Wednesday, January 20, 2010

# about me # home

Being a Homemaker

The other day I read an email about being "just a mom" and I realized that I'd had that same attitude about being a homemaker. When other people have talked about their jobs, I've felt guilty because all I do is stay at home and unpack boxes and do laundry and try to put things away. Then I realized, other people pay people to do just what I'm doing. What I do is nothing to be ashamed over. I'm creating a home for my family. I'm creating a peaceful, loving sanctuary. I'm making a home. That's just what a homemaker does. They make the home and this is an important job. Does it pay in cold hard cash? Nope, but the rewards are even better. It leaves me open to do things like have lunch with my boys for Birthday Club at their school. There's no panic when Peter tells me at the last minute that the boys have a half day of school or a Monday off. No worries, I just adjust my schedule and I'm there for them. It's given me the freedom to work on the house and to work online. It's going to give me the freedom to focus on my blog and turning it into something wonderful. Who knows, maybe someday soon that blog will allow me to not have to worry so much about the bills.

Now, I know this assignment* was all about what makes me a good homemaker and I haven't even touched on that yet. Don't worry, I'm going to now. I think that the first thing that makes me a good homemaker is my love for my family. Now, I'm not saying that a working mom doesn't love her family. What I'm saying is because my family is so very much the focus of my life, it pushes me to create a warm, welcoming and homey space for all of us. I'm excited about the fact that this week (hopefully), I'll be in the boys' room working on re-organizing it and making it a functional space for them. I don't mind doing laundry because every time I fold one of their shirts or match a pair of socks, I'm reminded just how lucky I am to have them.

Organizing is another strength that I have. I'm a natural organizer. I can walk into a space and see where things should go. My grandmother never understands why I don't re-arrange furniture. It's because when I came into the empty room, I saw exactly where it should go and there's no reason to move it. I have an instinct for space, I guess. Now, that doesn't mean that sometimes I don't have to get creative, but creativity is probably another of my strengths.

I enjoy the challenge of figuring out where everything goes. Since we don't have a lot of extra money to buy fancy storage units, sometimes I have to be creative and re-use what we already have here or is easily available to us. I enjoy looking around my house and discovering something that's just been laying around that can now be used in the boys' room to store socks or underwear (they don't have any drawers).

I think the last thing (at least that I'm going to write about) that makes me a good homemaker is knowledge and a willingness to try to do new things. I've discovered over the past 14 years, since I've been out of the family home, that there's no wrong way to clean a house. What's important is that you try. It doesn't have to be perfect. My boys came into the house on Friday and they noticed the kitchen and told me how great it looked and how proud of me they were. Was the kitchen perfect? Nope. The floor really needed to be swept and the counters probably needed a quick wipe down. They didn't care that it wasn't perfect. They cared about the fact that they could walk in and not trip over a stray grocery bag on the floor and that there was clean silverware in the drawer. And to me, there's nothing more rewarding than knowing that my family has clean underwear in their drawer/bin and clean dishes in the cupboard. They didn't have to wait for mom to wash a cup. They just had to go to the cabinet and get one down. Let me tell you, there's no sweeter thing in the world than your child coming up to you and saying, "Wow, mom you worked hard. I'm proud of you and I love you."

And that's what makes me a good homemaker..that my family has given me a home to make for them.

* A friend of mine heard me talking about what it is that I do and asked me to write about this topic for the blog.

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