What Being a Homemaker Looks Like for Me

posted by Andrea | 04/24/2015
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homemaker

Remember when I told you that my “one thing” is Home Management (some might even say Homemaking) — and that I’m not ashamed to do it well and do it often? If you don’t remember, you can read about it in this post.

Well it’s true! 

If you “kidnapped” my children for a fun day away from mom and told me to “do whatever your little heart desires”, I would most likely do the following:

  • Run a few errands that I’d never do with kids
  • Go to the bathroom with the door closed
  • Eat hot food while it’s actually still hot
  • Work on various “homemaking” projects (see below)

I’d probably get laundry started right away (and most likely change out the sheets because I hate doing that with kids around).

Then I’d run and clean out the dishwasher, dust everything (also impossible to do with kids around as they all want to help), vacuum, mop the floors, shake out rugs, clean out the refrigerator, and maybe do a quick purge of the toys.

Depending on how much time I had left, I’d…

  • Start baking and cooking up a storm.
  • Wash those dishes and put dinner in the oven
  • Go to the bathroom in peace one more time
  • Do a quick pick up of anything sitting out on the counters or floors
  • Sit on the couch with my laptop until the kiddos returned

For those of you who are literally gagging right now, please let me reassure you that unlike homemakers of earlier eras (who I’m totally enthralled with, by the way) I would NOT do anything listed above to please my husband, to show off to the neighbors, or to make myself feel like the best homemaker around.

I would CHOOSE to do the things listed above because I personally get loads of satisfaction, joy, and energy from doing those types of tasks in an efficient way with no interruptions. Kind of like a “runner’s high”… but for homemaking!

Due to the fact that I have chosen to devote more of my time to my kids and my job, I haven’t had nearly as much time to put towards my homemaking efforts these past 3+ years… but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. It just means that I’ve found quick tricks and tactics to make time to “keep house” while still making enough time for everything else that’s important to me.

Sometimes, I feel like the term “Homemaking” or, more specifically “Homemaker” gets a bad rap. It’s like we automatically revert to a time when women’s sole purpose on earth was to make babies, have a clean house, and look fabulous doing it.

However, for me, being a “homemaker” in 2015, looks just a tiny bit different than that… and while I probably wouldn’t introduce myself as “Andrea Dekker, the homemaker” I’m also not ashamed of considering “homemaking” as a large and important part of what I do every day.

So… what does being a “Homemaker” look like for me?

It looks like “clean enough”…

Let me assure you my home does not have spotlessly clean floors, immaculately folded laundry, elaborately decorated rooms, or perfectly organized bins for everything.

Instead, I whip out my trusty Hoover every day or so to suck up the massive amount of crumbs that are everywhere on our floors.

I do laundry on the quick cycle, without sorting, and hastily fold everything before Simon has a chance to knock over my piles. I do not iron!

Although I enjoy decorating my home, I continue to reduce the number of decorations I have as my children get taller and more curious 🙂

And while I LOVE a good organizing project, I refuse to spend massive amounts of time meticulously labeling and organizing every tiny piece and part. We have a general system of where things go, we put those things away every day, and that’s clean enough for me!

It looks like “healthy enough”…

There have been times in my life when I have enjoyed spending hours in the kitchen making gourmet meals, delicious layer cakes, fancy Christmas cookies, and fun appetizers for our dinner guests; and times, when I could run to the store at a moment’s notice to pick up that one rare ingredient I forgot to buy… but not any more.

Instead, I rely on some processed foods along with lots of quick meals and snacks.

I have my trusty list of simple “go-to meals” (more on this next week) that I can make in a pinch with ingredients I always have on hand.

I make double and triple batches of casseroles, soups, and stews, so our freezer is always stocked.

I dutifully plan out my meals and make a detailed shopping list because Lord knows I’m not loading up the kids to go back to the grocery store for one ingredient.

I look forward to a night out at Culver’s every once in a while.

It looks like “frugal enough”…

Gone are the days of clipping hundreds of coupons, finding every single good deal, sending in rebates, and being super crafty and creative to make my own instead of buying new. Part of me still itches to get back to my couponing, but I know it’s just not the best use of my time right now.

Instead, I have chosen to forgo coupons and rebates for a while (except online coupons that I don’t have to actually clip) in an effort to save time.

I still try to shop Craigslist whenever possible to find good deals on items we actually need and want to buy.

I’m not above paying a professional to do something we don’t have the skills to do (and do it way faster than we could ever do it)

I do quite a bit of canning — mainly because we all love the taste, but I do think it saves us some money as well.

We will regularly challenge ourselves to a month or a week of no-spending in an effort to keep tabs on our finances.

It looks like “good enough”…

I’m not sure I would have ever fared well as a 1950’s housewife — because the thought of getting ready every single day (and then “sprucing up” before the hubby got home at night) is just incomprehensible to me 🙂

Instead, I am totally content with my mascara + bronzer 10-15 minute morning routine with the occasional “getting more dolled up” for special occasions.

It means that yes, I sometimes wear yoga pants multiple days in a row… and I’m sometimes still in my PJ’s at lunch.

