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, myself included.
Homemaking is an important job full of BIG responsibilities. It’s something every one of us will do in our lives, whether we are fulltime homemakers or work outside the home.
Yet while we spent over a decade in school cultivating the qualities, knowledge and skills needed for a variety of careers, very few of us were taught the skills we would need to be proficient homemakers.
Thankfully, modern homemaking is making a comeback among millennial moms, but if you’re like I was, you might be sitting next to a pile of laundry, looking at sink full of dirty dishes, wondering how in the hell other moms seem to have it all together while you struggle to keep your head above water.
I learned how to be a better homemaker, and you can too! If you are tired of feeling like a homemaking failure, this homemaking series is for you. I created this series as a homemaking course to help young moms like you discover their inner housewife. I’m here to mentor you and encourage you through this process, so leave me comments with your thoughts and questions.
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Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
In this article, I want to talk with you about Modern Homemaking. We will
- Look at homemaking as a vocation
- discuss the benefits of being a homemaker-It really is an important job, you know!
- talk about what modern homemaking is not: a Caution against toxic homemaking
- read a brief overview of the homemaking skills I will cover in this guide.
Homemaking is 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; women police officers, bankers, and realtors; and 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. If you have chosen to be a full-time homemaker–a modern housewife, as I like to say–be proud of your vocation. You have followed a very worthwhile calling. 🙂
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 are often the class parent, the fundraising 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 Benefit Families
Housewives contribute financially to their families in multiple ways. We are able to minimize child care costs. Other family expenses can be reduced through more frugal shopping 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?
Some of us work part time or from home.
We have more time to focus on the personal, educational, emotional and practical needs of our families, and they are better for it.
Because I am a full-time homemaker, my children get more time with me, and I have more energy to devote to playing, teaching and mentoring them. They get to spend more time at home, both before and after school, and during school breaks, where they can be themselves, relax and cultivate their own interests and hobbies.
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 and 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 juggle careers while raising our kids and caring for the needs of our house at the same time.
Homemaking Benefits Women
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. I am free to spend an afternoon with friends, and time to create richer, deeper connections with my friends and family, and I get to spend more time with my favorite people in the whole world: my kids.
Toxic Homemaking Mistakes
#1: Trying to Do It All by Yourself
Listen ladies, 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. Ask your husband to pitch in more at night when he’s home. 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 cookies 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 (and maybe clean underwear everyday). 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.
And that’s okay!
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. Do yourself and your family a favor and focus on progress, not perfection.
#3: Letting Laziness Set In
You know the stereotypes, so I won’t elaborate here.
Look, we have days, weeks or even difficult seasons of life where we just need to let things go. Remember #2 on this list??
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 distracted 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 all of the time, and honestly, I know that I have a tendency towards all three of these at times. Actually, if I am suddenly feeling like things at home are falling apart a little, generally it’s due to one of those issues.
We all get a little off track sometimes, but intentionality can get us back on track before we’re too far gone.
We can’t let ourselves get weighed down by our failures, but rather, focus on our success. Progress over perfection, right?
You know, 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 know I don’t recall learning some of these basic skills growing up and have spent years trying to cultivate them once I started staying home.
If you are new to homemaking, or are feeling overwhelmed at home, getting the hang of these five skills will get you well on your way to feeling less like a homemaking mess, and more like a homemaking success!
Look, we all have the same 168 hours or 10,080 minutes in a week, right? I do, you do, Oprah does. That homeschooling momma you know from church with the five well-behaved kids and immaculate house? She does too. What is the difference between the overwhelmed mom of two who barely has time for a shower and the mom of five who volunteers consistently and seems to have herself together?
It might just be Good Time Management
Learning how to manage your time as a homemaker includes learning how to distinguish between the 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.
In this series, I’ll show you how
- to create a morning routine that will get your day off to good start.
- to use block scheduling to create stability in your week and help you carve out time for what’s really important each day.
- I use digital calendars and paper planners to keep track of my busy family of six, an online business and my multiple volunteer roles
Basic Housekeeping involves being able to identify what daily, weekly, monthly and annual chores need to be completed to keep your house reasonably clean and well-maintained, and learning how to perform them efficiently.
Did you see that word, “Reasonably?” We’re not talking perfection here, okay? Our homes exists to serve our families. We don’t exist to serve our homes.
I’ll help you think through what “reasonably cleaned and maintained” means for you, and help you create a cleaning routine you can stick with.
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 1500 square feet, good organization is a godsend. But maybe that’s just me.
I’ll share my best tips for frugal organization.
Meal Planning and Cooking
Meal planning and cooking is difficult for a lot of millennial homemakers. I promise you don’t have to be a master chef or spend hours in the kitchen to feed your family well.
You do need to learn how to plan out what meals you will make each day and make 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 you 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.
Managing Family Finances
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.
Ill show you how I use the multiple bank account method to finally get a handle on our finances, and share how we reduced our monthly expenses to just 70% of our income and so we can reach our financial goals.
I am so excited to be able to put together this homemaking resource for young housewives. It is my hope that it will be the go-to guide that I never had. Please continue to check back over the next few months for more content and join my email list to get new articles right in your inbox. Happy homemaking!
What is your biggest homemaking struggle? Let me know in the comments below!