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It’s all well and nice to be talking about slowing down, doing less, self care and wellbeing, but we need to talk about the elephant in everyone’s room: housework.

The latest Time Use Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics identified that women spent almost three hours every day on domestic activities.

Three hours! Every day!

This is the average for Australian women, but I’m willing to take a wild guess that it’s not much different to women around the world.

Some of us may spend a little more time, some a little less, but the fact is that we all spend a good amount of hours each day doing housework.

That’s unlikely to go away any time soon, so what to do about it?

And before we go on, let me add a disclaimer that this is not a piece about sharing the workload, which I think you should absolutely do – that’s a whole other topic. This is about your fair share (whether you’re a man or a woman) that won’t go away, no matter how much daydreaming, manifesting or resenting we put it through.

Can we still self care, can we still put ourselves first, can we still be the best parents we can be with all this housework?

I think we can.

The meaning of housework

I think housework is getting a pretty bad rap, and it’s not all for good reason. There may be a few untruths in the way we think about housework.

Let me take a guess. Do you spend your housework hours wishing you were somewhere else, in a different life, doing something else? I get it. I have been there, and occasionally I’m there again. But I’d love to suggest a more useful mindset for those housework hours. Cause this is all about helping you, doing what’s best for you hon.

Let’s dig in.

What are your beliefs around housework? Are they true?

Are you in a bad mood when you’re cleaning or cooking? Are you assigning meaning to housework, meaning that may not necessarily be true? Do thoughts like these go through your mind?

I can’t wait to finish the stupid housework so I can do the important stuff!

Housework is a waste of my time, of my brains!

I wish I had a cleaner! I can’t do all this myself.

I have worked hard to build a business, a career. I shouldn’t be doing housework!

With negative thoughts like these going through our minds, it’s no wonder the simple task of vacuuming the floors becomes a much bigger, badder task than it actually is.

But try to think of vacuuming as…just vacuuming. It doesn’t need to be anything else. You don’t need to judge it, assign a label to it. Try to reframe it as a practical necessity.

And if we’re really honest, isn’t there a bit of satisfaction watching the dust being sucked in, leaving clean shiny surfaces behind.

If you can’t change the housework facts, can you maybe…change the housework thoughts? You are the boss of those thoughts. Make them work for you.

What about looking at it as an opportunity to provide your family with a beautiful nurtured and tidy space, feel blessed by the fact that you have a home, a sanctuary where you are safe and can simply be together. You are therefore in a position with your approach to housework, to add value to your loves.

Housework as an opportunity to…you guessed it: slow down

Slowing down is an attitude you can bring to everything you do. And if you think you need special candles, room sprays, a particular venue to slow down in, we’re probably thinking of different things.

I think housework is a perfect activity to practice slowing down with. Try shifting from rushing through tasks just to tick boxes to staying in the moment with each chore you do. Note the difference. Being present in these tasks means you can physically allow yourself space to think about what it is you truly want to create in your life, what you want to change and develop.

Try these slowing down techniques to stay in the moment and shift the negative beliefs around housework. It has to be done, right? So why not approach with a more useful attitude instead?

Focus on the process – rather than rushing through it so you can move on to what you really want to be doing, stay with the task. Don’t postpone your relaxing until after the chore is done. See if you can use these chores to practise being present in what you are doing.

Look for the joy in the taskwe talked about how decluttering is scientifically proven to enhance your focus. I believe cleaning, cooking, doing housework can do the same. Allow yourself to enjoy it. Look at what you are able to create for your family in doing so.

Make it a ritual – what are the things you do when you want to relax? Light a candle, put some music on, or even sing? Add these soothing elements to your housework routine and watch what happens. Maybe there is fun to be had while doing housework.

Allow your children to pitch in

I know it can often be ‘easier’ to be supermum and do it all yourself. Kids don’t start out as the greatest helpers. I remember when my daughter wanted to help with washing the dishes. It took a lot out of me to say yes – most of the water would go on the floor and there was more cleaning for me afterwards. But it felt right, so I stuck with it. She’s now 11 and a much more reliable dishwasher. Plus, it’s a lovely way for her to contribute to the household.

And how about my son and his cooking!!! Good gracious, don’t get me started on the mess he makes. PLUS he is left handed LOL …say no more. I know it can be challenging not to get frustrated, and easier and quicker to do it yourself, but the rewards of taking time teaching and involving your children are well worth it, for them and for you.

Gosh, I remember when I first started teaching my son to wash my car, inside and out (I now joke that he is the ‘fasted darn car washer I ever met!). ‘Did you actually bend down and wash the tyre rims?’ I remember asking him on one occasion. Teaching a young boy to handle a vacuum cleaner is next level, but these times have been the source of much shared laughter and fun.

A Berkeley University study who surveyed 14 and 15 years olds reported that children who helped their family with chores reported great levels of happiness and family connection. Not only that, but long term, chores help them become well adjusted adults, and contribute to their friendships and their workplace.

So you see, it’s all for their own good.

How we experience housework is all about perspective, all about the beliefs we’re bringing into it. I hope I’ve managed to give you a little nudge to start questioning those beliefs, and see what you can shift to make housework a more useful and enjoyable activity for you.

After all, if you have been with me for a little while now, you will know that taking the time to slow down really comes down to our beliefs about ourselves – our perception of how we need to be and what we need to do in a day. How we spend our time is entirely our choice.

Your turn…

How do you feel about doing the housework in your home, and remember, absolutely no judgement here! Do you approach your housework tasks joyfully or not and will you let me know why you feel this way?

Please comment below and let me know your answer. I would love to know what you think.

Thank you so much for being here and for adding your perspective. It means the world to me. Please share this post with someone you love, because they might be in need of some slowing fun today too!

If you are simply visiting here and not already part of my growing and thriving tribe of slowing AND achieving women worldwide, you can sign up here and grab the ‘Slow Down In My Life Right Now’ freebie to start slowing AND achieving with me today!

Blessings, Hiddy xx

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