DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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19 March 2009

The return of the homemaker



We've all wanted her to return. That icon of the fifties, the housewife in the Audrey Hepburn dress and frilly apron who had perfect lipstick and a hot meal waiting for her man. Well, it looks like she's back, but she's changed a lot. Now our homemaker is dressed in jeans and a T shirt, a long linen skirt, or pretty dress. The apron is still there, it might even be "vintage", purchased on eBay for a price we would have laughed at back then, but apart from the apron and the kids, our modern homemaker is nothing like her 1950s counterpart. In the 1950s, housewives were looking for convenience and Laminex, and were embracing plastic. Now we are getting back to basics, going green and reskilling ourselves. Convenience has been replaced by authenticity.

Today's homemaker lives with increasing prices in an international economic crisis. She lives in a world of sharp contrasts - on the one hand she has the internet to connect with others, learn her craft and reskill herself, but that same technology also brings danger into her home in the form of scammers, paedophiles and conmen. She lives with the convenience of mobile phones, but also their cost and proliferation into the lives of our young children. She lives in a world of man-made antibiotics, chemicals and preservatives that are added to our foods and drinks, but some of those antibiotics and chemicals have reduced common illnesses and virtually eliminated some diseases. She also lives in a world that gives little respect to the role of the homemaker, while courting her to spend her money in this store or that.

Nowadays, women are returning to their homes for a number of reasons. They may have decided to raise their family and not return to work, they may have lost their job and realised they can add to their family's health and well being by working in a more frugal home. There are also all those women who I include in this huge shift in thinking - working women who must go out to work but who know the true value of the home and dive into it head first in the evenings and on the weekends. Altogther, we are the women who will change the face of homemaking in the coming years.

I am proud of the work I do in my community, I am equally proud of the work I do here at home. Working side by side with Hanno, we have created a life that enriches us and allows us to live with independence and freedom. We are independent in that we know how to look after ourselves, to grow food and make a comfortable home, and we are free in that we owe no debt. And there are many people who look at us and say how much they admire what we do and wish to do the same, but if truth be told, we are just enacting the role of the homemaker where we make do, repair, cook, bake and clean, using what some might see as old-fashioned techniques, but within a modern context.

Big deal, we are doing what our grandmas used to do. There is nothing new in this. But maybe the pride in doing it is new. I want to encourage all of you, whether you are just starting on this path or have been on it longer than I have, to take pride in your work and to support other women who are homemakers. The work we do in our homes is significant and vital, not only for our selves and our families but for the nation.

I hope you all know how important you are in your own homes. Take back your power to look after yourself and your home. Use the power of your hard earned dollars to support your family and the local businesses you believe give you the best value for money. Complain when you don't get good service and prices and tell that store manager you will take your business elsewhere. They might pretend to ignore you, but a business who doesn't take their customers seriously doesn't last too long. If things don't change, shop somewhere else, then tell your friends. The power of the dollar is an incredible force and we homemakers do most of the buying for our homes, let's use the power we have. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we get value for our money. We need to help our families through this crisis by cutting back as much as we can. We have to learn new skills to do that and we have to learn how to shop for food in innovative ways that stretch our dollars. You are your family's role model right now, it is up to you to show your family that personal growth is possible at such a time and the days of buying whatever you want are behind you. Thrift is back.

Let us welcome the happy homemaker. The move is on to make our homes a haven from the stresses of the world, take control of your life, change how you look at housework and look to the future with knowledge that whatever effort and energy you put into your home will be returned to you, plus some. Sure, nothing is good all the time, you will have bad days, I know I do, but the good days should far out number the bad.

As modern homemakers we have the power of our shopping dollars, we have the power of our technology, and we can choose to see the work of our homes are challenging, satisfying and enriching. You can make your home a place of contentment and comfort. You can change the way you think of housework and see it as an investment in your family's well being. You will be very influential in seeing your entire family through this economic crisis. What you learn now and what you already know could very well mean make or break for your family.

