I didn't realize it at the time I initially became a stay at home mom that my upbringing had a profound influence on molding what my image of homemaking was. I grew up with a single working mother who during my early years left me in the care of my ubber traditional Southern grandparents. Even on my visits to my Dad's house I was always around my grandmother on that side who I seriously liken to the Black June Cleaver.
These phenomenal women reared children, ran house, cooked, cleaned, ironed, mended, and more. They even managed to do an extensive amount of community work. They did everything from church bake sales, fundraiser dinners, Christmas toy and clothing drives, visiting the sick and shut in, to just being a friend over the phone when someone needed an ear. I mean they don't make women like them anymore. Their is a picture in the Bible next to Proverbs 31 and they are in it.
The thing is something happened between their generation and my parents generation that changed the course of homemaking profoundly. Homemaking was no longer a cherished art. Women were encouraged to take on more and more pursuits outside of the home. There began to be a shift in viewing the housewife as a loving and dedicated mother to being a suppressed, oppressed, lazy, uneducated, naive, woman. So by the time I was coming up it was expected that a woman would pursue a career outside the home.
Girls from my generation were not taught the fine art of homemaking skills cause it was assumed we wouldn't need that sort of thing once we becoming, business women, doctors, lawyers, etc... Now of course we did have our weekly chores and household responsibilities like cleaning and cooking and laundry but the wisdom was not being passed down with the responsibilities. I had no insight as to the true running of the home. It was always on the shallow. I had no insight as to how my grandmother budgeted, planned meals, selected household items and whatnot.
After the birth of my 1st child I was in college full time and worked 2 part time jobs. I was juggling so much stuff with little reward. My daughter was in daycare. She was hitting milestones and I wasn't their to see it. The baby sitter got to witness all the joy that was suppose to be for me. I eventually gave up school and pursued work full time. Of course this means to my peers I was some sort of failure for not having my degree and choosing to raise my child the best way I could instead. They had pity in their eyes for me when they talked about upcoming registration or graduation parties. But for me I could care less about that. I was burdened down with serious mommy guilt. How could I be the best at my job and be the best mom all at the same time especially if I am only seeing my child for a few hours everyday and on my off days? Eventually I got married and it was around the time my oldest was 2 1/2yrs old I became pregnant with my 2nd child. I was sick out of this world with pregnancy symptoms. I struggled everyday to get out of bed and go to work and came home with little left for my new husband and my toddler. I so wish I could be one of those stay at home moms like on TV and movies. But I didn't dare ask my husband for fear of coming off selfish or lazy. I just keep on with the routine till one day I woke up looking and feeling awful. My hubby had to take me to the hospital for another round of IV fluids. It was that day I realized just how much this man was made for me. He turned to me and said " You don't want to go back to work do you?". Before I got a chance to respond he said " I don't think you should have to go back. I want you stay home from now on." I was so excited and so scared all at the same time. What if he changes his mind? What if I am no good at being a homemaker then he will regret telling me to stay home when I could have been "contributing" to the household. What are my friends and family going to say? They already think I'm weird( I ate a vegan diet and breastfed my daughter past 6 months of age.). So that is when my journey began.
The first year was a disaster of me having to get over the guilt of not contributing to the household financially. I just was unsure of the value of my new role. Its funny cause just two generations ago folks thought that a Stay at Home Mother was great matriarch. I felt more like the bottom of the totem pole. It was also hard trying to figure out how to balance out being a mother of two. Its funny now that I am expecting baby #5 I think adding a new baby is a piece of cake. But in the beginning it was the most overwhelming feeling ever. It was around the time that I was totally drowning in juggling kids and household duties that the internet became my greatest tool. Thank God I was born during the age of information. The internet refreshed and renewed and equipped me to take on the task of recovering the lost art of homemaking. I found blogs, articles, websites, and videos explaining step by step how to do everything from setting up a homemaking binder, to managing the children's schedules, to how to make your own laundry soap. It was as if someone had taken my grandmother's wisdom and posted it online. lol!
I am now on year 7 of my Stay at Home Mom Homemaking Journey and I still have more to learn and figure out. But now I think I have gotten to a point where I want to give back to the BlogWorld that helped me find my way. It's pay it forward time. So this blog will be my contribution to all the new or seasoned homemakers out their who need some encouragement or new ideas. Come and join me. Lets return to the lost art of homemaking together.