I must confess, my house is an absolute mess…..and often is. There are always clothes on the bathroom floor, dishes on the sink, cut up paper (Ryan’s obsession), toys , shoes and clothes all over the loungeroom floor, beds unmade and untidiness EVERYWHERE!
Sometimes it really does my head in and sometimes I decide to just stop looking. It’s such a pointless exercise to be pedantic about it. I mean there are times at least once a fortnight where I will do a complete thorough clean of the house and feel satisfied and refreshed, but within hours its been messed up again.
As we speak my kids have all of my pots and pans laid out on the loungeroom floor and I’ve just finished asking Cody to take his shoes out of the frypan.
Don’t get me wrong, dishes get done regularly and washing, well when we run out of clothes and have to do it – then they sit on the couch ready to be folded and put away, another 2 hour exercise for a day when I’m making cleaning a priority. So my house is hygienic…….enough, so I’m not talking health risk untidy, but let’s just say that I would never let anyone come over and see my house in this condition and would be mortified if anyone just turned up at my house.
So my question is, do you think it is because I don’t have time to clean up my house? I mean lately there has been so much work I’ve been doing to promote my book and still make time for hubby and the kids, that I have been time stretched, but is time actually the cause of my lack of housework?
The answer is no. Because time is NEVER about time. It’s about priorities. We will always make time for something that we consider to be a priority. Whenever I hear somebody say “I don’t have time”, I always reframe that in my mind and say, ‘no, you do have time, it’s just not a priority for you’. Because this is true in every instance.
Especially as mums we are always having to weigh up lots of different demands and decide which ones take priority over the other. For example, 3 year old having a tantrum versus baby with stinky nappy to change and we’d likely choose to change the nappy first, stepping over the 3 year old wriggling around on the floor on the way. Our beliefs on what’s important dictates what our order of priorites is and thus how we behave whether talking about housework, relationships, how we parent, or however we are behaving.
I make housework a priority when it starts to become too messy (health and hygiene is a big priority) or when someone comes to visit (because pride is a priority).
I had a friend say to me recently that I need a manager because of the publicity I’m starting to get. I disagree, I can handle the publicity, in fact I love the challenge of generating publicity, which heavily influences why work takes priority over housework at the moment. What I need is not a manager, but a house cleaner. Someone who will come in daily and tidy up my house, mop the floors, do the dishes, washing etc.
But that is in the land of dreams right now. Eventually I hope to have this but right now, I’m happy to just sit in my shit and be fairly relaxed about the housework. As long as we’re all still healthy, there’s absolutely no point being anal about my house….it just keeps getting messy again.
So my message to all you mums out there is, if doing continual housework is doing your head in and causing you stress, then take a look at what you believe about needing to do the housework so often. Why is it such a concern if the house gets a little messy or dishes don’t get done? What are you thinking that means about you? (eg I’m not a good housewife)? Also, why isn’t your house as clean as you’d like it to be. Is it because you have other priorities? Do you need to change those priorities or is it just reality that other things sometimes have to take priority over a super clean house?
Once you’ve identified those beliefs, ask yourself, are these beliefs true? Has there ever been a case where these beliefs have been not been true (eg Do I value my friend any less for a messy house, yet a devalue myself for a messy house?).
This is the thinking shift that is required when we are feeling stressed by an event in our lives, because it will never be about the event, it will always be about what this event means about you (from your beliefs).
As housework can be a big bone of contention with mums, I thought I would add my views in here. It’s not the be all and end all of life. If you do have a beautifully clean house most of the time and it doesn’t cause you stress, then there’s nothing to look at or change in your mindset, but if it does cause you stress then an adjustment in your beliefs is needed.
Want to know more ways to think about parenting, always feel like a ‘calm’ mum and be able to teach your kids how to have self worth and handle all life’s ups and downs? Get your copy of The Happy Mum Handbook today and free yourself from motherhood stress.