Bring us back home
“If we had a feminism that caused us to get out of the house, is there not also room for feminism that would bring us back home, so that our homes would reflect ourselves and would once more have soul?” — Ginette Paris
“It’s acceptable to call yourself a “stay at home mom or dad,” but I think few people are willing to say they’re a homemaker these days. From my perspective the role of homemaker is essential, powerful, and worthy of redefinition and reverence.”
— Laura Forbes
I’m not sure why the term “homemaker” does not command more respect, but I can’t remember the last time I heard any child, male or female, say they wanted to be a homemaker someday, even as an added sideline to another ambition.
Perhaps it’s because the role was traditionally an unpaid task assigned to females, as one of very few choices available to women of past generations, thus seeming more like an obligation than a chosen path. Or maybe it’s because being a homemaker is so universal; after all, each of us, no matter our career or other obligations, is a homemaker. We must, of necessity, create some sort of home for ourselves.
And all of us, as children, were greatly influenced by the efforts of our parents or caregivers to create homes for us. Though my mother was a traditional “housewife” for most of my youth, she and my father worked together to create our home. Making a home is, after all, far more than doing chores such as laundry and cooking. While those are a time-consuming subset of the countless aspects of maintaining a home, they are not the heart of it. One need only spend a few days in a hotel to realize the crucial difference between housekeeping and homemaking.
Today I encourage you to reflect on your vital, powerful though possibly overlooked role of creating and maintaining a home in its fullest sense. What I have in mind has nothing to do with square footage, chores, or even decorating skills. It has more to do with the feeling we get when we walk into the door, that this is our home, and we are blessed to be part of it.
Our homes can be adorned with personal touches such as lovely handmade items, treasured photographs, favorite books and family heirlooms. We also decorate our homes in less visible ways: in the tone of voice we use when we speak to each other, the care we take to respect our shared spaces and belongings, the people to whom our doors are open, and the loving thoughts that lie behind simple gestures such as a single flower in a small vase, or a favorite surprise baked or bought for someone special to us.
What can you do today to celebrate your timeless and essential role as a homemaker?
One year ago today: