My days of brilliant homemaking seemed to be slipping away. Not that I was ever the shining star. However, even the basic home care and housewifely duties seemed to be escaping me. Yesterday I dragged three tubs of toys from the garage to “organize” and instead the millions of toys were dispersed all over the house by my assistants. They didn’t miss a room nor a space. I left the mess even though the high-risk factor of breaking a toe on a small toy piece was very real. I also left a sink loaded with filthy dishes all night. I did stuff most of the dishes in a pot and put water and soap for good appearances in case there was an inspection in the middle of the night by the ghost of my great grandmother. I did set up my coffee because the thought of rising in the morning and having a sink full of dirty dishes, toy booby traps, and no coffee prepared was pushing the limits.
Could I be losing my housewife zippity do? This is the longest job I’ve ever had and I have re-inspired myself over and over for 6 years. But I find myself doing the complete opposite of what I would write in my books lately. I am more interested in strolling through the tree lined neighborhoods and reading my Amish fiction from the library. I leave laundry piled on the guest bed for days and days. When I do more laundry I just add to the pile as if I’m still waiting on the laundry lady to return and get her part of the job done. My stove is cold most days and premade salads are my new favorite thing, along with PB and J’s. It is summer after all and 104 degrees seems to be the average in this town. Why cook in this heat?
And the frugal thing. I’ve ordered new under garments, a fabulous new bathing suit since the other ones are decades old and don’t hold in my milk loaded chest, and I receive a Birchbox and Ipsy bag monthly now (these are make up and product bags). I also forked over big bucks for a brand new and highly rated washing machine. My old washer was lazier than I was being. It seemed to wash our clothes only when it was in the mood and I was tired of stinky towels and stale garments. I have also taken to going out more for little treats at the Mexican bakery or frozen yogurt with my neighbor after church.
It seems that I am failing. Or am I?
No! I was just taking a rest and doing some readjustments. Just like a successful business, you must take good care of the employees, give them incentives and raises now and then. You must make sure the equipment is updated and of quality, so the work is done properly and efficiently. You should have casual Fridays and days the shop is closed for vacation or upgrades.
So, I have upgraded my washer, had my spouse paint my kitchen and cupboard in the dining room so everything is brighter, cleaner, more attractive. Then I gave myself several incentives and raises since I hadn’t had a one in 6 years. I have also created some vacation time. My work is still attached to my hip (children) but they like vacations too. A trip to the old town to sit in the Mexican bakery and have a cream filled pastry or a long stroll through shaded neighborhoods is a vacation. We are also planning on spending some time at the local pool. See, these are not extravagant vacations…yet.
Today I’m back at work with some zippity do da in my step. I did my grocery shopping early and I’m making homemade pizza for this afternoon. I hang my sparkly clean laundry on the line outside while the dough rises and sit here sipping iced coffee while writing this blog. I had started this blog days ago but the mood has quite changed itself since then. I try not to write when I’m in a foul state. Who needs to read that right? I want to share the afters. I wanted to share that burn out happens with homemaking, child rearing, especially when being thrifty and frugal all the time. And if you just go have some fun, clear the calendar, take a break for days if needs be…you will recover.
It helps to shake it up a bit and scale down, simplify, and stream line as well.
Shake it up. Try new recipes, new ways of cleaning, new routines, new music, try listening to a podcast when you clean instead of music. I love educating myself on favorite topics while getting my house tidy. I’ve been obsessed with Stuart Wilde on Law of Attraction. I put my whole house in order the other day while listening to him for hours. Try shopping for groceries at a new store, try new parts of town.
Scale down. This means declutter and make your home roomier, flow better, more feng shui. Less clutter means less to clean or move about when you clean. It also helps to breathe and think in a house that is spacious due to no piles of stuff. Even go so far as decluttering who you spend time with. Save your free and play time for those who are positive and uplifting. Eat less but more quality, listen to and read and watch quality not quantity. Cut down on the noise and visual pollution. Create some peace in the home. Downsize if you feel so inspired. Heck, we did. We once downsized from a 2,000 foot home to an 860 foot home after I read an article on downsizing and having a better quality of life. Our new home that we bought recently is only 1,120 feet and just perfect for cleaning and low cost on utilities.
Simplify. Simplify you and your families whole life. Clear off unnecessary appointments on the calendar, say no to lots of social events you are into, make easier dishes in the kitchen, make cleaning easier. Unplug from media, create chores that keep the home nice but you aren’t working all the time.
Stream line. Get the cooking and cleaning down to a quick and easy routine. I have lots of blogs and books on this subject alone. I write two blogs and self-publish my books and that is my side career and joy. I have made housekeeping and cooking easy so I have more time for playing with the boys and writing. I still get tired and lose interest in the whole schedule but it doesn’t take much to reboot because I’ve made life super easy on all of us while creating a good and cozy home and life. Learn to work smart and less.
Allow for burn out. It happens. And then you recover and find new inspiration. This is a good job after all and you are the boss. Have fun running your business.