Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Learning the art of homemaking: how long does it take?

While browsing a couple of blogs, I came across a comment which made me smile. I don't remember the exact way it was worded, but here's the general idea:
'I really don't get all this homemaker-in-training thingy for unmarried women. After all, how long does it take to learn to do laundry or change diapers? Can't girls just learn these things in a jiffy and then be free for exciting experiments with their lives until they get married?'

Why did it amuse me? Because the person who wrote this, obviously, knows very little about successful home management. And so, instead of starting a whole new discussion at the comments section, I decided to take this topic over to my blog and give it a good and thorough look.

During my years in college, I met people who studied for a degree in Hotel Management. They spent 3 years learning about how to do it successfully, and no one would dare to question the seriousness of their studies. But learning the arts of homemaking doesn't require much time and effort?

The way I see it, successfully running a household is in many ways similar to managing a small hotel: meals have to be served on time, everything must be neat and clean and presentable, with a well-organized routine of work that helps things run smoothly. All this, while staying within the strict limits of a budget. And in countless ways, running a home is so much more than running an hotel, because the homemaker is responsible for the long-term well-being of her family, and therefore must make sure her husband has his needs attended, meals are nutritious and made of high quality products and the menu doesn't become too predictable, her children healthy, educated and occupied with pleasant and worthwhile pursuits. She is also the one who sets the mood and tone of her home with her sweet and soothing presence.

I know it's impossible to list the many arts a good homemaker must know, and there's always something new to learn. But beyond cooking, cleaning, laundry, budgeting, scheduling, organizing and decorating, there is an important trait a homemaker must have, a trait that cannot be learned and tossed aside, but is only acquired through years of practice. It is patience.

Maybe your floors are so clean you could eat off them and you cook like a chef, but as a homemaker you need much more than that. You must learn to do the same tasks, day after day, week after week, with joy and contentment in your heart. Sure, technically, it's not very hard to change a diaper. How about ten thousand diapers? Doing a load of laundry is easy. Then why is laundry piling up in people's homes? Obviously, because after the thousandth load, we have a tendency to get bored and just let things go.

Suppose I say, 'OK, I'm 22 years old now and I already know, technically, how to take care of a home. I still have time until I get married, so why don't I drop all those boring duties I have here at home and go and do something wild while I can?' – is it going to help me prepare for a future when I become a wife and need to plan menus, wash dishes, iron my husband's shirts, wipe little hands and faces every single day? Of course not! The only way to develop diligence and patience in my life at home is to have my character molded bit by bit through practicing those daily tasks, which will help me become, someday, the homemaker I want to be.

55 comments:

Kaye :) said...

Hi Anna,

I'm amused by what you read at that blog also. Wow! How far our world has progressed! It seems that just the last two or three generations would consider the running of a household as the lesser thing in life.

I talk to women frequently who brag that they don't cook. In my grandmother's time that would have been an embarrassment and shame to admit something like that.

As you say, no one would question someone being educated to run a hotel....add to that...a chef, a nurse, a counselor, a teacher, etc. etc.etc. These careers aren't questioned unless accomplished within the four walls of HOME.

"Patience is a virtue."

Dawn Marie said...

Homemaking in itself is a form of art...it's a full time, 24 hour a day job. Even though I don't have any children yet, there is always dishes to be done, laundry to be done, floors swept, things dusted, things sanitized, menus to plan, meals to cook, and it's a constant cycle. Some people would think of that as boring. I have been told many times over to "get a job". My husband says I do have a job. It's taking care of the home, taking care of his needs, and making a nice, quiet haven of rest for when he comes home from work every day.
I found my niche in life and that is to be a keeper at home like the Bible says. Women don't find that fullfilling, but, I do. I have extra time to spend with God in His Word, in prayer, helping someone out, encouraging others, learning how to homeschool my future children, reading books that will help my homemaking skills, and do whatever hubby needs me to do.
To bring in a little extra money, I do sell on eBay and God has blessed that.
Yes, there are days when I just let the housework go and even dinner sometimes bcause I get frustrated at things going on in my life, but it doesn't last long because I know that's what satan wants. He wants me to go find fullfillment elsewhere, to forget about the calling God has placed on my life.
My house isn't squeaky clean. It's clean and liveable and I am not the type of person who freaks out over dust bunnies on the floor.

