As I begin this new year, I have decided to return a bit more of my daily focus to all things domestic – after many months of having our home turned upside down following a flood last October, we are just now finally getting things back in place. So I have been rather discouraged for quite some time with all of the mess and chaos around us with huge drying machines, construction workers tearing up old flooring and ripping out walls and carpeting. It has been really challenging to accomplish much of anything around here, and that has taken a toll on my focus, as well as creating an inability really to make our home a place of peace. Now that the mess has been cleaned up and the floors and walls repaired and replaced, I’m finally able to get back to the business of caring for our home.
I’m looking forward to exploring some of the traditional, rather “old fashioned,” ideas about homemaking in the coming weeks and months as I strive to take a bit more time away from the computer and my online responsibilities to focus on a return to “the good ol’ days.” Which weren’t always that “good” but still, it seems that we have lost a bit of the joy of caring for our homes and families when we are rushing about trying to figure out how to get more IG followers or comments on our blogs. This is just a beginning, by my first suggestion if you are feeling a tug on your heart to refocus on your home and family . . . start each day by making your bed!
Having grown up in the 60s, and starting my own family in the early 70s, my experience of what it meant to be a wife, mom, and homemaker was a bit distorted for a variety of reasons. That time in history was marked by social upheaval and turmoil, with revolution and demands for the “rights” of women (among other things that were important to address). Because of the historical limitations that women had experienced for hundreds of years, there was a new, louder, and more demanding call for “equal rights” for women. That was a significant message that needed to be heard, but it also created an unfortunate division among women.
It turned into a competition to prove that women were not just equal to men, but in many ways, that women were far superior to men – which has had far-reaching consequences, some good but many have been rather disruptive if not seriously destructive to relationships between men and women. Not that I would ever suggest that everything about the “good ol’ days” (in reality) should be emulated, but there are some things about the more traditional roles of men and women that might not be so bad after all.
For me, I found myself in a world, as a young wife and mom, where I had two choices (and ONLY two at that time – so much for “a woman’s right to choose!”) – I could choose either to be a bra-burning, combat-boot wearing, militant feminist OR I could choose to be the Ultimate Earth Mother. You know the kind . . . we made our own clothing, baked the bread, planted the garden, canned the vegetables, nursed our babies, and took care of our little homes. And since, where I came from, that’s just what young women did in those days, I did that, too. And as it turned out, I loved it! But it wasn’t for every woman, and I understand that . . . . but unfortunately, back in that day, those of us who chose to be “homemakers” were treated as if we were simply too stupid to do anything else. And so the competition grew and gained momentum, and those of us who were busy baking bread, sewing our dresses for church on Sunday, changing diapers, and potty training our toddlers were simply too busy or too tired to engage in the debate. We became invisible.
Over the years many of us just quietly went on about our business of caring for our homes and our families, and truth be told, it didn’t work out so great for some of us. But that doesn’t mean that there is no value in treasuring some of the “old fashioned” ways that give women the option of finding joy and fulfillment within their homes. Now, there is hardly time for all of that “nonsense,” doing things like budgeting, and making menus for frugal family meals, or neatly folding the weekly laundry, or cleaning house. We’re just too busy with all of the other stuff of life, like posting on IG numerous times a day, or building our blog following, or scrolling through Facebook for the tenth time today. And what about those women who either choose to work away from home? Or in many cases women who have to hold employment outside the home to support their families? Life becomes a constant round of exhausting demands that leave us little time to focus on whether or not the bed is made, or if there is clean underwear in the drawers, or what to have for dinner (just drive-through some place, that’s easy and no mess to clean up!)
But today, the good news is that you DO have choices. Way more choices than I had when I was a young wife and mom. And I celebrate whatever choice is right for YOU! If you, however, long for a slower, quieter pace to your life, and you are in a position to make that happen, then I hope you will join me as I journey back in time a bit, and renew my focus on the things that I have loved all of my life . . . caring for my home and family.
If you are coming along with me, here are the first three things that I know have helped me stay on track each day (except when I’m sick, of course, or when I have a sick kid – then everything is up for grabs!):
1. Make your bed every day (change the sheets at least once a week)
2. Brush your teeth
3. Get dressed
That’s not too difficult most days, so why not give it a try? If you’ve been discouraged or even depressed, especially on the cold, gray, gloomy days of winter, try this for just three days and see if it helps. If not, there might be a bigger issue that you are struggling with, but I know that doing these three things every day helps me stay focused. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic – I know there are lots of young women who have found that a return to traditional, “old fashioned” notions of homemaking and family has been right for them, and it just might be good for you, too!
I hope you will join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop and Linky party – you’ll make new friends and learn so much from all of the amazing bloggers out here. In the meantime, don’t forget to make your bed!
Join us for the Favorite Things Blog Hop and Linky Party –
and be sure to visit all of your hostesses and leave a comment so we know you stopped by!
Angelina- Petite Haus
Amber- Follow the Yellow Brick Home