Saturday, February 04, 2006

Oh The Things We May Do

This is addressed to single girls as well as new stay-at-homemakers. Sometimes it is difficult to understand what there is to do at home. A young man said to our family one day, "I don't understand what can take all day for a woman to do. When my wife has to be away or is sick, I take care of the house, and it takes just under an hour to do everything."

I laughed at this ignorant young man, because, although he got the mechanical things done--the laundry and cooking and sweeping, he missed a major part of the purpose of the home. It isn't just a hotel to provide food and bedding and a shower.There is so much more to it than that. Home is a place where memories are formed. It is a place where the mind is more fully developed.

It is a place where true rest and creativity can be achieved. Home is where real work takes place, where the heart is fully engaged in making it a wonderful place. Oh yes, there is much more to it that making a clean sweep of the place just before someone comes home, but there is a big difference in the atmosphere of a home where the homemaker has taken much, much time to put some thought into what she is doing, and one that has just been swept through.

Any one of us can rush through the house at 4 o'clock and get it cleaned up, and make it appear that we have been working all day, but really taking care of a home takes much, much more time than that. There is a lot of thought that has to be put into exactly where an item must be stored. Great contemplation goes into the placement of the furniture or even the selection of a good piece of furniture. Home isn't just any old place. Everything in it counts, and everything you do there, counts for the future, as well as the past.

When I was a young lady in my father's house, I noticed with longing that single girls would go to work, and after the day was over, suppose that they should just relax and go see a movie or go to a restaurant, even shopping. I thought they had a wonderful life! I was made to clean house, sew, write, paint, or cook.

My parents believed that we should be busy and not idle, so if we were not working at something, we had to be doing something creative and fun. We weren't allowed to go from house to house or be at someone elses home unless it was a particular invitation and there was a distinct purpose for being there. We could not sit around and stare into space or pick arguments with one another.

Our conversation had to be constructive. Our occupations had to be useful.Later on I learned that many single girls did not know what to do with their time, because they had not been taught to do very much, besides type. Their education limited them to one kind of work, and after work, they had no skills to do anything much, so they shopped or visited in other people's places of abode.

Many of these girls were not aware that there was so much to do, and so much to learn, during their leisure time.Below is is a list I have that helps you find your niche when you don't think there is anything to do:

Are you learning to sew?
Do you visit fabric stores and try to learn about different kinds of fabrics?
Are your clothes mended, and buttons replaced?
Have you taken a cooking course, or checked out a book or magazine about cooking?
Do you try new recipes?
Can you cook with raw foods, without the aid of mixes and prepared foods?
Do you know how to plan, prepare and serve a simple meal?
Have you written a letter recently?
Do you have more than one correspondent?
Do you make your own cards?
Have you taken an art or craft course from a craft store?
Are you developing a little knowledge from books and films so that you can participate in conversations dealing with various subjects?
Are you physically fit and healthy, or working on it?
Have you read any creative books in the last week?
Have you learned a new skill within the last month?
Is the area you reside in kept perfectly need and clean?
Are you trying to learn to be a good homemaker?
Are your pictures in order and put into albums?
Do you keep a scrapbook or journal?
Are you learning to live frugally so that you can save money??
Are you helping your parents in some way?Do you know how to talk to people in a way that will encourage them?
Could you take over the housekeeping in your mother's house?

This is by no means a complete list, nor is it meant to impose on young ladies a lot of "must-do's.." so don't get any ideas here that all of this is required. It is for the purpose of showing those who think there is nothing to do at home, that there is a lot ot do, as well as a great opportunity to learn.

Stitching the Standard by Edmund Blair Leighton, c. 1800


Anonymous said...

Thank you for another wonderful and inspiring post!

Love and God's Blessings,

Cherish the Home said...

This was very inspiring....lots of creative ideas.....THANKS!

DonnaB said...

This article made me smile because when I first came home to raise my children those were my thoughts "what am I going to do all day?" Now I know the truth, there are hardly enough hours in the day to get everything done I want to get done to make my house a "home" for my family.

finance girl said...

Hello there, what a great list, I would add to it also "are you reading literature or non fiction that challenges you to grow intellectually?". Thank you

MrsSushiQueen said...

Thank you for making such a beautiful blog. Reading your writings are so very uplifting to th spirit!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting this together. It is a very helpful reminder for me - a young lady at home.

Gina E. said...

Hi Lady Lydia,
I have just discovered you via Ms Robyn, who puts on her blog, links to the best of the best other blogs! And yours is a fine example. This post brought back so many memories of the way I was brought up nearly 50 years ago, and while I may have occasionally resented my parents being fairly strict, I have absolutely no regrets now. I wish schools could introduce some of these 'life guidelines' to kids, but I fear it is too many are just little savages now.

Maggie Ann said...

Just over visiting from ms*robyns blog. I love your 'list'...very excellent suggestions. As I get older I am realizing the importance of enjoying life and getting the most out of

sauvageblue said...

I am quite impressed. My mother passed away when I was eleven and oddly enough these are things I taught myself to do by reading books. You have a beautiful blog and rading your thoughts are inspiring.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! I remember leaving my job on Friday, having my baby on Monday. I never went back to work and became a stay-at-home mom overnight. What a journey it has been! Nine years later, I wouldn't trade what I do for all the money in the world!

I am glad to have found your blog and will stop by again soon.