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Confessions Of a Bad Homemaker (Ep 53)

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As women, we are expected to be all things and do it all. We are supposed to have a clean and organized home, make extravagant meals every night, and still manage to have quality time with our family. But the reality is, it’s impossible to do everything. And full confession:

I am a bad homemaker.

Yep, I’m really here airing my dirty laundry (don’t worry, we’ll cover how in the heck our actual laundry gets done in a second) and opening up a very real and honest conversation about the expectations that we put on ourselves, as wives, mothers, business owners, and homemakers.

Let’s ditch the homemaker guilt! Call in the help we need, and have the family and home life that we desire. Are ya with me?!

This episode will help:

👉 Overwhelmed and guilt-ridden WAHM’s stop feeling like they have to do it all

👉 Busy entrepreneur women outsource and delegate

👉 You realize you can be everything! You just can’t do everything!

In this episode:

02:08 Helpful Gadgets and Tools
04:08 Laundry System
06:01 Raising Independent Children
07:54 Dinner System
11:18 Letting Go of Perfection
16:50 Let people help you


The Real Secret

Okay, here’s the real secret: I had to let go of the idea that being a homemaker meant doing everything myself. That’s why I have my kids cook dinner one night a week, and we have a fend-for-yourself night. My best friends are Fred and George, I use things like grocery delivery and cleaning service. Because I have realized that while I can be everything (wife, stay-at-home mom, business owner, volunteer, healthy and active, someone who gets 8 hours of sleep a night), I can’t do everything, and that’s okay.

And yes, it’s taken me time to get to this realization and to be at this point without feeling guilt (Kinda like in Twilight when Edward pushes Bella into a wall because she got a paper cut and Jasper tried to eat her, and instead of being overcome with my guilt and trying to run from it I decided to try and work it out! Also, team Jacob forever!!!). Because there were definitely days when I had guilt.

Helpful Gadgets and Tools

So… you’re probably wondering who Fred and George are; well, that would be my IRobot and robot mop (And yes, they are named after the brothers in Harry Potter 😂).

They are my best friends who clean while I sleep. They really are magical! Now I need to tell you that I used to feel soooo guilty about investing in tools and gadgets to help with homemaking. In fact, I even got my first Roomba from Craigslist because I couldn’t justify the cost. But now, I realize they bring me joy, buy me back precious time, and make my home a happier place. There are so many tools and gadgets, and services that can help us to be better homemakers.

Another thing I use and talk about often is grocery delivery. Yes, it comes at an additional cost, but outsourcing and delegating allow me to continue balancing the busyness and get dinner on the table without skipping a beat.

Dinner System

Speaking of dinner. This is an area in which I have really had a mindset shift. Dinner is really important to me. Gathering around the table and having family dinner together with my family is one of my highest core values and priorities. And I used to think that meant that I and only I could make the dinner. In fact, I had it in my head that they needed to be extravagant dinners…nothing simple for us!

I have since come to my senses. And implemented a dinner system (you know I love my systems!) where I have delegated cooking out to my kids! One way we’ve made this work is by using a meal plan kit like Hello Fresh, so they have all the ingredients and recipes right there for them, and it’s been an awesome thing for our family.

7 Dinners a week can look like:

3 kids = 3 nights of dinners taken care of by them and HelloFresh
1 fend-for-yourself night
1 take-out night
I’m down to 2 dinners I’m in charge of a week while still having my dream of family dinners come true!

Laundry System

Okay, I told you we would get to the dirty laundry, and here we are! I also have recruited the help of my kids. I do my own and Taylor’s laundry, but the kids are in charge of their own. They each have a specific day of the week to get theirs done. If they miss it….well, they are stretching until the next week.

Raising Independent Kids

At this point, you might be thinking, geez, lady, what don’t your kids do?!? And don’t worry, I have thought that enough times. But here’s the cool thing. I have my oldest going off to college in the fall, and I know that she is completely capable of being on her own. She can cook, do her own laundry, clean. Etc. In fact, her roommates are super excited because they know they are gonna eat well with her!

But boy, did I have a lot of guilt sometimes when I was having them help out, and thoughts like “I really should be doing this” crept into my mind. But now I am so proud of them and so grateful that I didn’t let these ideas that I had, that I was supposed to be doing it all get in the way of giving them the opportunity to work hard and to learn how to do these things.

So this is my confession as a bad homemaker, and I hope it gives you some ideas on how you can have more of what you want! Which for me is a clean house, family dinners, and us spending more time together. And find creative ways to do it.


