A blogging friend, Adrie, and I happened to both be wondering how the other "did it all". This conversation led to this six-week series, "Get Real". Seven women from different parts of the United States with different views and beliefs, but with so much more in common, are sharing our voices each week. This week we share about keeping up with the house work.
Well, I have a hard time functioning when things get too cluttered or too dirty. So upon walking into our home at 4:00 in the afternoon and finding the house in disorder, I know that before I do anything else, I need to get the dishes done and the counters cleared and the floors swept. What at first can seem really overwhelming actually only ends up taking 20 minutes or so. If I am really short of time I will give a shout out and call everyone down for a 4:00 tidy and give each child something to do so we can get it done even faster.
(We don't have a drier - so hang our clothes on a line in the bathroom and the rest on a hanger by the woodstove and then outside in the nice weather. I fold the clothes and put piles for each child on a bureau that is in the bathroom which holds Isaac's and Abraham's clothes.)
Much of the housework does fall on my shoulders but we do have a regular weekly and daily rhythm where everyone helps.
Dishes are divided among the older children so Mike or I just have a couple of nights each week that we do them. (We don't have a dish washer.) I still do them several times during the day as they sure do pile up with 8 - 9 people living in one house and making most of our food from scratch. I try to practice gratitude, however, while washing - to be thankful for the food we had to eat. I also remember to be grateful for the convenience of the running hot water. We lived two years carrying water and heating it before each wash. To just be able to turn on the water - wow, I still think that probably the majority of the people in our world do not have that convenience.
I don't have a fancy cleaning spreadsheet - I am just not that kind of a person. The only regularity to my week is giving the bathroom a thorough cleaning on Tuesdays. Other than that, I will take note of a larger cleaning job that needs to be done and when the timing works out, tackle it, such as cleaning the top of the refrigerator. Other times, I may just wash a window or two if everyone is happily busy.
Part of my early morning routine is making my bed. So much more peaceful when done.
The children each have some regular chores that have become routine. Isaac vacuums the living room rug each day, Abby the stairs. Nolan sweeps the front porch twice per week. Sarah clears and washes the table after dinner. Three of the children are responsible each for cleaning out, vacuuming and wiping down the car each week.
Mike is really good about helping out with the laundry and the dishes or sweeping when he notices the dirt piling up.
(Our entry area by late afternoon)
I love cleaning with Emily now. Every time someone is washing the dishes she says, "dish, dish" and grabs a chair to bring it up to the sink.
When I am scrubbing the floor, I give her a sponge and spray bottle. Sometimes water can get out of hand, but it is nothing a towel can't wipe up.
We have a child size mop and dust pan. Whenever I am sweeping, Emmy is sure to get them out and "help". Sometimes it takes more time as dirt may be spilled on the way to the trash can but I think it all worth it.
So that's about it - I keep things simple by picking up here and there, doing a small cleaning project when I find a few minutes and by enlisting the help of our children and my husband.
Please visit these other inspiring women that are sharing their Get Real stories today ~