My Purpose As A Homemaker

breakfastnook by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

I look around my home and recognize a great need for order (no, that is not my house in the above picture, lol). My house is not cluttered (I am so anti-clutter). I would consider it to be a bit unorganized and just plain messy. Granted, I have 5 children and I don't expect my house to look like a museum. It ought to look lived in, but it should be orderly.

In addition, meal times are chaotic and often left "unfinished". Dishes left undone, table not completely cleared, floor not swept.

First, I want to clearly define what a homemaker is: A homemaker is a person who manages the household of her own family. (dictionary.com)

A household is defined as the people of a house collectively (dictionary.com)

The Bible defines our role as homemakers in a couple of places [that I found]: [to set] about her work vigorously (Proverbs 31:17) ...to be busy at home (Titus 2:5) (NIV)

Defining exactly what we are to do helps clarify our purpose. So not only does a homemaker care for the house, but for the family. Yes, that opens several more doors of possibilities (and responsibilities), doesn't it? So coupling the above definitions with the needs of my own family, here is my purpose as a homemaker:

To be attentive to the needs of my family, diligent in creating 'home', and consistent in the everyday essentials. To serve with joy, purpose, ambition and gratitude.

In a more expanded version, my purpose requires that I attend to the needs of my home and family, that I am active (intentional) about creating a home, and that I work constantly at those things that need to be done every-single-day. I intend to do these things with joy, aim, initiative, and thanksgiving.

My goals include [but are not limited to]:

to wake up before my children, to create smooth and memorable meal times, follow more closely to my schedule, and be intentional about creating an atmosphere of peace.

As these goals are met, new ones will develop. They are rather specific compared with my purpose. My purpose will generally stay the same.

Perhaps it's a bit simplistic--and that's exactly the point. I don't want anything too complex or too hard to reach for. As it stands, this will be challenge enough for me. :)

Here I will expound on my goals and the steps I will take to get there.

Goals:

To wake up before my children

This is probably one of the most important tools [for me] to running a smooth household. I have seen, consistently, what a difference this makes. It takes me some time to "wake up" and I really need to do this before the children are awake so that I am ready for them. Otherwise, I am dragging my feet, making them wait for breakfast. Apparently, one of my "famous" lines is, "Mommy can't even see straight yet." My five year old now asks me when I wake up if "my eyes are still blind".

  • continue in my HelloMornings group (#hellomornings on Twitter - for accountability)
  • shower in the mornings (to wake me up and keep me refreshed)
  • spend some time in prayer and journaling

Most of this is easy. The hard part is getting out of bed.

To create smooth and memorable meal times.

Meal times are one of my biggest challenges. Everything from being prepared with a menu, to having a tidy kitchen to work in. I tend to rush food out and leave the cleaning for "later". Later comes when it's time for the next meal. Who wants to work in a kitchen like that?! Not me! So, it's time to do something about it. Here are the steps--which are just mini-goals--to get me at this place:

  • menu plan
  • serve buffet style (everything on table), rather than serving each child individually from the stove/counter
  • Read Scripture before or after the meal (while seated at the table)
  • Have everyone take part in kitchen clean-up--dirty dishes to sink, table cleaned off, floor swept, load dishwasher
  • Do my part and clean up counters, stove, sink, etc; have kitchen and dining room ready for next meal.

During meal times I want to have fruitful conversations about life. Create memories, talk about God's goodness and pray for others in need.

Follow my schedule more closely.

Yes, I have struggled with this since day one. But when I do follow closely to my schedule, the day is bliss! I feel accomplished because I have gotten done [even some] of what I set out to do. It gives me a sense of fulfillment when I follow my schedule. So this is an important area for me. The question is, how will I accomplish this feat? I go back to my purpose and be consistent in the everyday essentials.

  • Start with the basics. Follow the schedule for meals and bed time routines.
  • Reorganize tasks to fit into the best time slots and work through them
  • Slowly add in another task -- one every 2-4 weeks -- ones that are not being accomplished, currently
  • Be consistent. Set hand to the plow.

My fear has been that life will get too redundant, so I resist the schedule. But you know what? I feel myself craving it as the days flutter by with little to show. Ann Voskamp said that fear is nothing to be afraid of--it's just the door we push through to get to the other side.

Be intentional about creating an atmosphere of peace.

This is a tough one because with 5 children, 4 of them 5 and under, there is a lot of chaos, whining, screaming, fighting...whatever. That's just life. They are in training and are learning, but in the mean time, I get stressed listening to it. In fact, I tend to react as a result. You'd think after 5 children I'd be used to it by now -- but no. Don't think you can ever get used to it. Maybe not, but I think I can train myself to stop reacting and be proactive on how to cut down on the issues.

  • keep to my schedule, which will cut down on some of this issue
  • teach peacemaking before a problem arises (Young Peacemaker is an excellent resource)
  • have "face time" with each of my children daily (1-on-1 time with each child)
  • don't allow too much free time

This will be a start. Once I put these into practice on a regular, consistent basis I can reevaluate the situation to see if further action needs to be taken.

{Don't count. I actually listed 4 goals}. By no means will I be able to tackle all these goals at once. It will be an ongoing process, probably for months before it becomes more "second nature". But now that I have a clear direction of what my purpose is and some definite needs to fill, I have plenty to do.

Homemaking is not meant to be easy. We can simplify it, but it is still a very challenging role. Resisting and trying to work against our role will only result in more challenges and frustrations. Instead, let's embrace this role so we are free to own it and live it out.