Top 10 Things I’ll Never Like Doing

Top 10 Things I Hate Doing--can you relate?I once heard that the definition of maturity is deciding to do things you don’t want to do because they need to get done. If that’s the case, then I’m super mature. Because I feel like I spend a lot of time doing things I have to psyche myself up for. In fact, I think that’s why I was so exhausted at the beginning of this summer–I feel like so much of my life for the last few months has been slogging through instead of doing things that I actually wanted. This summer I took some time to relax and go camping with my hubby and I feel ever so much better.

But I asked on Facebook last night, “what do you do that you don’t like doing?” And I got some great responses!

So today I thought I’d share ten things that we do that we don’t like doing, and likely never will like doing, but have to get done–along with some thoughts on how to get these things done faster and easier!

1. Cleaning the Toilet

The #1 answer on Facebook was cleaning the toilet. We just don’t like doing it. And when you have little boys (or several big ones) it gets even grosser. But there’s something about having a bright, clean white toilet bowl that makes you just feel better.

How to lessen the pain: Keep the toilet bowl cleaner right next to the toilet, and any time you notice that it’s getting gross, just squirt some cleaner in and move that brush around, and it won’t ever get to the disgusting stage. Also, little kids really love cleaning toilets. Maybe not every little kid, but enough that I’ve noticed a trend. If you can catch them when they’re around 5 or 6 and get them started, they may start to adopt it as “their” job. There’s something about scrubbing with that brush and making all those bubbles. So teach your children to clean a toilet! Leave a basket of rags by the toilet along with some safe cleaner so they can wash down the toilet seats, too. We may not like cleaners being visible, but I always figure, if it’s within reach, it’ll get done more often!

2. Vacuuming

Perhaps ironically (given the title of this blog) this is my big one! I hate vacuuming–especially vacuuming stairs. And I think the problem with vacuuming is that feeling that it’s never done. You know that as soon as you vacuum, someone’s going to trek through and make more crumbs.

How to lessen the pain: Invest in a quality vacuum cleaner that does what you need it to do! If you have mostly floors you need a different vacuum cleaner than someone with a bunch of rugs. You may find that you actually enjoy vacuuming if you have one you love. And those see-through ones where the dust whirls around are really fun for kids. So check out your vacuum cleaner options.

Another thing: clean out the vacuum bag often, and if you have a central vac, clean out the unit. When I bought my first house I didn’t know you had to do this. I’m not sure where I thought all that dust went, but after six months of the vacuum not working I thought to ask my hubby where the central vac emptied. And sure enough, it was stuffed.

3. Doing Dishes

We hate dishes because they’re gross and they don’t go away. You wash a load and tomorrow there will be just as many.

How to lessen the pain: Have a rule that if you make dinner you don’t do dishes! Get kids involved. And here’s one that I’ve found works: aim to have the counter cleared before you go to bed. Even squirt some cleaner and shine it every night. If you see a clean counter, you feel so much better!

4. Making Breakfast

Probably the #2 thing mentioned on Facebook that people hated to do was cook. I hate it being 5:30 and not knowing what I’ll make for dinner. That’s torture. But I actually enjoy cooking–dinner, that is. I hate making breakfast. Mostly because I hate breakfast foods, and so does my youngest daughter, who is usually the only one home with me at breakfast time. But I know we have to eat! But if I don’t cook, I tend to head for the chocolate cake. Even this morning I ate one of Katie’s chocolate chip cookies she was given yesterday by a friend for her birthday (sorry, Katie, but you weren’t awake yet. So there). The problem is that we need protein at breakfast, but if we can’t think of what to make, we’ll tend to go for the simple sugars (which is what most muffins and cereals are).

How to lessen the pain: Think outside the box! You can eat leftovers for breakfast. And I’ve started making more “lunch stuff” for breakfast. I do hummus and pitas. I do those mini-pizzas on English muffins. And if you have any ideas for other creative breakfasts, I’d love to hear them. I’m just not an egg, pancake, oatmeal, or cereal gal.

5. Responding to Email

I get a ton of email everyday. Maybe some of you are in the same boat. And I hate it. For you it may not be email that you hate; maybe it’s paying bills. But it’s anything that is at the back of your mind, nagging you, saying, “you have to do this” and making you feel guilty. Email makes me feel guilty because there are always things I’m supposed to do. And I don’t like that.

