Thursday, February 27, 2014

How I do the homemaking thing

We're almost done with our Women Living Well book club!  This week Courtney blogged about homemaking and like her, I have come a long way when it comes to meals!  haha!  

When I think of all the jobs I had before being a full-time homemaker, I see how they helped prepare me for this!  Babysitting, retail, office jobs, medic in the Army Reserves, attendant care, and working in a call center were all jobs where I helped other people directly.  That's something I enjoy doing A LOT and why serving my family on a full-time basis is a joy and so rewarding to me.  
{Funny of all the jobs I've had, I never worked in a restaurant and cooking isn't my favorite thing... it must be done and three times a day!  Ugh!}

Courtney talks about making her home a haven and in her book she compares two different homes on page 173.  I really liked the comparison because it helped me see where I fall short and where I want to improve.

Sometimes I am distant with my family.  I am on the computer or phone too much and don't give my kids the same quality conversation that I so easily give my friends.  I also don't always stop to listen to my husband share about his day either.  I want to be better about that.  I want to greet him at the door and let him know how much I missed him.  And when the kids are in bed, I don't want to ignore him to get things done that I put off all day either.  Gotta find the balance there.

Sometimes I have too much going on and need to say no to commitments outside the home.  Just last Fall I really slowed down because I was just stressed and wanted to simplify.  Nowadays, I have to be careful to not add too much back onto my schedule.

Sometimes I stay up too late for stupid reasons and end up being tired and crabby the next day.  I want to get to bed at a decent hour so I can be fully functional the next day and not shuffle through caring for my family.  I want to have energy to live life well.

Sometimes I forget to pray and read my bible when I am stressed out.  It's filled with inspirational quotes and poems and I want to remember to slow down and just connect with God because He really does strengthen and encourage me through His word.

As the mother and wife of Newmania, I hold the key to the temperament of my home.  I have some crazy power there!  So I really want to set a tone that is loving.  I want my family members to LIKE being with me!

Here are some practicals ideas for changing the atmosphere of our home.  Courtney had this on her blog.  LOVE IT! 
Humm... good list!  I was encouraged by it because I already do a lot of them!  Well... maybe not every day but I'm getting there!  {Makes me feel a lot better after my confessions I just wrote above!}

1. I love when my home smells good!  I don't use candles as much as Scentsy burners.  Here's my awesome Canadian one!!

{And as you can see from the few bars I have below, I might be obsessed!  But if you visit my home, you'll always find this thing on!}

2. I also play music all through the day thanks to Pandora radio!  Anytime I am in the kitchen, the music is on.

3. I always tidy up the main floor before company comes but I want to be better about cleaning just for my family too.  It's hard with little ones but they are old enough to help and it makes everyone feel better.  I also don't like stepping on toys... especially legos.  Have you heard that joke about how there is pain and then there is stepping on lego pain?  haha!

4. I do bake brownies every now and again.  And I make muffins at least once a week. This week the kids and I even made cupcakes!  We've been watching a lot of the Cake Boss and had a craving!  I even made frosting for the first time FROM SCRATCH!  I had no idea it was that easy... and tasty!  WOW!

5. I don't put flowers in my kitchen nor do I have the surface space to do so.  But I have green plants in my dining room and living room if they count!  I would be interested in a new flowering plant though. Maybe something to add to my "to buy" list?

6 & 7. I smile at my family and I try to be encouraging to them... at least 90% of the time when they aren't fighting or driving me crazy.  But you know what I need to be better about?  Making eye contact.  I have been really trying to turn and face my kids when they talk and look them in the eyes so they know they have my full attention.  I want to treat them the way I would want to be treated.

8. Back rubs, tickles and hugs come pretty easy to me and my kids.  Just tonight we watched a movie and one child was snuggled on my lap while another nestled into my side.  This is pretty common.  I regularly hear, "Mommy I want to cuddle." from all three children!  I don't always make time for this but try and some days it's hard because I am outnumbered.

9. I like that playing games is on this list because I agree!!  Have you ever asked your child to play a game?  Did you notice how their eyes lit up?  It's incredible and I know it's something I would have loved as a kid {I was basically an only child in my house til I was 10}!!  I enjoy board games and want my kids to know that I LIKE being with them!  My husband and I just had a chat about not using our cell phones, computers or gadgets after supper until after the kids are in bed.  It's only about 2 hours but it's amazing how often we find ourselves drawn to them!  Just this week we played Scrabble rather than everyone do their own thing.  After all, it's the ONLY time of day where we are all together.  Gotta be intentional and not waste that time!

10. One of the things we do as a family that I really love is to pray for the people who have sent us Christmas cards.  I save the cards in a napkin holder and keep it in our dining room. Each night we take one card and pray for that sender.  This is the time where I update my husband and children on what's going on in our friends' and families' lives.  I share how we can pray for them and then Jay leads our prayer time if he is home.  {See why I love Facebook for updates and keeping in touch!}  This simple tradition is something we started after Christmas 2012 and it gives the kids a chance to get to know the people in our lives.

We cycle through the cards over and over all thru the year.
When I fill out forms that ask for my occupation, I put "full-time homemaker".  I am not just a stay-at-home mom but purposely set out to make my home and the atmosphere here a welcoming one... for my kids and for guests too.  I still am a clutter bug and mismanage my time, but I am actively working on all that.  I'm just talking about the overall vibe of my home.. I think it's pretty good.  All the people who live here like being here!

These chapters had really good ideas and as I've said before, every Christian wife and mother should read this book!  Sooooo good!  I am learning lots as I continue to journey along in life attempting to make it a productive endeavor!

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Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

love the Christmas card idea! and i can attest to the fact that you always have Pandora on, Scentsy lit, and delish muffins! ;)

Mary said...

Thanks for being my witness so people know I am not lying! HAHA!