Thursday, September 22, 2011

Managing the Household

There are times when managing a household can feel overwhelming, particularly during times of transition. In the Fall, there are pools to close, summer items to put away and warm weather clothes to put in drawers. And then of course there are the bills to manage, the laundry to do and the groceries to purchase. Although it may be tempting to want to put your hands in the air, and say "I give up. I can't do it anymore," you continue to persevere. You put one foot in front of the other and recognize that tomorrow is another day. But then, how does one successfully manage a household anyway? How do you keep all the balls up in the air, hoping that none will fall, while keeping your sanity? To think that there are women who single-handedly do everything, while there husbands or significant others mow the lawn or watch a football game, or simply criticize the way things are getting done.  And there are those single-parents who don't have anyone else to offer assistance or even words of encouragement. They just do what they have to do with rarely a complaint. No one ever said managing a household, would be easy, but it is necessary. It is also not the most glamorous job to have, nor does it offer much appreciation or acknowledgement. Yet there is something satisfying in knowing that things are taken care of, or will be taken care of, that makes this position rewarding.

 The following are some tips for making this job a little easier:

1) Be patient with yourself and others. Know that things will eventually get done.
2) Be reasonable. Have reasonable expectations for what can be done in the time that you have.
3) Request help. People will not necessarily volunteer to help, but will do so if expected to. And have you ever noticed that a person that does everything is typically a person who is not comfortable asking for help? Learn to ask for help.
4) Delegate. Help others to feel capable by giving them things to do that can help you out. People watching television really can fold laundry.
5) Give yourself a break. Recognize that you do not have to win anyone's approval nor do you have to be a superhero. Take time for yourself. Reward yourself for a good job.
6) Take things one task at a time.
7) Stay focused. Do not get distracted. Keep to a task until it is complete and then move onto something else.
8) Use online banking and have your bills paid electronically each month so that you do not have to think about it.
9) Keep a daily list of things to do to increase focus and efficiency. What didn't get done today can be first on the list for tomorrow.
10) Enjoy your home and family. Take time to relax and to appreciate the work that you do to make things nice for yourself and your family.

And of course, be grateful for your home and family. Life would be lonely without them.  Remember that there may be a day in the not too distant future, when you will miss taking care of all of these things, and will reflect on how you ever did all that.

"The greatest things ever done on Earth
have been done little by little."
- William Jennings Bryan


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