Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The simple beauty of homemaking
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.