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From Funk to Flow (Ep 31)

Outsourcing Explained Part 1 (Ep28)

[00:00:00] Leah: I decided to title this episode, confessions of a Bad Homemaker because I really just wanna have a very honest, real vulnerable conversation about trying to keep a great home. And I think maybe the expectations we put on ourselves of what we. Believe a great home is supposed to mean and include and look like, and for the majority of us, what it actually looks like.

[00:00:36] What I thought would be really, really fun is to share with you the way I really see myself as a homemaker, which I feel very. Accurate being like confessions of a bad homemaker, even though maybe externally other people would think, oh, she looks so super organized. Everything’s together. I’ve, I’ve had people make those comments.

[00:01:25] Um, and I wanna just get into the, the real, like, here’s, here’s how it’s actually happening, and maybe pull behind the curtains of my house and show you how I can look. Organize look like I got the whole homemaking thing down, when really it’s a whole lot of help in some very interesting ways. Okay? So I basically made a list of all the different ways that I get help to look like I’ve got it together, when really there’s no way I could do it without, without others.

[00:02:03] So the first things I’m going to share about. Are Fred and George. Fred and George are my Roomba mop and my Roomba vacuum. Okay. So, um, and, and there’s been all kinds of different things at different times throughout the years, but. The vacuum is downstairs and it’s set to vacuum. The downstairs, you can actually set these, so you can set it so that you know every night at 11:00 PM it starts vacuuming and it vacuums the whole downstairs.

[00:02:39] And you can do the same thing for your hardwoods or your, your wood floors or whatever they are. And it can sweep and mop all of that while you’re sleeping. So every day you wake up and mopping and vacuuming has happened, but you didn’t actually do a thing. There’s also grocery delivery. I have been using grocery delivery since.

[00:03:04] Probably 2013 now, 2014 maybe, and it’s so helpful. Literally right before I jumped onto this episode, I was putting in a grocery delivery for tonight because I really wanna make bulgogi bowls for dinner, but I don’t have the ingredients. So I was dropping it in and I’ll have it delivered, and then I will make bulgogi bowls tonight for dinner.

[00:03:28] Also, my kids do their own laundry. I. Do my laundry and my husband’s laundry, and I do like the dish towels and things like that, but the kids all do their own laundry. And this is something that I’m really grateful that I put in place. At first, it was hard. A lot of these things are hard at first because you just, we feel like we’re supposed to do it all, and I don’t know who, who the police are that say you’re supposed to do it all.

[00:03:56] But I, I bought into that and I felt like that, and I felt guilty if it wasn’t me. Making all the dinners or doing the laundry, or even going grocery shopping. I felt like I was being frivolous to pay a little extra, or honestly, investing in the Roombas. Those suckers are so expensive. My very first one I ever bought, I found it on Craigslist.

[00:04:20] I don’t even know if we use Craigslist anymore, but I found it forever ago on Craigslist and I found a used one. Because I just could not get myself to justify the purchase. But now I look at these things and the honest truth is they bring me joy. They make me happy. It allows me to feel like I have it together.

[00:04:44] My home feels better, cleaner, more peaceful, which is really, really important to me. And I just do it with all of these different hacks or gadgets or tools. Or people who help me. So back to the laundry. We have a laundry system. You know me, I love my system. So our laundry system is that each of the kids do their own laundry, but everybody has a day and they got to choose their day based on their school schedule and what they felt would work best for them.

[00:05:15] So this will keep changing. Next year we’ll have a new laundry system, and last year we had a different laundry system. But for right now I have Monday and Tuesday. And then one of the kids has Wednesday. One of the kids has Friday, I believe, and one of the kids has Saturday and they each have their day.

[00:05:34] And then everyone understands that the rules are, you have to have all of your clothes out. Before the next person’s day so that they have a fresh laundry room ready for them so that they can do their loads. Now, what’s great is for the kids, they can honestly do one load a week, and as long as it’s on cold, it doesn’t even really matter if they’re putting all the whites in colors together.

[00:05:54] Like just go for it. It’s done. Uh, if they wait longer, if they miss a week, okay, well then they gotta wait till the next week because they can’t take someone else’s laundry day. They can’t, they can’t get in the way. So we have this laundry system. And yes, my kids are very busy. They have very rigorous academic schedules.

[00:06:14] They’re in sports. They have their activities, their things with friends. They have church responsibilities, even some volunteering work. And so it’s easy for me to feel like, oh my gosh, I should be doing it. I should do all these things. But I’m gonna tell you, being on the cusp of sending my oldest off to college in September.

[00:06:36] I am so proud of them and so grateful that I didn’t let these ideas that I had, that I was supposed to be doing it all get in the way of giving them the opportunity to work hard and to learn how to do these things because they’re each gonna go off and I know that they know how to do their laundry. I know that they know how to cook.

