Monday, September 12, 2005

We Are Home--Now What?


Now that most young women are deciding to stay home, rather than pursue college, career, and the rat-race of the workplace, let us not leave them there, wondering what to do. Do we paint a glorious picture for them of the life at home, and leave them there to fend for themselves?

We might not realize that it is not as it was before: women learned from their own mothers and grandmothers at home, how to conduct their daily lives and it was natural to them. Now, we have a fresh batch of homemakers who have never seen a mother at home. Are we leaving them home to face possible loneliness and anxiety, which might cause them to leave their homes?

Here is something you can do: Plan a buffet style breakfast in your home and invite some young women. Some of them may be at home, and others may be considering it. Have a pleasant meal, and glow with the sunshine of enthusiasm, contentment and happiness, while you talk to them about how to function throughout a day at home.

This might work, in the form of a "Ladies Bible Study" where one inspirational verse and some prayer requests can be used to launch the lesson to motivate them in their home.

Home is a little different than the working world, because the homemaker is virtually on her own, without the feeling of teamwork, the pressures of time, and the cash rewards up front. However, you can get some good hints from the working world, that will help even more effectively at home:

1. Get up, and dress up, for the day.

Before you even come out into your working world (your home), make sure you are dressed and have your hair done, and the various skin-care you use, is applied. It makes you feel really put-together. Contrast this to the days you stumble out of bed and slog sleepy-eyed into the kitchen and start working. Somehow, the day never seems to become orderly and the accomplishments are not as visible, when you don't prepare for your responsibility of guiding, guarding, and caring for the family and house. Your appearance is your preparation.

Get yourself the best possible products that you need for your hair, your clothes, your shoes, and so forth. Don't skimp on these things. It is more motivating if you treat yourself to the things that help your day go better. Just because you are home, doesn't mean you get lax about your clothing and your standard of appearance. If you take care of your appearance first, you will feel dignified and approach the role in a professional way.

2. Each morning, whether the task is great or minute, develop a routine of washing the dishes, cleaning off the table and cabinet top, and making the bed.

Even though these rooms might not be too messy, doing these small things are little ways to get your body moving, and going on to greater tasks.

3. In an attractive little book, make a list of things to do for the day, which include correspondence (cards, letters, ordering, other types of mail), calls or phone calls to make, dishes, laundry, beds, and care of floors, and give yourself a sticker or check them off as the jobs are completed.

If you will take your "students" to the living room and let them sit in comfortable seats, you can accept questions about the rigours of home life, and counsel accordingly. When I was a new wife, I often longed for the older women at church to have a breakfast party or breakfast tea for the younger women, to help them get started on their day with joy and purpose. Most women at the time were fiercely independent and had their own minds made up about how things should be done, so the older women didn't feel they were needed. Now, after all this time, a new crop of young homemakers need this encouragement more than ever. They are longing for it and looking for it. If you are able, get a companion (your daughter, another woman) and plan a simple seminar for the younger homemakers.

Sometimes florists offer free flowers, if you promise to give them away. You could collect some freebies and present a perk-pack for these women. Check out the dollar store for candles, notebooks, and good homemaking supplies. Fill up gift bags with them and a personal note to each woman.

As your group grows, "franchise" it to other women you have confidence in, to continue the weekly or monthly devotionals and encouragement sessions.

Emilie Barnes suggests in her book, "The Spirit of Loveliness" that you prepare a gift basket, with each item representing something spirital: candles, notecards,a Bible, a book, a pictures, etc.

continued...

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