For much of my life, when it came to taking care of the house, I would dwell on how much I hated certain tasks.
I felt that it was extremely unfair that I had to do so much – there were always dishes and laundry, the counters needed to be cleaned, the stove and garbage needed to be taken out, and the floor needed to be swept.
And it was continual.
I’ve mentioned in my videos that much of what I had to work on was my mindset. I had to retrain my mind to think about the end result instead of just complaining the entire time.
If we complain the entire time we do the work, we put ourselves in a bad mood, and the entire process is unpleasant.
Mindset shifts are important
So the first thing I had to do was change my thinking from “I hate doing the dishes” to “I love having the dishes done.”
For me, I had to repeat it every time I did the dishes, and if I was getting stuck in a complaining mode, I would repeat it like a mantra – I love having the dishes done, I love having a clean kitchen.
I would have to envision my kitchen clean, like the carrot in front of the horse – the clean kitchen was what I wanted, and that’s what I was working toward.
Changing my mindset about it made a huge difference. And I was able to move from resentment to acceptance.
We can just accept things without having to require enjoyment out of them.
There seems to be a misunderstanding that we should enjoy housework in order to do it. And that’s simply not the case. We can do it because it needs to be done, but it doesn’t have to fill us with feelings of euphoria.
A few years ago, I read Mimosa by Amy Carmicheal; I loved the book, it was so encouraging to get a glimpse of how God works in people’s lives, but one of the things that struck me was how Mimosa approached her daily tasks.
She lived in India in the early 1900s, she didn’t have a choice in who she married, and her husband ended up being a lazy man who didn’t do much to take care of his family. She had children and had to find ways to care for all of them.
And there was a calm acceptance in it.
Mimosa was in a position where she had to take care of all the daily needs and provide for her family in whatever way she could. It was a hard life, but she didn’t live in martyrdom. She simply did what needed to be done.
Accepting a situation that helps us through the situation.
Acceptance means fully acknowledging the facts of a situation and not fixating on how it shouldn’t be that way. This mindset moves us away from often harsh judgement of ourselves and allows us to break away from thoughts of guilt or unfairness. ~ Sharp.com
Acceptance frees us up in many ways -and along with moving us away from the harsh judgment of ourselves, it moves us away from the harsh judgment of others. It doesn’t help us to fixate on what we think other people should or shouldn’t be doing. Sure, if it’s our kids, we can teach them to help around the house.
But at this very moment, in whatever household task you are facing, it will help you get it done if you simply accept that it needs to be done and you are capable of doing it.
Acceptance is an assertion of control, in that we are choosing our attitude and our actions. Once we accept a situation, complete with the uncomfortable feelings this entails, we can shift our attention to what we need to do to live in accordance with our chosen values. We can let go of lamenting the problem and instead say to ourselves, Okay, this is how it is. I see the situation clearly, and I may not like it, but what am I going to do about it? ~ PsychCentral.com
What does acceptance look like?
It’s walking into a messy kitchen and saying yes, it’s a mess, and it needs to be cleaned up. And acknowledging that means that we can respond and we can take action.
And yes, cleaning the kitchen needs to be done every day; it’s as much a part of our life as taking a shower and getting dressed. It needs to be done regularly, and we are capable of doing it.
Our body needs daily hygiene, and so does our home.
It doesn’t have to be fun, it doesn’t have to feel rewarding, we don’t get recognition for doing the daily tasks, and that’s ok. It’s part of life. We have the ability to accept it, and we have the ability to do it.