Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WFMW - Be a Professional Homemaker!

As a wife and mother, for many years I considered myself, "just a stay at home mom." I dressed in sloppy clothes, didn't bother with makeup unless I had somewhere special to go, and generally just tried to make it through each day.

That all changed when I realized that homemaking is a career. It is the career that I have chosen - willingly, happily. I don't regret it for a second. But I did realize that I needed to make some changes. That I needed to take pride in myself and in the job that I was doing. And that my "career" was just as valid as any other career choice. Here are a few epiphanies that I had which helped me turn things around:
  1. I needed to be willing to invest in the right tool for the job. In the early years of homeschooling my children, I couldn't justify to myself spending the money for an electric pencil sharpener. Consequently, there was never a sharp pencil in the house! Similarly, Swiffer brand products have made keeping my home sparkling much, much easier. Switching to their bagless vacuum from my big bulky one alone has made caring for my tile floors a breeze. Recently I invested in laundry hampers that have three separate sections. Each bedroom got one and now sorting laundry is a breeze. My point is that we would never expect a lawyer to practice law without the right set of books, or a firefighter to fight fires without the proper equipment. Your career as a homemaker is just as valid and you shouldn't feel guilty about setting aside funds to help you do your job.
  2. Get up each morning and do your hair and makeup and dress nicely. I'm not saying you need to wear heels and pearls a la Mrs. Cleaver, but look presentable enough that if you have to make a quick trip out or if the doorbell unexpectedly rings, you aren't mortified. I personally like to be ready before my Hubby leaves the house so the last image he sees of me as he heads off to work isn't my just-rolled-out-of-bed look. Remember, our husbands are often surrounded by women who are primped and prettied up - we need to not look like slobs next to them.
  3. Actually DO your work. One day my husband said to me (back in my slobby days when the house was always a wreck) that he felt it was only fair that I worked, honestly WORKED at least as many hours a day as he did. Now, he didn't mean in a legalistic sense of keeping track of hours and minutes, but the point is that he's out working hard all day to provide for our family. My role as a homemaker is to spend my time at home investing it in "making our home." Making it a beautiful place. Making it a sanctuary for my husband and children. Making it look nice and smell nice. Making it a place where God is glorified. And all that takes work and effort. I shouldn't try to skate by on just the bare minimum. If he is working 8-9 hours a day, I ought to be putting in a similar effort (I do include my time spent homeschooling in this time as I review my days).

The point is to see your role as a wife and mother as a something that is worthy of your best effort. This shift in my view point has made a world of difference in our home. And that works for me! For more great ideas, visit Rocks in My Dryer!


Mandy said...

Great tips. I often forget that homemaking isn't just part of any old day but a real job that we've chosen! Thanks for the encouragement!

Mommy Cracked said...

I read a book once that touched on some of these points and it convinced me that I needed to do a little better each day, and I have. Good stuff to remember! Thanks for posting this.

Infinity Goods said...

Hooray!! Thank you for a great post, Lori.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Marcia said...

Lori, what an excellent post. I love how you say to invest in the right tools. I tell my clients the same thing - that they should invest in themselves because they're worth it!

Love, love, love this post!

Organising Queen,
Beaded bookmarks and
Marcia's take charge blog

Kerith Collins said...

this is a fantastic post...i am a stay at home mom and my hubby and i just had a conversation about all these points...i love it!!!

Mrs. G said...

This is so true. I think if we took staying at home as a job, we'd even begin to find ways to be better at our job.

tonsofsons said...

We are domestic engineers, my sister!

I always feel better if I am dressed with make up, but don't always do it.

Great tips. Happy Thanksgiving!

Heather said...

great post! this occured to me recently as well.

SAHMmy Says said...

Great post! "SAHM is a real job: act like it!" is my motto! You really nailed the top three issues!

ValleyGirl said...

You're SO right! This is another excellent post, Lori! Why is it that it's so easy to not view this job like we would a different one? Is it because we don't bring in a paycheque? Is that what makes it seem less important and not worth our effort to dress up for? (although I consider that to be one of the perks of the job!)

I love the points you brought up and I'm definitely going to try to think more along those lines in the future.

Kirstin said...

I love your tips. It is true that we often settle for "comfy/sloppy" when we're home. It is a job to be proud of. I do find at times just wanting to stay in shorts and a t-shirt, where I'm sure I'd feel much better if I at least put jeans on.

Abbi said...

Great post! I totally agree.

Laane said...

You're so right.

I've spoken with the father of the kids about working hours often.
Because when he leaves his work it's done.

Mine goes on 20 hours of the day.

Feel welcome to visit me at:

Laane on the World

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jen said...

Very good advice...esp the cleaning up every morning. It's so hard to do it but will make you feel so much better and when you feel better things get done around the house faster and everyone is happy. great advice for those mom's out there.

proverbs31 said...

Very wise advice, thank you! This is something I'm currently working on - and it's a lot of work! But well worth it. I liked the last part the best: "The point is to see your role as a wife and mother as a something that is worthy of your best effort." That's very key. :)

toblerone said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I needed to hear it today.

Family O'Foxes said...

good advice!


Katy said...

I TOTALLY agree with you! :)

Crafty Mom said...

I know this is an older post, but I just found your blog. This post really touched home with me. Thank you!

glads said...

I quit my job a few months ago to be a homemaker. Actually, my priority was to take care of my 1 year old son who was not so attached to me. I failed many times in doing my job well, and that includes being impatient with him when he could not eat well (he was quiet sickly) and not being able to serve appropriate portions of dinner for my husband when he comes one in the evening. I was sad and felt depressed with my choice to stay at home until the day when I remembered Proverbs 31 and I copied it in my notebook. I want it to remind me of how important my job is. Thanks for your sharing. It encourages me to continue with my job.

Tasha Johnson said...

I love love love this post!!! I have been a working mom for the last 14 yrs since I left my ex husband. I had to do what needed to be done and in the process my relationship with my children, 5 to be exact, suffered a great that my baby is almost 9 yrs old and I am currently on my way to marrying again..I realize that me working and taking care of my family..let alone the dr fiance' and everything not working well together..One has to give for the other and I choose working for my family. I for one take pride in being the one that runs the house and tends to the fam cause at the end of the day when the house is clean..the family's fed..the bills are paid..and everyone is resting I am tired but I'm elated to know that I did my job and I did it for those that I paycheck needed...I see it everyday when I look at my house and my family..thanks for reminding us all that homemaking is a real job and that real women/men hold that position


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