How This Accidental Homemaker Is Embracing Homemaking

When my friends were saying that they wanted to be a wife and mom when they grew up, I was going to be a veterinarian, fire fighter, or CEO.  Why would anybody want to stay home all day?  I thought to myself, “You want to be just a wife and mom?  How boring.”  Fast forward through college, the start of a teaching career…and then I got pregnant (planned, yes).  While toying with what to do for this next season in our lives, my husband and I decided that $-wise, it made cents sense for me to stay home with our little one.  I was actually terrified of this new venture…I’d never done anything like it before!  There were no metrics for determining how well you were doing (I am very success oriented), no recognition of little things (I vacuumed.  Every.  Single.  Day.  This week.), and little to no adult interaction (I’m a total extrovert).

For any of you who have a relationship with Christ, you know one thing: He meets you exactly where you’re at and works in you to bring you to exactly where He wants you to go.  Well, He wants me to be a homemaker.  I might substitute teach here and there or coach a bit but my main job is to be a homemaker.  So instead of fighting it, I started making it work for me.  And this is what I came up with.

Whether you’ve desired your entire life to use your gifts and talents to glorify God through homemaking or you’re a reluctant yet grateful convert like me, the following 5 tips are things I’ve been doing that have encouraged my own journey of making this house a home for my family.

1. Start the day well

The beginning of your day dictates the rest of it.  The “somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed” comment.  But seriously, these are 10 things I have been doing every morning to make the most of each morning so that I am ready to tackle the day.  Taking time to take care of myself, spending time with the Lord, and nourishing my body get me armed and ready to face the day.  I do have to get up about 30 minutes before my baby girl does (kudos to those of you that get up even earlier than your kiddos/other commitments) but when I hear her stirring in the baby monitor, I can go get her up knowing that I am ready to start the day well.

10 steps to starting your day well

2. Don’t try to be Pinterest perfect

Oh, Pinterest.  Sometimes I think Pinterest is only there to make the rest of us feel like we’re not crafty/beautiful/creative/rich/eloquent enough.  I often forget that Pinterest is a collection of pins from millions of people.  Not one person.  When I think about it that way, I’m not as overwhelmed by my own inadequacy.  Instead, I am encouraged to try one thing at a time, as my life permits.  Baby girl is sick and needy today?  Guess I’ll be laying down with her so she’ll take her nap rather than crocheting a mason jar cozy.  In the end, don’t try to be Pinterest perfect.

3. Leave some margin

I am one of those people who puts things down on my to-do list just so I can check it off.  Brush teeth.  Check!  Eat breakfast.  Check!  Pet the dog.  Check! (I will admit I did this once and was humorously disgusted by my desire to be successful.)  The problem with having super full to-do lists, though, is that we often don’t complete everything on our list.  That leads to 3 possible outcomes: 1) not getting to important tasks (like pay the car insurance bill – been there, done that), 2) feeling bad about myself for not doing everything I should have done, or 3) feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do.  Or a combo of all three.  It’s so much better to get to the end of the day and have room to do more rather than realize it’s 6:00 pm, you still haven’t started dinner, and you’ve got 3 more items left on your to-do list.  Your stress level decrease, you’ll be able to give your family more of yourself, and you’ll be less tired if you just leave some margin.

4. Be present

At the end of the day (literally), it really doesn’t matter if you got all the cleaning done, had a home-cooked meal on the table, or accomplished the awesomest (sic) homeschool lessons on the planet.  Did I work on my blog post during baby girl’s awake time when I could have been playing with or reading to her?  Was I too busy wrapping up a craft project to beautify my surroundings when I could have been focused on listening to my husband tell me about his day at work?  Yes, it’s great to get my thoughts down on [virtual] paper, “catch up” with friends on Facebook, and enjoy looking around the house when it looks nice and is decorated for the seasons, but I will never get time back with my 7 month old and I will regret not letting my husband know he matters by giving him my complete attention.  After all, he’s out of the house nearly 12 hours a day to work so that I can stay home.  So make an effort to be present.

Pause that pinterest project

5. Be grateful when they’re thankful

Yes, your husband should thank you every time you make his lunch and hopefully, when she’s old enough, I’ll teach our child to be thankful.  But guess what?  So much of what we do as homemakers goes unrecognized.  Every toilet we scrub, every activity bag we shop for and put together for play time, every meal we make…it doesn’t necessarily get noticed.  One of my to love languages is words of affirmation – I feel the need to be thanked.  But that’s not why I do the things I do to make our house into a home.  No, we as homemakers do what we do because we know this is an opportunity to glorify God by what goes on in our homes, how we take care of the physical structure, and how we care for those in it.  Does it help when those within our home – or those that look upon it – make thoughtful observations about the good job we’re doing?  Absolutely.  Like when my husband brought me flowers last Friday…in the form of bulbs to be planted in a flower box he made for me the next day.  Why did he do that?  To thank me for making the bed every single morning that week.  Do I expect this every week?  No way.  But I definitely treasure these times and make sure to be grateful when they’re thankful.

Yes, I am an accidental homemaker.  I didn’t dream of this my whole life but I wouldn’t trade it for a second.  Hopefully these 5 practical ways encourage you to embrace homemaking or at least serve as a reinforcement of the good habits you already are practicing!

About Rachel

Rachel Zupke is a stay at home mom permanently on hiatus from teaching high school science. With Christ's strength, you'll find her chasing after her newly crawling baby girl, crafting/sewing, supporting her hard-working husband with delicious frugal meals, and learning the ins and outs of making their 103 year old house a home. In her *spare* time, she coaches basketball and rowing. Rachel blogs at RachelZupke.com.

Comments

  1. Kimberly M. says:

    This is so good. I found your page while entering a giveaway but it is such an encouragement. Thanks. 🙂

  2. Rachel N says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. It is hard to be a stay at home mom of little ones. Not just that you are always busy but that nothing you do gets recognized and the exact same tasks have to be done multiple times a day, every day. It is monotonous. But I am grateful I am able to do this and I wouldn’t change it for the world, still a little encouragement is nice once and a while:)

  3. Victoria Wollf says:

    I too found your blog through a giveaway but how timely! I just decided to leave school to stay at home with our two month old and am not sure how I will fully feel when the reality sets in come September. Thanks for the perspective

  4. Hannah Avery says:

    I love this list, especially the morning list. I NEED to do better in getting most of those things done before my children get up!

    -Hannah Avery

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