Monday, February 23, 2009

{ The simple joys of housework }

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I remember a time, back when I was a teenager. I admit that I cringed away from housework, I literally went out of my way to avoid it at all costs, even when my stepmother would ask me to do something, there was always an excuse....a place to be....music to listen to or a friend's house to visit.

I vividly remember one time time where I was in the bathroom, primping like teenage girls do and my stepmom yelled out from somewhere else in the house "Sandra....are you in your bedroom?" and me thinking I was so smart, I yelled out "No, I'm in the bathroom" with a little grin on my face, obviously thinking I had just avoided some chore that I wouldn't want to do. She quickly replied "Oh great, can you bring me the laundry in there?" LOL

I tell you, we still laugh about it to this day.

As I grew older, I realized that I started enjoying housework, well maybe *enjoying* is too strong of a word, I say more like embracing it as part of life, as part of my quest to become a great homemaker and wife. All the while I had my greatgrandmother in the background explaining things, showing me how to do this or that, teaching me and sharing her stories of life as a little girl in the 1900's....oh I can't forget my stepmother and grandmother too, all extremely influential women in my life.

After I got married and became a full time mother and wife, I realized that it all depended on me, there was no more dodging the housework for something else more interesting, there was no depending on my stepmother to make dinner or worry about the dishes.....it was all me. And begrudgingly I started throwing myself into it, fighting it at every step, annoyed that I now was responsible for having meals on the table and clean laundry and a tidy house.

But as the years went by I grew to love it, and nowadays I tell you, I find the most joy in the simple things, see I found the secret to loving it as opposed to despising it. It's all about how you do it, just like everything else in life, you need to make it fun, you need to make it interesting.

Like this, see these 3 baskets full of clean laundry ready to fold? My first instinct is to run for the hills, I mean who wants to be stuck a whole afternoon doing this? But I make it fun, I popped in my Lark Rise to Candleford DVD and watched it while I folded, before I knew it everything was folded and ready to be put away.

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And sewing. I know, nowadays it's easier to just throw it out and buy a new one, but sewing and especially darning is something that my greatgrandmother taught me and I take a lot of joy in doing. It's relaxing and it's rewarding to see that favorite t-shirt or sock or whatever that you would otherwise throw out, now sewn and looking good as new.

I also do this while watching tv, or with some music in the background.

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And washing dishes....I open the kitchen window and the curtains and enjoy the sound of the birds outside while I do the dishes.

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Let's face it, no one wants to do something they feel is a chore or boring to death. No matter WHAT it is, whether you're ironing or cooking or even cleaning the bathrooms. Pop in some music or turn on the tv, or even one of those audio books and enjoy making a clean comfy home for your family.

That's what keeps me going, that's what makes me absolutely love what I do.

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I've been faced many times with the question "don't you get bored being a stay at home mom and homemaker? Don't you ever wish you were out doing something?" and I have to smile because I AM doing something, I'm a military wife, I am keeping the candle burning and supporting my wonderful husband and the numerous soldiers out there fighting for our country.

I'm a mother, I'm raising adults, I'm raising a man and a woman who I hope will grow up to be amazing human beings.

I'm creating a safe haven, for my husband and for my children AND for me. I'm creating that one place on earth that you want to be, that one place that no matter how bad a day you have, you can't wait to get back to. So I ask you, how can I ever question what I'm doing?

Oh don't get me wrong, it's not easy doing all these things, there's days that I am beyond frustrated, that I'm so sick with a fever or a stomach virus that it hurts to walk, days that I'm sad and lonely and want nothing more than a good cry. It's all about balance, it's about enjoying the moment and being content with what you have.

What about you? Are you content with your life? Are you a homemaker and SAHM, or do you work outside the home? Do you find housework a joy or an annoying chore?

30 comments:

Mari said...

What a great post Sandra! I work full time but when the kids were young I worked very little and for a while was able to stay home. I enjoyed it, although my thrill at folding clothes wasn't as big as yours! Watching a DVD is a good idea.

Just me~ Bobbie Jo said...

What a great post! Love it!

Conny said...

My dream came true and I got to stay home with my children for 6 wonderful years. I think I truly took it for granted. Then my husband switched occupations (from the Army to the ministry) - and I had to work full-time for 3 years. Now I am back to being home 2 days a week - and I love love love every moment. I am never ever bored at home. I think my family sees that I'm not stressed out by the cares of my job (also in the ministry) and can focus on making home a safe place. My whole blog is about HOME...being home, learning to take care of my home & the people who live in it. I LOVE being home :) and since housework is part of that, I am learning how to do it more efficiently too.

Barbie @ Mamaology said...

Thanks for always being a source of encouragement about creating a cozy and well cared for home. It is the most important job out there:).

I am a work at home Mama (I have four beautiful girls) so my life is very full. My favorite part of working at home is being with my little girls all day and being there when the older two come home.

It is hard to get it all done as I run a day care, but you are right, music and other entertainments while working help so much.

Susanne said...

Sandra this was a wonderful post.

Sarah said...

Great post Sandra. Sometimes it is so hard to find joy in simple things, but that is often where we can do our best thinking, our best praying, and I particularly enjoy the solitude - because if there is a job to do, I can guarantee my children will be far, far away! :)

Thanks for bringing it back to the basics for me!

Linda said...

How blessed to be taught how to darn. I saw my Nana darn maybe a couple of times.

Bonnie said...

Great post Sandra !! I've been contemplating this sort of stuff lately. Slowing down. Finding more enjoyment in the little things. The mundane things. Remembering why I do them. It helps.

I am definitely content with my life. I am a homemaker, a SAHM AND I volunteer outside the home three days a week. My life is very full. Very rewarding. Balance is definitely the key. Knowing when my plate is too full and being able to empty it a bit ...

Thanks Sandra for this post !! You are an inspiration ... as always !!!

Bonnie said...

PS ... did you make that knitted tea cosy ??? I want to make one but haven't been able to find a pattern ...

Stacia said...

I am with you 100% on this.
I feel such a sense of accomplishment on a home that is well taken care of.
I feel like that since my husband works and I am able to stay at home, THAT is my job.
Like you I do my laundry while watching t.v. and am a total commercial cleaner for other things. ;-)
Knowing anyone can stop by at any time and my home is ready for compnay is such a nice feeling.
So many people make me feel crazy for feeling like being a homemaker is rewarding. You know, women shouldn't rely on a man for everything sort of thinking.
However I find it's a wonderful partnership. Each not working without the other.
Thanks for such a great post!

Amy said...

It took me many moons to chill out and just enjoy being a SAHM. I had always wanted it, but it took awhile to slough off all the world's meaning of success... you know all the doing and busy and working... being at home has a completely different success definition. And to realize that God has given me this season... and that I didn't need to strive against it..thinking I needed to be doing to please Him. That pleasing Him WAS embracing my family and all that that entailed. I love it now! I love love love it!

hugs..A

Michelle said...

It does take time to adjust being a sahm.But It is so nice to be in jammies and hang out with McKenna in the am.As for housework I find if Young Miss is out of the house then it motivates me to clean up...

. said...

I crave to be a full time homemaker. It's my dream and I won't give up. God will help me.

Alfazema

lara said...

Great Post! I'm really going to have a good attiude about housework! Everything is easier with a smil:)

Jen said...

I love staying home being mom, wife, and housekeeper. I have my days...but I look at it as a job...and the rewards are much better than any pay check.

Cheri said...

I'm a stay at home mom too for the moment. I'm actually looking for part time work- partly because my kids are getting older and it's time and also economical reasons.
I love your attitude about chores.

Tina Leigh said...

