I splurged $33 at the grocery store the other day. I bought a mop! One of those fancy ones that squirts cleaner right in front of what you’re mopping up. It felt like such a guilty pleasure! I never buy the fancy household cleaning products, but that’s starting to change. If I’m being honest, a lot of things are starting to change in our house. Pre-and-post pandemic will look different everywhere, not just at shopping malls and grocery stores.
During this pandemic, we should realize what we’re living through. It’s history, folks. As my kids have been saying, “They’ll be writing history books about what we’re living through!” Taking care of household tasks that make our lives easier is worth every penny. When you’re spending all your time inside your house, it’s gonna get dirty. Go ahead and get that fancy feather duster that cleans the ceiling fan. Or a toilet brush that doesn’t gross you out. Get gloves to wear when you’re cleaning so your hands aren’t destroyed. If your kids are older than eight, enlist them to help out. They can do everything from cleaning glass doors and mirrors to scrubbing toilets and tubs.
No matter where you live, things are starting to open back up. But it will be a long time before everything is back to normal. But do we want it to be completely back to normal? The few parents I’ve seen in the past couple weeks have agreed that during this quarantine, our kids are less overwhelmed, we’re happier moms, our kitchens are being used for cooking, our house feels more like it should feel…and this is taking place in the midst of an extremely stressful environment! It was unanimous that we are not exactly missing the way things used to be. We all said we weren’t sure we wanted to go back to the old way of life.
I started to wonder…how many of us will actually make some changes to prevent the old way from happening again?
Until everything was canceled and closed, I didn’t realize how exhausted I was. I had been running so fast for so long, it was my ‘normal.’ Now, I feel a new normal. Sure, I’m still tired at the end of the day, but I have a toddler boy and two teen/preteen girls who would wear anyone out. What makes me tired now is actual parenting and managing my household. What was wearing me out before was the constant sprint and schedule management of running kids all over town.
Pre-pandemic, we had a housecleaner twice a month. My kids helped with keeping the floors clean, but that’s all they did in terms of household chores. One of the changes we made as a family was to let the housecleaner go. She had been coming for so long, it was just ‘what we did.’ When she couldn’t come because of the stay-at-home order, it became obvious that we didn’t need to spend money on that luxury. We’re all fully capable of cleaning our house.
So, now we spend time every weekend doing the work. Divided among myself and the girls (my husband manages the toddler), it takes a couple hours at the most. And the girls have said that they love the way the house looks when we’re done. It’s the same way with yard work, or cleaning up their room, or sprucing up the garage. When you put your own labor into something, the benefits you reap are pretty awesome. Those are life lessons my kids are learning with the added bonus of a clean house!
We’ve made other changes, too. After years of competitive dance, we decided not to try out for next year’s team. Our daughter wasn’t very happy about it to say the least, but my husband and I know it’s the right choice for her and our family. We’re putting parameters in place to guard our schedules from becoming crazy again. Saying yes to no more than a certain number of weekend events each month is one of them. Building in a little more margin into our lives has become a necessity now that we see how life can be when it’s not jam-packed.
How has the pandemic played out in your household? Are there some blessings you’ve seen over the past few months? Take some time to reflect.
Sure, there are some new stresses and complications. We’re all a little tired of being around each other. It’d be great if the gyms could open and we could all go out to eat again. Schools back in session this fall would be delightful. Personally, if I don’t have football to watch, fall will not be the same.
But when you really think about it, are there some areas of your family’s life that you don’t want to return to the way it was? What are some changes you can make today that will benefit your sanity and build in some margin moving forward?
For better or worse, we’ve been given this time to take a breath and re-evaluate our lives. What truly matters most to you, your spouse, and your kids? You’re in the driver’s seat of your life. You got this, mama!