Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Homemaking: A Lost Art?

Since I wrote my ironing post, I've been thinking about being a stay at home mom. It seems like almost everything I read on other Mommy blogs is how women juggle working outside of the home and taking care of their families. It's almost like it's expected that a woman will continue working after she has kids. Take me for example: I worked from home for a few months after Sadie was born. I hated it. I was exhausted and I felt like I wasn't succeeding at working or being a Mom. I quit. It was a wonderful feeling. I have found something to be interesting though; whenever I meet someone, I get asked what I "do." I tell them I'm a homemaker and almost always the next question is, "Do you work?"

Wow. To me this is sad. Of course I work. The work I do is more physical, dirty, tiring, and demanding than, dare I say it, most "real jobs." I got to thinking about this though. Depending on the world's view of what being a homemaker is, I see where the problem lies. I have heard many women declare that they don't iron. I have heard women say that they don't cook. I have been in very messy homes. I have heard women talk about letting their children watch cartoons so they can have some time to themselves. I have seen the malls packed with women and their kids during the weekdays and then watched as they go through the drive-through on the way home to grab dinner.

Okay, so now that I have offended myself and most of my friends, I just want you to know that I don't think any of these things are bad. It's just that with all of them combined on a daily basis, I do see a problem. I have had several conversations with my Grandparents about how women took more pride in how their homes were run back in the day. When the man came home, the house was tidy, the laundry and ironing was done, the kids were happy, dinner was on the table and the wife was all dolled up and anxious to welcome her husband home.

The point of my post is not to say that I think women should run their homes the way it was done in the 50's. I don't think we need to go to those extremes. But my question is, what's wrong with taking pride in these things? What's wrong with taking care of your husband? Why is it "cool" nowadays to have so many activities going on during the day that you don't have time to clean the toilet and set the table for dinner? I think it would be nice to incorporate a few of the old fashioned ways of thinking when it comes to housework and taking care of the kids.

So what do you think? Is homemaking a lost art?

Disclaimer: I am in no way claiming that I am the perfect housewife. As I am writing this, there are dishes in the sink, Sadie's toys are all over the floor and my front bathroom stinks. Oh, and I don't make dinner every single night.


Sara said...

I do agree. It's a lost art -- or job, as it were. Even if it's not as physically taxing, etc., the consequences of it as a job are greater. As a mother, you're in charge of a life -- of a little growing personality. You're going to be one of the people Heavenly Father turns to if your little child grows into an irresponsible adult. He'll ask you why you didn't take more time to teach her the right way.

Then again, if she is brilliant and righteous and loving, He'll smile at you and say, "Job well done." And that kind of thing doesn't happen by working full-time if you don't really have to.

Now, if I can only learn how to sew and can fruit and cook meat, I'll be in business.

Anonymous said...

Next time someone asks if you work, say "Yes, I sure do. My job title is wife & mother, and here are my responsibilities..." then start listing 'em. That should give them something to think about.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Completely. I think we're living beyond our means, and that now most families need two incomes in the household. And I think there is a direct correlation between overworked parents, the divorce rate, childhood obesity, and increased debt.

And I totally want that dress the lady in the picture is wearing. But not her hair.

Anonymous said...

It's funny; I have a job in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, but I never think of myself as a 'work at home mom' or WAHM (which just looks WEIRD).

A couple months ago I caught a BYU devotional and the General Authority speaking DID say that women should try to perk up and clean up before hubby gets home. He also gave an example of a man who gave his wife compliments on her talents and accomplishments; she told him, "I know what you're doing and I want you to stop. I just want you to tell me I'm beautiful."

I did have to check the calendar to see if it was 1956.

Me? I have four loads of laundry to fold, LOL.

Jacki said...

GULP... Guilty as charged!!! I love doing "out of the house" activities with kids. Well I am not a mom, but I can say that the other day I made a whole schedule of what I would do if I was a stay-at-home mom.

Mon: Children's Museum
Tue: Little Gym
Wed: Barnes and Noble Reading Time
Thur: The High Museum Toddler Art Time
Fri: Mommy and Me Ballet (if a girl)

I guess when my baby goes down for a nap, that is when I would start "homemaking"... well, that is if I didn't need a nap too. :-)!!!

Anonymous said...

Jacki, I think it's good to plan activities. I try to take Sadie out of the house at least once a day. I think it's good for both of us to get out and do something. I want my kids to be cultured! Also, I would go crazy if I stayed home all day every day. I have found that you can go out during the day and get things done around the house. I'm trying to work out some kind of balance. I think that's the trick.

Jacki said...

Good point!!! I can tell that you do so many fun things with Sadie. I hope that we live close to one another when your round two and my round one come. We'd have tons of fun!