I love being a homemaker. I honestly see it as such a priviledge to be home, caring for my home and children. So many people believe that they *can't* make it on one income. Let me assure you that you *can*. :) Of course, it may mean being frugal, pinching pennies at times, not having *stuff*. (Chris is a blue collar man. He works hard and we do not roll in money. Please know that as I write, I do so with a knowledge of what it is like to not have a large income. We tithe faithfully and trust that God will make our dollars stretch. He has always taken care of us. :)
When I was young...(alongside my dream of swimming with and caring for orcas) I always wanted to be a wife and mother. I went to college for a year, after high school...but had such a hard time even choosing a major because my single desire was to be a wife and mother. I will admit, I am a Caroline Ingalls wannabe! ;)
If you are a wife and mother...your priority (second only to your relationship with God) is taking care of your husband, your children and your home. Let me lovingly encourage you...
~Titus 2:3-5 (emphasis mine)
Before I go on...please know that I absolutely do *not* sit in judgment of you. Your choices are yours. Your relationship with God is between you and Him. Some of you may be single mothers...just trying to make ends meet. Or maybe your husband is layed off and you are the one trying to keep the bills paid until he is able to get work. I don't know your situation. All I *do* know is that our children grow so quickly. I need to share the burden on my heart. My heart hurts when children spend more time without their mothers than with them. :( Oh how those little ones need the mother God gave them. A mother who trains them, loves them, nurtures them, instructs them and guides them! The only way to be the main influence in your child's life is to *be* with them.
How much stuff do we need? What could we do without, in order to be at home, caring for our young ones? Could we get rid of the dish/cable? Could we sell *stuff* to bring some money in to the home? What about shopping carefully for groceries (ie~using coupons, buying generic, growing your own food and canning it etc.). Buying things at thrift stores and yard sales can help save money, as well.
You may say "Yes, Katy, that is all well and good...but we have loans and credit cards to pay off. You don't understand what our financial situation is." ....and you would be right. Even if you have a desire to be home...it may not feel like a possibility. But I am here to tell you: you can do it. Let me encourage you!!! God will see you through this. Seek His truth and plan for your life. He will make a way! Stay faithful to Him!
Chris and I took a course at church by Dave Ramsey (intelligent and wise man). He looks at things, biblically, and truly helps one to come out of the hole of debt. I encourage you to check out the link I posted above. Maybe you don't have the time or opportunity to participate in one of his courses. Although this would never do it justice...let me give you the easiest way to pay off debt. Take your smallest debt and focus on getting it paid off...then, once it is paid off, take the money you were putting into paying that and put it into (on top of what you are already paying) paying off another debt! It's what Dave Ramsey calls snowballing. :) It's a simple and marvelous plan to help you get out of debt! :)
An important thing to note...the less mothers are at home with their children...the worse things around us seem to be. The amount of women in the workforce has gone up a lot according to statistics. Along with that is the rise in divorce, teen pregnancies, abortion, crime etc. If more mothers could stay home with their children...raise them in a loving and nurturing home....while teaching them discipline and skills, just think of how things could improve! :o) My dear friends of faith....may we lead by example. We need to be Godly women who are examples for our children and other women around us!
Click HERE if you want to find a few links I find to be valuable resources in encouraging women to care for their families and home! I pray that when you have a quiet time in your day that you will take the time to read them and ponder them with an open heart.
I am so very far from perfect and like Rhonda Jean says, everyone has to do what works for them. My routines may not be something that works for you. But, if you *do* find it helpful...then ~ wonderful! :)
Typically, my days consist of first having breakfast and spending time in God's Word. Followed by sending Chris off to work (making his lunch and coffee), tending to the children, homeschooling (during the schooling months), making bread, washing and hanging out laundry, kitchen clean up (and dishes), general pick up around the house, and sweeping/vacuuming the downstairs.
There are then, of course, meals to be made, baths to give, taxes to receipt, knitting to be done...also daily. (The children are in charge of feeding and watering the animals...although some days, I will help with that as well). ***Spending time with my children, reading with them out of volumes of Little House on the Prairie, playing games, teaching them skills and such are also valuable times of my day!!! :)
Other tasks...like dusting, organizing, scrubbing mirrors, sinks, toilets; grocery shopping, vacuuming upstairs, and other things only need done weekly or as-needed.
Some things are seasonal...like deep cleaning areas, homeschooling, gardening/weeding, canning, making jams and jellies etc.
Let me say, before I close, how truly imperfect I am. I am flawed. I have times where I am cranky or impatient. (I really don't do well in the heat...oh dear!) I don't have all the answers. I am still growing and learning with Christ as my guide. I try to stay in His Word and travel the path He has layed out for me...however, I make mistakes and missteps. He knows my heart, though, and convicts me when I have been wrong. I try to be quick to recognize my sin, confess and repent and jump right back on the Way. Prayer is *key* to being the wife and mother He wants us to be! He gives us the ability to do the right things...we just need to choose that! :) I am just writing to you...from one flawed woman to another! ;)
I am reading A Woman after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. I think every woman should read this book. It challenges, encourages and blesses! :) If you go to the link I gave above, you can purchase that book for basically, just the cost of shipping!!! **It is totally worth it!**
If I have in any way hurt you by anything I have posted here, please do accept my sincere apology. My motive is not to hurt...but to encourage and enlighten. I know this has been a long, heartfelt post. If you have made it here, thank you for taking the time to read. Please know my heart expresses love and hope...not condemnation! I would love to hear your thoughts on this...whether you agree or not. I do ask, though, that no matter what your opinion, that you comment respectfully. :) If you would like prayer or to communicate with me privately...please feel free to email me...the link is on my left sidebar.
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.