The Way  to Managing Your Time at Home

kitchen timerFinding time for all the house chores when you’re a working woman can be a heck of a job. There may come a moment when you start feeling you just can’t cope with everything and let yourself go with the flow, gnawed by frustration that you’re not good enough to combine a career with good housekeeping. That’s only normal and comes from the traditional stereotype of women as housekeepers, which seems to be a tough one to shake off. Tough, but not impossible.

You can start by accepting that you simply can’t do everything, at least not without some help from the other members of the family. Maybe you’ve already delegated some housework to your partner and kids, but if you still feel like you’re doing too much, delegate some more or rearrange your schedule. Yes, you need a schedule for things to do around the house to make your life easier. Set certain days, say Saturday, for big things like cleaning the bathrooms and changing the sheets and don’t touch them before that day. As for smaller stuff like washing the dishes or taking out the garbage that needs doing daily, pass it on to others or make a rota, if the whole family would be more comfortable with such an arrangement. It brings variety, after all.

While we’re on the subject of washing and cleaning, you’d be wise to get the idea that the house has to be spotless at all times out of your head. There’s too much detergent advertising everywhere and it makes your brain melt, causing you to believe that leaving a single bacteria on the kitchen table would result in the death of your nearest and dearest. In a word, that’s not true. There’s a healthy multitude of potentially harmful bacteria living on our skin and doing us no harm, and that’s because we have something called an immune system. There’s literally no point in spending hours scrubbing every flat surface in the house to make sure no microorganisms survive. First, they’ll be back, and second, unless someone in the family has a compromised immune system, they won’t hurt you, babies included. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should leave the dust to build over months and months, but there’s no need to overdo it, freaking out that some germ may have survived your attack.

Having settled that, let’s stay in the kitchen some more. Racking your brains about what to cook tonight can be exhausting, so why not try to make a weekly menu every Sunday or any day that you have the time? Granted, that’ll take some thinking, too, but it will save you the effort of doing it every single day. You surely know what the preferences of your family are and can organize the menu around them. It could be a bit challenging if those preferences clash, but you’re creative, you could think of something to make everyone happy, although maybe not at the same time. If one of your kids, say, loves fish, and the other hates it, have fish planned for Monday evening, leaving the fish-hater to cater for himself (or make him sandwiches), and make his favorite the next day.

All in all, successful housekeeping rests on realizing that you’re not Monica Gellar and you’re not Peggy Bundy. Aiming for a healthy middle is the wisest way. Don’t overdo it and don’t let the dirt accumulate, because this will mean you’ll have more to do when you get around to cleaning it. If you really hate doing some chore, pass it on to someone else who might hate it less, or, alternatively, take turns doing the things you all hate. Spreading this sort of unpleasantness around reduces its amount and makes all of you a little bit happier.