Friday, April 24, 2009

The Life Of A Homemaker

What is the life of a homemaker suppose to look like? Does she look like June Cleaver? Harriet Nelson? Lucy Ricardo?
No. She does not look like any of those ladies. She looks like you! Homemaking is not easy. I will not sit here and type out this post with all kinds of sappy sentiment telling you how your days should flow with ease and grace. My own days are never the same, one from another, however homemaking should not look like the above picture.
I received and e-mail the other day from a sweet woman who had no idea she just gave me a gem in her words. She said,
"My relationship with God these days has brought so much peace to my life and energy too."
Energy?? YES!!! God gives us all we need to complete the tasks before us. We do not have to be worn out, nor burned out!! He is our source and will supply all our needs (not just material needs) according to His riches in Glory! (Philippians 4:19) Yes, we must rest. If we do not we are not making a home, but a prison.
So what should the day of a homemaker look like?? Take a look at Proverbs 31. Here I will share what my life looks like. Typically a woman gets up before the rest of her household, or at least at the same time as her husband (Proverbs 31:15). I do this and you can do it too!! He (God) will give you the energy. If your husband gets up really early, you can always go back to bed when he leaves for work and catch a half hour or so. If not, then you will not faint...I promise. Try to get some time to yourself before the rest of the house gets out of bed. Take time to shower, get dressed and do your hair and make up if possible. It will give you a jump start!
Donetta mentioned in my comments that my home seems very structured...she was concerned. No need. My home is extremely structured at the beginning of the day. My children thrive on this and so do I. I am not naturally organized, nor tidy, so a tight schedule is great for us. Still, I hold my plans loosely, and am willing to reschedule if necessary. My mornings are all about homeschool and housework. If I slack in the morning the entire day is gone. I use my Home Management Binder/Box to keep on track. The kids have their schedules too and we work together. Some things can be done independently and during those times, I jump into my cleaning routines.
The children are at the table and I work at my daily cleaning chores in between helping them with their morning school work. We work on Math, English, Spelling, Copy Work and any other worksheet, workbook type learning in the morning. Around 11:30am we are ready for a break from school. During this time Charlotte and Zach spend some down time, or they may have some chores to do.
My deep cleaning is done late morning after my routine cleaning is finished, or sometimes mixed in with my routine housework depending on the chore. Deep cleaning is not everyday, though this week has been Spring Cleaning so that is a whole different story. Still, we are finished with ALL housework by early afternoon. Women who work outside the home work longer hours than that! Homemaking is my occupation, I take it seriously, and like I said, it is not a talent I was born with, so I had to train myself. I am still training after 30 years. It is one of those occupations that need a refresher course every once in a while. I read books and research homemaking regularly.
So now that my household chores are done, what do I do?? Well I grab the bon bons and lay on the couch watching soap operas, of course! NOT!!!! Though I will admit to watching soap operas in the past....I no longer do that as I quit that habit. After lunch, we read together or work on any left over school work. We read Living Books for history, geography, etc, so this is the time we spend doing that.
If I did not get a chance to read my Bible before the day started (I also get Kyle off to work everyday), then I try to grab a quiet time for that in the early afternoon. It works better for me then, as my mornings are full. I do not believe I have given God a backseat here. I feel I am giving Him the best part of my time when I can focus on Him and not the tasks waiting for me.I also try to get a work out in several days a week. Sweetheart has been doing the same so it is nice to spend that time together.
I love to read and will grab one of my books and read a couple of chapters a day. I have several books going at once, so what ever strikes my fancy is what I pick up.
Quilting is a big part of my life. I get such pleasure from a needle and thread and spend much of my evening with my family and a quilt in my lap. I try to get to my machine at least once a week. This usually happens on Saturday. I am not only relaxing and enjoying this process, but I am creating beautiful things for my home and gifts for friends and family. A couple afternoons a week I am blessed to spend time with my grandchildren. Yesterday afternoon, I played with Emerson and TJ for a few hours. TJ and my kids played kickball with the neighborhood kids and it was so much fun to watch them. Grandma time is a highlight of my week!I blog in my free time too, and you all know how much I blog!! Early morning while Kyle is getting ready for work and the rest of the house is sleeping, or late afternoon while everyone is doing their own thing, I jump on the computer. Blogging is not just entertainment for me. It is family history for my kids and grandkids. Plus, there are a lot of wonderful women out there!!!I also have several times a week for fellowship. I go to a weekly Women's Bible Study, a once a month sewing group, a once a month women's night out at the church, and twice a week I attend church. I spend at least one afternoon twice a month out with a friend, my mom, or my daughter in law. We go to lunch and shopping.Late afternoon it is back to work. Dinner time is a big part of homemaking. Dinner prep usually takes place in the morning routine, but the late afternoon calls for action.
Dinner time is not always at the same time of day here. It really depends on what is happening. We usually eat between 6 and 6:30. After dinner the kids get showers and the kitchen is cleaned up by me or, occasionally, Charlotte. My children are now old enough to take care of all their bedtime routine themselves, which is a great help. We will watch a family movie a couple of times a week or play a board or card game. Our children go to bed rather early. 8:30 on school nights and sometimes 8:00 and they read til 8:30 then lights out. We recently started a program where if you are on time in the morning (9 am ready for school) you may read until 9pm. This has worked well.
Once the kids are in bed, Sweetheart and I spend some time together watching the Cubs game or one of our favorite shows we taped earlier (House, ER, Lie To Me are a few). I try to take an interest in what he likes to watch. He always watches Biggest Loser with me on Tuesday nights, even though I know it would not be his choice. I quilt or cuddle with Sweetheart and we visit also.As a keeper of the home (Titus 2:5) we should get up every morning and offer our handsand our feet
in service to God and our family. We are not to be idle (Proverbs 31:27) nor are we to be busybodies (I Thessalonians 4:11). We are to work with our hands (I Thessalonians 4:11) and keep our minds on good things (Philippians 4:8). We are to bless our families and do those things as unto God (Matthew 25:40). Am I the perfect homemaker? Heavens no! Am I striving to be what God wants me to be? By all means necessary.


