Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4
In our final part of the Homemaking Study, I want to look at some things that we can do to make our homemaking tasks more pleasant and enjoyable, and to make ourselves feel good about the work that we do. These things may also model to our children how valuable this work is, for our daughters to take on such tasks one day in their own homes, and for our sons to be able to encourage his future wife and appreciate all that she will do for him. I am not looking to puff us up, or give us airs and graces, but more a confidence that our work is important and that our thinking and thus our actions should reflect that.
But first, I just wanted to take a moment to have a think about the things that can be time-stealers in our day. How is it that some homemakers seem to have time to do everything, yet we are still hanging out washing and emptying bins at 10pm? I think that it is a question of priorities, and that homemaking and serving our family should be at the top of the list. It is something I fail at often, as other things seem more attractive, even as 'worthy' of my time. Some of these things could be spending too much time on the computer or watching the television, reading books for longer than we should, a lot of socialising every day, or spending time on hobbies which may not benefit the family. I am not saying that any of these things are wrong, just that (and I am talking to myself so much here!) if they end up taking up so much of your time that your home and family tasks are being poorly done or neglected all together, then perhaps a better balance needs to be achieved.
Here is what I came up with:
- Realise God's perspective. I have covered this a little in my previous posts, but suffice it to say, God thinks its a great thing we are doing.
- Encourage other homemakers. Society is so quick to put us down, so we need to build one another up!
- Continue to learn new skills that you might enjoy but that also benefit your family, for example, sewing, knitting, baking, gardening etc. Continue to learn academically by reading widely and participating in discussions.
- Dress nicely for your work at home. You wouldn't dream of going to work in your 'scruffs and uggs', so don't do it at home as a matter of course. It is your job, and your workplace, after all!
- Reward yourself for completing tasks that you don't like. Perhaps do them first to get them out of the way. And just because you do like a task, doesn't mean it isn't still work! I love to bake, but see it almost as a luxury rather than something to be done. Cleaning bathrooms feels like work...
- Have a 9-5 work day for all major chores. You also need some downtime with your family, and the evenings should be a time of relaxation before bed. This is something I have done all my life, even when studying. Evenings are rarely used for the 'have to do's'.
- Light a scented candle as you work. To me, this feels like a luxury, and thus everything I do while the candle is giving off its lovely smell feels so much nicer too.
- If everything you have to do overwhelmes you, even after you have asked your husband, give each room a 15 minute blessing. Set a timer, and do what you can in the room in 15 minutes. You'll be surprised at how much you accomplish.
There are many other facets to homemaking that I haven't covered, but I hope that this brief study has been of some use and that you have felt a little encouraged in your role as homemaker.