What does being a homemaker mean to you?
For some reason at this season in my life, being a "homemaker" has become sort of a passion of mine. Perhaps it has something to do with having my first home, a home that we can slowly transform into our own little paradise. A home that I can raise my babies in, bake cookies in and celebrate Christmas mornings in.
There's been times in the past where I've heard the expression, "So you're just a homemaker;" and I won't lie, sometimes that kinda stings. As mothers and homemakers, we aren't "just" anything. We are the glue that holds so much together and for some of us like myself, we run businesses from home, we raise babies and so much more.
I look at my life most days and can pick out the days where I truly felt fulfilled and happy as a homemaker. The days where there was less chaos, more order and a sense of accomplishment. The days where I felt like June Cleaver and felt pride for my role in our family.
So what stands out to me about those days to help one be a "Happy Homemaker?"
Dress for the part. I know, I know...you're already thinking about how heck no you are not wearing an apron and a dress. To be honest I don't even own an apron, but I have been eyeing some cute ones. I have always found that the days I dress in real clothes, with a hint of makeup and semi fixed hair, is the days I feel better. The days where I run to the grocery store in a simple shift dress with white sneakers for a super casual, yet modern look, are the days I feel much more "together."
Cook real food. Cooking isn't my favorite if we are being honest here. I have more fun cleaning my home than I probably do cooking. Perhaps it is because cooking makes a mess and cooking with little ones can be such a challenge. But there are some easy measures that I have done (and need to do more often) that create a happy mama in a happy kitchen.
- Crockpot meals. When dinner goes in the crockpot early and simmers all day, I feel like June Cleaver every time I pass by a kitchen with yummy aromas coming through.
- A big pot simmering. Similar to that of a crockpot meal, a big pot of soup simmering on the stove all day makes me happy. Something about soup is easy and yet so hearty and nutritious.
- Desserts. Being a modern mom means A) we are busy B) we have boxed cake mixes! Take advantage of these box mixes to spend time baking fresh desserts for your children. Your kids will likely remember the smells of fresh baked cookies on the table more than they will remember if you made them from scratch or relied on Nestle. Bonus points for doing things from scratch, but also bonus points for warm cookies straight out the oven!
- Dinner prep early. I see this mentioned and done so much, and I can tell you that when it is done - it is such a lifesaver! Prep for your meals earlier in the day so cooking after school pickup is a breeze.
- Prep produce. I've been more conscious of this lately to prep our produce once getting home from the store. Soak your produce and then store them in glass containers for easy access and quick grabs. You're more likely to eat the berries if they are washed and ready to go.
Do away with clutter. Clutter drives me crazy. I strive to eliminate piles of clutter to keep the home looking tidy. I can function with a kinda dirty tub or toilet, but I can't function if I look around and just see "stuff." Eliminate stuff from your life and you'll feel so much lighter and have less to overwhelm you.
Choose your cleaning rhythm. Some people can't do a hardcore cleaning day and others prefer to stretch it out throughout the week. I tend to do main things like dusting, bathrooms and maybe mopping all in one day, on whichever day works for us. I then tend to laundry, tidying and reorganizing things all throughout the week when I can and want to.
Empty the barrel before the weekend. Empty the hamper, you guys. Try to have all of the laundry and housework done before the weekend so you can enjoy it! Try to do at least one load during the weekend so you don't get too behind, but enjoy your weekends.
Decorate in a way that feeds your soul. I used to be one that had to get whatever was on clearance somewhere, what ever was handed down to me or gifted to me and or whatever I thought was "in." I have now come to realize that less is more and do it slowly so you get exactly what you want. Our home still doesn't have all of the final touches that I want it to have, but it's because I buy good pieces and search for things that truly feels like ME. Make your home something that represents you and your family.
Add sunshine. Add sunshine to your day by going outside. Take your morning coffee to the front porch. Take the kids out in the evenings. Take up gardening (believe me I never dreamed I would love it). Keep fresh flowers around the home. Nature is truly therapy. Also, music while cleaning is awesome as well!
Add Prayer. If you're a praying person, talk about all of your fears, your woes and your weaknesses. Ask for strength, for patience and wisdom to set the right rhythms, moods and days for your family.
Stop the perfection. I am guilty of always wanting my home to be perfect. But realistically speaking with three little ones, that just isn't the case. As long as my house is semi-decent enough for the surprise visitor, that is good enough for me!
Have a power hour. Pop a movie in, put the baby in the bouncy seat (or wear hime) and have a power hour of cleaning. I LOVE doing this and find it is most helpful in the evenings right after nap time.
Realize your worth. I think this is huge. I also think this holds so much more value if your husband realizes your worth. When your significant other realizes the day to day things that you do and appreciates you for it, your job suddenly becomes more meaningful. You begin to realize that you truly are a huge chunk of the glue holding things together, making things happen and keeping your home running smoothly (or as smoothly as children allow it).
Homemaking doesn't have to be a passion for everyone, and that is okay too. Just because you may not be a fan of cooking and cleaning and keeping a home, doesn't mean anything. But if you're looking for ways to make your days seem a little easier, more joyful and with more pride in what you do, take these tips and tricks and make them work however they can for you.
You're the keeper of your home.
“Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.“ (Proverbs 24:3 & 4)