Sandra...dont hate me....I would be more content if you would come clean my house!!! LOL!! Granted I do work 3 long days a week (friday, saturday & sunday, at least 13 hours per day) so I feel like I am blessed being able to have the other time off. But here lately I hate cleaning. I think it has to do with having Little Package around. When she was a month old....she started crying while I was trying to clean...she needed nothing but for me to hold her. At first I was irritated with it, but God spoke to me in it all. She will only be little once...so cleaning is on the back burner or I guess you could say, I go with the flow. I clean but not like I did before she came. I just want to play with her...so until she gets a little older...if you dont mind...will you come clean my house, lol!! You get 5 stars for todays post!!

everyday mom said...

What an inspiring post. I totally understand what you are saying I am a homemaker, SAHM. I love my job more than any other job I have had. I love to have my home clean and treat it as our families sanctuary from the busy world outside. Some of my friends call me the 50's wife because I have dinner ready when hubby gets home and all that jazz, but I wouldnt change it for the world and am so thankful to God that I get the opportunity to be at home.

Krista said...

Well, as of today I am working outside the home. I am grateful that I have 2 teenagers that are willing, well sometimes willing, to help me with the housework now. My daughter told me last week that she wants to start cooking 1 night a week. I said YIPPEE. Last week she made spaghetti, and last night she made homemade pizza! It was great. I helped a little, mostly just answering questions, but I am glad that she is interested. BTW, I am having a giveaway on my blog this week to celebrate my 1st blogoversary. I even mentioned you in my blog! You have been an inspiration to me during my first year!

Raggedy Girl said...

Thank you for the thoughtful post. I love being a homemaker but I also take care of my two great grand babies and since I am 64 I find I cannot do it all and I get way more tired than I did then when I was 34. I wish I could find a way to be a better homemaker than I am but God knows I am really trying hard. Sandra I love your blog so much.

Have a Terrific Tuesday
from Roberta Anne

Wendi said...

Love this post! I am a SAHM and love it! I can't say that I love every second, but the moments of bliss sure pass the moments of dread. I find that it is all in the attitude. Not many people love cleaning toilets, but it must be done. I find that if I do it with a smile on my face it sure helps!

Jen said...

As a (hopefully) future SAHM (need to have kids first!), I just want to say thanks for your daily inspirations. Throughout everything, you seem to maintain a wonderful perspective. While some women stay at home because they feel they should, you are doing what you are called to! Thanks!

All My Blessings said...

Sandra, I came to this same conclusion about 15 years ago. I always wanted to be home with my girls but sometimes of course it didn't work out. I worked part-time a lot. I always liked housework because I saw instant results and I was good at it. We built our home some 8yrs ago and it's beautiful so I want it to stay looking brand new. Now with that said, my girls and husband think I go too far. I see germs and they don't...I enjoyed your post today....Kae

Amy said...

Sandra...love your blog. I think homemaking is a fine art. I have enjoyed so many things about staying home with my children...it has been a real blessing. Now that my children are in college I am back to work part-time, but my favorite things to do are still (silly maybe) laundry, sewing, baking and, yes, even cleaning. It's a little challenge to get started sometimes, but once I do I find I enjoy it very much. Have a wonderful day.

Nancy said...

I don't mind the house work I just would like more time to spend to do it right!!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

I love your attitude. You hit the nail on the head. You are creating a safe haven to raise your family in. You are creating the adults of tomorrow to be kind, considerate and thoughtful adults. Children do not raise themselves, they don't make good latch key kids and they NEED and CRAVE the discipline, love and guidance of a stay at home parent. I hate women who say they want their career too. Raising a family IS a career, one of the oldest and most important careers ever. So you go girl.

Kirstin said...

I love being home with my kiddos and taking care of our home. I have no desire to do anything else, even to keep up with the Joneses. I have no need for that.

MoziEsmé said...

I love this post. I think I should bookmark it and read it whenever I feel a little discontent...

Sarah said...

What a great post. I love being a homemaker, being around for the kids, etc. I do moan about it sometimes though! :)

I'm going to link to your post.

Hugs.xxxx

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