Why Homemaking Matters

When I was a girl in the midst of the feminist 1970s and 80s, my mother pooh-poohed homemaking. She kept a reasonably tidy house, but she was forever in a hurry to get the house cleaning done so she could do "important things" - like her job or her artwork. She never had me do chores - I rarely even picked up my own room until I reached my teens. She didn't see any value in home keeping and wanted "better" things for me.

This was a great disservice to me (even though I know she believed the opposite and was doing her best at the time). When I was a teen and she wanted me to start caring more for myself and my things, I didn't know how. No one ever taught me. Housekeeping was apparently something so ridiculously simple, I was supposed to just know how to do it.

Later, when I had a home of my own, I was still unprepared. Like my mother, I generally saw home keeping as a chore to get out of the way as soon as possible so I could do "more important" things. By then, I'd figured out - the hard way, through experimentation - how to do things like wash the dishes and vacuum reasonably well. But I still had a great deal to learn.

All this came to a head when children came into the picture. That added responsibility is what tipped the scales of my life into chaos. I didn't understand the foundations of home keeping, so I couldn't control my household.

I saw immediate negative effects. My house was a mess. The dirt and disorganization made me feel depressed. My husband - ever gentle when it came to criticizing me - began to complain some. Being in the house was stressful for him - and for me. And what was I teaching my children?

It was then I realized that the old ideas about home keeping - that it was an important job - were correct. The feminists were wrong. There was a reason the Bible held high the good home keeper - the Proverbs 31 woman. Her work - her job - made it possible for her and her family to thrive.

A Few Benefits of Good Home Keeping:
* A restful home
* Less stress for everyone in the household
* A more peaceful family
* More money to spare for charities, savings, vacations, etc.
* The home maker develops useful business skills
* Saves times
* Makes it much easier to entertain
* Is one way to show our family we care about them

A Few Side Effects of Bad Home Keeping:
* More stress for everyone in the household
* Less money to spare
* Inability to find things - and the frustration that accompanies this
* Time is easily wasted
* Makes it difficult and stressful to entertain
* Feels embarrassing and can lead to feelings of resentment in family members


  1. Even though I'm younger than you, and my mom was a stay-at-home, she didn't do a good job teaching me how to keep a home... She often said that her mother put too much emphasis on having a clean house, and said other things were more important... which I can understand, but when I'm now in a position where I'm constantly compared to my mother-in-law with my housekeeping skills, it's something I resent. I constantly forget to do things that most homemakers would see and do, and when I have the odd-ball housekeeping issue, I'm at a loss as to how to deal with it. YouTube is starting to become my go-to for these types of problems, as is Facebook.

    If it weren't for a series of videos on YouTube on how to do some things, I'd have no clue whatsoever.

    I just hope I can teach my 3-year-old and 18-month-old better than I was taught... :/

  2. This is such a needed thing! I am almost 33. When I was young, my mom had me do NOTHING. I had zero responsibilities other than financial ones, which I am thankful for. When I got married at age 20.5 yrs old, my poor husband had to learn to love spaghetti. It was the one food I had figured out how to cook, with no meat. I wanted so much to be the "perfect wife," but there was still blood in his beloved fried chicken and Taco Bell became a great place to eat. LOL I have come SO FAR.

    Even though my mom was a great seamstress, I was never taught how to sew and have struggled to teach myself to sew buttons back on. That's it. Some teens in my church have started letting my girls (8, 7, and 5) sew pieces of materials together and teaching them basics.

    I am super organized, clutter free (I despise clutter or collectibles), but I homeschool. That takes hours away from doing housework. So I finally had to learn to make the kids have more responsibility, which they really wanted! They have always been responsible for their own rooms from about 2 years old on (training the little ones, of course). The older girls make their own bed each day (something I still lack at buy trying to instill in them). My 8 year old does one load of dishes every day (we have no dishwasher). My 7 year old does one load of laundry every day. They have little things like wiping down the bathroom sink with a Lysol wipe, organizing their tights into sizes and the right bags, putting away clean dishes, cleaning the table after meals, sorting their own undies, socks, etc.

    They truly long to do this and feel so proud and useful! As they grow, I am finding they are so confident in these things that I can pass down other small responsibilities to them. It is really wonderful. And them helping out allows me time to sit down and read a book to the 2 year old for some alone time with him.

    I don't plan to cast all my household responsibilities on my children, BUT I am in no way against them being responsible members of our family. I hope that when they marry one day, even my son, they will be well versed in household things and not feel so useless and clumsy as I did! :)

  3. Liberty, I think our moms meant well. We have to remember they were greatly influenced by feminism - even if they didn't consider themselves feminism.

    Staci, I couldn't agree with you more. I've noticed my 6 year old is beginning to have a "you should do it, not me" attitude. So I'm working on giving her more chores to do. One of the great downfalls of teenagers today is that so many feel everything should be handed to them. Giving kids chores to do - having them work for the good of the family - is so important.

  4. My mom would've considered herself a feminist until she became a Christian in the 70s, but I really still see a bunch of stuff (that probably led to her divorcing my dad) that is obviously still from a feminist POV. It drives me a bit nuts that she doesn't see it.