DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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30 April 2009

Position description: Homemaker. Remuneration: Nil.


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No one would apply for our jobs. We work long hours, have no days off, we have to balance our budgets no matter what the circumstances, we are responsible for the mental and physical health of any number of children as we raise them to take on that responsibility for themselves. We act as role model, advisor, counsellor, guide and friend, we drive them to school, the library and the doctor, we explain boundaries. We support and encourage our partners, or if we're single parents, we take on a dual role. Whether we are single or attached, our job requires that we cook nutritious food that meet guidelines for good health, we clean toilets and faces and everything in between, we sew, mend and repair, we teach and nurture, administer discipline and model kindness and generosity, we are optimistic and brave, we are stewards of our homes, land and assets, guardian of our morals and privacy, and protector of the small and weak.

Position description: Homemaker. Remuneration: Nil.

And yet who would give up this most essential of jobs? There was a time when the job of homemaker, if it was thought about at all, was seen as insignificant and dreary. But as times change and the recession deepens, perceptions change. The homemakers of today are taking care of business. They are developing strategies to get their families through these hard times, they are showing, by example, that hard work, planning and optimism bring their own rewards.

Our jobs as homemakers are more important now than they were before because now we have the extra responsibility of guiding our family through these tough times. You may be in a family with one income, or none. Maybe there are two incomes but the hours have been cut back. Whatever the circumstances, even if there have been no changes yet, you have no way of knowing if you'll ride the recession through without losing some hours or a job, so prudence and planning are needed.

If you've never seen your role as a homemaker as a job before, now is the time to change. It is your job now to modify how you shop and cook so you can save as much money as possible. Whatever your household budget is, it is your job to not just get through the week on that money, but to cut corners and try to save some of that money. Having a little nest egg when the economy is like this is can be quite a comfort if there is a need for new shoes or clothes. It's a great time to teach yourself to sew, mend and knit. There are many blogs and videos on You Tube that will show you how. It is your job to explain what is happening to your children so they too can make a contribution to your family. They might have to do without for the time being, or at least cut back on what they are given or expect. It's a tough time for them as well as the rest of us but they will learn valuable lessons from hardship and you shouldn't try to shield them from this reality.

Many things change when the economy weakens and some of those things are difficult to deal with but it can also be a time of great personal growth. Your family is relying on you to get them through this. Not only will you have to keep food on the table, you'll also have to find entertainment that doesn't cost much, or anything. Now is the time to rediscover your library, garden, local museums and parks. Instead of waiting for life to throw things at you, develop a plan for your family so you're actively working together, learning new skills. If your children are old enough, ask them to help with the extra work you have to do and explain why that work is there - that cooking from scratch is cheaper and healthier, that a vegetable garden contributes fresh food to the family for a small cost, that now, more than ever, your home needs to be kept clean and in good repair. Work actively with your partner too. Set out a new budget, look at your spending together, plan what family outings, grocery shopping and home maintenance you'll do in the next month. If you live alone it's important that you do these things too. Your budget will have to stretch further and give value for every penny you spend.


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When you take life by the collar and give it a good shake you tend to be more organised and ready for what's in store for you. Don't sit back, scared, waiting for what might come. Make a plan, write up a budget, keep your family close, explain what is happening, learn whatever you need to know to help you save money. These are not bad times, they are just different. We can make them as meaningful as our grandparents made the great depression. That certainly was a time of great hardship, but it also taught people to be self reliant, hard working, innovative and thrifty. And when things got better, those wonderful qualities stayed with them to help build their lives into what they wanted them to be.

As the homemaker in your family, it is your role now to gain the skills you need to save money and keep your family going. Your job is as important as your partner's job to earn money. Your partner earns the money, you stretch every dollar until it screams. Waste is a thing of the past. You make sure you get value for every cent you spend and then use what you buy in the most efficient and economical way. Every period in our history had lessons to teach us. The lessons you learn from this economic crisis have the potential to make your family into a strong, self-reliant unit. And when you come out the other end of this, the sky is the limit.