There is a significant job of work to be done here in our homes. We need to plan what we're doing, learn the skills we need to get us through this and work for the good of our families. Let's put our aprons on and begin.

92 comments:

  1. I just got goosebumps! Thank you for this post. For reminding me that I am not the only one who wants to make a positive change for my family and our home. And thank you for the courage to keep moving forward!

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  2. Amazing, isn't it, how life comes full circle. I just shed more than a few tears as I read my daughter's blog (http://greetingsfromthehannafamily.blogspot.com/) where she remembers how I used to say to those who offered to "pay" me to sew something, that I "only sewed for love". Now, she is the mother and the homemaker and sewing for her family. Thanks for the sweet post!

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  3. I felt such a surge of confidence when I read your post, Rhonda. Knowing that there are other women who find joy and satisfaction in this most important role gives me strength, and the ability to stand tall in what I'm doing even when others may look down upon it. How noble this work is; this work of creating a loving and well organized home. It's the foundation of a healthy society and what a privilege it is to be a part of keeping it strong.

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  4. Great post Rhonda.
    Hear, hear!

    Cate in NZ

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  5. Ooh I felt like cheering when I got to the end of that!lovely post Rhonda
    GTM x

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  6. great post - actually it kind of goes with my post from a day or two ago.. I have struggled with being a mother and hearth keeper ever since I had my first baby at the very young age of 17.. I have not worked outside the home since then. I was THE vintage housekeeper even at that young age.. playing house just like my grandma did. I missed out on going to university because of the baby etc.. and struggled with the comments for years..back then many people thought that to succeed in life a woman had to have a career outside the home... but now it seems I am 'in'.. I have arrived. ha! at 51 I am trendy..

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  7. Thanks for the encouragement. I know that what I'm doing is important but, sometimes, I wonder if anyone else thinks so.

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  8. Goosebumps for me too! A Wonderful post.. I love coming by your post. You make me feel good about myself and what I do... thankyou!

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  9. Great post ! I complitely agree :)

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  10. Oh, well said, Rhonda!

    Susan in NY

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  11. I've just left work to become a homemaker and am struggling with the beginnings of it in this day and age. I loved the positively wonderful way you expressed what I hope to be doing successfully in the months and years to come. Thank you for such a wonderfully uplifting post!

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  12. Wow- all of the sudden I feel like a superhero!

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  13. Rhonda,

    I became a homemaker at 23 years old. When I got married I decided to work for another 2 years. Then we bought our first home and I quit my job to become a mother.

    At first our family members didn't understand... many people work while they raised a family...I just didn't want to do that.

    My parents divoreced when I was 7 years old and we lived with my grandmother. My mom remarried when I was 14 and we then again had a home of our own. My mom "had" to work while I was young and I really wish she would have been able to stay home with us... I understand now how hard it was for her.

    I now see that you can be a homemaker at any age and I feel "very" blessed to be able to raise our girls and show them how to be a homemaker too!

    If you ask my girls what they want be become when they grow older they will say a wife or a mom not a career job....I sometimes worry if I am raising them correctly....I hope so because I feel the best job in the world is being a Homemaker!!

    ~Renee

    gardendesk.com

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  14. Just seeing that awesome photo of Koda did it for me. You are an Goddess! Thanks for the lift!

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  15. over the years i'd forgotten what it felt like to be home, to thoughtfully keep house and raise my children. i would work all of the hours i could not to become "just" a mother or "just" a housekeeper. if it weren't sad, it would be laughable. how much more fulfilling it is to sit down at the end of the day and read to my kids or play a game with them, or to even do the dishes with them and know that we are a family and that there is something so much more important than the size of my paycheck

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  16. Rhonda,
    I've been a faithful follower of your blog for some time now, and let me just tell you how much I admire you! You said it all today - isn't it wonderful to be a woman in this day and age? We can all make changes in our lives to be examples to those around us and show them how "simple" it truly can be. Thank you, thank you, for setting that example.
    Barb, Idaho

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  17. All I ever wanted was to be a Mum,Wife and homemaker.
    And that is what I do.
    Much to the snide comments of others and most certainly at the loss of some things .
    But my gains are great,Simple pleasures and great gain.
    I dread the day I may have to again work outside of the home.

