Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Keeping the sanity amidst the housework

Although we value these [career] opportunities for women, motherhood and homemaking suffer. Mothering and creating homes are knitted tightly together, but in recent years they have disappeared from American society as natural and valued pathways for women. Instead the message seems to be that if mothers have access to modern conveniences to care for their homes and families, then they should be free to seek their own fulfillment. Women and men often end up in conflict over the seemingly burdensome work in the home because they want to pursue personal interests and activities. Home is often erroneously considered a place from which women need to break free. Some ideologies would have women think that home duties limit their full potential, and women and men are tempted to disregard the important, everyday aspects of homelife—thus the loss of our rolling pins and brooms.

With the more kids I have, the more difficult it is to keep a clean house.  I think most of us feel saner when the house is clean, but we feel insane having to clean up after everyone all the time!  Didn't I just do this not even an hour ago?

In addition to the above quote, I've heard it said that women can be free to go out of the home and get a job because of our so many modern conveniences.  I read something recently, can't remember where, that said, sure, we have all these great inventions, but someone still has to do the laundry, unload the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, drive the kids wherever, etc. 

I also read somewhere else that women are tired of trying to take on both roles of homemaker and breadwinner, so if they can make it on one income, they are trying because it's easier not to take on multiple roles.

For the past 6 weeks or so, I've been following my own chore chart.  I do two or three chores each day, Monday through Saturday.  Dishes, sweeping, and laundry are not on the list because they have to be done so frequently.  So now, rather than trying to clean the house in a one or two day period, I just do about 20 minutes a day (in addition to sweeping, laundry, or dishes), and I can tell you the house is cleaner than it has been in years.  I love it!

Another thing I've started recently is watching TV or a movie while I clean up the kitchen at night.  We're not big TV/movie people around here, so this is big for me.  I do usually listen to books while I exercise, but I haven't really done it for anything else.  The book I was listening to was boring, so I borrowed a few movies from my parents.  The housework is so much more enjoyable!  In fact, I've tried to find more things to clean just so I can watch my movie!

I have a friend who cleans for about 15 minutes each night, and her house is nearly always spic and span.

What do you do? How do you keep your sanity amidst the housework?

1 comment:

Paige Nielsen said...

Emily I am so glad you posted something on your facebook - letting all of us know about this blog. I not only read this entry, but several others, and I must say it is inspiring to read your words. I often feel the sting of the world and sometimes am ashamed of just being a "stay at home mom," but knowing you are out there doing the same things makes things so much better. I do love being a mom, and it is great, but sometimes it is definitely hard.

Anyway, I love your ideas about chores and doing a few things each day that are above the ordinary dishes and laundry. I am going to try that out. I find that I often focus a little too much on cleaning everything at once and then my kids suffer because they want to play. Maybe this method will offer a little more balance. I am excited to check back on your blog.