This survey is from an anonymous parent that describes the challenge of dealing with household tasks when you're stressed and anxious.
This parent mentions that nothing ever goes as planned but you have to love every second of the beautiful experience.
Most Prominent Challenge
Sharing/delegating household tasks.
How to Overcome this Challenge
In her words: "being real and sharing my struggles with a friend helped me to be able to put words to my needs and use my voice to ask for what I need. Some challenges don't have answers or solutions so just finding coping/managing techniques helps."
A Little Piece of Advice
In her words "some days I'm like super mom and I surprise myself and other days I can't seem to get my hair brushed so just go with the flow."
Honesty and reaching out is key - with yourself and close loved ones.
TR Take Aways
Oh my gosh I could talk about cleaning and household tasks all day. Probably because for me it was one of the things that stressed me the most...why? Because society tells us we can't have dirt in our house? Have you seen the movie Baby? Some cultures and mothers take initiative to make their kids lay in dirt and with or without desire - grow up without shoes.
I think part of the stress comes from that as well, what OTHERS think of me (yes I am working on that) but I think there's some conditioning there for me, where maybe I grew up thinking it represented being "poor" or I'd hear authoritative figures talk about homes describing it via its cleanliness. Here's the thing - YOU LIVE IN IT. Someone else's perception of your heart and who you are should not be your home. Yes I do say "how you do anything is how you do everything" but I will totally back someone if they are going through a rough fertility to parenting journey that has dirty walls, no laundry done, dishes stacked, etc.
BUT - huge but here. If I had known the consistent tips I do now, I think I could have managed the simplicity of cleaning and keeping things organized and dividing up household tasks while I was pregnant and in my early days of baby blues.
First, I created something for you with my favorite quick morning, evening, weekly and monthly cleaning/organizing tips to keep your stress levels low...I am SO excited about it because these are the things that it took me almost a year to figure out were the best ones to lower my anxiety.
Now...about dividing up household tasks - MAN...this is definitely a part of my prenatal plans when I am working with families. Knowing that someone in the house takes care of XYZ removes the thought from your head of thinking of having to do it, removes the potential mentioning of it (or "nagging) because you know it's someone else's tasks, and gives you time to think of your tasks and how you'll do them with love, calmness and keep them fun!
The guide that my family and I use is HERE.
My partner and I actually sat down and talked about which household tasks he really loves, which ones he really doesn't love and which ones would make him feel loved and calm as well when he comes home from work. We wrote it all down on paper with our initials and YES...it's a work in progress it isn't perfect. Sometimes, things do not get done but here's the tricky part...just don't worry! I seriously have got to the point where I leave the garbage bin at the end of the driveway if he hasn't brought it in because it is just NOT imperative in my life. Don't get me wrong...this is not a "I am not doing that cause it's HIS job" or the martyr..."I guess I'll do it cause he's NOT doing it"....you have to try and stay calm when doing "your" tasks, trust that your partner will do theirs, tuck your ego in your back pocket, and do everything with love.
Here are examples:
- I seriously feel like laundry is a steal, I changed my perception of it and choose a netflix movie, get a snack and fold everything ~ I love it! SO that's on me. It's not to say Cory will never do it he just doesn't remind me to do it or push me because we know that I'm taking responsibility for it.
- Garbage, recycling, taking the dog out: I NEVER do these...for some reason postpartum they really made me anxious....how am I going to leave the baby and let him out? She needs to feed and the garbage truck is coming soon and we have so much garbage!!!!!! PLUS, for the dog, he's way to massive and pulls to walk with a baby and had an instance where he ran away and didn't know how to look for him with the baby.
The guide we use to divide this up is in my resources below. On top of this, I would say the other combined resource that has helped us has been 5 love languages because for both of us, acts of service as a love language is huge. What this means is that we literally feel love and give love in that way (i.e., completing tasks WITH love for the other person).
Communication combined with a lose, fun and loving plan was key to reducing postpartum anxiety, feeling like household tasks (that were imperative) were taken care of and that I could focus on taking care of myself more and enjoying the growing life of my little girl.
Resources Related to This Post
For Dividing Household Tasks
I LOVE the value provided on this website. I find it calming to get things in order and she always has all the right pages to do this.
My Favorite Nurturing Resources