Keeping up with a home and family is not always (hardly ever) easy! In fact, it can leave us discouraged and feeling like we will never measure up.
But whatever shape your household is in right now, if you are depressed or feeling bad because of it then please be encouraged! I have been right where you are, and there are things we can do to motivate and inspire ourselves as we manage our homes.
Keeping a House In Order = Not an Easy Task
The hectic life that we lead these days can wreak havoc on our homes and leave chaos in it’s wake. We have embraced the conveniences of time-saving appliances like washing machines and dishwashers (YAY!)
But, we have also managed to add more to our plates…multiple jobs, kids’ activities, social media. The list goes on and on…
And when we look around at the mess that has been created while life was happening, it’s easy for us to feel inadequate as homemakers.
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It doesn’t help that we have so much to compare ourselves to these days.
There are the fabulous home makeovers on HGTV. There are home decorating blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram…all with gorgeous photos of perfectly kept homes.
No wonder we are so hard on ourselves!
OK. So there’s probably nothing on the list that will magically transform your home into something worthy of House Beautiful Magazine overnight.
However, there are some practical ideas here that will bring you out of your funk and help you feel better about yourself as keeper of your home.
1) VISIT A MESSY HOUSE
Seriously, this might sound a little strange but go visit a friend whom you know is not a perfect housekeeper. Someone who, for whatever reason, has similar housekeeping standards to yours at the present time.
Hopefully, after your visit, you will feel that you’re not the only one who struggles.
I’m not saying that you can’t visit or have friends who have beautiful homes. In fact, I’ve picked up some of my best housekeeping ideas from people who always keep their homes tidy.
Just be sure that you have some peeps in your squad who, like you, sometimes let go of perfection for a higher purpose.
2) SNAG A WIN (OR 2…OR 3)
Here’s a little to-do list hack when you need motivation. Write down 2 or 3 things that you know you can get done by the end of the day.
These can be really simple tasks, like putting laundry in the dryer or wiping the kitchen counter…stuff you would be doing anyway that will give you several wins for the day and allow you to scratch something off the list.
REALLY NEED A BOOST?
HACK THE LIST by adding a few things that you have already done.
(Yes, I have done this. It is TOTALLY legit!)
Make the bed…check.
Put towels away…check.
Winning Feels Good!!!
3) GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Life happens, kids happen, phone calls from relatives happen. You know how it goes.
There is always something happening and some days they just seems to pile on, one thing after another.
Before you know it, there just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done.
Then there are those days that you just run out of juice before you run out of to-do’s on the list. As someone who is still in the healing process from a chronic illness, this happens to me frequently.
So I rest. My health is important and I am no good to anyone if I don’t pay attention to my own body.
Dishes can wait, the floor doesn’t really have to be spotless, and if I’m really lucky my kiddos will pick up the slack and do a basket of laundry or load the dishwasher.
Whatever is was that kept you from getting it all done today, move on, let go of the guilt and give yourself the grace that you deserve.
4) FOCUS ON PROGRESS, NOT COMPARISON
It’s not hard to fall into the trap of comparison, especially when it comes to keeping house.
Simply visiting a friend’s home that’s neat and tidy can stir up negative feelings about ourselves or our circumstances.
Of course, if we REALLY want to feel inadequate, there’s always Instagram.
Honestly, I still play the comparison game from time to time. I’m only human, after all.
But I have learned to accept that my skills and God given gifts are unique. I don’t need to put others above myself on the virtual housewife scale.
You can learn and draw inspiration from others whose homemaking skills you admire. But avoid getting caught up in the game of comparison. Doing so can only leave you depressed and feeling inadequate.
Find your own priorities and set your own goals accordingly. Let them guide you as you move forward.
Then, look at your progress and identify areas that you feel like you could improve in.
Be yourself and embrace your own gifts!
5) TAKE A BREAK
Giving your body a rest during the day can restore your energy and mental clarity. This helps you to be more productive and think more rationally.
So, take a break…whatever that means to you.
I know it’s hard, and you might have to get creative if you have kids, but DO YOUR BEST to carve out time for something that gives you a recharge. Maybe a hot bath, some time of meditation, exercise, or talking with a friend?
For me, this can be a few minutes of total solitude, prayer, or maybe even a short power nap while I run my white noise machine in the background.
By the way, try to steer clear of social media during your break. Instead, use this time to give your brain and your body a rest from the craziness of all that is going on in your home and in the world.
You deserve it!
6) KEEP IT REAL
When I was growing up, my mom kept our house immaculate…like totally magazine worthy.
When I married and left home I carried these standards with me. Well, in theory at least. And they actually weren’t too hard to live up to until my firstborn came along.
It was all downhill from there.
Other things came along that had the same affect. Like homeschooling, raising three children, homesteading and enduring chronic illness.
The ability to change the way I view the state of our environment, through the many “seasons” of our family, has been necessary for my sanity.
Maybe your new definition of clean and organized in this season is that everyone has clean laundry and there’s at least a path to every room.
Even if it’s just temporary.
7) GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR YOUR EFFORTS
How often do we give ourselves credit for what we have done rather than focusing on what we haven’t?
Look around at what YOU HAVE managed to accomplish. Even if you are behind on tasks because you were distracted by less productive activities, give yourself grace, leave it in the past and move on.
Negative thinking will only waste precious energy that you could be using to pour into your own life and the lives of those around you.
Get rid of the guilt that whispers to you that you are not enough…that you are not competent, and embrace who you are as a homemaker.
Need more calm and less chaos in your day? Read 5 Strategies That Changed My Life As A Homemaker