Help! My house is a mess!
Posted by Cynthia Justlin Feb 19 2013, 12:01 am
I admire those writers who can slave away at the keyboard and still manage to keep a pristine house. (especially those that add kids and a job into the mix!). As we close in on week six of the Winter Writing Festival, I’ve come to a hopeless conclusion. If I’m writing, my house is guaranteed to be a blast zone. If my house is clean, it means that I haven’t touched my work in progress. No matter how hard I try, I can’t manage to strike a happy medium. So, here’s where I admit that my struggle to try to be super-mom, super-wife, super-housekeeper, and super-writer usually ends up in epic failure.
It’s about time for me to recognize that I am never going to be able to do it all. It’s also time for me to recognize that just because I can’t do it all, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t strive to find a better balance between the things I need to do and the things I want to do.
Family will always come first. I will drop household chores and writing time when I’m needed. But often times, I hop on the computer once I get the kids off to school, and before I know it, it’s time to pick them up. Once they’re home, it’s making sure they’re getting their homework done, preparing dinner, doing the dishes, laundry, shower, getting ready for bed. And by that time, the last thing I want to tackle is the cleaning the bathrooms, mopping/vacuuming the floors, or any of the other tasks staring back at me.
I know success depends on having a routine and sticking with it, so I’m working on a game plan:
- Break down chores into manageable, daily chunks. Just like with writing, everything is easier when you focus on small, doable goals rather than the overwhelming big picture.
- Complete daily chores before diving into writing. Instead of getting caught up in my story right off the bat, put my must-do chores first. Who knows, forcing myself to wait a little longer to open the WIP may even get me excited about getting to write. And mindless chores are always a good way to work out those story problems too.
- Stop obsessing about doing everything perfectly. Once I take on a chore, I tend to go a little overboard with wanting to do it well. Flylady’s motto is ‘housework done incorrectly still blesses your family’. And I think that’s a very good point, and one I’m still struggling to take to heart. We can still feel good about what we’ve accomplished, even if it’s not perfect.
Now, here’s where I sound the additional cry for help. How do you juggle writing and household chores? (And if you say you have a housekeeper that does it all for you, I’ll have to hit you. )