Friday, June 10, 2011
One of the fun things about Facebook is getting to see how all the people you knew "back in the day" turned out. Even better (sometimes!) is that they get to see how you turned out as well. Recently I reconnected with an old high school boyfriend (aww) who knew not only me as a student and as an individual, but his family and my family had known each other for years as well. When you talk about someone who really knows your roots, well, he'd be right there.
Anyway, he must have been looking through my photo albums on there because I got this little exchange in my message box.
So that's what I want to talk about today - homemaking.
When you think of the word "homemaker" you may get images of June Cleaver in pearls and an apron making dinner for her family. It's not a word that you hear a lot of women use to describe themselves. A lot more common these days is the SAHM, or stay at home mom. True, I'm a mom and I stay at home most days. I don't really consider that to be my "job title"though, if you will. I am more than a mom. I am a homemaker.
My job is to literally make this building in which we live, this house, into a home. You can stay in the most beautiful, professionally decorated hotel room with gourmet meals catered to your door by room service, and all your laundry and cleaning needs taken care of by hotel staff, but that's not your home. Likewise, you can live in a house with white walls, the bare minimum of furniture, and eat takeout every night, and that wouldn't really have the feel of home to it either.
Home is something that is hard to describe, is different to every person, and that we all know when we see it.
So, this is my job. As a homemaker I do the things that make not only me, but my family have a sense of home where ever we may live. Sure, I cook, I clean, I do laundry. Those are the basics. I also make grocery lists and plan meals. I feed my family good food so they do not need to go look for it elsewhere. I decorate and make it beautiful and comfortable so they'll be happy spending time here. I make things that are functional and also add to the beauty of my home to not only save money, but to make our home unique. Why would I want my house to be exactly like everyone else's who has ever stopped at a Target, Costco, or Kirkland Home?
(not that there's wrong with any of those places, I've shopped at all three. I'm talking about a certain "pretty but generic"-ness that I'm sure you've seen)
The way I see it, if my home is someplace that I don't want to be, or my family doesn't want to be, I'm not doing my job properly. Me being me, that's just not gonna fly. So I do what I do, and like anything else, I do the best job I can do. I'm sure that's how most people feel about their chosen careers, right? You want to be proud of what you do. No one wants to be the one called out by the boss for doing a ho-hum job! My personal version of making a home means that I myself make my home - not some housekeeper, not some landscaping service, not some certified organizer, not some fancy schmancy decorator, not some professional painter to come tackle the stripes in my bathroom. Me.
I take offense when people (including my own mother) tell me that I "don't work." Um, so if I cleaned someone else's house, and they gave me money, then it would be work? If I cooked meals from scratch for another person and they rewarded me with a check, then it would be work? If I sewed pajamas for another little boy and my wallet got fatter, then it would be work? If I watered, weeded, mowed, composted, and harvested a garden that was not in my backyard, then I would be worthy of the title "worker?"
Screw that. Just because I do these things for my family, in our home, doesn't make me just "one of those who cooks, cleans, and puts out!!!" as one of my blog friends, who is also a homemaker, had someone describe her recently. I am so much more.
I am a homemaker, and I am truly thankful for those who recognize what I do.
©2008 Sara Madrigal Fehling. All rights reserved.
Please do not take my photos without permission.
Contact me! firstname.lastname@example.org