The Monotony of Homemaking

sleeping

The day is finally over.  The last little one is in bed and you can finally unwind.

and unwind

and unwind

long into the wee hours of the morning.  And when that first little one wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed, all you can do is kick yourself and drink some coffee.

But, you do it again.

and again

and again.

Eventually, you crash and burn.  You vow to do better.  And you do for a while.  But eventually the vicious cycle starts all over again.

There’s a reason we mamas stay up entirely too late.  It’s called

Delaying the Inevitable.

We have spent all day in what feels like perpetual motion and at the end of the day, we just want to take a break.  But, we have trouble taking a break from our break, because every minute we delay our own bedtime we believe we are delaying starting the daily grind all over again.

We are afraid.

We are afraid that if we don’t soak up every second of down time, we may never get any again.  We are afraid if we don’t stay up just a little bit later, tomorrow will come too quickly. 

We are afraid of the monotony that has become our lives.

When we, as mothers, cease to find purpose and joy in our lives as homemakers, every aspect of that life suffers.

The world will tell us the answer is to leave the home and find purpose and meaning in a career that satisfies us and uses our talents.  It tells us raising children is not a worthy pursuit and will only leave us drained.  We must have some sort of creative outlet and the children must be secondary.

And for a moment, we believe.

We feel unfulfilled.  We feel monotonous.  We feel drained.  There must be more out there for us.

Many will leave the home.

Some will stick it out, forever looking forward to the time when the children are raised and they can get on with their lives.

Few will rise to the call of a joyful homemaker and actually enjoy this season of their lives.

Sitting with GarinMamas, we must break this cycle!  We have to stop seeing our lives as a chore that will one day be over and start seeing it as something to be enjoyed!

Yes, it is hard to be a stay at home mom.  Yes, we get stuck in a rut, but we don’t have to stay there!

Here’s a simple exercise to help you begin to claw your way back from monotonous homemaking to abundant homemaking:

Every night before bed, think of one thing you will be doing the next day as a homemaker and mother that is purposeful and worthy of your time and effort.

In other words,

Look forward to homemaking!

Look forward to motherhood!

Monotony is a frame of mind, an attitude, and something that can be changed.  You don’t have to live like this!

Don’t just do the job…

Do it well.

Do it with love.

Do it because you enjoy it.

And if you don’t enjoy it, don’t just assume it’s your home and children who are dragging you down.  More than likely it’s you dragging you down.

Pray that the Lord will open your eyes to why you are feeling this way.  Read encouraging blogs, begin a blog of your own to chronicle your progress (and link up here every Monday for Welcome Home!), put together a binder of ideas or look for ideas on Pinterest to help you learn to enjoy homemaking.  Put your giftings to use in your home now instead of longing for the day when you can use them outside of your home.

Learn to love your husband.  Learn to love your children.  Seek the Lord with all your heart. 

Live abundantly!

31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “The Monotony of Homemaking

  1. I am working my out of this rut! I like how you said we have a hard time taking a break from our break. My hardest thing is getting off the couch. Once I’m up again I usually want to clean up the kitchen and organize things for the next day. But when that starts at midnight, then the next day is a grumpy one for me.

    One thing I’m doing is sitting at the table and studying scriptures for a half an hour before anything else. This gives me a break, recharges my soul and inspires me to be better. When I stand up from the table I’m ready to do some tidying. Then I decide if I’ll go to bed or watch a show. So far I’ve watched far less TV in 2012!

  2. So true…and convicting…as I sit here at 11:30pm thinking, “I should REALLY go to bed!” Thank you for the timely reminder and kick in the pants that I needed. :0)

  3. Definitely something I needed to hear, as I feel like most days I am stuck in a rut! Well, tomorrow I will look at it as a new day and stay focus. As the bible tells me Psalm 118:24″This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Thank you for posting this much needed reminder!

