Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Preview: The Art of Homemaking

It's all fine and good to be spontaneous and have fun, and I hope I never lose that, but at the same time, it is a constant life-long battle to keep focused and organized so that something can get done! Ever felt that way?

Yeah, I thought so. Me too. When I was a new Mom, I came across this great old book that helped me in so many ways:
The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole (1962)

I don't know where I got it or when, but I'm so glad I did, because it was a great teaching tool for me back in 1992, when I was a young mother and a college student trying to figure out how to balance all of my responsibilities. While out of date by modern standards, this book was my first peek into home management and how to stay organized so that things could run smoothly despite the unpredictability of parenthood and life in general. Besides the great time-tested true principles talked about in this book, there are some adorable pictures that I just have to share:
Haha - Do you ever feel like this in the morning?? Me? Let's see: #1 - yes, a lot. And #2 - occasionally!

Here's another one that I love:
Haha, laying on the couch eating bon-bons! Unfortunately that's what a lot of people think homemakers do all day. But if you have been a stay-at-home Mom of babies, toddlers or preschoolers, you know better! If you did do this (and if the kids would let you for even a minute, you would seriously pay for it later - totally not worth it.) Don't ask me how I know that, hee hee. 

Most women who are even giving a half-hearted effort won't be seen doing anything remotely like this during the day. Besides, does she really look like she's enjoying herself? Don't think so. Here's the contrasting picture:
Hahaha! There. That's better! Look at all those happy people. Especially the lady with the broom, hee hee.

Okay, this one is probably more like how I feel much of the time, and I'm suspecting you too:
Oh no! How to get it all done!?
But isn't this drawing great? It brings to mind all the adventures of Lucille Ball.
The poor woman's like, "Oh my! Where do I even start?"

This one's just the best:
Thank goodness for the modern washing machine! Now she can wear her heels, makeup, cute little dress and apron and still get the laundry done without a hitch!

Okay, so that might be a stretch for how most of us look these days, whether doing laundry or not! But isn't it fun to see the pictures? And doesn't it just inspire you a little bit to do better with your job, whether at work or home or church? It does me.

This book was my lifeline as a young woman who had just quit her full-time job and full-time student life to become a stay-at-home Mom. What in the world was I going to do all day? Haha - those days are long gone, with 5 busy teenagers and 2 gradeschoolers, I never have to wonder what I am going to do all day anymore. Instead, what I have to figure out is what should I do today, and choose from all the many things that I could do today.

In my next post, I'm going to go into the basics of taking charge of your schedule and how to find what works for you. I've found that no matter how I "change it up" over the years, success always comes down to a few basic principles, as taught quite well in "The Art of Homemaking". Here's a sneak peek at a few of them:

  • Make a basic daily/weekly schedule.
  • Keep an updated calendar and look at it every morning!
  • Create routines that are realistic and stick to them until they are a habit.
  • If it's not working, tweak it, but don't throw out the baby with the bath water!
  • Reward yourself for doing things right.
  • Don't get down on yourself for not being perfect.
  • Take a day off now and then. Seriously. Do.
So, until then, my jumbled friends . . . enjoy this final thought for the day:
Just do it!

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