Building the Habit: Diligence

I get in this mood in September to clean and freshen up the house before we’re locked down tight for the winter. I suppose most people have this feeling in the spring if they have it at all (hence “Spring cleaning”!), but for me it’s autumn that brings it out in me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a teacher for most of my working life. September means new school supplies, a fresh start with new students, etc.

The last few months have been difficult for me. Superman is working full time AND attending school full time,  and I am teaching longer hours temporarily to pay for his schooling. I have been really struggling with a few things, specifically learning better to follow my husband’s leadership. I have seen that I am not serving my husband well in the home, and it is a big change I’ve been trying to make.

I’ve had two words at the top of my “to do” list every day: OBEDIENCE and DILIGENCE. The first word is for my son who is learning to obey right away and without complaining. The second word is for me. It is so easy for me to think through what I have accomplished that day and to allow myself to relax and slack off the rest of the day, which finds me stressed and tense the next day when I am not prepared for the day’s tasks. I am learning to follow all the way through a process and to reap the benefits later.

Sounds simple, right? Something a child learns? I didn’t. My mother was not a great model either of mothering or housekeeping, so I’ve been learning this all on my own and stumbling along the way. My husband is gracious enough to realize that this is a totally overwhelming task for me. We’ve been married 7 1/2 years and it took me the first 3 years just to get the hang of keeping up on laundry! I’m doing much better now, but still I find myself looking around my home and feeling like I’ve done nothing all day. I feel like there is always so much to be done and there is very little time to enjoy it. I do think, though, that if I would follow all the way through in my prep for the next day I would start to see the free time and the free mental energy. I’ve caught glimpses of it now and again when I have 3 or 4 good days in a row. I want to build this habit up to 7 days of Diligence.

This means:

1. Rising at 6 a.m. and completing my morning routine before my boys wake up.

2. Packing a lunch for Superman.

3. Keeping on top of laundry each day instead of running several loads all in one day.

4. Doing Dishes as the come at each meal rather than having a big kitchen clean up each night.

5. Keeping at my “to do” list all day long rather than congratulating myself half way through and calling it a job well done.

6. Drinking enough water and eating enough calories each day.

7. Going to bed by 10 with Superman.

7 things for 7 days of Diligence.

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One Response to Building the Habit: Diligence

  1. Melissa says:

    I can completely relate. I’m not married yet, just a month and a half from now, but I can already see these kinds of stuggles. It is hard when you have a loving, but by no means “homemaking”, mother. I am in the same boat. I just stumbled upon your blog…..I’ll be back!

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