Women in the Workforce Pt. 2

I apologize that this post was a bit long in coming. To refresh yourselves on my first article, see Women in the Workforce Pt. 1. My intention with the second post in this series is to discuss my thoughts on home management while also working full time. However, since my schedule is currently in flux, I've been trying to figure out what would be best to write, so I have been slow to get it all down on the computer.

As a working wife, I struggle to find the time to work and keep home. I can't even imagine how the "Superwomen" of our culture pretend to manage this! I know I never could. I would like to discuss more about how I think the Bible addresses the subject of working women in my next post, but for now I'll just mention what my current routine looks like, and how I juggle both responsibilities.

I've been blessed to have a position in which when I come home, I'm home. I don't have to think about the office, what needs to be done, who else I need to call, etc. So when I get home, I just concern myself with my serving my husband and taking care of daily tasks. I wouldn't ever want a job where my main focus isn't my family. Someday Hubby and I plan for me to stay home while we raise children together, so now is valuable time to learn the skills I need once children come along. Even still, I find my time is tight, since most of it is presently consumed at the office. It can be very difficult to find the time to keep house.

I'm sure most every woman could say this, but I find that I just don't have enough hours in the day. I'm committed to the office from 8 to 5 (more if you count preparing to leave in the morning and commuting), so I'm left with only 5 or so hours at the end of the day before I crash at 10:30. Since those hours are precious, I'm trying to get a schedule in line to make the most of the time I have. With my indecisive nature, this schedule is always being tweaked. Many times it is also because I'm tired from a long day at work, but others it simply is because I want to spend time with Hubby. It is more important to me to have a messy house than to neglect the one I love.

Making a schedule and sticking to it as always been somewhat of a challenge for me. As I've mentioned before, I am currently in flux, transitioning from one schedule to another. I usually save one major cleaning activity for the evening, along with cooking, dishes, and laundry. Some nights I relax with Hubby, others he needs to study, so I find other projects such as my sewing when Hubby is busy. I find it too difficult to do all the chores on Saturday, since this tends to be Hubby's free day as well.

Here is a brief rundown of my old schedule:
Monday: Cleaning the bathroom
Tuesday: Decluttering and organizing
Wednesday: Vacuuming and dusting
Thursday: Cleaning the kitchen
Friday: Making the bed and meal planning
Saturday: Groceries

The problem I have with this schedule is that if I don't get something done that day, it probably won't get done until the next week. I also don't have a place for "fun" tasks, such as reading, sewing, or cross-stitching. I also am trying to transition to grocery shopping on Tuesday evenings after work, since the local farmer's market operates that day, and I would love to shop then rather than twice a week.

As I'm transitioning, I hope to put more emphasis on improving my skills as a housewife (I have no idea how to fold fitted sheets!), and I hope to create a home from the apartment we live in. If I can create a schedule that allows me to grow as a homemaker, spend time with Hubby, and be as good of a steward of my time as possible, I'll be happy.

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  1. Anonymous said...
    Beth, how is the local farmer's market? And where is it? I've been interested in going.. Tuesdays are my day off so if it's open that day, I would like to go. Hope you're doing well! It was good to see you on Saturday night!

    Beth said...
    Hi Leslie!

    The farmer's market is on Tuesdays between 3:30 and 7:00, and it's located in the south parking lot of Rice. I'm going after work today if you would like to join me!
    Nichole said...
    Here is my basic weekly schedule:

    Monday Money
    Tuesday Tenuous
    Wednesday Wash
    Thursday Things-to-Do
    Friday Follow Through

    Monday is the day for cooking the books and paying bills; Tuesday is my "personal " day for research, projects, etc.; Wednesday is the day for basic house-cleaning, including the bathroom and taking out the trash, with one heavy-duty "mission" (I try to do a mission in a different room each week); Thursday is the day of errands, phone calls, doctors appointments, important e-mails and such; and Friday is the day that I finish what I couldn't during the week (GREAT for busy weeks OR procrastination). I don't have to worry about grocery shopping since hubby does it on his way home from work and Saturdays are free unless there's something that requires two people to do (such as moving furniture). I find it really helpful to have that kind of flexiblility.

    My grandmother worked at a laundromat so I know how to fold fitted sheets! I wish I could demonstrate it for you. But what you do is fold the sheet in half, then tuck the corners of one end INTO the corners of the other end. Once this is done, you'll see that the edges of the sheet are now folded over about the width of the corners. This is good. Fold as usual. Should come out flat! But sometimes it takes practice. ;)
    Ashley said...
    I am working towards having a loose schedule like the ones you and Nichole mention. I actually recently made a binder for me to keep organized - I plan to post about that a little later. :-) I have a weekly schedule that I will alter to fit my needs. I try to do a load(s) of laundry on Mondays and Thursdays. Plan menu on Fridays, shop on Saturdays during the day. I need to find a good way to fit cleaning in there - I think 15 minute timers for a different room each day of the week might work best for me.
    Joanna said...
    Beth- how does your husband help you in the housekeeping area?

    I know my husband takes care of the laundry, and Ashley has said Paul cooks. While both my husband and I are working full-time and us having approximately the same amount of time at home, it only makes sense for both of us to pitch in. I'm not talking about assigned chores to keep things "equal" or anything, I'm just talking about a practical use of home-time to maximize free time. Because my husband takes care of laundry while I do dishes, for example, we multi-task, and we can relax the rest of the evening, rather than me trying to do both chores consecutively and us not having free time together.

    Supportive wives are necessary for strong husbands, but the opposite is also true. If I try to do everything myself, I am trying to be the Superwoman you described. My husband is being loving and understanding by helping out in all the ways he does.
    Ashley said...
    I just want to say that originally the plan was for Paul to cook, but I quickly learned that he wouldn't, on a daily basis. In fact, I've discovered that he isn't good at doing anything (housework-wise) on a daily basis. The way we split it up is that I am in charge of making sure the house is clean, and I am free to delegate. :-) I often ask Paul to clean, throw a load in the washer, cook the meat on the grill, etc. and he does a great job with those specific tasks. That has worked really well for us, provided I don't get lazy and just ask him to do everything! :-)

    I totally agree - when you are both working full-time, it doesn't really make sense for all the housekeeping to fall to the wife (unless, of course, the husband has a second job, or does something else beneficial with his time). Just like parents can delegate their children's education to qualified (hopefully!) teachers, wives can delegate housekeeping responsibilities to their husbands. It's important though that both the husband and wife have found a method that works for them, and that BOTH are comfortable with the arrangement.

    Thanks for bringing it up, Joanna. I'm curious how other wives work with their husbands to make sure everything gets done?
    Beth said...
    Nichole--Thanks for the sheet folding tips! I'll have to try that.

    As far as how my hubby helps around the house, he does some small tasks, such as cleaning out the catbox and vacuuming. But for the most part, because of his studying schedule, I do most of the household tasks at this time. He has a test coming up in June called Step 1, which is the most important test of his medical school career. So he's really too busy to help with anything major.

    I don't mind, though. I love to cook--it's stress relief for me, and other tasks can be fun, too.

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