* From allposters.com

32 comments:

  1. Rhonda, again beautiful words of inpsiration, encouragement and challenge. Over the years we have tried to maintain a one income family so I could stay home as we wanted to homeschool our two daughters. So, many of the these things I am trying to actually pick up on again. The last few years I have become a bit slack in stocking up, etc. It is a good time to be taking care of our homes and making them all we can so that our families have that place of refuge and peace, a place where we can enjoy each other and just "being home". Thank you for your thoughtful words, Janice

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  2. I agree that working together as a family is one of the best ways to get through these tough times. My children all contribute to the running of our household, the older ones even work part time on the next door dairy farm and buy all their own clothes, my 16 year old is paying for his open uni of from us, what a blessing! They do not ask for designer clothes or expensive gadgets and are happy to wear clothes we buy at garage sales .. always top quality, hardly worn, sometimes designer label! I save hundreds of dollars by going to garage sales.

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  3. Thank you Rhonda, you have a true gift of words. Yes your right ours is a very special job that no union in the world would accept as is. We lived through the "recession we had to have." When we were first married and it help pull as together and made us stronger. This time we are in a some much better place but all the skills I learn t then will be used to get us through again.Thanks again for your wise words.

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  4. What a WONDERFUL POST!!!A quote from Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies comes to mind...."May God pour out His blessings of love, joy and peace upon your family and your home. Marriage and the home were the first institution that God instigated and they are the most important in the nation. Never forget their importance in the sight of God. Don't let the pressures of life pull you away from your home and family. Make them your first priority. Strengthen your marriage. Strengthen your family. As you do, you will be part of strengthening your nation and making it great."

    Now more than ever we need strong families pulling together!

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  5. What a wonderful post Rhonda. Every day when I sit down to read your blog while eating my breakfast I am truly uplifted by your wise words. You encourage me more than you will ever know.
    Thankyou for making me realise that my job is so important.
    My husband said to me the other day that there was no way he could do my job!! I love being a homemaker!
    Take care & God bless Rhonda
    Melissa

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  6. Good morning Rhonda,

    It must be a real thrill for you to read the comments section of your blog each day. What a wonderful group of friends you have pulled together in this blog. If I'm ever feeling a bit down I shaw change my tune when I come to your blog. Such wisdom and good common sense from you and the commenters. Thanks to you all.

    Blessings Gail

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  7. I have just looked at the comments and some of the words from my comment appear to be missing, not sure how that happened. The missing sentence reads 'is paying for his open university degree releasing the burden from us'!
    It is so encouraging to read the comments and realize how many women are regaining a vision for the home and their most vital role.

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  8. Great post! I love it. Being a homemaker is the most important job in the world.

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  9. Hi Rhonda, thanks for this post. I've been thinking a bit about the changing role of the homemaker lately. It seems to me that women in the 1960s and 1970s made their gains at the expense of the status of the homemaker.Certainly, as I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, homemaking was not considered a worthy aspiration. What a lot of people fail to recognise is that successful homemaking takes as much intelligence, creativity, and leadership as any job I've held in the paid workforce. As the GFC starts to bite, perhaps the skills of the homemaker will once again be appreciated for how important they are.

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  10. You're singing to the choir and it sounds lovely. As a woman that has made a complete 180 from a six figure work all the time income to a stay at home mom/homemaker, fixer, gardener, composter, baker, budgeter and saver, there is no greater job than that of homemaker. Well spoken.

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  11. Inspiring and energising. Reading your posts helps to keep me focused and what my remember my priorities are at the moment.

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  12. What a wonderful, positive post! I love the idea that we can use these "different" times to learn new skills, strengthen our family, and rediscover what is truly important in our lives.
    Thanks for taking the time to write - I learn a lot from your blog and always find it uplifting.

    Ally from Adelaide

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  13. I just love how you write. You make me want to get out there and do what needs to be done, not dread it. Thank you so much for your encouraging words again!
    I'm coming home each day and doing what my body allows. Today I was tired and in some pain, but I went straight away and did a few things in my new craft room. Maybe fifteen to twenty minutes worth. I am satisfied with it. Eventually I will "hang out a shingle" that says I am open for business...I can do repairs on clothing, make gifts, tailor clothing for people who are not able to do it themselves. This will make me just a tad more self suffiecient. This is in the hopes that someday, sooner than later, I can stay home and heal myself properly and be at peace with my life. Thank you for helping me along the way! I really do appreciate it!

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  14. Rhonda
    I am amazed at what interesting posts you can come up with each day.
    We have been living frugally now for 5 years - it all began as we are on a one income family due to our choice to home school. We just weren't getting ahead so we budgeted, tracked & off we went. Now DH is on a 4 day week due to economy, we are in a good situation & the 20% is missed but not thrown us into panic mode.
    Living simply has become a way of life for us - and as our son said today as we arrived home - gee you can have fun by not spending very much money. He then worked out we spent about $25.00 for a day out including petrol & the cost of the apples we picked for 95c a kilo. He did mention how much more fun he could of had if there were no rules to abide by - ie throwing rotten apples. Teenagers!

