Saturday, March 6, 2010
Secrets to Success of a Happy Homemaker
I've been surprised at how happy I've been since I made the change to being a really, truly full-time mom (who is "only" writing a dissertation instead of being a G.A. and a full-time student). So I thought I'd write a quick post on what's made it work for me (in no particular order):
1. One assigned chore for each day: Monday-laundry, Tuesday-vaccuuming, Wednesday-glass, Thursday-laundry, Friday-bathroom, Saturday-kitchen floor. This way I'm not likely to feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done. It's also important not to feel like you shouldn't do chores because your kids need your undivided attention. They can help out (or not); vaccuuming takes me forever because both girls want to use it the whole time. I try to maintain some organization and cleanliness but not let it control my life. Another tip: it's never too early in the day to start making dinner.
2. Assigned chore for husband: dishes and any remaining pick-up of living/dining room + taking out the trash.
3. Being a homemaker doesn't mean staying at home; both the kids and I need a chance to get out. It's harder in the winter, but we've still managed lots of time at the swimming pool, going for brief walks, and the occasional shopping trip.
4. I get some time alone, and I'm very protective of those morning hours when I'm exercising and then going to Mass.
5. Spending individual time with the kids is crucial. I love reading to both and find the opportunity with Maia when Eva's napping and with Eva when Maia is doing her artwork.
6. Having an open home has allowed me to feel like my homemaking has a purpose greater than my nuclear family. We have neighbors and neigbor kids stop by practically every day, and we frequently host people for meals, etc.
7. Making "To do" lists has forced me to make all those telephone calls that I really detest (the pediatrician for making an appointment, the handyman for minor home repairs, etc.). Procrastinating on these "chores" only seems to make the tasks worse. "To do" lists also help me to feel like I'm accomplishing the details of running a home.
8. Having fun, listening to music, getting out in the sunshine - the real benefits of being at home all day.
9. Jeff has been awesome at thanking me for all I do around the house, and eagerly accepting his thanks and praise has helped me feel like it's all worthwhile.
10. The last thing that's been important to me is not accepting the stereotypes of society - being an economic "dependent" does not mean I'm not contributing, nor does it mean I'm dependent. Changing diapers, nursing a baby, preparing meals, hosting guests, paying bills... all these are worthwhile activities in God's eyes.