Monday, October 03, 2016

Are You Out Working? Video 29

Hello Dear Ladies,

I must be one of the few homemaker bloggers that does not think women at home are obligated to make money online or do a lot of extra work (office work, errands, social things) besides homemaking.  
Furthermore, I do not think women should go at homemaking as if it were a demanding job. There is an element that can be forgotten when homemaking becomes a frenzied clean-up job: the feelings of the heart for home living, for the house and for the people in it.

Sometimes we do so much, with such frenzy, it is like we are working outside the home.

Do you ever find yourself clenching your jaw, not enjoying your home and children, having no time for your sewing or feminine arts, feeling frazzled with no time to even do your hair or read a pretty magazine?  Do you ever think you have lost a sense of who you really are--a person with a heart for home and a love of daily life? Have you lost your sense of humour--the one you had before? 

Perhaps you feel you are being pushed: pushed to homeschool to a manmade standard, pushed to regulate your children and your own life, rushed in your housekeeping, and unable to enjoy your leisure without feeling that "other people" think you do not deserve it?

Maybe you are living by lists and schedules and losing your feeling for life at home.

Have you lost touch with your soul, and with your real self and your conscience toward God? Do you find yourself full of snappy, cutting replies?

Do you feel life is hurrying you along without a moment to just breathe the air?

It is possible you have gone to work. Many homemakers find they are forced to earn money without leaving home.  Husbands, hearing the opinions of co-workers, feel they must justify their wives being homemakers by insisting they work online to make money.  Comparisons with other men's lives are disturbing to the home, are they not? 

Maybe you have not taken on extra work, but are just not enjoying housework and homemaking because you are feeling pushed. It is hard to be a good manager of the home when someone else is pushing you. When you are not self-motivated, doing it out of personal desire, it seems to take longer, and lacks heart.

I posted a video about the insatiable drive to make women at home earn money, and how people twist Proverbs 31 to prove women should work to bring in a wage, extra money, or turn it into spare time activity (for money), even leisure. Lacking the example of stay at home mothers in their youth, many women treat home making as a job, trying to earn their living, rather than enjoy their role. Husbands also contribute to this attitude because the culture around them thinks women do nothing at home, or are oppressing men by not being wage-earners.

We live in the new age of the New Testament, where our new king is Christ.  His last will and testament that went into effect after his death, buriel and resurrection, contains the inspired book of Titus.  In chapter two of that liittle instruction book, women of the New Testament church were given a different purpose than the description in Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31 was written by a future king's mother, describing what an ideal wife would be like, if such a person could be found. It was written for a different era, although it has good principles that we can glean from today.

 Titus 2, for those living a new life in Christ, describes the woman in the church in simpler terms as a wife, mother and guide of the home. In that passage, a woman has worth for who she is and the role she has as keeper, guide and guard of the home.

Women of Christ are valued because they are precious creations in Christ. They are worthy of being home. They are worthy at home. They have worth in the sight of God, which means that others should have respect for that. Even if a homemaker is having a sick day, not feeling well, lying down on the couch, her presence is needed and felt. Her family still comes to her, for she is in charge of the home.

When we do not bring ourselves back to that, we find we are frazzled and worried.  

What can be done to alleviate this?

To shake the tension of trying to raise up to some standard that is making you frustrated, I would suggest you go back to your childhood for a moment and indulge in the art of playing house. Playing house removes pressure. Watch children as they enjoy playing house, and you will see how much they enjoy house work. They are in no hurry to get it done , yet they enjoy putting things away and washing, cleaning, etc. They can hardly wait to get up in the morning and begin their sweeping and cooking, grocery shopping a d cooking all over again!  

The concept of playing house is a way of easing your mind and better than getting so mentally exhausted that you cannot function. 

There are other techniques of approaching housekeeping to keep it from becoming a repeat of the previous day. Every other day arrange to have a no-cooking, no cleaning day by planning alternate types of meals and home activities which require less work.

