# efficiency # homemaking

The Number One Enemy To Homemakers

We should always be growing in maturity as adults and getting wiser. That involves assessing our own behavior… truthfully. I go through stages in life where I feel exhausted. Can you relate? The burdens of everyday life and the chores that go along with them seem to be too much to handle sometimes.

I often think of the past and how women of past ages were able to handle it all. As time has moved on, technology has advanced so our homemaking should be getting easier. But also as technology progresses, we have much more to entertain ourselves with and this is where the number one enemy to homemaking comes in.

I believe the number one enemy to homemaking is DISTRACTION.

Distraction. We are distracted by our phones, the television, by text messages, social media, and yes, even YouTube videos like this one.

Distracted. Because life can feel so hard, we frequently reward ourselves with treats by checking our phones and mindlessly scrolling. You’ll hop on to facebook just to have a quick look and, soon as you know it, an hour has passed. We fill our online shopping carts with items and do virtual window shopping. We can get into an endless text chain with our girlfriends, which provides so much comfort, but also takes us away from the tasks we need to do.

Distraction. The number one enemy of homemakers. I fall privy to distraction on a daily basis. So what I’ve been working on lately is recognizing my distractions. I call them out. I notice how addicted I am to checking my email and my notifications. I notice the strong desire I get to send off a text message before I begin any chore.

A great way to combat these distractions is to consciously make the choice to finish your chore first, and then you will reward yourself with the treat of the distraction. Over time you will want the distraction less and less.

This isn’t to say that we should be all work and no play. Not at all. I like to listen to audio books and podcasts while I work. I also like to watch my favorite YouTube channels or listen to beautiful music. I text my girlfriends every day and enjoy our repartee. So, yes, we need to take time for rest and self care in equal measure. But we should also be honest with ourselves about our distractions and how they are holding us back.

Why should we care?

Homemaking is hard, but it is also deeply worthy work. The beginning of a good life starts at home. Your home shapes you, shapes your children. Is it in chaos? Or is it in order? Or somewhere in between? (Hint: it’s OK to be somewhere in between). We pour ourselves into our homes because it is worthy work, indeed. So as we eschew our distractions and prioritize our home, we lift the homemakers who came before us as we carry on in the beauty of daily life.

For more on how to be efficient at home, check out my affordable eCourse. Thousands of women have connected over there to share their homemaking and efficiency journeys.

A recent testimonial from the eCourse on efficiency:

Daniella writes, "This course was so lovely! Not only did I learn certain ways of doing things and taking care at home and of myself, but just how to do it all with a better attitude. I think that's really the key message. I am so overwhelmed by it all at times – the cleaning, the laundry, the cooking, the care-taking, working, etc., and was feeling miserable about it, but if I shift how I view these things and try to do them with a little joy and pleasure of the moment, it's SO much more manageable!

I can't wait to take your other courses and hope you will continue to do more, and please never stop youtubing! LOL, your videos are a classy, positive, breath of fresh air in a world that is just crazy right now!

I look forward to establishing a better morning routine this week, as I think this will be key to having a much more productive and positive day :)"

Thank you, Daniella! I have enjoyed reading your comments on the course!

I hope you found this video to be motivating. I would love to know... do you struggle with distraction at home? How does it affect your homemaking? Let us know and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week.



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Jo said...

Lovely video and oh, so true. Distractions abound!
I couldn't help but notice the somewhat somber tone of this video and just wanted to say that I much prefer the more upbeat presentation you usually employ.
I hope you are feeling better and this video doesn't reflect physical illness.
Thanks for all you do, Jennifer! : )

Anonymous said...

I spent a decade and a half as a caregiver for my aging parents while I was raising a young child. This kind of burden is not acknowledged in our society, nor within the families in which it occurs. It is thankless, exhausting, unpaid, heartbreaking, stressful work -- a daily grind. Women carry the brunt of this work. Are we any further ahead than in 1950? Not really. In fact, many women now do all this on top of full-time employment. The elderly are living longer, and this extended period of elder care has never happened before in our society. Where does "a woman's work is never done" end?

