Ah, the joys and downers of being a homemaker. On the bright and average day you wake with the sun, and your neighbor’s rooster, you sip your coffee in your pajamas while blogging as your children watch Sesame Street, you work in the garden as they play in the sandbox and you try out a new recipe in the afternoon while listening to your favorite music on Pandora and while little ones are at the table coloring and chattering away amongst themselves.
Then there are the days I wake up exhausted just at the thought of my day of repetitious monotony. I think about how many times I’ll be washing a pile of dishes after making how many snacks, how many times I’ll sweep that same floor and clean up the same pile of blocks and cars or vacuum the floor that needs a daily cleaning. I remember the days when I cleaned the house once a week and it stayed put. However, with each new child and pet, the cleaning schedule increased. Now cleaning once a day doesn’t really do it.
Being a homemaker was a great career move and I will never regret it and I never, ever want to go back to the corporate world. I love my little home and the management of my small family. Yet, there are times, with any job, that it gets old fast. We get bored, tired, lonely, frustrated and need help. I’m envious of my family in India. Those women always have some sort of backup, a sister or aunt that lives with them. They have help and support daily. There is someone to help clean and cook and watch the babies. I am a one man show, I am management and the basic employee.
So, when you hit the wall, so to speak, what can you do to get your enthusiasm and inspiration back? How do you put the fun and joy back in the daily grind? Here are a few suggestions.
- Take a vacation. I pack up the boys and go visit friends or family in other towns for a few days. Preferably somewhere such as the beach or woods. Maybe just take off for the day if you can. Get out of the house and away from the routine.
- Try all new dishes for the week. Make up a whole new menu if it’s the cooking that is boring you. Try new ways of feeding your family. I have taken to putting out a spread in the day instead of making snacks and meals all day. I make up a couple plates with chopped up fruit, veggies, crackers, olives, pickles, nuts, raisins, cheese and sometimes a bowl of seasoned popcorn or homemade granola bars. I just leave that out in the day for all of us to snack on. You can do any combination of snacks. I put some food on a separate plate if it needs to be refrigerated and not left out too long, other food is fine out for a few hours. This saves a lot of work and wash in the kitchen and it’s a fun way to graze. Everyone can eat when they like.
- Do deep cleaning only once a week and keep it light and easy the rest of the week. Do the deep cleaning all in one shot, don’t drag it out all week. Make a pot of coffee and play good music, then get to the scrubbing. If you do a good enough job, light cleaning and tidying should suffice the other 5 or 6 days.
- Have big, attractive baskets or bins for toys and have them strategically placed in the living room and kids room. Clean up requires just throwing toys in baskets and takes minutes.
- Do a lot of decluttering. Get rid of all that junk! The less crap you have the less you have to clean and organize and rearrange. Give stuff away on a regular basis.
- Play music, drink coffee. That’s really my answer to most things.
- Watch TV when you fold laundry. It’s a great excuse to sit on your bum and watch a movie at 3:00 in the afternoon. I do all my laundry one day a week, pile it on the couch and turn on the boob tube and a big ice water.
- Learn the simple joys of one pot meals and crock pot dinners. Hardly any clean up and dinner can be simmering away as you get on with your day.
- Have a hobby. I write and it has saved my sanity. It is my thing that I can look forward to daily.
- Exercise. A must. I feel blue after about 5 days of no activity. Exercise is so good for the bod and mind and your children need to learn that this is what we do daily. It’s normal. I splurged on a tread climber (those commercials really do brainwash) and I love it. I get on it every day and so do the boys.
- Use your dishwasher. I used to wash everything by hand and then I discovered that the dishwasher actually washes pots and pans. I’m in heaven. I pack that thing and at the end of the day I press a button. Modern convenience, Yippee!
- Go to your library and load up on some good novels. Great, free escape. Or download books from Amazon. If you’re a prime member you’ll have lots of freebies or .99 cent gems.
There are all kinds of other ideas. Hundreds in fact. I get on the web and look at Pinterest and other homemakers blogs and articles on what they do to make life easier. I sometimes watch Youtube videos on how other housewives clean or garden. You can always learn a new trick. I have written Queen Housewife and Queen Housewife and Mama on a budget for those of you who need some inspiration on running the home. All my advice is a collection of years of listening to other homemakers and what works for them from cleaning to budgeting. There are also a few romantic novellas I’ve written for escaping for less than a coffee. You could download several of my books off amazon and get a cheap coffee all for under $5 and have a day of getting motivated and escaping. Have Fun!