Monday, April 26, 2010

The Wife's Job at Home - Doing my Part


Lately, I have been tired and not really trying hard enough. On the day I should have gone grocery shopping, I only bought a few things "to get by," because I didn't want the hassle of planning a list and buying what we needed. Was I lazy, tired or unorganized? Possibly a little of each.

My husband has worked in retail for almost all of our married life. Whether it was our own store we owned, or working for other companies, he knows a lot about getting a job done. When a store opens in the morning, the shelves need to be clean, well-stocked and everything has to be in its place. The aisles have to be clear of cardboard boxes and totes. The deli/ or kitchen area has to be prepped and ready for orders. In other words, all jobs have to be done!

I cannot tell you how many times my husband has come home from work, telling me how employees - slacked during their shift, killed time, and didn't bother to get all their work finished. This either leaves the burden on someone else to pick up the slack or causes an unorganized, chaotic situation.

Can you guess what I am about to say? What I do, as the wife in my home, is my part of the job in this marriage! Just like my husband must get all his work done at his job, I must get all my work done here at home.

If I leave a messy kitchen at night, when I wake up, I will face a nightmare. I will have to quickly clean before anyone can even have breakfast or make coffee. If I don't do the laundry, no one has clean clothes for work or church. I must do my job.

When I am feeling very weak or ill, I have learned to come up with the attitude of "do it anyway." Here it goes:

1. I am too tired to clean. "Do it anyway."
2. I am too bored to grocery shop. "Do it anyway."
3. I am in too much pain to wipe up the spill. "Do it anyway."
4. I don't want to get out of bed. "Do it anyway."

You see, we have so many excuses, so many moods, and so many valid reasons why we didn't do our job. But guess what? If I honestly cannot do my work, then it is my responsibility to delegate it to someone else, and make sure it still gets done.

I love the organized plan of our ancestor mothers. They had a day for each job. It went something like this:

* Monday -wash day
* Tuesday -ironing day
* Wednesday- mending day
* Thursday-shopping day
* Friday-cleaning day
* Saturday-baking day

I don't want to follow a rigid plan like that, but I do need to pick one day a week to do my shopping and make that permanent.

Can you just imagine if we were more focused on our job, and all the tasks that go into making a home, how much more organized and pleasant our homes would be?

Everyday, my husband goes to work. He does his job with dedication and pride. Why would I do any less here at home?

Mrs. White

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Unknown said...

I think the reason it's so easy to be lax as mom's staying home is because we don't have accountability. We do, but then we don't! I too find it too easy to be laid back when I need to "just do it"!

Joyce Ackley said...

Mrs. White, I wish I could follow your motto of "Do it anyway" more ardently. Some days I am just too tired or in too much pain to do very much. I live alone in my little place, and it is usually "company ready" at all times. Today, it's just surface clean and needs a good going-over.
I try to follow my own motto, which is, "Clean what you see!" A lot of times that involves spot cleaning and quick pick-ups until I can get out the big guns and get going. Sometimes I call it "motel room cleaning", that is, just hit the high spots and move on!

When I was a wife and mother, I had a cleaning schedule and I kept up with it on a calendar with big boxes so I could do it all. And I did! Everything was spotless.

I know it must be very difficult for some of the young moms with kids and toddlers at home. There is a good website,,
that offers a lot of encouragemen and good advice. The Fly Lady divides chores into "zones." It seems like a good system. It may work for some moms who need help with organizing chores and knowing where to start.

Carrie said...

Sometimes life passes by so fast, and we look back and wonder where it went. There will always be dishes, and laundry, and cooking for Moms. For the Dad's who are the sole workers outside of the home, there will always be work. It's just a never ending process.
Life is so hard, and stressful, and very tiring most days of the week. We all need to stop and remember why we love our families, before we look back and realize what we should of or could have changed.
Don't be too hard on yourself with a strict schedule. Live everyday for what is given to you, be thankful everyday for what you have, and love as much as you can daily.
Be strong, hold your head high, and be proud of being who you are. I love reading your posts. Some days are easier than others, you're a wonderful inspiration to us all who read your blogs.
Keep smiling Mrs. White

Anonymous said...

Very inspirational! When my mom stayed home with us kids (she returned to the workforce when I was 15), she had a day of the week for certain chores: laundry, dusting, weeding the flowerbeds and gardens, etc. We also lived off the land, milking cows, raising chickens, and growing our own gardens and canning the harvest. I still remember picking blackberries down in the woods and helping mom can pints and pints of blackberries. They tasted so good in the wintertime. We worked really hard, but it was a good, wholesome life. I often wish to return to times like that.

Love to read your posts! :)

Lisa C. From the Crew at Heritage Homestead and Homeschool Academy

Anonymous said...

Amen Mrs. White!

Thank you for the reminder to do our work well, and pleasing to the Lord.

Elizabeth said...

I was glad to read this post today, as I am in need of motivation.

Friday is my husband's hardest day at work: payroll, pay bills, balance the checkbook and more customers. You probably guessed he's a small business owner. Friday when he got home, I had prepared his favorite meal, the house was spick-and-span and I was sitting on the couch reading the little ones a book. You could just see the stress melt away from him. It was such a JOY to me to know that I (we, really. The children and I) created such a haven for him.

Great post!!

Beth West said...

Great food for thought. I had a lightbulb moment several years ago where I really saw the contrast between the way my husband works 10 hours straight and I putter along throughout the day. Not a self congratulatory thought!

I think one thing that makes it challenging for me to put in a "full day's work" is knowing when the day's work is done. What exactly is a full day's work?

Your post has inspired me to contemplate that question.

Leah said...

Why be so harsh on yourself?

I am too tired to clean. - I don't have to wear myself out. Even the Creator took his day of rest. The house can wait for one day.

I am too bored to grocery shop. - I'll think of something to make it fun.

I am in too much pain to wipe up the spill. - I can ask one of my children to do it. They live in our house too, and should take on some responsibility for keeping the house clean as well.

I don't want to get out of bed. - I can sleep in and get up one hour late. I will likely feel more rested and get more done during the remainder of the day.

Anonymous said...

I have followed the Flylady system too but I didn't continue because... excuses, excuses. I pretty much do the bare minimum every day and when I've gotten stuck on the computer it's been worse. My husband helped me by coming up with a smart idea. He said wash and dry a load of laundry while i'm on and then no more. Pretty smart huh?

Shabby Soul said...

Ouch! Much food for thought for me (& very timely). Thanks so much!