Hallee the Working Homemaker
I had someone recently suggest that I could no longer have a blog titled “Hallee the Homemaker” now that I work full time.
Since my blog is not titled “Hallee the Housewife” nor “Hallee the [heaven-forbid] Stay At Home Mom” nor “Hallee the Non-Working Mom” I honestly don’t know how working excludes me from being a homemaker.
Making a home is still my priority. Providing my family a God-centered, clean home with good nutritious food and loving parenting is what I do. Working 50+ hours a week doesn’t change that.
When my children are at school during the day (between the hours of 8 and 3), I work. I write books, I handle correspondence, I market books, I deal with two blogs…I work. On Saturdays, I am often out of town, either at a writing conference, book signing, author faire, speaking at different groups and gatherings, etc (this past Saturday was the first time I had a weekend off in about 5 weeks). As I said on my author blog last week in The Down Side to Working from Home, I don’t typically handle household matters during the day. Because I purposefully focus on work only during those hours, it’s made me have to shift the way I manage my home.
Here are some changes that come immediately to mind:
- Meals have become simpler. While I LOVE homemade pasta as much as the next person, it’s now a treat. Meals are a simple meat or veggie dish with simple sides. I still make all of my bread, I still only cook with whole foods, but I just don’t create complex meals as a standard anymore. Because I’ve been so lax in meal planning (which is something I am rectifying now) I’ve even been known to throw a frozen chicken into the crockpot, crank it up to high, and have a roasted bird 6 hours later. (I DO NOT recommend doing that if the giblet bag in the carcass is plastic).
- I no longer do my laundry on a schedule. I learned while on vacation this summer that if I do one dark load and one light load every-other-day, and a load of towels or sheets every-other day, that I can stay on top of the laundry in the house. When I let it go (as I have this week – yikes!) it piles up and gets overwhelming. I’m going to have to spend an entire day doing laundry just to catch back up.
- I’ve hired a housekeeper. Once a week, a woman comes in and deep cleans every room in my house. I have her come on Mondays, because that’s the day after Sunday- a day when there is typically nothing scheduled other than church and our family can straighten rooms, put away things, and rid clutter in preparation for her arrival Monday morning. Because I can’t write fiction while being interrupted, I typically work on correspondence and blogging on Mondays.
- I’ve hired a lawn guy. Between Kaylee’s volleyball schedule, Gregg’s work/National Guard schedule, and my work schedule, none of us had time for regular yard maintenance.
I published my first book 18 months ago and since then have published a total of 5 fiction books and 2 cookbooks. That’s A LOT of focused and devoted hours of work in the last 18 months. I’ve had a yard guy and a house keeper for a little over 2 months now. I honestly don’t know why I went so long before hiring them. The removal of the stress of NOT getting my yard mowed or weed-eated, and the stress of NOT cleaning to my personal standards was weighing me down heavily. Now, I manage the work they do, but am able to focus on other things while they work. It’s wonderful.
I’m still making my home. I still do my 3 Chores You Should Do Every Morning. I still have regular date nights with my husband. I still drive to get raw milk every week and I still drive 45-minutes one way to get to our co-op, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. When my kids get home from school, my computer is turned off and I focus on homework, recreation, dinner preparation.
All that said, I am going to keep My Schedule up as a page on Hallee the Homemaker. It is has been hit several thousand times, and is linked all over the internet. It worked for me beautifully when I did not work.
So, for all of you homemakers out there – either those with outside jobs or not – how do you schedule your household chores?
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