So if anyone has a problem with the state of my housekeeping, I will gladly invite them to take on my duties over the past 16 years. My worth as a human is not defined by 1950s housekeeping standards.

M Goss said...

Hi Jennifer,
I can relate so much to this post. I was a stay at home mother for sometime, leaving behind my career as a Registered Nurse. And I was so distracted that at times, I would look back at the end of the day and wonder what I had been doing all day. Now I work part time as a nurse again 2 days per week, and this helped me with that issue. I know that I'm on a timeline to get things done, since I don't do much house work on the weekend. I only have 3 days to get all my work done and those are unplugged days that I do not check social media. And I only text if necessary. I know everyone can't do this or wants to, but this has been an amazing,simplifying change.

Bethany said...

I own all three of your books and have followed your blog for several years now. I thoroughly enjoy your message and what you stand for.

I am in my early 30's, I have been married for several years and I am a school teacher. I am very often called an old soul but not always in a complimentary way. I grew up in a family of women who all take great pride in caring for their homes and families. I value these things as well. I love caring for my home, doing my laundry, cooking, working in my garden but I am often on the receiving end of comments that I know are not meant to be hurtful but I grow a little weary hearing sometimes. When did keeping a tidy home and cooking dinner in the evenings become "not normal"?

I share this to say, I think this is one of my favorite posts of yours. I love the statement you made "we lift the homemakers who came before us as we carry on in the beauty of daily life". I hope you continue to share your message for years to come and may we always remember these are in fact, the good old days. Anxiously awaiting your new book in September!

Allegra said...

Hi Jennifer,

I found this video absolutely lovely and so well said. I will be linking to this in some of my mommy groups.

Warm regards,

Sharon said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for naming the elephant in the room. Yes, I'd much rather read your blog than clean my own kitchen! Your compassionate and gentle reminder was much needed today, and so many of the other comments are also encouraging.

By the way, you inspired me earlier this week to go out to my garden for tea-making supplies. Somehow I killed the mint, but the Lemon Balm is doing well, so that's what we used. Delicious! Hot or cold, with honey of course.

Deborah Makarios said...

The homemakers of the past undeniably had a huge amount of work to do, but for most of human history, women haven't done that work alone. Men's work (prior to the Industrial Revolution) was in and around the home. Households weren't usually composed of just the nuclear family - others were around to lend a hand, even if that hand was a little one, or one shaky with age.

The idea that one woman should be able to run a household and raise children pretty much single-handed is a relatively recent one. The idea that she should be able to do all that while working in full-time paid employment as well is a very recent one - and in my opinion the sooner it dies out the better.
Raising children is a job. Running a household is a job. Just because people generally don't get paid for it doesn't make it any less work - or any less valuable!

Mimi Gregor said...

I loved this video, and found it very soothing and relaxing, listening to your voice and watching you go through your work -- seemingly peeping in on you covertly.

When people ask me what I do, and I tell them that I am a homemaker, sometimes their next question is how I fill my time, or don't I find it boring. Which I think says more about them than it does about me, because I find that there is usually something that needs to be done, and I seldom get bored. Madison Avenue has told women that it is demeaning to work in one's home, and that a "liberated" woman works outside the home and employs all manner of "conveniences" to cut the "drudgery" of housework. Being Madison Avenue, they have an ulterior motive for telling us this: Money. If women work outside the home, yes, they do have more money. However, they have less time, so they must purchase products and services that they wouldn't if they were at home. Which puts more money in the hands of advertisers and manufacturers. Unless a woman is making a HUGE salary, it is likely that a cost/benefit analyses would tell you that she is spending almost as much money as she is making. Probably MORE than she is making if she has to pay for child care to work outside the home.

