I’ve never done that before. As I did so, I tried to decide if I should consider this efficiency? or a new personal low in home management skills?
As a working mom, ministry wife, and mom of 3 (and a half!), I have definitely had to change the way I do housework. And even how I think about housework.
Growing up, I was taught to go to sleep every night with the house tidy and the dishes put away. To dust and clean the bathrooms once a week. Sweep daily. Clean our rooms.
I took these habits into college. We had a tidy apartment. I took these habits into marriage. I continued cleaning, maintaining, and I never worried about what people thought about our home when we had company.
Then, we had a kid. I was able to keep house mostly the same way, but it did get harder!
Then we had two. I started to feel that if there was a war between housework and me, I was going to suffer defeat occasionally. I remember feeling somewhat relieved when we planned for company over because the house finally would get the cleaning it needed that I could no longer do on a weekly basis.
THEN, we had number 3, and household soundly defeated me. Constantly.
This was also the time I walked through some pretty significant depression. As God worked through this and through me I realized some things:
I learned that I have so much, way too much, of my identify and my self-worth tied up into keeping a clean house. My dirty dishes lie to me and tell me I am a failure. And, sometimes, I have a hard time not believing it.
I learned I do not have to do things the way that I’ve always done them (sorry, Mama!). In fact, in the area of housework, at this stage of life, I just cannot. Or I will break. Again. (Mama wouldn’t want that, anyway.)
I learned to communicate with my husband so much better. And he learned new ways to show love and care to me, as we share more household chores.
I learned that weighing each item on my to-do list against my spiritual and emotional health and my family’s priorities is helpful. And pretty much, I get done what I can until around 8:30, and then I sit down.
So many days, the laundry is half-way done. The dishes are undone. And dusting, let’s not even go there.
I learned, I am still learning to give myself grace, even if the kids’ laundry has been in baskets for weeks.