Handling the Endless Work of Homemaking

Not long after I got married I realized that the work of a homemaker is never complete. There is no 9-to-5 work schedule. There are no days off for the weekends or holidays. There aren’t even meal breaks.

The work of a homemaker is never complete, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Check out these strategies for handling endless homemaking tasks.

Instead, the sink fills with dishes every day—especially on weekends and holidays. The clothes hamper refills with dirty clothes as soon as I launder those that were in it. The baby needs to be nursed as soon as I get dinner on the table.

Sometimes I feel frustrated on Saturday afternoons when I prepare dinner while my husband snoozes on the sofa. Why don’t I get to nap? Actually, forget the nap. Can I just get an uninterrupted shower? My husband works very hard both at his job and at home, so I’m happy to let him rest. He’d say that I deserve this same opportunity, but I rarely have time to during this busy season.

Do you ever feel this way? Are you sometimes overwhelmed due to all of the homemaking tasks before you? I honestly believe that the endless work of homemaking can be managed well so we don’t feel this way. I’m not there yet, but here are some steps we can all take to better handle the demands of homemaking.

Strategies for managing the endless work of homemaking

  • Cut yourself some slack. Everything does not have to be perfect. This is a very hard concept for me—a perfectionist—to embrace. It’s true, though. It’s okay to have company over even though I didn’t get the floor vacuumed. It’s okay to occasionally bake a frozen pizza for dinner or ask my husband to grab takeout because the baby was fussy and I didn’t get around to making a homemade dinner. Little imperfections like these are so inconsequential!
  • Get organized. Being organized helps me get things done quickly and with minimal effort. What sort of organization benefits homemakers? Personally, I’ve found it very helpful to have a cleaning schedule, to menu plan, and to have a home management binder.
  • Spend time with the Lord. I am better able to handle whatever life throws my way if I’ve taken time to read my Bible and pray. Finding time for this can be challenging, but it’s essential if I am to be patient and work diligently through the day. Additionally, this is one of the most important behaviors that I can model for my child.
  • Make it fun. Some homemaking tasks just aren’t enjoyable. Some tasks aren’t that bad, but they can become boring. Simple things like listening to music or donning a pretty apron can make these more pleasant. Need additional ideas? Check out these ideas for making housecleaning tasks more enjoyable.
  • Remind yourself why you’re a homemaker. I’m a homemaker because I believe the Lord has called me to be one for this season of my life. Keeping my home allows me to provide a safe, engaging environment in which I can raise my daughter. It allows me to take care of tasks around the house so my husband is free to go to work and provide for us financially. A good look into the eyes of my husband or daughter bolsters my enthusiasm for the tasks before me.
    Amaris Gail - 3 Months Old
  • Recharge yourself. When one becomes a mom, her child becomes her priority and she really gives up any claim to personal time. With that being said, we set ourselves up for failure if we don’t find ways to occasionally engage in activities that recharge us. Find some time (during naps, while the grandparents are visiting, etc.) to take a bath, read a book, or do whatever it is that recharges you.

What tips can you share for handling the endless work of homemaking?

Shared on the following link-ups:

From House to Home, Coffee and Conversation, Capture Your Journey, Titus 2 Tuesday & Living Proverbs 31.

Comments

  1. This is some great advice. I think the laundry and dishes are the most discouraging for me because they seem never ending. I also try to remind myself that this season of life is so short. Even now my oldest just turned 6 and can fold her own laundry and has a dish day. So I figure as my children grow they will help also and the house work won’t be only my responsibility.

    • Yes, this season is definitely short. That’s why I’ll often choose to rock my baby instead of doing housework. 🙂
      Great point that the kiddos will one day share some of the responsibility.

  2. When I had littles, I would turn on an audio book while working (when baby was napping) so that I actually was able to read and enjoy a good book during that busy season. That was how I was able to read Pride and Prejudice 😉

    I found you via Titus 2 Tuesdays and want to encourage you to hang on. You are doing a beautiful work!

  3. No matter what I’m doing I give myself a lunch break (generally NOT when the children are eating lunch) and read a book while I eat. I find it’s a great way to recharge.

  4. Awesome tips! Many I use myself. It certainly can be daunting, but I believe in what I do every day. I believe in making our house into a nice, lovely, open, clean, and organized home. I believe in raising Baby Boy how we see fit. I believe in Hun going to work every day (whatever work he may choose). I believe that this is right for me, for us. And so I keep doing it. When things are too daunting, I look for a focus. When I start getting overly overwhelmed with tasks, I take a break, I regroup and I start with something small.

    And yes, there are those times when I start feeling envious (which usually leads to resentful thoughts) when Hun naps or sits around seemingly doing nothing. That’s also usually when I need to either ask for help or simply change my perspective, maybe stop and recharge a bit myself. That’s how I nip those resentful thoughts or feelings into shape quickly without hiding from them, as they are part of my human-ness! 🙂

    Swinging by from Capture Your Journey!

  5. I find that being intentional with your time is the most important thing- this goes along with what you said about being organized. I have decided that weekends are my “break.” To make this happen, I have my intense cleaning day be Friday so that I don’t worry about a messy house on the weekend. We eat left overs on the weekend so that I don’t have to cook. Make sure all the laundry is washed, dried, and put away on Friday. Other than church, I don’t have anything regularly scheduled on the weekend so I can be flexible with what we do as a family. Yes, I’ll still get up in the middle of the night with my baby on the weekend, do routines like naps, baths, etc. on the weekend, but I still get to enjoy time with my husband without stresses of cleaning or cooking.

    I also find that by having things in your plans makes them not build up. I put dishes straight in the dishwasher so they don’t pile up in the sink. I do laundry every day except Saturday and Sunday (I cloth diaper) so that I usually only have one load a day and can get it done in the morning rather than it seeming like a giant chore on one day.

    I agree that making it fun is important. For example, I bake all our bread. I have my 3 year old help and he loves it because I’ve made it fun. Now his favorite thing to do it play with his sister’s play kitchen because cooking is fun:)

    • I love how you free up your weekends, Ashley! We also cloth diaper, so the laundry is a tough one. You still get those two days free, though, which is awesome. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing all of your tips!

  6. Shannon, I’d like to pray for you.
    “Father God, I thank you that Shannon has taken her role as mama and wife to heart. I pray that you will give her the hope, health, strength, and stamina to do all that she must do. I pray that you will help her find those things that recharge her best. I pray that your word will come alive to her as she reads it or listens to sermons in church or her husband is teaching her. I thank you and praise you for your care and love for her. Please help her feel it. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

    Have a good weekend Shannon!

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