2 September 2007

The new homemaker

Let's face it, homemakers are looked down on as a sort of female underclass. They're seen as old-fashioned, not quite with it and definitely passed their "best before" date. I have a big problem with that, not only because I proudly see myself as a homemaker but also because it just plain wrong ... and stupid.

There is a new type of homemaker emerging. She (sometimes he) is keen to raise happy and responsible children, is environmentally and financially aware and health conscious. There is nothing old-fashioned in that. The new homemaker sees her job as being a confident and capable role model for her children, she not only makes sure they attend school with an eagerness to learn, she also teaches manners and life skills at home. Many SAHMs homeschool their children, taking on the formal role of teacher. This is is certainly not something that some dullard with no ambition would choose to do.

Homemaking is a profession. It's made up of people who choose to develop their own family's life instead of working outside the home. Of course, there are many homemakers here who do work outside the home, but they also hold a strong emphasis on the importance of their home and their place in it. All new homemakers see their home as the heart of the family, a place where everyone relaxes and can be their true self, where important relationships are nurtured away from the influences of the outside world.

The new homemaker acknowledges the importance of a family working hard to reduce its impact on the environment. Where possible she uses green cleaners, shops locally, produces some of her family's food, conserves energy, fuel and water, cooks from scratch, reuses, recycles and repairs, makes do and uses her energy and her intelligence, instead of just her money, to provide for her family and care for her home.

New homemakers see their role as raising healthy children, creating a home where everyone feels at ease and comfortable, shopping responsibly, saving for the future and being environmentally sound. Instead of seeing housework as never-ending, they see each day having its own cycle with new possibilities every day. In the new homemaker's life, the most important place is home, and it is a home where children, family and friends will always find kindness, generosity and affirmation.

These new homemakers see money as not just a means of buying products, but as something that creates more options. They're frugal, often not because they have to be, but because they have changed their attitude to money and possessions. There is a depth of meaning in being frugal that most people don't quite get ... yet. They will catch up sometime in the future. Catch up with what new homemakers have known all along - that more possessions, the latest fashions and biggest car don't make people happy. Happiness is found in creating a meaningful life with those you love and care about. The new homemakers are working towards that contentment with innovation and a sense of purpose, and every new homemaker knows she is a pioneer in a new world.

(graphic from


  1. I really would love to be a home maker! I'm taking steps in my life to make that possible and fingers crossed I wont be waking up at 4:30am to go to work this time next year! In fact the goal of being a homemaker is what started me on this journey towards living simply and it's paying off.
    Thanks for your help in atchieving it Rhonda!

  2. I LOVE being a homemaker, I think it is the greatest and most gratifying job. I have three children 13, 11, and 10; 2 dogs. and a husband. I am so blessed to be able to stay home and really do what I want to do.


  3. Kirsty ~ you ARE a homemaker already!

    Rhonda ~ a great post. It frustrates me when people think SAHM's are "bludging". Unfortunately my daughter's father thinks just that!!

  4. No "dullards' here, hee,hee, or nitwits for that matter. ;)

    ~ a homeschooling mom.

  5. Wonderful post! And thank you for saying in words better than I ever could exactly how I feel about my role as a homemaker!

  6. I am oen of the homemakers who also works away form home, not by choice but by necessity (being a single parent) - thank you Rhonda once again for putting it all so eloquently :)

  7. Wonderfully said!! I'm still working on so many areas in my homemaking, but constantly edudcating myself and learning new skills will keep me young! ;)

  8. Rhonda,what an awesome post!! I truly love my job as a homemaker.
    What a blessing it is to serve my
    husband and 7 children. (Ranging in
    ages from 11 years old down to 8 weeks.) Thank you for your encouraging blog,Rhonda.

  9. Hear! Hear!
    Yet another member of the "Rhonda Rocks" Fan Club!
    Thanks once again for the validation on what I am trying to achieve! I can only hope that I will one day have the capability to be fully self sufficient and have raised respectful and wise children!

  10. Rhonda,
    You said it all. I love being a homemaker. Thank you for your help, advice and ideas. Love ya, Bobbi Jo-AZ

  11. Thankyou Rhonda, for helping me to see that I'm ok doing this. I love my job and hope to be able to do this for my entire life.

    cheers Lenny

  12. Thank you, thank you! I am entering my 15th year of homeschooling. My youngest is a senior and I wouldn't have missed these years and adventures for any job or riches. Dee

  13. I too love being a homemaker, I've found where I want to be and I love it.

  14. I am truly blessed to be a SAHM. My partner works from home as well so we spend all our time together as a family. It is hard sometimes for both of us not getting a "break", but neither of us would do it any differently. We have both tried the other path and find it much easier and much more fun over here on the SAHM and simple living one. Homemaking rocks!!

  15. I see some of the things which I have done/made/ shared with our children which only SAHM's can do. I cannot see the point in going out to work just to put your children in some paid club to do things with someone else. I appreciate that many Mums have to but there are many who don't want to stay at home with their children.

    It is to do things together and later in life be able to recount these stories and tales which no amount of money can buy.( I do that with them and they don't remember some of them, but I do) I am very fortunate that I am able to do that. I work in the week in the house to make the weekend's 'Family Time' and enjoyable for all of us.