To make repeated tasks less tedious, ladies  I know even become their own maids once a week, as if dropping by on their house to house appointments!  Some ladies become their own "guests" and make a special afternoon tea for themselves and the family,  using their best tableware and dishes.

Rewards are great motivators to make home life interesting. A few hours away from the house can bring you back with a renewed mind and you see your home with new eyes.  Children enjoy these outings,  too and will feel refreshed and happier at home. Put an extra ingredient in your grocery shopping cart for a special tea.  Have a chat with a friend on the phone when you get a certain task complete. Sew, take pictures, paint or indulge in an interest that does not seem too intense or laborious.

In some ways I think homemakers are intimidated by the commercial world with its schedules and profits and losses, forever concerned about their worth. We are Christians and are not supposed to be caught up in the competitiveness of this world, except, as the Bible teaches, to out-do one another in love and good deeds!  Staying home and managing it is a good deed. Loving your husband and children is a good deed. Being a keeper at home is a a multitude of good deeds that increases our love for Christ and the home.

When I say "home" I am referring to the house and the people in it.  In many instances, the Bible word "home" is interchangeable with house and family.

I do hope to add a video to this post.

Thank you for coming!

In this video I name some things other ladies have found helpful in renewing your love and purpose at home:

1. All that you say and do (those snappy, sharp replies and critical comments included) create memories. Unfortunately people always remember the bad memories more than the good!  You can avoid the bad moods by remembering you serve the Lord God, and that you are accountable for every idle word and accusation. God's word teaches us to be happy, content and to renew our minds with things that are good and lovely and uplifting.

2. Refer to the playing house of your childhood. When children play house, they enjoy it. It is their own little home and it is just a play house, not something so serious that it drags them down into despair. Watch a little one hang up the  clothes she just washed for her doll and observe her concentrated expression. She is serious about her task; she wants to be grown up and she enjoys the realistic playing.  When you think of your house as a big playhouse,  it revives a feeling of delight and contentment.

3. When you think of your home as a castle and you as a faithful overseer, you feel you have a lofty purpose. No longer is this a hovel that has no beauty, it is a fine home and you are the lady of the house.

4. Dresses for the home:  I make my cotton dresses because sometimes I just feel it is a day to wear a certain kind of print or color. I look forward to making my clothes for the place I love most which is my house.  It would not matter if I lived in a tent or a trailer: my clothing would set my mood for the day!,  When it gets a bit discouraging, I simply make a new house dress. These are also good enough to be worn in public. By removing the apron and adding a cardigan, it becomes more formal.

5. Aprons:  Maybe you have not reached the point of feeling comfortable in a dress or skirt. There are so many aprons these days that add a feeling of femininity to your clothes. Even if you wear jeans, these aprons, especially with the pinafore style, will give you a feeling of brightness and class and a get-started mindset.

6. Company:  Preparing your home for company, even if none is expected, gives you a sense of purpose. It is always energizing to do something for someone else, but most of all, you serve the Lord Christ!
My dress made from Waverly Inspirations cotton fabric from WalMart.  Almost all the fabrics there are under $5.00 a yard. This one also comes in pink and yellow and I have the multigenerstional outfits on the cutting table.
The ruffled cardigan also comes from Walmart. The wicker baskets contains my clothes pegs and I am going to hang one more wash on the line before the rain comes!

This cotton dress is so silky and has a bit of sheen, so I feel like a visitor in a fancy house!  I wonder where the tea lady is?

I used this pattern in once more before I go on to another one, which you will see next time.
I also made a pretty obi sash wraparound belt for this dress with the same piping trim as the sleeves and neckline.

An old basket gets a fresh coat of paint and is filled with painted wood clothes pins, which makes them last a lot longer, especiallynif they get left on the linenin rain. I use gloss spray paint.

I took this picture of a blue and white cake at the local bakery because the color inspired me to make the blue dress!


Beth said...

