Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Balancing housework skills with your career

Recently I evaluated my time management and problem solving skills at home because I was feeling overwhelmed. As a typical working mom, I was starting to feel like I was not doing everything as well as I could be. Although running a household is not mentioned in our Foundation Job Skills, solving the problem of efficiently keeping a clean, good house is part of our required "Thinking Skills," right? A recent NYT Shifting Careers blog post about Laura Vanderkam's "core competency mothers" and the outsourcing of housework was particularly relevant to this question. I left a comment on that blog because I feel that outsourcing everything, if you are in the financial elite who can afford it, seems like a failure of imagination - and a failure of education, not to mention, God forbid, laziness. And I am sometimes guilty of the latter.

But it's all about Thinking "Right" Thoughts - it's how you think about housekeeping chores that determines how you feel about them. When you're tired on a Monday night doing laundry after work, it doesn't feel "fun." But if you get it done all on Monday night according to your system, then you feel a sense of accomplishment that it's done and you're running your own house well. Truthfully that's how I feel. No martini necessary.

If as an educated person, I can't figure out a system to get our household laundry done - or the floors vacuumed in an efficient way, then I must have missed acquiring problem solving skills. I'm not opposed to house cleaners. In fact I am fortunate to have some that come once every 4 weeks to do a deeper clean than I can do on a regular basis. But to outsource changing beds, regular laundry, cooking, grocery shopping etc. is to me, a little crazy and frankly, an admission of failure in basic living skills. Besides, it take more time to hire, pay and maintain people than it does to think about how to get things done, do it yourself and have your family participate. What a concept!

No comments: