DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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16 July 2013

Homemaking, the radical choice

There is something quite magnificent about taking on the role of homemaker. Whether you're older or younger, male or female, there because you choose it or just filling in time until an outside job comes along, homemaking has the potential to change you in profound ways. When I first came back to my home, I hadn't thought much about housekeeping. I guess I looked on it in the same way our society views it - mundane, monotonous and menial. I eventually dived into my housework with open arms and since that day I've felt honoured and fortunate to be able to call myself a homemaker.


So what is it that deeply divides opinion? How can one group see it as a beautiful and significant way to live and others view it with absolute dread. Why do some see it as a great help to the family finances and others as not contributing to the family at all?

When I first started housekeeping here in my own home, I realised that I'd never really understood the role of the homemaker. I'd seen my mother working in our family home, stretching every dollar to make ends meet. She cooked and did the housework, my father went to work at two jobs and eventually mum got an outside job as well. A lot of people my age saw their mothers go off to work for the first time and I suppose it devalued the work the mothers did at home. Instead of seeing my own mother's move into the paid workforce for what it was - a financial move towards a better life, as a teenager, I thought she wanted to work outside the home because it was more exciting.


No one ever told me about the feeling of control you get when you work in your home as if it's your own small business. We're told that housekeepers don't do much, that they have no power, but in my opinion, the opposite is true. Working full time at home I have the time to make the most of what we have. I can shop for grocery bargains and stockpile them, I can grow food in the backyard, make my own cleaners, sew, mend and recycle. I know that I have to balance my budget, keep the utilities connected, the fridge full and the vegetable garden productive. Homemakers have to be multi-skilled. Healthy food, clean clothes and a comfortable home enable those living there to make the most of the time they are away from home, working or studying. A good home sets workers and students up for success, and that is good for the nation. There is no doubt about it, choosing homemaking as a career is a radical choice.




When I rise early in the morning I feel that I have the freedom to do a wide variety of things. I'm often invited to take part in various things around the place but I feel at my best if I stay and work here on this land. I write my blog, let the chickens out, feed the cat, look at the sky to check the weather, have breakfast, make bread or bake cakes, organise our main meal which we eat at midday, clean up, wash up and make the bed. I do those things almost every day. Sometimes, I make cleaning products, knit, sew, mend, garden, work in the community, preserve food in jars or freeze it for later. And although it might look as though my days just repeat what happened the day before, it feels fresh every day. I get to decide when I sit down and rest. I decide if I want to sit in the garden or work in it. I will work all day or takes frequent breaks, it all depends on how I feel and how much work I will do on that particular day. And all these decisions are mine. I'm not told by a boss when to have morning tea or lunch. I can wear whatever I like, and that pleases me no end because most days I'm here at home I look like a moving scarecrow. Home is the best place to wear out those old clothes.


Homemaking seems to fit simple life like a glove. It doesn't matter if you're a full time homemaker like me or if you do it in tandem with a paid job. Homemaking supports the role of the breadwinner because it allows them to come home to good food, a clean home and happy children.  Sometimes the breadwinner is the homemaker and in that case the skills of homemaking come into their own. Following routines, meal planning, stockpiling, freezing food for later and budgeting help the part-time homemaker like nothing else can. And when it all comes together, when I hear someone say they enjoyed the meal I cooked, or the cake was delicious, or "grandma, biscuit peas", well then I know I'm where I should be. When I go outside and sit watching the garden, seeing what birds are flying in to visit, or watch the antics of the chooks, I don't want to be anywhere else.


Ours is simple work but that doesn't mean it's less important than paid work. It all has its place and it's all important in its own way.  Recently, I've heard a couple of women say that they want my life but the truth is it's all here for the taking, my life is in every home. Everyone can do what I'm doing, all it takes is the will to do it, the mindset to stick to it and the skills to make it happen. And remember, it's all small steps - the will, the mindset and the skills. This is here to fill a lifetime, it's not the 100 metre sprint.

66 comments:

  1. I just love your blog!!! I wrote about this on my blog this morning...

    http://lorialexander.blogspot.com/2013/07/serving-your-husband-is-offensive.html

    I, too, have loved being a homemaker and love taking care of my family. Many blessings to you!

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  2. Reading your blog makes me feel good!
    Dottie

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  3. A simple but lovely post, thank you! I am sending a link of it to my nearly 19 yr old daughter who is weighing her future options as a self employed writer and homemaker and I know she will be encouraged.

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  4. You are so right, Rhonda. It really is all about the will, the mindset and the skills...
    Thank you very much for this,as always, beautifully affirmative and inspiring post!
    Love and greetings from The Netherlands,

    Jeanneke.

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  5. I'm amazed at how early you rise every day - I can only do it once in a while, but it's such a difference, just wonderful.

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  6. I think an important thing to note is that homemaking is a choice, now - for many women in the last century, it was imposed rather than embraced, and I say a big thank you to the men and women who made it possible for me to choose.

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  7. LOVE, love, love this post :) I found myself saying and emphatic YES when you said:

    "Ours is simple work but that doesn't mean it's less important than paid work."

    Here, here!

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  8. Hi Rhonda,

    I read your comments every single morning and they are a joy!

    We are planning a significant reduction in my work hours from 2014 and I'm so excited that I can hardly wait just to be home, to potter, to bake, to garden and to clean (yes, how radical is that - cleaning is something I itch to do!!!)

    I work 4days a week at present, have a child with additional needs, and it is too hard to keep going. I have persevered thinking that we need more than we do but that isn't true!

    My ideas about work came from my mum. She was a single mum with three children, no income from our father at all was ever paid to her to assist with our "keep" so she worked and worked and worked. I learnt many skills from her because regardless of her work hours or how tired she was when she got home, we always had a homemade meal around our table every night, homemade lunches for school, clothes that she made for us and chores to do.

    I will have many skills lurking in my head and heart that I will be able to call upon next year - thanks to my Mum!

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  9. My mom returned to paid work when we kids were young, but I knew it was for financial reasons. She kept (still keeps!) an immaculate house, but I always saw housework and cookingas drudgery, not something my mom enjoyed doing I would say. And I was certainly expected to get educated and "do something with my life." I'm only now discovering the satisfaction of a job well done at home!
    -Jaime

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  10. Hi Rhonda
    great posts you have been doing, yes the value of the homemaker is misunderstood by most. I love my paid working days for the ability to contribute to the community and use that set of skills but I also love my non-paid work days and contribute to my home with a different set of skills. I like the balance and feel very privileged to be able to do both by choice. regards Leonie

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  11. Rhonda, I'm not sure if you remember my comment from a good few months ago. I wrote about how I was new to my simple life and, whilst enjoying it, was finding it overwhelming at the same time. This was particularly because I lacked skills I really wanted, such as sewing and knitting.

    I have come a long way since then. My husband and I are so grateful for the decision we jointly made for me to stay home and for him to work. He loves his work and has a far greater earning capacity than me anyway. I am so thankful I can spend these days at home with my children while they're young and teach them these skills. A lot of the time it feels like we're learning together but that's now half the fun. My Mum is teaching me how to knit this week, yay. Perhaps one day I will work again part-time but I know my husband is grateful to come home to a hot meal, a tidy house and ironed shirts. I'm relishing the challenge of living as frugally as possible and ridding my house of chemicals. Your blog has been instrumental in assisting me make these changes. Thank you.

    Sara

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  12. A great post and unfortunately society these days still is of the opinion that if you are a mother at home you are not contributing. I can't tell you the amount of times I get asked casually from shopkeepers with general chit chat about working. Ie if you are doing the grocery shopping by yourself without kids during the week you must be having a day off work or once people find out your kids are at school they say "so what do you do for work". As much as we (mostly women) understand the enormous task of having the washing and ironing done, bathrooms cleaned, bills paid, school notes filled out, people still view the stay at home mother as strange (why wouldn't you work) or lazy because you don't have a job. People who work get paid and they get praised from employers for doing a good job. They also get 4 weeks to unwind as holidays. Homemakers/mothers don't get paid and usually don't get praised for keeping house (even though there is self satisfaction) and there is no 4 weeks leave. If the family goes on holidays basically the mother is still working on holidays providing food, clothing, meals etc I totally agree that the partner working can do so and/or travel for work because of the homemaker. I only wished it was society and not the homemakers themselves that viewed this as the norm. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia. www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com

