What Is Homemaking? (The Three Homes of a Homemaker)

To be a successful homemaker, you need to be able to answer two questions: What is homemaking? What is a home?

In this post, you’ll discover the answers to these questions. You’ll learn about the definition of homemaking—and you’ll also learn about the three homes (yes, three homes!) that a homemaker needs to nurture.

This post is part of the Homemaking for Beginners series.

What Is Homemaking?

When I was new to homemaking, I thought that homemaking was the process of caring for your physical space. I thought that the goal of homemaking was to create a squeaky clean home.

As it turns out, I was wrong. My original definition of homemaking was shortsighted and inadequate.

Although it is wonderful to have a clean home, that is not the ultimate goal of homemaking. The ultimate goal of homemaking is to nurture yourself and your family. Cleaning your home is just one of the many ways for you to express loving care towards yourself and your family.

A Homemaker’s Three Homes

When I was new to homemaking, there was a crucial piece of information that I was missing.

I didn’t realise that as a homemaker, I have more than one home. In fact, I have three homes… and so do you!

As a homemaker, you have three homes:

  1. Your body
  2. Your relationships
  3. Your physical space

If you want to nurture yourself and your family, you need to take care of all three of your homes.

Your First Home: Your Body

As a homemaker, your first responsibility is to nurture yourself.

You are born with one body, and it is the only one you will have for your entire life. You use your body to perform every task you put your mind to—no matter how big or small. So why not do everything you can to look after your body?

The Four Categories of Self-Care

I used to think that self-care meant applying a clay mask and taking a bubble bath. In short, I thought self-care was about pampering myself.

In reality, self-care extends far beyond the potions and lotions in your bathroom cabinet. To nurture yourself, you need to take care of all aspects of your well-being.

Here are four categories of well-being:

  1. Physical well-being
  2. Emotional well-being
  3. Intellectual well-being
  4. Spiritual well-being

The best way to nurture yourself is to create a self-care routine that addresses all of these categories of well-being. To learn more about how to nurture each of these categories of personal well-being, you can read my post on self-care for homemakers.

Your Second Home: Your Relationships

As a homemaker, your second responsibility is to nurture your relationships.

It is up to you to decide which relationships you want to prioritise. Since I am married, my priority is to nurture my relationship with my spouse.

Tips for Nurturing Your Relationships

Here are some tips that have helped me to nurture my relationship with my spouse:

  • Hone your communication skills. Good communication can help your relationship to flourish, so learn how to be an articulate speaker and a respectful listener. This is something that I have been working on over the last few years.
  • Share your burdens with your spouse. I used to try to play the hero by keeping my problems to myself. But this only made me feel isolated and overwhelmed. These days, when I encounter a problem in my daily life—no matter how trivial—I share it with my husband, and I ask him for advice.
  • Practise being empathetic. If you want to strengthen your relationship with your spouse, build a foundation of mutual understanding. To do this, try your best to deeply understand your spouse. And make it easy for your spouse to understand you. Learn to express yourself in a way that accurately communicates what you mean.

Your Third Home: Your Physical Space

As a homemaker, your third responsibility is to care for your physical space. The goal is to create a living environment that nurtures you and your family.

Tips for Creating a Nurturing Space

Here’s how you can create a nurturing living environment for you and your family:

  • Keep your home clean. A clean home is more pleasant to live in than a dirty home. If you would like some simple cleaning advice, you can read my cleaning tips for beginners.
  • Prepare nutritious meals. As a homemaker, you can choose to prepare meals that make you and your family feel strong and energised. I find it easiest to cook nutritious meals when I create a meal plan. To learn more about how to build a habit of meal planning, you can read my beginner's guide to meal planning.
  • Beautify your home. You can turn any living space into a sanctuary by making it pleasing to the eye. To beautify your home, keep it tidy and decorate it in a way that makes you and your family feel uplifted.
  • Manage household inventory. Learn how to purchase and manage food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other household items for your home. By staying on top of household inventory, you can make daily life more convenient for yourself and your family.
  • Learn how to maintain your home. Inspect your home regularly to make sure that it is in good condition. If you locate a problem—like a squeaky door hinge or a blocked drain—be sure to take prompt action.

Each Home Has Its Place

The idea of having multiple homes may seem overwhelming at first. After all, it takes a lot of work to care for one home—let alone three!

Fortunately, there is a simple concept that can help you manage your three homes. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by your homemaking, remember this: put each home in its place.

What does this mean? It means that you need to decide the priority of each of your three homes. This will make it easier for you to decide how to spend your time as a homemaker.

Here’s what I have decided for my life:

  1. My first priority is to nurture myself. By taking care of myself, I am able to live my life as the best version of myself, which then allows me to give my best to other people.
  2. My second priority is to nurture my relationship with my husband. My marriage is one of the biggest blessings in my life, and I want my actions to reflect this. Given the choice between doing some extra dusting or spending time with my husband, I hope that I will always have the wisdom to choose the latter.
  3. My third priority is to nurture my physical space. As a homemaker, looking after my living environment is a big part of my job. However, it is not my ultimate priority. Instead, my ultimate priority is to take care of the people in my life—and I can do this by creating a clean, tidy, and inviting living environment.

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