  4. You know I have been telling myself “I really need to get to bed early”, but when it comes time for it I just put if off, like you say. I think avoiding the inevitable is exactly it. For me, it’s the constant wakings overnight that I especially want to put off. Thanks for this post Amy, it felt like it was written for me. I really enjoy reading your blog – thank you for sharing so honestly and for all your encouragement to mums and for keeping on pointing to God in all you do.

  5. “And if you don’t enjoy it, don’t just assume it’s your home and children who are dragging you down. More than likely it’s you dragging you down.”

    I have found this to be true and so much of what I do sets the tone in my home. I can instigate the changes that need to be made or I can grumble and fuss and throw my own temper tantrum.

  6. Amy, your comment – “And if you don’t enjoy it, don’t just assume it’s your home and children who are dragging you down. More than likely it’s you dragging you down.” is so true and described how I was!
    I allowed the sin of discontent to creep into my heart so much that I ended up going back to work to ‘get away’ for about a year before my husband and I were convicted on the importance of having me home. Glad to say that I’ve been home again for 2 yrs now and have never been happier . . . . and so is my family! :)

  7. This really speaks to me and how I have felt recently. I feel burned out. I feel overwhelmed. I realized last night that I am not sure I even LIKE homeschooling–not that I would give it up, because I know it is a better choice for our kids–but it, too, has become drudgery.

    Thanks for the reminder to pray to God to help me see how to change, what to change, and what is going well. And also, not to fall into the trap set by others who don’t believe in family, don’t believe in homeschooling, and really think I should work full-time. Yes, the money would be great, but the cons would be greater! :(

  8. I needed this post! Here lately I have been letting everything bring me down and using my family as an excuse to why I feel this way when really it’s just me losing sight of what God has called me to do. Thank you for the encouragment!!

  9. This post rocks!!!! I love it, because…yes, I need to hear it over and over and over again! We had a recent event in our lives that brought forth the important things and blurred those non-important but energy draining things in life. I hope to never lose sight again. I love being a wife and mother…it truly is my calling. Yes, I am capable and talented and could do other things but for now, this is what God is calling me to do! Thank you for such an encouraging, uplifting post!

  10. I was just talking to my husband about this last night!! There is so much perpetual motion around me all day–that night feels SO PEACEFUL! I think another thing that helps me is to carve out small times of peace during my day. Taking a break during their naps etc. Thanks for the reminder that looking forward to the next day can help!!

  11. I don’t stay up because I dread tomorrow, I stay up cause I’m a night owl, it’s when my brain is the sharpest. BUT, this still applies. If I don’t go to bed relatively early, I will be tired the next day with no motivation.

    • I work best at night as well and have no trouble the next day if I go to bed around midnight, but much later than that and my world crashes. There’s a difference between being a night owl and being a total wreck the next morning! lol

  12. I too go to bed way to late. I’m talking 2 or 3am. I guess I feel like I want to take advantage that I’m finally alone. My husband works nights, so most of the time I really am alone. Of course, when morning comes I’m exhausted and cranky. I know I’m not being as diligent as I should be because I stay up half the night. Great post. : )

  13. I go to bed with the kids most nights as my health is not great right now. I still have trouble climbing out with the kids in the morning. I pray this will all be straightened out in the next few months, but nothing seems to help, so I can’t really relate well to you. I go to bed because I simply can’t go on. I know God put me here and will give me what I need when I need it. That keeps me going in these dark days.

    • Teresa – {HUGS} I am so sorry you are going through such a tough time right now. God does put us in certain places at certain seasons and someday you’ll be able to help someone else going through this same thing. I’ll be praying you health returns.

  14. Thank you so much for this entry! I have been feeling like I’m forming a rut and was starting to question my decision to be home with my girls. You are right. It’s up to me to embrace this precious time and enjoy it while it lasts. Thanks for the reminder how lucky I truly am. :)

  15. That is SO me right now! This was a very encouraging read! Thank you so much! Not only am I a homemaker, but a homeschooler. I’ve been very bogged down lately. Thank you for reminding me that my joy is in the Lord, and He has called me and equipped me for this!

