Work in Progress - REVISITED

29 June 2012
Carrying on from yesterday's post I thought it would be a good opportunity to explore the feelings connected with being at home and knowing that you make your own home what it becomes - be that good or not so good.

I've written before that housekeeping and homemaking were very low on my list of priorities when I first came home for good. I say 'came home' because up until that point, my home wasn't what it is now - it was just a place to sleep and invite people around to if we didn't go out. Pathetic. I'm wiser now, my home has taught me many things, including that if I didn't take the time to be at home, if I didn't fluff my nest and make it the warm and secure place I wanted it to be, no one else would and I would continue to search shopping malls for junk to make me feel better.

That split second when you suddenly realise that home is not the enemy and that looking after it is an act of love for all your family and a gift to yourself, is a powerful moment of absolute clarity and insight. You're aware that you make your home what it will be, no one else will do that but you, and whatever work you put into your home will be a reflection of you. It is an opportunity and a challenge. It will show what is important in your life, it will highlight those things you treasure, and, in turn, will reflect your tastes and interests to all who visit you.

When you realise that your home is your work in progress you are given the opportunity to make it the comfortable and protected place that all families need to relax, renew their energy, and grow closer to each other. The real challenge here is when you don't have a lot of money to spend but want a cosy, interesting and welcoming home. Most young couples fall into this area and the trick is not to fall for all the advertising hype and rush to charge up your credit card with the latest fashionable furniture. Smart couples search op shops, thrift stores and road side throw outs for bits and pieces that will suit their purpose. They build their homes on older furniture that is either free or very inexpensive and then modify it to suit themselves. The end result is a home unlike a million others who fell for the advertising. They have the satisfaction of working together to find what they need, and no credit card debt. My own son and his new wife are doing this right now. They have our old lounge suite and picked up a dining suite from a road side throw out. Their home is a delight to visit, it's comfortable, inviting and interesting. We are going there for lunch on Thursday and I'm looking forward to it very much. Working together through hard times is one of those things that draws couples together, it bonds them like nothing else.

But the furniture and bits and pieces you put in a home are not the full story. This story is completed by the work done by the homemaker and the feeling of contentment that comes from it. And whether you're a homemaker who does most of the work in the family home or if you're the delegator of chores and director of operations, the result is the same. A functional and secure home will nurture all who live there.

When I worked for a living and shopping was part of my recreation I used to be bored if I stayed at home. I wondered what on earth homemakers did all day. Now I know. I was lucky enough to wake up to myself, ditch the shopping and return to my home wholeheartedly. And anyone can do that - those who work outside the home and those who work in it. Accepting the power you have to make your home what is can be, to provide nutritious food, to shop according to your budget, to keep a clean home, to teach young children that everyone contributes to the welfare of the family by doing chores and helping, to look after what you own, to mend, recycle and reuse what you can, to live in an environmentally sound way and to express the love you feel for your family within the confines of a safe and peaceful home is the true gift of a homemaker.

You make your home what it becomes - it is your work in progress.


  1. Yes so true thanks for the reminder. Hope Hanno is doing well.

  2. Dear Rhonda ~ This was a wonderful post, just what I needed.

    Still learning to love, live in, and care for our 'work in progress'.

    Thank you ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

  3. The warm fireplaceJune 29, 2012 6:49 am

    Love the post i am relearning my love for my home, have thought about where we move forward on our wish for a more simpler life, the list idea is so good my husband and i have started with looking together at our budget, next will be more eco friendly then the plan for growing next year, one step at a time. I have been slowly stock piling food brilliant idea, i am not the best cook in the world but have been making more from scratch, so many things are cheaper made at home, bread i save a fortune, thanks for your wise words of encouragment.

