While the debates and discussions of stay-at-home moms vs working moms will be ever-present in today’s society, and most likely that of tomorrow as well, there is at least one chord that resonates through for all mothers regardless of their at-home or not-at-home status. One of those clearly and loudly resounding chords is ‘getting it all done’ in regards to caring for children and homekeeping. Having been stay-at-home mother for over 14 years now, this is my territory; I speak/write from experience.
There are some that would say a stay-at-home mother has all day to ‘get it all done’–we just won’t go there for the purposes of this article. The laments of mothers around the world about this getting it all done dilemma rise to a crescendo leading to overwheming frustration that results in stress for the entire family. How on earth can we get the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away while cooking a healthy, homemade meal,changing diapers, chasing toddlers,mopping the floor, talking with older kids, playing games with kids and…. The answer to this one is quite simple. We don’t. Here is where mouths drop open and folks say ‘what?!?’
I am here to tell you the solution to ‘getting it all done’ is that simple-we don’t. The most important thing we can do is adopt and keep the perspective that homekeeping(this includes child care)is never ‘done’. Homekeeping is a cycle that is turning, moving, going, changing all the time. Think about it; the laundry is never all done unless everybody is naked! The dishes are not done unless we don’t use them at all. Life is about doing, experiencing-not cleaning. Granted, cleaning is a part of it-usually.
There are articles,books and websites galore full of tips and tricks of getting it all done. While helpful, those tips and tricks can work even better if we realize homekeeping is a life cycle, turning and changing every moment.
If we go through our days looking at the fun our kids are having as merely messes to clean up later, the meal we’re lovingly(if hurriedly) putting together as dishes to be washed later, we are missing so much blessing in enjoying life! Homekeeping is part of life-even a way of life!
If,come suppertime, the dishes are piled high and volcano you made and exploded with your kids covers the kitchen whilst the muddy shoes from a backyard romp with the dogs are underfoot; fix a filling supper of leftovers or PBJ and called it a wonderful, fully lived day. Or call the kids to the kitchen,crank up the music and enlist everybody in getting things shipshape, then grab those PBJs for a picnic on the floor or outside.
The point is, we can choose to joyfully dive into life instead of spending our time spinning our wheels in complaining about what did not get done. Realize what did get done, that life was enjoyed, moments treasured and yes, maybe even dishes done for a whole 5.6 seconds or laundry session ended for the moment. Life is measured in moments, not jobs accomplished.
Life, including homekeeping, will not ever ‘be done’, and for that I’m convinced we can all be thankful!