Realistic Homekeeping Expectations


I received an email from a mom this week I wanted to share with you:

“I have purchased your 2012 calendar and was wondering how do you play catch up with the days when unexpected things come up or you go away for a few days.”

I knew I had to address this question, because she is not the only one feeling the guilt, struggle and feeling of failure.  I want to share with you a little of my response to her as well as dig a little deeper in helping you find balance and realistic expectations for the season you may be in.

I never intended to give you a resource that could increase your frustration – not in the least.  I wanted to give you a plan, a guideline that so many of us lack.  Here is a response from one mom who shared just what I was hoping would happen for so many of you:

I am writing to say Thank You!  Your calendar has been a huge revolution to my world. I am on week three and using the menu and calendar avidly.  It is just the boost I needed to turn my family around.  I’ve been struggling for years, tried different things and recently been seeking God for a way to get something in place that would work for my personality and help my family.  I keep looking (comparing – which I know I shouldn’t do) at other friends, family and neighbors who just seem to have it all together and wished so much I could just grab one of them and make them come live with me and tell me what in the world I’m doing wrong because I couldn’t seem to get it right.  Your calendar is this “older woman” of Titus 2, coming into my home in paper form, as it were, and teaching me to be the woman I should be.  – Rebecca

Can I just say that this note and the many others that come into my inbox bring such joy to me!  To know that I could provide something to help even one mom find feelings of purpose and make her day easier is confirmation that I am doing just what I am suppose to be doing just where The Lord has me.

So let me address a few things that I think are critical for those of you who may be feeling too overwhelmed with the tasks everyday in the Weekly Household Planner.

It’s a Guide

Realize that this planner is a guide, not a mandatory list!  Some days you may not get all the things crossed off, other days you may get even more working ahead.  I can tell you there are many days that I do not complete the tasks, but what the list does for me is show me what I have to choose from to get done.  I found that deciding what to do or what needed to be done to keep my home running smoothly on a regular basis was overwhelming and would keep me from “moving”.

Think of this list as a starting place.  If your microwave isn’t in need of a wipe down this week, then skip it and move on.  If your shower can go a week without the quick clean, use that time for something else (like sitting down with a cup of tea or reading a story with your little one!)

It’s About Choices

Making choices everyday is one of our duties as a mom.  Deciding who gets what, when it happens and how it flows is a skill we quickly learn.  The same philosophy is needed when using this guide.  You need to evaluate things and determine what is realistic, necessary and non-negotiable.  If there is a ring around the toilet, I would say cleaning the toilet is necessary.  If you have an extremely busy day or unexpected things happen during your day, then organizing the pantry is not a critical task!  Either leave it or write it down in your “this week” section or place it on another day.

Evaluate your pace of life

This is a critical piece to the puzzle, and examining it is often overlooked.  So often many of us are running so fast we never purposefully think about the bigger picture – much less take positive actions steps to correct your course.

Does your family spend much time at home?

Are your children involved in more than one activity at a time?

Do you have time to connect with your husband?

These are all questions to consider and I am sure you can come up with even more.

Our society continues to place a sense of “normal” to the fast paced lifestyle so many of us lead.

If you are running everywhere else, it is hard to be home long enough to take care of tasks that should be one of your primary priorities.  If you are spending more time in your car than in your home, it may be time to re-examine and make some adjustments.


One thing I routinely stress is getting your family involved.  Just because these tasks are listed in a planner that you primarily use does not mean that others cannot do them!  There are many tasks that can be distributed to others in your family.  I wrote a post on getting cooperation in your family that might be helpful if you are struggling with delegating and cooperation.

You will certainly become very crabby and burned out if you think you can continually work at a fast pace and strive to get everything done on your own.  Here are a few other tips to avoid that common Mom Burnout.


Mama – you have to give yourself GRACE!  Plain and simple.  We are not perfect and having the expectation that we will be is a recipe for failure in itself.  Look at it this way, if one day you get all your tasks done; celebrate that as the ‘unordinary’ not the other way around.  Sometimes it can be a shift in our thinking – realize that you will not get all the things done, but the list gives you a starting point to evaluate the current needs and to keep you on track for the much bigger picture!

What you do in your home is so important, but carrying guilt, frustration and feelings of being unsuccessful will drain you of any joy that comes your way.  You are awesome! So what if the baseboards don’t get wiped down this week and they have to wait another 4 weeks til the next rotation?

For more tips on overcoming  the overwhelm you might also want to read Common Mom Mistakes.

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