THE ART & SCIENCE OF HOMEMAKING
By contributing writer Laura Adams (Homemaking For His Glory)
Homemaking is the process of making your home a place of joy and rest. Tasks associated with homemaking can be grouped into two major categories: the art and the science.
The art of homemaking has to do with setting the atmosphere or the tone of your home. When someone enters the door of your home, they should sense that this is a place of joy and rest. Visitors should feel welcome, and those who live there should look forward to coming home.
The science of homemaking has to do with more concrete tasks. It includes things like managing your home, cooking, and cleaning. All of those things are good, but a perfectly clean home with the healthiest meals can still feel sterile and cold if the art of homemaking is not present.
CULTIVATING THE ART OF HOMEMAKING
Check your heart.
Are you frustrated when your toddler destroys the room that you just cleaned? To a certain extent, that’s a normal reaction. However, I am always reminding myself that the relationship is more important than the state of my house. If I’m getting impatient with my son, that’s wrong. I don’t want him to feel as if he grew up in a perfectly curated museum instead of in a home.
“Better is a dish of vegetables where love is than a fattened ox served with hatred.”
Yes, the science of homemaking is important, but if we are task oriented to the point of losing focus on why we are serving our families, that is a problem. Ultimately, I perform my homemaking tasks as an expression of love for my family. I want to cultivate a comfortable environment. Homemaking is serving and loving, not striving to impress people.
Make it lovely.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the furthest thing from an interior designer. Every piece of home decor I own was either a gift or a wedding decoration that I re-purposed. Making your house look more homey doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Just hanging a family photo adds some warmth!
CULTIVATING THE SCIENCE OF HOMEMAKING
A note about newborns: If you have a newborn, I would recommend picking one household task that does not involve keeping yourself and your child alive per day. Just don’t even try to do everything. Live off of your freezer meals. Buy paper plates. Take naps if you can. If you have help, that’s great. I didn’t have help other than from my husband, and I wish I had just given myself more grace in that season. My husband did a lot of dishes and laundry then, and that was 100% fine. No guilt.
Choose your priorities.
You can’t do it all, so you have to choose which things are most important. For example, we really try to avoid eating out. To make that happen, I keep freezer meals on hand that can be prepared quickly. One of our easy meals is frozen tilapia fillets with green beans. I can prepare it in about 15 minutes, even if I haven’t thawed the fillets beforehand. I put the tilapia on the George Foreman grill, sprinkle it with a bit of lemon pepper seasoning, and allow it to cook. Meanwhile, the green beans are cooking on the stove top. Instant brown rice is another good staple to have on hand.
Your priorities for your homemaking may vary based on your circumstances. I do a lot of cooking from scratch, but I only have one child and he is not in any extra-curricular activities right now. If I drove all over town taking older kids to sports practices every night, I wouldn’t have the time to cook elaborate dinners. Priorities can shift as time goes on, and that’s completely okay.
Maybe you really want your husband to come home to a picked up living room. Once your children are old enough, have them help you pick up toys for five minutes every afternoon. Whatever your priorities are, decide on some actionable steps to take each day to make them a reality.
Implement a realistic cleaning routine.
In my nearly two years as a homemaker, the most critical thing that I have learned is the power of a consistent routine. If I clean “whenever I get to it,” then “whenever I get to it” never comes. Then I have a scary looking shower that takes far longer to clean than it would have if I had just dealt with it right away.
My house is never going to be 100% perfect, but it should be functional. Each day, I make the bed, do the dishes, run one load of laundry, and make sure the bathroom counters are clear. I try to clean the bathrooms once a week, mop the kitchen once a week, and meal plan once a week.
When I started trying to implement a cleaning routine, I only tackled one new habit at a time. If I had tried to do everything at once, it would’ve been too overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time.
^^ If you need more help with choosing your priorities and figuring out a routine, check out Becca’s Time Management Toolkit! ^^
My name is Laura and I love my family, good books, and good coffee. Right now I’m in a season of homemaking. 1st Corinthians 10:31 says “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Thus, this blog is titled Homemaking for His Glory. My desire is to bring glory to Him in all things, even the seemingly mundane. I hope my blog is a blessing to you!