How to lessen the pain: Whether it’s bills or email or other paperwork, set aside a specific amount of time you’ll spend everyday. Rather than leaving it in one chunk, do fifteen minutes a day (or whatever it takes). I find if I set the timer and try to get through as many as I can in that time, I’m quite productive. And then I can say, “well, if I didn’t get to that person today, it’s because other things took priority”. And that’s okay.

6. Getting that PAP Smear/Mammogram

Let’s go to our happy places, people, and put our feet up in those stirrups and try to ignore what’s going on. Or let’s go get squished!

As someone who has had to have an annual mammogram since I was 30 due to family history of breast cancer, I can tell  you it’s not fun. But it’s better than the alternative.

How to lessen the pain: I don’t think you can, really. For mammograms, take a Tylenol an hour before. For Pap smears, just live through it. Relax as much as you can (yeah, right). And remember that the new guidelines say that if you’ve only ever had one sexual partner, and he’s only ever had one, then you really only need one every three years (yay!). For those of you in that situation, you can tell your doctor it really isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, for those of you in the other camp it is, because cervical cancer is really dangerous. And it was through a Pap smear that they first found all the polyps and other things that were causing me bleeding issues, so it is important.

7. Exercising

I will never, ever like exercising, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the people who say they don’t feel happy if they don’t jog five miles a day are lying or deluding themselves. I have gone through periods of intense exercise in my life, and even then I didn’t like it. I just don’t. But I know it’s necessary.

How to lessen the pain: I’ve only found two things that work: listening to a sermon/speech/podcast while I jog or watching Netflix while I’m on the stationary bike, or else exercising with someone else. I bit the bullet and shelled out the money for a personal trainer for three months (had my first session yesterday!), because I just need the accountability. I also am starting to jog with my hubby again. Doing stuff together makes it more likely to get done.  I think admitting you’ll never like it, and stopping feeling guilty for not wanting to exercise, helps a ton. Just do it, and know you’ll hate it, but that’s okay.

8. Putting Laundry Away

I can do laundry. I just hate folding it and putting it away. It’s never ending.

How to lessen the pain: Fold it directly out of the dryer, rather than dumping it somewhere (or fold it as it comes off the line). Then you just need to deposit it in people’s rooms. Have older kids do their own laundry (or at least put away their own laundry).

9. Working Outside the Home

Here’s a sad one. I had a number of people on Facebook saying that they so wanted to be stay-at-home moms, but they needed to work for the income.

Sometimes we do need to work, and that’s still a service you’re doing your family.

How to lessen the pain: Learn as much as you can about how to save money on your big ticket items, like mortgages, insurance, cars, and groceries. Downsize as much as you can. Learn to live with less. Save as much of your paycheque as you can manage. Create a plan. If you can see that in five years you can start to work part-time, or that if you downsize you can afford to be home more, that can help tremendously. But get a plan for the whole family so that you can see how your work and your husband’s work contribute, and what you’re aiming for. You’re in this as a family, and you don’t need to feel like it’s all on your shoulders. And sometimes when you take a look long-term, you can see how it may not always be like this.

10. Battling in Prayer

I’m surprised no one, in the almost 200 comments so far, mentioned this one, but for me it’s a biggie. I know no one actually says online “I find doing my devotions hard” or “I find praying hard”, but I’m not afraid to say I do! It’s difficult to sit quietly and concentrate on reading the word. But I’m still way better at that than I am at praying. I can conversation-pray all day (and in fact I do). But you know that prayer where you’re going to battle, and you need to pray hard for something? Sort of like the prayer in Daniel 10 where Daniel prayed for 21 days, not realizing a huge spiritual battle was going on in the heavenly realms at the same time? I really battle with that. I can talk to God like He’s my Daddy for sure, but to get serious? It’s tough.
To Love, Honor and Vacuum

How to lessen the pain: Have a pen and paper handy so you can write things down as you pray. I find that helps me to focus and stops my mind from wandering. Have a different place you sit when you pray like this, so you’re not tempted to grab a book or glance at the computer. Use a prayer book, like the book of common prayer, as a guide for how to work through a prayer. And I’d love any suggestions you have in the comments section!

There’s my list of the top 10 things I hate doing! Many of these I’ve minimized by delegating to others, and if you find that you’re doing all of these yourself, you really need to get a hold of my book, To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother. Family is a team, a unit, it’s not mom doing everything while others do nothing. And if you feel like you get a bit of a break, your family will be a more fun place for all of you–while your kids also learn responsibility.

