18 January 2018

Happiness Homemade

 This is the title of a little book I was given before we were married, and I've referred back to it many times since then, for encouragement, wisdom and old fashioned advice.

When Hannah was three and four, if you'd asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she'd happily tell you she wanted to be a shopper (I know - she's my daughter!). When I was little, then as I grew older, if you'd asked me what I truly wanted to be when I grew up I'd have told you wife, mother and homemaker. They were the jobs I wanted most of all, everything else came second in my career choices.
As it turned out I met, then re-met quite a few years later, my sweetheart.  We fell in love, married (and in 12 days we'll be celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary) and started our life together.

But before we were married we talked (a lot) about our future dreams and goals, and how they'd work in our marriage. Both of us came from somewhat traditional homes, with two parents: working father and homemaker mother, and that was the style of home we both wanted. We both wanted our children to have a parent at home with them, and we both wanted to raise our children ourselves; we wanted to be the main influence in our children's lives. We wanted to have the traditional home we'd both grown-up in.

It hasn't been quite that, though: we do live in the modern world and Disaster did Strike. I've worked both within and outside our home and now my "outside" work means I am able to fit it in around my work at home.
This is a big thing for me, because it means that I can still have my first career choice of wife, mother and homemaker, yet still "work" and contribute in more ways to our home.

But wife, mother and homemaker is still my first career, one I take very seriously, and one I'm not going to give up.

Caring for my family and our home is important to me and I'm proud to be able to do it.
I could work more hours and bring more cash into our household, although in reality that wouldn't necessarily be the case (working outside the home may bring in a wage, but there are costs associated with that wage, often costing almost as much or even more than you are earning - truly!).

I like doing my housework, I've never thought of caring for my family by caring for our home as drudgery, or a chore or a waste of my time or talents. It's something I take pride in, and an important part of my career.

I smile when I remember that when I clean our home, I'm saving at least $25 an hour for a cleaner. IIt doesn't take long, about an hour a day, usually in the mornings, every morning from Monday through Friday doing housework (I've put my daily routines here) keeps our home tidy and clean and comfortable. And by doing it myself, I've saved $125 a week from leaving our household budget and saved my husband from having to work an extra six hours. I'd much rather do the cleaning and have those six hours with him.
Working in the garden, ironing (although I try not to, it's not my favourite chore), baking our bread, making jam and marmalade, cooking our meals from scratch, shopping wisely to get the most from our money, are all things I do as a part of my job. And all these things make our home a happier, nicer environment for our family.

Taking the time to sew on a button or restitch a downed hem makes the garment owner feel loved and special, and that flows forward to making our home a happier, nicer place, somewhere we all want to be.
Looking for the best deals on the things we need, making gifts instead of buying them, DIYing instead of paying someone else to paint or make curtains or repair something all save us spending money, so we can use it for the things we really enjoy.

My days are busy and sometimes they are non-stop and I get tired, but they are always fulfilling. At the end of each day I look back at what's been accomplished and smile, knowing that I've done my job to the best of my ability, that my family is happy and that my happiness truly is homemade.

Thursdays have always been household day here on the blog, and 2018 isn't going to change that.

What will change is the type of post on a Thursday. This year they'll focus on how we can make our homes happy, sometimes using old-fashioned methods, tips and tricks and sometimes using more modern ways.

And how a happy home can change your financial life, without you feeling deprived or poor.

I hope you'll join me, and enjoy finding that your happiness can be homemade too.

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