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  18. Rhonda Have you noticed that gum boots are also trendy? The return of the gardener! I have a gorgeous blue and white pair, wish I had the apron to match!

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  19. Rhonda this is a beautiful and inspiring post. The words 'Convenience has been replaced by authenticity' particularly spoke to me and I think you are right in later saying it is the pride that is new.
    Thanks for reminding me, after what ended up as a bad day, that the good ones far out number it.

    Enjoy your weekend.

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  20. Rhonda Jean

    You write beautifully... really!
    Your post today was wonderful and so true. Thanks for your empowering words. My home is my castle however humble.

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  21. Oh my goodness Rhonda. This is a wonderful post. It's also just what I needed to read this morning as I am feeling a bit angsty about my new role.

    I'll go back to this whenever I feel insecure or doubtful about the path I'm taking at the moment.

    In the very short while since I returned to being home-based, me and my family are so much happier. Things are calm, and organised and my loved ones feel nurtured. The difference has been dramatic.

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  22. Thanks Rhonda so much for the encouragement :) I am one of the younger *newer* breed of homemakers and I've had to learn and really skill up in all areas; from how to work a washing machine (shocking i know) to how to cook meals, organise a pantry, clean effectivley and live in a way that embraces beauty into my humble home.
    Being a daughter of God, a wife to my best mate, a mum to our children, homeschooler and homemaker bring me the most satisfaction and peace in my life. I have gained much encouragement from your blog recently and thankyou for it from the bottom of my heart!
    Bless you,
    Lusi x

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  23. Thank you so much for this post. I so agree with everything you said, and yet I struggle all the time with feeling I should get a job, bring in some more money, etc. I would like to be content with homemaking, because it is truly the most important job there is. Fortunately, my husband agrees and yet I'm still so hard on myself.

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  24. I really loved reading your post today Rhonda.
    Thankyou :)

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  25. Thank you! As a young feminist I sometimes struggle with this, but I had a thought the other day. Sometimes I think that my grandmother is more of a feminist than me. She may not have ever burnt a bra, but she can cook, clean, sew, knit, garden, and the list goes on and on and on. Which makes her way more independent and capable than most women I know.

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  26. I never believed that one period in history was better then anther everyday in our life has it ups and down.
    Bit I rather look at life as an adventure of growth.

    I am a baby boomer and I can recall my mom were a dress. But for her day for was quite liberated and ran a berry business.
    I knew woman of my mom day was complete depended on a man and could get out of terrible relationship. But not being blind to fact it still happen today.

    I work part time and I still find time to be suzy homemaker.
    I feel in lot of way I made great strides in domestic engineering then form 1945 and to present day.

    Coffee is on.

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  27. Thank you for this encouraging post Rhonda and as an 'older woman' I would like to encourage esp younger women to keep at making their homes the warm joyful place it should be and don't let anyone else tell you differently. To be able to nurture our family is one of the best gifts God has given us. And to do it wisely with our time and money.
    I was fortunate to be a 'stay at home Mom' even if we had to scrimp and save. It is worth it!

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  28. thank you so much!
    we are a single income family struggling at times to make ends meet. i've given up the idea of buying/owning my own home in order to be at home for the children. this was not an easy sacrifice in this day and age where material possessions seem to hold more importance than families. i love being at home, learning the art of preserving, jam making, baking and cooking. i love that my husband composts, gardens and we get food from our garden. i love that my children are growing up in an environment where they can't have instant gratification - they have to save for things they want - as do we. sometimes i feel like i'm the only one who's at home full time - and then i read posts like yours and realise there are others and it is all worthwhile.
    so once again, thank you
    l
    x

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  29. I have recently gone back to two part time jobs, and it shows.
    I miss all the little things I did, and I miss my alone time that allowed me to recharge my batteries so that I could do all I could to get my family through their days. I will go back to being a full time homemaker, and this time back in the workforce has shown me, and my family, how important a stay at home mum really is.

