Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Lick and a Promise (part 2)

So, yesterday's post was totally not what I was expecting. If you haven't read it, you can (here).

God sometimes speaks to my heart even while I am typing. Today's post is going to be a bit more practical, a little less heart.
a modern miracle-Meres isn't screeching at Freckles for touching her hair.

In the arena of life-when is good, good enough?

We, as women, are balancing many, many different spheres. Home, work, education, ministry, blogging, friends, wives, mothering. There are truly never enough hours in a day to do everything the way we'd like.

We can overlap different activities. We can cook dinner in the crockpot, while letting bread rise, while over seeing school, while tweeting away or catching up on reading blogs or other material. This is good time management.

I love blogging. And I have found that it takes a good chunk of time. I usually use our quiet time-from 1-3 every afternoon-writing, watermarking and placing photos, answering comments, and scheduling tweets. It is not an activity that takes up my spare time. I mean, who has spare time? No, it is a very deliberate use of my time.

I try to keep my online time reined it. I will be on for a bit in the mornings, after my devotions, to do some link ups, and then I do other blog reading and emailing between checking school work. But for the most part, the only concentrated time is the afternoon.

If I spend too much time online, then I start to feel guilty. Like I am neglecting my family or my chores. And since I'd much rather write than scrub toilets, guilt often ensues. To keep the voices in my head to a minimum, I keep to my cleaning schedule. And try to make good meals for my family. And schedule family time that is media free.

Regardless of guilt or no guilt, keeping to my scheduled online times or no, there is still not enough time in the day to do everything that could be done.

I try to maximize my time by doing several things at once. I make my crock pot work for me. And I try to make several meals a week that go for leftovers at least one more meal. This saves time in the cooking department.

In the cleaning department, I've learned that there is a good enough that is good enough. And let me tell you, my house really isn't falling down around my ears though sometimes I feel like it is. My house is clean enough. I am not a candidate for the hoarding television show. You will not be wading through piles of dirt when you visit my house-any day of the week. Though, if you come on a Tuesday, I won't guarantee that the boys won't have marked their territory on the toilet seat and beyond.

Because I have decided that in this life stage, there is a good that is plenty good enough. It is a good that allows me to not feel guilty about spending time doing what I love. It is a good that keeps our house in decent living condition.

This good enough includes me

doing laundry only 3 days a week.

cleaning the bathrooms only once a week. (Wednesdays)

vacuuming and dusting only once a week. (Tuesdays)

washing the kitchen counters once a week, and scouring the sink once a week. (that scouring may be a bit hopeful/wishful)

Notice I said this includes me doing these things.

I am also a firm believer in child labor. Not slave labor. But, having my kids help out gives them a chance to learn responsibility, learn how to keep house, learn what it means to be apart of a family, and gives them the opportunity to earn an allowance.

So, while I only wash the counters about once a week, they do get washed every day. I just make sure everything gets moved once a week. So nothing is growing unsupervised for too long. And BMV vacuums the main level of the house 2 times a week. It never is perfect, and he doesn't move furniture, but it keeps the crumbs at bay.
did I mention that my baby sister is visiting? She is making toe rings. Unfortunate timing of the picture.

What I have also decided is that it is not necessary for the floor under the refrigerator to be spotless every day of the year. As a matter of fact, if I wash it once a year, it is good enough. It is not necessary for the kids' drawers to be perfectly organized. If they can find clothes to wear, it is good enough for them to put their own clothes away.

It is good enough to wash the stove grease pans once a month.

It is good enough to wash the kitchen cupboard fronts usually once a month.

It is good enough to spot clean finger prints when and where you see them-without scrubbing the entire wall.

It is good enough to not scrub the downstairs bathroom if it is not dirty. If no one has used it the past week, why scrub a clean bathroom? It is also good enough to skip scrubbing the tub if it really isn't dirty.

It is good enough not to clean anything that is already relatively clean.

It is good enough to not iron wrinkle free clothes. And even wrinkly clothes.

It is good enough to dust once a week and let the dust gather for the other 6 days.

It is good enough to dust the baseboards every month or so.

It is good enough to vacuum without moving all the furniture most weeks.

I do brush LC hair almost every day. It just never looks like I do.
It is good enough.

My strategy is to take one of these major extra chores and do one a week. Not each one every week. One a week.

So one week I will thoroughly clean my kitchen. The shelves and outsides of the cupboards. The stove.  Top to bottom. And then let it rest the remainder of the month.

One week I will dust all the baseboards-which is actually easier to do in some rooms when I move the furniture to vacuum.

And some weeks some things just get by with a lick and a promise. Because who cares if the basement didn't get dusted? Who cares if the dining room floor didn't get scrubbed?

Only me. And if I can let go of caring, that leaves no one who really cares.

I am finding the balance between doing the work I love, and doing what is my duty as a wife and mother. I am finding the balance-daily. Some things are necessary. Some just aren't.

"Helping good enough look really good" for lots of years. Just kidding.=)
What do you find yourself giving a lick and a promise to? What chores on your chore chart could be regulated to a less frequent basis? How have you chosen to let your good be good enough?

Have you ever made a list or chart of daily, weekly, monthly and annual chores? Why not try that this week? Make it a New Year's resolution.