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18 March 2013

The return of the homemaker

I want to sincerely thank everyone who has sent prayers and good wishes for my foot to heel. I tried all the natural remedies before I went to the doctor. Unfortunately, in this instance, they didn't work; I'd left it too long.  I'm going back to the doctor today and I think he'll start me on stronger antibiotics. The first two packs didn't work as expected. I haven't taken antibiotics for about 15 years so I don't really know what the common ones are now. Anyhow, I'll go back and talk to the doctor and hopefully I'll be on the mend soon. 

Thank you for your patience. I'll be posting old blogs again this week. This one is from 19 March 2009.

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 Convenience has been replaced by authenticity.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.


  1. Here's hoping that your foot soon mends. Please remember to keep your normal gut flora replenished with yogurt or a probiotic supplement taken 1 hour after taking EACH dose of antibiotic.

  2. I loved this post and am always encouraging women to go back home and be homemakers. Home is a place of protection for women and children. It should be a place of peace and harmony.

  3. Fantastic post - I'm new to your blog so it's great to see these oldies re-emerge. I take immense pride in the work I d around the home. I work full time but my real goal is to keep my family healthy with the food I can provide from the garden and cook.

    Home the doctor has some good solutions for your foot. Sending prayers your way.

  4. I love my life as a homemaker. Every day is challenging and interesting, and I feel at peace with my decision to live this way. It's a wonderful life when you believe in what you are doing and are willing to work hard and make the sacrifices necessary for it to be good.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear that your heel is not on the mend, I'm sending warm wishes and healing thoughts to you from Canada, take care,

  6. Bless your heart dear Rhonda. I pray that this infection will be healed up soon. When taking antibiotics, make sure to eat plenty of yogurt, which you probably already know.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  7. I hope the leg is on the way to being much better by now. Extra vitamin C always helps with healing.

  8. Good morning Rhonda...wishing you all the best in the healing of your feet!

    I recently ordered your book which came last week....I'm so looking forward to getting in to it...My Hubby hopes to retire next year and it will be both of us now caring and getting into our home! You really are an inspiration xo

  9. I will pray that you heal quickly now and be back to normal soon.

  10. Well darn it all, Rhonda! Hope third time is lucky.


  11. Oh gosh - I do hope the doctor can sort out your foot - sometimes it does take a good anti-biotic to get to the root of the infection. Make sure you eat your yoghurt though ;)

  12. I still try to reconcile the image of the perfect 50's homemaker, with me the modern homemaker. The amalgamation is still a work in progress! There are days I want to be thoroughly modern in my approach, methods and dress and days where I'm the modern woman. Being a real person, I alternate in how I feel each day, and how I want to be. So although I'm a loving homemaker each and every day, there are different sides to that. Which is what makes being a homemaker fun!

  13. Rhonda, I hope the antibiotics work on that infection. Sometimes it's a bit of trial and error with them unfortunately. It must be so annoying to have to sit with your leg up for much of the day but hopefully you will be back to normal ASAP. I am enjoying reading the older posts as they are always interesting.

  14. My son was put on the wrong antibiotics for his infection, which is a little different than yours but he ended up needing surgical incision to fix his issue. The doctors at the hospital said there are different antibiotics that work well on different parts of the body. So antibiotics for a sore throat wont fix an infection on the skin. Then also different areas of skin need different types of antibiotics because the type of bugs that live on our skin, differ depending on the site. So the wrong ones were the amoxocyllin type. He is now on an augementin duo forte. I know that my sons and your case is different as he is a diabetic and can be slow to heal and his infection was on his tail bone. He is a week out of surgery now and the nurses come every day to change his dressing but the right type of antibiotic initially could have really helped. All the best in your healing and I hope your doctor has given you the right type

  15. Dear Rhonda,
    I was tempted to say something, so forgive me now if you already know this.... but if you are having trouble with swelling, please make sure you are getting your leg actually above the level of your heart. Literally. It helps to "switch out" the fluid & since the heart is the pump, you have to make a "downhill" to the heart in order to drain the fluid, especially with swelling because that fluid is not in the veins, but in the tissue itself. I like to think of it as "refreshing the fluid" because once your legs are hanging down again, the swelling may return, BUT it will be with different fluid, fresher. Like emptying a cup of water that has been sitting and filling it with fresh, more oxygenated water/fluid. So, it can help the healing process. Just an idea, and hoping the new antibiotics help.

    All the best, L.

