Have you been wondering “what’s a homemaker?.” Maybe you’ve heard or read about a stereotype surrounding the word homemaker but today we will like at what a homemaker is and how to have the right perspective.
If you asked me 10 years ago to describe a homemaker I would’ve described a woman who always wears an apron, has at least 6 kids, maybe a farm and she’s always busy running around doing chores. However, that description lacks so much detail and purpose. A homemaker is as it sounds, the maker of the home; one whose importance has been wrongly diminished over the years. I believe this word and purpose can be reclaimed with the right perspective and understanding.
let’s define what a homemaker actually is…
If you search the definition of a homemaker online it will say something like this:
one who manages a household especially as a spouse and parenthttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homemaker
So in short, a homemaker is the manager of their home. A manager is a title that gives authority and responsibility over the people and tasks under their direction. The definition really is that simple. The stereotype associated with that word can lead us to believe that a homemaker is this 50’s housewife vibe we must embrace. I can’t blame women for being turned off by the term “homemaker” when that’s the example they’ve been given. However, I would argue that a modern homemaker needs to look nothing like a 50’s housewife.
Additionally, whether you as a wife or mom also have a job outside of your home doesn’t mean you either are or are not a homemaker. As a wife/mom, your God given role is to manage your home and those in it. God gives the man management over different areas of your partnership and they are equally important.
Now that we’ve defined a homemaker, let’s look at what a homemaker is not.
so what’s a homemaker not?
When I started thinking through this blog post I kept going back to things that homemaking is not. I did not want the whole post to be about what homemaking isn’t but I do think it is important to identify some of the lies people try to claim before we move on. So, just to be clear, a homemaker is not:
part of a fad/trend
I recently read an article that discussed new ways to romanticize homemaking. The article was full of ideas about how to dress a certain way, play whimsical music and dance around like cinderella as you clean your house, and more! It broke my heart that women have lost the understanding of how beautiful homemaking is without creating a fake reality. Homemaking is not a fad that allows you to live in an unrealistic fairytale world. Being a homemaker is so much more fulfilling than that.
someone who cannot have a job outside of the home
Oh, this one really gets people stirred up! You may disagree with me on this point and that’s ok. Being a homemaker does not mean you cannot or should not also have a job outside of the home. In certain circumstances such as a single mom or a wife, a job outside of the home might be helpful. The problem comes in when we decide that our job outside of the home is more important that our role to care for and nurture our home.
A quote by Rebekah Merkle, in her book Eve in Exile, sums this one up well, “we are a generation that needs to recover a sense of the importance of the home, and the importance of wives and mothers who are invested in their people.” Buy her book here Eve in Exile
So can a woman be a homemaker and work outside of the home? Yes, but I would ask if her work outside the home is for the betterment of her family or not.
a title that a wife/mom chooses
Some might believe that as a wife/mom the role of a homemaker is a choice. They might believe that if they have a job, they’re not also obligated to take responsibility of the affairs at home. A wife/mom might hire a housekeeper and/or a nanny to take care of their household affairs and feel justified in doing so because of their responsibilities else where. No two families are the same and there isn’tt a cut and dry way to run a home. However, the role of a homemaker is always the responsibility of the wife/mother no matter what other roles she has. God gave women this role just as he gave men and children and the elderly their roles. Women are to care for, nurture, and love their home as is their responsibility given to them by God.
an identity to belittle
A manager of the home is one of utmost importance. I think if we really understood how important it is to take care of “our people” we would stop attempting to diminish homemaking. Our culture is one of selfishness and self fulfillment yet it is one of the most lonely and isolated cultures. In part, I think this is because of a lack of community and purpose within the home. A homemaker’s role is to teach the next generation what truly matters.
the roles of a homemaker:
The role of a homemaker is not one to be taken lightly. When a homemaker is absent, the family unit will not thrive. The value brought to the table is hard to describe with words but rather it is easier seen and felt. In this day and age the only value that seems to get talked about is monetary value. I would argue that if everyone was only focused on adding value with money they made, we would live in a very sad world. There is great value in raising children who understand respect, responsibility, and love. There is value in learning and passing on skills that better the health of your family. And finally there is value in using your creativity to bless those around you with so much love. A homemaker adds value in all the ways money lacks the ability to.
nurture and care for people
Now when I say nurture and care for people I mean YOUR people. Your husband, your kids, your family, those are your people. There is not a one size fits all way to nurture and care for your people, that’s where you get to be creative. For some this might look like cooking dinner for their family every night. For others, this might look like decorating and being intentional with your home to create a peaceful environment.
A few simple things that fall into this category are feeding, dressing, and meeting the needs of your family. I am not saying you should know how to make everything from scratch and learn to sew.. rather, meeting these needs for your family is up to you. You can find blogs about “homemaker schedules” with lists of chores and routines a homemaker should do in a day. But what really matters most is that you have a heart set out to meet the needs of your family.
create a safe space
I love this point so much I wrote an entire post on it. You can read it here at how to create a peaceful home. You as a person can become a safe space for people but your home and be a safe space too. It’s that feeling of relief and comfort when you walk into your home after having been gone for a few days. Everything you do will create some sort of environment in your home. Is your environment one of busyness and chaos? One of isolation and individuality? Or one of unity and peace?
You know the saying, “if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy?”. The same is true for the environment of the home. If the homemaker is intentional to create a safe space, the intention will be noticed. This does not mean there won’t be kids yelling or hard days but the tone of the home in general is one of safety.
If I could sum up this one in one word it would be : servant-hearted. If you have been gifted by God with a husband and/or a family to love, love them with all you have. Those are the people you want in your corner. A servant-heart is one of selflessness and honestly, its impossible to achieve without Jesus. However, one of the most rewarding things in this life is to love and be loved. Loving hard means taking the time to care for yourself in order to pour out into your home and your people. Take every new day as an opportunity to love your people and know them well enough to meet their needs. If you are a child of God he will sustain you, my friend.
Being a homemaker is so much more than wearing an apron and doing chores. I hope today you’ve discovered the value a homemaker really has. God was thoughtful in the way he designed and assigned roles to humanity. He covered every area of need as he assigned responsibilities. You are not a lesser than image if you care for your home. Rather, you are taking time to invest in the most important aspect of life that you can.
A homemaker is the manager of her home. She is the one that makes a difference in the world by having the right priorities.
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