Good post Anna!

Mrs. H said...

Well, I've been married almost nine years, and I haven't learned it all yet!

I think the most important thing every woman needs to learn is contentment. It is so easy today to be unsatisfied with your life, and modern women's magazines and television geared towards women often breeds discontent. However, if you can learn to focus on what you do have instead of what you lack, you will be happy no matter where you live, how much (or little) your husband makes, what kind of car you drive, and how many children you have. Fostering a love of simple beauty in our daughters is the greatest gift we can give both them and their future husbands.

well with my soul said...

Anna, I very much enjoy your blog. I'm 30 with two children under four, and have been married not yet five years. I have just these past several months felt the satisfaction and joy of being a homemaker, even though I've been married at home all of these years. The reason is just as you say--I never was made or encouraged to practice being a homemaker. Just as the young blogger whose comment sparked your entry, I didn't know it was necessary to practice! What a difference it makes to have a handle on things. My family's life is now peaceful. My husband doesn't have to worry about not having clean clothes to wear to work in the morning, we don't dread dinnertime and the boring, usually store-prepared meals I used to serve, and everyone is now in a much better mood, thanks to my finally starting to get the very hard job of being a homemaker down. Thanks for helping to spread this important message. Your sister in Christ, Christina

Sheri said...

You are right on about teaching young ladies about homemaking... I just read a great book on this topic. Home-Making! I wrote a review about it too...

I pray that many mothers read your post Anna. Girls need to have parents who teach them "the art of homemaking” and who are leading by example - making a joyful, godly home themselves.

I also believe if you enter marriage with a humble, teachable heart, ready to make each day "God's classroom," he will graciously lead you in the joys of learning to be a wife, mother, and home maker. Yes, preparation, learning, reading, and "doing" before you say "I Do" is important. But much of what I've learned since becoming a wife, mother, and homemaker has been in "daily life, trial and error, and much prayer!"

Anonymous said...

And I believe you will be a good homemaker, Anna. You have such a a strong interest in all things domestic, so you have a great start. Practice definitely does make perfect!!

Brenda

P.S. I'm recently back from our family vacation, & in scanning the blogs entries I've missed, see that your birthday is this month. Best wishes!!

Rightthinker said...

Good Morning :)

My four children have all come down with their first bug in months, so we are having a pajama day.

There is much more to homemaking than cleaning. First and foremost, it is an attitude. If a woman doesn't understand the impact her role has on the family, and how God has given her this role, she will be uneffective.


We must embrace our God-given role, and have a loving heart for both our husbands and our children. We must wake each morning with an attitude of how we are going to give rather than what someone needs to give to us. The latter attitude why so many marriages fail.

Second, we need to perform our at home career as if we were getting paid, and getting performance evaluations. Yes, I wake each morning to do quiet devotions, exercise 3 days, shower, dress, fix my hair and makeup, and meet the glorious day God has given.

Then I fix the children's breakfast. If we aren't up against the clock to rush around, we feel more liberated to actually cook healthy meals for them. After this I usually begin planning for the day, and that includes any cooking and baking for the day.

I then read the children a Bible story and we do an activity on the story. (I am preparing to homeschool soon, so this schedule will carry on to homeschooling at that point.) All the children get dressed, brush their teeth and I fix the younger children's hair. They complete their chore list. At this point they are off to play, and I work on my cleaning routine.

I have a cleaning schedule that keeps my home immaculate. I will never mind toys about and children playing here and there, but there is no excuse for actual "dirt". My floors are spotless, my bathrooms germless, and the laundry kept put away. This schedule takes me a short time each day, and then I play with the kids.

The girls often help me bake, and the boys are included occasionally, as well. This gives them a healthy appreciation for what their wives will be doing each day.

After lunch the younger 3 lay down for a nap. I finish any tasks I needed to do, catch up on blogs, and sit for lunch, and a cup of coffee!

After lunch it is completely "kid time". We go to the library, go swimming, to the park, to a museum, play in the yard, tend my garden, visit people, etc.

After a couple of hours, we are back in the house for me to start dinner. This usually takes me a while because I am a thorough cook, and I prepare nearly every item from scratch for purposes of frugality, quality and nutrients. When my husband arrives home, he takes over the children for playing and teaching and catching up on the day. OUr evenings are fantastic! Later, he bathes the younger children and I relax a bit-of course, helping in every way.

It is practical application that is more difficult than a plan. Women who don't effectively make their homes have no idea how much work it is-and I'm not complaining! Just trying to give a reality check!

I do have days (like today) where I won't get a thing done because the children NEED me. That's OK though, because everything is still in good shape from working so hard each day. I can afford this time wiht the kids without becoming behind.

Kids are always the number one focus!

Corinne said...

Exactly. Thank you.

USAincognito said...

Hi again! Hope you weren't offended by my previous comment on the other article as I never intended it to be so. ;) Your postings make me curious as I have never heard of anyone studying homemaking. What exactly do you do for a job or are you studying this as a degree in college? And what is your opinion on those of us single women who choose to have a career instead of getting married? Sorry for all the questions! My analytical, inquisitive side comes out now and then as I love to hear others viewpoints on issues. :)

ladyofvirtue said...

What a thoughtful post. I have enjoying perusing your other entries and am bookmarking this for later enjoyment.

Sherry

Lydia said...

Excellent post! I'm very, very glad that I've had the opportunity to start learning so early. I can't imagine going straight into marriage with the little knowledge I have!

Kyla said...

I think that the quote you were referencing was in regards to preparing our daughters for their future. If I remember correctly this was said in a discussion about keeping daughters home after they graduate in order to teach them to keep a home instead of furthering their education or pursuing some type of ministry.

I do have an issue with this line of thinking, when the daughter has been homeschooled and has watched and learned from her mother her entire life. I can relate to this situation because as a homeschooler my mother began teaching me how to keep a home from the time I was old enough to do my own laundry. By the time I graduated from high school I could have run my own home very well. So spending the next 6 years helping my mother keep her home was not a wise use of my time. I had the basics and what was left to learn could only be taught by having my own home and my own husband. Believe me now the learning and adapting is endless!! Thank goodness my mom taught me to be a flexible housekeeper!!

Tediousness and boring tasks exist in any chosen profession. Its knowing in your heart your where God wants you to be that makes the job joyful!!

Laura H said...

Anna,
Excellent points all! I must say, that those who have the question what is there to learn about homemaking that is so hard, and takes so long, look at history. The women in the American Revolution of 1776 had to learn many things, cooking, cleaning, gardening, embroidery, dancing, hostessing,entertaining her husband's enemies, caring for the sick, raising children, being a helpmeet for their husbands, and if the husband had a trade, she was to help him in that too! Flower arranging, sewing their family's clothes, making sure that all the things are taken care of. There is so much for us to learn! We have modern conveniences now that help us care for our homes, but they had to do it all by hand, and they did not go out to gad about, very often. And their definition of gadding about, is different from ours! They were going to parties, and making social calls. But they didn't have time for that very often. They were busy, being Homemakers. We have so much to learn, still! I admire the 1776 ladies alot!
Anyway, just wanted to say, that we are still learning to be homemakers. I have known women, who are still learning, and they are 60 years old! We never stop learning, my Mom says!

Laura H

Mrs. Brigham said...

There IS so much more to homemaking than just housework. As you have said Anna, characters must molded so that patience is displayed. I also think that contentment in one's life circumstances is very important for everybody, and certainly important for a lady who is a homemaker. Life throws many curve balls and living on one income takes sacrifices, so one must be content in what she has been blessed with, even when it seems those around her have more material possessions, time, or whatever.

I would say that "vision", for lack of a better word, is also crucial for a woman to cultivate. Realizing that the little menial tasks you do each add up to something bigger can help you remain patient and focused on the life you are building for your family, even when times get tough or chores seem a bit boring.

As far as housework and domesti duties go, there really is always more to learn. My dear grandmother has been a wife & homemaker for over fifty years and is wonderful at her job, but even she is still learning new tips, tricks, and things to do! :o)

melian said...

Learning to manage a home is a lifelong task. There are always ways to improve on cooking, cleaning, budgeting, thriftiness, attitude, prayer, decorating, and the countless other things that wives and mothers attend to for their families.

Michelle Potter said...

Well, let's see. I've been doing this for 6 1/2 years now, and I've ALMOST got it. ;) Shouldn't take much longer!

Anna S said...

Thank you, ladies, for your wonderfully insightful comments and for sharing your experience! I appreciate this so much!

Brenda, I'm glad you're back! I hope you enjoyed your vacation. Yes, I had my birthday about a week ago, thank you :)

Rightthinker, your routine sounds great - but as you said, sometimes we can't stick to it. It's good to have a master plan, though.

USAincognito, of course I was not offended! Since I don't allow any disrespectful comments or derogatory remarks here, if your comment was published it means I'm perfectly okay with it :) Now, to your question. I absolutely can't judge anyone (as you said before, we're not God), but here's I think is an important point to ponder: does this woman EVER want to get married? If she feels she's called to a life of singleness, this is something different than juggling everything at once - marriage, home and career. But of course the first thing she, and every other woman, should do is keep our eyes on God. Does she REALLY feel this is what God calls her too? Has she thought and prayed about this enough? There are so many different situations I find it hard to say something in fear of generalizing.
I study nutrition&home economics (more clinical nutrition, much less home ec, alas) in college, and I'm about to graduate (unless I fail miserably this year, hehe). I live at home with my family, where I practise the art of homemaking, and I also work part time as tutor and translator once in a while.

Kyla, yes, I think you're right. I remember now. It was a blog calling itself 'True Womanhood', which is, in my opinion, a bit presumptious. Now, I think the concept of 'keeping' someone on a leash and preventing them from expanding their horizons is NOT what makes a good homemaker. I don't think one thing should come INSTEAD of another. Our single years are a time when we probably have room for more learning and personal activities than we'll have when we're married, so these years should be used wisely. I attend college, work, write poetry, blog and plan to volunteer and learn new skills all the time. What bothered me was the derogatory attitude towards 'inferior' homemaking tasks.

Mrs. Brigham, you are absolutely right, thanks for pointing this out. Vision! When I see a pile of dirty laundry, is it the highlight of my day? Certainly not! I'm motivated by knowing I'm doing something for my precious family. I'm creating memories of a pleasant, smoothly running home.

USAincognito said...

It's me again! :) Thanks for replying back. Here's another for ya: For the time being God has called me to be where I am at. I am single and I work in law enforcement. Obviously my job can be extremely dangerous at times but I absolutely love it and look forward to putting on my uniform every day. I am also completely content to be single right now. But at the same time, somewhere in the back of my mind, I would like to find my Mr Right. Not right now but sometime in the way future. I can't have kids anyway as it is physically impossible for me but adoption is an option. So for now, I am content to be single because I actually enjoy being single. Yet I know I am not meant to be single forever. SO.....knowing this now, what is your opinion on my being a single working women? ;) lol. Again I apologize for asking too many questions but really, I would love to hear your viewpoint.

Anna S said...

