An Experiment in Priorities: Stop Cleaning Your House!

For the past 11 months, I have privately conducted my own little experiment. It was more of an inner mission, but my goal was to assign priority numbers to different parts of my life and adhere to them in the correct order. It was pretty simple, but was a reminder I feel I needed. My children’s well-being was of course number 1. My relationship with my husband was also a number 1. Sometimes in day to day life, those number 1’s slip and the more I saw it happen, the more it made me determined to stop it.

Number 2’s were my career and  my relationships outside of family. I have focused heavily on my career for the past year. It has been hard to push fun things to the side and study or work. The other day, I found myself sitting in my car at baseball practice, typing on my computer and reading required readings. I was so proud. Proud that I’m setting an example for my kids and that I’m doing it in a way that doesn’t take away from them. By focusing and making it a priority, things are going great.

Number 3’s were things like housework. Normally, I would put this first. I focused on cleaning and having order. I skipped on playing with my kids or just sitting with my husband so I could sweep. This priority has been the biggest shift I’ve noticed. We’re not living in filth, but it did make things more chaotic to see dirty dishes 2 days in a row. Now for the bright side- the result of me moving this priority to low has been that my kids are starting to take more responsibility and clean up after themselves. My husband sees my 14 hour day and knows that I can’t vacuum. He supports what I’m doing and he’s chipping in more. In a weird way, moving cleaning to the bottom of my list has made our family better and stronger… thereby supporting priority number 1!

I had planned to wait a full year before sharing this, but 11 months has done wonders, so why not!? I finally feel like everyone in my family is getting all of their needs met, but also really enjoying one another and learning how to be a team. Personally, I have no more mommy guilt. I’ve never seen my kids so successful and happy- homework time is fun and I have to make my 7 year old stop reading so he’ll go to bed. We’ve all hit this great level of balance and understanding. This was nothing complicated, just something I set my mind to. Anyone ever done something like this? How’d it go? I want to hear more- I feel like there are so many areas where I can improve, I can’t wait to figure them out.

And in a side note– all of your hard work shouldn’t go unrewarded. I treated myself to a Groupon for housecleaning services!

3 thoughts on “An Experiment in Priorities: Stop Cleaning Your House!

  1. This article is so on point for me! My husband gets so annoyed with me because he says I wear myself out doing housework..from the time I wake up til the time I go to bed. I’m so exhausted throughout the week, I rarely have time for him once I put our two babies down for the night. He likes for me to sit with him on the couch so we can have “us” time. A lengthy illness made me sit down, and now I don’t cringe as much when the house is not spotless. I know I need to work on my full family time more, and you’ve inspired me to do so!

    1. Thanks Tiffany! Your comment means a great deal to me. I think us moms need more exchanges like this– supporting one another, becoming better mothers. You’re an inspiration!

  2. I’m a different variety person. I want to be that mommy/wife with the clean house, but it never works out that way. I’m a clutterbug, and while I seem to constantly think about what needs to be done, I don’t stay on top of it like I should. My current project is solving that disconnect, without pushing housework to the #1 priority spot. Work in progress.

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