I wasn’t blessed with the gift of traditions and ancestors who passed down familiar heritages of past generations. I don’t have a family’s secret recipe to offer my children, nor do I have a Meemaw who lovingly ensured I learned all her homemaking tips and tricks.
I do, however, have a ridiculously passionate drive to re-establish myself and my family in homemaking traditions, because I believe it to be much more empowering than our culture has led us to believe.
In my endeavors to share all that I have learned with you, my fellow homemaking sister, I created the following guide lovingly and carefully.
What A Homemaker Is
A Homemaker Has Joy
Traditionally, a homemaker was more than likely created out of duty or obligation. Perhaps a woman became a homemaker because her mother was one before her, as was her mother’s mother. Or, perhaps a woman became a homemaker to achieve status. However, I believe that one becomes a homemaker today because they want to – because it brings joy to life to know that they are lovingly caring and providing for those they most love.
As a homemaker, I can confidently say that caring for your family, your home, your past, present, future, and yourself is challenging unless you have joy in your heart. Considering how every moment can positively or negatively affect the future is a very tough burden sometimes. Without joy, this becomes a daunting task with lasting consequences of dread, bitterness, and resentment. But with joy in your heart, doing for your family isn’t just out of obligation, rather, you do it because it empowers your family!
You may not be able to see it today, but that hug you just gave your child will show up in the future as a confidently loving adult who shows empathy for others. That meal you just cooked for your family will turn into full stomachs and a full night’s rest for your young ones to be able to take on tomorrow. Those teacher appreciation gifts you sacrificed your sleep for in order to handmake all of them will give your children’s teacher another reason to face crazy kids all over again the next day.
Everything you do matters. Joy cannot be taught, nor can it be drilled into you. The only way to obtain it is to shift your perspective to a more empowered one.
A Homemaker Enjoys Their Job
Oh yes, they do! Remember how I told you my theory that a homemaker chooses this lifestyle? They might not enjoy it all the time, but they will most of the time when they find ways to enjoy it more. Listening to music is a wonderful way to pass the time. Journaling during a dedicated self-care hour will help you process the details of the day. Dropping your chores for half an hour to go outside to play with your kids will replenish you to come back inside and tackle the rest. Your chores can and will wait!
Not inspired to clean? Girl, put on some cleaning videos on YouTube and watch yourself become inspired to get up and get the laundry done! I personally love (and, yes, enjoy) binging these videos as I clean.
Additionally, knowing you’re making such a difference in your family’s life hopefully brings you more enjoyment in your tasks.
A Homemaker Knows How to Have Fun
This is a two-part message. Sure, you need to know how to have fun with the family, especially with your kiddos. Your children depend on you to set the example of how to relax and let your hair down. They’re growing and learning every day and need a break to enjoy their down time. Fun can be laughing together, games, funny movies and stories, cooking together, trips to the store, or even to the beach, or a fun car ride – the opportunities are obviously endless. You are the pillar of the family, but you also know how to have fun.
But what about how to have fun without the family? Consider how much time you dedicate to having fun with just yourself! Perhaps you enjoy escaping on Saturday mornings to hit up the coffee shop or a book store. Maybe you enjoy taking long hikes and pretending you’re lost in the woods (no? just me?). Or maybe you enjoy meeting up with your best friend for a couple of Sunday afternoon Bloody Mary’s. Either way, you’re a homemaker and you get to have fun – in good taste I may add.
A Homemaker is Inspired and Creative
The ultimate secret in every homemaker’s back pocket is the ability to be creative. It doesn’t matter what the situation calls for, all the homemakers I have ever known, seen, read about, or heard about have been ingenious in their own right. It doesn’t matter if there is a school project due in twelve hours or if you have to make up a tall-tale to Sally-June in the grocery store as to why you didn’t show up to last night’s Bible study, a homemaker will be creative.
Additionally, this creativity is born from the inspiration that keeps a homemaker going! It’s important that we remain always inspired. Whether we need to listen to music, read books, or change the wall color, our inspiration is sure to keep us going. Inspiration is the seed to tomorrow’s opportunities.
Inspiration is the seed of tomorrow’s opportunities.
A Homemaker is Passionate
Much like joy and inspiration keep us all going, so does passion. Being able to cultivate and maintain our passion in what we’re doing is only going to benefit everyone. When a homemaker is passionate about what they do, no doubt, they will do it to the best of their ability.
A Homemaker is Full of Love
Love is the source of passion, joy, creativity, and everything else that drives a homemaker! Love is what gets a homemaker out of bed in the morning and tucks them in at night.
A Homemaker is Helpful
Often viewed as the pillar and backbone of the family, a homemaker is helpful. When I made the choice to become a homemaker, I did so with this vision and daydream of my husband coming to me with a ripped seam in his pants, asking me to sew them back together for him. And I, pretending to be exasperated, would sigh as if I were inconvenienced, but in my heart grateful that I had the opportunity to help.
