The Popular Mom Thought That Keeps You Busier Than You Have To Be

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I was listening to the book Crazy Busy through hoopla when the author was explaining wrong thoughts that keep us busier than we have to be.

The author landed on one that really hit a mom nerve within me.

Moms, over time you will significantly cut the hours you spend on  housework each week when you apply the tips in this post!

I am sure that if you are a mom you have struggled with this wrong thought too–and when you give it up you just might find you have a little more time on your hands.

So what is it?

Moms are not completely irreplaceable.

Moms Are Not Completely Irreplaceable

Now notice I said “not completely.” Few could argue that moms are irreplaceable in their family’s lives in many ways. However, there are many ways that we are irreplaceable and these tasks are adding to our workloads making us busier than we have to be.

It is true that no one can replace your heartfelt love for your child, but others can perform household tasks just as well as you can and that includes your children. The second part of that sentence  is what the author of Crazy Busy and I in this article are referring too.

Kevin DeYoung, the author of Crazy Busy, was talking in general to those in leadership positions at their place of work. But moms, we are in a leadership position within our homes whether we like to see it that way or not.

Your children are looking at you for direction and that does make you a leader.

Leaders need to delegate tasks if they want to avoid burnout.

5 Arguments That Mom’s Make Against Delegating Chores To Their Children And Why They Are Wrong

The popular mom thought that keeps you busier than you have to be.

1. But it takes so long to train a child, I can do it so much quicker

I fell into this trap for way too long. When I finally got over it for good my eldest son was 7, if I am remembering correctly and I realized quickly that I had made a huge mistake.

Yes training a child to do something does take longer the first few times, but after that having the children help with that chore is a huge time saver.

Typically it takes me 3 times doing a chore with a child for them to be able to complete it well themselves. The first time I do the chore with them watching. The second time I do the chore with them helping. The third time I let them do the chore with me beside them watching. I might have to go back and repeat step two a few times for more complicated chores, but for the most part my children have got it by the third time.

In fact, now that they are older (13 and up) I often just have to verbally tell them what to do and they can now go and do it and I simply check it the first time to see if it was done well–usually it is. That is the reward of training a child over the years.

2. But they won’t do it right

My guess is if you struggle with this argument, what you are really struggling with is perfectionism and/or control.

I know because I have been there. You see, I am a very routine type person. I do the same things the same way all. the. time.

If my children choose to do the chore differently than I do, I struggle with being frustrated that they didn’t follow my steps when I should be focusing on the results.

It doesn’t matter if they clean the wall just how I do it, what matters is that the wall is clean when they say the job is done.

3. But I express my love by serving

Oh I hear ya on this one! I love showing my kids love by doing something for them. However, I am a survivor of a mom who did too much for me.

My husband pointed this out to me after his first visit to meet my mom. He said, “Did you even realize that your mom made your bed when you were in the shower, and then while you were changing she tidied up the mess you made in the bathroom?” He continued to give me a step by step account of all the picking up my mom was doing for me that I was not even aware of.

I did do some chores growing up, but my mom also did a lot for me–too much.

This is why for years I struggled at figuring out exactly why my home wasn’t staying as clean as I would like. I simply didn’t know what was required to keep a home clean. I was ill prepared.

Don’t let this happen to your child! Yes, you can make their bed once in a while but make sure that you have shown them how to make it and that the majority of the time they are making it themselves! And that goes for all housework and cooking too.

It is an act of love to show a child what they need to live successfully after they leave your nest (this is what I repeat to myself when I find myself sliding into serving more than I am training).

The popular mom thought that keeps you busier than you have to be.

4. But secretly I really love doing that task

Hi, my name is Victoria and I secretly love washing and drying laundry. First, notice I didn’t include sorting and folding; I will gladly delegate those to my children.

But there is something about being the one to make that pile of dirty laundry disappear that I just love. I am guessing it is my goal oriented nature.

I just realized this week, though, that in my 20 years of motherhood I haven’t yet delegated the job of washing and drying the laundry to any of my 3 children–not even once.

Yep, I am writing this article as much for my own good as I am for other mothers out there.

I need to fix this quick! My guess is I am not the only one who is holding on to a household task just because I have a strange secret love affair with it.

5. But they really don’t have the time to help with the housework

This last one probably applies to mom’s of teens more than any other age group. It is true between school, homework, sports, extra curricular activities, and church events teens generally don’t have a lot of downtime now a days.

However, most chores don’t take that much time to complete.

Here is a list of a few chores that take less than 5 minutes

  • Load the dishwasher
  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Clear off and wipe down the kitchen counters
  • Scrub the toilet
  • Clean the sink
  • Sweep the floor in one room
  • Pick up the shoes in the mudroom or entrance way
  • Sort the dirty laundry

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I am sure that your child has at least 5 minutes each day that he or she could devote to a household chore and chances are he or she has more time than that.