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    1. I love this comment Kathy! I totally agree. I only work one day a week outside the home (it is for health reasons) and people look at me as if I have 3 heads when I say that. "What do you do all day, watch Dr.Phil" I find these kinds of comments so derogatory seeing as my husband works shift work, rarely has to cook, clean, do washing, make beds, read to our child, and he is forever grateful. I will check out your blog after my chores today :)

      Rhonda, I too, am loving reading your posts every morning, they fill me with the knowledge that all is ok with what I'm doing.
      Warm regards, Jan

      www.agluttonouswife.blogspot.com.au

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    2. Hi,
      Thanks to both of you, you made my day. I am so tired of being ask why I do not work (since I have 2 university degrees) It is like I do nothing at home. I am worth nothing. Sometimes I wish I was in the 1940's I would not be treated like that. But when anyone needs something, who do they call? me of course. We do not have a tv, I do by own bread, cookies etc . Thanks to both of you I feel better, I am not alone!

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    3. Totally agree. Just the other day the bank teller asked if it was my day off. I replied pleasantly (though still find myself stammering for an automatic clear answer) that no, it was my errand day and I am a homemaker. This young mans response was "oh! So everyday is your day off!" I've even had a clerk at the grocery check out ask the same question and the response to my answer was to ask me if I eat bon bons and watch TV all day! They get even more confused once they find that my children are 17 and 12. I try to find tremendous humor in it because being offended is a waste of my energy. Though it boggles my mind how the reputation of the homemaker (at least here in the US) has been redefined by Peggy Bundy from the 80's tv show Married with Children. Goodness I hope I can help change that with the people I come in contact with! :)

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  13. Rhonda a wonderful post that speaks to me as so many of yours do. It's funny that almost every time in the 5 years since I founds you that I have considered returning to work full time because an opportunity has come up, you seem to run a series on homemaking, and I say to myself yes, home is what I really want. I get sucked into thinking that since my kids have flown the nest that I should not be here anymore. How do you know????
    I also agree wholeheartedly with KathyA. I say to myself that although I work at my home, I will never retire, get holidays or days off. I still feel the need to justify our choice for me to stay home after 5 years. That's some brainwashing to overcome! As a 53 year old I am kind of the edge generation between the homemaker generation and the working generation. It gets conflicting sometimes...
    Thanks again Rhonda, Love Julia in Bowen x

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  14. teeheehee....a moving scarecrow.

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  15. Hi Rhonda. I am so lucky I work 9 -3, 4 days this our my happy medium. I came home yesterday and helped my daughter with school scholarship project then went outside and pulled a few weeds and watched the chickens for a while very amusing. All whilst the slow cooker on for dinner. I menu plan and do a fair cook up on Sundays soup etc for the week. I often wonder how full time workers do it Di

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    1. Absolutely!! I wonder how full time mums survive. Something has to give doesn't it? Everyone is out there chasing the dollar to get bigger and better things.I don't know how they keep the basics going. The relationship with their partner, kids etc. I'm glad I'm not one of them!

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    2. Rhonda, you are a voice for women right across the world. I notice one of your responses came from the Netherlands!Yes I think we can never take for granted the basics in life. Like having a Mum there waiting for you at home. I grew up coming home to an empty house after school. Mumwas not there to share my thoughts with, or to be nurtured by.Women and mothers are also the educator, psychologist. economist, nutritionist,etc, etc. Our worth is immeasurable!

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  16. I was running my own business and shuffling 3 kids to school, pre-school and daycare. One day, I just decided to get stop living such a crazy, hectic, stressful lifestyle and fortunately my husband agreed with the changes I proposed. I stopped work, came home, the kids came home too and our lives are so much less stressed and pressured. It was hard to drop to one wage when we have a mortgage and lots of expenses at our stage of life and most of our family and friends thought we were crazy. The funny thing is that it feels like we have more money now than when I worked because we don't spend on convenience items.

