I love my husband, my beautiful children and my home, and I do everything for the incredible humans in my life. I love them so much that it was a slap in the face when so casually, while discussing “work titles” for stay at home parents, my doting husband informed me that I wasn’t “a very good homemaker”.
It hurt, but it shouldn’t have, and although it was oddly intended as a compliment, and was quickly followed by “but that’s because you spend all your time looking after the kids! You’re a great mum!”, it still felt like a harsh criticism.
I didn’t understand for a while why it bothered me so much. I’m the first person to admit that semi-organised clutter rules our tiny unit, and that I don’t actually remember if I mopped the floors in the month of February, but hearing it from someone else stung. But of course, my guilt ridden brain did a running tally of all the jobs around the house that I’ve failed to do and of how many times I’ve turned away guests because of my own discomfort with all the STUFF that occupies our entire home.
It obsessed on just how many business shirts are stuffed into the ironing basket in the corner of our bedroom, and the fact that I’ve been talking about (and avoiding) raking and tidying the back courtyard for months. I lamented my inability to follow through with the DIY projects I had planned, the workouts I never did, the scouts badges I have yet to sew, and the music that I always forget to play. Worst of all was realising that my home was not a sanctuary to my husband – and not in a 50s housewife way. I mean, when David comes home I want him to know he’s returned to a place where he can relax and just be, not somewhere overrun by random things that we’ve
hoarded collected over the years.
I want the satisfaction of knowing that with my own two hands, I made the nutritious bone broth that formed the basis for the soup we’re having for dinner, and that it isn’t just vegetable seasonings from a Massel can. I want my kids to be surrounded by beauty, clarity, and fresh wild flowers from the side of the road. I want them to remember the scent of furniture polish, the sticky sweetness of home-made preserves for breakfast, and the rich taste of warm freshly baked bread, the same way my own parents raised me.
I want to give my children a strong sense of the grace and beauty that comes with loving the space you live in and being proud of the way that you choose to live. It doesn’t matter if that’s a caravan trailer, a small apartment, or a mansion by the sea, taking pride in your home because of how you choose to keep it is something I want my littles to learn.
So I pondered, and I processed, and I realised why it hurt so much.
It was true.
I am not a good homemaker. My bathrooms are clean, my family is well fed, and the dishes get done, but where is the love that I could be pouring into my home?
How can I take pride in clutter and disorganisation when I can barely tolerate it myself?
As stay at home parents, we are under so much pressure to do the right things, to be these perfect mother wife housekeeper people who make Pinterest perfect spaces for our families and raise perfect children who are issue-free and always happy. For most of us, this just isn’t reasonable and is most definitely not feasible, and as long as your home is safe and your kids are happy and well adjusted, however you keep your house is PERFECT and wonderful.
Unless it makes you unhappy.
My home makes me unhappy and I want that to change.
Although I know that my homemaking is already good enough for my family, that my parenting is good enough, and that my panicked 12am ironing sessions on a Sunday night are good enough, that isn’t the kind of good enough that I want to strive for. And while I don’t expect that I’ll always find fulfilment in chores done well, or in finding the perfect throw cushions, right now, home is a place to tolerate while I chase the clutter from room to room.
That needs to change. I am good enough, but I want to do even greater things. I hope that blogging will help keep me accountable as I work toward becoming all that I can be.
No pressure though, right? 😉 xx E