When a blogger’s post urging women to “Do Your Housework Cheerfully” broke the internet in June, I promptly dismissed and skipped through her page-long handwritten note because I strongly disagreed. But the “new me” tends to curb judgmental thoughts. So, more power to her and her followers, as long as her choices are making her happy. And more power to people like me and my husband who believe in teamwork and partnerships of equality.
Then again, when the dust had settled on the notorious post and I had more time to think objectively, doing housework cheerfully can indeed be a good thing. No, definitely not for making your husband’s life “easy”, but for much more self-serving reasons. Here are the top 6 from my list:
1. You can safely cancel your gym membership
Thirty minutes of housework can be more intense than a gym session. Add to it incremental 5-10 minute sessions of running after your children 24X7 (for ten thousand different reasons) and you will have a full-body workout without changing out of your yoga pants. What could be better for a stay at home mom, who already has a short supply of hours in a day? And yes, it comes with its own share of mysterious cramps and bruises too, if overdone!
2. You will save yourself a panic attack when guests arrive unannounced
Say aye, dear mommies, for all the times you have berated your housekeeping skills when guests have arrived unannounced. It’s even worse when they call ahead to give you a measly 5 minutes heads up.
“Hey, we are just passing by, is your son free for a playdate?”
Believe it or not, this question has sent me into a panic-stricken scamper more times than I’d like to admit.
Cramming books, clothes, and dirty dishes into random hiding spots at the speed of light is enough to increase your stress hormones many times over. Add to it the nail-biting worry that your guests will accidentally discover your concealed mess, and you have yourself an unhealthy anxiety-ridden mom. Need I go on?
3. You will kick the a$* of your “writers’ block” all the way to oblivion
This one’s my favorite. If you are a stay at home mom like me with a writing problem, I bet you suffer the same scarcity of “alone time” to think, which is quintessential to getting your creative juices flowing. You will be surprised how fast your children leave you alone when you ask them to help with the chores!
The inherent monotony of housework gives your mind the freedom it needs to wander off to your best creative space while your body is still on auto-pilot. By the time you are done with your chores for the day, you would have comfortably sorted through your brain-clutter and come up with many ideas – this post being an example in point.
You must keep a journal handy and jot down the ideas as soon as you can, in between the chores if you must, because of “Mom Brain” (of course!).
4. Your children will learn to work through their “boredom”
It is effortless for young children to wear you down with their “I am so bored!” plea and incessant whining – forcing you to switch on the TV or hand over the iPad.
But when your children see you busy with housework, they tend to leave you alone. Even when they keep coming back to check on you and whine some more, housework gives you a means to ask them to wait.
“Find something to do till I finish this chore, then only I will be able to switch on the TV.” You will be surprised how accommodating and patient small children can be with this request!
Seeing your children work through their “boredom” and discovering the magic of imagination and “free play” in the process is a big incentive for you to do your housework cheerfully.
5. You will stop calling your Saturdays and Sundays as “Laundry Day”, “Chore Day”, “Slavery Day” etc.
If I could have a dime for all movie nights, lunch and dinner dates, and spa invites I have turned down due to weekend chores…well, no, it would not make me a millionaire. But I will surely have a piggy bank overflowing with change. So, yes, doing your housework daily does bring cheer to your weekends. If for none other reason, then added naptime should be motivation enough to get them done on a regular basis.
6. It will help you locate those long-lost items and appreciate clutter-free living in the process
I have lost count of the number of knick-knacks I have discovered in the “difficult to reach” nooks and crannies of our home while cleaning. It almost always is accompanied by “Oh, my! I thought I had lost that forever.” or if it is a long lost “lovey” of my son, then “Look, what I have found!” followed by shrieks of joy from our excitable son. So yes, doing housework – cleaning and de-cluttering in particular – will help you appreciate the value of organization and improve your “lost and found” statistics.
For a really long time, we (hubby and I) thought our son’s school supplies were running low. So, every time we went shopping, we would invariably buy him pencils, sketch pens, erasers, crayons, notebooks etc. (whatever we thought was in short supply that particular day). Then one fine day, when I decided to de-clutter his room and re-organize everything, I discovered we have enough school supplies to sponsor a whole school year for at least ten students with his hidden stash! More practically, I think, for now, we are done buying school supplies for our son till he is in middle school 😉
So, yeah, moral of the story: De-clutter more often and don’t buy anything new until and unless you know for sure that you have actually run out. Don your “Sherlock Holmes” hat if you have to!
Housework is not the zombie apocalypse, although if you saw the “old me” running in the opposite direction, you would have definitely thought so! But when you shift your vantage point and look at it from “What’s in it for me?” perspective, I bet you too will discover many reasons to do it cheerfully, with or without your husband’s “ease of life” in mind.
Now, it’s your turn to share. Do you do your housework cheerfully? What are some aspects that help you see the positive side of housework? Don’t forget to share in the comments section below.