Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The simple beauty of homemaking

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Because it truly is, simple, and beautiful.  We complicate things, we make mountains out of mole hills, we take a simple task and make it seem impossible and unnecessary, when in actuality, every single thing we do as homemakers is important, and quite simple, and definitely beautiful.

What exactly does a homemaker do?  Well, a lot of things, small things and big things and little of everything.  We clean and we cook, we take care of finances, and we plan parties, and we clean runny noses and change diapers, and hear about our children's problems (however trivial they may be), and turn a structure with four walls into a home, into a safe haven for the family.


I think honestly, the only difference for me is that I do what a lot of other women do, just that I do it in a pretty Cath Kidston apron.  Why?  Because I can, and because it's my uniform, not specifically picked out by anyone other than myself and my need to stick to my roots and to continue in the steps of my greatgrandma, and grandma and every other woman who has been there and done that, before me.

But isn't that old fashioned?

Absolutely!  And that is what I love about it.  I'm in no hurry to remove all those links to the past, and for what purpose?

Wearing an apron is old fashioned some may say, but then so are the crochet blankets that I have draped over the back of my couches, and so are the doilies that are littered throughout my house, so is the way of making my greatgrandma's meatballs, or the way I make homemade pasta by hand, and the way I iron shirts, or place fresh cut flowers from the garden in a little mason jar on my bedside table.

Letter Writing

That's the simple and beautiful part of it, at least to me.

Every single task that I encounter, whether it's washing dishes by hand or cleaning the toilets or scrubbing the shower walls, I do with a smile on my face and the notion that it's for my family and nothing more than giving them a clean home to live in.

I am asked so many times how I get everything done?  How do I do it, how do I plan, how am I able to get the housework finished and still have time to bake and crochet and have fun with the kids.

Routines, routines, routines.  I can't stress it enough.

Now, I am nothing like the Flylady, and I know that many love her, but it's just never worked for me.  I stick to a schedule but I'm very flexible because I've learned over the years as a wife, mother, homemaker, that no two days are the same, really.  Some chores may have to be repeated every day, but the day as a whole is never the same, at least in my home, or maybe it's the fact that I don't allow them to be the same because I get bored easily and I change things around.

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But for the most part, I do stick to a routine, there is definitely a set time for waking up, for eating lunch, for eating dinner and for going to bed.  Everything else in between is shifted here and there to accommodate for what needs to be done, and guess what?  If something doesn't get done today, then it gets done tomorrow.

I think that is one of the traps that many homemakers fall into.  They look at the chores and think that they need to be done NOW and there's no time for a cup of tea, or a book, or a little crochet during the day, and that if you do stop to do either one of those things then it makes you a bad homemaker.

Nonsense.

I've shifted my priorities over the past few years, and I've stuck to a basic principle, one which is actually quite old and was used by many housewives back in the day.

Monday: Wash Day
Tuesday: Ironing Day
Wednesday: Sewing Day
Thursday: Market Day
Friday: Cleaning Day
Saturday: Baking Day
Sunday: Day of Rest

I used to think that this was crazy, I should just iron, wash, bake, clean, all on the same day, a few minutes of each....problem is that it got quite frustrating and I began resenting the chores.

And then I gave it a try, just dedicated each day to a different room/chore and all of a sudden the tasks weren't so daunting, and I even had time to hang out with the kids, read a book or crochet.  Well now....I guess that's something else the so called "old fashioned" homemakers had right.

My routine goes something like this:

Monday:  Laundry Day, wash all the clothes in the hamper, fold, separate what needs to be ironed
Tuesday:  Ironing, put away all the laundry
Wednesday:  Sewing (craft day, sewing, quilting, crochet, knit, garden etc)
Thursday:  Bedrooms (vacuum, change bed linens, dust etc)
Friday:  Bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming and mopping floors
Saturday:  Baking for the week (bread, cookies, freezer meals, dog treats etc)
Sunday:  Resting

Obviously during school months we have homeschooling every week day, and then of course we have cooking and dishes and basic tidying up every day.

Homemaking is not supposed to make you cranky and frustrated, it's not meant to make you hate being a stay at home mom and a homemaker or resentful of the fact that you have mundane tasks to do day in and day out.

It's meant to be simple, it's meant to be beautiful, it's meant to make you proud of the home you live in and the happy family you have around you.

Day 23

So go forth, put on that apron, tackle that chore, pick some flowers for your kitchen table, put away the frozen prepackaged food and cook a good wholesome meal and if you feel like it, set aside that laundry basket and go snuggle on the couch with the kids, or pull out that crochet or book you've been dying to get into.

