Back to Back Issues Page
Never Ending Housework - Issue 302
June 07, 2013
Hi there! ....

The highlight of this week was Nomi’s birthday party. Naomi planned all the details, made the invitations and decorations and set it all up. One of the highlights for me was during the getting ready time when I looked out the window and saw three of the kids talking over details, conferring with Naomi. It was a precious living-family-life-together moment! How precious to see my grown children working together this way, for them to give their time to their sister and be committed to her party being a success. When these moments happen I often reflect back and know that we are reaping the fruit of the things that we did when our kids were young. Birthdays have been celebrated as a family and everyone pitches in to make the day special. The kids have always helped setting up when we’ve had friends over – whether if was to share a meal, a potluck or a party. Hospitality has always been a family effort, not just something mum and dad do. Seeing my kids work together as they did yesterday made me realise that these are the values that they have in their hearts, these are the values they will take with them wherever they go in life.

Live life with your kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Never Ending Housework

Housework seems like a never ending task. What you get done today will be needy again tomorrow; there is always something to do. Knowing this makes housework tiring (before we even get started!!)

I recently did an online scrapbooking class with Stacy Julian and she introduced me to the idea of an Enough Quota (EQ). This is what she says about an EQ: “An EQ tells you how much is enough, so that you know when you should feel successful, or at least satisfied. If you don’t know how much is enough, then you will never know when to feel pleased with your efforts.”

We tend to consider a completed list as ‘enough’ so we keep on going, never coming to an end, never feeling like we’ve achieved anything. Or in my case if the list is too long and unachievable, I tend to shut down and do nothing! I needed to change my expectations on what a clean house looks like. When is enough enough? This principle would apply to any area of our life – scrapbooking, exercise, homeschooling, housework. When is enough enough?

Another comment by Stacy on EQ: “An Enough Quotient is set by clearly understanding the immovable commitments in your life and intentionally working around them to create a realistic amount of time for everything that has to happen”

I cannot set goals for one area of my life without considering the other areas. My to-do list would be achievable if I wasn’t homeschooling. My homeschool lessons would be completed if I didn’t have other responsibilities. But that isn’t real life. Real life has all these different areas of responsibilities and relationships that I need to balance.

Enter EQ.

What are the immoveable commitments that are in my life? Whoa … where to start! So I asked myself another question… When it comes to housework (or homeschooling, or scrapbooking, or time with friends) what are the unchangeables in my life that affect my decisions. Since I’ve been revamping my homemaking and housekeeping practices I’ll talk about that sphere but it is the same for any sphere of your life.

The things that limit my time available for housework are:

  • Exercise and Quiet time in the morning
  • Focus time with the kids
  • Personal goal of reading everyday
  • Time to do office chores – emails, banking, phonecalls, projects
  • Commitments in town in the afternoon
  • 6.00pm dinner and family time
  • Restful, creative and relationship focused weekends (aka don’t use the weekend for housework) This is what I’m working towards in this season of life, but it wasn’t always the case.

I have worked out – and it took a while – that I can realistically expect to have ½ hour in the mornings and 1 hour most afternoons to work on my house*. That is that. Then I needed to work out what was the most important things to get done in that time. This made me prioritise my to-do list.

I was faced with the challenge, that if the time I realistically had available, wasn’t enough to get my important housework chores done, then I needed to tweak something. I needed to make more time, or change my expectations in regards to a clean house. I couldn’t keep hoping against all odds that one day I would manage to do it all!

The next challenge is the issue of contentment. The EQ answers the question – when is enough enough? When is my house clean enough? (When have my kids learnt enough? When have I been social enough?) Going through this process has given me an objective standard. I have intentionally and carefully considered how much TLC my home needs. If I am diligent throughout the week, tending to those things I’ve listed as important then I need to choose to be content with that.

Yes, there will always be more than I can do. My house would not pass the glove test. But that is okay. As I have tried to match the amount of time I have available, with the chores that need to be done, I have worked out what is important to me. I have worked out what is enough for me and my house. I have given myself an objective standard so that at the end of the week I can be content with what has been achieved. No more chasing the illusive ‘all done’ – for me, now my EQ is my goal.

Are you chasing the never ending to-do list? Maybe finding an EQ will help you as well.

* When I say I am aiming for 1 ½ hours of housework a day, that may or may not seem like a lot to you – we have to not make any comparisons but each household needs to start from scratch to list what your home needs, what time that takes, and what time you have. This hour and a half, does not take into consideration the chores my kids do, or cooking dinner.

During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I shared: I also posted Homework for Homeschoolers? over at Aussie Homeschool Blog

Or you may like to read about Doing the Basics There are often times in our life that seem full of extra activity, or we become aware of a particular need in our family and that becomes our particular focus. These are seasons in our life and instead of trying to do it all, adding these things to an already full life, we need to cut it down to just the basics.

Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

Back Issues
If you have just subscribed to Live life with your Kids! then you can read back issues here.
Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you. Make your comment here.

Know somebody who'd like to read this? We really hope that you've enjoyed reading this newsletter. If you think your friends might be interested in taking a look, please feel free to forward it to them.

Haven't subscribed yet? If you're reading this on the recommendation of a friend and would like to receive all the future editions, you can Subscribe here for free

About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

Back to Back Issues Page