Teenagers need to learn time management as well as housekeeping skills. If you don’t allow them to help because you simply don’t think they have the time, you are robbing them of both these skills.

psst...here is the simple, very adaptable chore assignment system my family uses. It works great for teenagers as you can adjust the chore assignment to fit who is home and when.

Moms, this article has been a bit harsh. Trust me, I am feeling convicted from my own words. I am not perfect in this area at all.

Let’s promise to work on avoiding the busy trap of feeling like we are irreplaceable in more areas than we really are. For me that means I am going to be showing those kids of mine how to operate the washer and dryer this week.

When we assign our children household tasks not only are we training them well, we are also giving us more time to breathe–and that in turn allows us to be the best moms we can be.

Green Cleaners At Reasonable Prices Delivered To Your Door

Seventh generation cleaners are a favorite of mine! --Snail Pace Transformations

When the children first started helping me with the housework I became more concerned than ever about the chemicals found in household cleaners. I first switched to homemade cleaners, and although I thought they worked well, my husband wasn’t happy with them (yep, my hubby likes to clean. I am one blessed woman).

That is when our family discovered Seventh Generation Cleaners. Green cleaners at affordable prices. We get ours delivered to our door from Grove Collaborative. You can get $10 off your first order from Grove Collaborative when you use my referral link (these words in blue are it).

My favorite part about Grove Collaborative is that I control when I get cleaners and how many cleaners I get with each order with just a few simple clicks online.

If you found this post to be useful, make sure you don’t miss my latest posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter. Get to know the blogger behind the blog by following me on Facebook or Instagram.

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The Financial Cost Of “Someday” Stockpiling

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These last few weeks I have been gearing up for a yard sale. I have already been decluttering on a regular basis for the last year and a half, so I was afraid I would find little to sell. At the same time I wanted this to be our best yard sale to date since I want to do all that I can to help our family prepare financially for the big family trip we are planning to take in the new year.

 

The financial cost of someday stockpiling: It isn't as healthy for your wallet as you might think!

In the end we hauled four truckloads worth of stuff to the location of the community wide rummage we were taking part in.

As I was hauling items to sell out of various locations throughout the house I noticed a trend.

A lot of the items were what I like to call “someday” stockpile items.

Someday I will have time to scrapbook again so I should save these supplies.

(never mind that I switched over to using free shutterfly codes to make photo books years ago)

Someday I will get around to locker hooking again and I will need this yard sale bought material.

Someday we might go back to tent camping and these lanterns will be needed then.

Someday perhaps our town will get another squash court and then my husband will put his squash racquet to use again.

The financial cost of someday stockpiling: It isn't as healthy for your wallet as you might think!

The Financial Cost Of “Someday” Stockpiling

Perhaps it was because I recently listened to The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, or that I am currently listening to 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, or it might be the Cozy Minimalist Mom’s course I took the time to sit down and watch recently, but suddenly my eyes were opened that holding onto someday items–even if I did have space for them in my house–was costing me money.

Each year you hold onto someday items they are losing value.

New and improved models for just about everything come out every year and rarely do older items go up in value, at least not the type of items I was holding onto.

Each year you hold onto someday items there is a risk that they will become damaged and therefore lose more value.

I had stuck several someday items in the basement and when I brought them upstairs into better light, I realized some items had a mildew growing on them that would not wipe off and I had to toss them. Had I simply sold them right away after realizing I wasn’t going to get to the project they were intended for any time soon I would have been able to recoup some of my initial investment.

Each year you hold onto someday items you have less room and this can lead to storage expenses.

This has not happened to our family–yet. I hope it never does but I know better than to say never, that word always has me eating humble pie. It is so easy to think our homes have become much too small and either spend money getting a bigger home or money on a storage unit for our stuff.

It is much cheaper to buy back things should your someday ever arrive than to pay either storage fees, more rent, or higher mortgage costs. Plus, a larger living area comes with larger heating and cooling bills and often higher property taxes.

Each year you add to your someday item piles your homes become more cluttered, which comes with a hidden price.

I have been decluttering with intention for the past year and a half now and I no longer want to escape my home. Instead, I want stay home and enjoy the haven it is becoming.

Going out is rarely free. Either we spend money on food, entertainment, or more someday stuff.

The financial cost of someday stockpiling: It isn't as healthy for your wallet as you might think!

How to Cure the Someday Stockpile Problem

Thankfully the solution to the financial cost of someday stockpiling is pretty simple.

When you are about to buy something new

If you are about to buy something new (or new to you) no matter how low in cost the item is ask yourself, “Can I fit the project this item creates into my calendar within the next 6 months?” Be brutally honest and if the answer is NO, don’t buy it.

