In this post, I debunk six myths about homemaking. These are the things I wish I had known before I became a homemaker.
For many years, my belief in these myths kept me from making progress with my homemaking. Ever since I let go of these myths, I have been a happier and more productive homemaker.
Myth #1: Homemaking mostly involves cooking and cleaning.
Myth: Before I became a homemaker, I thought that homemaking involved preparing three meals a day and keeping the house clean.
Reality: Now I know that homemaking goes far beyond cooking and cleaning. To be a successful homemaker, there are three homes that you need to take care of:
- Your body
- Your relationships
- Your physical space
If you want to nurture these three homes, you need to do more than just cooking and cleaning. First, you need to learn how to care for yourself, so that you can perform your labours to the best of your ability. Next, you need to learn how to care for others, so that you can forge meaningful relationships. Finally, you need to learn how to care for your physical space, so that you can create a living environment that nurtures you and your loved ones.
Myth #2: Homemade is better than store-bought.
Myth: When I was new to homemaking, I believed that it was virtuous to be self-sufficient. I wanted to do everything on my own—and I felt incompetent whenever I failed to do so. I often berated myself for being lazy whenever I bought something instead of making it at home.
Reality: We live in a world where division of labour blesses us with an abundance of options, and it is not wrong for us to avail ourselves of these options.
For example, when I am making chicken pot pie for dinner, I can use a homemade pie crust, or I can use a store-bought pie crust. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and neither is right or wrong. What’s important is that you make the choice that is right for you and your family.
Through trial and error, I have learnt that I tend to prefer the homemade route. But I have also learnt to be kinder to myself when I opt for store-bought.
Myth #3: Homemakers don’t need deadlines.
Myth: When I first became a homemaker, I adopted a casual attitude towards homemaking. I wanted to avoid unnecessary stress, so I decided against following a homemaking schedule. Instead, I opted to clean the house whenever it looked dirty.
Reality: The lack of a schedule ended up causing me stress. Dirt and grime quickly accumulated, and I felt overwhelmed by my homemaking responsibilities.
It can be helpful to have a homemaking routine, and to treat homemaking like a job. To learn more about how to treat homemaking like a job (and why you should), you can read my post about how to be a successful homemaker.
Myth #4: A good homemaker always has a perfectly clean home.
Myth: When I was new to homemaking, I thought that the goal of homemaking was to have a home that was always perfectly clean. As a new homemaker, I spent countless hours scrubbing and sweeping my home, only to find that something didn’t feel right.
Reality: Over the years, my homemaking goals have changed. It is no longer my ambition to have a house that is always perfectly clean. My goal is to create a home that nurtures me and my family.
If you peep into my home at any given moment, it’s unlikely that you’ll find perfection. Instead, you’ll probably see sewing materials strewn across the dining table, and dinner ingredients laid out in the kitchen.
My home looks lived-in, and I like it that way. I don’t want to live in a show home, where everything looks perfect but nothing feels alive. I want to live in a real home, where my family and I are free to live a dynamic and enriching life.
Myth #5: Homemaking is easy work.
Myth: Before I became a homemaker, I assumed that homemaking consisted of fairly easy tasks. I had vague visions of myself wafting around the house, performing dainty tasks here and there—such as arranging flowers or straightening cushions.
Reality: Homemaking is a physically demanding job. It takes strength and stamina to move furniture and scrub walls—and you don’t always look glamorous while doing these tasks.
In fact, when I first became a homemaker I didn’t have enough energy to do my homemaking. In those early days, homemaking would leave me feeling drained and exhausted. To learn how I overcame this challenge, you can read my post about the adjustments I made to improve my energy levels for homemaking.
Myth #6: To be a good homemaker, you need a fancy home.
Myth: When I first became a homemaker, I often found myself using my home as an excuse. I would sigh and say, “I would be able to get this sink much cleaner if it were new.” Or I would say, “It would be easy for me to organise my clothing if I had more space.” I mistakenly believed that my home was preventing me from properly performing my homemaking.
Reality: You will get better results from your homemaking if you appreciate what you already have. Learn to love the home that you live in now—no matter how humble it seems.
Whenever I feel tempted to find fault with my home, I remind myself of the Italian painter Giotto, who spent his childhood tending sheep. Up on the hills, surrounded by sheep, Giotto had neither paintbrush nor paper, but that didn’t stop him from expressing his talent. He used a pointed stone to draw on a smooth slab of stone, and he took inspiration from the beauty that he saw in nature.
What does Giotto’s story have to do with homemaking? Like Giotto, you can use what you have to create a beautiful work of art. After all, homemaking is an art; and as the homemaker, you are the artist, and your home is your canvas. No matter where you live, you have the ability to turn your home into a place of beauty.
Learn to Debunk Your Myths About Homemaking
For many years, I believed in these myths about homemaking. I mistook these myths for truths, so I clung to them and allowed them to dictate how I performed my homemaking. No wonder my progress was slow.
If you want to be a better homemaker, examine your beliefs about homemaking. Are there any myths that need to be debunked?
Every belief that you hold about homemaking will either help you or hinder you. Fortunately, you have the power to identify, question, and change your beliefs about homemaking.