[00:06:56] I know that they know how to clean. I know that they know how to take care of themselves. Even funny things like recently, One of them needed to go pick up a prescription and I was like, you need to go by yourself. And you know, I instantly got them. Mom, don’t make me. I’m like, you can do this and this is great practice.

[00:07:15] If anything goes wrong, call me. I will help you. I will be right there. But you can go do these things. And I think this idea of allowing our kids to become self-reliant and independent. We have to be willing to let go and let them do the things. And that can come with a lot of, uh, misguided guilt because we think we’re supposed to be doing these things for them.

[00:07:40] But also when we’re talking about how we free up time, how we’re able to have a home that looks put together and looks great, and I’m saying it as a confession of a bad homemaker. This is partly how I do it. They step in and they do their part. Another system that I have, I’ve, I’ve shared it in a lot of podcast interviews, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared it on balancing Busy podcast.

[00:08:08] Maybe I have, but our system for dinner. So dinner is one of those things where, It’s really important to me. I really, really want to have family dinner, all of us together around the table and forever. I felt like in order to have this great family dinner, I needed to make it. And it couldn’t even just be simple.

[00:08:29] I felt like I was cheating anytime. It was simple. It needed to be pretty extravagant. I like, I really like cooking and I like creative cooking and herbs and pan sauces and, Hmm, just all those things, but that is not sustainable. All the time and I finally had to get down to the root of what is it I really want?

[00:08:50] And what I really want is the five of us around a table, talking, eating, reconnecting. That’s what I really want. So when I got to my core of what do I really want, I want to have a home that feels good and clean, cuz it makes me feel more peaceful and happier and I wanna have family dinner. Then I started stripping away, okay, well what things am I believing that has to be part of that that isn’t true?

[00:09:18] And me making all the dinners was part of that. So our systems for dinner, I actually use several systems and I stack ’em on top of each other, which is my very, very favorite productivity strategy of all time is system stacking. So here is what our systems for dinner actually looks like. Each of the kids has one night a week that they’re in charge of cooking.

[00:09:40] When they were young, we did this through meal kits, so we would use something like HelloFresh. We used HelloFresh for years, and each of the kiddos would pick the meal that they wanted to make. It would get delivered, and then they would be in charge of cooking it. Now, in the very, very early years, I was their sous chef, but over time they got better and better to where they could make the dinner all by themselves.

[00:10:05] So that’s three dinners a week. Then my husband, uh, is in charge of one dinner that’s gonna be takeout. Then there’s also really fun traditions you can make. Like Taco Tuesday. Every Tuesday you’re just gonna pick up tacos or pizza Friday and every Friday you’re just gonna pick up a pizza. We also have something called fend for yourself night.

[00:10:27] So fend for yourself night. Once a week, everybody just goes and gets whatever they want, and then we come together and eat. If I would’ve thought to do this when my kids were really little, I would’ve done it picnic style. I would’ve done it where it was like fend for yourself. It’s okay if they’re just eating cereal or.

[00:10:44] Whatever. It’s, it’s okay. Let them pick whatever they want. Let them make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwich and everybody come and have a a carpet picnic like in the family room. Lay out a blanket and just make it really fun and they’re gonna love this tradition. And again, you don’t have to cook.

[00:11:02] So if you’re doing the math, then you’re realizing that that only leaves one to two nights a week that I actually cook. And so I pick the busiest night of the week for the kids. I try to make dinner on that night and Sunday nights, and honestly, sometimes I can’t even get around him making dinner on the busiest night.

[00:11:21] Last night we had track awards. I was trying to catch up after being gone for a week and a half, but I wanted to make sure we all had dinner. I ran to Costco. I bought their pre-done spinach salad thing. It was so good. I brought one of the roasted chickens and voila, that was dinner. So I had to let go of these ideas of what I thought me being successful looked like, which was a more elaborate dinner, and just accept that.

[00:11:50] That wasn’t what mattered. That was not what was important. What had always been the important part was that we were together connecting. So that’s our, that’s our system for dinners. Then there are things like lunch or breakfast. I keep those things really simple. No, this is a little less homemaker and a little more just my own personal habits.

[00:12:12] But for lunches, often it’s either a daily harvest, which I love daily harvest. They’re organic, they’re all the fruits and vegetables, super good nutrients. I just. Have ’em in my freezer, throw it in the blender, blend it up. Blueberry chocolate is my absolute favorite. I add a scoop of chocolate protein powder to it, and then that is my lunch or my other lunch.

[00:12:33] My other go-to is a mini cheese plate because I love cheese, and so I, I go between those two things. I find areas in my life where I can just make it so simple. The vacuum and the mopping, they just happen at night. I know exactly what lunch is. It’s either gonna be a daily harvest shake or it’s gonna be a cheese platter.

