Monday, March 24, 2014
Duty is very difficult in a self - indulgent world. We wives often want to live in leisure, enjoy hobbies, and relax. Today, the American Dream is considered to be all about retirement! Yet, working in the home makes our surroundings pleasant, peaceful, and orderly. I recently heard the advice from a doctor (from a 1940's movie) suggesting to his nurse that an upper class housewife should let some of her servants go, do 6 hours of housework a day, and then her health would be recovered in 3 months!
"Duty with a will" means we have the right attitude of perseverance. We do the daily chores despite our mood or emotions. Often the task seems overwhelming and we have trouble even getting started. Perhaps we have neglected the deep-down cleaning for weeks or months. This becomes a mountain of impossibility! But with a will, we can take each step and work little-by-little to make things nice. Years ago, I read this old book about this young man who had to work in the fields. I can't remember all the details but I remember him saying to himself over and over again, "With a will, Joe!" And this became the motto of his life. He did his duties and he did them well.
One of the sweetest things I've found to help get that "will" strong, is to dress for the day in a housewife's uniform. This is a special outfit that says, "I am the hostess of this house and am happy to serve and make sure you are comfortable." For some this may be a little jewelry, a special hairstyle, a pretty dress and . . . of course. . . a pretty apron. This says that home is lovely and I am happy to work here.
Many mornings I have been giving myself little "pep talks" so I can drag myself out of bed. (gentle smiles) Life can get overwhelming and exhausting and we have to learn to do our very best, despite these challenges.
On a daily basis, grandbaby keeps me busy; my (mostly grown) children keep things exciting around here; and the care of my parents (the great-grandparents who live with us) have health issues which are a constant concern. I also am dealing with a gnawing disappointment I feel because I have not been able to knit an old fashioned sweater- and- bonnet set for my new grandbaby, who will arrive next month. Regardless of this, I still have a home to keep, a husband to care for, and plenty of work to do; I will not despair. I will do it, to the best of my ability, with a smile and with a will.
P. S. Thank you to those sweet readers who have sent me gifts and cards in the last couple of months. I cannot tell you how very precious those surprises have been to me and my family. God bless you!
From the Archives -
I am looking forward to doing this in the Spring - Walking the gardens with Baby.
It's all up to you, Mother - The Cultured Society of Home.
We need more of this! - Homemaking Propaganda.
Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.