In my previous post, I briefly mentioned how important is the simple presence of the homekeeper in her home. Allow me to clarify and tell that at no point I meant a woman is supposed to spent all her days shut between four walls. Far from it! A healthy amount of exercise, fresh air and sunshine is important for one's physical and emotional well-being, and in that sense, a homemaker is usually better off than the typical office worker.
Hanging the laundry outside, puttering around the garden, walking to the grocery store, to the post office, or to visit with a neighbour all count as exercise in my book. We can organize our day so that when we need to go out, we do that during the most pleasant part of the day, whichever that is for you. And even if there's no specific reason for you to get out of the house, a daily walk outside is highly recommended. If you have little one(s) that are too young to be out on their own, I imagine you will be even more motivated to spend time outside - which is all fine and well.
What I'm warning against is getting caught up in countless distracting activities that would, when combined, eventually take our focus off the home. This includes excessive social commitments - don't get me wrong; volunteering, taking classes and being part of different committees can add a lot of interest to your life and you shouldn't give it up if it's important to you, but keep in mind it can really steal a large chunk of your time if you aren't careful. Visiting, or going out with friends is another example of something that is excellent in moderation but can become a huge drain on your time, especially if your friends believe you have all day, every day to yourself. Then there's shopping, shopping, shopping - never being able to pass on a deal that's just too good to miss.
Of course, there are many distractions at home as well - the phone, the TV, books and magazines, and the internet. But spending much of your time outside the home every day can make you especially frazzled and exhausted. Eventually you might feel just like a woman who works outside the home full-time.
While you are out, work piles up. Dishes, surfaces and floors generally don't wash themselves, and laundry doesn't fold itself either. When you come back home, tired, you are overwhelmed at how much work needs to be done, and how little time you have left. Even worse, when a woman spends a lot of time outside the home on a regular basis, it's easy to lose that special connection to home that helps everything run smoothly. No matter how many lists you compile, you start to overlook things, because your attention is so divided.
Long-term household projects tend to be put on hold, too. Your back yard isn't a "representative" area such as your living room, so it can be left messy. Windows stay unwashed, storage areas unorganized, and drawers cluttered. The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to roll up your sleeves and get something done.
And of course, there's no time left to do those supposedly non-essential, yet so special and homey things that add a comforting touch for the entire family. What about the delicious scent of freshly baked cookies, or a cozy hour under a blanket with your latest knitting project? Or unhurried reading to the children, or a nap to help you become refreshed before your husband comes home?
A welcoming, cozy home is important for bringing the family together. A good home is a center of relaxation, comfort, support, refreshment and fun. It doesn't mean everything needs to be perfectly clean; it doesn't mean you must serve five-course dinner every night, or sew every item you and your children wear. It simply means our focus should be drawn inside.
It's still raining here, and I'm having another lovely, relaxed day, filled with doing but also with comfort. Laundry was taken off the line and brought home, right before it really started pouring. I just enjoyed a pot of hot soup, and a cup of freshly brewed tea with home-baked peanut butter cookies. My plans for this afternoon include some more baking and learning how to use my new sewing machine.