Studies report that people are the least happy when doing housework, driving, and watching television. It’s an interesting statistic to keep in mind for joyful living. And when it comes to housework, I completely agree. My family can tell when I’ve been cleaning a lot just based on my mood. It’s not pretty.
So, I choose to take a fairly relaxed approach to my house on a daily basis. After all, I just want to be happy!
Yet, one day before our last baby, my husband took it to a whole new level for me. He got me to challenge the housework!
The Day of Reckoning
It started innocently. We were folding clothes together, and I told him he would need to take on all of the laundry responsibilities for a while after I had the C-Section. If you’ve ever had a C-Section you know that you aren’t supposed to lift anything for six weeks. So, he knew this request was coming.
He responded calmly with “ok, but I’m not folding clothes.” And then he walked out of the room.
Meanwhile, I stood there like the control freak mom I can be, with my mouth open (yelling at him in my mind).
“Um whaaaat?! I do the majority of laundry EVERY week and he can’t do it for one month! Everything will be WRINKLY!”
Obviously, I had anxiety over the fact that this task wouldn’t be completed “properly” and there was nothing I would be able to do about it. My instinct was to give him a piece of my mind.
But then, I also secretly admired him, darn it. I LOATH folding laundry as much as he does, and yet I had never thought of saying no to any part of it.
I had accepted that I had to fold laundry for my family for the next 18 years. And he refused to do it for one month. Maybe I should take a page out of his book? What do I gain if I never challenge the housework?
So, I set out to solve our problem. After some thought, we decided to get the kids more involved. We let them pick some colored tubs from IKEA and added “folding/putting away laundry” to their responsibilities in their checklists. We now toss the clean clothes in their tubs. They fold them, put them in their dressers, and return their tubs to the laundry room. All. By. Themselves.
Now, do they really fold their clothes every time? Nope. But I let it go because I don’t have to do it. They are clean, and that’s my win. And, lo and behold, i’ve NEVER noticed them wearing wrinkly clothes.
Maybe I’ve just lowered my standards, but that’s time I have back every single week to do something I enjoy.
So in the end, I really appreciate that my husband got me to think in a different way and reminded me that I can say no to things that don’t matter to me (or at least ease the pain).
Perhaps not everyone has the same strong feelings towards laundry or housework as we do here. But is there anything in your life that you hate doing but have accepted as a part of life? And is there a way around it? Maybe it’s lowering your standards, or getting help, or just saying no.
Something To Think About: Go Ahead And Challenge The Housework
We only get one life, so don’t spend too much time doing stuff that doesn’t make you happy.
Challenge the accepted and take that extra time to do something for yourself! This post has some great self care ideas!
*As the kids get older, those small tubs will become full size laundry baskets.
**If anyone notices my kids’ clothes are wrinkly after this post, please don’t tell me!
For more reading on how to challenge the housework, check out this awesome article The Four Home Challenge.