Now let me know: how do you lessen the pain of some of these things? Leave your one best solution in the comments (or more if you have them!)

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  1. I like your suggestions! On Fb yesterday I answered cleaning my boy’s toilet, but it’s not actually their toilet, its the floor around their toilet. Ew! One of the only things worse than a puddle of pee is a dried out smelly puddle of pee.
    Anyway- I’m going to go do the cleaning projects I hate. Right now. Thanks for the motivation!

  2. I love the picture you chose – and also the steps to lessening the pain. Very cool!
    Steph recently posted…Just Keep SwimmingMy Profile

  3. I love doing Grilled Cheese or Grilled Ham and Cheese for breakfast. You could pretty much make any panini a breakfast sandwich! My mom used to keep clorox wipes under the bathroom sink, and she would just wipe down the toilet every day and swish some cleaner around once a week or so. I have also seen on another blog a very ‘loose’ way of putting a way laundry… you don’t! Each member of the family has a basket, and their clothes get sorted into the basket and the basket goes into their room. If older kids want to fold and put away their laundry they may… but this saves me tons of time with toddler and baby clothes! As far as dishes… if I can give my hubby an empty dishwasher he doesn’t mind filling it up. That just leaves me with the bigger items or hand-wash items, and it makes my mountain feel SO much smaller. Often times he will do that while I put the kids to bed, so when I come out I only have a few minutes of dishes and cleanup left and then we can relax! I try to run the dishwasher every night so I wake up to clean dishes. I’ll put them away slowly as I make the kids breakfast, drink my coffee, feed the dog, etc. We have mostly wood floors, so vacuuming is satisfying to me (it always has been really). Especially with the amount of dog hair and dirt that come up… it makes me feel clean!

    • Thanks for those great tips! My daughter likes grilled cheese for breakfast, but I’ve never been a cheese person. But I do love chicken pesto paninis, so maybe I should try making those for breakfast and having a salad for lunch!

      • Just eat some leftover meat from the night before: grilled chicken breast, piece of steak, ham, sausage with some leftover veggies or fermented ones. You don’t like eggs or cheese, your next choice of protein should be meat. Or you could have a bowl of lentils, or rice and beans. Just grab some leftover supper. :) Or you could do a smoothie with whey protein (I prefer the non-processed foods).
        tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations recently posted…Learning Log of June 2014My Profile

  4. Number10 probably wouldn’t have occured to me but it is so true. I started using You Version on my phone almost 5 years ago with the goal to read the Bible in a year. I have read it about 3.5 times now (halfway through this year’s plan). It has made such a difference to have that little notification come up. The first year was a flop, the second year I spent the last 3 months catching up on like 9 months of reading but, for the last year and a half, it has become a habit. My trick: I dknt read blogs or FB or emails or do pretty much anything until I have finished my daily reading. Some mornings dont start until 10am (I get lots of interruptions if the boys are needy) but I start my days with so much more peace. I have been trying to work a daily focused prayer time into my routine too. I have prayer prompters on index cards (I made an index card foreach sibling for their family and bullet point prayers) and out them in my planner and am working it into my daily routine. Still trying to find a good anchor point in my day for this but, even if it takes a couple years to make it a habit, my family will get more specific and focused prayer than they have in the past.
    And cooking: I’m just gkad my husband enjoys it. And my 6 year old wants to be just like his daddy so he is learning quickly too. He can make scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, rice and steamed veggies. I pawn the cooking off on them as much as they let me 😉
    Tessa W recently posted…First Time Obedience vs Offering GraceMy Profile

  5. Lol! I have the same top 10 but could easily fit a few in between. Seems like right now EVERYthing I do fits in that category. I do nothing for me; with 5 kids, a husband with a much higher sex drive than mine, aging parents and in-laws, I do all for others. Even eating! I cook what they want and then have to eat it because I’m too tired to eat how I want to. I don’t have any idea how to do what I would like because I really have no identity of my own.

