Edmund Blair Leighton - The Hostage
It always amazes me when I hear someone say they are bored at home. Why would someone say that, as if they were forcing themselves to sit in the house for hours (in a self-imposed imprisonment) with nothing to do?
It amazes me further when women with children say they are bored or unfulfilled or have nothing to do at home.
Of course, the answer to "I'm bored" in my home was an answer passed down through the generations (from mother to mother)-- "go find some work to do!" and "If you can't find work to do, make some work for yourself!"*
I'm very good at making work for myself now! And if I can ever get all my unfinished work/projects done, there is always a list of "if I had more time" things to do.
If you happen to find yourself at home (and in today's fast-paced lifestyles, it is not easy to stay home very long) and bored, here are some ideas:
For young single women who are bored at home: you can always find something to do. Read the Bible through. Improve your house, improve your skills, improve your mind, clean the house for your mother, go find something you can do for someone else. Maybe lie down for a nap in the afternoons-- you could be confusing boredom for fatigue.
For young wives without children who feel bored at home: have a baby. Babies take up a lot of time, and the world needs more little babies born to mothers who have the time to care for them.
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In order to start a little person off right in the world, you have to
diaper him (use cloth diapers if you are extra bored),
give him a bath every few diaper changes,
play with him,
talk to him,
read to him,
sing to him,
write letters for him (to Grandma),
do his laundry,
take him on a walk,
carry him around a show him things,
and if you have any time left to be bored, you will find plenty of neglected housework to do, besides thinking and planning on how to make this child a productive member of society, and if you are still bored, there are times when you can actually bore (rock) yourself to sleep-- just make sure you co-ordinate that to the same time as the baby's nap.
(I once heard a mother say she was so bored at home, and she was in tears about it. She had toddlers and a new baby. Don't chuck the daily nap and quiet time! Sometimes fatigue can make you feel like you are going in circles. It is sometimes surprising how refreshing a little rest can be.)
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For mothers with school-age children: home-school them. By the time you finish researching all the things you can do with your children in home school, and all the different methods, your mind will be bursting with ideas, and you will find there is not enough time in the day to implement them all.
I do have questions in my mind when I hear someone who does all of the above, and claims they have a clean house to boot, and they are still bored and unfulfilled with their home life. The first question I have is, Where do you find the time to be bored? And the next questions are:
When was the last time you cleaned out the attic?
And the basement?
And the garage?
Are your windows washed every week?
Are your curtains washed?
Are your baseboards clean? Walls washed? Have you swept the cobwebs from the corners and ceilings?
Do you iron your sheets?
Do you iron your husband's shirts (even wrinkle-free shirts can get wrinkly)?
Have you moved the refrigerator/washer/dryer/freezer and mopped underneath them?
Have you cleaned out all of your heater vents?
Is your house dusted from floor to ceiling every day?
Are your bookshelves organized alphabetically, or by subject, with bookplates and home library cards in each one?
Same with DVDs and CDs?
Are all your family photos in albums?
Have you written out your family tree/history?
Do you write letters to all of your friends/family regularly?
Are your closets color co-ordinated and seasonally organized?
Is everything in your china hutched clean, put away nicely, and dusted regularly?
Do you still have a junk drawer in the kitchen?
Are all your hobby projects (knitting, sewing, quilting, woodworking, painting, etc.) finished?
Is your oven clean and stove free of grease?
Have you planned out the month's menus, typed up major grocery lists, and stocked the pantry?
Is your car clean? Have you removed the seats and gotten all the loose change out of them?
Do you grow your own food and cook everything from scratch?
Do you go to the library regularly and have exhausted the selections there?
Because, if you have all this done and are still bored, I want to come over and take lessons so I can have some free time, too!
*Some examples of how to make work for yourself:
After the kitchen is all clean, decide that you need to make a batch of cookies. Before you know it, the kitchen will be all messed up again. Or, after the table is all cleared from dinner, get out all your sewing and/or card making supplies and set them on the cleared table (and all other free surfaces of the dining room) to do your projects, etc.