Homemaking is meaningful and pleasant work, but there are many lessons to learn along the way. Here are 5 things I learned as a brand-new homemaker.
When I got married two and a half years ago, I couldn’t wait to start homemaking.
It had always been my dream.
Growing up, I was the little girl who played with baby dolls and loved helping Mom in the kitchen. I made up stories while I did chores around the house. I pretended that I was Snow White tidying the cottage while the dwarves (my family members) were out in the mines. For my birthday I asked my Mema to sew me a pink apron.
Fast forward about fifteen years. I still find joy in homemaking. This is meaningful work, and pleasant.
As a brand-new wife, running my own home wasn’t a terrible adjustment. It’s something I’d been looking forward to and trying to prepare for. However, I still had many areas to learn and improve in. Here are five simple things I learned as a brand-new homemaker.
1. Establish a vision for your home
This isn’t your parents’ home or your college dorm room. Make it different. Personalise it. Make it feel permanent–even if you know you may be moving a few months down the road.
Eric and I have a joint vision of our home being restful and comfortable, but also energizing. Some of the ways we create this atmosphere is by simplifying our stuff, and by putting artwork on the walls that’s meaningful and inspiring.
Your attitude also determines the tone and atmosphere of your home. Nagging, complaining, and shutting yourself off from your housemates will make your home a gloomy place.
2. Keep to a simple (but consistent) chore routine
I found it difficult to keep up with the cleaning as well as working outside the home. My husband worked a lot of overtime our first few months of marriage, and since then he’s had the demanding schedule of a graduate student. Most of the housework has been my job.
I decided to keep my chore routine super simple, just covering the basics on a regular basis. Each weekday, I do a different chore for about half an hour after work. It doesn’t take long to do these tasks in a one-bedroom apartment! Here’s my chore list:
Monday- Clean bathroom
Tuesday- Clean kitchen sink
Friday- Grocery shopping (every other week)
Saturday- Laundry, and detail work if I have time (cleaning appliances, clearing out fridge, etc.)
For the one or two times per year that I do a deep clean, I follow this routine.
3. Serve more carbs at the dinner table
This was a revelation for me! It has kept our grocery budget down and my husband full. When we have guests over for a meal, Eric enjoys telling the story of how I once served him nothing more than half a packet of ramen and a quesadilla when we were dating in college!
That was my idea of a good meal, but he went back to his dorm hungry and raided his care packages for crackers!
Now I always make sure there’s some filling carbs to round things out. (And we eat healthier, too!) If we’re trying to stretch our expensive pastured meat, we make extra rice to soak up the juices. If we’re going heavy on veggies that night, we make extra noodles.
I’ve also joined two of my blogging friends in writing a cookbook for homemakers who want classics made with real food ingredients!
4. Be frugal, but don’t be cheap
I think being conscious of the budget and intentionally frugal about how you spend it is very important. But there’s a difference between being frugal and being cheap.
I thought I was being frugal not to turn on the air conditioning in our Alabama apartment in the heat of summer. I ended up getting sick from the heat and had to go to my parents’ house to recover. After that, we decided there were other things we could be frugal on that didn’t compromise our health and productivity.
5. Don’t wait to practise hospitality
Don’t wait til you have a house (or a better house, or a cleaner house…) to practise hospitality. Share what you’ve been blessed with in this season of life. We’ve already made many special memories by having guests into our home, whether family members, church family, or friends we’d like to get to know better. I’ve written a whole series about hospitality if you need ideas!