  6. Christine Ondrea says:

    I love this because may of these I struggle with too! Especially the battling prayers. We have two boys on the verge of puberty and they are giving me a run for my money with sass and poor attitudes, bickering…etc…..I know this is where I need to intercede the most but I find myself paralyzed almost. As far as breakfast…SOUP! I love soup for breakfast :)

  7. Annissa says:

    I keep cheese sticks and boiled eggs in the fridge as a grab and go, protein filled breakfast. I have seen people who prepare all of the ingredients needed to make a smoothie into individual ziploc bags and then just add the liquid in the morning. I keep toilet cleaner, wipes, and a brush behind each toilet in my house. I have also delegated that job to my daughter as part of her weekly commissions. I have also found that if I do my laundry more frequently instead of letting it pile up into larger loads, it doesn’t feel quite like a chore (or I ask my husband to fold) Great post!

  8. Heldinhisgrip says:

    My mom taught us to listen to the radio or watch a movie while folding laundry. (There were six of us kids, so laundry was never ending!) It makes it much more enjoyable!

    Also having the YouVersion app on my phone has helped my devotional time. At this stage of my life (I’m a stay-at-home with a toddler and an infant.), I don’t have the time or opportunity to get out my Bible and notebook and have uninterrupted study time. But I can pull up the next chapter in my reading plan and have some quiet time while nursing the baby!

  9. See, now I feel weird because I actually like cleaning the toilet. It’s just about everything else on the list that I’m not fond of.

  10. My gyna recently told me about # 6 but didn’t mention it’s a new guideline, so I was slightly skeptical as I thought it’s just her personal preference. Good to know, yay!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…Your Husband is Not the ProblemMy Profile

  11. Catherine says:

    Use one of the mundane tasks as a prompt to pray.

  12. This is a great list. Fortunately, I have reduced the pain of several of them for years! #1 – is the 12 year olds job – she even gave me a gift certificate for one full bathroom cleaning a month for Christmas!

    #3 – I haven’t done dishes (with regularity) since I got married over 27 years ago. My husband does the dishes! Sure, I have to do some occasionally, and the kids now and then load/empty the dishwasher, but it has been his job.

    #4 – that is why God made cereal! AND those frozen breakfast hot pockets or sandwiches and a microwave. From the time they were old enough to pour milk, my children (4 of them) have been responsible for their own breakfast. I think the 15 year old just eats granola bars now.

    #6 – putting it off right now… it is on the list to do but… so many other things are more fun to do…

    #7 – I used to exercise regularly until child #4 came along and then well… yeah… I know I should and we even own a treadmill and an exercise bike and street bikes and all that good stuff… I know those extra 40 pounds won’t just leave of their own accord, but I sure wish they would.

    #8 – Just like the dishes, I haven’t folded nor put away adult laundry since I got married. I wash it, dry it and bring it upstairs, my husband folds it and puts it away – just the adult portion. I had to deal with the small child clothes but now the kids are all old enough to deal with it themselves. I even no longer care how they fold their shirts, just get it out of the living room and into dresser drawers is good enough for me.

    #9 – I have been fortunate not to have to work outside of the home but for some part-time jobs for the last 21 years. Gives me more time to do the mom stuff and volunteer.

    #10 – agreed! Very hard to do. I am living through a rough time in our lives right now, so my faith has taken some pretty hard hits, which makes it even harder. I am struggling with that but am trying little by little.

    Thanks for your fun, informative, and encouraging posts!!

  13. Sarah De Mey says:

    I’ve been working on some of these very things. I have a morning routine that takes just about 15 minutes and I am loving the results. I get up and get dressed, make my bed, put all dirty clothes down laundry chute, quickly wipe down the bathroom counter and toilet with a disinfecting wipe and swish the toilet with the brush. (10 minutes) I get to the kitchen and unload the dishwasher which I started when I went to bed last night. (5 minutes) As the family dirties dishes during the day, they put them in the dishwasher. This keeps my kitchen looking great. My bedroom (aka peaceful haven) is inviting. And my kitchen and bathrooms are guest ready—not perfect, but clean enough to not embarrass me.

  14. Ellie Swearingen says:

    Agree with all of these! Thanks for the suggestions! There are some great suggestions in the comments too. I like the one about not folding laundry but everyone having their own basket that goes into their room. Sometimes it will sit on the couch for a week waiting to get folded. I am not comfortable leaving cleaner within reach or in plain sight with a toddler and baby. Can’t wait for them to be old enough to help with chores 😉 The toddler helps clean up his own messes, but But this might work once they are older. I like doing meal replacement shakes or smoothies for breakfast. I work full time, but there is a good portion of time at work that I can use for personal devotion and prayer. I have been working through the books Power of a Praying Wife and Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian. She has very specific topics to target your prayers. She includes a sample prayer and relevant scripture. I went through it once and now am starting back over. Eventually I won’t need the book for guidance, but I love the intentionality. I have started keeping a prayer journal that is helping me keep record of my prayers and answered prayer. This has been such a blessing already! Our biggest problem sometimes is forgetting to document when God comes through for us, and then we forget. When we forget what he has done in our past, we doubt that he is faithful to come through for us in the future.

