Saturday, May 4, 2019

Neglecting the Housework

Library of Congress:  These sweet children are helping with the housework. New York, 1943

I was so tired the other day that I spent most of the time resting.  While it is essential to rest, it is not okay for me to be a slacker.  I enjoyed several hours of reading, watching old black-and-white television programs, and puttering through a few minor homemaking tasks.  This was a much needed day of rest for me.  But sometimes I take resting too far.  If I lounge too much, I forget to do the daily housework.  I suddenly realized that no one was going to make dinner for me. If I wanted some brownies, I had to bake them myself.

 I had to get up the courage to do the work. We all get tired. We all suffer from aches and pains. It is important to rest and take breaks, but we also have to take the time to keep house.   I told myself something I often say when I am giving-in to being tired, "toughen up!"  I already had sufficiently rested.  I needed to do the little tasks of home keeping.

Brownies and dinner do not just appear, someone has to make them.   By late afternoon, I was able to get into my kitchen and do some real work. I baked and then did some cleaning. I also made dinner.  This gave me the strength and energy to get back to normal.  I had rested enough and was so happy to have done some work.

This reminded me of how easy it would be to reduce my standards of a tidy and sanitary home. I could easily neglect washing floors, vacuuming, sweeping, and putting away the laundry. Over time, this would cause me to have a neglected and unhappy home. 

An unkempt home may cause sickness and disease throughout the family. This can spread to those in the community.  I have read that many diseases, or illnesses, from the past have been greatly reduced in frequency - some have just about disappeared (such as scarlet fever).  The reason given is that improved living conditions - in the form of clean homes and good nutrition - has helped prevent these types of sicknesses.
This reminds me how essential it is to have an education in home economics.  We should know how to clean and make healthy food.  We should know how to manage a home.  But this takes time to learn. We should be constantly practicing these skills and continuing to learn so our families will have a safe and healthy home.

I used to read cleaning books by Don Aslett. I loved his approach to cleaning. Some of his books had cartoon illustrations that were so amusing.   He even wrote books about getting rid of clutter.  But the sweetest lessons on organizing will always be found in the old books by Emilie Barnes. Her gentleness and faith in the Lord shined through her words and made her readers want a lovely, peaceful home.

I love to see the whole family helping to clean and cook. It is wonderful for them to be involved in all aspects of homemaking.  It is important to involve the children in this.  Some of my grandbabies think cleaning and baking is part of the fun of their visits to our Estate.  I delight in the work and they catch on to this love and want to be involved. 

I appreciate having a routine schedule to follow for days of the week.  This way, the plan is already in place. I don't have to think about what I should be doing each day.   It would be easy to procrastinate, and avoid work, if we did not have a plan or goals for housekeeping.   To stay on track, some keep lists on their refrigerator. Others may use 3 x 5 index cards to stay organized.  Many use a homemaking binder where a careful plan of managing one's home is all written out and easy to follow.

The greatest way I have learned to avoid neglecting housework, is to take many breaks throughout the day. There should be tea times (or coffee breaks) and little walks.  There should be time for reading storybooks to little ones.  A serving of cookies or a fruit plate while reading a pleasant book are wonderful times of rest.

 In the middle of all this time of recreation, we stop and do a chore. We may do the dishes for 10 minutes before we read.  Or perhaps we wash the kitchen floor and then go outside to pick flowers.  Housework is easier to manage when there is much time of peaceful rest.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Is This True?  - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.

Are You Ready For This? - Beware of Random Kitchen Inspections.

The Precious Joy of Grandchildren - I Hear Angels Crying.

Find Essays and Remembrances of Family and Home,
 in Mrs.White's book -Mother's Book of Home Economics
 Paperback, 312 pages.

- To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -


Kay said...

ello Mrs. White,
I was so pleased to find a new blog and more encouragement from you, dear Sister. I also have to pace myself...heart problems and other issues keep me tired at times. Little breaks do help so much and the schedule is so important. I can't seem to function if I don't plan out what I'm going to do(of course, it usually gets changed and/or interrupted most days). smiles... I hope you enjoy your day and that good health and energy will be given by our dear Father.
Take care and I will look forward to another post soon and the new you tube videos(can't wait!!!)
In Christ,
Kay W.

Amelia said...

It's so, so true. I have found myself to whisper, keep going, push through, keep going...

I try to get supper made in the morning hours, so at least that is done. Mondays seem to be the biggest load, so I wake up knowing that this will be a work day and I schedule it like a junior high day, different 'periods' for different things including walks outside, gardening and sewing. (My fun time) : ) And usually the tough yucky stuff in the morning, cleaning showers etc. But I also take a nap, and after that? It's half my brain tied behind my back! lol I always tell my family if they ask me something..."Oh I don't know, it's after 2pm." : D

Your time of reading and gently snacking on cookies or fruit sounds delightful, in fact I'm going to try to do better on that this week. Nothing like a good ol' fashioned hard copy book on the screened porch! : )

Have a sweet Sunday, Amelia

Mama Said No said...

"Brownies and dinner do not make themselves." I am going to make a sign for my kitchen--it is such a truth of life! lol. I also loved reading Don Aslet, his books are so good. Have you ever seen his video, Is There Life After Housework? It is funny. Keep up your strength dear lady.

Deanna said...

Hello from Kansas! Blessings to you. May you be feeling more rested and energetic soon. After a very physical week, I wore down. Just awful to be so weak. I learned about the Sultan of Shine, Don Juan of the John, and the Dean of Clean by reading your blog. I was not familiar with Don Aslett so I had to look him up. He has a Museum Of Clean in Idaho that I think would be fun to visit. Love Emilee Barnes. Enjoyed you post and as always, I enjoy visiting your place in blogland.
God bless,

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

I, too, have some physical challenges after my breast cancer treatment.
I would love it if you'd share your current housekeeping routine.
I'm soon moving to a home of our own, and I'd like to start good habits.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Christine said...

I find that the breaks help me, also. If I had an outside the house job, it would be required to take breaks.
When I do take my break, I first admire the work that is done and mentally prepare what I will do next, then I relax.
Breaks are good!