Facet No. 2 of Homemaking

Facet No. 2: An ideal homemaker is ambitious and enthusiastic through application of the law that how one feels emotionally greatly determines how she feels physically.

There are women who feel bored even when they have several small children to care for, dishes piled in the sink, clothes to wash, and a dirty house to clean. They aren’t bored because of a lack of things to do, but rather due to a lack of stimulus. They regard their housework as futile because they are not able to manage it properly and because they do not understand its over-all purpose and are not able to visualize the rewards. Their boredom has developed into a chronic case of inertia, and there they sit — the housework mounting right along with their contempt for it as well as for themselves. These women need special help with the attitudes and skills of homemaking.

Some other women are bored because they feel there really is not enough in the home to keep them busy. Perhaps their families are small or their children are grown, and after several hours of routine work each morning they have nothing but a l-o-n-g day to look forward to. The antidote to such a situation is a shot of imagination. Such things as reading, sewing, decorating, music, outdoor life, interest in people and a desire to be of service to them are excellent cures for the malady of boredom. One word of caution, however: time-killers, such as too much or the wrong time of television shows and movies or sensational stories offer only a momentary illusion of having a purpose in life and afterwards one’s boredom and restlessness is more intense than ever. Seek activities which, instead of being busy work and escapes, are purposeful and edifying.

The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole

Facet No. 1 of Homemaking

An ideal homemaker is lovely to look at and lovely to be around — she has a wholesome attitude and a pleasing appearance. She has the courage to be happy and strives to live above the grievous faults of moodiness, sulkiness, and complaining. She is gracious and thoughtful and is consequently adored by her family and admired by all who know her.

From The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole

This month I’m focusing on becoming the ideal homemaker, and I’m using the book The Art of Homemaking as my guide. The first chapter is about the importance of the two A’s: Attitude and Appearance.

Attitude

Gain an appreciation of your calling as a homemaker.
Second, learn to visualize the over-all purpose of your work.
Third, be at your physical best at all times — both in appearance and health. (If you don’t feel well, see a doctor!)
Fourth, take steps to secure good relationships between you and your husband and you and your children.
Fifth, learn and practice good homemaking skills.
Sixth, analyze yourself and be willing to overcome personal problems.
Seventh, plan frequent association with people who have good attitudes.
Eighth, keep busy so you’ll have only enough time to think positively. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

Appearance

Dressing takes such a few minutes, and besides making your husband happy, you’ll find that you feel much more eager and ready to begin your day’s work. You’ll find that your work goes by much faster and smoother if you are properly dressed for it than if you’re impeded by a flapping housecoat and slipping scuffles. If you LOOK THE PART, you’ll feel like DOING THE PART.

This is something that’s so easy to say, and yet much harder to do. To put it bluntly, life sucks! Sometimes there are moments when all you want to do is curl up and cry, and being told that you need to put on a cheerful face and wash the dishes is the last thing you want to hear. Over the past couple of years, I’ve struggled with PTSD, anxiety, and fatigue, and spent a lot of days unable to find the energy to smile, let alone vacuum the floors. I’ll let you in on a little secret though: the days where I pushed through my emotional troubles to work on chores and cook a nice dinner always ended on a much better note than the ones where I moped in front of the TV. My husband was always much more sympathetic and supportive when I did my part with keeping up the house as well.

When you wake up and find yourself facing a difficult day, the easiest thing to do is set a timer for ten or twenty minutes to focus on just one area of the house. It’s surprising how much you can get done in just twenty minutes! Then, give yourself a break to do something that you love, like reading or crafting, and an hour later set the timer again to focus on a different area. While it may feel impossible to take on the entire day in one bite, short intervals are considerably more doable.

Sometimes I like to use my imagination when the days feel especially dreary. Sometimes, I pretend that I’m Cinderella, slaving away for my evil step-sisters while dreaming of my Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming. The added bonus of a little bit of play-pretend is that when my husband gets off work, I can include him in playing his part of the handsome prince. This gets especially exciting after the children go to bed.

