How awesome is that?

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  17. Hi, first time I have come across your blog and tips like these are very helpful as it reminds us that we are not alone in having continuous streams of laundry, clutter, and all the other things that being a stay at home mum entails. I will now save this blog and look in . Cate

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    1. Thanks Cate!! Happy to have you! New content on the way, as I come up for air juggling two ankle biters ;)

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  18. Heavens! People have soooo much time on their hands to be able to not only read your blog but also leave such niggly comments. Personally, I think the naysayers are just gritty and a little jealous that you manage to achieve your chores AND inject some satisfaction, joy even, whilst doing them. No one is forced to read your words, or act on them. Each to his (or her) own. Anyway, must dash and crack on with my laundry!

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  19. This post actually made me feel worse! I came here looking for help and all you gave me is stop complaining, do everything. I already do that! I work full time do all the cleaning, cooking, shopping, the only thing I don't do is cut the grass! I do feel like a slave and your answer is get up earlier and think positively?

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    1. Sorry you didn't find my suggestions helpful, Lipstic. I have found in a lot of the areas in my life that positive thinking IS a huge game changer, but that is just my experience. What do I know?! Certainly not enough for this blog post specifically to be read thousands and thousands of times over. I'm going to go do laundry now in my super pretty laundry room while my perfectly behaved children do finger painting on my white bed spread without making a single mess. (Obviously this is beyond sarcastic, but goodness gracious, lighten up a bit! It is what you make of it. Sorry, I don't usually respond to the negative comments, but all I'm trying to do is help, and if it doesn't help you, go pay a professional for something that will!

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    2. LOL love the last comment Tara! But yes a positive attitude goes a long way. People fail to realize they are their own worst enemies. When you choose to focus on the negative, the negative will gladly invade your life, so why not focus on the positive like actually having a job that keeps you busy and paid well enough to buy groceries, cook dinner, and afford a place to live that you complain about cleaning. Appreciate what you have and take pride in taking care of it. Are all days going to be sunshine and rainbows? Nope...but sometimes you have to be thankful for the rainy days too! great tips Tara...proud of you chica!
      -Kat Ramirez

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    3. Wah, Lipstic. I think there were some very good tips. Simplify. Wake up earlier to get a hold of yourself before everyone else.
      If you're doing everything, you're doing it wrong. I don't even work full time and my daughter unloads the dishes and loads on days I'm at work late and tired. Each daughter has a bathroom to clean. Oldest folds laundry and leaves the piles on each persons bed. My youngest dusts and takes out the recycling, and on easy dish days, she loads the dishes.
      If I could add one more tip it would be. Accept you're never DONE. Laundry is never DONE. Shopping is never DONE. Vacuuming is never DONE. You have to constantly do these things, so find a frequency that is least taxing on you. I'm not saying you need to lower your standards, but if your expectations can not be met and it's stressing you out, CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS!

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  20. I appreciate your candid and very practical thoughts. I did it all for many years, until a recent disability. I am so grateful that my loving husband has been carrying the biggest load for me now. Granted, it's actually therapy for me now to do laundry and the dishes. I am just glad I can move a little each day, as the long-term results of this illness will leave me bedridden.
    Be grateful for each day, because you never now what your tomorrow will be...

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  21. Really enjoyed reading this. Every bit of wisdom will always be valuable to someone. Who cares about the one out of 20 who doesn't agree. You can begin to feel like a slave being a stay-at-home mom. I have felt that way and have had to beg God to help me through it. And I realized it's all about perspective. That's what your article points out.........perspective. Thanks.

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  22. I'm a stay at home mom (judgement always commences when I say that), nursing student, and work a little during the month with dementia patients. It's nice to know that sometimes other people often feel a little like a slave as well. I appreciate the fact that my husband and I worked it out so I can stay home and raise our daughter (it saves my family money that way). I'll definitely be using some of these tips. I also find it much easier to make every room in my home pretty because when its clean I can step back and appreciate its beauty and how big of a deal it is for me to be 29 and own my home. Thanks for your post!

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    ReplyDelete