Just because you get married doesn’t mean you automatically know how to be a homemaker. Homemaking is an art that needs to be learned, refined and personalized over the years of keeping a home.
Everyone has a different starting point.
I was fortunate to grow up with a stay at home mom. Because she was home all day, she made time to cook and bake from scratch. She sewed most of our clothes (yes, even underwear, swimsuits and snowsuits!). And we always had a huge garden.
Because of this home life, I was able to watch my mom use all of her skills to create a home.
I had a huge head start over most of my peers when it came to homemaking. By the time I left home I had learned how to bake, cook, ferment foods, can and freeze, butcher and cut up cows and chickens, sew, crochet, make soap, garden, quilt and embroider.
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Plus I had dabbled in all the interests us kids chased on our own: tanning leather, maple syruping, whittling and basket weaving just to name a few.
Not only did these learned skills give me a huge head start in my homemaking journey, but also the experience.
I had learned how to learn!
All those little interests us kids chased – we learned on our own. Our parents didn’t help us. We checked out books from the library. Ordered our own supplies if needed. Spent hours pouring over encyclopedias.
Yes, all this before the age of the internet!
And trial and error was our method. Through all these interests I learned how to fail and I learned how to learn.
All this mounted up to my starting point for the art of homemaking when I got married. This background makes me less timid to try something new around my own home. It helps me jump feet first into a project that isn’t my expertise. I get adventurous in recipes and love trying new foods.
You will develop your art of homemaking for your family’s needs.
Everybody’s family is different. We all have a different pace of life. Different cultural setting. Diverse backgrounds. A variety of personalities.
No two families are the same.
You will figure out your art of homemaking as your family grows and changes.
It will be different when you are newly married. One child will change things up. Seven children will definitely change things. A move will disrupt everyone’s life. Or a traumatic family experience.
Homemaking is an art because you will have to become intuitive and use your instincts to breathe life and energy into your home environment. You will be orchestrating all the moving pieces of a home to harmony.
It’s an art because you will have to make changes and adjustments for every new person brought into your home. And somehow twine everyone together for meals, family time and schooling.
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The longer you practice homemaking, the more refined your art.
As with any art or skill, the more you practice, the better you will become.
But I don’t think any of us will arrive at the end of learning the art of homemaking. We will just become more refined in it.
We will never stop learning, changing and growing for our needs and our family’s needs.
Even as empty nesters, there will be more refining and adjusting. Always learning. Just in time for the grandkids to come along!
Be available to teach and model the art of homemaking to others.
I have challenged myself to be available to others. Not to teach in an organized setting, but to just be available.
This started for me while I was still single. I had a close mom friend who had learned everything about the race car industry growing up, but not much about homemaking.
Out of necessity, she had learned and taught herself a lot already. Once a week or so I would stop by after I finished morning milking and just visit. I learned so much from her about homeschooling, marriage and raising a large family. I loved my gleaning sessions with her.
One summer, extra produce was given to her. She didn’t know what she would do with all of it before it went bad. So I volunteered to help. We canned beans, froze corn and canned applesauce.
It was a fun way to get a lot of work done!
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The art of homemaking in community.
Another aspect of homemaking that is getting lost is the community.
When I was growing up, we always had help for large projects or helped someone else out with large projects.
During the summer, my grandma and aunt would spend a week of hot summer days with my mom and us kids canning peaches, pears and cherries in our kitchen.
Our neighbors’ four kids and us four kids would sit and snap beans all day and our mothers would can them up. Enough beans to for two families of six for all winter long.
During the winter we had noodle making days, donut days or cookie days. Several aunts would come over with the cousins and we would be in the kitchen all day.
Okay, us kids would sneak off a lot.
But we still carried noodles to the far corners of the house to dry. We helped glaze donuts and we decorated cookies.
Any time Mom had a quilt in the frame it was an open invitation to whomever quilted. Ladies would stop by (bringing their kids along if they had any) and quilt for an afternoon – visiting and sipping tea.
Sewing circle at church was a monthly gathering for us ladies to all bring a project to work on. Or we would all work on one lady’s project to help her get it done.
Did you know there’s a Homemaker’s Association?
My mom was part of our local group. I loved going to the monthly meetings with her. We would work on fun crafts and learn about all things homemaking. The chapter made quilts and comforters for raffles to raise money for college scholarships to give away.
The sad thing was my mom was the youngest one there (except for me!). And now the local chapter has dissolved and another homemaking community is no longer available to young wive’s and mothers.
Why Homemaking is an Art
Look for others you can team up with and learn from. Or learn together. I think sometimes older women feel obsolete. Make a connection with an older woman and learn from her. Listen to her stories, collect her wisdom, encourage her to keep sharing and pouring into other’s lives.
Homemaking takes a whole lot of practice. Trial and error and being willing to try new things. See how your art skill grows and develops with your experience and your family. Be flexible. Be available to others.