Yes! I wholeheartedly agree with you. Your timing on this is perfect. I needed this gentle reminder today:) I've been puzzled why lately I feel I've lost my joy in house keeping and homemaking and I believe you hit it spot on! I keep trying to run our home like a business almost with schedules and productivity. No wonder I feel this way. I've been trying to prove my worth to others , myself included, when my real worth is found only in Christ. Thank you for your encouraging words and mentoring.

Laura Jeanne said...

This is a beautiful and well written post, Lydia. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. I know you are right - far too many women today try too hard to "do it all" and end up burning ourselves out completely, with nothing of our true selves left to give to our loved ones. Personally, I have been trying harder this past year to rest when I need to and make time for a little bit of fun now and then. But truly, it is difficult for me to accomplish this. I have a homestead to run, three children to homeschool, a home business to do, and of course, all the cooking, cleaning and laundry that must be done. In my heart I know that running a home IS a full time job on its own, but unfortunately for me my husband doesn't feel that way. Nor does he feel that it is necessary for him to help with the housework in any way, which does make it difficult for me, because if I am going to rest, it means that many things will be left undone.

Your post has inspired me however, to hold onto the goal of finding time for rest in my life. I believe I need to rethink what activities I can possibly remove from my day. Thank you for encouraging us all to think about this. :)

Lindsey Webb said...

Thank you for this post. I lost my joy yesterday because I was trying to run my home much too strictly, worked right through my kids naptime, and was very cranky ay the end of the day. Just 1 hour of quiet time a day, looking ay blogs, getting ideas for homeschooling, or reading a book can help me be a merrier me.

Lindsey Webb said...

Thank you for this post. I lost my joy yesterday because I was trying to run my home much too strictly, worked right through my kids naptime, and was very cranky ay the end of the day. Just 1 hour of quiet time a day, looking ay blogs, getting ideas for homeschooling, or reading a book can help me be a merrier me.

Lynn Maust said...

Oh my my...I feel sooo sorry for women whose husbands think a wife should be making money and also doing nothing to help around the house....I am a single lady (divorced/widowed) most of my life and I think after reading how some married women are 'pushed' by their husbands, makes me glad I am still single....I would have to be VERY careful of whom I might marry since reading about these sad states some are in. I let my gentleman friend whom I do have , know that if I ever married, I would have to ask that that man NEVER ask me to go to work in any capacity....just as Mrs. Sharon White did before she married many years ago....and she never has (except she did help out in the general store they once had) that is my little 'take' on this fine post. Thanks, Lydia for all you have said here today. Hugs to you.

Alex said...

I really enjoyed this post and video. It rings so many bells with me, so thank you.

Andrea R said...

Wonderful post, and you look so lovely! The blue is just beautiful!

Toni Marie said...

I am a stay at home wife, with an empty nest. I love being home, and find that it is a full time job, just caring for the two of us and our home. We do believe that it is God's will for women to be home, but truthfully, we came to faith late in life, and it is still sometimes hard to drown out the voice of the world on this matter. I know that my husband has his doubts sometimes and thinks that maybe I should be contributing financially...he sees so many of his colleagues wives working, I guess. My hubby is a business man, and has always been concerned with numbers. With that in mind, and after reading a blog called "A Working Pantry" and "Bluebirds are Nesting", and their topic "The Vicky Challenge"...I decided to take that challenge, which is to keep track of how much money I save each week, by cooking from scratch, making things, fixing things, tracking down sales, and just generally running a tight ship, economically, at home. It sounds like more pressure than it actually is. It is just recording what I already do. The first week's total came to nearly $800! When I shared my list with hubby, he was deeply moved and thanked me for caring for the money he earns. I think it settled his heart and it also gave him a defense for why there is value in our lifestyle. I thank God for His many mercies, and I hope this information helps someone today.

Ellen Seagren said...

