Treating Homemaking Like a Job Changed My Life–for the Better!

by | May 1, 2019 | Uncategorized | 21 comments

Treating Homemaking as a Job: Getting help and training
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Homemaking is hard to do well.

Maybe you’re someone who’s really gifted at it (my youngest daughter falls into that category), but most of us find it a bit challenge.

When the kids were young and I was a genuine stay at home mom, I’d often find that a whole day would go by and I didn’t get a lot done. The house was often chaotic, which made me feel chaotic and out of sorts. It was difficult to relax at night with Keith, knowing that there was laundry on the bed waiting to be folded, or that the kitchen was a mess.

Now, I was a super productive person. I had completed two graduate degrees. I could program databases. I was really organized when it came to WORK. But when it came to home, I just wasn’t.

Things changed for me when the girls were about 4 and 6 and we started to homeschool, and everything got so much worse. We were at home all the time, often with a lot of big projects that made major messes. And I just wasn’t organized with meal planning, or cleaning, or errands. It seemed like we were always “running behind”, even when there were no real deadlines. I was always playing catch-up and rushing.

Katie’s 4th birthday party (she’s the one in the purple). My living room was always chaotic!

That’s when I did two things: I started working to a schedule with housework, AND I sought out help to learn how to do things better. When I got married and had kids, I assumed that I would instinctively know how to clean my house. But I didn’t. There are so many hacks and tricks that I had no idea about! And while I would readily use other people’s systems for writing research papers or organizing work, I never thought to seek out help when it came to laundry routines.

What was really cool was that I didn’t work longer hours. I actually worked fewer! But I worked smarter.

Homemaking is a job–or at least we should treat it that way. We have things to accomplish. We have a limited amount of time to accomplish them in. And what we’re doing is important.

Especially if we have children, homemaking really matters. It sets the tone of the house. When things are organized and running smoothly, then there are fewer things we have to worry about during our couple time. We can just enjoy each other–and enjoy the kids. Yet are we always able to give homemaking the energy it deserves?

Some of you are moms who have outside jobs, and some of you work at home. When there are two of you working outside the home, the tasks of homemaking do need to be shared. But when one of you is home full-time, most of those homemaking tasks should fall to that one person. (Not the childcare tasks–childcare is not a “job”. It’s a relationship. Both parents need to be involved in childcare!). If your husband is working outside the home, then you should be working, too!

The problem is that, when it comes to homemaking, there’s no one making us do anything. It’s easy to feel like you’re working because you go to menu plan, and  you browse Pinterest for recipes, and soon a whole morning is gone. Or it’s easy to say, “I’ll make the bed after I check Facebook”, and Facebook turns into Netflix, which turns into a whole afternoon erased.

Even if you work outside the home, you probably find that this scenario pops up in the evenings or on weekends. You intend to get so much done, but you don’t!

We tend to think the problem is a character issue–“I must be really lazy”.

I guess that may be true. But I knew that wasn’t my problem. I wasn’t a lazy person. I was just really disorganized and I wasn’t gifted at homemaking. I needed some help.

Back then I turned to Flylady, but when the kids hit their teenage years I discovered another resource that I want to share with you today. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle started. Once a year it launches with all new products at one amazing low price. It’s a collection of 104 products worth $2,294.37, but it sells for just $29.97!

This year the bundle includes: 30 eCourses & Videos, 28 eBooks, 25 printable packs, 16 workbooks, 3 summits & 2 membership sites

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

The Bundle only comes around once a year, for five days, and I like to share about it, because I know it can change so many of your lives. I’m not going to do a lot of posts on it this year, because I have other things on my list to write about, but I wanted to make sure you knew about it, because it’s simply an amazing resource, at a great price.

I buy all the bundles that become available, because at this low price, I know I’ll find 2-3 resources that will change everything for me. I don’t have to love them all; but when I go through the ones that pertain to me, I inevitably find new ways of doing things that help me get more organized and feel more on top of things, so that I have the time and energy for the things that really matter. Plus it’s simply really, really fun to read through all of this stuff and take the courses! And it’s a way more productive way to spend a few evenings than watching Netflix.

