Turns out, it all lies in your mindset - anything and everything starts and ends in the mind. If you are telling yourself the fun can't start until the heavy burden of housework has been lifted - then that's exactly what it is going to be - a burden. If you tell yourself and the kids that the fun can't start until the housework is done, or because it has only just been done - they you can bet your bottom dollar that fun will not show up where it's not welcome. I had been thinking all this time (with my crazy lady logic..) that I was preserving my sons childhood by allowing the mess to flow, and the housework to take a back seat - so that we could spend most of the precious irreplaceable moments that we have together "having real fun" - when, in reality, what I was actually doing was burying my resentment for chores in toys and baking things, crayons and play doh etc. (so to speak - the list could go on, believe me!) all while perpetuating the idea that it is okay to have a chaotic home to my four year old, who is relying on me to set an example of being a mature and reliable role model on which to base his life choices and habits. NO WAY JOSE! If the chore chart on the fridge is to have any real meaning other than the promise of stickers upon the completion of each task, then I must uphold my parenting duties, and put to practise what i'm preaching to the boy who will (i hope) one day grow into a fine, independent and resourceful young man.
So, where are MY stickers?! Unfortunately as you may already know, we adults tend to get rewards that are far less glittery, shiny and obvious - taking my train of thought back to those unfaltering determined and hardworking women who not only take on the responsibility of taking pride in the upkeep of their own homes, but who are coming to us for work, to take on a job that they love, because that entails taking pride in the upkeep and presentation of other peoples homes too! So, back to my stickers - and what I mean by that of course is back to what it is that drives the wonder women of Tidy Time Services and all those alike them.
So number one, the motivating thought to begin this whole process is setting the example to our children - absolutely, indisputably a star I would strive for first and foremost on my chore chart! The second, (and i'm speaking from my very own personal laundry loathing experience) believe it or not is FUN! This is an absolutely FUN-damental part of this whole change of mindset I was talking about at the start. I find that if I can't make it into a game for myself and my little one to take part in then simply blasting the tunes and busting a wiggle while we work our way through the house, belting out our favourite ballads makes it enjoyable for us both AND the time even seems to pass significantly quicker too! We LOVE music, so this was a no-brainer for our household, but something else may be more to your taste - it's all about finding what works for you and incorporating those things you love together to make doing those things you maybe don't love so much that bit more tolerable every time you do it.
IF YOU ENJOY WHAT YOU DO, YOU WILL PRODUCE A QUALITY OF WORK THAT IS SECOND TO NONE!
The third sticker up for grabs is the inner peace and clarity of mind that follows a decent clean up, like a bonus level that can only be reached if the first 2 stages are executed wholeheartedly and with good intention - THIS, is where I finally understood the therapeutic side of it and it all sort of came together in one big "AHA" moment.
Your housework routine is, (unfortunately for some, depending on your mindset) an unavoidable part of life. If you find yourself full of resentment for having to spend your precious moments with the cleaning equipment then there are two things you can do:
#1 - Give Tidy Time Services a call to fulfil your domestic housekeeping needs so you may free up your time ;)
OR, (And this one is simple, free and available to you at any given moment..)
#2 - Change your mindset - it's as simple as that!
I used to say that a tidy home is the sign of a wasted life.. Oh how wrong I was - who is to say that you have to stop living just because you are cleaning? There are real people with a real passion for spending quality time on their home producing amazing results giving nothing but a bit of tender loving care - why can't we all be one of them? Instead of waking up and loathing the mess from the night before look around and be thankful, for the roof over your head, for the things that you own, the plates and cutlery you eat from, and the means to keep all these things in tip top condition. Every day presents a new challenge, new opportunities, for inspiration and motivation to do better than you did yesterday. Each new mess presents the opportunity for growth and the ability to develop a better routine and constantly improve upon yourself, and once that new challenge has been completed, whoaaa nelly does it feel sooooo darn good! Think of the satisfaction you feel when completing a task set out for yourself, now times it by 100 when you get to see and feel the effects and satisfaction of a job well done.
I'm not someone who is shy to hold my hands up and say "OK, I was wrong" - in fact i'll do it right now! OK people, I was wrong, a tidy house is not the sign of a wasted life, a dusty home and dusty mindset alike are in fact the true signs of a wasted life, that you are unable to live or find joy in the smallest and most menial of things, that the clutter of your mind that manifests into the physical clutter of your unruly airing cupboard or washing basket are both being ignored and brushed aside when there are lessons to be learnt in everything - yes, (said the unicorn mum) even cleaning! As someone who (to put it politely and vaguely..) struggles, daily with mental health issues (bipolar bear blogger..) - I can assure you the best therapy, and most mind-altering mantra I have now adopted is in fact - A TIDY HOUSE = TIDY MIND AND SOUL.
That will be all from me today Tidytimers, Namaste!