Donetta said...

Loved your post. It was very well rounded and gave a clearer perspective on the balance you live.
God bless ya in it. See it is the balance that is offered in this post that clears the concern over ya and leaves me with a real affection and admiration for your efforts. You go girl!
Seeing your efforts at perfecting a skill and not the Trying to "be" perfect that makes all the difference. It is good to see where your coming from.
Far to easy do we as women look upon each other and down upon or elevated in our own eyes through compare.
Seeing it is about the carreer of homemaking that your efforts of order are based leaves an admiration void of compairing.
Many of us aspire and effort in the excellence of our walk, or example. We are not "what we do" however. We are His adored.
It is though a wonderful thing to excel at our careers. To share the knowledge to do so is a duty we do have to each other too.
At least I think so.
I just needed to know you saw the difference. For me to even think that you are lost in the "doing" grieved me.
Your awesome just in the "being" of who you are.

Copper's Wife said...

Wow, Bren! Great post.

Andrea Cherie said...

You make me smile :D

Fruit of her hands said...

Bren~ Wow you mean your not a perfect homekeeper??? Just kidding. I too have learned through Cheryl to hold my plans loosely, it makes days much easier. I do my Bible reading usually after lunch. If I read my Bible when I first get up I just don't feel that I am awake enough to comprehend what I am reading. I also don't schedule time to read my Bible. I read somewhere that if you schedule Bible reading then it becomes a "chore" and I don't think that is what God intended for our quiet time, to be a chore. Loved your post. You write wonderfully.

Susan said...

This is an excellent post, Bren! I especially loved the last paragraph where you summed up a homemaker's job through Scripture. I also enjoyed getting yet another glimpse into your day.

DeNiece Barnes said...

Get post Bren, you have a wonderful and inspiring blog... Please if it is not a secret where do you get your pictures for your blog they are beautiful. Stop by my blog and leave a comment on where you get them from if that is not a problem. I really enjoy stopping to visit you. have a blessed weekend.

ghost woman said...

You helped me reopen my eyes. Thank you so much Bren. May you and your family be blessed, as I know you already are. "Dorothy"