  16. Such true words! The Lord recently convicted me about seeing my children as blessings, not burdens, and I believe I have truly come to the place where I have fully embraced mothering as my *joyful* lot in life! I know I will have struggles, but by His grace I am enjoying loving and caring for my precious girls and my husband.

  17. What a much needed post. So often you put words to the feelings I have, and then the proverbial light bulb goes on for me. I needed this post so much. I like the “me time” myth as well. Gee, sometimes my husband will send me out the door in the evening just for a ‘break’, but when I come back, the house is worse than I left it, and often times, the kids are still up. Yep, I have fallen into that trap, and don’t want to be in it’s snares.

    Thank you for being such an encouragement!

  18. There are two things that I especially appreciate about this post (probably more, but I want to be sure to mention these). One is how timely this was for me as I was discovering a similar lesson about staying up too late just this weekend. My husband needs to get up early, and I find going to bed when he does, or shortly after, is both more fun and better for my attitude the next day than staying up late.

    The other comment regards your words, “The world will tell us the answer is to leave the home and find purpose and meaning in a career that satisfies us and uses our talents. It tells us raising children is not a worthy pursuit and will only leave us drained. We must have some sort of creative outlet and the children must be secondary.”

    I think I may be unique to many of your readers as I very recently left 11 years in the workforce to stay at home with our young daughter and coming baby. (I met Mr. Wonderful later in life.) I’ve felt this push from our culture, but honestly, especially once our daughter was born, my work was draining. My job got rather monotonous. I wasn’t finding meaning in my work and felt like a complete failure in both work and family matters. There was more stress. My work was a burden that I could never get away from. Now, in this new season, I’m looking forward to the creative ways I can use my talents in the home in what I believe to be a much more worthy pursuit!

    So, for you mamas out there at home, please don’t listen to the world’s lies. Our hearts are the issue. Any pursuit can become drudgery. We must seek Christ first and follow where He leads us. Let’s encourage one another! I know I’ll need it in the days ahead!

    • Wow! What a fascinating perspective. I always wanted to be at home, so the little bit of time I spent in the workforce prior to the birth of our oldest was anything but satisfying. Dana, perhaps your heart has always been turned toward home and so when something conflicted with your heart, it drained you. Welcome home!

      • You’re right, Amy. I always dreamed of staying home to raise our children, but I didn’t have a family of my own and needed to look to where God would have me during that preparatory season. God saw the wisdom in refining my heart for many years before introducing me and my husband. With so many years as a single gal, though, it’s been a little difficult to switch gears, even five years into our marriage. The Lord is still refining me. (Thank goodness!) I feel quite unequipped and under-trained for my new job as full-time mommy and homemaker, but God is honoring my sacrifice and blessing us abundantly so far!

  19. Amazing post! Thank you so much for this little reminder!
    I will try to do the idea of what I am doing tomorrow and make it enjoyable. I am doing this for my family, my husband and myself so everything can run smoothly with all of us together.
    I really enjoyed this and will be sharing it on facebook for all my fellow mamas to read!

  20. Thank you so much! I really needed to hear this and was so encouraged! I don’t have a blog, but will start an “inspiration” file. I really liked this idea.

  21. I wish I could remember where I read the following, but I can’t. Years ago, I read that the cure for feeling burned out on mothering and homemaking was to spend more time with your children.

    Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not!! The kids aren’t what burn us out. It’s the high expectations we place on ourselves, the lack of sleep (as you said here), the pressure of outsiders (even family).

    When we get down on the floor to play, or sit on the couch and snuggle with some books, or buy some new crayons and color princess pictures, the burn out fades away. The children pull us back to the true reality; that we are doing this for them, and for God.

    Goodness, I am not going to ever win housekeeper of the year!! But my kids should think I am the best Mom EVER!! And then, after we color or play or read, they can help get our messes cleaned up. It CAN be fun.
    This Mom of 10 has had to tell myself these things over and over many times through the years. But it always works!

  22. I’ve read articles similar for quite some time and this is the first I could actually see words of encouragement and help. Thank you.