Good Cop, Bad Cop

There are some days I lay my head down so exhausted.  I’ve felt like my entire day was filled of me saying “No!  Don’t!  Stop it!  Go to your room!”  Do you ever have days like that? … where you feel like all you’ve done all day is discipline?

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As homemakers, we sometimes deal with the stigma of being “the mean one” or the “bad cop”.  We spend the day disciplining and teaching, making sure that our children grow up to be successful, responsible, respectful human beings, and some days require more of that than others.  What can make it difficult sometimes, is it seems the moment Dad walks through the door, all the bad behavior of the day is forgotten, and Daddy is home to save the day.  He’s the hero.  The children are so excited to see him, they drop whatever is in hand and run to the door with excitement.  And of course, daddy is beyond excited to see them as well after a long, hard day at work.  Meanwhile, we may be standing in the background exhausted and at our wit’s end.  And now that dad is home, the children only want to be with him, and we immediately become the bad guy.  All we’ve done all day is discipline.

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It can feel really draining sometimes.  It can feel so unfair at times!  Why do I always have to be the bad guy?  Why must I be the one to constantly say no?!  Why don’t the children seem as excited to see me?

It took a long time for me to deal with this problem.  For a very long time it really wore me down, it made me feel like an awful mother, it made me want to give up on things.  It made me question everything.  Then one day I realized, somebody has to do it.  Do I want to be my children’s friend or their mother?  Do I care more about them liking me or about them growing up to be good people?  This, along with so many other things, comes along as part of the sacrifice.  They might think I’m the “mean one”, and that is okay.  I can deal with that because I know at the end of the day, I am doing the right thing, I am doing what is necessary.  I’m doing what I need to do as a mother and wife.

For some time this whole thing actually caused me to resent my husband at times.  I was mad at him, and for what?  I was being so unfair to him, and it was causing tension.  It was really awful.  Eventually I sat down and looked at the big picture.  How many hours a day do I spend with them, compared to the time he spends with them?  By the time he gets home sometimes they are already in their pajamas and getting ready for bed.  So guess what, if that one hour of that day he gets to spend with them he gets to be the good guy, he deserves it.  He shouldn’t have to spend his limited time with the children disciplining them.  That is my job.  That is the responsibility I hold by being a homemaker.  It’s one more thing to add to the list of what truly makes this job difficult sometimes, one of the things other people don’t even think about.

If you are currently in the situation I was once in, I encourage you to take a step back.  Take a deep breath and look at the big picture.  Realize that this is all part of being a stay at home mother, it comes along with the job.  Besides that, things will get better!  Children will get older and things will change.  Make sure you are taking at least a little time out of your day to do something for yourself.  Keep your head up and stay positive!

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Living a Selfless Life

That’s what it’s all really about, living a selfless life.  All the posts I write about being submissive, being a mother, being a housewife, the common theme is that you put your families needs before your own.  You may think to yourself “Well, I do that all the time!  I’m always doing things for them!”  But when it comes down to it, are you really?  Are you doing things without asking for or expecting anything in return?  Are you truly living selflessly?

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My husbands needs, wants, etc. are met before anyone else’s.  There’s no question about it. He knows it.  I know it.  The children know it.  He is the head of the household, and he is cared for first.  Please don’t take that to the extreme, it’s a general statement.  If a child is injured, sick, crying, etc. obviously they have to be tended to first at that moment.  We are reasonable, logical, caring people, but there is definite order within our household.  I’ve used this analogy before, but I believe it is so accurate.  A Fortune 500 company doesn’t have two CEO’s or two Presidents, they have one.  One person that is in charge and has the final say.  It doesn’t mean that the rest of the employees or board members aren’t heard or aren’t important, but there is one person that makes the final decision about things.  That is what makes these companies run smoothly and successfully.  The same works for a family.  Think of your husband as the CEO or President, you can be the VP.  You are still very important with a role that is essential to the company being successful and running smoothly.  The company couldn’t run with just the President, he needs the VP there too.

