By Cheryl Demas
I was listening to Stephen Covey on a talk show the other day. He was asked how families can find more time to spend with one another. One of his recommendations was: “Hire someone to do your laundry.” Hello? I think someone is in need of a reality check. Hire someone to do my laundry? Even if I assumed I had the money to pay someone to do the laundry, I’m not sure I would want someone going through our dirty laundry. I have to say, doing the laundry in our house doesn’t really consume that much time anyway. Now, we do occasionally pay for our haste with a few pink socks, but that’s a small price to pay for quick laundry service. If you’re combining a home business with all the other jobs of raising kids and running a home, something has to give. Personally, I need solutions that are more practical than, “hire someone to do it.” I have learned a few helpful things these past few years, from books, personal experience and trial and error. Here are my 7 habits for happy WAHMs:
These first two tips are from the book: “Organizing from the Inside Out” by Julie Morgenstern.
1. Keep a basket of hand washables next to the tub. Then when you hop in the shower or tub, grab a sweater or slip, and kill two birds with one stone. That way you can spend the afternoon taking a bubble bath and complain to your husband that you spent all afternoon doing the laundry. That last part isn’t from the book, that’s my idea.
2. Think of your house as a kindergarten classroom, create little cubbies and containers for everything. Give everything a “home” and cleanup becomes much easier, and it can even be fun. This tip really does work, it used to drive me crazy that my daughter was the most helpful little cleaner at school, at the store, everywhere but home. Then it dawned on me, it’s fun to clean up when it’s clear where things belong.
3. Shirt’s wrinkled? Throw it in the dryer with a damp towel, walk away, and return a few minutes later to a wrinkle-free shirt. Who needs to iron?
4. Strap sponges on the kids’ feet and turn them loose in the kitchen.
5. Little kids love to do dishes, let them. Sure they splash around a bit, who cares? Just don’t give them anything sharp or breakable. That leaves plastic dishes which is considered our “fine china” anyway.
6. Keep Barbie barefoot. Don’t even try to keep track of her shoes. As soon as my girls get a new Barbie, we have her say, “My feet are killing me! Get me out of these shoes!” Barbie’s much happier and so am I.
7. Finally, and most importantly, when the dishes and laundry and toys are stacked up and you think you can’t take it anymore, give your kids a hug, and Don’t Worry About It! Because one day, you will look around and the laundry and dirty dishes will still be there, but your kids won’t be. They will grow up and move on with their lives, now if I could just come up with a way to send those Barbie shoes with them …