Chores without Tears

Friday, October 12, 2018

My youngest was in preschool when I heard of the concept of handwriting without tears. Humans have a way of showing their dislike for things that need to get done. While handwriting was never our problem, chores certainly were.

I felt like crying just thinking about the amount of work that needed to be done. I have a full-time job, a business of my own, church and community commitments. How can I possibly add chores to this list without shedding many tears?

I learned to work smarter so I don't have to cry every week. Here are my strategies:

Work with family • Every little bit helps. The kids can pick up toys, clothes and put their shoes in the right place. Helping with chores around the home is a way of learning. They learn what it takes to have a clean home. They learn how to do different chores themselves. Let's be honest, I don’t know a lot of kids (or adults) who are excited about any type of cleaning. I learned that if I ask them to do a 5-minute pickup, everyone is glad to know there will be an end to the activity. Remember to give the kids grace is needed when they are helping with housework. They're not adults so don't expect the same results. Remember, the house will get dirty again because you live there. They key is to be consistent and have a lot of flexibility when involving kids. Also, never abandon kids while they are cleaning. Supervision is needed and encouragement is welcome. 

Work Multiple Days • I can’t get all the cleaning done in one day. I learned to be happy with working multiple days to accomplish most of the cleaning. The key is to focus on the most important chores you need to accomplish. Picking three works for me. I usually go for dishes, laundry, and bathrooms. I start the laundry, do the dishes and clean the bathroom (light cleaning). I learned to identify what a good stopping point is for laundry. It might take a couple of days but I get the chores done if I accept they will not get done all at once.

I had to give up on the idea that my home will look like the cover of a magazine at all times. There will be dusty spots. There will be laundry and dishes to be done. Happy families live in homes that get messy.

I have learned that even when I work slowly to reach my housekeeping goals, it is worth it.