I Do Not Feel Guilty (for being a good homemaker)

Notice I said ‘good homemaker’, not ‘housekeeper’! :) I am still very much learning how to be organized, neat and tidy. I do not deep clean my house every spring and fall. (gasp!!) I do deep clean, but it tends to be in spurts and random times. Just yesterday I took down all the bedroom curtains and washed them, scrubbed the windows (and the blinds – gag!) and replaced the fresh-smelling curtains.

I do not feel guilty - for being a good homemaker.

Anyways. 

 I was raised by a mother who grew up Amish, and she taught me to be a homemaker. She taught me to cook, bake, raise a garden, can the vegetables from the garden, sew my own clothes, make a quilt from start to finish, raise fluffy baby chicks for a couple months and then butcher them. She taught me to rise early, get dressed, show up on time and to work fast. She taught me to clean  fish—no, wait! That was my dad. Mom actually hated cleaning fish, for some reason! :) Anyways, she taught me to fry the fish and cook a meal for a crowd and how to stretch the food budget. How to diaper a baby and how to get a baby to nurse who was refusing. 

I used to see lots of articles on the web telling women how to cook, clean, manage their time, train their kids, etc. I loved them. Because I need them! 

But lately it seems I have read a lot of articles where the writer says something to the effect of: “Don’t try to be perfect! Don’t try to have it all together! It’s OK if you don’t know how to cook, teach your kids, clean, etc. Just be YOU! (whoever that is?!) Just enjoy life and don’t try to keep up with these super-women. Proverbs 31 women are just a myth anyways. Why bother trying to learn how to bake your own bread or grow some veggies or sew a blanket? Just buy it and be happy. You are you. Not everyone has the same talents as others. “

And my most hated one of all: “Just be content with who you are.” 

Really? I mean, REALLY?!?! 

I am certainly not satisfied with who I am! I don’t believe in beating yourself up over someone you’re not – or comparing yourself, no. But I believe that if we are called to be homemakers, we should be continually striving to become better at what we do, and who we are. We should have the goal of becoming the best homemaker we can possibly be!  

Of course not everyone has the same talents as everyone else. But skills are not really talents, are they? Skills can be learned. By anyone. My 10-year-old knows how to make bread from scratch, and I know lots of women who say they can’t. (I wonder – is it can’t, or won’t try?)

Don’t get me wrong – if you detest baking – fine. If you can’t stand sitting at a machine and sewing, so be it! If you have zero interest in gardening – that’s OK! But please, oh please, don’t mock and belittle those of us that do know how to do all of those things. Don’t say that knowing how to do ‘everything’ is a myth, and don’t act like it’s unattainable. It’s not. I have many friends who didn’t know how to boil the proverbial water when they married, and now are much better cooks than me. I have a sister who started gardening later in life than me, and doesn’t even enjoy it that much, and she is MUCH better at it than me!  

I used to feel bad when friends and acquaintances would marvel at what all I accomplished in a day, they would claim they had no idea how to do it, they didn’t have the energy, etc. I felt like because I could do or make nearly anything, I was weird. I felt like I had to apologize for being able to home school AND bake bread AND raise a garden AND butcher a cow. (all by myself, mind you!) I was constantly reminding people that I was raised differently, had experience, could do it in my sleep, etc. And it’s true. I was trained to many do many things that others weren’t. I am experienced. I can bake bread with my eyes closed, I bet. 

But I don’t feel proud about it! I am thankful I know how to do things, and grateful to have the energy and desire to learn new things. But I certainly don’t despise or look down on people who don’t have the skills I have. I love to help people learn, and I have so much to learn from others.  (How to keep an organized house, for one thing.  😉 )

One day I decided that I would never again allow someone to make me feel guilty for being a good homemaker. I was trained, yes. But I have learned much, much more by trial and error, just like everyone else. I have worked hard to learn things, I am constantly reading books about mothering, cooking, gardening, schooling, marriage, etc, etc. I never want to stop learning. I want to become the best homemaker I can be! I don’t care where you are on the journey – if you are not as far as me, just ask, I would love to share my experience. If you are further – Praise God! You can teach me! :) 

I don’t want you to feel pressured to be someone you can never be. But I do want to call you higher – always higher and better. Don’t be content with who you are or what you know. Keep learning. Keep trying. Keep seeking to be the very best you can be.

Sharing at: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/02/27/thrifty-thursday-week-49/

and: http://www.themodestmomblog.com/2014/03/modest-monday-link-18/

5 thoughts on “I Do Not Feel Guilty (for being a good homemaker)

  1. Karyn

    This beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. I agree and bless you for sharing refreshing and encouraging truth about not feeling guilty for what God has called you to do! I’ve had that same guilt and it doesn’t lead to joy or freedom. The self-centered society we live in pushes its agenda of taking care of “Me” quite blatantly but that never will lead to fulfillment. In fulfilling God’s plan is true joy! Always pressing on…and I could learn a lot from you so I wish we lived closer!
    Karyn recently posted…Free to BlessMy Profile

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  2. Beth Cranford

    Well said and much needed!
    I’ve struggled with some of these same thoughts (not that I can do nearly all the things you can do, I’m pretty sure you’ll never see me milk a cow, let-alone butcher it!). I’ve wanted to write about it but not sure how to describe it. It seems that in our efforts to shed the illegitimate guilt we often feel when we compare ourselves to someone else, we’ve let the pendulum swing to far in the opposite direction (as we humans tend to do.) and gone to almost bragging about our weaknesses. I hear conversations where women are almost competing to see who has more laundry sitting on their bed and who hasn’t cooked a meal in ages.

    It’s a struggle because I do believe in individual gifting, personality, etc. I even teach that one important way to determine what should be taking up your time is to look at those things and operate within those gifts. But I think it comes down to what you said. Skills can be taught and much of homemaking is skill, not talent. Yes, we’ll each have the area where we shine. Some of us are exceptional cooks, some sew beautifully, etc. But we should all be willing to learn and to conquer the basics.

    I wonder if it comes down to not firmly believing that we as women are called to be keepers of our homes? Maybe we stay at home but don’t see it as our area of dominion. You can’t have dominion without working at it.

    Just thinking out loud. Thanks for this article. I wish we lived closer, I’d love to learn some things from you. (But nothing having to do butchering 😉
    Beth Cranford recently posted…When I Prayed For A Richer Prayer LifeMy Profile

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    1. Kay Schrock Post author

      I think you’ve hit on it, Beth… I believe too many Christian women have bought into the world’s lie that they would be more useful/effective/fulfilled in the workforce, or ‘ministry’. I think if we could see that keeping the home running smoothly as our dominion, we would be much more secure in who we are – whether skilled or not. I certainly think some of us are more gifted at different things, and we shouldn’t feel guilty if we don’t do everything the same. :)
      I’d love to have you over! We could learn from each other! :) (I’d take care of the butchering!)

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  3. Jodiann

    ahhh… somehow I missed this post! I LOVE this! I also think it’s so important to be good at what we do! This is our job- do it well! :)

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