USAincognito,
Again, since I haven't 'been there', I find it hard to have a formed opinion on this one, but here's what I think: if a woman gets married, she has to place her duties as a wife, and possibly mother, above all. Getting married means commitment, and sometimes, yes, sacrifice!

If you have time, you can check out 'The Walled Garden' blog on my sidebar. Michelle, the blog author, used to be a firefighter before she got married. She is currently a happy and busy farmer's wife. She has written some excellent, insightful posts precisely about that. If you check out Michelle's blog archive for January 2007, on January 27's you'll find a post called "A buffet Christian? Or a woman who lives her faith??". Very interesting reading!

USAincognito said...

Thanks! I'll check it out! :)

USAincognito said...

Sorry to bother you again! (the downside of being home recovering from a work injury is i spend too much time on my computer! lol) I spent some time reading through your "start here" posts and I really was able to get a better understanding of where you came from and how it has formed you as a person today in your walk with God and how you live your life. Some of the things in your post have definitely made me ask myself some questions. (i am too analytical at times! probably comes from being a counselor for a time before i switched careers to law enforcement!) I completely respect and appreciate your beliefs and values on being a woman and on marriage. Thanks for giving me more "food" to chew over!

Susie said...

Anna,
Oh how I wish they had offered and required home economics when I was in high school. I feel there is so much to learn about homemaking. You know, one could say "oh, being a homemaker is boring, you do the same thing every day" but it's like that for every job, pretty much. (And I can say that because I've had jobs from working in retail to working in an office to being a medic in the military.) If it was soooo easy to be a homemaker, there wouldn't be so many shows and magazines that go over "how to manage your household and stay sane" topics. (It's hard enough for stay-at-homes, and even more difficult for working gals as well). Great post!
~Susie

Shelley:) said...

Hi, you're so right, doing laundry and washing dishes is easy to learn but challenging to keep up with (my dishes took over an hour as I had let them pile up for a few days when I was working). Why not spend the time before marriage to establish good habits and become an expert homemaker? As my grandmother used to say "start as you mean to go on" :)

Heartathome said...

Well Anna, I've been doing this for 22 years (19 full-time) and I'm still learning things.
We never get so good that we can no longer learn. Even Martha Stewart (the domestic guru by secular standards) learns new things. At any rate, I believe God feels our job as a helpmeet and mother is one of the most important on earth. I'm thankful I have the privledge of doing it.
Since I didn't experience singleness outside my parents home, I cannot comment. And since I am not barren, I cannot say how that would be either, but I did read another blog: http://amazinggrazefarm.blogspot.com/ and she has never given birth to her own children - she has one adopted son for whom she is very thankful, but even now that he is grown, she stays busy in her home. I think she covers it rather well in a recent post.
You are making a good and worthy choice to become a HOME MAKER and I know that God will bless you for it. It's not easy, but nothing worthwhile is.

Laura Williams said...

I am a mother of seven, oldest dd is 19... so going on 20 years of homemaking...

learning never stops at a certain age... you learn from the minute you are born to the minute you die.

Becky Miller said...

Hi, Anna! I just came across your blog tonight from Crystal's. I've really enjoyed reading through a lot of your archives. I think we have a lot in common. I will definitely be visiting here again. You are very good at beautifully articulating your thoughts.

Anna S said...

USAincognito,
I'm glad you found those posts interesting!

Shelley,
Your grandma's words, 'start as you mean to go on', pretty much sum up what I wanted to say! :) If we mean to go on as wives, homemakers and mothers, why spend our years as singles without practising that?

Becky,
I'm glad to have you here, thanks for coming by!

And to all the new visitors, thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I hope to 'see' you around here again.

Alexandra said...

If only it were just about changing some dirty nappies and laundry!LOL!

Buffy said...

I wish there was a course on homemaking...

Elizabeth said...

Hi ... I just found your blog, oh ... a week or two ago. Thanks for all you share! I've been learning and practising home-making for most of my life (I'm 23) and I just *know* I've got a lot left to learn, as a daughter now and maybe a wife one day!

