Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rewards for doing daily work: peace and iTunes

If there was a school for homemakers, I might have flunked out.

I do not like cleaning the house, and instead of just doing it because I'm an adult and it needs to be done, I avoid it. Of course, I don't like living in a dirty house, so I spend a lot of time being unhappy with myself and my surroundings. For the past year or so, I have been trying to grow up. I was motivated after General Conference in April to turn my attention to making dinner and keeping the kitchen clean, after hearing Elder Oaks mention the great force for good eating dinner as a family can have on the children. I am getting much better in that area, and have been rewarded by many pleasant mealtimes with my husband and children and a sense of peace that comes from doing something that I believe is important.

Esther started her new preschool on Wednesday. Each week (except for the handful when I host), she will be spending three hours at one of my friends' houses attending "school" with four other little 2-year-old girls. As I contemplated how to best use my time while she is away, the answer came to me very clearly: clean your house. So this past week, I determined ahead of time that I would clean all three bathrooms on Wednesday. When the time came, I was having a very hard time getting myself to go into bathroom #1. I talked to Dan's sister about it, and she suggested that I give myself some kind of reward if I completed all three bathrooms, perhaps an ice cream cone at the end of the day? I told her that I would much rather buy myself a CD, or even just one song from iTunes. One song from iTunes. That was it. Only $1 spent to motivate and reward myself for a job that most adults just do as a matter of course.

I am delighted to say that I did in fact clean all three bathrooms while Esther was gone, and then thoroughly enjoyed buying my first iTune: "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. Now I'm trying to think of other onerous homemaking tasks that would be worthy of an iTune reward. And, I'm embarrassed to say, I'm spending a bit too much time making lists of the songs I want to buy.


Brie said...

I think I'll follow your example and start rewarding myself when I accomplish something. It can be motivation to get work-related things done.
Oh, and I have about a million songs I want to download from iTunes. If you need any suggestions, let me know.

heather said...

I am with you on the homemaking thing...did I tell you my husband changed my password on the computer to homemaker then didn't tell me? Gotta work on it. I like your idea...when is our schloomie reunion going to be?

Jess said...

itunes works wonders for me and since we only have an apple tv if the boys are really good they get to pick out a new tv show we can works great on them too. I've also found that if I put on a podcast I really enjoy I forget I'm working and the job just magically gets done. Congrads on getting your bathroom cleaned:)

LL said...

iLove iTunes. iAlways have a big list of things iWant to buy. If only iHad more money...

A free podcast you should subscribe to: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me from NPR. Good for a few laughs while I'm balancing the check book. :-)

And kudos on cleaning the bathrooms. That is my very very least favorite job in the entire house.

Naomi said...

What a great idea! I am avoiding housework at this very moment by checking all my friends' blogs! I will tell you about a fabulous site, which Dirk swears is legal, called, where music is only nine cents each! That is where we get all our tunes.