Thursday, March 22, 2012

No One Respects Homemaking Anymore

Mother and Daughter with Vacuum, Retro

The telephone rang. . . I spent 10 minutes in idle conversation.   Finally, I  politely interrupted to say, "I have to leave on an errand in about 10 minutes, but have to finish up my housework first. I'll have to call you back later." But my phone guest wouldn't let me off the phone. (smiles) Has that ever happened to you?

I had spent the morning dusting, polishing, vacuuming, doing dishes, taking care of the laundry, and fixing meals. The rooms were almost sparkling. I had just one more section to vacuum and a couple more dishes to do, and I would have been finished. I would have been able to go out on the errand and enjoy an afternoon of rest when I got home. Through all my work, I had chatted with my husband and children, helped them with their needs, set up the schoolwork for my youngest student, and had some helpers working with me.

When phone guests take up more than a few minutes, it can derail our efforts in housekeeping. I asked my guest, "If you were at your job when I called, and you had to get back to work, would you let me keep you on the phone? Or would you tell me you HAD to go." The guest and I laughed. I then said, "No one takes homemaking seriously."

The fact is, if you are a housewife, you are in charge of the care and keeping of the home. It is your responsibility to make sure the rooms are not dirty and that they are periodically cleaned throughout the day.   Just as employees at a company must do their assigned jobs.  This is serious business.

I have heard the joke about stay-at-home moms. It goes something like this....

A career mom stops by to visit. She notices the house is in shambles, and everything is chaotic. Her snarky comment is, "Oh. . . I thought that since you were home all day, your house would be clean."

Have you heard that one?   How often is it true?

People must understand that we often spend  a few hours each day cleaning the house.   We can't allow general (non-emergency) interruptions to distract us so much that we become procrastinators. We have to politely limit our activities enough so we can get our jobs accomplished each day - Just like a professional.

  It is also important to rest, but we must be diligent in our work.  My children are amused when I tell them I am on a break from my housekeeping

Our breaks are like sitting on the front porch with a little lemonade, enjoying the afternoon sun. We are ready for visitors, or idle conversation as a form of refreshment and fellowship. But this is after our work is finished, or during our rest periods.

We, of course, are always available in an emergency and will drop whatever we are doing when needed. But in our normal daily life, we need to be about the business of housework.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Let this not be you  - Only  Rich People Have Clean Houses.

Ideas for the overwhelmed Mother of Many - 10 Children and Housekeeping.

A Behind - the - Scenes Look at what I do to create a recipe for Erin at $5 dinners - A Very Special  Dinner.


Angie said...

I want to say AMEN! Many folks don't understand why I won't do much away from home, like join ladies groups or mommy groups or other activities that take me away. My place is here. My house isn't sparkling, but if I don't stay at it, it wont' get clean either. I don't feel right away from home, away from my duties. I don't even like phone calls interrupting...I have work to do!

Unknown said...

Good for you for stading up for your job! Duty called! :)

I am a new reader and have been spending the past several days going through your older posts. I am getting so much encouragement from you. You have the right mindset about housework and its purpose. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

When I take my job seriously, it's amazing what can be accomplished during the day. Especially when I use my iPad to listen to sermons. I like Dr. Stanley, like you, and also Dr. David Jeremiah. They have apps through their ministries which make listening to sermons simple. Pandora is also great for worship music.

Have a blessed day tending to your home!

Rebecca said...

I just found your blog as well and have enjoyed going through past posts. I agree so much with today's post! This is one reason I let my machine answer my calls and I call the person back when it is convenient for me. :-)

Far Above Rubies said...

Amen, Sharon. I agree. Thank you for the reminder.

Unknown said...

Good Evening Mrs. White!

I love that you took a moment to write about this. Multiple family members (who are not great housekeepers) get upset that I don't choose to bring the kids over and "hang out" at their house while my husband's at work, and roll their eyes when I tell them I'm too busy working!

With the three little ones, and the oldest just having turned 3, it's a full time job just cooking and doing the laundry. If I went out all day without a purpose, it would take me a week to catch up!

Anonymous said...

I've had this problem on occasion, and when I have politely told the person I need to get back to work, their reply is something like, "Oh, it's just housework. You can do that any time, so just a few minutes talking to me won't matter much." Unfortunately, it does, for as you stated, interruptions that occur during your home keeping really are distracting and can get you off course.

This is why now I don't even answer my phone until I have completed certain chores during the day. Otherwise, I just get too distracted.

Unknown said...

Ahh...conviction! :) Thanks so much for this post. You're right and I am finding myself becoming way too distracted! Time to get on the right course.

Have a lovely day!
Mrs. Sarah Coller

Sally@threeblondeboyz said...

Your post is so refreshing. i was beginning to think I was the only one who felt like this. I made some new friends when I moved here, one in particular took to visiting me every Friday on her day off. She would just land on my doorstep and I would always be ironing as Friday is my day for stripping the beds and ironing. She remarked that I was always ironing, but it didn't occur to her that this was my job. I hadn't known her long enough to be firm but instead I got myself really stressed, worrying about her visits before they even happened. She was very negative about life too which always left me feeling drained. I was lucky because she was leaving the Country so I just handled it as best as I could until she moved. she was a nice lady but didn't think that housework was a job. i totally agree with you. thanks for making me feel batter =) Sally xx

Cathy said...

Thank you. Making a happy, clean, and uplifting home takes time, dedication, effort to learn, and some hard work, but has great rewards. Like being appreciated and cherished by a loving and grateful husband and children, which reminds me of the post you wrote about the woman of the house being cherished. As we gain experience, we learn to manage our time, and value it. We learn we can't afford to waste time in idle gossip, or too much running around. Of course that doen't mean we don't take time for friends, etc. But it helps if you have some like-minded friends who also value their time and are learning to be diligent homemakers. In that kind of relationship, you encourage each other in your homemaking.

Linda said...

Mrs.White, Thank-you for the encouraging post. I am so tired of others(joking,of course) saying since you don't work could you....?
I have plenty to do and my house is not spotless either.

Beth said...

I had this same problem in the past especially when I began homeschooling. After being burnt out on activities (for homeschool and church), I finally had to say no more!

People seemed to think that because I had only 1 child at the time and was "home all day" that I could do things for them that they didn't have time or want to do themselves.

Now that I have four children (18, 4, 2, and 6mo) I know where my priority lies and it's with my own family.

It is hard sometimes to get others to see that I am not mean or whatever, I just need to be home doing what is best and right for my family.

Brittany said...

AMEN! I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post!! I used to have a hard time with this years ago! I had my own mind set about homemaking which was less than complimentary at the time (your posts Mrs. White have begun to really help me with this) Someone would call and say "are you busy?" and I'd automatically reply "no I'm not" then like so many I'd never get back to my chores for days! The only one who calls me nowadays is my older daughter! I plan my day around that time so I can be available for her! She's just started home schooling her 4 YO and it's a true gift from God for me to be able to encourage her in this was! Otherwise my days go on uninterrupted! Thank you for your posts of regular reminders!