When I first got married, there were so many new things to consider and learn. I had to adjust to my husband’s habits and quirks, and take in consideration my in-law’s lifestyle too. It was a period of deep adjustment and one of molding my attitude to serve others instead of focusing on my own needs.
One of the best things I did then was to come up with a system – a homemaking routine of sorts. When will we visit our families? Who will cook our meals? When do we go grocery shopping? What was our monthly budget? Who will do the laundry? What will we do as a family to build our marriage? How should we bless our siblings? What should we commit to, and what do we omit? These were just a few things that we looked into.
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A good homemaking routine helps you get things in order, allowing you space to make flexible decisions and the freedom to rest knowing that there is a structure in place.
But how do we create a routine that is sustainable over time? One that is effective and fits our family’s dynamics? Even better, how do we create a homemaking routine that brings joy and happiness to ourselves and those in our home?
What is a Home
A house becomes a home when it is a place of rest.
Such a home is a haven for those who live there. Ladies, I speak for myself as a reminder too – let us remember that a quarrelsome and naggy wife does not provide space for quietness and restoration. Discouraging remarks and a critical spirit do not build our loved ones up. Instead, they destructively tear their confidence down and increase the tendency for invisible walls to be formed.
That’s not what we want, isn’t it?
So how do we create a Happy Homemaking Routine that blesses?
First, set priorities for your current season of life. What is most important for you right now? What matters most to your spouse and loved ones? Write these things down (limit them to a maximum of 5), and put the rest aside.
Early on in our marriage, I asked my husband what mattered more to him – having a clean house OR having a good dinner to welcome him back after work? I always assumed it would be the latter, so I spent a lot of time cooking and preparing healthy meals, only to have him get frustrated at me over the state of our laundry. Once I knew what made a bigger difference, I gave that top priority. We never argued over that issue anymore, and he was happy to buy the occasional dinner back for us. 😉
Be realistic about how much time you have each day. A time evaluation of your available hours in a typical day will help you gain insight and make wiser choices. Also, I try to batch-work my tasks so that I am not all over the place.
Our culture tends to sell the “more is better” concept, and it is only when we accept the fact that we cannot do everything, that we can finally breathe easier and feel more confident about the choices we make.
We need to choose. We cannot do everything. No, we can’t. So make an intentional choice this day – what are your priorities? Be as specific as you can.
Second, create simple and effective Morning and Evening Routines. These routines will give your day the overall structure it needs so that you can cultivate habits that bring you closer to the goals you want to achieve. Be careful not to overestimate the amount of time you have available for each routine! Keep it realistic and you will find it more sustainable.
Here’s a glimpse of my Routines to give you some inspiration!
6am Quiet Time / Prepare breakfast / 10 minute exercise, shower & get dressed
7am Ellie wakes up / Breakfast as a family (no phones allowed)
8am Household chores: throw rubbish, do dishes, wash the towels / play with Ellie
9am Bathe Ellie / Homeschool / Playtime
7pm Dinner as a family / Bathe Ellie
8pm Bedtime for Ellie /10 minute quick tidy of the house, wash our clothes / Finish up blogging work
930pm Unwind with husband (usually we watch an episode of a tv drama we’re following) / Clear emails / Look into the next day’s plans
1030pm Read a book / Put face mask / Sleep 🙂
Create Your System
When I shared on my Instagram page a few days ago about having systems in place so that I have more brain-space for things that need more attention, Candice from MissusTay asked for me to share on how these systems work for me. It is something so simple that it feels a little silly to share, but sometimes the simplest ideas can make the biggest difference, no?
Well basically, I put almost everything on a loop schedule/rotation. For instance, my wardrobe. I list out all the clothes I love to wear, and I don’t spend time thinking what to wear each day. All I do is refer to my list of “what’s next?”, and I get going. It has saved me so much time! I do the same with my accessories too. I created a list of every accessory that I have, so instead of wondering what to accessorize with, I just wear “what’s next?”. See the pattern now? It helps me not waste the resources I already have, especially since a lot of my jewelry are gifts.