Appearance is something that comes more naturally to me, since I have a passionate interest in fashion and beauty and enjoy researching it on the internet. Something that a lot of women don’t understand is that it takes just as much time to dress well as it does to dress sloppily, and it’s just as comfortable. Make sure you get dressed early in the day. The Art of Homemaking recommends dressing before breakfast, but since I’m a “slow starter” and need extra time to wake up, I put it off until just after. Remember, when you look fantastic, it’s much harder to feel bad.

Make time for regular exercise. This may feel daunting, especially when you have small children who think that downward facing dog is some sort of “mom jungle gym.” I go for my timer again with this one, and set it for ten minutes. My dear sweet and loving babies can occupy themselves during that ten minutes, because mama needs to focus on her breathing! It’s helps me feel more relaxed and emotionally stable, so I’m better able to deal with their demands and misbehavior without losing my cool.

Attitude and Appearance provide a solid foundation for becoming an ideal homemaker.

What A Year It’s Been!

My life has gone down paths that I never thought I’d travel, and this past year has been no different. I took time away from blogging for my family, and have spent the past year sharing wonderful moments with my husband and two daughters. Now that my baby #2 is approaching her first birthday, I’m finding myself with more leisure time and the desire to start chronicling my life and crafting once again.

This past year has seen many changes in my life. My husband and I bought a house that we are now renovating, and what an adventure this is turning out to be! For all of the quirks and oddities of our home, I absolutely adore it.

I have also, somehow and surprisingly, found myself going back to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is difficult to explain how this came about, but the peace and understanding that I have found since opening up my heart to God has had an immense impact on my life and character. There are many emotional issues that I still struggle with as the result from my adventurous past, but I am solidly an the road of improvement.

This blog, from this point onward, will be different. I have decided to keep my older entries, since while it may not be obvious to most people, they do tell of my journey from naïveté, to cynicism, to understanding. I have certainly ruffled a few feathers along the way, but I am proud of how I have grown and have no desire to hide my past. Everything from before now will be categorized under “Archives.”

My focus will be on traditional femininity, and include topics like homemaking, cooking, crafting, motherhood, religion, and how to treat husbands (the last being of mega importance!). Being the perfect woman is an art that takes practice and skill, and it is the goal that I wish to achieve. While there are many areas that I fall short, I am earnest and determined to succeed, if only to provide my daughters with the role model that I longed to have for myself.

Onward and upward!

Socks, finally

IMG_2270

Ages and ages ago I started knitting a pair of socks. It took me over a year, but I finished them right before Christmas as my present to myself.

I used the Blackrose pattern on Knitty.com, and after I finished them I realized that I had done my yarn overs incorrectly, so they didn’t create the open lace effect that they are supposed to have. I guess that’s one of the pitfalls of being completely self-taught, but I know better now. The socks are still really pretty, and I’m happy to have them.

My toddler helped me take the pictures.

IMG_2268

IMG_2264

IMG_2262

Update

My husband and I rented a house at the beginning of February, and the disruption of moving plus being pregnant has really thrown me off. On top of expecting a new baby in the next 2-5 weeks (OMG YAY!), I also decided to start potty training my toddler, because one can never have too much going on at once. Okay, so it was getting pretty hard for me to wash diapers every other day, my toddler was starting to fight me more and more with diaper changes, so I decided to put her in Big Girl underwear, and clean up the accidents as they happen (hardwood floors make it easy). We’ve been happier (albeit messier) in the week since I did that.

The nice thing is that I now have my own crafting room, and once I have energy again I’ll be back to sewing all sorts of fun things (I’m already planning to make another corset). For now, I’ve been working with yarn, and between making diaper covers for my new baby, I’m also knitting a pair of socks for my daughter.

I still have a few projects that haven’t been showcased yet, so I’ll try to get posts up about those before too long passes. My toddler has decided that our camera is the best thing ever, so I have to be careful of her grabby hands every time I pull it out.