If you work, it can be incredibly difficult to manage a job and a home!
Reader question: I am a full-time teacher and a young wife. My husband and I don’t have children yet but we are hoping to someday, Lord willing. Before you had children, did you work full time? If so, how did you prioritize what needed to be done each day? Most of the time I can follow my to do list. I was sick for five days last week and now I am so far behind, I almost don’t know where to start. I have been trying to be Proverbs 31 wife, but some days I feel like an absolute failure … and I don’t have kids yet! I can’t get behind in grading papers or lesson plans because it is part of my job. If you have any helpful hints or advice on how to manage a job and a home, I would greatly appreciate it!
Before I became a stay-at-home mom eight years ago, I spent ten years working a full-time job, 50 weeks a year.
Commuting to work and then sitting at a desk for my editor’s job took 10 hours out of every weekday. When I finally got home, I was tired, hungry, and needed to make dinner.
After dinner, I needed to clean up my dishes, but then I had the rest of the night to do as I pleased. This typically meant I could commit to a Bible study, get together with friends, start watching a favorite TV show, read a magazine, surf the (dial-up) Internet, journal, or work on a craft.
On weekends when I didn’t have plans, I tried to clean as much as I could.
Once I got married, I also juggled my free time with my husband’s sporadic restaurant schedule; when he was home I wanted to spend my time with him.
I quickly found that I didn’t want to devote my Saturday mornings to cleaning my home, so I needed to break my housework up throughout the week.
Around that same time, I found Flylady. I loved her cleaning routines and quickly started cleaning six days a week in little chunks of time.
Even though I was tired after a day of work, I still had enough time and energy to wipe down the trim in my bedroom. Or clean out my medicine cabinet. Flylady’s suggestions were tiny, very do-able cleaning jobs that left my house extremely clean.
Life with work, home … and kids
Then I had kids. And I just didn’t have time to devote to Flylady’s daily cleaning tasks – even if they only took 15 minutes.
Important note: I have never been a full-time working mom. I have no idea how to juggle or balance family, home, work, and life. I admire women who do. But I have been a part-time work-from-home mom, ever since my firstborn was eight weeks old.
I know that with the demands of a job and a family, taking care of your home is the first thing to slide – as it rightfully should be.
People should always take precedence. And working hard is good, especially if it helps your family pay the bills.
But what can you do? How can you tend to your home and family when you’re busy with work?
With young children, I brought them along with me as I cleaned each room. I had already made the switch to safe cleaning products, so I welcomed their help as I scrubbed with castile soap or Norwexed everything.
Now that my children are older and life seems to be moving busier and faster than ever, I try to always, always do three vital areas of homemaking a day, and then I try to fit another 10 minutes in of cleaning – whether it’s decluttering an especially messy place, or deep cleaning one area of a room.
I still wish my house was absolutely spotless every day – but I know it doesn’t happen. I’m learning to be OK with that.
While I may still feel a bit of a burden when I see piles of stuff and know I just don’t have enough hours in the day, I walk away and look for bigger chunks of time that I can devote to bigger cleaning projects. Those projects may stay on my to-do list for a while – a long while – but I manage what I can manage and try to go with the flow.
Just like the juggling act of work-from-home women, women who work away from the home need to learn to let go of perfect, fit in housework in manageable chunks of time, and keep important priorities in place.
In your experience, what tips do you have when it comes to managing a job and a home?
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All images courtesy of Pixabay.