July 10, 2008

Just call me Suzy

So I think it's pretty well set in stone that my vocation is to the family life, as a wife and mother. While it's generally a pretty wonderful vocation, if I do say so myself, the less savory aspect is, of course, housework. (I can hear you groaning!) It can be irritating, daunting, and mind-numbing.

However, it can also be rewarding. I know, that sounds terribly pathetic, doesn't it? Bear with me! First of all, it helps me to think of it less as "cleaning house" and more as "home making." A house and a home are two different things. A house is an object, home is more like a concept. It involves the house we live in, but it's more than the level of cleanliness and the decorations, it's the feeling of warmth and security, and the love of the people in it.

Every family has a different preference for the outward appearance of the home, some are very tidy, some a little less so. But no one is happy in filth. When our physical house is dark and depressing, it affects our mood and our interactions with each other.

As a stay-at-home mom, I believe that part of my "job" is seeing to the nuts and bolts of making this a home. All members of this little family have a responsibility to do their part, but I'm kind of like the fore(wo)man. Some days I do a great job, sometimes I totally drop ball. My attitude plays a huge part in the attitude of my husband and my children, so I want to start being more accountable to myself and to God with regards to being a better steward of the home He has blessed me with.

I'm trying to get a cleaning schedule going in my head. Starting the day by listing everything that I could do and trying to pick and choose is overwhelming. But I've tried a strict schedule, i.e. Monday- Dust and vacuum; Tuesday- Wash and dry towels and mop, and that mostly just gets on my nerves. I'm thinking of something more general, like delineating daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly chores and keeping track of them daily, with an evaluation of where I stand at the end of every week. I'm also hoping this will help keep me from feeling overwhelmed once we begin homeschooling. Although it's Thursday, it can't hurt to get my toes wet!

Presently, this is what I'm thinking:

  • Vacuum carpets, sweep linoleum
  • Wash, dry, and fold 1 load of laundry, minimum
  • Wash, dry, and put away dishes (Tyson and I take turns on this)
  • Once over on bathroom

  • Scrub bathroom (Tyson and I take turns, though he never does it as well as me!)
  • Sweep and mop linoleum
  • Clean our bedroom
  • Scrub the stove (I do a once over on the sink, stove, and counters when I do dishes)
  • Clean up the computer room

  • Scrub out the fridge

  • Soak kitchen sinks in bleach and scrub
  • Check closets for clutter
  • Scrub down the walls
  • Scrub out the trash can! (ewww!)

I'm sure I'll come up with more later!

So far today, this is what I've done-

  • Swept the kitchen
  • Cleaned out entry closest and swept it
  • Picked up the living (haven't vacuumed yet)
  • Washed, dried, and put away diapers
  • Washed and dried 2 other loads, haven't folded yet
  • Tyson washed dishes this morning (I'll probably do them again tonight, I usually wash dishes twice a day, with Tyson doing them once every other day)


erin said...

Ooooh, interesting. I just recently put together my own top-to-bottom cleaning schedule after Christmas last year, when I totally crashed in the housekeeping department.
Something that works really well for me, especially with having two little kids, is to have a to-do list of things that I do every. single. morning. (i.e. make the bed, get the babies dressed, make breakfast, clean up breakfast, start the laundry) and every. single. afternoon. (sweep the kitchen, lay out kids clothes for tomorrow, dishes, clean the kitchen sink, fold and put away one load of laundry) before going to bed. That way, when a bad day springs up, I know that that's all I have to do to keep the house "liveable", and that it'll be truly a fresh start in the morning.
Ohh...and I also adopted FlyLady's Home Blessing Hour (flylady.net) each week, which eliminated the whole "dust on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday" type routine, which was always a flop for me.
Anyway, sorry this got so long! Just thought I'd chime in as a fellow mom who struggles with this. Also, my toddler just spilled scrambled eggs all over the floor that I just swept.

Katie said...

Thanks Erin! I'll check out Fly Lady again, I used her years ago but got annoyed with the constant emails, lol!

The kitchen floor drives me nuts, within minutes of sweeping and/or mopping it looks like crap again! oh well, I guess that's how it goes with little ones (and messy husbands) around.

erin said...

Flylady is crazy annoying. And come on..."you can do anything for 15 minutes!"--um, no? I can't! I can't do anything for fifteen minutes, because 15 minutes is an *eternity* when you have little kids.
But anyhow, I do like the morning and evening routines, because they're nicely printed out, and that way Matt can help me if he so chooses--and it eliminates that awful "I don't even know where to begin" feeling.
I was thinking about doing a blog series on "my kitchen floor", which would involve taking an hourly snapshot of the floor throughout the day, and watching the filth grow. It's really remarkable.

Katie said...

Oh you should, that would be so funny!!