This loop schedule/rotation system can be implemented for practically anything! Homeschool routines, recipe books, people to pray for…the list goes on and on. 🙂 The point is to get as many things on auto-pilot as possible so that you do not go into decision fatigue. It is a very real thing in our modern society!
Besides clearing physical clutter throughout the day, it is important to recognize the impact that digital clutter can have on our minds too. Having too many emails in your inbox is paralyzing, and it hinders you from zooming in on what is truly urgent or important. So make it a point to clear your emails every night. It is extremely freeing!
Eat within Your Budget
Third, eat within your budget. Groceries can take a big chunk of your monthly expenses. So create a manageable meal plan in your homemaking routine that includes a few of your family’s favorites. Same thing – ask your spouse what he likes to have! Balance your week by having a few days of really simple and prudent meals, and have a more elaborate one over the weekend.
In addition, do give freezer cooking a try! After using this approach since last year, my grocery expenses have reduced so much, and wastage is at a bare minimum. Pressure-cooker and slow cooker recipes are good friends of mine too. They seriously make things so much easier! You can check out my Pinterest page for more ideas.
Don’t forget to look out for sales at the supermarkets you frequent, and buy pantry staples and meats (to freeze) when they are on sale. You can trim off your budget by a sizable amount if you do this regularly!
Fourth, self-care. Taking care of yourself is important and is not a selfish act. On the contrary, I believe that if you want to give of your best to your loved ones, this is non-negotiable and is probably one of the kindest things you can do for them. A happy mama (or wife) definitely sets the atmosphere to be one of patience, love, and joy!
If you are not physically or emotionally healthy, how will you be able to care for your loved ones?
Think about what little things bring you joy? Schedule at least 15 minutes every day in your homemaking routine to do something for yourself.
I’m all about flowers, candles, cookies, tea, and books. These are little bits of life that bring a smile to my heart and uplift my spirit, no matter what I’m facing.
As you wind down and prepare to sleep, take the time to give thanks. Practicing intentional gratitude is a very healthy way of processing our day to day lives.
Please take good care of yourself. 🙂
In the same way, think about what makes your loved ones excited. People remember most about the way we make them feel. So take the time to notice what they like, and spring little surprises for them. It can be so fun to see their reaction!
Homemaking Routine Check
Lastly, do a homemaking routine check every 4 months. Set aside time to reflect and discuss with your spouse – Is our home a place of rest? Do we feel secure and rested? Is our home a place where people can fully be themselves and be unconditionally loved?
What are we doing well in, and what needs more improvement? Are we spending enough family bonding time? What homemaking skills can I improve on so that I can be better equipped to create an atmosphere of love and order?
This regular time of reflection on your homemaking routine will be more helpful than you think! I always get valuable information when I discuss things honestly with my husband. After all, we do not think the same way all the time!
Friend, if you are serious about working on your homemaking skills and love to learn new ways to fulfill your role better, register for the Homemaking Ministries 2017 Conference today! It is going to be an amazing line-up of 23 godly speakers who will focus on the theme “Finding Purpose in Your Home”. Super-Early Bird tickets are at $39.95 and price will go up to $49.95 on 1 August, so grab yours soon!
Read this post and see why I believe this is so important!
To end off, I thought it would be interesting to ask my husband about his perspective. Y’know, to get a guys’ perspective about what us ladies labor all day about.
A Guy’s Perspective
So I asked him, “What does a happy home mean to you, and why does it matter?”
He took this question so seriously that he bothered to write it out and email it to me, which was amusing since I was just beside him!
So anyway this was what he said:
“A happy home to me is one of laughter. And I love coming back to a home that is orderly. For example, the clothes are hanged and the dishes are washed. This sets the atmosphere to allow me some space to recharge from work without having to be bothered by things that need obvious cleaning.
Ladies, once your husband is recharged, get him to help with the other work, like vacuuming, mopping the floor, washing the clothes or buying dinner back!”
There you go – my dear husband’s way of encouraging us in working on our homemaking routine. 🙂 I pray this post has blessed you! Let us not be weary in doing good, especially to the ones that matter most to us.