Part 8: Working Christian Women: I’m frazzled, how do I cope?

Part 8: I’m frazzled, how do I cope?

Working women have many challenges and one of these is trying to run a household and work at the same time. It isn’t easy and for some women it is extremely stressful and tiring. On Facebook I came across a question from a reader which I am sure many of you are relate too. It came from "The Organised Housewife" page (source)


I work full time, have 3 kids (3-8) and don't get much help around the house, everything is left to me.  By the time I finish dinner and fold all the washing, I am exhausted, no time for cleaning the floors, kitchen or general tidy of the house. I don't like the house this way it's getting me down. Any tips from other working mums on how you keep up with the housework, would be very appreciated.

What can working women do to minimise stress levels and exhaustion but still manage to work and care for their homes and families? It is a tall order but doable. 

**Please note, that whilst I have written this with working women in mind, many women find themselves frazzled at some point and these tips are useful for everyone. 

Here are a few tips ( but I am sure you could think of others). 

Point 1: Surrender your life to God — EVERYTHING. You cannot do any of these things without Him. Pray, pray and pray. Remember that God chose YOU for this role, all these roles and we should feel honored and not overwhelmed but what God has asked us to do, He thinks we are highly capable to meeting this challenge (but of course, not without Him. God's tasked you (and me) to be a good mother, not to be the most popular woman at work. It’s okay to say no.

And don't forget to take time out of your day to read your bible and grow in Christ. If you struggle with time — use your lunch hour. Sit quietly somewhere and do your bible study. 

Point 2:  Take a look at the hours you are working and see if reducing them will make a difference. Can you afford to work a 4 days week? Will your company allow part-time hours (not every one likes staff who are part-time). I work with a number of women who work 3 or 4 day weeks and it makes a huge differences in their level of exhaustion and being able to cope. They might earn a little less money but their overall wellbeing is much better and so to the rest of the family. This is a very good place to start. Money isn't everything and if it means paying of bills a little slower, this might be a better option than destroying your health, causing grief to your marriage and problems with your children.

Point 3: Look at all the things that need to be done and draw up a schedule. Being organised is the key in many instances. Include all members of the family — mum, dad and children. Many hands make light work and it will be surprising how quickly things can get done when everyone is on hand.  Work out the tasks that need to be done daily (cooking, general tidy up), weekly (such as changing the sheets, washing towels, cleaning the bathroom etc. ) and those tasks that may be done monthly such as cleaning the fridge. This will create some order in your mind and once again remove some of that stress. 

** Important note - do not attempt to "do it all", you simply can't - you are not Wonder Woman.

Point 4 Train the children to be helpers because they are part of the family and family members needs to help each other - this is a team and a team works together. They can carry out a range of chores (that are age appropriate), some may require some training, but the effort put into training will pay off. If the children don’t want to help, they don’t get their pocket money and no TV or other enjoyable activities. You do need to be tough and that can be hard after a day at work. But remember, dad can also help with this discipline. 
  • Make their own bed
  • Put their clothes in a laundry hamper (have several baskets for whites and coloured's)
  • Pick up toys before bed (have colourful boxes for toys making it easier to tidy
  • Wash and dry the dishes or load and unload the dishwasher
  • Dust
  • Make their own breakfast and lunches
  • Clean bathroom/toilet
  • Feed the pets

Point 5: Another way to save time is cooking in bulk. When making the evening meal (eg Spaghetti Bolognese) make twice as much and freeze the remainder.  Use the slower cooker, I find mine invaluable and use it all the time. Have a menu drawn up and stick to it, means you don’t have to think very hard when you get home and it makes shopping much easier. Stick to simple healthy meals—no need for anything fancy. Have take-away once a week on Friday and make that the day you can put your feet up. On weekends I make a large casserole and pop it in the fridge. We eat this on Monday and Wednesday, it means the first day back at work, I don't have any cooking to do when I get home. To bulk out the meal, include bread rolls which are simple but filling. 

Another option is to take three to fours hours once a month to prepare and freeze meals and vegetables. 

And don't panic if you have eggs on toast with baked beans when you have simply run out of ideas or time. It isn't the end of the world, no one will go hungry.

Point 6: Declutter — by reducing the amount of belongings you and your family owns will also reduce the amount of things that need dusting, put away and looking after. 

Set a few basic rules 
Never leave the kitchen messy before bed as it is depressing to wake up to a messy greasy kitchen full of dishes. Get the kids and husband to help — as I said, you are all part of the team and being in a team means helping each other. 

Make the bed every morning — after a busy day, there is nothing worse than collapsing onto an unmade bed. Making beds is quite quick these days with our modern doonas. 

Before going to bed, do a quick 10 mins tidy of the living space because coming home after a busy day and walking into mess just adds to your stress levels. It doesn't take long to pick up newspapers, magazines and place in a pile, straighten pillows and throw rugs and put TV controls neatly away. 

No play until chores are done — adults and children alike. It is a good motivator to do things quickly. 

Here are a few other suggestions given on Facebook and some of my own:

  • Put dry clothes away, NOT in laundry basket … hang up everything that can and ONLY iron essentials when needed
  • Open mail as it comes in – bin, file or put in action pile – blitz the mail pile weekly
  • Hire a cleaner once a fortnight or if that is too expensive, have one that comes 3 monthly and does a spring clean. 
  • Pay for someone to iron the clothes
  • Purchase a robot vacuum cleaners
  • Do one load of laundry every day … load up in the morning, use timer so finished when get home, put straight in drier, hang up or put away before bed.
  • Create lists so you don’t even have to remember things.
  • Mulit-task  - dust whilst you clean your teeth or clean the bathroom counter. 
  • Perhaps take a day off work for me time, to recharge the batteries and find some calmness in your day.