Homemaking. That word either brings up happy thoughts, a look of disgust or total apathy. I’ve been through all three in my adult life. Some people believe it is an antiquated term while others embrace and enjoy it. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t mean what you probably think it means.
The dictionary simply defines homemaking as the creation and management of a home, especially as a pleasant place to live. That’s it. No apron or heels, no need to be subservient or have all your shhtuff together. No need to be perfect. It is simply the act of creating and managing your home, which as a mom, you do every day even when you don’t mean to.
Homemaking isn’t even singular to moms, or wives. Single men and women are homemakers, too, as the “make” their homes a pleasant place to live, even if only for themselves.
So why is it that the idea of homemaking gives so many modern moms feelings of reluctance and uncertainty? Because we’ve been fed myths throughout our lives about what being a “good” homemaker is all about.
I’ve dedicated my business and life to helping moms become “homemaker-ish” and giving them permission to create and manage their homes on their terms, and part of that is dispelling the myths about homemaking that keeps us all from fully embracing our homemaker-boss status.
Myth 1: It’s only for stay-at-home moms
While stay-at-home moms are often lumped into the homemaker category and many even list this term as their occupation, they are not the only ones who make a home. Imagine a mother who works outside the home. When she comes home in the evening, she cooks, cleans, manages the finances and schedules, gets the kids ready for the next day, takes care of herself and the home. She is just as much a homemaker as the mom who spent the day at home taking care of the children and the home. Both are equally important jobs. Both are homemakers.
Myth 2: You have to be perfect all the time
Somewhere along the way in history, being a homemaker meant having a picture-perfect life, home, appearance, kids, marriage, schedule, meals, etc. Now, with the advent of Pinterest, the beast in being fed even more as we scroll through photos of crisp white linens and cream colored living rooms as we look around our multicolored homes littered with Barbie accessories and Hot Wheels. Being a homemaker isn’t at all about being perfect or keeping a perfect home. Aside from the fact that “perfection” only exists in the eye of the beholder, it is insane to think that 85 million mothers in this country are going to do things exactly the same, all the time, based on what Pinterest says. I hereby give you permission to be an imperfect homemaker.
Myth 3: It’s a religious thing
While there are many websites, businesses and organizations that are centered on being a Godly wife and homemaker, the two aren’t necessarily linked at all. I know plenty of kick-ass homemaker wives who consider themselves atheists. Religion isn’t the driving factor of being a homemaker. Much of the reason I started my business was the serve those mothers who wanted to learn to be effective homemakers and managers of their domains, but felt intimidated by the idea of homemaking as a religious notion. Whether you feel that homemaking is a calling from God or do it because you just love the art of it, both are totally and completely wonderful and accepted.
Myth 4: Being a homemaker isn’t for modern women
Ouch. I hear this one a lot and it makes me cringe. While I am all for the women’s movement and want nothing more than to raise my daughter to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, I also think that somewhere along the way, we gave the impression that being a homemaker wasn’t “good enough” for modern ladies. That somehow, cooking, cleaning and planning a family’s schedule was beneath them. That, in my humble opinion, is a big load of boloney. I have been a successful business owner for 11 years, had my kids in daycare of with a nanny and consider myself to be pretty modern and I also identify as my family’s homemaker. I wear that title with honor and know that making my home comfortable and as stress-free as I can means that my kids, my husband and I can all be better people. Cleaning gives me joy, planning give me joy, providing for my family gives me joy. We can be whomever we want as modern mothers, homemakers and all.
Myth 5: Homemaking is about being submissive.
Do you know that when I released my latest course, I had a “friend” who has no children tell me that the art of homemaking encourages woman to be submissive? Luckily, I have thick skin and no time for nonsensical comments, but that made my roll my eyes so hard, I gave myself a headache. I know women who make their homes and aren’t married, who have no children, who split the work with their husbands, who split the work with their wives, who work full time, who work part time, who have kids living at home, who have kids not living at home and everything in between. Submission has nothing to do with homemaking and the two have someone become intertwined through the decades. I don’t clean my bathroom because it is my wifely duty, I do it because having a clean bathroom makes me feel better. I don’t like germs, I don’t want to sit on a toilet that has pee all over it and I want to shower with a tub that doesn’t give me the willies. It’s my choice, and it’s yours too.
Now that you know all the myths around homemaking, you can get down to the business of grabbing the bull my the horns and killing it as a modern homemaker. But, uh, where do you start? Even if you are a "Cleaning doesn't suck that bad" kinda mom, keeping a running tally of all the things that need to be cleaned in the house can be a daunting task! Sign up below to receive your free house cleaning master list, broken down by room. Print it out, keep it in a binder, hang it on the wall (it colorful and pretty) and use it to create your cleaning schedule or just as a useful guide for #allthethings that need to be cleaned in our homes.