Cabin Fever

Remember that I mentioned two Arguments Against Full-Time Homemaking in Friday’s post? Running out of time and space I only discussed one, the financial issue. Today I’ll talk more about the other reason given: Cabin Fever.

I want to share three things why women may feel like they cannot stay at home all day:

  1. They dislike the monotony of housework.
  2. They find that there is not enough to do for them at home.
  3. They crave to meet other people and see different things.

Yes, the daily routine often seems monotonous and boring. By the end of the day, it can make us feel like we haven’t accomplished much. A good cure for this kind of feeling is: Take a notepad (get a larger size out, you’ll need it 😉 ) and pencil and jot down every task you are doing throughout the day (including the smaller and faster ones) and the time spent on it. And I mean every single one of them! You will be astonished how much you have done that day. Which leads me to the second point…

I often wonder how in the world I’m going to squeeze in all the things I will need to do that day. I mean, there is so much to do: cooking meals, baking bread and cake/s, wiping counters, washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming and sweeping floors, doing laundry, and ironing clothes. That’s just to name a few. How about all the time-consuming trips like taking the children somewhere, shopping for groceries, or meeting with people who are in desperate need of some encouraging words or who need someone who will give them a hand with weekly tasks?

Yes, I believe that our husbands and children need to come first but that doesn’t mean we will not meet other people or see other things beside our own household. Like I’ve mentioned, there is so much to do at home but then we can also care for families who are in need. How about cooking a meal for someone who isn’t able to? Or assisting someone in her housework because she cannot do it on her own at the moment?

Of course, homemaking is monotonous at times. And, yes, sometimes it feels like we are going in circles not accomplishing much at home. Many will tell us for a woman to find fulfillment she will need to search outside her home. Is that true? Has God really said?

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Too Much To Do

Do you have days when you are cast down thinking about all the unfinished tasks that need attention? Are you overwhelmed by the work that lies ahead of you?

I’m sitting at my desk looking out the window into my garden thinking It’s Wednesday, already, and there is still so much to do this week. I cannot concentrate on writing so I go into the kitchen to brew another cup of coffee. While there, I catch myself looking at the dishes on the rack, the coffeemaker that calls for a descaling, the crumbs on the floor which I haven’t mopped since three days and the thought of having too much to do keeps dragging me down.

I’ll have to admit that laziness and procrastination can cause these kinds of pressures on me (I wrote more on that in my post Getting Things Done At Home) However, at other times this is due to something else …

A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Our goal is to achieve things, e.g. finish writing that book, having our house in order, being able to play the instrument, right? We can wish to reach our goals all we want to, if we don’t have a detailed plan of the steps ahead we might as well keep on wishing.

Whenever I struggled at my former workplace to tackle the huge pile of documents on my desk, my boss usually said: “It’s all a matter of staying organized.” This used to make me angry! But you know what? In a sense he was right, at least up to a certain point. Not having a clue about how we will reach our goal will become our biggest enemy on our way to success.

We shouldn’t be kidding ourselves, of course, by taking on too big of a job or by not having enough time to accomplish it. Planning ahead based on time estimates only will get us into trouble or even cause us fail. We need to be realistic and so we cannot put more tasks on our list than we can fulfil in a given time. How many things can we get done within a day? It’s best to find out by using a stop watch to time every single task and then writing down the exact minutes it took to be completed.

Set your goal, then create a step-by-step plan that will help you stay focused and reach it. Work towards it! Expect more or less detours. Be flexible but press on and stay encouraged — looking forward to reaching your goal.

Multitasking

A few years back, I thought multitasking was good and an important skill to learn. As a young mom, having a child that did not sleep much in his first couple of months, I’ve had to come up with something. At times, I would put my son in the baby carrier and continue with all sorts of household tasks while he enjoyed being carried around 🙂 Later on, while being a single mom for a good while, I’ve had to come up with new ideas to get all the daily tasks accomplished.

I agree that in this fast-paced world we often have to do multiple tasks. Today many women have to work outside their home. Years back, I used to squeeze in an appointment at an office before or after driving my son to school. Sometimes I also used my lunchbreak to run a few errands.

That’s not multitasking you might say. Well, how about this:

Cooking dinner while watching over homework, folding a few clothes that just came out of the dryer, jotting down a few items unto the grocery list, …

In my post If Something Is Important Enough I mentioned that we cannot do many things (multitasking) thinking all of them will get done properly. You see, eventually something — or somebody — will suffer if we don’t keep our focus straight and take the time for things and people who need our full attention.

It’s interesting to see what the search engine comes up with when looking for pages that talk about multitasking. Most of them will tell you that the brain is not able to do multiple tasks without making errors. Others will try to convince you that you will need to be able to multitasks to survive in your job and in this world. Then there are at least a few that will say that the more tasks you are trying to accomplish the greater the risk will be that each one or more of them will suffer.

I think our brain is capable that we can accomplish more than one task — especially when doing tasks that have become like second nature to us. However, most of the time, I find it best to give each one our full attention to get the best results.

What’s your opinion on that? Do you like or even prefer multitasking? How do you schedule most of your daily tasks?