Simple Priorities at home

I just read a friend’s post on another blog. It was a major wake up call. Where are my priorities? I know I’ve posted on things like this before, but this is different. I mean at home- where are my priorities? I am lucky and blessed enough to be able to stay home with my kids. The youngest only has one more year home with me….I can’t believe it, but I digress. Her post was actually about being gentle with yourself when you have small children and to not feel bad when you have to put other things outside the home off so you can take care of your home. That got me thinking…do I put other things above my home– well…..ummm….hmmmm…..yes.

At any moment if you dropped by my home would definitely have that “lived-in” look, but more like it’s been lived in by zoo animals, not 2 adults and 3 kids. I’ll admit it, I DO NOT like to clean, I never have, just ask my parents they’ll tell you. (Ok so maybe don’t ask them b/c I’d hate your vision of me as a domestic goddess from birth to be blasted to bits, lol). No seriously, keeping my house clean, not high on my list of priorities. BUT–that’s not why God gave me the ability to stay home, He didn’t say “Go stay home so you can lay around the house watching soaps and eating bon-bons.” He gave me this blessing so I could take care of my family. That unfortunately (well for me) includes keeping up with my house. My kids have the same problem as me, their rooms are trashed, and there really isn’t anyone to blame but me….I know- you can says “Do as I say, not as I do.” but there’s also that nasty little saying “Actions speak louder than words.” So, why would my kids think taking care of their stuff is important if I don’t even take care of my house.

I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I decided to stay home. What I mean is what did I think I was going to do??? I’ve tried all kinds of different things to make me stay on track with cleaning my house, and they work, when I do them. But if I don’t make them a priority it doesn’t matter. My home and keeping it neat and tidy (not like mansion or museum clean, just picked up) MUST become a priority in my life. If I am taking care of my home, my kids will learn a multitude of lessons from that. If my house is picked up, then I can sit and read books instead of saying, “just a minute, mommy needs to do this first”. I know it may sound silly to think of being able to keep your house clean as a blessing, but it is. If I grump and complain while I do it, then my kids will, and they do–believe me.

Not only will having a nice house benefit me and my kids, but it will benefit my husband too. He works hard all day and I can’t imagine what it feels like to come home to a “trashed” house at the end of the day. If he does his part, surely I can do mine. Plus I know it’s something that he needs. He feels like he can relax when the house is clean, and when it isn’t he feels like he has to keep working once he gets home. This is my job, it’s what I chose to do as a career. So I’m guessing I need to treat it that way a bit too. I’m betting that if I had a boss, a promotion and raise probably wouldn’t be coming my way any time soon. I know I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when he comes home and it’s clean too. Plus, I can work on my hobbies when it’s done. Bonus!!

It’s relatively simple, if I keep up with my house other things will fall into places. I’m pretty sure that a large part of Simple Living for me, is to make my house neat and tidy, so I can enjoy other things. God gave me a gift, I am able to stay home, and I need to use that to take care of the other gifts he gave me. One of them being this beautiful (to me anyway) home out in the quiet country on 10 wooded acres. Thank you Lord for my blessings, help me remember that as I take care of my blessings I am teaching them the love that you have given me. 

 

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2 thoughts on “Simple Priorities at home

  1. I agree and disagree.I agree in that I hate housework. It’s drudgery. But I disagree that menial housekeeping tasks should be a priority for an intelligent homemaker. If it were a priority, then what’s the purpose in having an I.Q above 80? When it comes to PRODUCTIVITY and NET RESULTS, at the end of your life what will it count to have had a continuously immaculate house rather than having filled your life and that of your family with worthwhile memories (other than that of watching you clean) and the ability and desire to pursue knowledge… that you have taught them through example.My house is a mess, it’s not dirty, or unhealthy, but there are stacks of books here and there, kids’ half done art projects, beds that go unmade, Christmas ornaments waiting to be stored. All of these things will get done, but I feel that being happy and filling my mind and that of my family comes first. A priority for me is to research and learn. My neighbor’s house is immaculate, but her kids unknowingly eat unhealthy school lunches while my daughter gets a nutritionally balanced packed lunch. My neighbor’s kids come home to an immaculate living room to watch TV. My kids come home to watch TED.com talks that I’ve researched for content and then we discuss these at the dinner table creating a bonding family experience. In her immaculate kitchen my neighbor defrosts a package of Green Giant and Pillsbury, salt and fat laden foods for dinner. While I, serve up fresh, non-chemically treated, home grown vegetables and homemade bread; prepared to be tasty and optimally nutritious thanks to hours I’ve spent researching techniques in gardening, preserving and cooking. I rather read up on research done on diet/vitamins & supplements to help my husband’s Cronh's disease than clean windows. Our IRA grows and benefits from the time I spend researching stocks and mutual funds rather than spending time making the grout sparkle in my bathroom tile.I don’t feel like I’m being unfair to Gary. He is a smart man that went to school so he can work a job that not only brings money but that he also enjoys. He ENJOYS his work. Why should I prioritize work that I don’t enjoy? Gary reaps the benefits of my quest for knowledge and appreciates this more than fulfilling his desire (if he had it) to relax in an immaculate living room rather than a messy one.I don’t mean to say that women with immaculate homes are idiots (though this DOES apply to my neighbor) They could be geniuses that have LEARNED and RESEARCHED how to be incredibly efficient at doing menial tasks, plus they may actually enjoy folding laundry like I enjoy cooking. I hate folding laundry and I’ll put it off ‘till it can’t be put off anymore. Then I check out a book on CD from the library and spend a whole day folding while listening to a good book. Speaking of folding laundry, here’s a neat trick I RESEARCHED AND LEARNED that saves oodles of time:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An0mFZ3enhMDon’t kick yourself for occasionally having a messy house. You’re a very smart woman (I know… I’ve known you since you were born, you, genius you!) that has better, more PRODUCTIVE things to do.love,Your cuz.

  2. I read somewhere recently "What kind of an employee would you be, working the way you do at home?" I've tried to do better because most likely I'd be fired. 🙂

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