Let’s play Spot the Difference.
Woman A arrives home. She hangs up her coat, bag and keys. She looks around her tidy home, smiles and decides she’s got time to relax in her beautiful sitting room with a cuppa and a magazine.
A flustered Woman B heaves the door open, pushing aside the debris blocking the entrance. She throws her coat on the pile – one more won’t make a difference. As she enters the kitchen, her heart sinks at the sight. Then, though she is surrounded by a million chores that need doing, she collapses, overwhelmed and exhausted on the sofa. She emits a small yelp as the hard plastic toy digs into her back.
So, then. What’s the difference between these two women?
Is woman A ‘better’ than woman B?
Is woman B less capable?
Does woman A have an army of staff/no children/an OCD husband?
It’s entirely possible that both these women have the same background, circumstances and ability, yet there is one vital element that distinguishes the state of their home – and consequently their life.
And this magic ingredient is…their attitude towards housework.
I believe it is this one element, more than any other, that dictates the above scenarios. It’s not a money issue – there are people with little or no money who keep their homes immaculate. It’s not a class thing – I have been in aristocratic houses that looked like a jumble sale.
I am utterly convinced that an ability to keep a home well is purely a mental endeavour. But this is good news! If the difference is in our minds, then it is within our control. Our brains are extremely powerful pieces of hardware, yet they are also infinitely flexible – we can train them.
Even if you lack the innate domestic desire that some women are born with – there is still hope. Just because you are not naturally a Domestic Goddess, does not mean you could not, or should not, enjoy a home that supports your well-being rather than saps your life force.
So, my theory is this: If you and your home are more like Woman B than Woman A – all it takes for you to regain control of your life and your home is a) and desire to do so and b) the belief that you can retrain your attitude to one that gets you the results you want.
Though the first part comes from the heart – if you are reading this, I’m guessing you are already there. The next step is to realise that you can attain the levels of order and comfort that you desire. You can win the domestic battle. However bleak it may seem at the moment, you are not the first to face this. Take heart that there are women who have risen from far messier and grubbier depths to emerge victorious – competent and serene rulers of their domain. And you can too.
Admittedly, for many women, this can be a battle. But all this means is that you will need to be armed. And the most effective weapon you posses is your own mind. Through analysis, research, new ideas, the forming of habits, the devising of systems, the sheer bloody-minded determination of a woman on a mission to succeed – you can conquer.
So, the answer to your domestic woes lies in your hands. Or more accurately, in your head. You are totally capable. If you look around your home and feel otherwise, it’s only because you haven’t yet tapped into the potential that exists in the mind of every woman in the land. If we can produce human beings from our bodies – what can’t we do? Surely, instilling an efficient domestic regime is well within our abilities.
To make the first step then, decide today – this very moment – that the world of Woman A is an option for you. The only reason you’re not there already is that you’ve let the negative things that you tell yourself get in the way. But stopping that pattern is as simple as making the decision to do so. You deserve a healthful, comforting sanctuary of a home and it is just waiting for you to uncover it.
So I hope my battle-cry will inspire you to change your mind about your home and any defeatist attitude you may have had towards it. However tough it may get, you can only be beaten if you give up. I hope you will take this cue to rise up, refuse to be beaten and take back the reins of your own life.
With this formidable mental attitude of Girl-Power and No Surrender – your victory is inevitable.
As always, I’d love to hear what you think!
Photo credit: Daniel Wildman at SXC