Homemaking & Guilt
Updated: Jan 25
Stop feeling guilty about your house not being “Instagram worthy”.
Scrolling through immaculately clean and impeccably decorated houses on your Instagram feed on your way home from work only to walk into the Bronx Zoo, my mistake, your house.
We’re all guilty. Taking too much on. Thinking we can do it all.
You’re tripping over shoes on your way in. There’s a dish filled sink. And your husband’s strewn all on the couch enclosed in a cushion fort. Or you walk in on your husband jumping at the sight of you because he never took the meat out of the fridge. Yes, the memes are true.
Don't take out on your family
Apparently, you and I live in the same house because that’s exactly what I walk into a lot of the time. Maybe you’re coming home from a bad day, you’re feeling angry and annoyed. Just when you’re about to rip into your husband,don’t, because he too is coming from a long day at work.
...start cleaning in a rage, yelling at people to put things away...
This happens way too often for all of us. We start #cleaning in a rage, yelling at people to put things away because we cannot, must not, go to bed with dishes in the sink. All this does is stress everyone out. If the lady of the house is not happy, no one is happy. We go to bed feeling guilty about not always being on top of the cleaning or not being company ready all the time. Or ordering pizza over cooking dinner.
Take a breath...
We are way too hard on ourselves. Nobody expects us to have it all together, all the time. We put those expectation ourselves. And we set them so high that when we don’t meet them, we feel like an epic failure. Then we make a plan to get back on track only to disappoint ourselves all over again. It’s a never ending cycle. We’re all guilty. Taking on too much. Thinking we can do it all. And we can, just not all at once. What we have to do is set small goals to not overwhelm ourselves. Once we’ve reached a goal, move on to the next.
Right now my Life is a little less hectic but for a few years I was going to school full time and working over 35 hours a week. I also had to take care of my home while trying to figure out what my next shapes after graduation would be. On top of all of that, spend quality time with my husband and make time for my extended family.
Every semester was filled with stress and anxiety. My husband has always been helpful with the house work and breakfast, that’s his thing. Even then, I always tried to keep up with it as well. But with only so many hours in the day and I couldn’t fit in every little single to do causing us all to stress out. But for my last semester, I had a plan! It wasn’t spelled out with tiny details, but it was straightforward and to the point. I’m not an expert and by no means did I have my life together then or now, LOL, but below is the plan I used. If like me, you feel overwhelmes, I encourage you to make a plan too. A realistic plan. Even if it seems too small or simple. If you need help, take my plan and adjust it to your needs. My plan is simple. At the beginning of the semester I look at the months to come to see what I had going on, then I prioritized the most important things (3-5 to keep it manageable).
My priorities for my last semester were in this order:
Time with extended family and friends
Everyone’s priorities will look different. After assessing your #priorities, it’ll be easier to carve out time for each. This is a starting point to developing a more in-depth plan that allows you to do the things you want and spend time with your family without feeling guilty.
My top priority was and always will be my husband. Our husbands are who we confide in and where we find comfort. Who we lie with at night and find peace. Never, ever feel guilty about putting your husband first.
My second priority included school, YouTube and this blog. These things were equally important because they are directly related to my five year plan and my immediate future.
My third priority was my home. Just like our husbands, our homes provide stability and comfort. A messy and chaotic home will follow you out the front door. Getting up late, not having time for breakfast, not knowing what outfit you’re wearing or where your purse is affects your whole day. During the school months, my husband carried most of the burden of caring for our apartment. For the cooking, he usually took care of breakfast and made whatever is easiest for dinner. He also took care of most of the cleaning. This part was hard on us both though. On him, mostly because he also works long hours. On me, because like most women, we think we can do everything ourselves and never ask for help or feel guilty for asking. This makes us feel like we are not doing a good enough job because we take pride in making the best home for our family. But that’s thing, we don’t live in our home alone. We forget that although we might be the captain of the ship, we do have a crew. And our crew is more than willing to help (for the most part anyway!). We just have to learn to put our pride aside and ask. Or we’ll end up back in that cycle I mentioned earlier.
My fourth and last priority during the school months were my extended family and friends. But just because they were the last priority did not mean that they meant less than everything. It simply meant that during the semester, I just had to take care of some other things first. Luckily, they understood. But yet again, I did find it hard to say no. Of course I’d love to spend time with them and I always feel that I could use a little self-indulgence after a rough week but I like I’m sure you guys and other wives and moms know, it is so hard to say no. We love to make people happy (not necessarily ma a people pleaser or a doormat) but we love our friends and family so much that naturally it’s hard to say no. But those times that you do say no, they should not make you feel guilty for it. It is not fair. We have different priorities at different times and we won’t be able to always coincide with each other and that’s okay! Those who truly care about you and support you will understand, and those who don’t well then, it’s a shame. Ultimately, you have to do what’s right by you and your family.
Keeping these priorities in mind, I was able to keep my sanity (well for the most part anyway) during my last college semester. It took so much pressure off me. Anything that was a priority could wait until the end of the semester.
I don’t have it all together, but I try to keep these things present. And I’ve found that the more you communicate your plan with your husband, the more support you’ll have and he will most often than not, help keep you accountable.
So make a list of your priorities for the next three months, share it with your husband and don't be afraid to ask for help, and lastly throw the guilt out the window!
I have a post coming out next week, How to Make a Home Management Binder where you can find everything you need to make a custom cleaning list according to your home so you can always come home to a clean and stress free house.
How do you cope with the #homemaking guilt? Leave a comment below!
xoxo, This Stepford Wife