Anna S said...

Elizabeth, thank you for visiting! I'm glad you found what I write here helpful.

Gothelittle Rose said...

USAincognito - I have my own perspective on women working, as I have done so before marriage and afterwards.

I grew up learning homemaking from my mother, and yet I still have plenty to learn. It could take a lifetime to understand everything that can and does go along with it. For instance, today I am going to go to Home Depot and learn how to strip, stain, and reseal our deck. What a wonderful thing it is that when my husband comes home tired from work, he won't have to worry about that! Everything involved in homemaking really does take up all of my energy, ingenuity, and creativity!

I was homeschooled through most of highschool and then got a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. When my husband was laid off from his job, I agreed to go back to work for a few years so that he could get his college degree. It's been some of the hardest years of my life! He was diligent with his studies and got his degree this past spring. Thanks to his diligence, in part allowed by my continuing to do homemaking while I was working full-time, he was able to get a job within a couple of weeks and I quit mine to return to full-time homemaking.

Thanks to my education, I was able to get the kind of higher-paying office job that gave me a greater ability to take care of my house. I would encourage young women to have sufficient education/experience to land a job that could take care of their family if need be. Things do happen to husbands! The Proverbs 31 woman sold goods to merchants and planted her own fields, something that would usually be considered "men's work".

On the other hand, I wholeheartedly agree that the best situation especially for a mother is to be a keeper at home, working only as much as does not interfere with her homemaking duties. As someone who has worked outside the home, I have a greater appreciation for the homemaking community than before. (At my workplace it seemed most women were discontent with their lives and their relationships. What a difference!) I also have a greater appreciation for what my husband goes through and for the importance of making home a resting place for him each evening.

Mrs. Pilgrim said...

Anna, good post! I came here by way of LAF, incidentally.

I wanted to answer the question about how long it takes to learn to change diapers: three months. It has taken me three months to figure out how to avoid post-removal wettage, smears on the changing pad, how to spread the powder just so that you get complete coverage, but no waste, and how to fasten it up so that the baby doesn't wiggle out of it.

I still haven't devised a system to avoid little feet going into the diaper contents.

Learning to do laundry is a whole 'nother topic!

Incidentally, I'm trying to write a short series on "Christian homemaking". Please feel free to stop by and add two cents--or more--if you'd like! I can always use some help, because I'm no Supermom...

Anna S said...

Mrs. Pilgrim,

Thanks for visiting! I will definitely stop by your blog :)

Learning the technics of homemaking is not as easy as people make it sound, but even if you're technically perfect, it means nothing if there's no contentment in your heart.

Rebecca said...

Greetings, Anna,
What a blessing your blog has been to me. I only discovered it about a week ago. I am a 47 yo. mom and grandmum. I have been married since I was (almost)15. I was never taught how to keep a home and it has always been my FAVORITE subject to study. I love everything about homemaking but I have never considered myself a GOOD HOUSEKEEPER. I am still aspiring. I wish I was taught the 1000's of things that go into married life, child rearing and homemaking. There is always more to learn and more to practice.
There is no higher calling for women in my opinion. To make a life for someone else, to train, to comfort, to be the all and all for the ones you love, who could not enjoy this noble work?
Your sister in Christ,
Rebecca

Anna S said...

Rebecca,

Thank you for visiting and for your kind comment! Wow, it sure sounds as though you were married early by today's norms (I'm sure people say this to you all the time ;)! You know, I think that we can never learn *all* there is about homemaking. Today someone asked me to do a how-to series on cleaning, and I felt so humbled: I'm only a beginner myself. See, you're 25 years older than I am, and still learning! :)

I love being home and making home, today for my mother and grandmother, in the future, hopefully, as a wife; but here's the trick: to properly enjoy homemaking, you need a vision. As in itself, a load of laundry is an awfully mundane and boring thing. But, when you think those sheets will be hanged out in the fresh air, and then will smell sweetly of grass and sun, and your loved ones will stretch out comfortably in their clean fresh beds after a long day - that's something to give you inspiration!

agodlyhomemaker said...

fantastic post!!! i am so glad i found you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna

I totally agree with everything you write in your blog. I was a career girl for 10 years before being married with children, and I was totally unprepared for homemaking. My house was always an absolute pigsty, and for a long time it caused severe depression that I "just couldn't do this". Being organised at home with children is indeed an artform. How I wish our mothers still taught us this stuff and considered it important. It would have saved me much grief.

