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I Love Housework

February 16, 2011

When I find myself complaining silently about housework – all of the laundry, dishes, toilet scrubbing, floor mopping, etc., I remind myself that there are people who would give anything to be in my position.

My body can do what I need it to (for the most part) and that is a great gift.  I think about those in nursing homes who would most likely love to be running their own home again.

I have a home to clean, dishes and clothes to wash, and indoor plumbing.  Those are great blessings I would hate to do without.

I have a family to serve in this way.  No, it’s not glamorous, but the house will never clean itself.  We’re all a lot happier when we’re able to find what we need and aren’t tripping over objects.  Of course it doesn’t all fall on me, but with my oldest kids in school all day with homework to do later and a husband who works long hours, I have the greatest responsibility for the condition of our home. I want it to be a refuge.

I’m grateful for a husband who comes home and doesn’t verbalize in front of our children how tedious his job is.  He is positive about it (even though he has some rough days) and I think that will help our children develop a strong work ethic.  He works so hard for us.  When I feel like complaining, I tell myself what he is doing right now is not his favorite either.

When I find myself thinking that maybe we should just make a lot of money so I can pay someone else to do it, I feel slightly jerky.  Yes, there are people looking for the work, but do they seriously love it?  Probably not.  Am I better than them, being too special to do the work myself?  No.  And I am not entitled to do something entertaining or exciting every minute of the day. 

Just so there’s no misunderstanding, I do have a husband who does dishes, takes out the garbage, and does laundry when he’s home.  At times when I do the dishes, he will try to push me out of the way and ask me why I’m doing his job.  Other times he will try to trick me into walking away.  Hahaha!  I also expect my kids to clean up their own messes.  I am not a doormat.  If you pee on the bathroom floor, I’m not cleaning it up.  You are.  You put your own dirty laundry in the baskets.  You put your own clothes away, put away your own dishes, clean up that sugar you just spilled, and that pizza sauce on the carpet because you were goofing off and it landed face down.

My 2-year-old daughter has been quite an inspiration lately.  She loves to help and put everything in its place.  While doing laundry, she moved the stool to the washer because she wanted to get the clothes out.  She couldn’t quite reach them and she asked, “Will you help me reach the laundries?”  Doing these things is a joy for her and I’m sure I was the same once.  At what point did I stop loving it and why?

I want to develop a better attitude about the upkeep of our home so I can be a good example to our kids.  I can’t expect them to be positive about it if my body language says, “I hate this and I have to do it again tomorrow!”  I would love to enjoy cleaning as much as I do cooking.  When my kids walk through the door and exclaim, “It smells so good in here!  What are you cooking?” it makes me happy to know that they are enjoying the same comfort I knew as a little girl.  It was always the greatest feeling knowing that Mom was making something delicious for us just because.  She made chocolate chip cookies, homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, and more.  My kids might come home to the Heavenly smell of hot chocolate made from scratch, garlic herb focaccia bread, and sometimes ribs slow cooking in the oven.  I love to see their excitement after their first breath they take walking through the door.

Today I’m catching up on a lot after being sick or taking care of sick people for over a month.  I just needed to take this time to tell myself, “Stop whining and be grateful!”  I’m going to declutter, take out the garbage, sweep, scrub, and sanitize now.  I will love it!  Because it will make my family feel good.  It will make me feel good too.  I swear if I keep telling myself I love it, I will for real.  Eventually.

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