Will your gravestone say…
Beloved Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Friend. She Died Doing Everything Herself.
Think you should do everything? Your taxes? The plumbing? Fix your computer? The roof of your house?
What about cleaning? Laundry? The lawns? All the errands that come with a busy family?
If you’re saying yes, feel zero stress about it all and you’re actually pretty darn pleased with your busy life… Good on you!
If however, you’re knocking back your 4th coffee just so you can manage the rest of your day or night… And you feel horrendously lazy and indulgent at the thought of paying someone to do something you’ve always thought you should do yourself… Read on.
Time & Work.
One of the issues lots of my clients struggle with is Time. It’s a hungry monster that sucks the enjoyment of life right out of your day. It makes you scream at your slow and belligerent teenagers. It makes you rush from fun event to fun event instead of enjoying them. It seems to leave mountains of work in its wake.
So let’s have a look at your time.
You have a lot to do right? You work (or care for little people) many hours every day, and may have to travel to and from work too. You have to get your kids ready for their day and get them out of the house. You have to pick up your kids, drop them off at after-school things. Pack their things and deliver them to their dad. Talk to your kids and actually play with them too!
Then you have the house. Cleaning floors, bathroom, kitchen, doing the dishes, getting the laundry sorted, clean, dry and put away. The occasional deep clean when you discover mould around the windows or melted cheese ground into the carpet… This all takes time and huge amounts of energy.
Oh, and somewhere in there you’re supposed to get exercise and meditate and walk out the door looking perfect.
Plus you need to keep everything in your house organised so everyone who lives there can find the things they need. Because otherwise, all you’re going to hear is “Muuuummmmmm!!! Where’s my swimming bag, soccer kit, mouth guard, dance shoes?!”. There might be battles over eating if you can’t find their favourite bowl. Time and energy.
Then there’s feeding everyone. Three times a day. Every. Single. Day. Possibly for the rest of your life. And cleaning up afterwards. More time and energy.
Lazy?!? Yeah, no….
I know, you’re thinking “Liz, I don’t have the money to pay ANYONE.” And that might be absolutely true. But it might also be true that the money you’re spending on cute stuff for your kids, could be saved up and spent on a cleaner once a fortnight. Just to do the hard stuff, so you get a break for once. Shocked?
Yes, I’m saying prioritise your money, you and your time over WAY too many toys for your kids. They’d rather you played with them anyway. Your mum wants to buy you a present? Get her to pay for a spring clean crew to come to your house. Wedding presents? Ask for (or give) a gift certificate from any service that will make your life easier.
Don’t buy that adorable dress. (I know! How mean am I!) It makes you happy to buy that dress right? But what if instead you spent that money on a local teen to come around after school and help you wrangle the kids while you get dinner ready and have a glass of wine? Once a week, once a fortnight even!
Or work out your budget and always put some money aside to pay for a dry-clean pick-up and drop-off service. Unless, of course you like adding yet another thing to your schedule.
Prioritise your money to give you back your time and energy. Stop using it to buy more things.
You should expect support from the people who share your house. I’m talking about your partner, your kids, any family member who is creating mess, dirt, dishes and laundry. They’re not “helping” they are part of the family team.
You’re already the family social secretary, chauffeur, book keeper, project manager, nurse, health and nutrition consultant, tutor, life coach, negotiator, lifestyle facilitator, personal assistant, guardian, teacher, mentor, friend… and the rest.
You are only one person. With 24 hours in your day, just like the rest of humanity. Just because you are a female human, does not make you solely responsible for all housework, unless you choose to. Just because you are a stay at home dad, does not mean that you are solely responsible for every single domestic detail, unless you choose to.
Negotiating that support with the adults and teens in your family, is an art. Training your kids is a science AND an art. There is always a way to get them to pitch-in, or simply do what they should as part of your family team.
You know all about delegating right? Now’s good. Start delegating some appropriate tasks to your kids. Negotiate with your partner for them to take over some chores. Be clear about expectations on both sides.
Even if this works and your support increases, you STILL deserve to be able to pay someone to get any job done. Any job.
It’s time to change your mindset. You deserve a bit of help. Especially if you’re not getting it from the people who make mess and dirt in your home.
Imagine you are the CEO of your own business. A smart and busy CEO knows to hire the right people to do the things they can’t do or don’t want to do. Accountants, PA’s, People Managers, Housekeepers… Totally normal sounding right? Now let’s rewrite that sentence.
Recognise that you are the boss of your own life. A smart and busy adult knows to hire the right people to do the things they can’t do or don’t want to do. Cleaners, Lawn & Garden guys, Housekeepers, Baby Sitters…
Find one thing that you need help with. That you hate doing. That wipes you out when you do it, or you never seem to find the time to do, or takes you away from the things you really want to do. Find the money to have that thing done for you, by someone else.
Here are some more ideas to get you started and make your life instantly better:
Stuff: Reduce it, seriously. The less stuff you have to manage, the more time you have. The less stuff you have around you, the more you can breathe.
House: Get it organised so it works for you. When your house is easy to live in, it’s one less stress dragging you down.
Baby sitter: (or au-pair or nanny) They don’t have to live-in, can be part-time and can be any age, male or female. You can have a nanny just for the afternoon, or just for school holidays. Make enquiries!
Laundry: Look for a pick-up/drop-off, wash, iron and fold service in your city.
Even if it’s only for the big stuff.
Cleaner: Already have one? Extend their hours. Ask if they can do other things. If they can’t maybe look at a different service.
If you can’t find the service you need in your area, email me. I’ll find it for you or give you some ideas of where to look. Don’t give up!
If you still think hiring someone to help you with work around the home is lazy, call me. Email me. We need to talk. Think about how you could use the time to do stuff with your kids, do the things you long to do but can’t, because you’re too busy.
Start treating yourself like a Boss would treat themselves.
Imagine what you could do with that time!
The Tidy Lady
Declutter & Life Coach. Tidyness Expert