As for women who brag that they can't cook - my mum went to her doctor recently, and whilst chatting he told her of a family who's kid's three bottoms could not fit on his long couch - they were all severely obese. It turned out that the mother doesn't cook, and so they survive on takeaway every single night. So if you're a woman out there considering having a family and you "can't cook". I would say that the truth is you "won't" cook. Rest assured, it is a skill like every other. If you can read a recipe, you can cook. There are even places you can get lessons !

Hi to everyone
Kind regards,
Cristina C.

Stacey said...

As a 23 year old wife and mother, I find this post so thought provoking! I was married at 19, and had my first baby at 21. I learned enough about homemaking as a child and teenager to know how to do things, but I am struggling so much with the patience and motivation to do things. Taking care of a 2 year old and 2 month old is very draining. I wish I could have had some sort of 'homemaking bootcamp' before I jumped into marriage! I'm so thankful that God has given me this family, but I sure could use some help with raising my children and serving my family with a joyful spirit!

I just came across your blog when I read part of your story on Renee Stam's blog yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing your life with others. It truly is a blessing!

Anna S said...

Hi Stacey, and thank you for stopping by!

So many young women today get married without having a clue about homemaking. I know I probably would, if it weren't for the turnaround in my life!

wife of faith said...

I've been married for almost five years now, but have only been at SAHM since June. I wish I had some real training on how to do this. I fail miserably on a daily basis. I can not seem to get everything done. It's one thing to know how to do things; I know how to do many things. I just can't figure out how to do them all in one day yet! Any help, or suggestions are welcomed.

Swylv said...

I think colleges used to offer courses in homemaking arts .. well until the feminists took those off the roster. I find it intriguing that our parents and maybe even some grandparents generations wanted to get wife/mom out of the house and yet here we are generation X or whatever the label is clamoring to get back home.

Anonymous said...

:) Thank you for this post. Sometimes I feel alone, am I the only 26 yr old who does the cooking, baking, cleaning, ironing, laundry, vacuuming, polishing.. Im not trying to be a stepford wife (as some have thought) but Im really trying to do my part, im trying to provide a stable and conducive environment. I do the same at my parents house.
I think its sad that ppl arent as home-savvy anymore. Home economics is truly an art - to be able to do things around the house, plan and stick to the budget.

Cristina said...

You are so beautiful!
Thank you very much for your example of very wise womenhood. I liked your post so much, that I translate and quote some of your thoughts. (I hope it is ok with you).
Thank You, Anna!
Cristina, from Romania
femeiacrestina.blogspot.com

Walters Inc said...

Wonderful post.
In regards to homemaking. When we do something we should do it well and with all our hearts :) What you said about doing it with a content heart was spot on!

Lauren said...

I just found this site from some links, and I was wondering about where to start learning! I'm still a teenager, but I don't even know how to do my own laundry!

Also, my mom thinks that it's absolutely ridiculous for a woman to stay at home after she gets married. It's definitely going to be a task convincing her that it isn't completely stupid.

Nithya said...

Anna, what do you think of partners who are more than happy to help around the home? Circumstances forced me an my fiance to live together for a year (before we were engaged) and it was such a blissful year! we both went to university from 9-5, cooked together and cleaned together. Because he never expected me to be the sole worker at home we took pleasure in the work we did together and had a lot of free time to spend together in a liesurely way as well. We were two people pulling a yoke together and life was so so so much easier than now, where we're two seperate people living in two separate houses. I can't wait to get married to him and settle back into that pattern, I really did feel I had all I wanted (as neither of us wants children).

