By Stephanie Simmons, Momivate's Inspiration Specialist
Taking care of the home can be pretty mundane.
I really do like a clean home. I also go in a continuous cycle of being on top of my game to ignoring the mess and hoping everyone else does too. There are many valid reasons and excuses to not keep our houses clean. And there are definitely different seasons in life that might affect the attention our home gets(some examples: rough pregnancy, emotional state not being taken care of, illness, etc).
For those seasons that are not the exception, how do we stay motivated through the mundane?
First, we need to recognize that we are doing better than we think! Let's give ourselves credit for the things we are doing! We are often too hard on ourselves.
Secondly, your home is not a museum, it is a home. This was told to me by my husband many years ago when my 3rd child was starting to get around. It seemed that as I was cleaning, she would go around and undo the work I was doing, and I seemed to care more about a clean house than spending time with my kids. I was getting frustrated and perhaps a little overwhelmed. Probably after a rant of frustration or something, he told me, “It’s ok to have some mess in the house. We don’t live in a museum; this is a home.” That has really stuck with me and helped me many times as I lose focus and start caring more about a clean home than the people in the home.
Third, my thoughts influence my attitude! I can remember a time when I was reflecting on how annoying and mundane it was to have to keep doing the same housework day after day, and week after week. It was hard to find the motivation to want to do my chores. At some point in my ruminations, I thought, maybe if I change the way I view what I am doing, it won’t be so bad. I thought to view the housework as service to my family. I like to serve others. In fact, cleaning another’s home was always more enjoyable than cleaning my own. I also like to remind myself that I love how the end results make me feel when I have a clean home. And one last thing I try to focus on is that it is actually a little therapeutic getting lost in my thoughts, or listening to an audio book or talk, while I clean. Even talking on the phone to a family member or friend really helps the mundane chore get done in an enjoyable way.
Fourth, recruit your family to contribute! As my kids have gotten older and have been able to contribute more, and I have had to train them and motivate them, they get a little lecture about “family contributions.” This wording comes from a parenting book by the Eyre family. It helps us see that everyone in the family contributes. We have our dad who contributes by going into work and brings in money for our home. We take care of the home to earn our part and our income, or payment, is in the form of clothes, food, home, etc. My lecture would include pointing out the things they do and need that require work to make happen (you eat, so you need clean dishes and food, and there is a mess from using them, cost to buying the food, etc).
When it comes to caring for our homes (formerly called doing chores), remember, you are doing a great job! Your home is for living in, focus on the positive, and enlist your children in the family contributions. Our home can be a clean home to help us live happily in!
Here's a few Quick Tips to help you kick start your cleaning:
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