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  17. Hello Rhonda...are they beans growing in that round pot with the cane tepee? .....another moving scarecrow who revels in my daily homemaking life :)

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    1. Dear sister scarecrow, it was a single tomato - a French one called St Pierre.

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  18. This is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm down to my last couple of weeks of work before leaving to have our first child, and I don't plan on returning to work at least until all our children are at school. It's a bit scary! I don't think it's going to be difficult to live on one income (we've lived on much less) but it's hard to give up my independence. I think I'm going to be turning to your forum a lot over the next 12 months (hopefully I'll be approved soon!) for coping strategies and tips :)

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  19. Hi Rhonda, I love your scarecrow analogy :) I too wear out all my old clothes at home, they're the most comfy clothes!
    I have a great balance between work and home, working only school hours. But I constantly struggle with my yearning to be home more so I can do more here as that is where I get the most satisfaction. I know my day will come, and at the moment we need me working part time to pay down the mortgage.
    Thank you for including in your posts that some 'homemakers' are also paid workers too that juggle both, as it reassures me that I'm not alone, and that there are other people trying to do a both paid and unpaid work and it can be managed!
    I need to keep reminding myself to accept that I can only do so much at home when I am working too, and if I occasionally have to buy some packet foods or the floors don't get mopped and the mending pile is mounting, that its ok. I'm trying my best. I think because I want to be a full time homemaker but cant at the moment I tend to set too high an expectation on myself sometimes!
    Cheers,
    Sarah from Jimboomba xx

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  20. Rhonda, what is the apple in the jar in your photo? Is it to make apple cider vinegar?
    Thanks,
    Sarah from Jimboomba

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    1. Yes Sarah, I was making vinegar.

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    2. Ooh I've never thought to do that! I recently started my first batch of vanilla essence (vodka and vanilla beans), so I will have to investigate making my own vinegar too.
      I love how you post photos of things you do - it sparks ideas :)
      Thanks Rhonda

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  21. I used to be asked when I'm going to get a "real" job ie working outside the home. Many just don't get that I love being at home and doing what I'm doing. Now I get told I'm living in the wrong century as my days are structured with my home in mind and not the commercial world we live in. I don't care. So long as I'm happy and my family are happy that's all that matters. Thank you for these wonderful posts Rhonda. They are confirming what has been in my heart for a long time - home is wonderful.

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  22. I had a couple of thoughts while reading this...

    1) I totally agree with you; A RADICAL CHOICE. - I don't know how it is there where you live; but finding out now since The Honey's heart attack and retirement- Our Government here finds it to be " devalued" and "menial work", as well. A woman is not compensated with any type of pension, set back for later; for the work that she has done in the home. If you have had the "privilege" to stay home and raise children, cooking, cleaning, teaching (Home Schooling), as I did, while your husband went off to work; then you are afforded a luxury-- but don't expect a pat on the back or recognition from your Government. You've not contributed to The System...therefore, you Get Nothing.
    2.) I wish I'd known. I wish I'd learned early on, the value of a Saved Dollar. I wish I'd known living Debt Free, would be paying my way in retirement. I wish I'd learned early on the Power and Freedom one has in Self-sufficiency.
    3.) Learning is never too late. No matter what stage (I know it sounds as though I'm contradicting my #2 statements...but the fact is, I know now. It is never too late. It is RADICAL INDEED.... ***see #1 :)

    Enjoyed this food for thought, thank you. -- Patricia

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  23. Amen! I am so glad you write these posts about homemaking. After recently working 6-1/2 years at a PT job that caused me terrible stress, I left to stay at home FT and am so glad that I did. I have always been a homemaker at heart.

