It’s been an amazing eleven days for me so far. Our helper, Manang Lourdes left for a vacation and won’t be returning until tomorrow. In all the time she’s been gone, I’ve been handling all house chores (with Mike, my hubby taking care of mopping the floors and taking out the trash on some nights)—from cooking two meals (we cook one big batch for lunch and dinner), dishwashing, sweeping, cleaning putting away fresh clothes, on top of taking care and entertaining a toddler. I’m back to the daily grind. It’s been exhausting, definitely but honestly, I really enjoyed this time, too.
Having no helper meant that I was back in complete control of my household and it felt good to know its routine, and how efficiently (or otherwise, on some days) I can run it. I was, for the most part, two steps ahead of my to-do’s. My mind was always running, planning, and thinking forward. And when I had everything running, I found I could let go more, be more spontaneous because I was confident with the routine I established.
I appreciated this helper-less time now again that Gabbie is a toddler and he can participate or at least observe and learn as Mommy goes around doing chores. There were days when it was just the two of us the whole day. That meant we had all the time to ourselves and it made for some unique bonding activities together (we painted, we counted and made macaroni necklaces). He also learned to put his dirty clothes in the hamper, push out the hampers from the rooms when we’re having the laundry picked up (by the laundromat), and stay quietly on his mat playing or reading while Mommy is busy in the kitchen. Some days I would bring him with me by the dishwashing area, sit him on a stool with a bowl of cereal and a half-cup of milk and he would snack while we sang songs and I washed the dishes. He would observe me as I washed, soaped and rinsed the plates and I knew all these are valuable lessons for him, too. I know because he said, "Mommy wash boo peyt (blue plate)."
Make no mistake. I’m super excited for Manang’s return tomorrow as I could really use some sleep. But I’m not at all regretful of the last several days. In fact, I’m quite grateful that I could really put my 100% focus on caring for my family and our home. I’m thankful for this opportunity to handle everything on my own again so I can re-assess, re-evaluate how the house is being run. As an example, I discovered that Domex as an all-purpose cleaner is awful. It left my floors smelling really bad. I’m opting to make my own all-purpose cleaner from now on, with the aid of recipes I found online. Check this out, Mommas: http://www.theyummylife.com/Natural_Citrus_Vinegar_Cleaners
If any of you are about to lose your helper or are dealing with a help-less household, don’t be daunted. Your household is yours for the taking. With the wealth of information that fellow homemakers share online, and the abundance of grace to every homemaker (read Proverbs 31), you’re destined to be the queen of your own home.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to take a rest whenever you can. A power nap does wonders for the daily grind of cooking, washing, caretaking. And this is exactly what I’m about to do now. I will join my little sleeping baby. Happy Monday, world!