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  30. I have been doing this for years. And I'm proud of my home - and my children, who are now fully grown with children of their own.
    I also believe in the power of us women to support our nation.
    My mother and grandmother (and sisters) did not put up with shabby service or over-priced items. I learned by their good example.
    Thank you for this post. I hope you reach a lot of people.

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  31. You write so beautifully Rhonda. At times today I felt you were writing just about me!

    Thankyou for your encouraging and uplifting words, joining together a community of likeminded women who really need connecting. You are a treasure.

    Sending you warm thoughts from Adelaide.

    Cee

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  32. Wonderful and inspiring post! Thank you. I am a wife, mother, homeschooler and a helper to my husband with his business. On the days that we are blessed to be busy at his business, I need to be there to help out, and it adds chaos to my day at home, but with this economy, being busy is good. On the days that are slower and I am at home, I feel blessed to be able to be a worker at home. I enjoy being at home, but it takes time and thought to be able to enjoy the work that it takes to make a home. Thank you for a wonderfully inspirational post that so eloquently emphasizes that value of a homemaker.

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  33. "Big deal, we are doing what our grandmas used to do. There is nothing new in this. But maybe the pride in doing it is new. I want to encourage all of you, whether you are just starting on this path or have been on it longer than I have, to take pride in your work and to support other women who are homemakers. The work we do in our homes is significant and vital, not only for our selves and our families but for the nation."

    I absolutely love the whole post, but this especially resonated with me. Yep, this is all things we ought to know, things that should have been passed down like oral traditions of yesteryear. However, "they" have been telling my generation and the one before it that there is more to life than this. There is so much more that we ought to be doing besides baking and sweeping floors. But their strategy has begun to backfire on them. Woman today are becoming more and more disillusioned and dissatisfied with the world as we know it and want to get back to what made the world a better place way back when. I praise and thank my Father in Heaven that I was freed from it. I give Him all the glory and the praise and the honor and the day that I was laid off I left that plant singing "I bless Your Name" at the top of my lungs. My God is merciful and worthy to be praised! Thank you for this post. It is a work of art to me. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful home.

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  34. What an extraordinary piece of writing Rhonda! I can see so many others have said the same. I'm totally with you on the ideas expressed and delightfully awed by how brilliantly you wrote that.

    Yesterday I dug out my price book (started after reading your archives last year) and updated many prices. I will be using my purchasing power strongly as you suggest.

    Have a great weekend. Rose

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  35. And this is why I visit.Not only do I learn new"old "things from you,but,on that rare day that I happen to be a little down on myself you give me the talk that boost me right back up there Thank you.I do wear jeans and T shirts but lately I've been thinking of buying a skirt.Hmmm

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  36. Stephanie from TexasMarch 20, 2009 1:55 pm

    Rhonda Jean you have once again inspired me. I truly believe that one of your purposes in life was to teach and inspire us women to live a better life. Thank you for fullfilling this purpose and for instilling a strength in us women. We are better for having heard your voice.
    Stephanie from Texas

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  37. well said!

    Our family changed how we lived about 4 years ago now, we just were not getting ahead on one income. We made lots of little changes - they all add up.

    Dh goes out & earns the bacon - I stay home, care for the family, home school cook from scratch - pack DH lunches, garden, farm animals and run a breeding cattery, quilt for pleasure which also warms the home.

    Dh has been cut down to 4 day week - we are able to weather the 20% pay cut all because of the way we have been living. Yes it hurts - but also quite fun to keep finding ways to be frugal and live well on a budget. Having a budget is powerful!

    We enjoy a simple lifestyle spend on items that are important to our family & cut back where it isn't a priority

    Hope your son & future Dil are enjoying New Zealand.

    I enjoy reading your blog & look forward to when your book is published - I am sure it will be on my bedside table grin.

    Love Leanne

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  38. Thank you, I'm so motivated and inspired.