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  24. What a delight to come back and read your beautiful blog :)I find it so much easier to be calm and centred when I read your wise and happy words xx

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  25. proud working montessori guide AND homemaker here! i glow when my house is in order and cozy. i don't see it as work, mostly a joy to have a peaceful abode to share with my fiance and others. we're still in the years of moving around before we settle, we just try to make every place we rent uniquely our own and bloom where we are planted (though i'm itching for a garden!). thank you, thank you for this series of posts lately. feels like such a treat to be affirmed in this lifestyle. i do think more and more people my age and even younger are joining on. a quiet revolution! yes!

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  26. Rhonda I can't tell how much these posts mean to me. I am so lucky to stay at home and be the homemaker. I relish being able to cook, clean, make and support my husband and girls making for a calm and peaceful life for us all. Recently I was told by someone to go and get a job and then I can say who deserves things. It really hurt, it's hard being a homemaker, being a radical and not doing what is expected of me from society. Your posts though cement my feelings about my role, giving me that extra confidence in the choice that we have made for our family. I love my job, I love that my family are happy and that's what matters most. Thank you Rhonda. x

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  27. Ah Rhonda, you're a woman after my own heart. Home is THE place I want to be! Who wouldn't want to be their own boss with complete freedom to do chores as and when it suits one. As long as you have a fair dose of discipline and motivation to get things done, life is full of quiet contentment, satisfaction and happiness.

    God bless you for your wonderful words of wisdom.

    Lyn in Northern New South Wales.

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  28. Rhonda I think many will like this story I come across in a church magazine. I don't want to plagarize, but I think it's great! It says "author unknown", copied with permission from Insight, the newsletter of the Nanango parish of the Uniting Church in Australia.

    A Mother's Title

    "Do you know what you and I are"? she asked. Before I could answer, she blurted out the reason for her question. It seemed like she had just returned from renewing her driver's licence at the local Road Transport Authority office. Asked by the woman behind the desk to state her occupation, she hesitated,uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is", explained the staff person, "do you have a job, or are you just a...."?
    "Of course I have a job", she snapped, "I'm a mother"."We don't list 'mother' as an occupation. 'Housewife' covers it", she said emphatically.
    I forgot about her story, until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our Shire office. The clerk was obviously a career woman - poised,efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like Official Interrogator or Town Registrar.
    "And what is your occupation?" she probed. What made me say it, I do not know; the wrods simply popped out. "I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations." The clerk paused, ballpoint pen frozen in mid air, and looked as though she hadn't heard right. I repeated the title slowly, empasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous pronouncement was written in bold black ink on the official questionaire.
    "Might I ask", said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply: "I have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field. I'm working for my Msters (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all girls). Of course the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the mill careers, and the rewards are in satisfaction rather than money."
    There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up and persoanlly ushered me to the door. As I arrived home, buoyed up by my glamerous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants - ages thirteen, seven and three. Upstairs, I could hear our new experimental model (six months) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt triumphant. I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensible to mankind than 'just another mother".

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    1. LOL! ROFLMAO!! I really love that! Good on you for sticking it up one of those smart young things - blech ....

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  29. I agree completely with your sentiments. To me, each morning the day opens before me like a blank page, ready to be filled with anecdotes and stories from my activities. Thanks for your blog.
    Barb

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  30. A tomato! Thanks! I haven't heard of St Pierre, I'll have to look into that. It looks very nice there in it's handsome pot.

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  31. I was a full time working single mother with 2 kids from the ages of 18 months and 3 years, until a few months ago when I dropped down to 4 days a week. Honestly, I don't know how I did it. I guess my answer is, I am a mother - if I didn't do it, who would? It is amazing what our strengths, capacity and endurance are like when we require them.
    Now, my mind boggles at the fact that I managed to get myself dressed in heels and makeup, while feeding and dressing two others every morning and be out the door by 7am, every single day.
    Yes - everything had to give. Dinner had to be out of the freezer and on the table every night within 7 minutes to give them time to eat, bath, book and bed by 7pm.
    Now I am easier on myself and the kids. I make dinner from scratch, and they go to bed at 8pm....
    But - I have just lost my job!! And am relishing the opportunity to do work in my home on $459 per week....You can't get more resourceful and creative than that. My garden is going to be wonderful.
    Kali

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    1. Kali won't you be eligible for the Family tax benefit part A & B? That would bring your money up to about the $800 per fortnight. Cheers robtrev.

