Respect Mundane Tasks

When you think of a successful woman how do you imagine her life?  Is she incredibly productive?  Does she move effortlessly from one glamorous project to the next, never affected by the daily tasks that seem to overwhelm you?

Does she clean the toilets, cook the dinner, and do the grocery shopping?

Or does she hire that all out?

What makes a task important?

It used to be that women were limited to homemaking tasks.  They were responsible for making sure that the family was clothed, fed properly and the home was clean and tidy.  These are vital parts of supporting a family.  We all need clean shelter, nutritious food and warm clothing to be able to do the rest of our life.

When women first entered the workforce all they were allowed to do was cleaning, teaching and caring for kids, food preparation and service.  Because of the times, they were paid less than men.  

Because of this history, these tasks still earn the people who do them less. 

And now because those who do them make less money, these tasks are now often considered ‘less than’.

Should we value something based on what the world will pay someone to do it?

In a chat with my Amish neighbor, Susan, she stated that the majority of what Amish women do is cook, clean and sew.  She loves cleaning and hates sewing.  I hate cleaning and love sewing.  We looked at each other in disbelief as we shared our favorite homemaking areas.  Having someone do my cleaning would mean so much more to me than it would to Susan.  But the world would expect both of us to pay the same money to get our cleaning done for us. 

Is Susan’s time creating a clean house less valuable than mine because she would never spend as much money as I might getting it cleaned by someone else? 

The point is to have a clean house, right?  A clean house is a clean house.  A clean house is an important part of maintaining a home.

When women came out into the working world we somehow still did all that we did before, plus our new roles in the working world.  Now we are beginning to see the effects of trying to ‘do it all’ and reasonably want to decrease our load.

Somehow, the world has convinced us that the best way to reduce the overwhelm is to eliminate all those mundane chores. That washing the dishes, cleaning a toilet, or making a lunch is unworthy of a successful woman’s time. Because getting someone else to do it doesn’t cost as much as it does to hire a lawyer.  The only reason we would do these things ourselves is if we can’t afford to pay someone else to do it for us.  

In addition, if we can’t afford to pay someone else we should strive to get them done as quickly as possible in order to live ‘real life’. 

Because if they aren’t worth anything they can’t actually be important, right?

Tell that to your stomach at 7:00 pm if no one made dinner.

What’s on your list?

Has any heroine in a novel you’ve ever read cleaned her own toilet? Yes, perhaps she has been reduced to cleaning the palace toilet by the evil stepmother, but do you read about her making sure she has clean laundry, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, going to the grocery store, or paying the bills?

I bet you haven’t.

Because there’s no way she could fit in her dramatic progress towards her goals if she did any of that. In a book, she often doesn’t even eat!

But if we stop doing everyday necessities and only work on our goals, eventually we will have to hit pause on our goals to catch up on life. We’ve all let the laundry pile up to meet a deadline. It’s hard to go out and conquer without anything clean to wear.

You know you need to schedule these things on your list. But do you allow enough time to do them well?

I am a task oriented person.  I like to get the task done and move right on to the next task.  I usually want mundane tasks to just ‘be done’ without reflecting on what I’m actually doing.  And when they take longer than I planned and I don’t get the ‘important’ stuff done and….it’s an issue I’m dealing with.  It adds to the stress which is likely the cause of my chronic migraines.

I understand. You have ‘things’ you want to do.  The cleaning or the cooking or something else that isn’t ‘worth your time’ is interfering with those ‘things’.

The goal of mundane tasks like making dinner is not to get it over with so you can get on with the rest of your life.  The goal is to do that particular task well.  That particular task has meaning.  Feeding your family has meaning.  Keeping the house clean has meaning.  Don’t just ‘suck it up’ and get it done.  Recognize the importance of what you are doing for your real life.

What are you striving towards?  If you want to eliminate the cleaning, what are you planning to replace it with?

What is that life that you are working towards?  

Is it connected to reality? 

Does it have meaning for your loved ones other than providing money?  Yes, someone has to make the money to buy the groceries.  But someone also gets to make the dinner that feeds the bellies and warms the hearts.

When you make your list to accomplish the big goals you have for your life, make sure those mundane tasks are respected for the balance and importance they play in your overall life.  They are not something to be squished into a tight schedule or mindlessly eliminated with a check.  Sure you can decide to pick the ones you really don’t like to do, and replace them with someone else doing them.  But don’t disrespect them.  

Put enough time in your schedule for the real parts of life that make you feel like a part of your own little world.

If it’s on your schedule to be done, it IS important. 

Similar Posts