    This is the way it used to be done and I can see why. Keep Mums at home and be proud of it. You are raising the next generation and those skills will hopefully be passed on. Somewhere along the line it has been lost due to consumerism.

    Yet another inspiring post here by Rhonda.


  16. I truly enjoy homemaking and taking care of my boys (4 yo & 10 mos) and husband. It is the hardest job ever at times..but oh, the rewards! There is nothing like it, I feel so blessed!

  17. I've just bookmarked this post so I can read it whenever I start to lose my way. You have managed to articulate where I am trying to head in my life, originally subconsciously and now consciously.

  18. That basically explains what I am personally trying to acheive.

    Thank you for putting my thoughts down so succinctly.

  19. Fair go, people. Homemaking and working are not mutually exclusive territories. Many women who work outside the home full time, in stimulating jobs that contribute to our broader society as well as the microcosm of home, share and live out all these values every day, as well as working. As do many busy volunteers. They just expect others in the family to share the load. And they make sure the day care and schooling is up to scratch rather than condemning it all as no good and opting out. Lord knows the option of women being able to choose to work is a right that many fought hard and long to achieve. It shouldn't be given up lightly. If you choose that path, fine, but if others choose differently, they deserve respect too. They aren't necessarily shortchanging their families and homes.
    Not everyone who works does it just for the money and more stuff. Some find its their best way to contribute to a better world.
    We all have to find our own balance.

  20. I am a homemaker and proud of it I actually have a B.S. Degree in Home Economics. When people ask me what I do I tell then I have a great job that is demanding and always changing I just don't get paid for it. I put in long hours no paid holidays. But I make my own schedule. It is the best job will it is the only job I know for 27 years.

  21. Great post again Rhonda. So encouraging. I've linked to it on my blog post today, hope that's OK.

  22. There are lots of important things about homemaking tasks, there are also good things about paid work. That's why I think it great for families to share both. If I stayed home fulltime my partner would have to work 70 hour weeks to keep us afloat, and then he'd never see our kid. I love the time I spend with my son, but I love the time I spend at work too; I can be myself and get a break from serving everyone else.

    Perhaps commenters who want to talk about staying home could do so without implying that all other mothers are negligent. We don't all have to make the same choices to end up as happy individuals with happy families.

    As Rhonda implied, homemaking is about more than staying home with kids. It's about a way of life, about how you prioritise, about how you build family and community with simple acts. My sister-in-law, for example, works fulltime with a long commute. Her husband works parttime and does most of the childcare and weeknight dinners. She used to stay home more, and he worked more, now they've swapped. She knits for her kids on the train. Alternatively, homemakers are people like my workmate, who brought homemade biscuits to work yesterday to share.

  23. I'm a little late commenting on this post, but feel I have to having read the comments.

    For me, the years of fighting for female equality was about giving women the freedom to make choices. Its good that now most women (aside from financial constraints) can choose whether to work outside the home or not. Every situation, every woman, every family is different; we're all doing the best we can, that's what's important.

  24. I wanted to make a comment on this post, I have only recently found Rhonda's blog, the illustration she used at the begining of this blog is very evocative for me.

    For many years I have had an interest in the Amish communities and their 'simple'way of living.Despite the pressures from the outside world they follow the teaching in their bible. The women have a hard life, they have no elctricity and often very large familes, they not only look after their families but also many of them make quilts, for the house and also for sale to help the finances. It is not uncommon to find a group of women in their white bonnets, sitting round a floor frame hand quilting a quilt and having a good gossip, as women will when they get together.

    The Amish pay no taxes to the governemnt, they look after their own, if there is trouble neighbours pitch in and help in any way they can. They fund theor own schools and if someone needs hospital treatment the community pays.

    This is simple living in its purest form...........

  25. Finally...someone who "gets it"!
    What you have just said in your post is exactly how I feel! So many people just don't understand though and the pressure to conform is strong but I SOOO believe that my place is here in the home. What a blessing to be a homemaker!

  26. Wonderful post.

    Mind you I find that I am having to justify my SAHM status less and less these days, as more and more people are starting to see the benefits. I love being home with my little ones (21mths and 4yrs). I do get a little niggled by comments about my old fashioned values though because I bake, knit and cook all our meals from scratch.


  27. Hi I've just come across you site (which I hope is still running)I've been looking for such a sight where people share my views about homemaking. I wish there was one in UK?
    Best Wishes,


  28. I recently quit a "secure" government job to become a homemaker. I have a 3 year old son, and we are trying for another. One challenge for me is the responses from my (former) peers. I've heard some jokes that reflect the negative view of a homemaker. I guess I need to thicken my skin and find new peers that share my values!

  29. Hi and thanks so much for sharing. I gave up my career about 9 months ago to travel to China for my husband's work. I now now trying to build up a second career for myself on top of being a homemaker as I do miss working. I recognise the challenges and new aspirations of the new homemaker that you are talking about here and I would really like to thank you for sharing that with us. Many people think that I don't do much at all since I am a homemaker without any kids. This really annoys me. In fact, someone has told me that all I do all day is "blog and sleep". What coloured glasses the working types often have of us homemakers. We shall all prove them wrong, shan't we :)


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