By being able to step down and let your husband take the role that comes naturally to him, you are truly doing your family a favor.  You are benefiting everyone, including yourself.  A wife and mother have endless responsibilities as it is tending to the house and children, let your husband be in charge and make the tough decisions for you… let him alleviate some of that stress for you!  Not only does it benefit you, but it benefits him.  Taking this role is what is natural to him, and you will see him become more loving and comfortable in his role, you will see him succeed because this is what he was born to do.  Your children will benefit because they see a strong leader and a loving relationship between their parents, and it will really influence them in a positive way by setting good standards and morals.  The family was meant to function a certain way, and doing so will make it successful.  So why have we strayed so far from a method that works?

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In my opinion, it’s about personal wants and needs.  To say it bluntly, selfishness.  A mother, instead of spending time with her young child and raising them herself, brings them to a nanny or daycare so she can take on a career in an office setting.  Who is this benefiting?  Definitely not the child(ren).  The child(ren) wants to be with their mother.  But the mother chooses a career instead of motherhood.  This is most definitely not living selflessly.  And many times mothers that are working are not able to take on the wifely role at home either.  This is not good for a marriage as the husband is now forced to take on many “wifely duties” in order to help out.  It is unnatural, and will likely cause strain within a marriage.  The wife is upset because she feels the husband should help out more, and the husband is upset because he feels the wife needs to be responsible for her duties as a wife.

Did you know only 29% of women choose to be stay at home mothers?  I understand of course that some women don’t have a choice, they may be single mothers or the family cannot afford for her to not work.  That is a different situation.  But when a woman has the choice, why would she choose to spend time in an office instead of with her children?  This is something I will never truly understand.

So I urge you all, take a step back and look at your family dynamics.  Are you allowing your husband and yourself to take on your natural roles?  If not, make a change, it’s never too late.  You will see such improvement and happiness in your lives!

Schedules, Routines, and Habits – the key to a smooth operation

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Any homemaker/housewife/stay-at-home mother knows that what they do is a full time job.  We don’t work M-F 9-5, our jobs are 24/7/365!  We don’t get a break, our work is constant.  That being said, that doesn’t mean you should have to be “actually working” the entire time.  Your day should not be overwhelming.  You should not be cleaning from dust ’till dawn.  There must be balance between work and pleasure, and this is made possible using schedules, routines, and forming good habits.

I have mentioned in previous posts the importance of a schedule.  Everything needs to be done with purpose and in order.  You shouldn’t be going from room to room doing random chores and only half completing something before moving on to the next.  Just like you would at a desk job, you need to have a schedule at your home job.

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The first thing you want to start with is creating a cleaning schedule.  This should include daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly or seasonal cleaning.  First start out with your daily tasks, things that need to be done every single day.  This might include doing the dishes, picking up and organizing rooms, doing laundry, making beds, taking out the garbage and recycle, cleaning the kitchen, sweeping/mopping/vacuuming… anything that needs to be done every day.  Next you need to figure out your weekly schedule.  This can be done many different ways.  I’ve found that what works best for me is to completely clean one category of our home everyday.  For example, Monday is my kitchen day.  I clean the kitchen top to bottom.  Tuesday I clean the bedrooms, this includes washing bedding, dusting, washing windows, etc.  Wednesday is my bathroom day, so I clean all the bathrooms in house top to bottom including washing towels and rugs.  Of course this method may not work for you, and that’s perfectly fine!  Another way to do your weekly schedule may be something like Mondays and Wednesdays you dust, mop and vacuum, and clean windows.  Tuesdays and Thursdays you clean linens and bathrooms.  Fridays you clean the kitchen.  Whatever works for you and your needs is best!  It may even take some experimenting to figure out what best works for you.  Once you have your weekly schedule, it’s time to make your monthly schedule.  Obviously this will include some more deep cleaning things that don’t need to be done as often.  Monthly chores may include things like cleaning grout, oiling wood furniture, reorganizing your pantry, and cleaning out your refrigerator and freezer.  Once you’ve completed that list, it’s on to the extreme cleaning, quarterly or seasonal cleaning.  My chores for these lists include things like washing walls, flipping mattresses, dry clean bedding, switch out closets to appropriate season, clean dryer houses, clean carpets, etc.

