Homemaking: The Challenge for Women
This great purpose, this twenty-four hours a day job, this beautiful mess I live in each day…Modern Christian Homemaking is about so much more than meets the eye.
I feel like our society has done an inadequate job at preparing us for this task.
Since the 1960’s our American society has told women to go off to college, be independent, figure out what inspires you, chase your dreams, get a great job, and acquire all the wonderful things you can dream of.
We were told to establish ourselves in any way that we will be fulfilled. Make sure you get plenty of “me time,” go out with your friends, have lots of great hobbies.
So I went off to business school and lived an independent life full of friends. I did a little studying and had lots of good times. It was always in the back of my head that I wanted to be a stay at home mom someday. I thought I’d love every minute of it.
What could be better than spending days with my kids? I wanted to teach them, guide them, and take care of my home and husband.
Then I graduated, started working, and got married while still keeping this lifestyle of independent living.
Even though married life changed many things in my life, it still allowed me to make my own choices with my free time. I spent time with friends, worked out whenever I wanted to, could stop by a store easily, or go away for a weekend.
There’s nothing that can prepare you for the next phase of life besides diving right in…babies!
My Wake Up Call
I had my first child eight and a half years ago and became a stay at home mom. She was wonderful and I felt incredibly blessed!
I floated through the first 6 months to a year just trying to figure her out. I was consumed with her in every way…nursing, diapers, planning everything around naps and sleep, wondering if she had gas or was getting new teeth.
Sure, there were challenges as we moved back to our hometown area near family with our first little one. It was an adjustment to “stay home,” but I was in the honeymoon phase and enjoyed it very much. I only had her to worry about!
Then came baby number two. He was equally as wonderful but all of a sudden, I was outnumbered.
My husband is a teacher and coach, so that keeps him quite busy. I couldn’t run to the store easily anymore, couldn’t run off to visit with a friend, definitely couldn’t go shopping.
We were constantly restricted by nursing and naps. My baby would nap in the morning and afternoon and my two year old would nap in between.
It was incredibly difficult to adjust to this new, home bound reality.
Like I said, our society has taught us women to be independent and fulfilled selfishly. This mindset lead me to a lack of contentment in my heart. Instead of staying in this mindset, I wanted to find contentment in the simplicity of the phase I was and am in.
The idea of what I call Modern Christian Homemaking hadn’t sunk in. I didn’t realize how selfish I was.
I’m curious to know how many other women struggled to find the balance like I did. The balance between knowing who I am (or at least who I was for so long) and becoming stay at home mommy all.the.time.
The next few years were challenging. I was often overwhelmed with kids’ needs, making dinners, keeping up with housework (which I never was able to!).
I didn’t have a good knowledge base for how to do this homemaking job that I yearned for all my life.
It took me about four or five years after having my first child to adjust my heart and my mind to finding the contentment I had been searching for.
For more encouragement read: To The Tired Mom of Little Ones– You’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed in this season of life.
What I’ve Learned
Finding contentment in my heart took many challenging discussions with my husband.
I would often blame him for these expectations he could not meet or fulfill in me. He didn’t force me into this role. But I felt like, because he worked outside of the home, he could still feel “normal.” He could still do the things he used to do before we had kids. He couldn’t understand the struggle I was having adjusting to my loss of independence.
What I ultimately had to do was take these feelings to Jesus. I had to ask Him how He could be enough for me and change my attitude toward this stage of life I was in.
Every time we have a bad attitude about something in our lives, isn’t it a reflection of our hearts? Shouldn’t we put these problems before God and ask Him to help us see it with His eyes?
I also learned over the years more about managing a home. Wow it takes a lot of work to care for a family!
And since we’re on one income it takes a lot of homemade everything and creativity to change the way you used to live.
When you begin taking care of a home and your family learn from others who have spent years managing a household. There are incredible resources on saving money, meal planning, cleaning, and scheduling.
Modern Christian Homemaking is about mental well-being. It’s also about organizing your life to make the most of your time with your husband and kids, while keeping up on tasks around the home and investing in others outside of the home.
This takes many years to find the right balance, because everyone is different. Learn from others and then figure out what’s best for you!
The best way to find peace in your heart as a homemaker is to give your heart over to Jesus each day. Ask Him to give you contentment in whatever life brings.
Ideas to Help Adjust to Modern Christian Homemaking
Here are some practical tips to help as you enter into this homemaking phase of life:
- Find time for prayer and reflection. Allow your faith to calm you and get you ready for whatever is ahead of you.
- Live in the moment with your kids. Enjoy each stage they are in because it really does go fast.
- Don’t blame your husband. I struggled with my emotions and would often get frustrated with him. What I really needed was a better plan for managing my days and to do less of what made me stressed.
- Stay away from comparing yourself with other moms. We all have a tendency to do this. Try limiting your time on social media and find friends who are uplifting.
- Refuel. I visit with my family and friends often, get in a few workouts each week, and we will occasionally have a date night. What refuels you?
How do you find fulfillment in this beautiful mess of Modern Christian Homemaking? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
For more encouragement read:
Out of Memory – You’re not alone in this parenting journey of highs and lows
Soul Care – A Christian woman’s guide to self care
Simple DIY Command Center – A practical solution to home management