"After Laura and Mary had washed and wiped the dishes, swept the floor, made their bed, and dusted, they settled down with their books. But the house was so cozy and pretty that Laura kept looking up at it."
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
Human Frailty of the Godly Soul
"The life of Luther might suffice to give a thousand instances, and he was by no means of the weaker sort. His great spirit was often in the seventh heaven of exultation, and as frequently on the borders of despair. His very deathbed was not free from tempests, and he sobbed himself into his last sleep like a greatly wearied child."
"As for her, like most women, she had but one ambition. To be a good wife and a good mother, and to be beloved by her husband and children, was all she asked. [She was] a busy, affectionate, cheerful little housewife, whose voice would never be heard in the streets, but whose memory would always live in a few faithful hearts."
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!
I am the mother of five home-schooled children, ages 15 and up, and a Grandmother of 2. I have been married for almost a quarter of a century.
I am a writer, reviewer, who loves fashion, sewing,
reading, fitness and cleaning.
We live in an 1800's house in rural Vermont.