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Confession time: I’m not good at keeping up with my house. I get overwhelmed by all the responsibility. Laundry gets backed up. Some days the dishes don’t get washed. I don’t vacuum every week. There are times when I’m embarrassed to use my own bathrooms. In fact, sometimes my little explorer finds some downright filthy places to put his little fingers that never even crossed my mind to clean.
It’s a struggle I’ve had since I became responsible for my own home. How do you fit it all in? Why can’t I seem to keep up with it like so-and-so? Her house is always perfect. What’s wrong with me… I stay at home all day, yet can’t keep it as clean as my friend who works outside the home. When my parents or on-laws are coming, I spend a week stressing over getting everything clean and tidy-looking so they won’t know how terrible I am at keeping my home. I mean, who wants their mother-in-law thinking, “This is how she is taking care of my baby? This is who he chose to take my place?” or their own mom saying, “This is not how I taught her to do things.” (Not that they would ever actually say those things… They are just the things that go through my mind.)
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I’ve heard friends say these things. I’ve read enough blogs about homemaking to know that there are a LOT of young ladies who struggle with this. (I could go into my theory for why this is, but I’ll save that for a later time.)
Recently I read a book called How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets (affiliate link) that has really been eye opening in the most basic way. Sure, it was encouraging and helpful, but along the way I had a moment of revelation. I paused (sitting in the dark silence while nursing Little One before a nap is very conducive to deep thought. Lol) and thought about the grand scope of my whole problem.
I started thinking about Proverbs 31 and how it address all aspects of homemaking: wife, mother, housekeeper. I thought about her balance. Then I realized… “Wait a minute… Proverbs 31 talks far more about the people in a virtuous woman’s life than it does about the chores in her life!” Yes, it addresses the various tasks she does, but those tasks are directly tied to the people in her household or her own personal development.
I think I can honestly say that serving my family was one of my motives… But I don’t know if I can say it was my main motive. That’s something I need to keep before me all the time to remind me that it’s not just another chore, another load of laundry, another sink full of dishes… It’s a service to the benefit of my wonderful husband and beautiful, growing child. (I know… That’s a lot easier said than done.)
So why do you want a clean house? Is it because you want to look good on the outside when guests come? Is it so you don’t feel like a failure as a homemaker? Is it so your husband thinks he made a good choice in marrying you? Or is it because you want to benefit your family by gracing them with a clean, healthy environment to live and grow in? Do you want to create a comfortable haven for them that they will always want to return to?
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
Let’s not be idle, but not for the sake of busyness or a façade. Let’s look to the ways of our household… To how our actions can benefit those under our rooves. Who cares what it looks like (it doesn’t have to be perfect)… Is it benefiting your family or not? That is the real issue.
Note: I did learn a LOT from that book, and I have been doing much better keeping up on my house as a result. In fact, when I got a few hours’ notice that we were having company, it wasn’t even a big deal because of the changes I had made as a result of that book. I highly recommend it! Here’s the link again if your interested in reading it.