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Once you have your schedules’ completed, stick to them!  You will want to create a list of all these things that is somewhere safe, perhaps on your computer or put into a binder that you can easily refer to.  The next thing you’ll want to do is get yourself a planner.  This planner is going to be your new best friend, always by your side to help you whenever you need it.  Each night before you go to sleep, you will want to create your tentative schedule for the following day.  I say tentative because let’s face it, anything can happen to throw you off track.  Your schedule has to be somewhat flexible.  You will also want to be pretty detailed with your schedule.   You want to be the master of your day, not the victim!  Obviously the first thing on your schedule will be determining what time you wake up.  Trust me, I’m about as far from being a morning person as one can get.  But with time, I’ve learned that an ounce of morning is worth a pound of afternoon.  It’s amazing how much can be accomplished before breakfast!  Next, in planning your schedule for the day, be sure to give the correct things the correct priority.  It should go in this order, the needs and companionship of your husband and children, second home duties, and third outside duties.  Fit in your cleaning tasks for the day properly.  Also plan out your meals for the day, make sure that you include in your schedule proper preparation time.  It’s a good idea to prepare as much in advance as possible.  Also, make sure you are working forward and not backwards.  By this I mean if you know you are going to have a lot of dishes with dinner for the night and your dishwasher is already half full, get the dishes done ahead of time.  This way when dinner is finished and you are cleaning up, you have an empty dishwasher waiting for you.

Another thing you will want to keep in your planner is a list of projects you’d like to get completed around the house.  Many planners include a notes section, and this list could be kept there.  This list may include things like reorganizing a closet or drawer, or redecorating the guest room.  This list will come in handy when you find you have some extra free time and need something to fill it with.  Another list to keep in your planner is of household of personal things you’d like to purchase at the appropriate time.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve come across something I wanted to buy in the future, but didn’t write it down and couldn’t remember it later.  This list will prevent that!  Another list, and what I would consider to be the most important one, is a list of things you have run out of and need to purchase on your next trip to the store.  You will want to keep this list handy and be able to tear it out for each shopping trip, so you may want to keep an extra small notebook for this purpose.  Some planners that are made specifically for mothers’ and homemakers actually have a grocery list that you can tear out each week, so that could be used for this purpose as well.  Anytime you run out of something, be sure to write it down on this list right away, that way you won’t forget later.  Also as you are planning your meals, make sure you have all the ingredients needed, anything you don’t have will be added to this list.  There’s nothing worse than going to get the horseradish sauce your husband loves with his meal out of the refrigerator and realizing you ran out of it a few days ago and forgot to get more!  This list will prevent that sort of thing from happening.

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In your planner you will also want to be sure to write down birthday’s and other important dates, as well as things you need to get done in advance.  For example if you need to custom order a birthday cake a week before someone’s birthday in order for it to be ready in time, make sure you write that down!  The life of a housewife can be so busy and almost overwhelming at times, it’s easy to forget things.

Of course, be sure to schedule in some time for yourself!  Whether it be reading, catching up on your favorite show, or knitting, it’s so important to do something for yourself everyday.  Don’t become a slave to your home.  Keeping yourself on schedule will keep you happy and truly find pleasure and satisfaction in what you do!

 

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Here are the cleaning schedules’ I use, they are Word Documents so you can edit them as necessary to match your needs!

 

Fall Cleaning Spring Cleaning Friday – Office & Outdoors Monthly Cleaning Thursday – Living & Dining Rooms Wednesday – Bathrooms Tuesday – Bedrooms Monday – Kitchen Daily Cleaning