Saturday, February 25, 2012
Deciding to Be a Homemaker
Cooking and cleaning full time seems like an awful way to spend my day. I mean, seriously. Boring. And not just boring, but I can do so much more with my time if I don't have to cook and clean. I could save the world if I didn't have to cook or clean. I never understood people who hired others to clean their house for them, but I understand now. And they are brilliant thinkers.
There are other reasons why I have not wanted to full-time keep house. They are as follows:
1. I do not want to have "dead brain", or be a "zombie mommy".
I have seen women who dedicate their lives so much to housework that it's like they're not really "there" anymore. It's like they do nothing that stimulates their brain and they just go through life without living. I have been a zombie a couple times in my life and it's awful and I don't want that to happen to me, especially while taking care of my children.
2. Feels like a waste of time.
Until a month ago, I understood the value of housework, but just not the value of full-time housework. Isn't part-time enough? Because with the rest of my time, I could be saving the world one musicological article published at a time. (That's just one of the things I would love to do with extra time.)
3. I hate housework.
Okay, sometimes I like it, but I'm so slow that it becomes troublesome the fact that everything must be repeated--dishes must be done multiple times a day, etc. and it takes me forever! Rarely is the day when it feels like everything is clean. And I think that's what I hate about it--I'm never quite satisfied because it never seems to be perfect.
This was my thinking until about a month ago.
And before that month ago, I was constantly feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. (And, yes, I only have one child and live in a small two-bedroom apartment. ;)
And then I was in the temple and had some time to ponder. I was thinking of all the cool things I'd love to do and wanted to know how to do them. And then, a thought came into my mind, and I know it was Heavenly Father speaking to me. He said, "Annie. You just need to be a mom."
The thought kind-of shocked me. And then a peace overcame me and I knew that that was my answer. I needed to focus on what was most important. All-of-a-sudden it felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. I had one focus! Just one! And it felt amazing.
Heavenly Father knew that it was the right time for me to hear this. I don't think I would have heard Him if He had tried speaking to me about this a couple weeks before.
The last month has been awesome. When I'm not playing with or taking care of Adaline, I'm organizing the apartment. I've put stuff into a storage unit, taken loads to D.I., returned and mailed things to people, organized and organized. The home is now easier to keep clean and it's so cool! It's not like I have more time than I did before--it's just that my focus has changed. For some reason, when all of my thoughts were constantly on multiple things, I couldn't use my time wisely. Now it's so much easier! I even have the brain capacity to think about dinner and to make it!
I still have a long way to go until I'm even an averagely good homemaker, but I'm working at it and it's a fun challenge. I also know that not all of the coming days will be as exciting, but that's what my brain is for--to come up with better and funner ways of accomplishing things around the home and with Addie.
My new thought is that I don't have to change the world. But I can be the mother of those who change the world. And that is a cool thought.
Yesterday I listened to and read Julie B. Beck's talk titled "Mothers Who Know" and I remembered how amazing that talk is. I recommend that you read it and that you listen to her while you read the talk. Here are some excerpts that apply to my new focus:
"Mothers who know [the gospel of Jesus Christ and have strong testimonies of such] are nurturers... Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate... Growth happens best in a “house of order,” and women should pattern their homes after the Lord’s house (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women."
So. Cool. Read the talk.
In closing, I want all of you reading this to realize something. This is my blog. Not yours. This is my story. Heavenly Father has a different mission for each of us and it will not be the same, so everything I've said may not apply to you or may not be for you yet. I just wanted to make that clear. ;)
Oh, and if you're LDS then you should go to the temple often because Heavenly Father can prompt you in wonderful ways! And if you're not LDS, you should take the time to ponder for the same thing!
Love you all!