Homemaking during difficult or stressful times is tough. Keeping a home running smoothly involves prioritizing, slowing down, asking for help, and a whole lot of grace.
Prioritize Homemaking Tasks
Prioritize your time and energy. First of all, take care of yourself. Take the time to shower, get dressed, and put yourself together. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but for productivity, getting dressed is a hundred times better than being in your pajamas.
Next, think about food. As a homemaker, feeding your family is one of your most important tasks. Pick simple recipes that don’t take long to prepare. Try to double the dinners you make and put half in the freezer. Don’t worry about repeating meals. Any food is better than no food.
For cleaning, focus on the kitchen and the bathrooms. These are the places that are the most important to keep clean.
Clean the kitchen daily, staying on top of dishes, keeping the counters clean, and sweeping the floors. Clean the bathrooms weekly, put on a timer for 10-minutes and do as much as you can in that time.
For the rest of the house, just tidy once or twice a day, picking up toys and clutter. Let yourself off the hook for any deeper cleaning in those areas during your stressful season.
When you are stressed, you are going to be inclined to move faster, push against this inclination and slow yourself down.
For example, if you’re running late, speeding could get you there faster, but it could also get you into an accident that prevents you from arriving at your destination at all. It’s not a risk worth taking.
When we are in the throes of a stressful or anxiety-prone event, we can experience tunnel vision and miss vital information. Slow down to fully assess what is happening, or better yet take a break. Go for a walk and clear your head before coming back to the stressor.
Ask For Help
You don’t have to do all the homemaking tasks alone, ask for help.
First of all, turn to your husband. Tell him what you want, and he will rise to the occasion. You and your husband may have a standard cleaning routine of who does what, but during a stressful season, it’s time to renegotiate these routines.
Next, accept help from friends and family. How many times has someone offered help and you turned them down. You probably turned them down without even thinking about it. In these moments, slow down, take a deep breath, and say yes. Say yes to help. You may be shocked at how much help is around you if you actually said yes.
And your friends and family want to help you. Our society today is so self-sufficient. We rarely turn to each other for anything, but part of being human is the desire for community and to help the ones you care about. In fact, it’s an honor to be able to assist a friend in need. Let them help you.
Lastly, consider reaching out to your community. Contact a community leader and let them know what you are struggling with. You may be surprised by the care you receive in return. Your community can host a meal train for you, or give you an emergency ride, or offer to babysit. Accept these generous gifts.
Give Yourself Grace
After all of this, give yourself grace. You will not be in this stressful season forever. Homemaking will get easier again. Trust that it will pass. In the moment, stress feels like your entire life, but it isn’t. It’s a season.
Accept where you are now and know that you can’t do it all alone. You are only human.
Know that you are not alone in this. You have all of humanity to commiserate with because everyone feels stress at one time or another. Negative bias will have you believe that you’re the only one who knows what you feel or what you are dealing with, but you’re not.
It’s ok for your house to be messy right now. It’s ok to have frozen pizza tonight. It’s ok to not be perfect. It’s ok.
Take things one step at a time, and give yourself so much grace.