Another wonderful post and video! Thank you for all the effort you put into your blog. I have read that the Victorians tried to make their home a warm and safe haven from the rest of the world. That is how I try to take care of our home. Also I decorate a little bit differently each month - just to celebrate the seasons. Right now I have a string of lights with a garland of autumn leaves on the mantel. Just small things but it's like a little gift to our house! My husband enjoys and appreciates these small touches that make our home welcoming.

ladypinktulip said...

Oh thank you for such an encouraging post. I would like to share that I had been selling some things on Ebay...just things I knew I could make a bit of money on that I no longer needed. This turned out horrible. Several buyers did chargebacks saying they didn't authorize the purchase while they had my item. There are may deceitful cunning people out there who will steal from the homemaker just selling things online! I quit selling after that. I definitely see where public school and working outside the home years ago has crept into my thinking stealing my joy at home. I do feel pushed to "produce" a result each day and that comes from me internally not my husband. I must learn to relax again and enjoy each day and what it brings. Thank you for continuing to hold up the standard that women should feel her days at home are pleasant and not drudgery. Love Kelly T.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lydia for sharing your insight and wisdom. I often find myself overwhelmed with what I need to do during the day, chore after chore to cross off my list of things to do, and I just realised that it's how I look at things that make me feel this way. Your analogy of children's joy at playing house is both lovely and powerful. I usually dread doing the dishes but your post has me looking forward to my next sojourn at the kitchen sink :) Love, Mara.

Ann said...

I just want to thank you so much. I have been home for 35 years and sometimes still fight that old feeling of needing to justify my occupation. Even women my age who were raised by mothers at home (the norm) seem a little puzzled that I am still at home even though I am an empty-nester and a grandmother. My heart hurts because it seems impossible for young mothers to stay at home with their little ones, which I feel is a God-planted desire. Home Ec is no longer taught in many schools. I sure had no homemaking skills when I was young, but Home Ec did teach us how to cook on the cheap. I pray for these young mothers today, and that their husbands would help them find a way and encourage them to stay at home with their babies.

Aline Law said...

Dear Lydia,
This post is so encouraging!
I think homemakers of all ages can find encouragement in what you have written.
It is sometimes hard not to rush around and feel we must be on a schedule as the 'working world' is.
I love to see your new dresses and all the other pretty things on your blog.
Keep up the good work :-)
Aline L.

Lydia said...

Your comments are better than the posts! I have thought of so much more since I published this, that might be appropriate for a continued post on this subject. For example, our parents and grandparents did not list everything they had to do at home. They knew what to do as soon as they got up in the morning. They were alert enough to do what was right at any given time. They did not make menus. I woukd suggest reading chapter on food and homemaking in The Benevolence of Manners by Linda Lichter. I plan to get another copy of this book. It shows how women lived before the current era of makinf the home a business.

Miriam said...

Written in 1918 this article is today more on spot than ever!

ladypinktulip said...

This post has really made see that when I worked outside the home in the early years...even after I came to be a stay at home wife, I brought those same habits home! How awful! Making lists, settings time contraints, UGH. I can see where the delight in homemaking was tarnished with these work world habits. Thankfully its not to late to practice spontaneity and learn to relax and enjoy. We have been sold a terrible lie in feminism. Love Kelly T.

Lydia said...

Christine Beauchamp has left a new comment on your post "Are You Out Working? Video 29":

You are so funny Lydia - - "I wonder where the tea lady is?!!" I love it. . and your dress is very sweet. . love the blue. . . . same type of sleeves I had on my wedding dress . . .the dress and sleeves were very pretty - - very Victorian. I had the leanings even then - - more than 30 years ago. Bless your sweet heart!


Laura Jeanne said...

I would love to see another post continuing this subject, Lydia. I am intrigued by what you say about not making the house a business, not making lists and menus, etc. I have never heard anyone speak about such things in a negative way before and I am very interested to hear your take on the subject, as I am someone who makes lots of lists and can't imagine surviving without them. :)


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