DelegateA love of homemaking does not always come naturally. Taking simple steps can keep homemakers from feeling their work is drudgery. First of all, homemaking requires a few reality checks. Real life means that keeping house may not always turn out as perfectly as we would like. Even the best homemakers simply do not have the time to do all that they would like or as well as they would hope for. When all the children were at home and outside activities and obligations were at an all-time high, I had to learn to delegate as many tasks as possible to the children and my husband.
My husband’s career was very demanding at the time all the children were in school and with a lot of outside interests, so I asked him to do only a few things that could be done with a child “helper.” We parents might wish to complete tasks more efficiently than we could with a small child or reluctant teenager, but household tasks can become great bonding experiences where teaching and sharing occurs naturally when we involve our children. Though tasks done with the family member's help or delegated to family members may not turn out as well as if done yourself, they do get done and time is freed up for the homemaker’s higher priority items. Through consistent practice, helpers will improve with their assigned tasks.
ReevaluateAssigning tasks to others is a good time to really evaluate whether all tasks are actually necessary, anyway. Reevaluating daily activities of all kinds and whether they are wasteful could free up time and energy for the homemaker. For example, time can be wasted just looking at the mail. Most of the time junk mail gets shredded immediately and catalogs thrown out in our house. Measures have been taken to prevent most junk mail from ending up in the mailbox in the first place. Answering only essential phone calls is also a real time-saver (you do not have to take a call on your cell phone in the Walmart bathroom stall BTW).
I have blocked out Mondays as “My Day” to recuperate from the weekend and plan my week. I relax my standards and just ignore the dirty floors and dishes and cook a simple meal for dinner. Many times dinner is a meal that was doubled and frozen for later. If I do any cleaning it’s my own clothes, personal bathroom, and bedroom that get done. It does not have to be Monday—but at least one day a week is “MY DAY” and I look forward to it!
Become A HomebodyBefore running errands, plan them out on paper first to use gas and time efficiently. I usually reserve Fridays as the errand day and I try not to make any extra trips until then. Errands can really zap your time, money, and energy but some people like the excuse of “getting out.” If staying home seems stifling, make your home more inviting for you to be in. After consulting magazines and the internet, I learned to create a spa retreat getaway in my master bedroom/bath. It is a place I love to be. Creating a love for home can be done by creating a special space in the home, garden or yard; taking long walks in the neighborhood and enjoying the beauty of nature; having regular visits with a neighbor who also likes to visit; spending time playing with pets or children; practicing yoga during your children’s “quiet time” or nap time; develop a hobby or learn something new.
Being a homemaker might mean living on a very limited income, but we can still pamper ourselves. One thing I love is dark chocolate covered dried pomegranate fruit found at my local grocery store. It tastes like it came from a gourmet shop. I hide a bag of these in a drawer for when I need a special treat just for me. I also like to try DIY spa treatments like the ones found in Take Time Out:
· Steam Clean. Fill a large ceramic or glass bowl with boiling water and drop in one herbal tea bag for each cup of water. (Try chamomile, lavender, peppermint, or lemon tea bags). Cover your head with a towel and hold your face eight to ten inches above the steaming liquid for three to five minutes.
· Rub on an exfoliater. Add drops of olive oil, one at a time, to a packet of sugar to make a spreadable paste. Or mix a packet of instant oatmeal with enough water to make a paste. Rub onto your face and rinse.
· Soften your hands. For the softest hands, slather on rich hand cream and wear cotton gloves overnight to seal in moisture.
· Keep your feet happy. To slough dry skin off feet, mix together two tablespoons of each of the following: Epsom salts, table salt, baking soda, and warm water. Rub this mixture vigorously over any rough areas. This rinse.
· Scent your own lotion. Shop at a discount store for a bottle of unscented body lotion. At home, add a few drops or sprays of your favorite cologne and shake well. Continue to add cologne, a little at a time, until the lotion is lightly scented.
· Recycle potpourri. When you’re ready to change potpourri scents, place the old potpourri in an airtight bag or container. Store the container in a cool, dark place until the following year. If the scent has diminished add a few drops of scented oil and mix gently.
Finally, homemakers need to include spirituality in each day. Favorite ideas from Take Time Out include: writing favorite verses on blank business-size cards. Then place them around the house near places where you often stand--on the bathroom mirror, next to the telephone, or on the refrigerator. Or write verses on colorful slips of paper, fold the slips in half, and place them in a pretty bowl in the hallway. Each time you pass the bowl, stop and pull out a verse to read. These are quick and simple ways to keep a spiritual focus to each day. My favorite idea was to create a Victory Journal by writing down specific prayers. Whenever a prayer is answered, write the result down below it.
To be a Happy Homemaker, it is important to consistently take the time to delegate housework and eliminate time-wasters. Overcome the feeling of being stifled at home by creating a special haven in your home, outdoor space or neighborhood. Each week block out “Me Time” and enjoy the simple pleasures of pampering oneself. Most importantly, boost your self-esteem by keeping a spiritual focus each day.