16 February 2020

Happiness Homemade 16th February 2020

This week has been busy, with lots going on, and lots getting done. But when I look around, I can't really see all the work and effort. It's hidden in tidied cupboards, washed curtains, cleaned ceiling and exahust fans, scrubbed grouting - all jobs that are hard work, but don't give a "wow you've been busy" impact at first glance.

Oh, I cleaned the oven too - not that it's working, and it's about to be pulled out, but I want to keep the racks because they should fit the new ovens, and that will give me more shelf space.

Yesterday was card day. We had a lovely day at Wendy's, with a surprise birthday lunch for Pamela and an extra special surprise visit from Carol. Our gang was almost complete. Card day is my day. It's the one day of the month that is for me, me, me, and it would take something very big and important to have me cancel.

If that sounds selfish, it isn't. The rest of the month I devote to my family and friends. I care for our home and garden; I look after Cheapskates Club; time is spent volunteering for others. As a wife and mother, and a homemaker, I need time to myself, doing something that I enjoy. It's time out (that's the modern name for it) and I don't feel guilty for taking it.

When AJ was born, Mum gave me some advice, that my Great-Grandma Curtin, who raised seven children during the Great Depression and WWII, had given her: once tea was over and the dishes were done and the baby was in bed, my work for the day was over. Just because I'm a mother and homemaker doesn't mean I work non-stop 24/7.

So, even after all these years and adding two more children to our family, after dinner, when the dishes are done and the kitchen is clean, I stop.

I don't fold laundry. I don't do the ironing. I don't clean or tidy or dust or vacuum. I don't do website work.

Most evenings, by around 7.30pm, my work day is over. I make a cuppa and the time is spent reading or knitting or making cards or sewing or working a tapestry. During the summer I like to potter in the garden, watering and weeding and planning the next planting. Or Wayne and I will go for a walk and talk and catch-up from our day. In winter I'm often in bed (it's warm and cosy, and there's no point in heating a big room just to sit and read).

If you're a wife, mother, homemaker and work outside your home, you not only can, but need to stop your day and rest. You may need to get organised (I did, but the habits have stuck), and you may go non-stop for an hour or so before dinner, but you need time out to rest, recuperate and rejuvenate before you tackle the next day.

Don't feel guilty for being tired. And seriously, those super-women who seem to be able to do it all - well chances are there are quite a few things they're either not doing, or not doing very well or getting outside help - the illusion of having it all is just that - an illusion.

Remember: if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of your family.

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