It’s National Housewife Day.
According to Wikepidia, a housewife is “a woman whose main occupation is running or managing her family’s home—caring for and educating her children, cooking and storing food, buying goods the family needs in day-to-day life, cleaning and maintaining the home, making clothes for the family, etc.—and who is generally not employed outside the home.”
OK, technically I’m not a real housewife on account of my employment outside the home, but the rest of the list is spot on. And, if I may toot my own horn – toot, toot – I’m becoming a better housewife every day. The key is prioritizing tasks, working efficiently and knowing when to ask for help.
Prioritizing – Sunday night or Monday morning, I make a dump list of everything that is on my mind. Then, I prioritize which items need to be handled on Monday, which need to be allocated for the rest of the week and which need to go in my “parking lot”.
- TIP: “parking lot” board houses tasks/ideas/items that you will address at a later time. By parking them, you are giving them a temporary home without forgetting them. At the end of the week, review the board and decide if it’s time to place one of these tasks/ideas on your daily to-do list.
Working Efficiently – There’s no room for dilly dallying when you’re a super housewife. I can’t get sucked into sorting the mail, when I’m on my way to the office (aka computer in my bedroom) for the 1.5hr work period in the morning during David’s first nap. Picking up the phone and talking to my great-aunt for 30-minutes is plausible after 8pm, but a time zapper at 1pm. If I’m heading out of the house for groceries and I know the dry cleaners and bank are on the way, it’s important to plan ahead so that all tasks can be done in one swoop, as opposed to venturing out again and wasting time on two or three trips. You get the picture. Efficiency improves with time. I’m still a work in progress, but I have two tips.
- TIP: List all the home-related tasks you know happen every week. Allocate set days for certain tasks, i.e. Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is grocery day.
- TIP: For a week, keep a journal of all your activities. You may be surprised to spot pesky, time killers.
Asking for Help – When given the choice, I always prefer home cooking. However, with two little kids, a career I’m trying to keep alive, laundry, grocery shopping, and, of course, my need for me time, it’s difficult to find time for cooking. Fortunately, my mother-in-law lives blocks away and is a kitchen ninja. That woman can make a seven-course meal with sand and stones. Between her and my own mother and grandmother, I have the culinary support needed to fuel my family. Knowing when to ask for help in any career, including that of a housewife, is essential to running a successful business aka family.
- TIP: Show your thanks with a brief thank-you card or flowers. Mother-in-laws, also enjoy spa packages.
Here are some clever products to help you become an amazing, well-organized, never-forgets-a-thing, and always-looks-fabulous housewife.
1. ShugabeeLane, Framed Dry Erase Board $159 – Ideal for your “Parking Lot”, this Etsy vendor lets you customize the frame around your erase board.
2. Knock Knock, Check It Off Wrist Note $6 – This is an ingenious essential! Now, I’ll never forget those easy-to-forget tasks.
3. Bob’s Your Uncle, 8 Days-A-Week Planner $18 – Keep this by your computer area or in your purse, for instant access. The extra 8th-day, space is great for items you can later put on your parking lot.
4. Erin Condren, Weekly Schedule Pad- oh! what a week! $30 – This is way chicer than the hand-made, calendar currently hanging in my kitchen.