When I got married at the ripe old age of 19, I had no sweet clue about anything other than the fact that I was madly in love. Starry-eyed love was firing on all cylinders, and there was no turning back.
While I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted a marriage and a life with my dashing new husband, the details of such a life were fuzzy, at best.
I eagerly set out to create a home: a haven for the two of us to nourish our fledgling relationship into something with deeper roots.
Twelve years later, we’ve added to the crew. We’re a family of five with three small kids, a mortgage, and a minivan. It’s an incredible life. I wouldn’t trade it for all the guacamole in the world (as tempting as it might be some days.)
But to be perfectly honest with you, it hasn’t been an easy road. Creating a safe haven for a family in a world of brokenness and hardship can be difficult.
Enter: real life.
Exhausted parents. Kids that need discipline. Finances that don’t come through. Layoffs. Crushed dreams. Leaky roofs. One. More. Car repair. Post-partum depression.
And just when you thought you were getting a full dose of adulthood, you can’t even manage to keep up with the stupid laundry. I mean, really now. It’s the beast that can’t be tamed! (Or can it?)
I don’t know about you, but homemaking didn’t really turn out how I pictured it. I never did figure out the point of folding fitted sheets. And that’s totally ok.
The thing is, I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy for years because (spoiler alert) it turns out I am NOT a homemaking superwoman. What a bummer. I know, I’m shocked too…
I have learned a few secrets since those earlier days that have encouraged me, and spurred me on to find my groove. I’m not there yet (don’t worry, I’m enjoying the ride), but with this new perspective, I’m most definitely on my way.
Here are 7 Homemaking Secrets You Should Know:
1. Folding fitted sheets is optional. NOT MANDATORY. The ball-it-up method works wonderfully, and no one in my family has complained about wrinkly sheets yet.
2. Love is the number one priority. Gushy-mushy good ol’ l-o-v-e. Not folding 3D objects with no corners. (Hallelujah!)
3. Leaving a work-outside-the-home job to be a homemaker (most especially if you are doing so because of the birth of a new human being that you just grew) does not mean that you will have MORE free time. You’ll probably have less. A fraction. A teeny-tiny fraction.
4. You won’t mind #3 as much as you might imagine.
5. Every homemaker has their own strengths. Each one is necessary and lovely because we all balance each other out. Don’t try to be who you’re not.
5. Part of the beauty of being diverse is that we can offer one another our collective wisdom. Seek out a tribe where you can do this.
6. Homemaking and raising babies can quietly drain your identity away if you let them. Remember to be a person separate from wife/mother/cook/laundress. Have a hobby, work an outside job that you love, or find a new passion.
7. Growing your skills as a homemaker will never be finished. It’s an evolving job where the requirements are changing every day.
These are simple truths that I try to remember each day. It’s holy ground – this making-a-home thing. It feels magical and surreal at times. It’s a privilege that I wouldn’t trade for anything!