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  39. There's nothing better than home-baked bread and the sight of my new seedlings coming up... but I still think full-time home-makers need to consider carefully. A home-maker whose breadwinner becomes ill, dies or divorces her is in just as bad a position as she would have been in the 1950s. Secondly, I am always a bit worried by people who have 'only ever wanted to be a home-maker' (sorry Cupcakes!) because it often seems like they turn their back on the world to do it. Rhonda's way of life is not a scrap like this: she is involved with community work as well.

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  40. Well said Rhonda....down with the statement, "I am "just" a housewife"! Let's regain our pride and honour in doing this very important job and doing it with joy, setting a great example to our children, grandchildren and younger friends and neighbours.

    On a another note...my quest for less expensive knitting cotton for dishcloths etc....nothing on ebay, nothing in the op-shops of Fremantle.....popped into the local Red Cross shop "just in case" and there they were....6 x 50gm balls of multi-coloured 8PLY for$3....:) :) :)lol


    Thanks again,
    Sue Caissy

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  41. To "Chookie"
    i have desired in my life to be many things but a homemaker was paramount.
    I have worked outside the home.
    And most probely will again.
    I have been and still am more than active in the big world.
    I am far from distancing myself from the world.
    I just have more freedom to be involved in the Big wide world at different times Not just available to it after the hours of 9-5 mon to friday.(after work)
    I have three kids under 5 so this is the time in my life to fufill that so ever wanted desire to be a homemaker.
    And that is all I ever really wanted....For that I will not make excuse or the like.
    And this is the season for me to enjoy and embrace it.
    Thanks for the concern...
    I to think women need to be sufficient too.
    We cannot rely on always having a Breadwinner.
    But I was the breadwinner and then a time when I worked three jobs Hubby worked one.
    and I am well qualified to return to the workforce if I ever needed to
    But for now this is my "season"

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  42. Thank you so much for that. I am just looking at trying to stretch our dollars further and help me stay home for longer with the impending arrival at the end of the year. I find this blog fantastic.

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  43. I think it's great that women can choose to either excel as homemakers or as career women, or choose to be without children altogether. I also think the recent wave of House-husbands is wonderful. Many of my girlfriends work outside the home and their husbands tend the children and the house. I think the newly evolving equalities, options, and balances are wonderful.

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  44. "There are also all those women who I include in this huge shift in thinking - working women who must go out to work but who know the true value of the home and dive into it head first in the evenings and on the weekends."

    ME!
    I work outside but my heart is at home. I dream about going back home and to be free.
    I hope one day I will.
    For now I have evenings, hardly because I arrive home in the end of the day draging my feet, and saturdays to work hard. Sundays are more to fold clothes and sewing because in the Lord's Day and I don't want to work hard in these blessed days.

    Great post. So good.

    PS: Like the ones in the 50', I do like my plastics.

    Alfazema, a homemaker very proud of her mission.

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  45. I love reading your blog! It helps me take comfort in knowing I made the right decision in staying home with my girls. It also helps me appreciate myself in this world that so often does not appreciate stay at home mothers. And I get so many wonderful ideas!

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  46. Well said and bravo for it. I lost my job about 6 months ago from missing to many days for being sick. It's the best thing that ever happened to me. I haven't been sick one day since being home. I now work from home as a freelancer and have once again become the very happy homemaker. I am proud of the fact that I have found many ways to cut corners, save money and live more simply. I do wear an apron everyday even when working from the computer.

    I am proud to be a homemaker now and it's much better for my family. My husband is loving all the homecooked meals again instead of take out and microwavable.