  15. Any men reading this post? All of the above are considered foreplay if you do them for her and it gets her to bed much sooner. And don’t forget to put the kido’s to bed while she soaks in the tub too!

  16. Tanya Geertsema says:

    I think cleaning the stove top is one of my worst jobs. BUT, I just did it tonight, with a new scrubber I bought and it was so much easier….and will be even more easier next time not that I have all the long baked on grime off! Which reminded me of this post and of something I’ve been trying to teach myself: BUY THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB! My mom bought me a quality knife years ago (and I get it sharpened regularly) – makes cooking so much easier. I bought a steamer for our hardwood floors – quick and easy, no wringing, no streaks. Norwex cloths for the windows and dusting – wipe, wipe, done! I have yet to find the perfect cloth to clean the dust, hair, grime of the outside of the toilet, but I hand my daughter a bucket of lysol wipes and send her on her way 😉 (oh, and teach your little boys to pee sitting down…saves the puddle!)

  17. Sheila, let me start out by saying I have always found a lot of great information in you articles and Im sure this one would be great too but unlike some of the other ladies who liked the picture you chose I have to disagree. In fact, it truly caught me off guard even to the point that I didnt read the article but felt a need to reply.

    I know the picture of the young lady is to be a lighthearted way of showing disgust and disdain for things we hate to do. What I saw in that picture was a dear sweet lady in my life who had taken her own life by hanging herself in her garage leaving behind her two young boys. Suicide is no laughing matter in fact I believe it is a trick straight from hell and I really dont find anything humorous about it in any fashion. I know there will be those who feel that this is America and we each have a right to speak our mind and show our feelings I just hope that next time there is a little more compassion shown because I am sure I am not the only person who has lost someone in this way. I will go back and read the article and since you are a great writer Im sure it will be wonderful. Thanks.

    • Melanie, Just saw this comment. Sorry! I just never thought of the picture like that (I really thought she was more just pulling her hair), but you’ve made an excellent point, and I’ve changed the photo.

      Sorry for any pain I caused,

  18. #7 — Try a fun group exercise like Zumba! I have so much trouble motivating myself to exercise, except when it’s Zumba night. I go with a bunch of friends and it’s SO much fun! Try a couple places to find one you like. I have an instructor who does a lot of classic salsa and rumba moves, so it’s classy rather than just butt-shaking and shimmying. But don’t be afraid of the butt-shaking/shimmying, either — Zumba classes are usually only attended by women and everyone else in the class is too focused on watching themselves and the instructor to notice if you look like a fish trying to get back to water. And bonus — now that I’ve actually learned how to shake my hips, my husband has noticed that it makes a difference in how well I “bedroom dance” 😉

  19. Nice to know having the table top cleared and clean is a motivation. I just felt it also helps the first person in in the morning have a good impression 😉

  20. When it comes to excercising . . it has to be fun or I won’t do it. Jogging is NOT fun! Running of ANY kind. . is not FUN. I don’t run unless I absolutely have to! Having been a bellydancer for 9 years . . . DANCING is fun! Although it has been awhile since I have actualy performed . . I still get my moves in when I go out on walks by myself with my ipod. I turm that baby up with my headphones and I start rocking out at the bus stop or just walking down the street! At home just throw a music video up on Youtube and get up and move! You don’t need to know what you’re doing . . just start dancing!

  21. I agree with Jody: I don’t like exercise and will put it off indefinitely, but dancing is great! I do country dancing and it’s both a couple hours a week of elevated heart rate as well as great for strengthening muscles! I was definitely sore when I started, so I also know there is muscle toning going on.

    Must be me personally, but close to #1 for me would have to be phone calls. I dread calling people or returning calls, especially to ask for something or tell them no, and will put it off for weeks. (oops.) Recently I worked up the courage to make a call I’d been putting off for two months, and to my immense relief I got a voicemail! I left the message I had to leave and it was all over in 30 seconds. All that worry for nothing…I think I whooped with excitement when I hung up! :)

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