Think about it this way: When you’re trying to learn something at work, you take a course or go on training days. But when you don’t know how to do something well at home, you often figure that it’s a moral failure.

What if you simply need to take a course or get some tips?

Here are just a few that I’ve been looking at to hone my organization skills:

Homekeeping and Cleaning Kit helps you get organized. It tells you what to do on a daily basis, a weekly basis, and a monthly basis to keep your home clean. It’s super easy and anyone can follow it.

Journey to Clean: “My goal for daily cleaning is to leave my home cleaner than I found it that morning.” A little more in-depth and customizable than the Cleaning Kit, it also helps you figure out what cleaning tasks to do everyday to keep the home clean.

The Swap: The Lazy Genius Guide to Decluttering for Life isn’t a system as much as it is a value transformation. It helps you identify the roadblocks you have to peace in your house, and then looks at the opportunity cost of keeping things.

The Bundle also has resources on how to track habits, plan vacations, have awesome garage sales. The Baking Bootcamp teaches you the science and basics of baking so that you can make any recipe from Pinterest work! Maybe no one ever taught you that you’re not supposed to mix muffins very much. But HOW MUCH is too much? Get your questions answered!

There are even resources on parenting, marriage, working at home, and more.

The one resource that I’ve been using the most is LeanFit 1.0. I’ve been looking for a super clear exercise program that tells me what to do everyday, doesn’t take overly long, but covers all major muscle groups. This book is great–with what weights I should be doing when; how to do them; and what cardio to do in between. I had been searching YouTube for videos everyday, and this just makes it a lot easier!

Seriously, there’s so much, and it’s worth just seeing everything that’s in the bundle.

The Ultimate Homemaking BundleMaybe it’s time for you to treat homemaking like a job, too, and get more organized. Learn some skills. And find joy and mastery instead of chaos!

Check out the Bundle here:

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

What makes homemaking hard for you? Or are you one of those “gifted” ones? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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21 Comments

  1. Emmy

    I was a SAHM for 15 years. Home making certainly is a job and a very hard and a stressfull job too. Only you don’t get paid for it.

    Pregnant and breast feeding all the time, caring for little babies and toddlers all day, and the same time doing as much as laundry and cooking and groceries as I can…

    And when Sir Husband comes home and eats the meal yo have cookded and looks around condecendenly, takes a deep sight and says one of these:
    – Looks like you have beed sitting with the kids on your lap all the day.
    – It should really not be this hard. How do you think yor grandmother did it? She even did not have a washing mashine, and you do.
    – I think your problem is that you are not organized enough.
    – You really can’t expect me to help ou any more than I already do. I already work. You can’t expect me to do half of the house keeping. (Note: I did not ask for help!)
    – I wish I could stay home a few days. I’d show you how it should be done.
    – If you just would do xxx right after zzz things would not pile p that way.
    – That pile of laundry over there, looks like it’s the same pile laying there for months. (Note: it is a new pile “over there” every 2 or 3 days)
    – You allways have an excuse.
    – Why are you always defending yourself? I’m not even attacking you. You KNOW love you.

    Yes. Hous keeping most certainly is WORK with big letters. At least 12 hours per day, no vacations or days off, no salary, an angry boss and a lot of criticism and free advice as extra benefit. I was deeply unhappy those years when home making was my job.

    Sorry for this rant, but this time yor post made some painful memories surface.

    Reply
    • Lindsey

      Emmy,

      I am sorry that you have these painful memories.
      I am grateful that my husband rarely criticizes how I keep the house. He was more harsh when we were first married, but now he is so much more loving and quick to step up and help if I’ve had a tough day. He is very understanding of my emotional load with the kids. I homeschool mine, so they are with me 24/7. In the (almost) ten years that I’ve been married I have been pregnant 5 years 7 months, and breastfed for 5 years and 4 months. I’ve given birth to four beautiful babies, and had three postponed “until the kingdom”. It takes an extreme toll on a woman’s body and energy levels, to be sure. I am so thankful that my husband has continued to love me, support me and tell me that he thinks I’m beautiful (even 80lbs heavier than when we married!).

