May I speak honestly?
I consider myself a good and efficient homemaker.
No, I am not being prideful. I know that I am successful as a homemaker because I strive to have a well run home, nutritious meals prepared, be prepared for guests, and see to the needs of my family (in this case, my husband, since I do not have children). I work hard at home, and contrary to what people may think, I do not sit around watching Netflix in my pjs. I get up early, and productive with my time, and my husband is well cared for.
But in the past I have found myself downplaying my success as a homemaker because I didn’t want to make other people feel bad about what they have or haven’t accomplished. I say “Well, I haven’t really done THAT much today…just washed some dishes and put away laundry…” when in reality, I’ve washed several loads of dishes, washed and air dried laundry on the line, then folded it and put it away. I don’t want to come across as haughty, smug, condescending, or anything else like that, so I don’t really talk about what I do all day. And if I do talk about it, I leave a lot out.
Why? Why am I acting as if being a successful homemaker is something to be embarrassed about?
I needed to give myself a shake, and realize that it is OKAY to be productive as a homemaker; Titus 2:5 says women are to be busy at home, and I am certainly busy! But even though our culture sees homemaking as something that is only done if there is time, among Christian ladies there is still competition as keepers of our homes. Society sees tasks such as laundry, meal planning, gardening, and mending as tasks that get pushed to the back burner and women are encouraged to be working outside the home full time, just as men do. While there is nothing wrong with women working, Christian women need to make homemaking a priority (I know there are those who have to work outside the home full time, even though it is not something they desire. I have worked full time before, and I admit it can be hard to still keep house, but it CAN be done). Likewise, there are those who are stay at wives like myself, but find that there are more interesting things to do than homemaking, or are unmotivated to do chores.
Please not that I am NOT casting blame or judgement on ANYONE. I don’t know your situation, and I might not even know you at all! My words are not meant to be interpreted as “I think I am better than you because my laundry never piles up”. No, my words are meant to serve as a wakeup call for anyone who has not been putting forth their best effort to be successful at home. I know there are one hundred and one things that may pop up and prevent you from being the “perfect homemaker”, but it is important to try.
Sometimes it seems as though there is competition between Christian women:
- how many children one has
- how modest someone dresses
- how big or small their home is
- how much of their clothing is handmade
- they homeschool their children
- they only homeschool when their kids feel like learning
- all of their meals are made 100% from scratch
and on, and on. I am not saying these things are bad; just that there is often an innate desire to be better than someone else, even amongst Christians. In an attempt NOT to come across as competitive I downplayed my success, even though I was actually proud of what I accomplish.
But no more.
I am not ashamed of what I do at home. I am not embarrassed to be productive. I am not going to downplay my success at home.
But, I am also not going to brag, cast judgement, or embarrass someone else for not being as accomplished as I am. As I said before, I don’t know what someone else’s situation is. Perhaps they have a perfectly valid reason for not being able to do much at home. What is important is how one acts as a homemaker and views their tasks. If you are unable to do more than a few small things at home, but you do it with all your heart while having a joyful spirit, good for you. If you strive to be busy all day and have a spotless home because you want praise and admiration, you may need to reevaluate.
I enjoy being a homemaker and feel that God has called me to this role as a way to serve Him and my family.