Briskfully walking across the living room, towards the front door, to retrieve my Amazon package I stopped dead in my tracks. Doing my best, I held my tongue as I lifted my foot. Quick! Man down! Another strategically planned Lego attack. We have been at war for a few months now! Welcome to WifeLife Weakness (on mommy duty)!
To have a healthy marriage and stay a happy wife, it is important that we understand what roles weaken us as wives, and how those opportunities impact our husbands. From our moods to our distortion of time and energy, our weakness can quickly take over! I can’t think of how many times the thought has passed through my head if only I didn’t have to do this…I could spend more time with my husband! Have you ever thought that? Hoping I am not alone here! Or maybe you are having to do something in your weakness territory so your mood is not the best. We know a negative/bad attitude is highly contagious for the entire house! Or perhaps, you have spent so much time working in your weakness area, that you feel drained, and your husband gets what I call the “leftovers” of his wife.
As life would have it, everyone has their weakness and I am about to share with you one of my biggest! A weakness that use to challenge my mindset, time management and often would leave this wife (with a full-time job and two littles) extremely exhausted by the end of my day, leaving the “leftovers” of me for my husband.
So what is this weakness of mine? CLEANING! I am amazing at cleaning! I can make the entire house sparkle…BUT cleaning is my weakness. Why is it my weakness? I just said I was amazing at it! According to “Living you Strongest Life” by Marcus Buckingham, if you do not instinctively look forward to certain activities, those activities drain you and leave you unfulfilled…you are in weakness territory! And that is exactly how I feel about housecleaning! There are a million other things I would rather do than clean. And the funny thing is, I want to be that woman that always had a clean house! I admire ladies who have homes that are always clean, standing ovation for those that have tidy homes with littles!!!
For the longest time I thought something was wrong with me. I wanted to be that “Leave it to Beaver” clean-home wife so badly, but had no will to actually do it. The thought of cleaning left me feeling stressed. It was one more thing added to my to do list! I use to be the girl who would text my best friend and celebrate making my bed 3 days in a row! Yes, I would send her a picture, I know, I know pathetic right?! Another means for a texting celebration? Having a clean living room for a week! (If you have little kids you know this is a huge accomplishment.)
Knowing the stress that cleaning put on me and how that mood could easily turn a great day into a less than great day I knew I needed a change, a different strategy, as my husband did not deserve my “leftovers”. But like all responsibilities that need to be completed, I unfortunately could not just choose to not clean (thank you adult life). But what I did find, was a strategy that allows me to accomplish what needed to be done in my weakness area, and still keep majority of my focus/time on my strengths to live my strongest-happiest wife life!! A strategy that could be applied to most weakness territories (for those wives of you that have a fabulous clean home) and I am sharing it with you today!
This might sound weird when we talk about cleaning, but I am all about working smarter not harder. So finding yet another excuse to get on Pinterest (and procrastinate cleaning) I read about cleaning. I found all sorts of information on cleaning schedules and best practices (specifically for working mothers) that I could adapt.
Tip: You can have someone else perform your task that is in your area of weakness, so you do not have to! That is even better! Truth is, it was worth the investment to get someone to clean every month, but we decided to start living debt free and are currently doing the Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey). Once our student loans and mortgage is paid off I will enjoy someone taking over!
This is sounding simple right, but as you notice I still have not started physically cleaning yet… I write down a weekly routine that I can use. Kitchen Sunday, Bathrooms Monday, Living area Tuesday, Bedrooms Wednesday, Thursday Meal planning (clean out frig), Friday Grocery Shopping, Saturday Laundry, Dishes Daily, and what a blessing God told us to have a day of rest…THANK YOU for Sunday!
Tip: Do your most dreaded activities at the beginning of your week/day! Why? If it is the last thing on your list for the day, you will be dreading it all day and have a higher chance of having the “it will get done tomorrow mindset”. Also if you start your day like this, you will have it out of the way and your day can be filled with your strongest role activities!!!! Leaving you filling fulfilled after a long day 😀
This one took a bit to figure out. But even the Proverbs 31 woman had assistance so I went for it! I asked my husband which on the list of cleaning he would like to do. (Please note, up until this point Gabe had been doing our laundry for the past for 6 years, I figure I need to throw credit where credit is due :D) We found a plan that was pretty even and worked for both of us!
Tip: Ladies, if you have a husband that you do not think will help, you might be surprised. Majority of the time it is all in how you ask and when you ask. I would spend a good week or two really buttering him up! Then nonchalantly mention that you would love if maybe you guys could clean together on X, Y & Z so that you could have more time with him since household duties would be completed twice as fast! Whatever way you want to spin it, give it a try you might be surprised when he says yes! There are also other known ways to get our husbands to participate in home chores…I will let you think about that one! 😀
Since this is my weakness, I do not want to spend a ton of time on it (which is why it gets weekly attention) so I set my timer to 15 minutes and I Power Clean! You know the kind when you find out your Mother-in-law will coming over in 20 minutes for a “quick” visit…YES urgent power cleaning mode! I noticed sometimes if I am working in my weakness it takes me longer because I am not excited to tackle the activity. So a timer makes is quick and easy!
Tip: Whatever your weakness may be, I try to pair it with music. So while I am cleaning, I am listening to K-love. Singing at the top of my lungs and dancing as I scrub! So now I went from 15 minutes to 5 of my favorite songs! (That math sounds so much better).
Here I go, by step 5 I am cleaning!
Tip: Always think of reasons while you are working in your weakness on what the outcome will be. I start to think about how this strategy is so much better for my positive attitude! Especially a more positive attitude in my marriage. It makes me smile knowing how my girls will see the importance of a clean house…the good stewardship of maintaining a home that God has blessed us with. Oh, and how good it is to be victorious over the Lego war in our living room!
I hope these 5 tips are not only easy for you to use, but truly are a blessing when you put them into practice! It’s true what they say, “Happy Wife equals Happy Life!” Best of luck flexing this strategy to help in your weakness territories!
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Did you take the Date Your Husband Challenge? I have been hearing great stories from wives that have! I would love to hear yours!