Housework or room work, depending on whether you have you own home or just use one room is often considered a necessary (or unnecessary) evil, designed to keep you from having fun! Funnily enough, if you do it bit-by-bit, it can actually HELP you have fun, improve your creativity (who knew?) and improve your health, both by reducing stress levels and by helping you keep fit through moving.
Getting Out in the Morning
Finding it difficult to just get up and get out each day? You just need to remember 4 things:
- Get up
- Get dressed
- Get fed
- Get out (or get on)
Getting up, is basically that – get yourself up out of bed. Yes, I know it might be cold or raining, or not the kind of weather you like, or you may be tired. Napoleon Hill had a good tip for getting out of bed when you have acquired the habit of hitting the “snooze” button over and over. He set his alarm clock and when it went off, he said to himself, “I’m getting up NOW!” For the first number of times, he used the word “Now” ONLY when he was getting out of bed right then. Eventually he ingrained the habit of getting up on the word “NOW” so well that as soon as said it to himself, it worked – he got up straight away. I tried that tip many, many, years ago and got it to work for me very well. If you have difficulty getting up in the mornings – persevere with this tip and you will be able to get up easily too. Another site that you might like to check out is http://www.todayisthatday.com/8-tips-on-how-to-get-out-of-bed-even-when-you-dont-want-to/
Get dressed, again, is simply – get your clothes on (and get washed). If you find yourself racing round every morning looking for something to wear, then start the previous evening, by setting out the next day’s clothes or hanging them all together in your wardrobe. Why do it the night before? Well, at least you will know then whether you have something suitable to wear and it gives you time to prepare something, if not. This alone can reduce stress! When I was in work (I’m now retired) I used to set my work suits out in order in my wardrobe on a Sunday evening. I had 5 outfits for work and I varied them with different tops. Each evening, when I came home, I took off my work clothes and put on my freedom clothes. The work clothes were hung up straight away in the wardrobe but at the other end, so they didn’t get worn again the next day. I just lifted underwear out of my underwear drawer and set it on top of the dresser, then I didn’t have to search for anything the next day – it was all there.
TIP, keep a shoe polish sponge, one of the “instant” ones, where you take your “work” shoes off and use it on them straight away., before setting them down for the night. Your shoes will always be ready and the polish works better on a warm shoe. (Let them dry first, though if they have been out in the rain or mud.)
Get fed – this is important. Get some decent fuel into your body to get it started out right for the day ahead. Scrambled or poached or boiled eggs are quick and easy. Whole grain cereal or wholemeal bread are also good choices. If you know you never have time to eat in the morning, then why not prepare something you can take with you? A banana or hard boiled eggs are easy, useful options to grab and go.
Get out – well, you’re ready, so get going! If you have to take a bag or papers or a computer with you – set them out the previous evening and put them in a spot near where you will pass on your way out the door. You may need some other things with you too, keys, glasses, wallet – those are the main things. Check them the previous evening and have them all in one place ready to go. Get on – that’s for people who work at home and don’t need to go out to get to work. You’re ready to get started, so get stuck straight in, whatever it is you need to do, housework, study, child minding, your home-office work – the sooner you get stuck in, the sooner you will be done, ready for fun!
HELPING A NEW MOTHER
As it’s most likely you are the granny, helping your offspring out I will use PD to stand for Precious Daughter / Daughter-in-law and PG to stand for Precious Grandchild. But if you are not the granny, don’t let that stand in the way of being able to help a new mother!
1. If PD is nursing PG herself, PG will associate the smell of PD with being fed and may want to nurse almost continuously. This can be exhausting or maybe even painful for PD. Holding the baby while PD has a chance to get dressed, have a bath or move around the house will help her to recover better and will encourage PG to go to sleep for a while.
2. PD may be a little unsure with a new baby, especially if PG is her first child. She may be happy to have some uncritical help with bathing or changing the baby. A spare pair of hands seldom comes amiss, provided you support PD in what she is doing and don’t criticise. Things may have changed since you last held a baby, so help PD follow what the midwife or health visitor has suggested, if she wants, rather than criticising “new-fangled ideas”!
3. PD will need to keep drinking fluids, including water and maybe warm drinks. It may be helpful to hold the baby if PD is getting herself a hot drink, so she can drink it while it’s hot without risking the baby getting hurt.
4. PD may need to get more rest and PG may need to be held. Letting PD get some sleep or a bit of time away from PG if necessary can save her sanity and help her return to full health that much quicker. Daddies or partners can be very helpful here in holding their own precious child while mum gets rest.
5. PG may be a bit colicky and need held upright to help get wind up. PD may be glad to take turns at burping PG, especially if it has been a “bad night”! This also relates to tip number 1. PG may be trying to feed continuously from PD, without giving themselves a chance for a rest between feeds. Being held by someone else can encourage PG to take a rest from feeding, maybe get some sleep and help that colic settle down.
10 Tips for when Granny should NOT nurse the Baby
These top tips will help you to help the new parent(s) and you can also use them if you are helping out a neighbour or a friend or are even doing voluntary work helping new single parents. It’s most likely that you are a Granny helping your precious daughter or daughter in law with your new grandchild, so I am going to refer to the new parent as PD (precious daughter / daughter in law) and the new baby as PG (precious grandchild).
