16 July 2013

Age-Old Advice for the Modern Homemaker

My great-grandmother raised five children, through the 1920s and the Great Depression, and if I do say so, she did a remarkable job. Sadly she passed away when I was thirteen, but she spent a lot of time with us, living with us for 3 months of the year until she died.

When I was born she shared with my mother some advice that her mother had shared with her, and Mum passed that advice on to me when AJ was born. Now, in the 21st century, I'm sharing it with you.

"Don't ever feel bad because you are glad to put your babies to bed. When they are in bed, they’ve stopped for the day and so do you.  Your work for the day is done."

I loved Grandma, I love my Mum and I absolutely love their shared wisdom.

I have pretty much lived by that advice because there will always be something to do in our home.

As a homemaker I see things that need to be done everywhere I look.

It might be a mirror that needs a wipe, or a doyley that is a little crooked. It could even be a dust bunny hiding under the lounge or a basket of ironing waiting patiently in the laundry or dishes in the sink.

But when the children went to bed, my work for the day was over.

Knowing that no matter how busy the day was, or how repetitive the work was during the day, that I could stop made all the difference to how I viewed my job as homemaker.

I was allowed to get tired. I was allowed to get bored by folding clothes day after day. I was allowed to say "that's it, I've finished work" and sit down because let's face it, housework is repetitive and tedious and well, it's jolly hard physical and mental labour.

I did then, and do now, take Grandma's advice. Only these days once the kitchen is tidied after dinner my day's work is done (we don't have little children anymore, they're all well and truly grown up).

Whatever is unfinished will wait till tomorrow.

And that's the beauty of being a homemaker: the housework will always be there.

If you have babies, or work outside your home, or care for elderly parents, don't feel bad that you haven't finished the basket of ironing or that you didn't mop the floors or get the beds made.

Instead rejoice in the things you did get done. Lunches for your children to take to school, half and hour of snuggling with your baby, a tiny patch of garden weeded and new seeds planted, a chat with a lonely friend, a walk around the block with your toddler in tow, helping a tired 10 year old build a solar system in a shoe box, listening to a five year old struggle with sight words as he tries ever so hard to finish his reader.

Sit back and look at all the good you accomplished today as a homemaker, partner, parent, then take a deep breath.

Tomorrow is another day; it may or may not be as busy as today was, you may or may not get everything done. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter

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  1. I have to admit I'm not one that loves housework, but I loved making a warm and loving home for my family. Now they are all grown up and gone, the housework is still here, albeit a lot less. I never regreated leaving the ironing undone or the vacuuming for the day so I could spend more time with my kids. And yes at the end of the day, I took a few hours off, I had to.

  2. I also love making a warm and loving home for my family. I work from home helping my husband with his financial planning business part time and am a homemaker and mother to my 15 year old son the rest of the time. A certain member of my family suggests I don't have a real job. She never had her own family, so could never understand the responsibilities involved in being a wife, mother and helper to a family. Quite often I am so busy, I don't get my chores done for the day. But when I sit down at night I know I have contributed something to running my household.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! With two littlies and one nearly hear, there are some days when I wish I could bring bedtime to 11am. Other days, 24hours isn't long enough to spend with them or catch up on all the things I 'should' be doing. Thanks for taking the 'guilt' out of enjoying AB - After Bedtime!

  4. This is very good advice, Grandmothers knew what they were talking about.

  5. I was told the same thing as a young mum, I wish I listened back then (many a wasted moment cleaning instead of just enjoying). I tell anyone having a baby now , when baby sleeps , you sleep.


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