  4. Morning Rhonda :)

    ""if I didn't take the time to be at home, if I didn't fluff my nest and make it the warm and secure place I wanted it to be, no one else would""

    This is so very true. If I don't do this work, no-one else will. Just shows the importance and the need for a homemaker in the family. I still remember the day, early in my marriage, when this truth dawned on me - I was responsible for the atmosphere of my home ...... I think that realisation empowered me to roll up my sleeves, get to work and take ownership of my homemaking.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend. :)

  5. regarding cheap second hand furniture. A couple of weeks back i was able to get a lovely king size bed and base set from eBay for $.99c but i ended up giving the seller $20 and a box of chocolates as she was still happy to sell it to us for the low price because she needed it gone. The last weekend i grabbed another bargain. A king size bedhead, foot and side rials to fit around the bed and base. matching bedside tables and a huge blanket box. The set was tagged Harvey Norman and the seller had purchased it a few years back with his mattress and base set and paid $10k for it, its a lovely timber suite in a cherry colour wood. So now i have a complete newly furnished bedroom for $280 plus travel to pick it all up and linen. Hubby and i have now said that we will never buy new again unless we have to.

  6. I too am learning to love my home. Thank you.
    I love staying home and pottering around inside and out in the garden, my home now gives me peace, where as I used to think it gave me work, after working all day. I have changed over the past two years, maybe getting older and wiser(only 44), or is it being more careful on who gets my money, and doing what I can myself. Today lunch at work home made soup, zucchini slice and scones for morning tea. (couldn't be happier) Di

  7. thank you Rhonda..your post always inspire me. i am learning to love my home. I am working and shopping is part of my recreation too but i know - home is the best place to be on earth!

  8. Rhonda, I LOVE your blog. I work full time outside the home and our children have all grown up and left home. I love nothing better than to spend time at home on the weekend, especially Saturdays. I used to race to the shops on Sat mornings to food shop and "look" around, but you know it just doesn't satisfy. Just love pottering around home making our house a home.

  9. Wise words again Rhonda. There was a time when I was too busy and often too exhausted to enjoy being at home, but thankfully times are changing!

  10. Love this post. My youngest will be in school the year after next and people have started asking me what I plan to do when "I go back to work" when he starts! I'm always horrified to think that they don't consider what I do now (being mum and running a house) to be a proper job - just because it doesn't earn me a wage to spend on stuff...that I need to work to pay for and so on.
    Very refreshing to read your thoughts on keeping a home.

  11. Rhonda:

    You are truly an inspiration. I always enjoy your posts, but this time I am able to partake in the actual nurturing of my own home. For eighteen years we lived in a one bedroom, one bath upstairs apartment in a four-plex. It had its charms like a built-in china hutch, but even though there are only two of us, it was cramped. Still, I enjoyed trying to make it a personal home space. Due to saving all those years, we were able to buy a house last March. It has three bedrooms, a garden and patio area (badly in need of renovation), and two baths. Plenty of house, but we look at it as also an investment for our future when it is time to retire. We are making it our own home and it is far from ready; but the pleasure is in taking our time and enjoying the process. We are not the type to buy large, expensive barbecue grills, big cars and vehicles (we drive the same ones for twenty years +), or vast wardrobes. We are rather frugal. But we live well and are grateful for this chance. I am in my fifties, so anyone can do the same; I did not really think it could happen for me at this stage in life. Don't give up!

  12. My husband once jokingly asked me if there would ever be a time when we would finish 'working' on our home and garden, stop changing and experimenting. I replied that I hope that day never comes, because I want to keep evolving and growing and learning ;)

    Trinidad & Tobago

  13. Just what I needed today... a lovely post from you Rhonda. I was feeling over whelmed today as we are moving into our new house which is smaller than our last and we now have a new addition to our family. We will manage, I know but it scares me to think we have no room for our things and no play room for the kids!!!!!

  14. Hello Rhonda,

    Your posts are a real source of information in my attempt to step into living simply. I have already taken several steps with budgeting (still in the process of understanding how my money is spent), stockpiling, bread making. I also planted a row of tomatoes (I'm in France so this is the season) but was not successful with the parsley. I'll try again.
    Two days ago, I tried to make my laundry liquid.Tthe most difficult part has been to find what was the French for Washing Soda and Borax. With some help at the organic store we deducted that washing soda might be " Cristaux de soude" and Borax "Percabonate de soude"... Yet I am not completely sure so if you or one of your readers knows, it will be helpful.
    The reason I am wondering if I got the right product is that I didn't get my laundry liquid right when following the recipe. My liquid has become very thick and jellified chantilly... really strange. Hope you can help me with this issue ;-)
    David (France)

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