- No matter the state of the house, do not criticise anything. You are there to help, not point out mistakes or shortcomings. Keep your lips buttoned, unless you are praising something.
- You are there to support PD. You are NOT there to look after PG. Unless your health or your disability totally prevents you from physically helping with the housework or PD is ill – let PD look after the baby. They need to bond and right now is the best time. Nursing PG in order to let PD “get on with the housework” is SELFISH. PD needs rest, to feed and change the baby and to bond with PG. You will have plenty of time in the future to get to know your new grandchild and you may be needed to nurse the baby for a short while anyway, while PD uses the loo or gets dressed.
- When you first go into the house, check whether PD needs water or a cup of tea or coffee and something to eat. The first priority is to make sure PD is healthy and nourished.
- The next most important task is to check whether something is available for the day’s main meal. It may need to come out of the freezer or it may need to be made. It may even need a phone call or a trip to the shop to get food in.
- The next most important task is the laundry. There is always laundry! Get a wash started in the machine. If you are there long enough, you may be able to get it into the dryer or out on the line or hung on airers before you leave. If you hang it out on the line, you will need to bring it in BEFORE you leave that day, because PD will either forget or not have time. If there is dry laundry hanging around, fold it and put it away. It is best not to take laundry to your own house, unless it is an emergency.
- Now you can get any dishes done, either in the sink or load the dishwasher. You may need to put dishes away or empty the dishwasher before you can wash more.
- Check whether the bed has been made and if not, make it.
- Check whether the bathroom needs cleaned. The main things are the sink and toilet and checking that there is enough loo roll / toilet paper.
- Empty any waste bins / trash cans.
- If you have any time and energy left, vacuum the stairs and landing and living room, or for the kitchen or hard floors, sweep and mop. You don’t have to do all of this every time you go. If this type of work is exhausting for you, or you have limited time, choose one area for each visit and do that. Choose a different area the next visit.
Your old kitchen looking new!
Are you ashamed of a mucky, messy, filthy kitchen, maybe even looking like a hazardous area? It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend money and time on ripping it all out and starting again. After all, if you keep to the same habits, it won’t be long before your new kitchen will look just like the old one. Add a few small new habits on a regular basis to your day and you might find your old kitchen looks like new.
CLEAR THE DISHES
If you have a dishwasher – empty any clean dishes out of it and put them away. This should take no longer than 5 minutes. Now, if there are any dirty dishes lying around, stack them in the dishwasher and start it going. Again, this should take no longer than 5 minutes. Just by itself, putting away the clean dishes and stacking dirty ones in the dishwasher will help make your kitchen look cleaner and tidier. And it will do a lot for the hygiene too.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, then wash your dirty dishes and RINSE them under the cold tap and leave them to dry for a few minutes. By rinsing them, it removes any suds left on them and therefore any grease that was in the suds and so it cuts out having to use a towel to dry them. While they are drying, run a fresh bowl of hot sudsy water and put the next lot of dishes in to soak. If you still have more dirty dishes, stack them neatly beside the sink. Put away the clean dishes, then wash the next lot and rinse those and leave to dry. Keep moving those clean dishes into the cupboards, putting the next lot of dirty dishes in to soak and stacking the next lot of dirty dishes beside the sink. This clears your table and working surfaces quickly and helps make the kitchen look cleaner and tidier. Depending on how many dishes are lying around, it might take 15 – 30 minutes to do this the first time but if you make this a regular habit, the dishes will get clean and tidied away in a very short time.
Once your table is clear of dirty dishes, see if you can clear it of anything else. Can you put condiments (salt, pepper, etc) away? Is there any milk left out, or anything else that needs to go back in your fridge? Have you table mats out that could be wiped and stacked? Are there any old magazines or newspapers that could be dumped or recycled?
Once the dirty dishes are off your counters, give your counters a wipe to remove any crumbs.
WIPE THE SINK
Once all your dishes are washed and either put away or draining after being rinsed, wipe out your sink. You may want to clean it a couple of times a week, but clear and rinsed is a great start. If any food particles have got stuck in the outlet, clear those. It only takes a few seconds and it helps the water drain away faster.
Put your dish towels tea towels, etc in the wash and put out fresh ones.
A clean kitchen can be easy to achieve with a few quick regular habits that become like second nature once you have practised them for a few days. Look at your kitchen with fresh eyes. It may not be a new kitchen you need but a few new small habits that will make your kitchen look like new and keep your family healthy.
Cleaning the Bathroom
Would you let your next door neighbour in your bathroom? Would you panic if you had to call in the plumber? If you would like a clean fresh bathroom in only 5 minutes a day, then work out a routine for doing a different small area each day. There are some parts that need done EVERY day – the wash hand basin and the toilet. The bath or shower should be done after you use it. A quick spray with a bathroom cleaner and rinse down takes only a minute and leaves these fresh and clean. The rest of the bathroom can be divided up to do a small part each day, maybe under the sink one day, one set of tiles another day. The whole routine should take less than 5 minutes each day.