My journey to becoming a homemaker wasn’t something I came to all that naturally. If that’s the case for you, I have a few tips for how you can be at peace being a full-time homemaker. If you’re a stay-at-home mom like I am, these tips apply to you, too!
I sat on our bed crying as I brushed out my hair.
“I just feel so useless.”
My husband leaned in for a hug and patted my back. He told me that he needed me here to run the home so that he could be out working. His ideals were encouraging. We always knew I was going to transition to being at home full-time, but that didn’t make the transition any less frustrating.
When I began college, I had a vision of how my life would go. I would graduate, get my dream job, find the love of my life, and begin a family. Little did I know, God had a much different plan for us. When an opportunity for me to begin working from home presented itself much sooner than we anticipated, we jumped on it. And I knew that working from home was going to be much better for our family. I was working weekends, coming home mentally and spiritually exhausted because of the sorrow and strain I saw saturating our world.
But there I was. Crying on our bed because I felt the primary way I could contribute to my family was financially.
God’s Design for the Home
For almost six months, I believed the lie that my worth was monetary. That’s when I began digging in and reading about God’s intentions for a woman and her home. When I took the time to figure out what His plan for our home was, it made it that much easier to check my heart and begin looking for work outside the home that didn’t compromise His will for our lives.
What is a Homemaker?
Titus 2 is probably the most well-known chapter regarding homemaking because in some translations it uses the word “homemaker.”
“4. that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”
The word “homemaker” in Greek is sometimes translated as “keeper at home.” It comes from the Greek “a house” and “a guard.” Literally, it means staying at home and taking care of household affairs, a domestic. The word “discreet” in the same passage is associated with “curbing one’s desires and impulses,” (Blue Letter Bible). Why does Paul tell Titus that older women need to admonish the younger women to do these things? So “the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Wow! When we look at homemaking in this light – that we are guardians of our homes – and realize that our care directly reflects what God expects of us as Christians, it makes doing things like folding towels and running the dishwasher not only fulfilling but a key part in our work in the Kingdom.
Another prominent passage related to homemaking is Proverbs 31:10-31. I’m drawn to verse 26.
“26. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”
I relied on my Bachelor’s degree, awards, and professional experience but found myself staring at the wall wondering why I couldn’t find fulfilling work outside the home. In reality, I can apply all of what I know – my wisdom – in my work at home. Blue Letter Bible says that wisdom here is associated with skill and prudence in war, administration, and even religious and ethical affairs.
When I read this, I began thinking about all of the skills I developed while I was working professionally. Time management, budgeting, working with others, managing multiple facets of a project, and intentionally and professionally dealing with conflict. All the tools and skills I needed on the job are influencing my everyday work in my home.
Simple Tips for Applying Professional Skills to Homemaking
If you are thinking “managing a home is quite different from working in the real world.” You’re right. It is completely different.
In my experience, it’s different largely because you become the boss. You set the tone for the “office.” You are responsible for whether or not tasks get done. And you are responsible for setting deadlines for those tasks.
I think it’s a beautiful thing that we have been tasked with this! So let’s look at ways we can use our professional experience (or general life skills if you never pursued a career), to become a more productive homemaker.
1) What are you good at?
I was a journalist before becoming a homemaker. I excelled in hitting deadlines, producing quality news articles, and fostering relationships with people in my community. I was taught to think quickly, act quickly, and let go of expectations and perfectionism.
When I became a homemaker, I naturally began implementing those things into my home. I implemented simple routines and stuck to them. I looked at our biggest challenges as problems that had a solution; we just had to gain information and talk to a few experts to figure out those solutions.
As you’re reading this, I want you to begin imagining what you’re good at. Are you great at managing projects? What about managing people? Are you organized and outgoing? Or are you better at working with others to get a project done?
Once you start thinking about your strengths, you may be able to more easily see how they can transfer to the art of homemaking.
2) Find a coworker who has been doing this for longer. Pick their brain and implement their advice.
The homemaking journey is not new. Sure, the methods, technology, and battles we fight are all new. But the arc of aspiring to stay home, getting married, and staying home isn’t new.
So find someone who has been doing this for longer and sit at their feet. Hear what they have to say. Become vulnerable and ask them about ways you can improve.
When we were examining Titus 2 earlier in this blog post, this is the woman who is admonishing the younger women. This is the woman encouraging other women to be stay-at-home moms. Trust me – she has a trick or two that will be valuable to you, too!
3) When you master a skill, it’s time to learn something else. Don’t stall or you won’t promote.
It’s always easy to look at the next thing that needs to get done. And sometimes that can be overwhelming. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
When I say “you won’t promote,” I simply mean your day-to-day will not be filled with mundane tasks. You’ll have so much free time, but will you spend it wisely?
When you do master how to cook and clean, consider learning how to bake. When you learn how to bake, consider volunteering to bake the Christmas desserts for your husband’s work party. When you learn how to clean your home, consider learning how to clean your appliances and even the exterior of your home. Maybe that leads to you managing pest control, changing light bulbs, taking out the trash, and other tasks.
4) When something isn’t working, address the issue head-on with grace and kindness.
There is so much that goes into being a homemaker. And it always seems like little things that pack a big punch.
