The return of the homemaker

18 March 2013
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 Convenience has been replaced by authenticity.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.