Finding Joy in the Mundane

chores are never ending

In a chaotic world, household chores are never ending. It doesn’t matter if you stay at home, work full-time or part-time, have a long commute, work from home, have six kids or one, we all have chores to do.

Cooking meals, cleaning, doing dishes and laundry…the list goes on. And it seems chores are never ending. As soon as you finish a task, it’s time to start another. The chores become tedious and I often procrastinate. Why should I wash the dishes now? I’ll just be making more later today. I’ll do them all after supper. Then it’s the next morning, and I didn’t do the dishes from the evening before. And the stack of dishes is now overtaking my countertop.

It can be difficult to find joy in doing the everyday.

This week, I looked hard at those dishes though. I’ve been working on canning tomato sauce and paste; the dish situation was major. Yet, as I looked at the mountain of dishes, I smiled. I do NOT usually do this. As I said earlier, these chores are tedious. Smiling at a mound of dishes is unusual.

The reason I smiled?

I saw the dishes and I realized my family has good food to eat. Food that I was able to prepare, can, and freeze for us to eat later. We are nourished.

The same thing happened later in the week when I was doing laundry. Doing laundry for seven people is no small task. I make my older kids carry it all down to the laundry room, but I do the sorting, stain treating, washing, hanging, drying, and folding. I choose to do it all only once a week and it can really pile up.

So, it should come as a shock that I again smiled at this (literal) mountain of a chore.

We are clothed. And I have a laundry room (the first one I’ve had in my 11+ years of not living with my parents). I have a great washer and dryer (a housewarming gift from my dad that I totally cried over). We’ll be warm come cold weather. We have what we need. And I can find joy in that.

Finding Joy

I want to encourage you to look at the boring, the mundane, the never ending chores, even the disgusting, and see beyond it. Have a change of perspective. The day-to-day tasks of running a household and being a mom are not always enjoyable, but I can think of the good reasons that I do them.

I know that there are many moms who do not have the luxury of enough that I have found in my life. And there are so many who wonder if they’ll have the food they need to fill bellies, the clothes they need once it gets cold again, or their kid grows. I can’t say what things you can look at and smile, even if they are monotonous chores or jobs.

Maybe the best you can do is think of those people you do these never ending chores for. Take a look at those tiny faces and smile for joy simply because you love them (this is usually best done when they’re sleeping… always more appreciation when they’re sleeping!). As tedious, boring, and sometimes excruciating these repetetive tasks can be, there’s always joy to be found.

Where are you finding your joy today?

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Dani Tanner (not THAT Danny Tanner) is a Twin Cities native who has lived in South Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota again and now Moorhead. She married her husband Greg in 2009. Dani received her bachelor's degree in Consumer Affairs in 2013. She has chosen to stay home while supporting her husband through graduate school (and now as a professor!) and chasing their five kiddos! She has a few hobbies - cooking, baking, sewing, reading, crafting... though they never seem to be fully realized. Not while there are still kids at home anyway! She enjoys all things in the kitchen and loves trying new recipes and techniques. The current new thing? Cake decorating! Various craft endeavors take some other time, as well as reading when she takes the time. Oh, and coffee. All the coffee. If you want to find her, she's likely that mom pushing a double stroller with three kids on it trying to get wherever she's going before someone freaks out. She's so glad to be able to share some of her fun experiences with you!


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