I love it when I feel an internal shift start to happen. That feeling of some gate or door opening somewhere in your mind, and inspiration and intent rush to feel up the space that gate opens to....
I was perusing the blogosphere yesterday, and one of the blogs I was on was talking about sustainability ( I do not remember what blog I was on, please forgive me ) and as I am prone to do, I looked over at their side bar to see what blogs they had listed in their blog roll. I have found a lot of wonderful blogs this way. One of the names on the blog roll caught my eye, Down to Earth and after reading the first page I hit the "older posts" button, and kept hitting that button as I devoured page after page of this amazing woman's blog. I have been reading for a day and a half now. She and her husband are retired and living in Australia, and they live simply. They grow their own food, make their own bread, cook most everything from scratch. She knits, makes soap and washing detergents, and lives as simply and as green as they can.
After reading several months of back posts, one of those gates creaked open and I felt that shift happening. Jack and I have long been fledgling homesteaders, and we are in the first stages, where you know a lot of the info and you slowly incorporate and make changes in your lifestyle. We stock pile, I cook as much as I can from scratch ( which is a learning process, I am not much of a baker ) and we garden, although ours ( along with most of the country ) did not do squat this year. So the things that she wrote about hit very close to home for me.
Another thing she talks about is being a home maker. Stay at home Moms, or wives, or husbands or Dads still have a very negative outlook placed on them by today's society. Money reigns supreme, and if you are not out there breaking your back or mind making money, then you are pretty much worthless. This is a commerce driven country, and if your not making and spending, then people look at you as if you are scum. I have lost so much respect from my family and peers since I stopped working outside of the home, and it really used to bother me. Eventually I realized that I work my tail off in this house daily, to make a home for my family, and that is just as, if not more, important than sitting for 8, 10, or 12 hours a day in a job I may or may not like, just to earn a buck so I can spend it on more crap I do not really need. I work my tail off cleaning, and cooking, and making sure we have clean clothes, food in our stomach, and having a nice as possible home for everyone to come home to at the end of the day. A HOME, not a house. Not just some place we go when we can not be at work. A HOME. Where we live, laugh, and love. That is so much more important to me than earning the almighty dollar.
When people hear we stay at home, they immediately conjure up the mental images of a lazy person sitting at home, stuffing their face with chocolate or whatever, watching soap operas all day. As any stay at home person who truly cares about their home and family will tell you, that is far from the reality of it. We sometimes WISH we could sit on the couch eating bon-bons all day. The laundry never ends, the dishes never end, there are meals to be planned, toilets to clean, floors to wash, things to dust, if you sew there are things to be mended or created. Very few of us consider our lives luxurious as a stay at home person. One of the big differences is, we love it. We get the ultimate satisfaction from providing our family with a tidy home, hot meals, and a comfortable environment in which to grow and thrive in. We all have days where we wish we could just go back to bed, but we do not. We get up, get the kids and the spouse off to start their days, and then we continue ours. We do it because we love our family, because that is a job worth having.
It is not an easy path. There are times where you might go a few days and do not feel like doing anything, but at the end of the day when you look around at your contented family, it is worth it, no matter the hardship you might face. Over the last few months I have become much more diligent at my "job." I got slack there for a while, and things piled up, and I felt guilty and miserable. I do not want to feel that way ever again, and if I let things slide, I feel horrible, like I let my family...and myself...down. I have had friends comment on my dedication to my job as a home maker. They know me well enough to know that if I say I am going to take it easy today, the floor will still be vacuumed, the kitchen will still be swept, and the dishes will be done after I cooked a hot meal. I am not looking for a pat on the back, I am just looking for the acceptance for those of us that choose to run our households without having an outside job as valid and equal. Our job is generally thankless and unpaid in monetary compensation, but it is rewarding in countless other ways.
Back to the blog I found, she really inspired me to take more pride in doing what it is that I do every day, and to take it to a whole new level. I have the time to learn new skills to help me and my family live as frugally as possible, yet not feel as if we are deprived of anything. I looked around my home with new eyes, and saw the changes I could make to have things run more efficiently, and to make better use of the time I have each day.
This was already slowly happening, but I stopped playing 98% of the pointless Facebook games that I wasted so much time on every day, and now I use it mostly as a tool to keep up with people in my life. I still have a couple of games I play for short periods of time because I enjoy them, but the 10 or 15 I had, that were pretty much the same, were doing nothing but killing time better spent doing other things. Now I find myself wanting to be away from the computer for long periods of time, when, as you know, I usually spent ALL my time here. That is just not what I want to be doing with myself and my day anymore.
I want to learn new things. I want to get started on those projects around the house I have been putting off. This in no way means I will neglect myself, or my needs. To be whole, you have to take care of yourself, you have to give your self breaks, and do things you enjoy, otherwise you are just a robot, going through the motions. I want to continue enjoying what I do, and gain more satisfaction when I do the things that take care of my family and home. I have so many ideas and thoughts running through my head that they are getting all tangled up, and I will be writing a list of things to do or that I want to learn so I will not forget anything, and so I can figure out how to incorporate everything into my daily routine.
I am excited, and inspired. I have new goals and aspirations, and I can not wait to get started.
Being a home maker is really difficult, and staying at home to do so is a luxury not many people can (or think they can) afford.
Now, honestly, I think I'd go mad. I have a job that I love and that challenges me again every day. And since there are no children (yet)... but still I try to be a home maker as much as possible. I make my own bread (with home-made sourdough starter), I cook real meals every day, and I try to do as much to make our flat "home" as possible. In time, I would love to have a garden to grow my own vegetables and herbs (and not only tiny tomatoes on the balcony), and if I ever get a decent kitchen I may also attempt to make soaps and stuff. Which, all in all, means that besides job and home and my attempts at becoming a successful writer, I usually drop dead at 11 P.M. every night... ^^
(My older sister chose the other option and stays at home. I couldn't do it, but I can see from very close how much work that can be, and how important her work is to her family and friends... we need both kind of people, I guess.)
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