As a mum and homemaker it can be so hard to see your own creativity in the midst of washing and cooking and tidying and nappy changes and refereeing… I feel tired just writing that 😂 but it’s true. It’s so easy to get lost in the glorious madness and feel it’s a battle of housework vs creativity.
I have gone to both extremes in my 8 years of married life, from ignoring the housework and sewing all day to ignoring my sewing and focusing on housework all day. Neither makes me happy. I enjoyed the sewing but the mess and the hungry family with no dinner ready was not fair to anyone. When I try to be diligent and focus on the house and routines and washing and tidying, I very quickly start to feel choked because creativity is important to me.
There must be a middle ground. Somewhere I’m not feeling guilty about doing something I enjoy (this guilt is entirely self inflicted) but also where I am taking full responsibility for my role as a wife, mother and homemaker. It’s all too easy as mothers to work until we crash and burn and forget about ourselves. (It goes without saying that this applies to all in different ways.)
This doesn’t have to be the case. Honestly it doesn’t. Implementing routines and cleaning schedules is brilliant but we’ve got to work on what’s going on inside our heads. Why does it always seems to be Mum vs House? (Not excluding Dads here, just an example 😉)
Why don’t we change our mindset so that we feel our home works with us rather than against us? And when that is the case there will be space and time and freedom for fun creativity as well as useful creativity. For me, and for many others, the way to achieve this is through minimalism, and daily routines such as those taught by the FlyLady and Diane in Denmark. The aim is to eradicate the unnecessary to allow space for simplicity.
There are so many people that say they don’t have time for things, they don’t have money for things, they’re not organised enough to do things… I have been all of them. I don’t like it. It makes us feel like we’re always missing out and incompetent.
The truth is that we choose what to spend our time on. Joshua Becker recently posted an excellent video on this. I’d rather do what I can with what I have to achieve the things that are important to me. That doesn’t mean I can do everything I want, but it does mean that I choose to be more intentional with how I spend my time.
If we are in housework vs creativity mindset we will always be stuck with the negativity and the “poor me poojums” attitude. If we work (using our creativity) to bring ourselves alongside our house then that’s when it truly becomes a home. A place where you work hard to craft a loving and welcoming environment, where you are free to relax after a busy day to explore ideas and learn new things. That’s what we’re aiming for and I tell you, we’re much closer now than we were a few years ago.
I still need to work on my own mindset regarding quality downtime and personal pursuits that have nothing’s to do with housekeeping. I’m like a homemaking and minimalism geek in my downtime but I rarely watch or do anything that’s not deemed to be “useful”.
It is not good to waste our time but we do need to give ourselves a break to pursue our own interests and “play” and not feel guilty about having a short rest. Your worth will not diminish because you spend 30 minutes a day doing a jigsaw, for example! Maybe it’s just me that struggles with this but it’s worth thinking about.
We need to be careful where we are looking for our sense of self worth. Is it our role as mother, if so, what will you do when the kids are grown up? Will you cling onto them in an unhealthy way just to feel valued? Are we looking for it in our homemaking? What happens if we become chronically ill and simply can’t do it anymore? Are we worthless then? Of course not.
Your self worth as an individual is not dependent on your role or roles in life. You are still worthy whether you are a fancy CEO or a homemaker. Whether you are chronically ill or fit and healthy. You are worth taking time on. After all in the Bible God says “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee:” in Isaiah 43 verse 4.
Conclusion on Housework vs Creativity
So, in short, home versus creativity can feel like a constant struggle but it doesn’t have to be. Through tools such as minimalism and schedules, honestly examining excuses and recognizing our self worth, we can create a balance where a house becomes a home that works with us and our dreams and not against us.