It means my kids and my husband love me for who I am, not the fake lady who hides behind makeup, fancy clothes, and perfectly manicured nails.

It means that sometimes, I forget important things, I run late, and I mess up… and that’s OK. It just means I’m human.

keeping house

Many years ago, I purchased a used copy of Cheryl Mendelson’s book “Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House” and it’s been a favorite book of mine ever since. No, I don’t read it cover to cover, but I do enjoy flipping through the pages when I have questions about something or when I’m just curious about what she would recommend (I know, I told you I was nuts!)

In the preface of the book, she says:

When you keep house, you use your head, your heart, and your hands together to create a HOME — the place where you live the most important parts of your private life.

Housekeeping is an art: it combines intuition and physical skill to create comfort, health, beauty, order, and safety. It’s also a science, a body of knowledge that helps us seek those goals and values wisely, efficiently, and humanely.

I LOVE that description of being a homemaker! 

While I realize that many of you might not share my ultra-enthusiastic views of homemaking, I DO think that every one of us, no matter where we live, what type of building we live in, and no matter how much we detest cleaning and organizing, desires to create a HOME.

We all want that place we sleep and live and share with our family and friends to feel comfortable, to be safe and healthy, to be pretty and organized, and to be a place we actually want to spend time.

For some of us, it just takes a little extra motivation and willpower to get there — and that’s OK 🙂

.

If you’re the type of person who would like to improve your homemaking abilities and learn more about “the art and science of keeping house” then I have the perfect resource for you (besides Cheryl’s book!)

… the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

uhb-learn-600x345

What is the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle?

It’s a complete library of 100 carefully selected eBooks, eCourses, audios, online conferences, and printable packs designed to help you turn your house into a home… without all the overwhelm.

The price is only $29.97!

And crazy enough, the individual retail value of everything included is over $1000!

Also, there is a 30-day no-hassle, money-back guarantee. Just email to customerservice@Ultimate-Bundles.com and they will refund 100% of your investment. No questions asked.

It includes:

**note, you don’t actually have to read, participate, listen to, or print everything included — just pick and choose your favorites. You don’t even need to claim all the free bonus offers if you don’t want!

It covers topics like:

  • Cleaning… create a healthy, toxin-free home
  • DIY/Homemade… fun and frugal ways to express your personal style
  • Devotionals and Faith… take a break from the daily grind to renew yourself
  • Finances… build a budget that works
  • Cooking & Meal Planning… serve easier, tastier meals in less time
  • Holidays & Special Events… brighten up old family traditions and create new
  • Homeschooling… homeschool with grace and ease
  • Marriage… heat up your marriage
  • Motherhood… find peace, balance & joy in mothering
  • Organizing… conquer the clutter and simplify your life
  • Pregnancy & Babies… enjoy a healthy pregnancy and prepare to nurture your baby
  • Health & Wellness… soothe aches & pains with natural remedies
  • Working from Home… hone your talents, live your passions and earn money to help your family

As you can see, this Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is right up my alley — which is why I’m excited to share it with you today! 

Oh, and if you’re interested, you’ll need to act quickly because this bundle is only available from now through Monday, April 27 at 11:59pm EST.

Happy Homemaking 🙂

This post contains some affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy and contact me with any questions you have.

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23 comments

  1. Margie Zyzda

    10/07/2015

    I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I worked for 27 years as a classroom teacher. Somehow managed to raise two amazing kids and left a husband fenning for himself most of the time. Now, that I am retired, God is showing me how to love homemaking, while ministering to my husband and adult children. Switching my thinking from the value of a paid worker to a stay at home mom, is proving to be a challenge. But also realizing how ridiculous the stress of my job was, has also been truly humbling.
    The stress I worked under for my school and district, was so unnecessary.Oh well, I look forward to more lessons from Father God as I continue the journey and gifts of being a stay at home mom after the kids are gone.

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  2. Ronda Bowen

    04/26/2015

    I too LOVE Home Comforts. There’s something about that book that just…well it’s just a great reference.

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  3. Heidi

    04/26/2015

    I have been a homemaker for almost 24 years and I have always loved the notion of being the creator of a home. For me a home is more than just a clean house. It is creating an environment where you and your family have a soft place to land. A place where they know they will be loved, a place where the wearies of the day at work or school are dulled just a little bit as my loved ones are enveloped in the notion of being home.

    Making a home is much more than the physical appearance of the house. It is about the kind words, the conversations, the caring about and taking care of each other. Its not about being perfect and it has nothing to do with being a woman or a man. My husband is just as much a homemaker as me because home is a state of mind and how to treat each member of your family.

    Home…home is that feeling of peace when you walk in the door and think to yourself “ahhh…I am home”. It is the sounds, the smells, the smiles, the laughter and the people that make it home.

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    Andrea Reply:

    LOVE this! Thanks Heidi!

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  4. JJ

    04/25/2015

    Domestic engineer 😀 I love your passion for making your house a home!

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  5. Katie

    04/25/2015

    What you described you would do on a day without your kids is exactly what I would do too- and love it!

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  6. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    04/24/2015

    Where I work we collect data on people’s employment. I get irritated every time I have to put “unemployed” for type of job and homemaker as the position. I have submitted a suggestion numerous times to just change so homemaker is a job type. They have student and retired!