[00:12:53] Dinner is systemized laundry. Everybody has their day. The schedule’s on the door. And then the final thing is truly accepting help. And that was really hard at first. I felt guilty. I felt like I should be doing it all. But what I’ve learned is, We can be it all, but we cannot do it all. And I’m gonna give an entire episode to this concept because I think it’s so important for us as women to realize this, to embrace this, and to lead in our decision making.

[00:13:32] With this knowledge I can be at all. I am a business owner. I am a provider. I am a stay-at-home mom. I am a wife. I am a volunteer. I am a sister. I am a friend. I am someone who exercises, someone who sleeps eight hours a night. I, I am all those things, but I can’t do all the things. So I do have someone who comes and helps me and cleans my home.

[00:14:04] And let me tell you, right after she leaves, it is like the best, it’s the best part of my week. She leaves and I walk out and the whole house smells so good and it feels so good. And for just that afternoon, it feels like everything is clean all at the same time. And then we’re gonna live in it and we’re gonna do things like.

[00:14:28] Power cleans and, and resetting of rooms. Those are two things that I use a lot. So when we’re leaving a room, I’ll say, okay, reset the room, and everybody knows what that means. It means grab all the dishes, put the pillows back, throw the blankets back in the basket, just reset the room to what it looked like before we left.

[00:14:46] The other thing that I love to initiate are power cleans. So I tell ’em how long I’m setting the timer for. Everybody sees me, set the timer, and everybody’s in, all in. For however long that is, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever it is, it is amazing how much can get done and how much a house can be put back together when you have, you know, in my case, five people each contributing 20 minutes.

[00:15:10] In 20 minutes we’re getting done. What would take me an a whole hour, honestly, probably less because, well moms are faster and more efficient than their, their counterparts, their family, but you know what I mean? So, I have a house cleaner and I have someone who takes care of our yard, and that is a personal decision.

[00:15:31] There’s a lot of people who love doing their yard work. That’s not us. We didn’t wanna spend our Saturdays in our yard. That’s just not how we wanted to spend them. So we, we get that help. All of this to tell you that I’ve had people think, oh, her house is always clean cause someone helps me do it. I’ve had people think, oh, she.

[00:15:53] Makes dinner and there’s all these things are taken care of and she’s working because I delegate to my kids because we put in systems and you know what? Sometimes no one has any clean clothes and they’ll just deal with it until their day comes back around. I just wanna share with you the behind the scenes of what it really looks like.

[00:16:15] For us, and that sometimes it’s total chaos and sometimes it looks completely put together. But anytime you’ve seen everything looking completely put together, just know that I had help know that there were people helping me, whether it was power cleans and it was the whole family, or it was my house cleaner had just been there, or whatever else it might have been.

[00:16:37] I just want you to know that the best advice that I could offer now I’ve. I’ve been married for 20 years. I have all teenagers, is number one. Don’t believe you have to do this all by yourself. Let people help you. Number two, train your kids. You are going to strengthen their self-reliance, their confidence, their capabilities.

[00:17:05] There’s gonna be more on their little resumes of what they’re capable of because you let them help. It’s been so fun listening to my daughter and she’s getting to know her roommates and a couple of them know her, and they’re all also excited because they know she is an incredible cook and they know that she will be feeding them, and that feels really good as a mom to know that I’ve set her up to feel really capable and confident.

[00:17:34] At least in that area when there’s so much new and so much that’s scary. She knows. She knows how to cook for herself. She knows how to do her laundry. She knows how to clean. She knows how to take care of those essential parts, and I feel good about that, but I didn’t always, there were times when I felt like, oh my gosh, I should be doing this.

[00:17:54] I’m making my kids do all this work and. We can be at all, but we cannot do it all. So this is my confessions as a bad homemaker, and I hope it gives you some ideas on how you can have more of what you want, which for me is that clean house. It’s family dinners, it’s us spending more time together. And find creative ways to do it.

[00:18:22] Now, I talked about a lot of the different things I use. I am gonna have links to all of those in this episode’s, show notes, which you can get to by going to 53 dot balancing busy So I’ll have links to everything I talked about and I’ll share. Even more insights and details in the show notes.

[00:18:43] So this one is worth checking out. Please make sure you never miss an episode by being subscribed, downloading this episode. And I would love if you shared this with your bestie, with your your favorite girlfriend, mama. Person that you, you talk with and share all the details with, listen to this together and then make a plan together.

[00:19:05] What are you each gonna let go of? What are you gonna invest in and get more help with because you deserve it. Thank you so much. Now go live with more bliss by balancing the busy just a little bit better.



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