Highly Connected Housewife

Recently I shared how I believe I have grown in my faith through online connections and how we must be aware of the influence of media on our marriages and parenting.

Ultimately, the only person I know I can change is…myself.

The greatest influence media has on my life is in my role as a homemaker. This isn’t just because I seem to fall into a black hole when reading my favorite blogs or answering emails. Sometimes it is because I compare my home to what I see online. Whether it is a beautiful space showcased from a blogger or the glossy photography of a magazine website, I begin comparing the space I have to the Dream Home in my imagination. Last year I shared with you the weekly plan I strive to follow for routine cleaning. This schedule is still my goal for each week and it is often completed. However, I have found I really need to vacuum every day and deeper cleaning is often neglected.

In the D-I-S-C Personality Profiles, I am a strong S personality. Family is my highest priority, yet I often allow the space in which we live to fall to the bottom of my priority list. There are certainly seasons of life that allow for more or less focus on detailed cleaning: when I had a 2 year old and 1 year old at the same time, their physical care was our main goal, not cleaning windows every month. Recognizing the priorities of my husband is important too. I would rather have every flat surface cleaned off while he notices the dust in corners.

Our kids won’t start school until next month, but now is the time for me to start getting routines in place so that transition will go smoothly. It helps me to remember these are simply systems, tools, to help us achieve what we want for our family.

1. Me First – It seems so counter-intuitive at first glance, but we must care for ourselves before we can care for anyone else. Am I waking up rested, getting exercise and healthy food, and spending time reading God’s Word?

2. Routines Work – A flexible schedule might mean your Monday tasks are completed at different times each Monday, but scheduling tasks has two benefits. First, you give yourself the deadline and get the job done. Second, if you start to think about that task on another day of the week, you can release it mentally and clear your mind, because you know when it is scheduled to be completed. If you know tomorrow holds great pool weather, you can double up and complete those tasks today.

3. Mentoring not Comparing – Instead of criticizing the state of my home (or its decor) after seeing someone else’s, I can ask them for their best tips. When I need help in creating a more interesting menu plan, I ask for recipes from Facebook friends. When I need a window covering for an odd-shaped window, I can scour the resources of Pinterest and bloggers online. When planning our budget or a major purchase, I can send a tweet asking for others’ experiences with spreadsheets or a particular product.

4. Delegation is not optional – Whether it is having a little more help from your spouse when your children are small or hiring full time housekeeping, delegation is not a dirty word. Preschoolers can learn to put toys away, friends with small children can trade babysitting to tackle deeper cleaning tasks uninterrupted and teenagers need to help with chores so they are better prepared to care for their own home in a few short years.

How do the forms of media in your life affect your homemaking: what is the best and worst thing media has done to affect the state of your home?