Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ode to Homemaking

If you have never visited Sugar City Journal, today is the day to head over there. What a great blog post about the sweet, simple joys found in hanging clothes out to dry. I think I might print it out and post it in my laundry room. Its just that sweet.

A "simple act of womanly duty."
There are lots of "womanly duties" that I often find myself grumbling about; the endless piles of laundry, the overflowing sink of dirty dishes, the always hungry family that is ready for something else to snack on before I can take two bites of my own meal, the kitchen floor that is always crumby and the dust and clutter that is everywhere.
But the often monotonous tasks that are required to keep my home and family running do have value. My own negative attitude towards my "womanly duties" don't let me appreciate them as I probably should.

Being a stay at home mom and homemaker is my chosen profession. I wouldn't have it any other way. There are simple joys that come from creating a happy home and raising beautiful children that you can't find anywhere else.

I loved how she said this one simple chore connected her with her own mother, how through its process she felt a sense of peace and order, how this 'pleasant labor' allowed her to escape from her often chaotic life. I can appreciate this as my own life has gotten more chaotic. With two loud and imaginative little kiddos ruling my life I find myself more often feeling the need to escape into some orderly housework.

During the two seconds when the kitchen is clean, I feel a real sense of pride in looking over my domain.
I love the happy, yummy sounds that come from my kids as they devour my freshly baked cookies.
When I faintly hear the hum of both the clothes washer and dish washer over the alternating shrieks and giggles of my little ones either throwing fits on the floor or using me as a jungle gym, I can inwardly smile and congratulate myself on mutitasking.
When I sit at the sewing machine trying to make something for our home or for a child to wear, I don't feel any sense of drudgery whatsoever. Instead I remember sitting on the floor near my mother's sewing machine as a child, playing with her pins, buttons or zippers.
When I go out and work in the yard I am again reminded of happy days spent outside with my family.
When I watch my son dig in the dirt or my daughter play with my fabric stash I smile, thinking of the simple joys they will have in creating homes for themselves someday.

Now, I am definitely not one to brag about my clean house or perfect organization. I'm more for creating a happy home than an immaculate home. But even so, I find that there is a great deal of housework involved in maintaining a happy home environment.

I am grateful for the 'pleasant labors' that I must perform. Everything worth having is worth working for. A happy home, a happy wife, a happy mommy is busy with many pleasant chores. :)

****Edited a few hours later: A little time has passed and I'm realizing how this makes me sound like some sort of clean freak or super homemaker or something like that. And those of you who have ever visited my home know that is far from the truth. What really happens is about once a week I get in a cleaning mood and have a burst of excited cleaning energy. The rest of the week we survive on the just the barest of essential 'womanly duties.' Just thought I should be really honest.


Jacquie said...

Well said. I love being a housewife...in some ways I am married to my house...in order to make it a home.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

What a nice post Erica. I have such fond memories of my mom washing and hanging out clothes. Our washer was in the basement and she would climb 2 sets of stairs and hang it out on the big back deck we had. We had no yard. I grew up in the city in a beautiful turn of the century row home and we had a family room built where the yard should have been. I never thought about it as a child but now I realize how much work and how much she put into our home. She made all our clothes and made every meal. Plus when I was in 4th grade(the youngest) she went to work full time to help put my sisters through college. Unbelievable now. I think I don't enjoy the simple tasks like you suggest and I need to. I guess when I had little ones I felt some of that. I love your point of view. Thank you.

Ulla said...

Lovely story. It reminded me of my own childhood and playing with my mother's button box and ribbons and helping her by picking up some seams she had sewn wrong. I hope my children have some nice memories like that as well, because I'm a home mom as well.

Hyrum said...

You are so eloquent. I don't think you sounded like a clean freak at all! I think you just described perfectly the joys of motherhood and homemaking. Love you!

Penny said...

I agree with Hyrum, this is such a sweet post! I also feel a sense of peace when my house is orderly and clean (even if it only lasts a couple of minutes) :) thank you for the link, I was JUST talking to my closest friend about the same thing 2 days ago!

lané said...

I thank God in the name of Jesus Christ for this post!! I needed some encouragement... I am going to step it up in my homemaking duties.