Friday, March 20, 2009

Making Home

Over the last month I have really felt this overwhelming need to deal with my home. Call it Spring Fever, call it whatever you will. To be honest, homekeeping does not come naturally to me. At this point I'm way too old and way too responsible for my own actions to blame it on childhood, parents, personality, or anything else. It's lack so self-control, poor time management skills, laziness, and a million other words I cringe to hear in regards to myself.

I've tried this before. More times than I can count. In many ways I'm a perfectionist. It's all or nothing for me. If I want change I want everything changed at once or I just throw my hands up in the air. I've discussed this in length before. Dealing with the homestead this last year more than any other year has taught me a lot. I've had to accept that we won't be able to get everything all at once. We just don't have the money. Never will. Or the time. And that is okay. Gasp. I want it all. I want it all now. But having to slowly plug away at projects and I think I may slowly be getting it. Each step along the journey gets you there. When it comes to making changes in my home, I always try and just take a plane flight to the end and then I find I'm not strong enough to stay there.

So I'm determined to take small steps around my home to make it look and run the way I want it to. We've all read those blogs. Where women have detailed pantry lists, knowing exactly what their family uses each year. They have clean homes and clean children. They sew clothes and make all their own bread. They homeschool in ways that inspire their children to learn. They grow large gardens and can enough for their whole family for each year. Their homes have nice curtains. Heck, they have curtains at all! They never run out of toilet paper or anything else for that matter. I know that I dream of all these things and more. And while part of me wants to say "Oh that's just a dream. Those women don't truly exist. Why set up unrealistic expectations for yourself?" But in truth, I don't believe that. I do believe it possible to have a home that inspires my family to be better people. I do believe it possible to manage my time where I can get it all done. Women used to get it done. They HAD to. No stopping for BBQ when you didn't menu plan and it's 5:00 and have no idea what's for dinner. If they could build a fire for the oven to make all the bread for a family of 12, I can find time to turn the switch on my oven, and make bread for our family of 6. If they could heat water on their stove they just had to add wood to, to heat water to wash the laundry by hand, I can keep on top of my piles of laundry.

BUT I've made a commitment to myself that I won't take on too much at once. I won't.

And amazingly, taking it a baby step at a time has been working!

One of the first steps we've taken is to change up the way we do chores. We used to do chores where I just told people what I wanted them to do. It worked okay but took too long and never stayed clean. Now they have Jurisdictions. Thanks Duggars. They have areas they are responsible for. We just started that change a few weeks ago and it's made a difference for sure. At chore time I can just tell them to clean their jurisdictions. A few times a day I have them do a quick pickup of their jurisdictions. Here soon I'm going to start doing "checks" during the day to get them used to KEEPING their jurisdictions clean. Maybe a reward system (though in all honesty I hate reward systems so we'll see about that). Nothing like watching a child (or a Mom ACK) step over a sock on the floor as they walk by. As the house has stayed cleaner downstairs, miraculously we have more time for bigger cleaning jobs (slowly but surely Clay. Be patient), gardening, school, etc. A cleaner house for some reason has given us more time for everything!

In the next few weeks I'll post all the little changes I've made or will make. Little changes. I need to keep telling myself that.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Sounds like you are doing a great job! I understand about not getting it all done! I feel this way in particular since we got the cow.

Do remember that the homemakers of old were well trained and didn't spend 8 hours a day sitting in a classroom like you and I did in our youth. They also had more extended family to help.

And don't kill yourself if you are pregnant! You do need to rest.