Homemaking When You’re in Survival Mode
Whether it’s a life change such as moving or a new baby, illness, or a busy season with a job, there are times when all you can do is just survive. Forget serving balanced meals; you’re happy that you even remembered to call the pizza delivery man.
How do you keep your home straight when you can’t even seem to find time to keep your head on straight?
These are some of the things I’ve learned about homemaking when I have to face those seasons in my own life:
1. Be willing to accept help.
This is hard for me, and I’m sure it’s hard for most people. It’s embarrassing to let someone see your messy house, let alone allow them to clean it for you. You feel badly letting someone else trouble themselves to cook your supper or watch your kids for you. But if people want to help – let them! They want to be a blessing, and you’ll be glad when you allow them that opportunity.
2. Lower your expectations.
Don’t get upset if you’re not serving your usual home cooked meals for supper. Let everyone eat sandwiches, be happy they have something in their belly, and leave it at that. You may be running clothes through the washer and dryer and never getting them folded. If you have to live out of the laundry basket for a while, don’t sweat it. Just be glad everyone has something to wear.
Your house will not be spotless. Accept that fact, do what you can, and don’t worry about the rest.
Make everything as easy as possible for yourself. Remove everything from your schedule that is not absolutely essential. Use paper plates at meals. If you’re in the bed and you have small children, try to keep everyone confined to the same room. This will save the house from getting torn apart by curious little hands. Occupy the kids with videos or activities they can do themselves (coloring books, puzzles, etc.)
4. Use the timer.
Whether you’re suffering from illness or are just extremely busy, most people can still carve out one 15 minute cleaning session each day. Set the timer for 15 minutes and straighten the house as quickly as you can, starting with whatever area is bothering you the most. If you absolutely can’t do 15 minutes, try to do just 5. You’ll still be surprised how much can get done!
5. Brighten your mood.
When you’re not feeling well, the house is falling apart, and you feel like a lousy wife and mother because you can’t keep up with everything, it is easy to start feeling depressed. Make it a priority to spend time with the Lord each day because the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Here are some ways you can find time for God when you can hardly find time to breathe.)
Find other ways to cheer up the atmosphere of your home. Raise the window shades and let in some sunlight. Clean one room thoroughly, shut yourself in away from the rest of the mess, and enjoy the view! Turn on some uplifting music. Count your blessings and focus on the positive.
~ MaryEllen Bream, ImperfectHomemaker
*Are you in a season of surviving? What can you do to make things as peaceful as possible in spite of your difficult circumstances?
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