What is a homemaker?

Homemaking is complementary to breadwinning. That is, that both must occur for a house and a family to be well cared for and happy, and that one enables the other.

Regardless of who you are, chances are you will need to be a homemaker at some point. Don’t believe me? Well, you see, a homemaker isn’t “just” a person who stays home all day looking after the home. A homemaker is anyone who takes on those jobs. And, in spite of the angry messages of radical feminists and consumerists, these jobs do need doing and are expensive to outsource.

For example, a teenager living with their parents might take on the dishes, the garden and feeding the goldfish as homemaking work. These are jobs that need handling. Sure, you could always eat takeout, let the garden grow wild and not keep goldfish. But home-cooked food, a nice garden and a pet are some of life’s pleasures. By doing these jobs, the teenager is improving everyone’s quality of life, even their own. This is a part-time homemaker, working for the family by doing a few tasks.

Or a bachelor living on their own will need to clean, tidy, do laundry, access food, do dishes and make the space furnished enough to be comfortable and usable at least. By living minimalistically they can limit the work that needs doing, but the basics are always there. If they want to save money, then cooking, couponing, ironing and budgeting need to be added to the list. And if they want any extra leisure activities, then the preparation and cleanup of these activities is required, such as dusting book shelves, sorting a sewing box or cleaning muddy running shoes. This is a solo homemaker, doing the basics for themselves.

Or the stereotypical housewife, who needs to address all the basics around the house as well as reduce the work that other inhabitants need to do at home and make the space easy to care for and pleasant to live in. She will need to keep everything clean and tidy, care for pets, feed her family, budget, enable her family’s leisure time and make the house attractive and relaxing for everyone, without being obnoxious about it. This is a full-time homemaker, doing everything in her power to maximize her living space.

So in many ways most of us are homemakers, and some of us are or will be full time homemakers at one point. It’s just the way life is: someone has to do the dishes, someone has to feed the cat, someone has to wash your running shoes. And the more you want from life, the more homemaking will need to be done to handle it.

What this blog aims to do is to allow you, the reader, to grow as a homemaker.

Too many people today neglect their homes and/or outsource homemaking. Too many homemakers assume their work ends once the dishes are washed and the garden is weeded. Neither is correct. Homemaking is not just a single task, but a collection of activities, a result, an objective, something to make life more pleasant.

You don’t pick your clothes up off the floor because it’s fun. You do it because it makes life nicer and easier.

You don’t read a book because you have all the time in the world. You do it because it enriches your mind and makes you a better person to be around.

You don’t cook dinner because there are no other options. You do it because home-cooked food is cheaper, healthier and tastier than restaurant or take-away food.

You don’t sew because it’s easy. You sew because it saves time and money and stress.

You don’t clean litter or wash jogging shoes because you choose to. You do it because you enjoy owning a cat and jogging.

You don’t smile and move on from a hard day’s work because it didn’t matter. You do it because the whole point of homemaking is making life nice, and dwelling on the difficulty of the work makes your life and everyone else’s worse.

In short, being a homemaker isn’t all about the dusting. It’s about being the very best you can be at everything you do and making your house a beautiful haven for all its inhabitants, yourself included!