    Love Leanne

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  15. Rhonda,

    This is off-topic for your post but I wanted you to know that I mailed my swap to my buddy today. I was a tad late but got it off to the post finally. Thanks so much for putting these together!

    Charlene in VA

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  16. If that isn't the truth.I also believe that in these times,we,who were fortunate enough to be taught the love of homemaking have a duty to help and encourage those who were mislead into thinking that this occupation was a thing of the past.Your kind words and referrals to so many resources help in guiding me to help others.

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  17. Rhonda, thanks for all of your encouragement. I adore your blog and the empowerment it brings me as a wife and mother. :)

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  18. Being a homemaker is something that's come to me later in life. Only since I met my husband have I found myself in the role.

    I have railed against the role in the past, especially when working very long hours in my business and then having to squeeze in the house and the garden, but thanks to your blog have come to accept it a lot more.

    Just by seeing the work to be done in terms of feathering the nest takes the sting out.

    Thanks Rhonda

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  19. I love to come here and read your blog each day, but tell me what is a 'Lynette ' mat as advertised in your first picture.

    regards
    Lynette

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  20. Rhonda, I read your writings every day now, and they are such a help and inspiration..
    I strive every day to live and manage my home with your suggestions. Im glad I was doing some of them before I found your site and even gladder to learn more...it makes my heart smile to know I am on the right track..........Suzanne

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  21. Patricia in DenverMay 01, 2009 1:34 am

    Some time ago through no fault of our own, we became a one income family and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. We changed the way we lived by cutting corners. However it was not until I ran accross your blog (via Cheaplikeme)that I felt suported in what I do. Your tips on simple living have helped so much and I find I actually enjoy living this way. We now lead a much more purposeful life and I feel more fulfilled than I ever have. You are my mentor and I in turn mentor others. I thank you from my heart.

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  22. Wonderful post! Being a good homemaker is a job. It may not earn a paycheck but it's just as good as money in hand. And it's a respectable job, too! Great post!

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  23. What a gift for encouragement you have! I very recently found your blog and just love coming here and finding out what words of wisdom you have for the day. One statement you made which has impressed me the most is "Learn something new each week or teach something to someone else each week." I've been doing just that and know that I and others that I teach will be the better for it. In the last 2 weeks I've sewn my first tote from an online tutorial and I taught my oldest daughter how to make bread. Thanks again, Rhonda. It's amazing that you can touch lives half way around the world here in the U.S.

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  24. This was a really excellent post! I was filling out some paperwork the other day, and joked with my husband that under occupation I should right "management trainee", as learning to manage my home & family has been, and continues to be great training for all of life!

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  25. I'm not yet a mother but I do have my own small family I care for - my fiance and myself! I work a full day at a paid job but in the mornings, evenings and weekends I am the homemaker. I know which job I find the most satisfying and worthwhile!

    Thank you for your writings Rhonda. I've been a silent reader for the last few weeks. Words typed quickly before rushing off to the office can't say how much you've inspired me and bought peace to my heart. Thank you.

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  26. Lovely post,Rhonda.
    If only people had realised that it never was being a homemaker that was the problem. It was a lack of understanding and respect for the traditional women's roles.
    So much has almost been lost- but it isn't to late to rediscover the homemaking arts.

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  27. As a stay at home mother with one small son, I have enjoyed and found encouragement from your writings. I have been reading your words for over a year, and find that you help me justify my role at home when the world is telling me I should be working, and what I am doing is insignificant.
    Todays message is so appropriate as my husband wage has been cut, and I am trying creatively to save money. I feel my role is even more important to help us through this patch, whether it is making our home a nest, saving for new shoes for my son, or being creative in the kitchen so that there is always something nice to eat.

    Thank you for giving me encouragement when I am feeling low

    Kx

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  28. Great post! Thank you for all the wonderful information & encouragement that you share!

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  29. How inspiring! I wish I could write more, but you've motivated me so much that I'm going to hurry and get some long-postponed project done!

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  30. Thanks for the inspiration after a difficult weekend. I love my job as homemaker! I am linking to this post :)

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