Saturday, October 13, 2007

A few homemaking do's and don'ts

I know many of the ladies who read this are probably more experienced in the arts of homemaking than I am; I only learned to cook a little over a year ago, and for a long time I couldn't spot dust to save my life. Still, I will share with you a few do's and don'ts that have been tremendously helpful to me as an aspiring homemaker-in-training.

Do make to-do lists and approximate schedules. It will help you stay organized and focused in moments of confusion, when a myriad of things are demanding your attention and you aren't sure what to do next.

Don't get addicted to crossing items off your to-do list. Life isn't a neat little list; sometimes unexpected and urgent issues will arise, someone dear will call you for help, or you'll just want to take a break and do something special with your family. The world won't collapse if your dishes sit in the sink for another two hours while you take a walk and watch the sunset.

Do work hard during the week and give the best of your energy and productivity.

Don't be tempted to think that by working seven days a week, you'll be able to accomplish more. You'll only exhaust yourself and be less productive in the week ahead. God knew what He was doing when He gave us a day of rest! Our soul needs the peace and tranquility of spiritual refreshment.

Do practice hospitality and open the doors of your home – and your heart – to others.

Don't do it at the expense of your health, peace of mind or the time you dedicate to God and your precious family. You'll end up exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated, and that won't do anyone any good. Carefully evaluate how much you can give without damaging your spiritual life or family time.

Do aim for advancing your creative skills, such as cooking, crafts and decorating.

Don't drive yourself to discontentment by comparing yourself with others. Someone's cakes will always be fancier, and no matter how hard you try, someone out there will have shinier windows. It's not about 'having it all together' - what really matters is the spirit of joy, peace and love in your home.

The list is long, and I'm far from knowing it all! Still, these simple points have been useful to me, and hopefully, in the future I will be able to work it out and find the balance that will enable me to become, God-willing, the woman, daughter, wife, mother and homemaker He wants me to be.


Mimi said...

you have listed some very wise Do's
and if you strive to follow them and not try to be the do all end all of womanhood but continue to try to please God in all that you do... you will indeed be a very sweet, wonderful, wife, daughter, mother, granddaughter, and friend... you have a very level head on your shoulders..
Be Encouraged!

PhDCow said...

Another Do that I had to learn the hard way is: Do ask for help. Sometimes we get overwhelmed, fall ill, or life throws us a curve ball. Don't let your pride keep you from getting the help you need.

When my first child was born, I turned down all offers of help, claiming I was strong enough to do it on my own. I believe this pride was at the root of my post-partum depression that went untreated and nearly ended my marriage and my life.

When my son was born, I took all the help I could get, from friends bringing over meals to family taking care of the children, so I could get some well-needed rest.

Two years ago, I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery and I was so grateful to those who came to my aid: my grandmother who helped with the cooking and laundry, my husband's coworkers who babysat so he could visit me in the hospital, and the friends who called to make sure I was feeling ok in my recovery from the surgery.

We're all part of a larger community and it's essential to our existence that we feel comfortable asking for help when we really need it.

- Angela

Candy said...

Great advice! :)

Alexandra said...

Great list! This tip, "Don't do it at the expense of your health, peace of mind or the time you dedicate to God and your precious family." speaks to me the most. I have always been a little fragile with my health and energy levels. Nothing serious, I just get colds easily, and get sicker if I don't rest. I have never had boundless energy, and find I have to conserve. Being an older mom with small children takes a toll as well...I don't have the energy of a 20 year old. This is another good reason to not wait until you are older to have children. That is, if you can help it.

I know that I give what I can, and all goes to my family, so I don't feel guilty if I'm not doing it all. I set my priorities to my immediate family, if there is anything leftover, I do more.

And I certainly don't have the time or energy to compare myself to others. I'd drive myself to distraction if I did that. You are so right to point this out. This is a waste of energy, and an easy trap to fall into if you are not conscious of it.

Kelly said...

Good advice Anna. I liked the last one. I find that the hardest simply because a lot of my friends work outside the home and pay a lot of money for maid service, lawn care, etc. I see their clean neat house and then I look at mine with toys strewn all across the floor. I try to remind myself that my life is good and very blessed and no where in the Bible does God say to be perfect.
God Bless,

Kathleen said...

You may have only started homemeaking a year or two ago, but you have learned much quickly!

Anonymous said...

With an attitude like this, Anna, you're sure to go far in your quest to hone your homemaking skills! I am heartened, always, when I read of your excitement over learning something, organizing, crafting. Your outlook is bright, & it's good for me, an experienced homemaker, to read the Do & Don't list you've compiled. Sometimes my own outlook needs a little refocusing! Thanks!


Anna S said...

Mimi&Brenda, I'm especially happy to be encouraged by older ladies like you. I'm mostly a self-learner in the homemaking realm. Thank you.

Sheila D. said...

Anna! I am so blessed by you! I've posted a link to your blog on my site with an excerpt from this post. You're right on! Great attitude of graciousness and priority in living for the glory of God and the building up of others (family first!) Thank you!

Anna S said...

Sheila, thank you for your kind words!

Ana said...

What a good reminder you have posted for us! Thank you. :) I am also trying to become the daughter, right now (hopefully someday a wife), that God wants me to be by helping mom with different household things and it's wonderful to come here and see you are too! :)

Sammybunny said...

You are so wise! These do's and don'ts are sooo important for all of us to remember! As a busy college student who is also trying to prepare herself to be a wife and mother I know how busy things can be and sometimes I definitely don't get to check everythimg off my to-do list. I know however that it is so important to remember what has been accomplished and to thank God always for the time that I am given each and everyday and most importantly that i live each one for Him and His glory! Great post!


Michelle said...

Very, very good list! Many older women could learn alot from you!

Karen said...

I definitely agree with you on the hospitality bit. If you can't offer it cheerfully and willingly, it's far better to wait until you can! I've learned that one from experience.


Thanks Anna. I appreciate your wisdom.

College Gal said...

Very good list! Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

What a great list! With such wisdom and a great attitude you are bound to be a wonderful homemaker!

Lutheran Woman said...

That's all easy to say ... until the children begin being born. :o)