Also ask yourself, “How many projects have I already added to my calendar for the next 6 months?” and, “Will adding this item to my list be too much?”

These questions can apply to supplies for a new or existing hobby, buying supplies for a home renovation project, and more.

When you are decluttering

If you are decluttering ask yourself the same question, “Realistically, will I be able to use up these items in the next 6 months?” If the answer is NO, sell the items and get back more now for them than when you finally give up on the idea 3 years from now.

The key is to be BRUTALLY honest about your life and what fits into it and what doesn’t. You also have to be confident in who you are and what you enjoy. Perhaps you bought those sewing supplies because you thought you could become one of those cool moms that sew up cute outfits for their babies, but truth be told sewing just doesn’t interest you.

Asking these questions day in and day out both as you purchase items and as you declutter your home will save you a significant amount of money over time, as well as put money back into your wallet through resale.

Stop stockpiling for someday and start living today clutter free! Your home and wallet will thank you!

Use This Guide To Help Rid Your Home Of Your Someday Stock Pile

A free, 2-page printable checklist to help you have your best yard sale!

This list will help you toss 30 different types of items from different areas of your home. Once completed, you should have perhaps hundreds of items that you can resell at a yard sale. Not into yard sales? Donate the items you find with the aid of this list and enjoy the reward of a clutter free home. Grab your copy here!

If you found this post to be useful, make sure you don’t miss my latest posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter. Get to know the blogger behind the blog by following me on Facebook or Instagram.

 

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Having Troubles Decluttering? Swap Questions And See Results!

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Are you finding that no matter how much time you spend discarding things through decluttering it still seems like you have too much stuff? Me too! But I think I might have landed on the answer to why and fixing the problem isn’t going to be as hard as I thought. In fact, it all boils down to changing the main question I ask myself when I start my decluttering sessions.

Are you asking the right decluttering question?

 

I stumbled upon this solution a few weekends ago when I went up into our attic to grab items for the massive yard sale my family is planning to take part in shortly (psst….grab a free garage sale planner here).

What immediately hit me as I reached the top step to the attic was the huge mess it was even though I had just tidied it up before the Christmas season.

As I dug into tidying it up I decided to grab my iPhone and open the hoopla app and borrow a book on decluttering as inspiration to toss like mad.

I figured I would join the masses of people who have read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Right away I knew that this Kondo lady and I do not see eye to eye on a lot of issues. Of course, she claims to have cured her  clients’ clutter issues for good and I am still struggling with mine so I decided to put differences aside and listen to her expertise in the area of becoming clutter free for good to see what I could apply.

I am not all the way finished the book yet–currently I am giggling over my socks having a need to rest from their hard hours of serving me well–however, one question she presented at the very beginning of the book has changed my perspective on clutter tossing and is having a HUGE impact.

Make Decluttering Easier With This Simple Question

Instead of asking, “What can I toss?” You need to ask, “What do I want to keep?”

I am not sure how Kondo explains the need for this as I was climbing up and down the stairs as she talked and was out of ear shot when she was explaining her answer–but I couldn’t get that question out of my mind all afternoon “what do I want to keep?”

Here is what my mind came up with as to the reason why “what do I want to keep?” works so much better than “what can I toss?”

When we declutter, most of us walk into a room and start looking for items we are willing to part with. However, when you ask the question “what can I toss?” you focus on what you are losing. After all–you are giving it away. The problem is that for many of us losing is associated with negative emotions. For instance we experience great sorrow when we lose a loved one or great fear when we lose our jobs. Plus, your mind knows that to toss something means to live without something and that stirs up the whole “what if you need it later?” question that causes many of us to grab items from the toss pile and put them right back in the keep pile.

However, when you ask the question “what do I want to keep?” your brain starts thinking about the phrase Kondo is famous for: “what sparks joy?” After all, you don’t want to keep something that doesn’t bring you joy in some way. Plus, your mind associates the question “what do I want to keep?” with you being in control, which is a much more positive experience than loss.

The shift is small but powerful. Suddenly possessions lose their power and you gain it.

I know it sounds odd, but it really works.

I dare you to try a little decluttering experiment. Choose one area of your home that is in bad need of a decluttering. First, enter the room and start asking the question “what can I toss?” Several days after you’ve finished, enter into the same room and ask the question “what do I want to keep?” My guess is that you will find yourself tossing even more the second time around even though you thought you got everything the first time because the act of decluttering became a more positive experience when you felt more in control by changing the question.

If you need support with your decluttering join the Snail Pacing Goal Achievers Facebook group where we are helping each other toss clutter one inch at a time.

 For more ways to combat clutter try reading:

Make Over Your Mornings

If you found this post to be useful, make sure you don’t miss my latest posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter. Get to know the blogger behind the blog by following me on Facebook or Instagram.

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