You have a rolling to-do list, meal planning, grocery shopping, daily tasks like cleaning and laundry, and quality time with family and with yourself, just to name a few.
But what if one of those things isn’t working for you and your family? In this day and age, social media has a funny way of telling us we need a cleaning routine or we need a meal plan. But do we?
If something in your homemaking simply isn’t working for you and your family, approach the issue with grace and kindness. There’s no need to beat yourself up for wasting time while you are trying to figure out what works. Get on to trying new things and finding the most efficient way to run your home.
That may mean buying grocery staples you can use in a multitude of dishes instead of meal planning. That may mean deep cleaning your entire house in one day and simply tidying up throughout the week. There are quite a few ways to work out what successful homemaking looks like for you and your family.
5) Don’t be afraid to commit to full-time homemaking.
I’m sure we all have that one friend who either couldn’t figure out what degree they wanted to pursue in college or couldn’t hold down a job because they were never fulfilled.
Don’t let your home and family suffer because you can’t commit to homemaking.
Start with a positive attitude toward your homemaking. Purpose yourself to find the best ways you can serve your family and manage your home. This is going to look different for everyone, but that’s part of the beauty of it! And that’s how we can not only learn from the Titus 2 women in our lives, but from each other.
If you keep one foot in the corporate world, or you’re always participating in things that detract from your homemaking, homemaking will never work out well for you.
6) Set expectations and stick to them.
When you get a job, you’re required to work so many hours per week and fulfill so many responsibilities. Homemaking is no different.
As your boss, you get to propose your expectations. For me and my house, I like to keep a tidy home. We have a daily schedule of tasks that need to be accomplished, and if they don’t get done, we fall behind in a big way.
7) Expect tough days.
Just like corporate America, a home isn’t immune from things like job loss, gossip, missed deadlines, and the like. There’s a lot you can do to fight against those storms and even prepare for them, but expecting them will keep you grounded.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I embrace being a homemaker?
You can embrace being a homemaker by studying God’s word, seeking counsel from other homemakers, disregarding bad advice, keeping a good attitude, and focusing on your priorities, not the priorities of others.
How can I be a happy homemaker?
You can be a happy homemaker by investing in yourself. Consider learning a new hobby in your pockets of time throughout your day. If you like reading, set out to read a set number of books each year. Find ways beyond what society preaches. Self-care, independence, and making your own money may not lead to happiness.
A Renewed Look at Working Outside the Home
When I began looking at my home as my mission field instead of my workplace, my outlook changed drastically. My worth, as a child of God, comes from my service to God first, not the service to my home. My contribution to my home comes from my work as a wife, not how much money I make.
As I wrestled with staying at home and building something new, I started to be mindful of what a gift being able to stay at home was. Hard work isn’t reserved for a career. Even before I had children, I could easily create a full-time job from the responsibilities I had!
As you grow in your homemaking skills, I hope you see the value in what you’re doing. I hope you will take the first step to either walk away from corporate America or spend a lot of time contemplating what being a full-time homemaker means for your family.
A Note About Work Outside the Home
I can’t find anything in Scripture that prohibits a woman from working outside the home to make a living or contribute to her home. However, God’s will must come before all other interests, pursuits, and ideals.
The world is trying to convince women that it’s a necessity to work outside the home. That you’re worth so much more than a life of changing diapers, shuffling children around, and cooking meals. That in today’s financial climate, you literally can’t afford to stay at home and manage your home.
If you find yourself believing either one of those lies, I ask you to do what you can practically. Examine your responsibilities at home. Take a closer look at your budget. Redefine your priorities.
You can also do what we’ve already talked about. Commit to full-time homemaking, talk to other homemakers, grow your skill set, and set homemaking expectations and stick to them.
I can promise you. At the end of the day, the work you do in and for your home is much more fulfilling than anything you will accomplish outside your home.
A Day in A Homemaker’s Life
If you’re still unsure about what homemaking may look like for you, this is what a day looks like for me. Keep in mind that your daily routine may look different from mine. And that’s okay – our differences don’t define what makes a good homemaker.
7-8 am – I try to wake up before my children. I grab a cup of coffee and my Bible.
8 am – As my children wake up, I make breakfast, get the children dressed for the day, and accomplish the daily tasks.
Daily, I run a load of laundry, run dishes through the dishwasher, clean a room in my house, feed the chickens, and monitor things like bills to be paid, the mail, and projects we have going on down the line.
12 pm – 2 pm – lunchtime often fluctuates in our home based on what we’re doing that day, as does quiet time.
4-6 pm – The children are done with quiet time (and mommy is done with writing these blog posts!) and it’s time to start dinner. We also do an afternoon tidy and begin our bedtime routine when dinner is done!
In the pockets of time I have in my day, I’m also running a beeswax beauty products business, encouraging friends and family with texts and letters, and growing facets of my blog, like adding t-shirts and ebooks to sell to my audience.
Outside of all of this, I also consistently date my husband and make time for friends and activities I enjoy. Don’t let anyone tell you all you will be doing is cooking, cleaning, and tending to children! That’s simply not the case!
If you’re a seasoned homemaker but lacking inspiration for your next homemaking task, check out my ebook! Homemaking Activities for Every Season has 350 activities. Everything from cleaning to crafts projects! Download yours here.