Hands up if you have a room in your home where you pile all the things you don’t have a use or space for: things that have been ‘tidied up’ and thrown behind the closed door of the spare room? And do you feel under pressure to have the perfect home, or feel stressed when you see the domestic chores piling up? If so, you’re not the only working mum to feel this way!
Housework and domestic chores aren’t simply tasks that must be completed: like much of the work we do, housework is very much entwined with our emotions. The notion of the home as a happy and safe haven is fundamental, and creating a comfortable and safe home for our family is important to us.
Many working mums like looking after their homes of course and they get a great deal of satisfaction from actually doing the cleaning and tidying and from the end result. But for many working mothers the reality is the feeling that we’re stuck in a domestic drudgery loop of washing, tidying, dusting, mopping floors, cleaning toilets and ironing. We worry about our house being clean when visitors call, and what others think of us if our house isn’t spotless. If we’re surrounded by mess and clutter we feel guilty and stressed. If we spend time doing the cleaning, we worry that we should be spending time with our children or partner; we might also feel resentful that the responsibility for all this falls on our shoulders.
It doesn’t have to be like this though. So what’s the answer? Here are three suggestions to be going on with…
Drop your standards – We’re bombarded with images from glossy magazines and television programmes of the ‘perfect’ home but you don’t need impossibly high standards: worrying about the ironing pile and the carpet that needs vacuuming, just saps your energy.
Hire someone to do the work for you – Paying someone else to do your housework can be a good solution – the number of people getting others to do their housework is rising, especially now that so many women are working mothers.
Delegate – You really don’t have to do it all: think about the things that need doing and either delegate or ask for help.
Professional coaching can help you explore and improve all sorts of areas of your life and work as a working mum, as well as your work and life balance. My free weekly tips “Friday Fives” will give you quick tips, ideas and inspiration to make your life as a working mother simpler, less stressful and more fulfilling here to get it delivered free to your inbox.
What are your feelings about your domestic chores? Do they leave you feeling overwhelmed, or have you successfully managed to create balance between your household chores, home life and work? I’d love to hear your thoughts.