    I work outside the home, but I know being a stay at home mother is more work than what I do all day!!

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  7. Summer

    04/24/2015

    Rest assured you aren’t missing as much in the coupon world! The values have gone down so much in the last three/four years. You have to spend more time than ever on deals and the great scores are far and few between. I also imagine spending time with the wee ones is more fun!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, even the online coupons that I can send to my phone are pretty crappy these days. so no, I don’t feel too bad 🙂

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  8. Debbie

    04/24/2015

    We are often our own worst critic and judge. Somehow, we end up expecting too much from ourselves and set such a high standard to be Wonder Woman. Housekeeping is an art, can’t be quantified or perfected.

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    Andrea Reply:

    I agree — and I might actually say we are ALWAYS our own worst critics. I think that just comes with the territory of being female — and it’s unfortunate 🙁

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  9. Siobhan

    04/24/2015

    So funny I was just thinking to myself the other day how much I would LOVE an afternoon to myself just take care of the house…and I would also end up on the couch with my I pad when I got my chores done 🙂

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    Andrea Reply:

    maybe you can ask for that for Mother’s Day??

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  10. Tara

    04/24/2015

    I too, do a lot of homemaking while the kids are away. Not so much because I love to organize as that I’m afraid it’ll never happen if I don’t do it when the kids are at Grandma’s. So I am like a cleaning maniac the minute they step out the door. I try to whip the whole house into shape in a matter of hours including toy purging, laundry, often I’ll even treat myself and take my kid-mobile in for a wash and vacuum (while the car’s being washed I’ll clean out and organize my purse in peace).

    My husband thinks I’m nuts and that I should just sit down and relax, but if my kids are gone for a couple days, I want to spend at least one of those days in a clean house knowing I won’t be behind on everything when they get home. I have noticed that I don’t really cook when the kids are gone. I tend to just eat leftovers/sandwiches/cereal to clear out the refrigerator even more.

    If the kids are gone only for a few hours, I usually won’t do any cleaning. That’s just not enough time for me to clean and relax. So I choose to relax.

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — that makes me laugh. Well, at least you’re honest — and yes, I totally understand the feeling of “this might never get done otherwise”!

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  11. Tanya

    04/24/2015

    This is exactly what I do when I have free time at home without the kids. I enjoy cleaning my home and making it comfortable for our family.

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  12. Tracie

    04/24/2015

    My husband took the kids to the in-laws for 2.5 days recently and I cleaned the whole house and shampooed the carpets! It was so great! I was exhausted by the end of each day but at least I got to sleep in 😉 I don’t get to truly deep clean with a 3 and 2 year old helping me out, and it was just the refresh I needed.

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  13. Lindsey T

    04/24/2015

    Again, another spot on post, Andrea! This was so needed right now. I recently started working full time from home for my job and all of a sudden I feel all this self-inflicted pressure to work AND be the perfect home maker.

    It wasn’t until last week when my husband came home from work and I again apologized for not having dinner ready, having dishes in the sink and laundry piles everywhere, that he looked at me and said “stop apologizing every day, we’re still equal, you’re still working, I don’t expect all those things, I expect to come home and pitch in because you worked just as hard as I did today. I could care less about a formal dinner, I’ll pick off some leftover chicken and eat a carrot!” It was this ah ha moment of me realizing that no one was putting all this pressure on me except for ME to be this perfect home maker while working long days!

    I love a spotless house, but during the week, with long work days it usually is a little chaotic and I do what I can to not make it seem like a tornado came through. We can all be home makers however we want and however works for us and I also am thankful for a man that doesn’t expect anything, helps out a ton around the house and loves me for who I am, even if I wear the same outfit three days in a row to save on laundry…(true story).

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — your husband sounds like a great guy. I totally agree with him, but I also know there are many other men in this world who would not (and do not) cut their working wives any slack when it comes to house work.

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  14. Mary Landis

    04/24/2015

    Oh wow! I just love this! I know I’ve told you before, but I love your blog and writing more and more. Thanks so much for candidly putting all of this into a post because I feel that finally I have some words for people who ask me about my weird loves and homemaking hobbies. Love, love this! God bless you and your family!

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  15. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    04/24/2015

    Well said, Andrea! Being a homemaker looks different for all of us – and at different stages of our life, it continues to change. I don’t know that I would have done well in the 1950s either. My homemaker days consist of reading lots of books to my son, baking homemade bread and using coupons, trying to stay caught up on laundry, and not cleaning as thoroughly or often as I should. Lots of quick clean-ups these days! Thanks for the reminder that we can all be good homemakers in our own way.

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  16. Paulette

    04/24/2015

    Oh.My.Word! I have that book, too!!! I love to thumb through it when I need info. Why do I find it soothing? I know…I’m weird.

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    Melissa Q Reply:

    I really like that book, too, one of the few books I have in our “library”. Like you, I use it as a reference book, but there have been several times I have read whole chapters at a time. I might not necessarily learn something new, but I often find myself refreshed and encouraged about my homemaking from what she shares.

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