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  47. What an amazing post, Rhonda! I especially liked when you said "convenience has been replaced by authenticity", and took it down to remember for later.
    ...but then I kept reading, and the entire post was equally astounding! You're a wonderful writer, and you find such wonderful things to write about.
    I am 23 years old, and just starting out on this path...it's great to have encouragement like this!!
    Thanks to you and everyone else who commented! :)
    -Melanie in Canada

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  48. I could not agree with you more. I dream of living your life and I'm making small changes, baby steps. I am divorced (ex actually passed away last year), raising my kids, always worked full-time. Due to some injuries I am able to stay home for a bit to recover and love it. such a difference at home when I'm here all the time. I'm looking for ways to cut back and mass produce in the garden so as to only go back part-time or find a business I can do at home. I love your thoughts and ideas. You are an angel, sent from above, to shout the words many are afraid to say. Our kids need us home as much as possible, our husbands need our love and support and we need to realize our worth and importance in the role of a homemaker, rather full-time or part-time. Thank you for taking a stand! May we all feel uplifted, invigorated and empowered by your words! Lorie

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  49. I loved the part about encouraging other women in their roles as homemaker. In this society, that goes a long way! Thanks, Rhonda!

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  50. Hallalujah for the homemakers of the world... there is a great deal of good we can do in the world. I almost went to work because of this economic crises but I have been hanging on tooth and nail to be home with my kids. Thanks for the encouragement. :0)

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  51. Excellent post, Rhonda. I have been a stay-at-home mother for 13 years now, but I have only recently begun to think of myself (with pride) as a homemaker. I was a "type A" personality back when I worked and went to graduate school, but I never really took my housekeeping tasks that seriously - they were always something to "get through" and I did them grudgingly and mediocrely.

    Thanks in part to your blog, I am viewing my household tasks in a new light - as my vital contribution to our household, just as deserving of my best effort as the other jobs I've held in my life. More deserving, actually. I have such a sense of purpose and pride in my work these days, and I am challenged and fulfilled. Thanks so much for encouraging your readers to think about their work at home in this way.

    Best,
    Kate

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  52. That was really inspirational. This posts a keeper :)

    Thank you

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  53. Rhonda your blog is the best!! NO one can top your blog you go girl. I have been a housewife now for 1yr. and 3 mos. and we have not missed out on one thing. we have been blessed with great meals, a clean organized home, time to plan, pantry fully stocked, time to spend with my 89 yr. mother and just drink my coffee in the morning and enjoying the birds singing what a joy.Debra Lynn

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  54. I just came across your blog and love it.
    Have a great weekend!

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  55. Just wanted to let you know I checked out that book from the library today!

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  56. treasia,
    when i worked my last job i woke up with a headache and went to bed with a headache. i had stomach aches, was dizzy all the time and in general i was down right mean and nasty to be around. the thing of it is, i never noticed all of it until i came home and it went away. i spent years looking for just exactly what was under my nose the entire time. i may never be june cleaver but then again, even june cleaver wasn't june cleaver :) i just know now that "home is where the heart is" is more than just a saying.

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  57. I can't tell you how encouraged I was to read this post. I blog daily to women, pleading with them to understand their importance in their homes and families, urging them to see that to abandon their life work is to abandon society, in a very real sense.

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! I'll be reading more.

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  58. Thank you so much for acknowledging those of us who are keepers of our home yet also work outside of the home. Seems like we're overlooked most times in blogs about homemaking!

    Great post!

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  59. Rhonda.. I have one question for you: Do you need a new best friend? 'cuz if you do, I can make myself available;)


    really, you are one nifty gal, hon.

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  60. Love this :)

    I'm new to your blog by way of Like Merchant Ships and I would just like to say that you are amazing and I am so glad to read your wise words!

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  61. I am a happy homemaker! Thank you for posting this wonderful blog and thank you for adding me to your list of top reads.

    I am so glad I have found your blog. :)

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  62. A beautiful post, but a little too gender identified for me- I fear seeing the return of the happy homemaker husband-helper as the specified role for women. I agree- it's best when one parent can stay home, and if it works that the parent is the mom, she's the lucky one. But if it works out that the housewife is the partner with the dangly bits, then more power to him, as well. And the one who stays home still needs to be able to take care of her/him self in case the unthinkable happens.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all support ourselves from home, both parents available to parent, and enjoy the delights of family?

