At no point through my educational experiences did anyone ever explain to me how to keep a clean house, provide adequate nutrition to a family, organize my junk or keep track of my important documents. Growing up I had one answer to these dilemmas and that was MOM. If my Mom had a dollar for every time she heard me or one of my brothers yell, “Mom I’m hungry!” or “Mom have you seen my ____” she would be rich! In fact even now, at least once a month I call my mom and say (in my best game show voice ever of course), “Congratulations Mrs. O! You’ve been selected for another round of where am I? I am currently standing in a Safeway and cannot find the brown beans. Any idea where they would be??” My mom just laughs at me, but she always knows where that thing I just can’t find is!
While I did not learn about homemaking from formal education I did grow up in a Latter Day Saint household and homemaking seemed to be regarded as one of the core ingredients to a successful woman’s life. I grew up hearing things like, ” Homemaking is not just baking bread or cleaning a house. Homemaking is to make the environment necessary to nurture our children toward eternal life, which is our responsibility as parents. And that homemaking is as much for fathers as it is for mothers.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks or ” There is no career more meaningful, no calling more divine, than being a person who truly makes a home in the sense of creating and maintaining an environment of human warmth, intellectual stimulation, and spiritual strength—someone who sees the wellsprings of personal meaning that lie beyond a first glance at a diaper, a frying pan, and a worn tennis shoe.” Sister Marie Hafen. (1)
These sound so wonderful in theory, but I knew from a young age that being a stay-at-home-mom and homemaker just weren’t for me. I wanted children, obviously, but I also wanted a career outside of the home. I believed from a young age that life is WAY too short and it was up to me to suck every morsel of information and experience from this one life I lead. So while I was exposed all these quotes, talks, and scriptures about the value of being a homemaker they really fell on deaf ears. “Who cares about having a clean house?” I thought, “Life is too short for that”
Then I grew up. My house is a mess! Sometimes I don’t eat all of the lunch that I prepare for work and forget it in my bag for weeks on end. I’ve thrown out A LOT of containers because I was too scared to deal with the green smelly mess inside. I’m constantly saying, “Hunny have you seen my chequebook?” or “Any idea where that smell is coming from?” or “I seriously have no clean underwear left…” (I’ve worn bathing suit bottoms under my jeans more than once lets just leave it at that….).
Then Pinterest came along. My word, if you want to waste hours of your life and make yourself feel like crap (without even realizing you’re doing it), Pinterest is the way to go. We see our friends posting all these wonderful recipes, and tips for clean and organized living. We are exposed to women and men that are in shape and looking sexy. We see power-moms who spend their days ensuring that their children spend their days learning and growing through enriching activities aimed at helping them to develop their fine and gross motor skills, oral skills, imagination etc. We see the working women pinning fabulous outfits she would love to wear for work. Pinterest is an entire world where people (Albeit mostly women) can live out their fantasies one click at a time.
Don’t believe me? Check out some of these photos. All I did was open Pinterest and copy a few of the first photos I saw.
Your house looks like this right?
And your kids wear darling hand made crochet goodies
you have this body
and you eat this
While your kids do this…
Oh and you look like this M-F 9-5 while you rock the perfect job and don’t ever have to deal with frizzy hair and jam hand prints on your beautifully tailored blazor.
and did I mention you married the perfect man who never farts and earns really good money and always looks like this and you two just have the most perfect marriage and family ever?
We have time and money for all that right?!?
So what do we do about it? We could stop going on Pinterest all together and pretend like our mess will just go away or we could actually start clicking into some of those photos, following the links and learning about homemaking. My house is not a place I like to invite visitors too, why then do I think it is a place I would like to bring a child into. I keep saying oh when my son gets here I’ll get better, but I’m not doing anything different, I’m thinking about doing something different. So this section of my blog is going to be a little different then rest. I’m going to set a weekly goal and check back and let you know how I did and set another weekly goal.
So far, I have tried to introduce each topic and explain why I chose that topic for my blog and then wrote one post on the topic to get the ball rolling. Because this section will be a little different I am going to skip making the next post and just say my goal for this week is to organize my computer room. After several years of University there are psychology textbooks everywhere, Spanish notes and compositions everywhere, pens and notepads, random documents like tax forms just chillin on one of the two desks etc. I’ll post before and after photos next week and explain where I started and what I did. This may end up being a couple weeks worth of goals though as its pretty bad…it’s the worst room in the house for sure.