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Home Management Tips for Tough Times (And Pretty Much All the Other Times, As Well)

Managing home can be quite tough as it is and when you have a spouse who’s unwell, the job gets a bit more challenging. After all, you don’t have the support you need with chores, the baby and instead, have to step up your game and pitch in with errands and activities that earlier your spouse would do or help with. So, do you lose it and let everything fall to pieces or do you do what it takes to keep your home peaceful and yourself sane in the process?

Since my husband’s been unwell, we’ve had to make many changes to the way we do things around at our home. While the going has not been easy, it has been peaceful (for the most part) and in fact, has opened my eyes to newer, better ways of doing the same things. Here’s how I’ve managed our home and balanced our lives during this period of illness and continue to do so:

  Lowering Expectations of Self and Others

The first thing I had to do was get real. Acknowledging that I just couldn’t do it all was NOT easy but it had to be done. I took a good hard look at everything that needed to be done and if I could outsource something so that I could manage everything else. I chose housecleaning since it needed to be done everyday, ate up plenty of my time, is relatively inexpensive and was something that I could supervise easily.

 Being Positive and Patient

A cheerful face is so much better than a frowning one. We know that but it is easy to forget it when you’re faced with piles of laundry, a growing list of errands and chores, endless trips to the hospital, etc. etc. Making a conscious attempt to smile, look at the brighter side of every moment and being more patient and calmer, even when you really wanna scream can help you deal with tough days easily. I cherish my early morning reflection and prayer time and find that it helps me be happier and balanced through the day.

Is it easy being positive when everything seems gloomy?


But trying is half the job done and when you find that you being happy and positive has an uplifting affect on your unwell spouse and your family, you’ll want to do that more.

 Seeking Support

I sought support from my online friends and offline extended family and social circle. Nothing major. Just a good heart-to-heart, some advice and plenty of encouragement. But enough to make me feel better and stronger. Thank you, ladies! You made my days sunnier. Sarah’s post on Simple Mom is another example of the support I got from being online.

I also got support by choosing to outsource a few chores (see #1) that ate up a lot of my time since I needed more time to spend writing, going to the hospital and most importantly, maintaining a normal routine for my toddler. It did mean we had to budget further but the time freed up is priceless. I’d hate to plunk my daughter in front of the television while I swept and mopped each day.

 A Few Good Management Tools

Having a few systems in place can really help make your life easier. A home management notebook (check out the Organizing Life as Mom eBook) to schedule your menus, to-dos, calendar, budget and even, medical and hospital appointments. A pen and a notebook in your handbag will be handy when you need to take down phone numbers in the car, scribble down article or blog post ideas, or jot down an errand that comes to your mind. You can also do the same with your cell phone.

Life should be simpler and easier. More so, when you’ve gotta deal with everything on your own. Focus on the important – health and happiness. Everything else, laundry included, will fall into place.

 How do you make managing home easier when times are challenging?

Photo Credit: mpclemens


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  1. Hii Prerna,
    Lovely post and in it has been an eye opener too in son many ways. Thanks once again.
    Loved all the points especially the 1st one 😉

  2. Love your attitude, Prerna. Hope life gets much easier at your house during 2011:)

  3. I hear you, Prerna. My Mother, who lived with us passed away exactly a year ago. She suffered rapidly failing health with multiple ailments and frequent hospitalizations during the last five years of her life. This meant she had to be constantly looked after. I remember going through a lot of internal frustration about not being able to do “everything”. However, I learned quickly enough that it was all about prioritizing and time-management, with a focus on a happy family, making sure the rest of us stayed healthy while keeping Mom cheerful. She was also an angel, always in good spirits in spite of her bad health and the doctors driving us crazy (not to mention the bills).

    I used to write everything down – including things like wash hair, trim nails and so on. This really helped when my Mom had to undergo complete bedrest, which meant she had to be looked after 24 x 7. But I was really lucky because I had complete co-operation from a wonderful husband and a son who adored his grandma. Oh, we miss her so much. The weird thing is, a year after she’s gone, I am still struggling to catch up with all the things I didn’t organize back then.

    Thanks to you and your posts about clutter clearing and organizing, I got just the impetus I needed to set myself some timelines – and hey, am getting there. :-)

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Thanks for sharing Vidya.. It means a lot. Am really sorry to hear about your Mother but so glad to know that you kept the focus on a happy family, since that is what actually makes a difference and not how tidy your house is.. Writing things down is key to getting things done and am glad you feel the same too.. Once again, thank you for sharing your experiences with managing home during a tough time..

  4. This was a very helpful post. Thank you! Lately, I’ve been trying to keep to a cleaning schedule and find new ways to make my life as a SAHM/WAHM easier. Waking up earlier really helps, if only I can do it consistently…

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Yedei, glad you liked the post. Waking up early is a great idea and once you get into the habit, it does become consistent:-)

  5. MusingMom6 says:

    You have some good insight! I am going to look over the eBook you mentioned. I’m always organizing, trimming, skimping, etc and love to look for other ideas as well.

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