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    2. Hi Robtrev,
      $459 a week, $918 a fortnight, including FTB A&B, and all the sundry benefits. That is for 2 children - and I have a new mortgage! I figure, it is only for a few months until my son is at prep next year,but I will use this time to set up the foundation for our lives in our home.

      Everything happens for a reason. There is a time for working outside the home, inside, part-time, in the community. I am not beating myself up about the last few years outside of my home, because I simply would not have had the homemaking skills to live on the breadline, that I have now.

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  32. Dear Rhonda. I am reading this inspiring post and I'm nodding. I too love homemaking. I enjoyed being at home as my children were growing up, I felt it was a privilege that I was able to. I then spent 20 years back in the workforce. But now I'm retired I love having all this time to myself to fill my days as I wish with homemaking, baking, gardening, blogging, looking after grandchildren. Feels quite decadent actually.

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    1. It's a shame that it feels decadent. It shouldn't! And it's our choice if we choose to. Doesn't matter what anyone else says! Cheers robtrev.

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  33. Oh my I will try to keep this short. I graduated in the very early 70's and married my soulmate and had 2 wonderful sons and basically I was a stay at home mom. I can tell you one thing I was the black sheep since most of the woman around me were headed to be career women and babysitters raised their children. Nothing wrong with that except for the remarks that were thrown at me constantly belittling me. When the boys were in school I worked at anything that was part time so I would be home with them or their father would be. They are now in their late 30's and very early 40's and have turned out to be wonderful men. As of this year I have become a widow and my husband never had any worries that my sons would be here for meno matter what and they have been. I stand up proud and wear my badge of being a homemaker, mother, wife and caregiver and nobody can take that away from me when my time comes to stand before the pearly gates. I am sorry this ended up being long.

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  34. I love this post. I never really thought about homemaking until I divorced, and I was suddenly solely responsible for making a home for my children and me. Yes, it was a radicalizing experience. Completely changed me--and my thinking about the importance of making home. I see homemaking as a fundamental political and creative act; wrote about that a year ago here: http://www.thissortaoldlife.com/2012/08/23/in-defense-of-home-arts/ Thought you might like it, so linking to it.

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  35. You are so right Rhonda, it's a life we can make into that which we want it to be. It's up to us what is most important.
    Laura
    Harvest Lane Cottage

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  36. The warm fireplaceJuly 17, 2013 7:52 am

    Great post Rhonda, you are so right the home is where "its at" it is brilliant work, i never valued my work here until i read yours and other ladies blogs, todays sums it all up.
    Sue

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  37. YES!

    That is a beautifully written post on the beauty and real work of the homemaking or as I like to call it home keeping! It's valuable work. I also get the blessing of educating my children at home and am able to pass along the joy of our simple ways of life to them in addition to math, history, reading etc.

    Thank you for this post Rhonda!

    Deanna

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  38. I LOVED the "Mother's Title" verse written by ROBTREV above....You deserve a standing ovation for that one...it made me laugh however it was all so true really when you think about it.

    For all those people who get comments about not having a job. I had two full time jobs in my life. I started work for an Accountancy Firm when I was 15 and stayed there for 13 years full time. Immediately I stopped there and started with a National Computer Company where I worked for 12 years full time. I left there to start my family.

    Here is the thing:- "I stopped work, but I didn't stop working"

    I work very hard around the clock to have a grounded down to earth family life for myself and my children. I do not think they can raise themselves when they go to prep. Even when children go off to highschool you as a parent would be needed more to be there to support them with afternoon tea, making sure there is time for homework or sports and ensuring they are not hanging around with the wrong crowd of kids because they are "latch key kids". Kids need time with parents not fancy cars to be driven around in (yes I would love one of those myself but that's not going to happen in my life time). Every mother can make their own choice for their family about working outside the home or inside the home. Both of those choices are careers and whilst one gets paid and the other one doesn't that's where the scales are tipped and society's perception of homemaker career goes out the window. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia
    www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com

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  39. Rhonda, oh Rhonda, where have you been my entire life? I've never read such a beautiful, simple piece about the wonderful satisfaction and contentment to be found in keeping one's home.

