Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WFMW - Be A Professional Homemaker

*** Please note: This article is reprinted from last fall. Sorry, but I'm fresh out of ideas this morning and this one seemed to hit home for a lot of people so I thought it wouldn't hurt to share it again.

* * * * *

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:

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.

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.

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!


Cyndy said...

Well said!

Hadias said...

I agree.

Sarah Elisabeth said...

Thanks so much - this is a great article and I wasn't in this bloggy circle last fall (??) so it's new to me!

GREAT points, all of them. I love the idea of viewing homemaking as "a real job" and have slowly been realizing that in our two years of marriage. Buying the right tools is something for me to think about (why do we always skimp at home when that's where we spend the most time of our lives, over all?)

And actually working - that was honestly convicting. It is only "fair" that we work diligently and have something to show for ourselves at the end of the day. Thanks again.

Brea said...

Wonderful! Thanks for the reminder this morning ...


Tracye said...

I'm glad you posted this.

I had read this (but I had forgotten where!) and it really convicted me.

The part where your husband wanted you to work as much as him really, really did it for me. I 100% agree with him, and have told many people about this. Now I finally know where I read it, and can direct them here!

It's really not fair for them to work hard all day and for us to sit around and watch TV, and then rush to scrape something together for dinner at the last minute.

And I really loved the RESPECT series.

Pamelotta said...

That's a good word!

Nancy M. said...

Thanks for posting this. I need to get dressed now and go and do some cleaning! I liked the way you put it. I feel more motivated now!

Lisa said...

This is very good. I have been trying to tell myself this! Thanks for the reminder.

ValleyGirl said...

I loved this post then and I love it now. It never hurts to be reminded of this!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This really is beautifully written! I will take these reminders to heart! Thank you!

Emily said...

This is really, really nice. I'd love to hear more from you on this!

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing that! I have to work on some of that!

Annette said...

Wonderful! Thank you for the inspiration!


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