A Fresh Outlook & A New Schedule
I had my day and my week planned down to the minute. My home ran like a well oiled machine. Things would interrupt that smooth operation — an out of town trip, the early stages of garden growing when you have to be outside tending the garden constantly, a night with no sleep and a cranky child — but for the most part, it was all good. For three years I excelled at the housekeeping part of homemaking.
Then a couple of things happened.
First, I started blogging. When I started, I had absolutely no idea how much time and energy it would take. I could spend HOURS every day doing blog work, but I simply don’t have hours. I am so glad that Gregg and I consider this blog a ministry instead of a business, because if I went into it with the intent of making any money, I can’t imagine how much more time it would take from my day.
Next, at the beginning of the summer, I started volunteering at the soup kitchen two days a week. In order to make up for the 12+ hours a week at the soup kitchen, I had to scramble with the housekeeping, baking, and laundry. While everything started to suffer, I’ve done my best to maintain it all, and in the process I’m staying up too late, I’m not as patient as I normally am, and I find myself letting the chores I dislike the most (i.e. laundry) go undone.
Next, I started shopping nearly exclusively at Whole Foods. It is simply cheaper to buy organic produce there, compared to chain grocery stores. They also go out of their way to get local goods (like the milk I buy that’s non-homogenized, low-temp pasteurized from a local dairy), their meat and lunch meat are purchased from farmers who meet their standards of animal care and production, and it’s nice to have a selection of “real food” to price compare rather than one brand the grocery store might or might not offer. However, to get to Whole Foods from my little town, I have to drive to the closest city and go to the other side of it — 45 minutes of driving before I’m even pulling into the parking lot.
Finally, summer ended and homeschooling preschool loomed in front of me. How was I going to reinsert that into my schedule when I was already scrambling with everything else? My well oiled machine was squeaking and stalling out all the time. I think rust was even starting to grow in some spots.
I started trying to revamp my schedule, but the problem was, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. If I was going to maintain my home the way I wanted, with housework getting done well and one time, cooking real food, baking with fresh milled grains, homeschooling preschool, getting Kaylee to and from horsebacking riding lessons, friends’ houses, youth functions at church, teenage girl etc. stuff, all while volunteering at the soup kitchen and at BINGO, and keeping current with my Bible study and personal devotion and prayer time, devotion and prayer time as a family…something had to give. I just didn’t know what had to give. The blog? My writing? Laundry (heh)?
Gregg finally stepped in and insisted that I hire a housekeeper. At first, I felt wrong. It seemed to me that as a homemaker, I should be able to do housework at the very least. But after listening to my list of protests to the concept, Gregg then went through all of the things that I do in a typical week. Then he told me to pray about it.
The more I prayed about it, the more it occurred to me that there’s nothing wrong with hiring a housekeeper. Even the Proverbs 31 woman, the woman touted by Christian Homemaking Bloggy moms internet-wide had maidservants. I had to get over my own unbending desire to be able to do it all.by.myself and accept the fact that I have limits. Yes, even I have limits (ha!). And I had to realize that all of homemaking is not housework.
Starting Monday, a housekeeper will come and do the deep cleaning for my house in all rooms but the kitchen. While she’s here working, and before and after Monday’s homeschool lesson, I will be doing the baking for the entire week. By the end of the day every Monday, the whole house will be cleaned and all of the baking for the week accomplished. The daily chores will simply be sweeping the main rooms (we have hardwood floors, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 3 kids — sweeping must happen daily), making the beds, straightening the bathrooms, doing the dishes, and the daily laundry. Wednesday will be my day to deep clean the kitchen, and Friday will still be spent working outside. Saturdays are still a free day, with a trip to the grocery store added in (and much to Kaylee’s dismay, our Whole Foods is next door to the mall – heh), and Sundays are still a day of rest.
I feel so relieved. I cannot tell you. Just knowing that she starts Monday, that my schedule has been revamped, that I can start next week following the new schedule as strictly as I followed my old one and knowing that my household will be back in order has really lightened my load already. I’ve already cornered Kaylee and told her Saturday will be spent catching up on laundry so that we can start the week on top of everything.
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