um…i’m a (insert wince) homemaker. this would be my response to people our first two years or so of marriage when people asked what i “did,” though i would always try to slip in that i was writing on the side. and i think i’m kidding myself if i even said i was a homemaker more than once or twice. but i was. and i am. i would even hesitate, in the privacy of my home, before i checked the “homemaker” occupation box on various applications and surveys. but i must say it got easier to say/admit once it was obvious i was pregnant with elisha. i mean come on, i was with child and it is one of the few times in life that our culture seems to fully embrace what is involved with homemaking. there are even quaint terms like “nesting” to describe this period. while pregnant i would explain to someone who asked what i did on a particular day that i cleaned, organized, cooked, etc., and they would say, “oh, how sweet, you’re nesting!” not so much. i was keeping house. and on most days truly enjoyed it. i’m currently rereading keeping house: the litany of every day life by margaret kim peterson and i highly recommend it. a good friend alerted me to the book and i can’t thank her enough. i wish i was able to read it my first year of marriage. it’s a theological and cultural exploration of homemaking. the last paragraph in the preface sums it up well:
“keeping house can be a very mundane activity. it is certainly repetitive, and the kinds of work that it involves are varied enough that few people enjoy all of them equally. but at the very same time, housekeeping is about practicing sacred disciplines and creating sacred space, for the sake of christ as we encounter him in our fellow household members and in neighbors, strangers, and guests.”
i could quote the whole book for you, but i’ll refrain. i trust you’ll read it. men and women. my mom enjoyed it, too, but she thinks peterson romanticizes hand-washing dishes 🙂 it is very affirming, especially to those of us who aren’t always comfortable explaining to people what we “do” as homemakers. or to those of us who wonder about the value of what we do from day to day. so yes, i am proud to check that “homemaker” box–boldly, in fact.
a key aspect of homemaking is delegating. elisha understands this well and is excellent at mopping up various pigs and dogs that litter our floor.