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Women do most of the household chores. Seriously, we do. Most of our men have started to help out more around the house, but, a recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) report shows that women within Latin America and the Caribbean are still responsible for 80% of household chores. And if that is not enough, most of us now have careers and are still expected to do most of the diaper changing, potty training and helping with homework. How do we cope with these responsibilities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are four tips that will help tremendously to reduce the stress associated with doing household chores.
Allocate time for housework
Set aside time to deep-clean the bathroom or do your laundry. No sis, doing your laundry every day certainly won’t make the piles of dirty laundry less. Doing your laundry once or twice per week will give you time to get the rest your body has been begging for. You can also use the time to do a little of this and a little of that (whatever that means to you). If you can get family members to help to do this cleaning every week, then marvelous!
Start caring Less
If you can afford to pay a cleaner to clean your house for you, then do it! Paying someone to take care of those dreaded chores will certainly improve your mood. But if you can’t afford to outsource your cleaning, care less and focus on the bigger picture ─ spending time with your family or reviving those self-care habits that have been on life-support for wayyyy too long is far more important than doing a big clean-up every day.
Make a list of chores that need to be done and tick all the completed chores
This will be the most rewarding experience of all. You will feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete a task and tick it off your list. Remember how you felt when your teacher gave you plenty ‘stickies’ (as Jamaicans call it) on your test paper when you got all the pop-quiz questions right? That’s exactly how you will feel! (Trust me, I know). Making a list and ticking all completed tasks may also help you to achieve your housework goals faster. Studies show that you are more likely to feel inspired to achieve a task when you have it written down.
Remember that there are no trophies for the cleanest house
During a pandemic such as COVID-19, feeling as if you have to clean your house everyday while working from home and caring for your children may be more than any of us can handle. Stop comparing yourself to women, who 20 years ago did not have the responsibilities you now have. Oh, and that Instagram Mom that you follow, whose house always looks spotless. I can assure you, she does not spend the entire day cleaning her home.
It is important for us as women to not burden ourselves with stress about things such as housework. After all, living a happy life is more important than household chores. As Phyliss Diller said, “Housework won’t kill you, but then again, why take the chance?”
Do you have any other tips which can help to reduce the stress associated with housework? I’m curious to hear!