I hope you don't get a "the honeymoon period's over!" message from me later!

Tricia said...

This is good stuff. Thanks for sharing it!! I've been preparing to be a housewife/mother for several years, and have LOVED it. What better training is there for a girl who wants to be a homemaker than to train in her HOME, under an experienced homemaker(my mother)??

Anonymous said...

I read these kinds of blogs a lot, just to see how the other half lives and thinks. And I'm usually confused, very confused. Why /do/ you ladies enjoy homemaking? As a woman, I don't. I never did. In fact, I loathe it. I remember struggling to get away from my mother as she tried valiantly to get me to learn even basic cooking skills. And meticulous cleaning? Forget it. To this day, I still cannot follow a recipe that has more than three ingredients. I still cannot make an elaborate meal.

Strangely enough, I can fix a car, build a fort, and any number of 'masculine' things. Because I find them fascinating.

Sometimes, this makes me sad. And then I try to cook or clean.

And then I remember why I don't like them much.

It's never /finished/. I hate things that have no finite conclusion.

So there's one woman who's explained why she can't/won't cook.

Theresa said...

Great post and so true. I didn't stay at home untill our first son was born 11 years ago, goodness, I didn't have a clue, my mother hated being at home and house work, so although I could do the tasks - I had lots and lots of practice as a child, I had no idea of routines or shedules to make running the home a smooth ride. I'm now expecting our sixth baby and I've still not learnt everything, I suppose that I never will, while our lives are contantly changing, but it's a lot easier now than then.
I love the hotel likeness, but you're right there is nore to it than just running a hotel, hotel guest go home, and there are employees and sick leave.

Nique said...

Thank you! I have been blessed to be a full time homemaker now for six weeks. I was discouraged cause I was bored. Thank you for giving me some much needed encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Hey :)
I'm a Dutch student and I spend 6 days a week on studying and part-time work just to keep up and be able to live. But on Fridays, I go to the market to get fresh veggies and fruits, I dust and vacuum and mop and clean the bathroom and all. If I have some time left I'll do some handwork like knitting. I do all the 'heavy' cleaning while listening to oldies, I don't do ANY study/work things and it's the best day of my week.
Lucky, my boyfriend doesn't mind me becoming a homemaker when he's got a job.
I wish I was religious so I wouldn't feel so guilty about being so old-fashioned!
Thanks for the blog, it's nice to know there are other gals out there who live like grandma's :p

Anonymous said...

Neat blog! RIght now i'm single, although being "courted" by a young man, though there's a long story behind that! I have my own home that i'm renting, and it's a perfect opportunity to learn these skills! My mom never taught me how to cook or keep a home, as she was a working mom, so i've learned how to do all that by myself in the later years. It sure isn't easy, so I don't know who on earth would think so! I just have me in the house, and the dishes are piled up and so is the laundry! Mind you, i'm a very messy cook- another thing to learn! For me, time is a big issue, as I work full time, but I can't wait for the day when that will all change!

Erin said...

Just discovered this post (and your blog) and I wanted to say thank-you for so clearly outlining why what we do has value. My younger sister is struggling with her decision to become a stay-at-home wife in a society that doesn't value her non-monetary contributions to her home life. I linked to your post on a blog post of my own (with quotes and properly attributing your words to you). Thank you so much for your wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Ok I think a home making course is a little bit of an insult, it is pushing it really. I know lots of ladies that made the choice of being a home for a few years, I respect that. I don't believe a woman should be patronised with a course this may make more sense in a paternal society that says that's all women are useful for. I think women are capable of many things. I haven't fully said yes or no to children ( God has the final say I guess) However I as I have spent quite a lot an my education I don't think I would bounce into being a mother asap