I am not a housewife, although I greatly look forward to the day when I will be. I am married, and have been for almost a year now. I work full-time in a job that deals with international trade risk. I look forward to the day when I will be home, but that will not happen until God blesses us with children. Until then, my salary goes entirely toward getting us out of debt.
Working 40 hours per week leaves me with only a few precious hours every night to get everything done that I would have if I were home. The result is that my house is not always as clean as I would have it, I am always a little more tired than I want to be, and my meals are not as gourmet as I wish they were.
This stage in my life will not last forever, but my home is still my responsibility. Luckily I have a wonderful husband who helps me so much around the house, but ultimately it is my job to be the keeper of my home. Therefore I strive to have a “housewife state of mind”. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter how stressful my job is, my husband and my home are my ultimate responsibilities, and I need to nurture both of those.
Some tips I have learned to make my time count and not slack in my housewife duties:
1) I wake up early to have time with God. It doesn’t matter if I am tired or haven’t had enough sleep, this part of my day cannot be missed. The reason is because it rejuvenates me and focuses my mind on God and his purpose for me. It reminds me of my favorite quote:
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter. –D.L. Moody.
Even if I become the best at my job, if I forget my job as Christ’s daughter, my husband's wife, and my home’s keeper, then I fail.
2) I mastered a few simple, inexpensive recipes that I can make in bulk. Every weekend I usually make a few of these recipes to get my husband and I through the first few days of the week. Spaghetti, enchiladas, soup, roasted chickens, etc. are all good meals to cook in bulk and reheat later on. My freezer is full of lots of homemade frozen options for my husband and I to choose from when we are running low on time.
3) Get one load of laundry done every day. It keeps my stress levels down when I don’t have to deal with an overwhelming pile of laundry later on.
4) Never leave the bathroom counter dirty. It takes 10 seconds. Put it all away.
5) Make the bed every day. Don’t skip this one. It takes 2 minutes and again, will keep your stress levels down when you walk into your bedroom. Mom was right: a made bed makes the whole room seem cleaner.
6) Always eat dinner at the kitchen table. Sit down, face your spouse, and use this as time to praise God for his provision and reconnect with your spouse and family.
7) Turn on the tv as little as possible. I have a tv, but no cable service. We barely ever watch it, and the reason is because it
EATS your time. Before you know it, an hour of your precious time is gone. And contrary to popular belief, watching tv with your spouse or kids is not “spending time together”.
8) While you’re out, get it all done. If I have an errand to run, I do it on my way home from work. If I’m already out of the house and I see I need gas, or need to stop at the dollar store for gift cards, I go right then. It is harder to leave the house once you’ve already gone home.
9) Distribute a few jobs to your husband/kids as his jurisdiction in the house. My husband is in charge of our garbage, our “papers” (because you know how out of hand those can get), and putting away folded laundry. He helps with other things too, but knowing I don’t have to worry about those few things takes a huge weight off my shoulders.
10) Don’t be lazy, but don’t beat yourself up. Always remember that one thing put away or cleaned up is one step closer to the house being clean.