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.

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