I have been an official stay-at-home homemaker for one month now. What a colossal lifestyle change! Yet I absolutely do not regret it. For the first week or two I felt torn between the career I had left and the new routines I needed to establish. Being at home was everything my heart desired, and for that very reason I wrestled with excessive guilt. I felt guilty for being at home when everyone else was heading to work. I felt guilty for being in a peaceful state rather than my usual stressed state. I felt guilty about enjoying my chores and trying new recipes and visiting with my mom and reading a book while the working world was still at work. Like I said, it took a couple of weeks to work the guilt out of my system.
But then it hit me! I am living my dream and able to fully focus on the most important people in my life – my husband and son. I can make sure that my husband has all of my attention before he goes to work and when he comes home. I can be at home with him on his days off. If he needs me to run errands for him or do research for him, I am completely free to do so. I am able to make sure that he always comes home to a refreshing environment and has tasty, healthy meals to eat. The last traces of guilt dissipated from my heart when he told me, “I feel so free now that you are at home! I know that everything is being taken care of here and I can fully focus on my responsibilities at work.” This is how it is supposed to be – in order for the provider and protector of the family to be fully able to fulfill his calling, the homemaker must fulfill hers.
In addition to caring for my family, I am now more able to minister to others who have been on the backburner of my life due to my career. I have been able to respond to the prompting on my heart to begin a young ladies’ Bible study on Friday nights. I have renewed my penpal connections and am also staying in better touch with my aging relatives via phone calls. The neighbor girl can now randomly stop by to chat while she is on break, and I can spend more time with my mom during the week. For society to be stable and safe we need to have people who are home. These are the people who are there when emergencies happen, when loneliness sweeps over the forgotten, and when the young ones just need to be around someone who has time for them.
So what does a normal week for me look like right now? Well, after the daily morning routine of fixing breakfast for my husband, packing his lunch, and seeing him out to the car, I make the bed, clean up the kitchen, feed our pets, and settle in for 45-60 minute devotional time. Afterwards, I go for my morning walk with our dog. Then I begin my housekeeping as follows:
Monday – Wash day (this includes ironing) and making the menu for the week (this includes making the shopping list and organizing coupons)
Tuesday – Clean bathrooms and dust all surfaces
Wednesday – Shopping (this includes going to the Farmer’s Market for meat and produce)
Thursday – Floors (Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming)
Friday – Baking day (my goal is to have us well-stocked in baked goods so we no longer have to buy them)
My chores of the day are usually finished by lunchtime, and I spend my afternoons doing my language studies, completing correspondence, or visiting with other people. Evening chores and dinner prep often begin around 4pm. I realize that there will be another colossal shift in my routine once Baby is born, but this is a general routine that I would like him to settle into. I believe that it is good for children to be raised in a home where there is order so that they can learn the time management skills necessary for fulfilling their responsibilities. Some people believe that a routine facilitates inflexibility; I believe, however, that a routine is actually freeing because it shows how much time is actually available and provides opportunity to do more in a day than one realizes is possible.
With that said, it’s just about time for me to start my evening chores and get dinner ready for the guy who makes my heart beat faster every time I see him.