      I am so sorry that you didn’t have that love, understanding and support when your children were small. Even though my husband is wonderful now, I do know what it’s like to have painful memories for earlier in our marriage. I hope that you now have a marriage that brings you (both) joy.

      Reply
      • Emmy

        Thanks Lindsay for the kind words. Yes, I’m gratefut I can say things are better now. The sad thing is that things did not change for better before I put up a fight. That still gives me mixed feelings. Coming up for my own rigts did help so much I really wish I had done it much, much earlier. On the other hand, putting up a fight did not feel like the Christian thing to do.

        If I could give advise to my 23 year olds self I would advise her to consider home making a real job, yes, and also insist for good working conditions and reasonale working hours. I would insist for being respected and not only in words but also materially. I know for certain that my work as a SAHM saved us a lot of money and I really believe I should have noticed that somehow in some tagible form.

        During tose 15 difficult years we had seven children. We stil have them, of course, but they are all grown up now.

        Reply
        • EM

          I’m sorry you had such a tough experience, Emmy. I hope you can realize that you did the right thing by standing up for yourself. God doesn’t want us to be trampled on, and sometimes we do have to fight for what’s right! That’s what I’ve been working on in my marriage this year and it does feel very strange when you’ve always been taught to just go along.

          Reply
    • LadyDi

      What do you do when you are in a emotionaly abusive marriage? I’m told if I ask for help. It’s my job and he shouldn’t have to do my job too. Except my job starts at 5 when I get up and ends at 9 if I’m lucky whenever my head hits the pillow. I’m told if I can’t do my job he will quit and do my job and I can go to work. I don’t look at it as a job, but an honor to be there with my kids. I have 6
      12,10,9,7,4,2 and anything I try and put in place as a chore chart is criticized that the allowance is hardly anything. So my kids stop helping and I lose any help. I used to be a super neat freak and very organized, now it takes everything out of me to get my kitchen cleaned and laundry done everyday. I feel like I’m drowning and friends don’t get it. I’m in counseling and working on myself to heal. Just somedays I feel so useless and exhausted.

      Reply
  2. Kate

    This is also another reason why i advocate minimalism. The vast majority of people around the world really don’t have messy homes nor is their home environment stressful because there is no material decadence taking up unnecessary space. I know Sheila you have said you’re headed that way, i’m so glade! A cluttered space is a cluttered mind. It’s so peaceful and relaxing to be a minimalist. The less stuff you have the more time you can spend with your children and that’s kids will remembered not the toys and the stuff they had, but the wonderful memories they created with their parents. 🙂

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      YES! So true, Kate. One of the best things that happened when my mom moved in a few years ago was that we purged so much stuff. I’m always purging.

      Reply
      • Debra

        Would these bundles be good for the empty nester.. seems like a lot of kid and family stuff and there is only me and my husband

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I’m an empty nester and I always get quite a bit out of them! The nice thing is that there are so many products that you don’t have to need each one to get your money’s worth. I usually look for just 2-5 that I’m going to completely implement. This year it’s the fitness one and the decorating one. But I find it easier to browse through the products and then ask, “what would my life really benefit from right now?” and then concentrate on that!

          Reply
    • Lindsey

      Yes!!! Minimalism is the key for me to a warm, comfortable home. I enjoy HGTV home remodeling shows (Fixer Upper, Hometown). But I often find that when they do the big reveal, there is way too much “decorative” stuff in the house for me. Minimalism allows one to really enjoy the things that matter, rather than being held hostage trying to maintain stuff you don’t really want or need. Like my grandfather always told me: You don’t own stuff, stuff owns you.

      Reply
  3. Lindsey

    I love flylady too! Thanks for the reminder today to guard my time and be productive!

