One of the main reasons I started this blog is because I wanted to share with other young women my journey of being a homemaker, a mother and a follower of Christ. (Hence Titus 2) I was raised in a home where my mother was the breadwinner. She worked long hours, sometimes 50-60 hour work weeks depending on the job for that week. She always made sure we had dinner. Sometimes it was boxed meals, other times it was fast food and sometimes it was from scratch. She also cleaned, did our laundry and drove us to all of our sports practices. My mom did a great job providing for our family and she taught me some important lessons on how to maintain a home while working full-time. When I originally planned to have a career and hire a nanny and be successful in the eyes of society, those skills my mom taught me would have come in handy, but as the Lord changed my heart to give up those things and to pursue life as a full-time mommy (with a part-time work from home job), those skills did not serve me well.
When I became pregnant, my life changed quickly and I suddenly realized, I had no homemaking skills. I had no idea really how to cook, how to clean, how to raise a little one, how to manage a home, how to grocery shop efficiently how to meal plan, how to make stuff, etc. The only skills I did know was how to do laundry and iron clothes. I realized that my new role would require a lot of skills that I didn’t have, so like any new job, I jumped right in and taught myself. When deciding which skills I needed to learn, I looked towards the Proverbs 31 woman:
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
1. Cooking/ Baking: This is crucial! For obvious reasons, your family must be fed. In addition, if you don’t learn to cook, then you may be feeding your family food that doesn’t taste good. No one wants to eat meals that don’t taste good, so play around with spices and herbs and learn how to use them correctly, so that your family is well fed. In addition, baking is a great way to bring fresh breads, desserts and other yummy treats to your household. Learning to cook and bake are also essential to saving money, particularly when money is tight. I have to admit, I really don’t like cooking, and my husband loves cooking, so whenever I cook I feel like he might think he could do it better. (For the record, he has never said this) I have since learned that even though cooking isn’t really what I enjoy, baking is and to be quite frank, I’m pretty darn good at it. I love baking and I have heard from others around me that they love my baking too!
2. Cleaning: This one is a toughie. **Confession Time** When I was a teenager, I would often be told that I was not allowed out with my friends until my room was clean, so to solve this problem, I would recruit my two best friends and have them come over and help me clean my room, so that I could go out! Clever? Yes. Did it teach me anything about keeping house? No. Cleaning is something that I have really had to put effort into. I really do love a clean house, but I’m kind of bad at prioritizing what needs to be cleaned first and then I get a little overwhelmed and then nothing gets accomplished. It’s a vicious cycle that I’m praying about and still learning. After teaching in the classroom, I realized how important organization is, so oddly enough, I am a very organized person, but for some reason I cannot keep the house clean all of the time. It drives me crazy because I want my house clean, but can never seem to get my act together. Also, just so you don’t think I live in a dirty house, it’s more that I tend to leave stuff laying around, it’s not really “dirty,” just messy. The other issue I have is that our house is a 200 year old farm house with lots of rooms, which makes cleaning maintenance difficult. As you can see, I’m still learning this skill, as it was not something I learned when I was growing up. This skill is important though, because a clean house is a peaceful house and it’s also always presentable should you ever have random guest stop by!
3. Laundry: Fortunately, I got this one down…sort of. I know how to wash clothes, get stains out, dry clothes and pick what detergents to use. I know how to wash my daughter’s cloth diapers and get the stains out of them and I know how to soak, pre-wash, rinse, low dry and prevent static. You could say that laundry was a skill I really didn’t need help in prior to marriage, however, I do struggle with a routine of when laundry gets done and that bothers me a lot. I need to prune this skill some by getting on a more regular routine of washing. This skill is really important though because you want your family to have clean clothes to be presentable to the world and to feel crisp and ready to accomplish anything that day!
4. Budgeting: So very important! I grew up in a home where my parents didn’t budget much, as a result, it became crucial for me to learn how to budget. It wasn’t until after I graduated college that I finally understood what budgeting looked like and it was only because I did the research myself. Budgeting helps you to never overspend, never overdraw your bank account and to always know where your money is going. My husband is really good at setting up the budget every month and for that I am thankful as I have this terrible relationship with crunching numbers (I’ll share that story some other time). Budgeting helps your home run smoothly, knowing that all of your bills will be paid and the groceries will be purchased. This skill is important because it sets your family up for financial success and relieves the burden and the idol worship that money can often cause.
5. Sewing: I learned to sew in 6th grade. I had my very own sewing machine and really I only used it to make scrunchies. Am I dating myself here? I loved sewing, but my parents sold my machine without me knowing it and then I lost interest. After 15 years of not sewing, I finally got a machine and taught myself the skills I needed to learn in order to sew. I have now added to my collection a serger and an embroidery machine as well as various other odds and ends. (What I would give for a craft room!) Anyway, sewing is a very useful homemaking skill because it will allow for you to mend worn clothes, purchase clothes that may need some updating for a very cheap price and make new things for your family whether it be clothes, toys or other useful cloth items. In fact, I have used my machine to make cloth wipes, burp rags and costumes! I really believe that every homemaker should learn to sew, even if it’s only by hand. Sewing by hand will still be beneficial for mending things as well as hemming long pant legs.
As you can see, I have not mastered all of these myself, but they are really good starting points for us all! These 5 skills should in no way be limited as the only things you need to know/do in order to be a homemaker. Obviously, caring for children is more important than any of these, but these skills are mostly just a starting point for your “how to be a homemaker” journey.
What about you? Do you know how to be a homemaker? Did your mom teach you? Did you teach yourself? Are you struggling to do it all? I’d love to hear from you as to how you learned your homemaking skills.
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- The Better Mom
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