    1. On the same thought, you can do a simple lymph massage by rubbing the arms and legs toward the heart 10 times each every 2 hours. Getting the lymph system working helps to clear the body of any toxins or infections. Also, ibuprophen taken for pain completely shuts down the immune system and the body's ability to heal. Lavender essential oil is always a go to for infection in our house and it smells so good too. I hope the doctor is a help today and that you will soon be back to your normal activities.

  16. Hi Rhonda,
    I love your blog and have followed your journey now for some time! You may want to get some "Inner Health Plus" tablets from your chemist as well as yoghurt. I do hope your foot heals very quickly! Fingers crossed for you!
    My husband is on disability pension and I am on the wife's pension. There are times when I feel I almost have to apologise for not working! But I work very hard at home and everyone loves my jams and sauces and preserves. They also love my handknitted clothes that I am becoming so much better at now! I have even sold some jams to friends! My family love how quickly I have picked up the skill of knitting and admire the clothes I am making for myself and my husband.
    Anyhow, I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for being an inspiration to me!!!! Thank you for inspiring me to keep on preserving, making my jams and sauces, and continuing to hone my knitting and crochet skills! I love the life I am trying to live now!
    I will send some healing prayer your way for your foot. Take care!

  17. The economic crisis not really having reached Norway yet, the female homemaker is still ridiculed in this country. Money means everything, the more you have of it the better (that is the false ideal) economic status means all - nomatter how deep you have to get in debt to show it. Those of us who are trying and working toward a more selfcontained life, based on authenticity often feel more than a little ridiculed. A woman l know said: " l don't care what l work with - it's all about the money". The most frustrating thing l find is the preassure between children and young people to always have the newest version of every technological gadget be it iphone, mobile phone, ipad, ipod etc. Convincing my children that you don't chuck your mobile phone because there has come a newer version is a full time job (and a very important one l might add) Pam

  18. Love this post! Take care, Rhonda, hope the antibiotics will properly work.

  19. Hi Rhonda
    As a GP I must urge you to follow doctor's orders! Actually, there is no such thing anymore, we are all in a partnership with our patients where we provide information and recommendations and the patient decides what to do. But, usually the recommendations are based on training, experience, evidence and a gut feeling. Compromise is tempting but can be a trap. Doctor's often agree to compromise depending on how much "pressure" the patient is able to exert (some are very persuasive!). If in doubt, get a second opinion but don't muck about with something potentially limb-threatening. If hospital is where your doctor wants you....
    Hope you're better soon.

  20. Nice post! Makes me smile to put my apron on, but I must confess - I don't like to put "HOMEMAKER" on forms that ask my occupation. (I blame the 1970's.) I usually put "Doer Of Good Deeds."

    Be Healed! You can't take care of the ones you love if you don't take care of you.

  21. A very sad testimony to how life is in the USA is that Saturday morning the young teen who was bagging my groceries asked where my bread was. I told him that I bake all of our bread. He was incredibly surprised. He said he had never heard of such a thing and did not know that you could bake bread at home. How sad.

  22. Glad you are on the mend Rhonda, and there is a reason that people go to medical school. Sometimes one does need a doctor and home cures do not solve everything. Please don't listen too much at other people's experiences with doctors, etc. One reads every day about how some doctor, nurse, or hospital messes up; but most are competent practitioners. Hope you feel better soon.

  23. Hoping you are resting and letting yourself heal!!

    Thanks for this post- I have the Donna Reed fantasy for sure! look forward to the day we can pay off our debt & I can be home full-time, providing for my family.


  24. Dear Rhonda; I hope your doctor finds the right meds to battle the infection. When the infection is under control you should try something called dry brushing. My doc recommended it for swollen ankles. What it involves is taking a small,relatively soft brush and using it dry you make small strokes from your feet upward toward your core. I use a vegetable brush. I do this on my legs and arms, brushing upward toward my heart, 5 minutes per limb. It makes the inflammation and the swelling go down because it helps aid the return of fluids toward the heart where they get pumped out as they should. Take care of you

    Jlynn USA

  25. This is such a wonderful read! Thank you so much for sharing this! Homemaking is such a wonderful way to go, and for me it's the only one I'd ever want!
    I'm sorry that your foot is still bothering you so. I pray it clears up soon so that you don't have to endure too much more!

  26. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    I am reading your blog backwards and I am finding it so interesting that there are so many things about living in the USA that are the same as living in Australia. I don't know why I never thought that we could be going through the same economic things, as well as wanting to be "homemakers".


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