Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Gentle Art of Home Keeping

Les Confitures a French Housewife Makes Jams and Jellies

A new day has started and it is a lovely time to start tending the home.  We need to make sure we are awake early enough to start working in an unhurried, peaceful way.

There is often some kind of uniform to wear. This signifies our station in life. What makes you proud to be a housewife? Does it show in your clothes? In the way you style your hair? In your choice of jewelry? Getting dressed in something suitable for homemaking is a good start for the day. It's your choice if you want to make it classy, professional, or something more casual. I remember watching an old episode of The Donna Reed Show. The Mother was doing some heavy cleaning around the house. She had a kerchief in her hair and was wearing "trousers." Her daughter was appalled at how her mother looked and asked her not to wear those slacks if she went to the market. It would have embarrassed her to have her friends see her mother like that.  Can you imagine how much times have changed? 

Sometimes housewives would shop in the store with curlers in their hair. They were getting ready for an evening event, or a dinner party, but would be in public like that.  In our area, I occasionally see someone in a "housecoat" (or bathrobe) while running in to buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.  It is sweet and nostalgic to see it because we know they are doing errands "for the home" and it is precious. But for the most part, we housewives will want to dress for the job, signifying to our children and those around us what we do.

There is so much to do in the home. We can have projects - like gardens (or even a small indoor flower pot); decorating, organizing, polishing and entertaining. Home is the center of our social life. It is here we interact with family and friends. Sometimes I think about a grand hotel lobby in all its elegance.  We can have something like this, on a humbler scale in our parlour (or living room). Adding a few touches like a candle, decorative pillow, or some classical music can create a similar ambiance in the most sparsely furnished room.

We all have busy days and errands and such to keep us occupied. But perhaps we can slow it down a little. Instead of rushing through it all, for the sake of getting it done and over with, maybe we can enjoy each item on our to-do list. Maybe we can make it more fun by adding grace and beauty to our  tasks. 

Yesterday afternoon, I rushed through making a quick lunch because we had an appointment. I was flustered and harried.  This is not the kind of thing I want to remember with joy.  We have to fight against this each moment of our lives. There should be a gentleness to Mother's life. This is one of the reasons Motherhood is such a precious word. Each day, we must fight against taking on so much that it makes us abrasive.  We need to have more patience, and this comes with daily practice, and accepting failure. Over time it will come, if we keep at it.

One of my favorite things to do is listen to one of four things while I am working around the home:

1. Old Time Gospel Music (Like Ralph Stanley or Roy Acuff).
2. Sermon on CD.
3. Classical Music.
4. The wind blowing and birds chirping out the window.

We can make home a very precious place, with our gentle actions and attitude. We re-new our minds each morning with the motivation and excitement of the job of housewifery. It is an honored profession to be a keeper of the greatest place this side of Heaven - HOME!

From a Home Keeper
Mrs. White

Finances - How The Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty.

Bring Back Selfless Etiquette - Just for Company.

This place has a trusted - Housewife on Duty.

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Kim said...

I am so in love with your blog. I just recently came upon it. We are definitely kindred spirits. I homeschool my kids here in Alabama. I have to watch at least one episode of The Waltons to relax during our lunch break. My kids think I am so silly. I really love old fashioned/vintage things and long for a life like that for my family. My kids love to watch I Love Lucy and The Brady Bunch dvds. I have been reading through your posts during my rest breaks and they give me the joy and inspiration to get back up. Keep up the beautiful writing. May the Lord bless you and your family.

Jenny said...

Lovely post! I think a big part of enjoying homemaking is attitude!

Deanna said...

Dearest Mrs. White,
Home is where my heart is. I love being home and desire to make my home a haven.

Thank you for this post and the many fine post you share. It is a pleasure to stop by and visit your place.

God bless,

Mrs. Stam said...

What a lovely post.

I love wearing apron while doing housework, puts me in the mood. I always clean better and faster with a apron on, somehow:-)

I sometime forget that I'm wearing one, if I have to do a quick unexpected errand.... then I notice the looks... like people haven't seen a apron in AGES lol

Dolores said...

Dear Mrs. White,
I just love your blog. Posts like these make us homemakers feel so good. I just want to jump right in and start cleaning my little refuge from the world. P.S.I bought the CD you linked to. Mrs. Lynn (Dolores)

Darlene said...

Just the reminder I needed! Thanks!

Kristy said...

Thank you for your kind words about homekeeping. I especially like your point about doing things in an unhurried manner to keep gentleness in your life. This is something I struggle with at times.


Jessica@MakingHomeSweeter said...

Mrs. White, I may have not commented recently, but please know that I find myself going through several of your postings in one sitting all the time, in addition to the one I get in my email everyday. I can always find just the right kind of motivation and encourament that I need from your blog! I hope you're doing well! God bless.

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