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
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