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Busy wife, simple life

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How did you slow down your life and enjoy the time you have with your family? I work at a retail store with a changing schedule. I am a wife and a mother. Life never seems to slow down for me. I feel like I am always going but not enjoying any of it. We live in a small home, and it always is a wreck even after I clean it. The kids always need to be somewhere at a certain time or need things for school at the last minute. My husband does try to help but never seems to get why we have such a messy house. He says he does not even get a cooked meal without doing it himself. “I’m tired and overwhelmed,” I tell him, but he says, “life is what you make it.” I am so frustrated. Do you have any suggestions or tips for me to balance my life with work, home, and kids, all with a smile on my face?


Hardin, Texas


First off, take a deep breath and try to relax some. Let me start with your small house. Sometimes clutter can take over our homes before we realize it—too many blankets, too many kitchen appliances, too many books sitting around and so on. You get my drift. So, when we clean our homes, it still is “messy”. Let me suggest that the first thing you do is declutter your living space. I would start with the living room and kitchen first. Then move to bathrooms and bedrooms. Take a bag and put anything in there that you have not used in the last 30 days. As you fill the bags up, you will see your house starting to look more organized and cleaner. You can store the bags outside and see if you go there to get items in the following 30 days. If not, then donate the bags as soon as possible to a nonprofit organization. I have a chore list I do daily at my home. So, I do not feel I have to take an entire day to clean my house. I just take an hour or so daily throughout the week to help maintain my clean home. I have one golden rule that I teach my grandkids; if you take something out, you put it back where you got it. This really helps with the cleaning process. I also like to use my Instant Pot and Crockpot to slow cook our dinner. Online you can find all kinds of recipes and ideas to prepare a great supper. When we get home, our dinner is done. I try to make simple dinners (30 minutes or less) throughout the week as well. I have cooked my family supper before I have left for work before, so all they must do is heat up their supper when they are ready to eat.

My kids are grown now, so I am not playing taxi near as much as I use to. But may I suggest that you limit your trips to town, make a list of all you must get done in town and all you need to buy before leaving your home. If the supplies for school are not on your list, then they will have to wait until your next trip to town. This helps them be more responsible and takes some of the pressure off you. I also believe in giving household chores to my kids. This helps them in the future and helps us, parents, now. My kids could cook, clean and wash clothes along with other things when they left my home. I did not have to worry if they could take care of themselves; they did it daily growing up.

On the weekends I like to relax and rest. My husband and I take our RV out to the woods somewhere and get our “wood therapy” going on. We have hiked, tent-camped and gone on a bike rides in the woods. We try to make time for some outdoor activity to help us recharge from the work week and spend time together. Sunshine and Mother Nature are great for relaxation that does not cost you an arm and a leg.

I do agree with your husband. Life is what you make it, sometimes it takes a lot of work to be happy, but sometimes it’s all the little things that make us the happiest. I hope these tips help you on your journey to a simpler life.

Jennifer Richardson

Simple Life

If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share or questions on just simplifying your life, email me at