    Many people in my age bracket look at me with confusion (or worse yet, pity) when they discover I'm a full time homemaker. Keeping house still seems to be thought of as "not work", even more so than my other great love - writing. But that's OK. I'm content with my life right now, and for many of the reasons you write about.

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  40. Hello Rhonda, I have been following your blog for a while now, but this post is the essence of what I love about it. I love how you have turned homemaking on its head to make it the radical choice - a joy and not a drudge; something to be proud of. I have always loved being at home, for all of those reasons that you have mentioned, but it was always tempered by the fact that I never allowed myself to feel pride - to the outside world I felt like I was judged as being 'just a housewife', and so that's what I was. Small, insignificant, powerless. So thank you for giving me pride and confidence in what I do. Able to change my corner of world, one loaf of bread/tomato/homemade dishcloth at a time! I love it. I am moving up to a whole new level - growing and maturing, I guess. I am talking to others with pride, and am looking forward to seeing what more I can achieve. Thank you Rhonda, thank you.
    Lesley

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  41. Ahhh Rhonda...once again you have written so beautifully about your life. It truly is an inspiration when you write like this. Thank you. Gaye

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  42. I too have always loved being at home. To me it is a privilege that I am able to be a stay at home mum. It is a gift I do not take lightly.

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  43. Thank you so much for this post. It is so important to support homemakers.
    Here in The Netherlands there are a lot of women that work and if you are a homemaker, you are frowned upon. I'm even frowned upon by my father in law. All his daughters work outside the home.
    I love being a homemaker, being there for my husband ( who is on disability) and my children. We live on disability only, but we live a simple life and we don't need much. We are so happy to have eachother.

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  44. Ah what a beautiful post. My grandmothers are gone now, but everytime I read one of your posts I feel as if one of them is talking to me. They lived in the time when homemaking was honored and respected and no one queationed their roles or the worth of it. I wanted to be a mommy/homemaker as early as when I was 4 years old or so but then chose the way of a career...no other option seemed available at the time. But oh to be back home after God tugging on my heart to get back
    to where I belonged and wanted to be! I recently acquired a half apron that I think my paternal grandmother made cross stitched designs on. Everytime I wear
    it, I feel the total connection of generations past and my own yearning of that 4 year old come together.

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  45. Would you consider sharing the recipe for that lovely loaf of bread? Please? Pretty please?

    I love your writing. I check daily for inspiration. Thank you for sharing so much.

    Victoria in Connecticut

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    1. Victoria, it's my normal bread recipe - it's on the blog. This loaf was made with half rye and half white flour. xx

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  46. Hi Rhonda
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and just love all the information I glen from you. I haven't worked outside the home since my eldest was born. He is now nearly 17 years and I always get asked why? I am fortunate enough that my husband has a good paying job and I can stay home especially as he is away a lot. As we have 4 children it is still hard financially and I find I need to budget well in order to afford all the extra activities that come with children. I have never received anything from the government to help either except maybe $500 at the end of the tax year, but not anymore now the children are older. So just wanted to say I love all the inspiration you give that although at times it may be hard being at home is the most awesome job in the world. My Hubby has finally come to see that being home is where I am happiest and it works well for our family.
    Love to you and yours. Helena

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  47. Ditto to all the above responses to your post about the pleasures of home-making! But I have to call you out on just one phrase - "Ours is simple work" - NOT! If it was simple work to run a household, whether it be for two (in my case) or a dozen in some cases with kids and elderly parents - everyone would quit their jobs and do it. My mother had a severe stroke not long after I was born, so I grew up with her being disabled, and me having to help out with washing, ironing and cooking as soon as I was old enough to do it. I didn't mind though - I really loved keeping house for Dad and my brothers while Mum was in and out of hospital. So when I left home and got married, homemaking was not a new routine for me.
    But I still had a 5 day week job as well until I turned 50, at which time I said to my husband "I've had enough of work. I quit". He asked what was I going to do if I didn't go to work, and I said "Get a life!" Meaning, just as many commenters above have written, I wanted to stay at home and run the house in my time, not squeeze household chores in at weekends. I wanted to cook more, do more craft work - stitching, patchwork, etc. and ENJOY the second half of my life! (and I have for the past 15 years).

