I’ve been thrown a curve ball & have been sick for days. Goodness. I’m not one to be idle for long, unless I’m sitting on the beach with a book, so this is a challenge. I thought I’d do something productive now that my mind can semi think again. I miss doing my everyday housework which got me thinking about being a housewife. A country housewife. It’s something I’ve been blessed to be able to do for years. I actually like cleaning. Its the one thing in life where I see immediate results & it’s a great stress reliever for me. I was very lucky to have a grandma that showed me lots of tricks & ways to run a household effectively. I still fumbled through a few things like my first garden. The directions said plant the seeds in a hill. So that’s what I did. I made a dirt mound & stuck the seeds in. Ha, I later learned that is not what planting in a hill meant. Let’s not forget the time I used a cleaning product that had ammonia in it & another that had bleach. That was a dangerous train wreck. Luckily there’s a window in the bathroom that I was able to open quickly. Geesh…that might explain why I went to all natural non-toxic cleaning supplies. I had no idea what a hose sock was either. I quickly found out that the washing machine discharge hose required a screen sock over it to avoid plugs. The next part was remembering to change it. It’s kinda like seeing how full a diaper can get! Seriously..I have to actually clean the vacuum?! Is that why it smells? Who knew you should wash the outside of a watermelon before cutting it?! You really shouldn’t take a wet rag & try to wipe off anything plugged in….yep, once & I’m lucky to be alive.
Ok, back to my reflecting. So, I was thinking that maybe everyone doesn’t have another female that guided them. Could it be that my 25+ yrs of running a house among the country dirt could help anyone? Hmm… All I can do is share a few tidbits & see where they land. I think the “running a household manual” is lost somewhere with the “how to raise kids manual”. There’s lots of advice out there but getting in the trenches is a whole different ball game. I got married….it came with a marriage license (no manual). I had kids… they came with birth certificates (you guessed it, no manual).
It’s not about being perfect. There is no such thing. Its not about competing with Susie down the street either. That causes discontent. The outside appearance is never a clear picture of what’s really going on inside. All of us have struggles. Its just an honest intentional attempt at trying your best & aiming for growth. Each of us is gifted in a certain way. The things I am weaker at means that I have to work harder at growth in that area.
Its easier to keep up by keeping up. When dishes are dirty then I wash them. It’s overwhelming when there’s a days worth to catch up on. That’s creating more work in the long run cuz everything is dried on now…ugh. Refrigerators really do have to be cleaned…on the inside…ach. I aim for 2x yearly unless there’s a spill of course. I remove everything from one level at a time, wipe off shelf, replace items & toss what’s expired. I do the door last. Cleaning inside cupboards, drawers & closets is usually a once a year job for me. Nasty dirt, grease, fuzz & hair builds up in the weirdest places. What I do know is that there’s no magic cleaning fairy that comes at night. If I don’t do it, then it never gets done. Windows…yep, if I wanna see out of them I kinda have to wash them.
Some jobs are done on a yearly basis, others weekly & a few daily. If you aren’t an organizational specialist 😉 then I would encourage making a list. If I let things get out of hand then it’s a way bigger job when I finally tackle it. I’m that way with paperwork-blah. All I can say on that is files…create them, use them & organize them. Keeping up on daily chores like wiping counters, cleaning yucky stuff from sinks, sweeping (there’s lots of dirt in the country), laundry, cooking, dishes…it’s a lot. Creating a list & spreading the chores out really does help.
Weekly is the shopping, dusting, vacuuming, moping, bathroom’s, etc. (Hand towels…so many forget about hand towels…change them every 2 days) Washing bedding should be alternated in there somewhere. I do the blankets & comforters usually spring & fall unless something gets spilled on it. Cushions on any furniture get dirty so vacuuming them & lifting them up is a must….yep, lots of nasty surprises in there.
I live in the country so I have a garden & flower beds. This is optional. If you aren’t interested, don’t enjoy it or don’t have time to care for it then I would say skip it. There’s nothing worse that knowing there’s another job outside, not getting to it & watching it become a huge mess. Perhaps a potted plant outside is all you need! Making honest decisions is always best.
Cooking is the heart of a home. If you don’t know how or don’t like it then learn, practice & simplify. My meals are not fancy. Sticking with real food is best. My opinion is anything in a box, can or picked up from a window is not cooking. Those are emergency meals. Find what you like to cook & practice. Preparing salads is an easy one. Add in some chicken & voila… a meal. You get the idea. Planning is helpful but if I just had a day that I couldn’t then there’s nothing wrong with good old eggs!
I’m done with my season of little ones. There’s some juggling & prioritizing that takes place. I tried to focus on what had to be done… a clean (as in sanitary not clutter free) house, healthy food to eat, sleep! I did chores when they napped. I took my monitor with me. I placed the play pen outside, close by me (in the shade), tossed in a few toys & worked. The fresh air was good for them & they slept better at night. When they had enough of being outside then I quit. Any time is better than no time.
I’m also done with the hectic running from event to event when my kids were in full swing. That’s when crock pots are helpful & actual planning out a few of the meals per week. Homemade taco’s are easy! There’s nothing wrong with leftovers once in awhile either. Keeping your family healthy requires feeding them real food. The clutter is always there. It changes with seasons but its doable to keep the house cleaned. I just made it one of my priorities. Anything extra like reading, tv or computer had to wait. I had a back burner that I placed many things on.
I have a few things I’ve never accomplished like…..sewing, quilting, exercising 🙂 The desires of my heart might stay as desires only. God knows the plans He has for me. He comes first….always. I can’t tell you enough how vital it is to have daily time with Gods Word. It’s the foundation for everything including being a keeper of the home. I made/make lots of mistakes. All I can do is keep my eyes on Jesus & attempt balance.
Being a housewife is work. It takes practice and determination. Everyone has down days. I’m going through some right now. The basics are only getting done… Its ok. Its a gift to stay home. Money is tighter on one income but its worth it. I’ve done little things here & there on the side to help when needed . My job is at home, caring for it & the people inside. There’s fewer people now that I’m getting older and some of my jobs are different too. I guess that’s where all the reflecting comes in.
If God has blessed you with the gift of being a housewife then embrace it! Relax, He equipped you with all you need. We should never measure ourselves against another. The only thing worth measuring against is scripture.