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  63. How refreshing! I gave up work when I had my children and apart from a little part-time work have always felt it was the right and most enjoyable thing to do. Yet deep down, when they were younger I felt so guilty and inadequate about my choice. Now they are growing I see the rewards - physically and emotionally healthy kids, and to be honest they need me now more than ever. Thanks for the blog, I really enjoyed it.

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  64. Absolutely FABULOUS post. You really hit it home with the "the pride is new" comment.

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  65. Well, well! I believe that we have, in you, an eloquent spokesperson for the true "homemaker".
    I'm a grandmother now and have recently bought a small house (husband and I) and one of the main goals is to make it a place of comfort, fun and learning for our grandchildren. By making it a place where they feel at home, loved and even challenged, we intend to use these years to instill in them an understanding of our lifestyle, our Christian values and faith, and our dedication to nurturing our family.
    It's just another chapter in the book - a little bit of a change from the parenting years, but still the same goals and intentions on a different scale.
    Thanks for taking the time to do this wonderful essay. I will be passing it on.
    Nancy

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  66. I just want to say a hearty thank you for your blog. It's so validating to read about others who have the same values! Despite the tough economic times in the US, I still find that very few people are adopting the living frugally and do it yourself ways that I have, which can be a bit isolating. It's nice to read about others who embrace this way of life and share tips and ideas. Thank you!

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  67. What an amazing post, Rhonda! It inspired me so much; I've featured it at my blog - I hope you don't mind.

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  68. Great post and reminder. I love how you said to be proud about being a homemaker. I sometimes think my great grandma would think I was silly but then she would also say keep up the good work. Clarice

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  69. What an inspiring, encouraging post, Rhonda. Loved visiting you today.

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  70. I was directed to your blog via Homespun Living (for your recipe for wood furniture cleaner) and wanted to say thank you for this post! I love being a homemaker and am excited to see its value embraced and emphasized by more and more women, as we realize that home doesn't work without someone working it!

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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  71. Wonderful post. I was a homemaker when my kids were little. When the youngest was about 10 I went back into the working world. Last year I was laid off and am back being a homemaker. We are now expecting a baby. I am using skills from years ago and from my grandmothers to cut corners to live on one income again so I can stay home and raise this unexpected miracle. (our kids are 25, 21, 210, 18 and 16)

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  72. Thanks for such a wonderful post! It is so encouraging to know that there are others out there who share the same pride and spirit of accomplishment as homemakers.

    I consider myself blessed to be able to care for my family in a thoughtful, attentive way. It's marvelous seeing your children develop a keen sense of confidence as they learn the skills to be self sufficient, and particularly when you see them share those skills with others!

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  73. Thank you for such a marvelous post!

    I was blessed to be able to stay at home with my children when they were babies, but then had to return to work when my husband became ill. Once again we have found ourselves in a place where I will be able to return to being a full time homemaker. Friends and family have looked at me as though I've thoroughly lost my mind when I express happiness at this change in circumstance.

    It's great to know that there are others who share the same pride and spirit of accomplishment in being a homemaker.

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  74. I cannot get enough of these encouraging posts--thanks!!

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  75. I really enjoyed this post. A friend sent me the link to your blog and I look forward to reading more from you. I blog at www.nonprofitarian.com but so far it is mainly just to keep in touch with family and friends.

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  76. That was such a beautiful post. I too have chosen to stay at home to raise my children and better take care of my family. I feel I am engaged in the most important work I will do here on this earth. It is hard work and challenging but it also brings me great joy.

    Casey

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  77. I've been thinking of this very topic since I had my first daughter nearly 3 years ago. I often wish we had more money and think about going to work so we could afford some luxuries... but then I remember, staying home is my luxury. Thanks for pointing out all the wonderful things about homemakers!

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  78. I have never posted a comment on any blog before today. I am compelled to write and tell you that this post was so encouraging to me. My husband lost his job in January and I am a homemaker and mother of 3 young children. I have no college education and I grew up dirt poor but unbelievably happy. I know that the things I learned from my parents are a skill set that not everyone in my generation has (born in '79). But the best thing I have learned is to be content. I know we can face this challenging time with courage and dignity. And I know that we are being stretched and grown into a more resiliant family. But there are days when I feel alone in our thinking... no one around us that is like-minded. So, thank you for encouraging us. Thank you for telling us we are valuable and that what we are doing is important and that we will make a difference. I have my apron on with a teachable heart that is ready to learn some new skills!