    Reply
  4. Bethany

    The one of these homemaking bundles I picked up two years ago literally changed my life. One particular resource (by Dana White from A Slob Comes Clean) taught me how to tidy and declutter in a way that worked for me, and my house has actually been relatively clean since then. It saves us money and time, and figuring out how to household manage actually helped me learn how to prioritize better at my outside-the-home work too, so it was just a huge boost all around. 😀

    Reply
  5. EM

    I think one of the unfortunate side effects of feminism is that homemaking was devalued. If you look at those 50’s housewives who made it look so easy, they were literally taking classes on sewing, budgeting, entertaining etc. They were actually being prepared for what they were going to do one day. (Mona Lisa Smile is one of my favorite movies!) Now, we would get laughed at for majoring in home economics, but so many of us still end up becoming stay at home moms and then we are woefully unprepared. It’s great that we have so much opportunity and I am very thankful for my education, but it sure would have been nice to have some clue what I was doing when I started out!

    The reality is that no matter how liberated we are, meals still must be planned, houses still must be cleaned, budgets still must be made and stuck to. Most of us stumble on something like FlyLady out of desperation when we become overwhelmed. Let’s make it totally normal to get some training when we make the transition to being a stay at home mom! We would save ourselves so much grief.

    Another thing to remember is that homemaking is a skill you get better at with time, just like anything else. When I was in a little house with 2 little kids, I felt like I couldn’t handle one more thing. Now with 4 kids and a big house and a husband who travels and kids in school and sports…I am actually less overwhelmed, because now I am experienced and pretty good at it. So if you are new at it, take heart. It doesn’t come to you by magic when you have a baby, and you aren’t a failure if it feels really difficult at first.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      That’s such an important point, EM, that people are simply not taught how to run a household anymore. Seriously, the average 15 year old in the 60s had better knowledge about running a home than most 30 year olds today! Their home ec programs were no joke and were considered vital education. I’d love to see home ec come back how it was a few decades ago, but mandatory for both genders. I think that would make a HUGE difference in many marriages and just the general mental health state of so many stay at home parents!

      Reply
      • Emmy

        Home economics was great! Itwas my favorite subject! I attended school in the 1970’s and home economics was mandatory for all 7th graders, boys and girls alike. In the 8th and 9th grade home economics was optional but many chose it. Also many boys liked it and irt was not considered a “girlish” subject.

        I learned a lot in those classes. I’m actually quite proud of my cooking, baking and preserving. I can make things from scratches if I need to, so I can do “more with less” with my householf money. Many of those skills I learned on home economic classes.

        Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Completely agree, EM! These are skills that we need to learn and that we need to be taught, and all too many aren’t. So true!

      Reply
    • Emmy

      Actually, some feminists I have known were quite good with household stuff. I have learned much from them. Things like vegetarian cooking and recycling and making the little bits you have last longer. I don’t see feminists as enemies for good house keeping.

      A christian author whom I really could recommed and who has written great stuff on family life and houskeeping is Edith Scaeffer. She has a book called Hidden Art of Home-making. It is very inspiring.

      Reply
      • EM

        I don’t mean to malign feminism at all; in fact I am very thankful for the way they paved for me! It’s just that with all the emphasis on careers and opportunity for women, learning homemaking as a life skill fell by the wayside.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Yes, I think it has, too. I do wish more boys, of course, were also taught this stuff. But it does need to be taught, and I think homemaking has become a lost art. Interestingly, I think millennials are more interested in it, with all of their emphasis on minimalism and cooking. We’ll see what happens!

          Reply
  6. Lisa

    Speed Cleaning by Steve Campbell really helped me. Housekeeping is a job and I don’t want this job. I wish I could hire it out. I wish my husband would also consider it his job. But, it is what it is and I make the best of it.

    Things I would do differently if I could talk to my younger self– do not hesitate to throw away things that other people fail to put away. If it is important to them, they will take care of it. If they leave it lying around, listen to that message, not their words. Not with very young children, of course, but with spouses and children old enough to understand, if they choose not to put it away, they are communicating that it’s not important to them. It is not reasonable to expect one person to pick up after everyone just so cleaning can happen.

    Reply
  7. Karen

    The biggest step for me this year was acknowledging my housework as “must dos” and clearing my schedule to the point that time for home making is respected. Ferrying my preschoolers around during the mornings zapped my energy to keep house, so now they go to Mother’s Day Out, and I have two days a week to keep house adult style (trainees are ok but they don’t really cut it quite yet in a big picture way). Things are so much better now that I have defined time to guard for the task of home making!

    Reply

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