This is a question that is asked often. Do I get burnt out on the rigors of housecleaning, frugal budgeting, cooking, homeschooling, and mothering? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. We tire of any job that becomes routine day in and day out. We have to grow into it, make it a habit, surrender to it, give in and let go of expectation, and just relax into it. After all, it is your life now.
I left the mainstream work force nine years ago to take up my position as homemaker and caretaker of the family. Today, nine years later, I love the job more than ever. Here are my secrets to enjoying the craft of homemaking.
As one of my community members said one time about her friend who was struggling at home, “put on the coffee and surrender to it (homemaking)”.
I love rituals. I love all things cozy and tasty and fun. I’m definitely Hygge with as much simplifying as possible. A cluttered house is tiring to clean. I have been purging like mad and finally my home is getting easy to maintain. I can clean and tidy up within an hour now that all the “extra” is gone.
Rituals: I have a few through the day. In the mornings I like to take a hot, soapy, bubbly shower and brush my teeth with a refreshing toothpaste. I lather on oils and creams from head to toe and fix my hair, put on eye make up, earrings, and dress in comfortable clothes. I drink a cup of creamy, sweet coffee as I get ready in the bathroom. This gives me such a good start to the day. I feel clean and moisturized, fresh, comfortable and pretty. I play music and have my coffee to settle into these 15 minutes it takes to prepare for the day.
My other rituals are brewing of the coffee and pulling back curtains in the morning. I put on Indie folk music, feed my furry dog children, and maybe read for a little bit. When the human children rise there is breakfast and PBS cartoons.
I have only one Spiritual book I work from right now and I only do it if I’m feeling open to taking in some thoughtful spiritual food. I work from Wayne Dyers, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life; Living The Wisdom Of The Tao. It reminds me to slow way down, be present, be in the moment with each task, and to let go of control. We truly don’t have control over much. Why not just enjoy the day and not worry about before and after.
Play and have fun. I have been cooking from scratch more and more each day. I make fresh, organic soy milk every other day since I cook with it often in place of milk. I just ordered and received my pasta maker and will be making our pasta noodles instead of buying packages of the dried stuff. Fresh made pasta is a treat in itself.
Do I want to cook from scratch all the time? No. There are times I’m sick and tired of cooking and when that happens I buy premade, packaged foods and we eat a lot of sandwiches and cereal. I have been making very simple dishes of rice and vegetables and tofu. It is the easiest to make. Or I make one pot dishes, crock pot meals, or a vegan roast. I used to love my Dump dinners book. Just take a few ingredients and dump in one pot, cook 30 minutes and voila!
Cleaning, who doesn’t tire of cleaning?! But decluttering and donating piles of things will make life easier. I love giving things away. I know with each box and bag I hand over to someone that will adore the goods, cleaning will get easier. I have the most trouble with laundry. I enjoy the meditative moment of hanging it on the line but then I must fold and put away the piles and baskets of laundry. Sometimes it takes days for me to get to it. I find a good movie helps with this task.
I switch things up and around all the time. I rearrange the furniture, redecorate with what I have already. Sometimes I will buy a new rug or lamp, a new shower curtain to spruce the house up. I shop at thrift stores or Big Lots if I do. I will do the majority of my grocery shopping for the month or go weekly, all depends on how often I want to leave the house and be in the world. Sometimes I love shopping and sometimes I need to focus on being home. I try new recipes and get creative some weeks and some weeks are rice and beans and homemade bread or tortillas. I love Trader Joes when feeling truly burnt out. I call their package food “toy food” because it’s all done for you and in pretty boxes and bags.
I watch other homemakers on YouTube and read blogs to inspire me to clean deeper, scratch cook, and nest with more enthusiasm. There is nothing like watching a person clean up a huge wreck of a house on high speed to get me motivated.
I take a lot of breaks. I take coffee breaks, tea breaks, reading breaks, movie breaks. I work from the time I rise to the time I snuggle into bed. I create a lot of pockets of time for rest and to enjoy a book and toast with honey or just sit outside and space out with my ice water.
Be out in nature as much as possible. Plant and tend to as big a garden as you can handle. Plant fruit trees. Walk everywhere. Photograph nature, enjoy nature, love nature. Hang bird feeders, plant flowers. You will feed birds and bees and they will thank you by eating bugs and pollinate your fruit and nut trees. Go in the forest and be silent. Forest bathing is what they call it now. It heals.
Music. We listen to music of all kinds and all day. We work and play and bake and clean to music. Good music and the smell of brewing coffee will motivate me almost every time. We love TV but there is a time for that and it isn’t during the day when it’s sunny and there are chores and games to do.
I never ever listen or watch news. Recently I did get sucked down into the toxic pit of hell called news and media and after a few hours “researching” I was miserable and life was hopeless and the world was going to hell in a handbasket. It took me days to recover. I stick to Positive News and Future Crunch for my worldly updates. Here are the links: https://www.positive.news/ and https://futurecrunch.com/
Get a good work apron and done it at the beginning of your shift.
Set up routines. I have days I bake all day and make dough for pizzas and tortillas. I have days I cook all day. It pays off because I don’t have to bake or cook for days after. I pretend I’m working at a café as I peel and chop and kneed dough and simmer soups.
It is a lifestyle. It is a great job with so many benefits. You start your day in the morning and work just like you would a job. But this is your company and you can run it how you like. The house is your grown up doll house to decorate and play with.
Have a hobby or other craft. We need something we get excited about and create from our imaginations. I became a writer a few years after being home. I then became a blogger. Then a YouTuber. I now just play and have fun with both. They bring in royalties and for that I’m thrilled but when I tried to make it all into a business the joy and fun disappeared. Now I just create and enjoy doing these things. It is a way to express myself and stay inspired.
Now, go and have a good time. And remember, this is the best job ever if you want it to be.