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  79. I am a full time homemaker and proud of it! When people ask what I do I tell them, "take care of my family." Being a full time mom and wife has been the best job I‘ve ever had. I wouldn‘t trade it for anything! It is so wonderful to know there are other people out there who feel the same way. It is such an insult to be told I don’t work because I stay home. Homemakers do tons of work!!! But knowing my family is happy and well taken care of is much more rewarding than any paycheck I’ve ever received! I’m so happy to see there are others who feel the same way!

    Cindy @ Kightland

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  80. In some ways this post really moves me, because I definitely agree that the home is central to a happy and balanced life, and that the current crisis is an opportunity as well to relearn the joys of home and hearth.

    The one thing I have to take issue with is the assumption that "homemaking" is a woman's role. True, far more often women choose the full-time homemaker/parent role (or end up in it whether they really chose it or not) but when you're talking about people who work outside the home but recognize the home as the more important place and work at making it a better place--I see that as, ideally, an equal-opportunity kind of deal.

    Certainly if you're attempting any kind of homesteading or closer-to-the-earth living, it takes two (or more)to tango. My husband and I both work "outside" (he works more hours at his day job than I do, but I'm also a professional writer) and we also both work to make our home the cozy and welcoming place it is. That seems like a much better goal to promote than putting the job all on women--again. (Sure, if you want it, go for it. But this is 2008, and there's a lot to be said for teamwork, including a lot less frustration.)

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  81. Thanks for your generous heart, warm spirit and a genuine advice!

    ~vuejardin
    http://vuejardin.blogspot.com/

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  82. Wonderful blog! I just found your site and LOVE it. My journey to live the simple life began when my son was born 5 years ago and I quit my job to stay home. I began by making my own baby food to save money and got hooked on that feeling of of being able to "do it myself". Since that time I have learned to knit (and made many fun projects), started raising worms for composting, planted gardens, made soap, canned my own jam and am in the process of building a chicken coop so we can buy some baby chicks in a few weeks!
    I am always looking for something new to learn and am so glad to find someone who is a "kindred spirit". Thank you for your encouragement and willingness to share your experiences with those of us who are just starting out.

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  83. Amen Rhonda, I wish I could print out this post and paste it in every young girls school book. Like you I have never considered myself JUST a housewife or JUST a homemaker the work of a SAHM is just as(if not more)important as the work of her husband. Like the policeman, nurse, fireman, buisnessman who puts on their uniform in the morning and goes to work, I do the same. My uniform is my apron, which I don first thing of a morning and wear throught the day, even now writting this! I have endevoured to teach both my teenage daughters to hone their housekeeping skills,and wear their aprons as a symbol to the many homemekers who have gone before us.
    Blessings,
    Grace.

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  84. Well stated! I love being a wife and mommy that stays home on purpose! My life is good!

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  85. Your blog expresses a lot of my thoughts very well. I take pride in my ability to create a comfortable home and cook delicious meals with my small graduate school income. I joined an agricultural co-op and even prepared prickly pear juice which a friend will teach me how to make into jelly.

    Please remember that widows, single ladies and childless women may also be interested in homemaking. I am a childless widow and feel forgotten in these discussions.

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  86. I have just found your blog a couple of months after this post was written. So, maybe my question has already been answered. I am one who is married but has to work. I also have quite a bit of debt. I DESPERATELY yearn to be back at home as a housewife and homemaker. For a few different reasons, there is no current option but for me to work. Does anyone have ANY ideas on ways to be able to get back home quickly short of the obvious in paying off my debt? I am very welcome to any answers that you might have.

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  87. I have always took pride in what I did and still do - in my home cooking, canning,crafting and gardening.

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