I am a homemaker. That sounds so much better than “stay-at-home mom,” which implies just staying home. “Homemaker” is an active word.
I have been a homemaker for 3 years. I strive to maintain a clean, safe, welcoming home; cook meals for my family and keep a well-stocked pantry; and stay within an appropriate budget for household and grocery expenses.
Those are my goals. I’m not perfect; I’ve made many mistakes in my short time in this profession. I have squandered some weeks (ahem, maybe even months) in a lazy, almost-depressed, fog. I am not naturally a self-motivated, organized, or particularly clean person.
Through reading and research, I have developed a system that works for me. I have created routines that keep me on task.
The idea of a routine may sound restrictive to you, but actually, the opposite is true! Keeping a clean home, for example, is a big job. Not only are there many tasks to complete, but each has to be done over and over on a reasonable schedule. It is so much to remember and can feel very overwhelming!
Having a routine means I can focus on that day’s task list and temporarily forget about the rest. When I am working in the kitchen, I don’t wonder when the cabinets were last scrubbed or the floor last mopped –if I’ve stuck to my routine, I can rest easy about everything but the job at hand.
Routines also make my free-time truly free — guilt-free, that is! I no longer feel guilty about sitting down to knit during Sprout’s afternoon nap because I know I worked hard that morning. My jobs for that day are complete, so I can afford to put my feet up.
My favorite part, though, is having an answer for my husband when he comes home from a long day of work and says, “So, what did you do today?” It feels wonderful to rattle off what I cleaned or the planning and shopping I accomplished. I thoroughly enjoy showing off my work. His verbal encouragements keep me going. And seeing all of my hard work helps him relax, too, knowing our home is being well-kept.
I’d like to start sharing some of the things I’ve learned with you all. I’ll start with my cleaning routines, and then see where that takes me. I hope this “series” can help some other struggling homemaker out there — it is tough work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! 🙂