Are You Struggling with Homemaking?
Whether you are new to homemaking or have been struggling with homemaking for years, you are not alone. All of us feel overwhelmed, stuck in a rut and in over our heads sometimes.
Homemaking is an important job full of BIG responsibilities. While we spent over a decade in school, cultivating the qualities, knowledge and skills needed for various careers, very few of us were taught the skills we would need to be proficient homemakers.
The first step to getting back on track is remembering why you chose to be a homemaker in the first place.
This guide will
- Look at Homemaking as a vocation
- Remind you of the benefits of being a homemaker-It really is an important job, you know!
- Discuss about the basic skills young women need to cultivate to be successful homemakers
- Caution against toxic homemaking
Homemaking as a Vocation
“A vocation is a person’s main occupation, which is regarded as very worthwhile and important and as requiring great dedication.”
I am so thankful for the many women who have felt called to vocations within my community. The doctors and teachers who leave their children every day to work with mine. The women police officers, bankers, and realtors. The business owners and employees alike, who split their focus between their families and their work, and make it possible for all of us to live in our wonderful communities.
As a society, we applaud their efforts–and so we should–but so often, those of us who have chosen vocations as homemakers are undervalued and underappreciated. We’ve been chastised for “not contributing” to our communities through paid work, informed that we are a burden to our families because we don’t bring in substantial money toward our monthly budgets, and ridiculed for forgoing our careers to care for our family.
Is it any wonder we sometimes wonder if its even worth the effort?
Let me take a minute to tell you what society won’t. Homemaking is a vocation too. Our vocation as full-time homemakers is just as important to our communities, just as valuable to our families and can be just as rewarding as any other vocation you could choose to have.
Benefits of Homemaking
Homemakers Benefit Communities
Go to any church or any school, and you will find homemakers dedicating their time to help make their communities better. We are available to check in on a neighbor, take a meal to a new mom, or visit with a struggling friend or aging relative. We’re the class parent, the fundraiser chairs for the PTA, and the ministry leaders at church. We may not receive a paycheck for our hard work, but housewives and homemakers everywhere work hard to make a big impact on our schools, churches and communities.
Homemakers Benefits Families
Housewives contribute financially to their families in multiple ways, from earning money on the side to minimizing child care costs and reducing other family expenses through more frugal shopping, less overall expenses and DIY projects we otherwise might not have time for. Have you ever wondered what a housewife would earn if she were paid for the all the work she does?
We have more time to focus on the personal, educational, emotional and practical needs of our families.
My children get more time with me, and I have more energy to devote playing, teaching and mentoring them, and they get to spend more time at home,both before and after school, where they can just be themselves relax and cultivate their own interests.
Because I am able to carry more of the mental and physical load at home, my husband is able to focus more of his physical and mental energy to work. He rarely has to take off work for Doctor appointments or a sick child. He comes home after a tiring day at work (generally) to a tidy house and a home cooked meal.
Finally, I feel like my husband and I fight less, have more time together and enjoy a slower pace of life because we aren’t both trying to work and raise our kids and care for our house at the same time.
Homemaking Benefits Us
Being a homemaker has more perks than we have time to explore right now, but let me just name a few of my favorites. I am less frazzled and less stressed. I have time to pursue my hobbies and study my interests, time to spend an afternoon with friends, and time to create richer, deeper connections with friends and family, and I get to spend more time with my favorite people in the whole world: my kids.
Basic Homemaking skills
There was a time when homemaking skills were passed on from mothers to daughters, and taught in schools, but that is no longer the case. I don’t recall learning these skills well growing up and spent years trying to cultivate these skills once I started staying home.
Learning how to manage your time as a homemaker includes learning how to distinguish between urgent and the important, understanding how long tasks will take, and creating and following schedules for yourself and your family. Learning how to stay focused on the task at hand and working smarter not harder will both help you be more productive and have more FREE TIME throughout the day.