Embrace it, embrace yourself as a homemaker and you will soon see that everything else just falls into place.

17 comments:

Michelle said...

I can't tell you how much I love this post Sandra. You're a role model for all us SAHM or SAHW's. ♥

~Carla~ said...

So love this post, Sandra! Sometimes I have a poor attitude about all the housework, chores, cooking, etc.. That seems to get piled up with a family of 6, but then I remind myself that I need to do all things to glorify God. Even the small "mundane" tasks I sometimes find myself grumbling over... *blush* I am very usually a very cheerful & upbeat person, but I think we all have our "moments"... This post was exactly what I needed to read today. :) Thank-you!!!

Sherri B. said...

This is a most helpful post. Even though I am old enough to know better and have many years on you, I still haven't got it figured out (I'm quite the mess sometimes).

I do love being a homemaker but get frustrated because of the disorganization. Your routine makes good sense and I just might try to 'teach this old dog a new trick'. xo

Melanie said...

Love this post! And I think your apron is beautiful. :)

Wendi said...

Love this post! I keep shaking my head thinking yes, yes, yes! :)

elma said...

Hi i enjoy reading your blog!!! I have a question, on the days that you dust do you dust everything in your house, i mean like knick knacks,cieling fans, baseboards, pictures etc...? If i dust that's what i do and it becomes a hassle and i don't do it like i should because i dreed it can take 4-5 hours, if you can give advice as to how you do your dusting and keep your house clean i would appreciate it, maybe their is a better way to stay on top of the dusting and you could share your tips with us!! THANK YOU for your time.

Liz said...

Thank you so much! I needed this post right about now. Lately I have felt overwhelmed. Usually I go in cycles. Most of the time, I've kept up on house work and I don't mind the tasks. Laundry folding and putting away is usually dreaded, but the rest isn't upsetting or annoying at all. Lately I feel that it's too much and if I do it, I'm missing out on opportunities to do things with the kids or things for me. I need to just relax a little and quit trying to do it all every day. Our jobs are sooooo important. I'm proud to be a housewife/mother and women like you help to give us all a good name. You inspire me to be better.

Sarah@Like sunshine in the home said...

Love it. I'm old fashioned too. I posted on my blog a load of things I've been given that were my beautiful Nan (who passed away a few years ago) and my wonderful Granddad. I too love the links to the past, they are to be treasured, to be learned from, and are a blessing.

You are awesome. Big hugs. xx :)

Mahek said...

Love you Sandra,
Wonderfully written, from your heart and my heart too
It's so easy to feel frustrated with homemaking as its something that we are not paid for and something that is never ending ...
I gave up my high paying job to be at home with my son..I miss working sometimes but it's your thoughts and the way you look at things helps and your write up on homemaking always makes me feel things are right
Thanks!!!

Christina said...

Thank you for this post!!! It has given me renewed motivation to start a cleaning routine and stick to it. I work third shift and find myself leaving the bulk of the housework for my days off. I always feel my house is in disarray, and I never have enough time. Thanks again!!! You are an inspiration!

lndwhr said...

Love this! So right on!

Judy said...

What a great post Sandra! I always wear an apron when I'm working around the house. I'm trying to play catch up on blog reading, no going outside today with our gloomy rainy weather.

Carey's Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Thank you for reminder Sandra. I enjoy your blog so much, I don't always comment. I do read though. I'm embracing my homemaking again since I teach and have the summer off. ;) so much happier!

Mandi said...

Um, I LOVE THIS! I waited a few days to read it and it came at a perfect time. Because as I sit here I'm dreading the work that needs done. The Lord has been reminding me of what a privalege this is to be home, making a home for my family. Lovely post, Sandra. Thank you for sharing! Keep up the good {and God honoring} work!

Mandisa Chesser said...

This was truly a lovely post. I too love to wear aprons (that I decorate myself) and am so glad to see someone else who believes in the importance of traditional views. I've often said that the family unit was strong for hundreds and hundreds of years for a reason and if we can stick to those "old-fashioned" values, the family unit can continue to be strong. Unfortunately, with the world now being more modern, a lot of those values have been lost, thus families falling apart. I'm glad to see there's still some of us "Old- Fashioned" folks left! Have a blessed day.

Vanessa M. said...

I just wanted to let you know what an encouragement this was! Thank you.

Mar said...

Thank you. Priceless.