I realize that for a lot of women, it isn't a question of choice whether to work outside or inside the home: they must work at a job. Those of us who can and do choose to be homemakers shouldn't be stigmatized for our choice. Despite the numerous distractions that we sometimes may fall prey to, I think that a majority of us are not sitting at home watching TV and eating bon-bons. Yet that seems to be the stereotype. We need to state our occupation with pride, not mumble apologetically "um... I'm a homemaker." And we don't owe strangers an accounting of how we spend our time; it's insulting that they even ask.

Hopefully, the next time someone asks me if I find it boring, I will find it in me to say. "No. Do you find being a realtor (or tax attorney, or restaurant manager) boring?"

Jennifer, do you find that a lot of people have a dismissive attitude toward homemakers, and if so, what do you tell them when they ask if you find it boring?

Weisserose said...

Dear Jennifer,

thanks for all your inspirational work, here and everywhere else! You are always positive and inspiring, and that is of a tremendous value on these times that we live in. I have yet to take time to write you a proper thank you email.

It is even more difficult to explain to people why am I a homemaker if we don't have children. People can, eventually, come to understand home-making as children-raising, but not simply as a life choice. They seem unable to understand that the point of living in the 21st century is to give women choices and make sure that their choices are respected. I am an educated woman, had a career for 20 years in Education, before getting married. This is my choice, and I am grateful that I am able to make it. I am 52 years old, and do not have patience anymore for silly social expectations and whatnot, so dear ladies, onward and forward, do not let them grind you down! :-)

When I saw this reference to "etiquette lessons for children in Japan" on UK newspaper The Guardian, I thought immediately of you. Here's the link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2019/jul/01/shanghai-etiquette-classes-in-pictures

Have great day, everyone!
Greetings from Germany,

Weisserose said...

Sorry for the typos. Oops! Too much enthusiasm perhaps ;-) and a quick finger.

Kgirl said...

Oh gosh, I thought I was going to be the only one making this comment but I agree with the first poster. I found this video really depressing, LOL. I'm not sure if was the funeral-like soundtrack or your solemn face throughout or just looking at so much housework, sorry! I know the sentiment was genuine but I really turn to these videos for inspiration and upbeat cheer. Now I feel tired, ha ha. Sorry, Jen. x

Melanie said...

Hi, Jennifer,
Thanks for posting this. Yes, too many distractions these days. I no longer go on FB and don't have any other social media accounts. Blogs are tough enough to not constantly check. I really liked this video and I found the music to be very soothing. I felt calmed down after watching this (I was having a stressful morning). What music is it? Every day isn't full of laughs. With the fun days, also come the work days.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I had no idea this video would resonate with as many people as it did. It is getting many views on YouTube! I was in a contemplative mood when I shot the video and I was glad to take you along with me. Thank you for sharing your experiences here in the comments. I will be doing a follow-up video to this at some point titled, The Homemaker's Best Friend. Can you guess what it is? :)

Have a lovely rest of the weekend.


Jennifer xx

Anonymous said...

Gosh, this video was sooo depressing to me. I don't know if you were purposely looking downtrodden but it was very effective. Or maybe it was the music.

Deborah said...

I don't usually come back and review reviews, and was sad to see people saying this was depressing. I liked it, wasn't depressing at all. The somberness is part of the "message" it was bringing! ...plodding through daily life, giving us an intentional glimpse of REALITY, showing that homemaking is often mundane and so then we want to have FUN and distractions (which brings guilt and even further behind), and then the downward spiral begins. But if we just keep going, we get things accomplished. I get it.
Hmmm... homemakers' best friend?... Air conditioning? LOL!

Hawaii mom said...

I loved this. I've realized just very recently how much distraction is affecting me at home. It keeps me from finishing chores because I walk away and then find them hours later and realize. The timing of this was so good for me. I've got to find a way to stop allowing these things to add stress to my days.

LaMammie said...

Dear Jennifer, You are so right. I am a working mom and distractions trap me with at home trying to clean or cook. Thank you for sharing that it is ok to be in between. Cheers!