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  48. It was of interest that I read your post and the following comments. I've always thought that women or men who choose to stay at home to make a home and raise their kids are very smart and progressive. I see from the comments that a lot have felt belittled for that decision. Well here is my story, I am getting the same comments from society because I decided to leave my 20 year old, stressful career that I was not enjoying, to stay at home. I do NOT have children, and thus that ranks this decision of mine even lower than all you moms/dads that have decided to stay at home. People think I am just letting my poor husband support me and that now I contribute nothing (this after being the major breadwinner for 15 years and supporting him when he went back to school). With no kids and no career now, and not legitimately retired, I have no value in many people's eyes. I am constantly asked when I will be getting a job. I take all domestic responsibilities off of my husband's plate now, but still that is not seen as enough and I am 'wasting' my university education. I'm asked, 'don't I want to do more, be more'. I know I need to focus on what makes me and my small family happy, but the outside pressure is hard especially since I am of the generation where women are expected to have a career, and my career has been a large part of my identity. Yes, my self-worth is taking a bit of a beating too during this transition.

    Thanks again for this post. I'd be interested to know if homemaking is only valued for those with offspring, or others as well in your view.

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  49. As always, an inspiring post. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and skills with those of us in the blogging community so freely.

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  50. Homemakers are the salt of the earth, women have always played such an important role in the home and still do. Unfortunately society has now described success to a woman of today's world as one that advances their education and goes forward to have a "career" - domestic duties are less important it seems - just hired that done. Well I have a woman who has held a job outside of the home since I was 13 - necessary for financial reasons and mostly health benefits. I can assure you that the "best" feeling I get is when I can provide a home to my family. I have balanced work and home all of my life and if given the opportunity I would have gladly been someone who was home to provide the emotional, physical, and mental support to the ones I love on a daily bases. Young women of today, stand up and give up those stessed filled lives outside of the home, making money for corporation. More things, toys, hiring of someone else to do things can only cause you to "have" to work to pay for them - a vicious cycle. There are so many rewards within your homes. I understand, like myself, that not everyone has a choice not to work outside of the home and that is fine, we do what we must. But by taking a realistic view of our needs and what we can do for ourselves we can sometimes find that with some adjustments we have more choices than we think. Thank you Rhonda for the refreshing blog of everyday life. For those of you that think homemakers are not productive, contributing to society and/or are slackers - take a step back and look at the full picture, you have tunnel vision. So much happiness lies within simplicity.

    BP of Wyoming, USA

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  51. Everything you've written here resonates so deeply in my heart - I feel so passionate about being a homemaker, privileged that I can do so each and every day. Being responsible for a household and its family members is such an important role in my eyes. Being a young Mum, I feel I'm in the minority these days being a stay-at-home Mum. I love your words and thoughts you've shared here - Amanda x

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  52. How wonderful to hear others feeling the same as me as I've struggled with the world judging my choice to be stay at home mum. My husband has always fully supported me and together we feel it is best for our family. Thank you Rhonda always for your sincerity and genuineness.

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  53. Hi Rhonda,
    Great posts and comments. I have been receiving pressure from my father to "go back to work" even though I have enough money to stay home if I live very frugally. My brother and sister in law refer to what I'm doing as "not working." (sigh...) I really enjoy homemaking, and my finances are better than they have ever been. I spend far less when I stay home. It's such a good feeling to have the cottage clean and organized, and the fridge full of delicious food. I have knit three sweaters and several pair of socks in the last year. I get a lot of snide comments about it, (especially since I am unmarried, and don't have children.) Oh well. It's a creative, productive life.
    awakenedsoul

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