I had this vision only because I knew the importance of being needed and, in turn, being helpful. I’m still working on the sewing part…
A Homemaker is Disciplined
This may be pretty ironic coming from me, I have to admit, because of how whimsical I am by nature. I may be structured, but I’m also pretty undisciplined and tend to abandon tasks to chase after a new project more times than I’d like to admit.
However, this list is only a guide, and that goes for me, too!
Because we as homemakers are responsible for so much on the home front, we have to be disciplined. We need to understand how to prioritize our time and our tasks for the betterment of everyone – and this requires discipline.
A Homemaker is On-Time
Punctual? Maybe. On-time? Definitely. What I mean by this is a homemaker who blossoms in their own time is on-time. Do not be discouraged nor dismayed by the ideas of schedules, times, and standards that are set by abstract ideas and fantasies of who you should be.
Make a schedule and stick to it the best you can. As for yourself, make goals and stick to them the best you can as well. Let the dice fall where they may and learn every day how to be a better you.
A Homemaker Prioritizes Their Family
A family, after all, is the reason we become homemakers! It doesn’t matter if we’re a family of one or one hundred, our family is our number one.
A Homemaker is Traditional
By traditional, I mean that a homemaker maintains traditions that were either passed down to them or that they choose to pass down to their own children.
As I mentioned before, I didn’t have tradition. Yet, it is my dream to begin traditions that I can pass down to my own children.
What I don’t mean by traditional is that a homemaker remains stuck in failing institutions and ideologies that leave them crippled and unable to thrive or take care of themselves.
A Homemaker is Modern
By modern, I mean that a homemaker is fluid with the ever-changing times. Additionally, I’m including men as homemakers as well. The modern homemaker is simply one who rises to the occasion to take care of the family.
A Homemaker is Frugal
To be frugal is one of the homemaker’s most noted of gifts. They understand who it is that brings the money home (unless they themselves work, too). Because they prioritize the family, the homemaker knows how to pinch pennies.
What A Homemaker Isn’t
A Homemaker Is Not Perfect
I am going to speak to the unhealthy culture that leads us to believe we have to be perfect as much as I’m going to speak to your negative inner voice. Unfortunately, I know as well as anyone how we can be our own worst critics. And I also know that it’s all too easy to be hard on ourselves, to put too much pressure on ourselves, or to have unachievable goals that only leave us feeling inadequate and empty.
Our culture happily maintains the façade of perfection on social media and other spaces like blogs and podcasts. The truth is, absolutely none of those “perfect” people are actually perfect! Consider how many outtakes it took to get that perfect shot that you looked at for five seconds and convinced yourself that you’ll never have that. Consider how little we truly understand about these “perfect” people’s lives. Although these people put their lives on social media for the world to see, no doubt, we don’t truly see what they go through.
Stop. Looking. At. Other. People.
My lovely, lovely sister. You have everything you need to become the perfect homemaker today, right now, just as you are. You will never be perfect, and that’s OK, because you’ll be you, and that’s all this world needs.
A Homemaker Isn’t a Chef
That’s right! I said it!
A chef is an employee who makes food for a living. YOU are more than that. Part of your job is to feed your family nourishing food for the body and for the soul. However, it’s only part of your job.
Also, what if you’re not a great cook? What if you’re just learning how to cook, much as I did? Let’s set aside the ridiculous expectations that your main job is to be a chef and focus on being a homemaker as a whole. Ridding yourself of setting the bar too high also allows others the opportunity to step in if you need help. Have a late appointment that you can’t leave in time to get dinner started? Call the hubs and ask him to get it started!
A Homemaker Isn’t a Maid
Oh, yes, hunny, I said that, too. A maid is also an employee, but one who gets paid to clean up after people. You’re much more than a maid.
See, part of your job is to maintain a clean, happy home, but it’s also to teach your family how to empower themselves to clean up as well. You’re not the punching bag, you’re not the maid. You’re the teacher. Being able to teach your children how to become well-established and well-rounded, contributing members of society starts at home, and it starts with you teaching them how to take their shoes to their room and how to wipe the seat when they sprinkle while they tinkle.
A Homemaker Isn’t Fake
The pressure to be fake in today’s society is absolutely unreal. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about – homemaking, marketing, or walking dogs. If someone is posting about it on the internet or social media, there’s a huge chance it’s slightly or all the way fabricated for an audience.
A homemaker doesn’t do that. A true homemaker is genuine in all they do. Period.
Beginning habits of being genuine is a great thing to start today. This doesn’t mean you have to let it all hang out for everyone to see. What it means, however, is that your authenticity should be transparent and solid.
A Homemaker Isn’t Consumed with Beauty
Easier said than done, I know. I’m getting older and don’t really care about how it’s affecting my looks until I get a glance of myself in the mirror. When I happen to spend some time on my appearance, I can’t imagine why I don’t spend a little bit more time every day looking better.
I believe a homemaker should absolutely care about their appearance – but I do not believe they should be consumed by it, or by some abstract idea of what beauty is. Beauty is such a fleeting fantasy that is sold to us at the cost of our own peace, time, and talents. Place effort into your appearance and know you are beautiful as you are, anyways.