Creating a good morning routine is a good place to start.
Basic House cleaning involves being able to identify what daily weekly monthly and annual chores need to be completed to keep your house clean and well-maintained, and learning how to perform them efficiently. Full disclosure, I am still not a great housekeeper. We can keep working on this one together.
Organization involves learning how to organize your belongings in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, functional and maximizes storage. If you re a minimalist or you have a large house for your family size, you can get away with being unorganized, but if you’re a family of 6 plus pets, hobbies and a side business living in under 1500 square feet, good organization is a godsend.
Meal Planning and Cooking
Meal planning and cooking includes learning how to plan out what meals you will make each day and making grocery lists accordingly. Studying basic nutrition and learning how to at least cook simple meals is also important. If you get regularly get to 5 o’clock and have no idea what you are going to make for dinner, or find yourself unable to bring down that high grocery budget, you need a meal plan. If don’t know how to make a week’s worth of meals that don’t come out of a box, you might need to work on your culinary skills.
Finance Management includes making a budget, monitoring your bank account, setting financial goals, working toward debt reduction and savings and learning how live within your means.
What are your financial goals? Do you know what’s in your 401K? How much do you have in savings? Are you following a budget that you and your husband both agreed on? Do you even have a budget? If you don’t know the answers to these questions or if you frequently find yourself short on money before your next paycheck arrives, you probably need to work on your personal finance skills.
Toxic Types of Homemakers
Now that we’ve covered so many wonderful things about homemaking, and some of the skills you might want to work developing, let’s talk about 3 toxic homemaking mistakes and how to avoid them.
#1: Trying to Do It All by Yourself
Just because we are responsible for the care and well-being of our families and the cleaning and maintenance or our homes, doesn’t mean we are supposed to do it all ourselves. I don’t know about you, but we aren’t super-human around here!
It’s okay to ask for help. Delegate chores to your children, have a family cleaning day every week where everyone helps until it’s done, outsource some of the cleaning tasks or get a mother’s helper if you can afford it. There’s nothing wrong with leaving the kiddos with hubby while you go shopping alone or having him give baths while you clean up after dinner. You aren’t the family maid, and you get no extra help for refusing help.
#2: Striving for Perfection
It’s all too easy for our entire identity to become wrapped up in our role as homemaker, and we can start to judge ourselves by how well-behaved our children are, how wonderful our crunchy, made-from-scratch, additive-free meals taste, and how Pinterest-ready, perfectly clean our homes are.
Listen to me. Life is messy, kids are gross, days get busy and time doesn’t stop. Your kids don’t need a perfect mom; they need a present one. Your husband doesn’t want a perfect wife and a perfectly clean home; he wants a happy wife and a happy home. No one expects your house to look like it popped out of a magazine and sometimes you just have to have dinner “a la Drive Thru” to make it all work.
We have to let go of perfection and aim for good enough. Give yourself some grace to be flawed, to make a few mistakes and to let go of the things that don’t make your to-done list. So do yourself and your family a favor and focus on progress, not perfection.
#3: The “Lazy” Homemaker
You know the stereotypes, so I won’t elaborate here.
Look, we have days, weeks or even difficult seasons of life where we just let things go. Days when we just need to relax, weeks when we are exhausted and we can barely get of the couch. We lose our way, we have bad days. We let things get a little out of control–okay, a lot out of control.
Hear me when I say: That’s okay. That’s life.
But we can’t let it become our way of life. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves some hard choices. Are we performing our duties to the best of our abilities or are we letting ourselves get distraction by television, hobbies, and fun? Do we using our time and our financial resources wisely? Are we purposeful in our homemaking or do we de what we feel like doing instead of what needs to be done?
Whew! I don’t love my answers to those questions, and honestly, I know that I have a tendency towards all three of these at times. We can’t let ourselves get weighed down by our failures, but focus on our success. Progress over perfection, right?
What is your biggest homemaking struggle? Let me know in the comments below!