Redefining Homemaking

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“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, Social Psychologist

From our perspective the role of homemaker is essential, powerful, and worthy of reverence and redefinition (an updated, more modern definition). Sometimes we long to fully embrace the role of homemaker. This role does not exclude our work or creative outlets– which are also essential to us– but we both fond that when we make homemaking a priority, rather than trying to squeeze these rituals into an already too full schedule, we feel more peaceful and content. When we thought about redefining what the word homemaker means to us, we began by looking at a few definitions from the dictionary.

Webster’s – 

Homemaker: One who manages a household, especially as a wife or mother.

But that definition didn’t feel right, so we kept looking and found…

Maker: one that makes

and on Wikipedia – 

Home: A home is a place of refuge, comfort. Since it can be said that humans are generally creatures of habit, the state of a person’s home has been known to physiologically influence behavior, emotions and overall mental health.

So when we reframe a homemaker as a “maker of homes” we have a new definition: One who makes a place of refuge or comfort that has been known to physiologically influence behavior, emotions, and overall mental health.

Now that felt right.

A maker of homes may be single, married with children or without, working outside of the home or not, man or woman—anyone who either has a home or makes others feel at home, is included in this definition.

And as we often say on this blog, our homes influence all aspects of our well being—our health and happiness. Our homes reflect our consciousness and ultimately shape our lives. The quality of the many moments we have at home—from the mundane to the extraordinary—determine the quality of our lives.  A maker of homes has the power to not only create surroundings that are nurturing and inspiring, but also to invite us back home to the place within ourselves where we are at peace and at one—a place of self-acceptance, self-nurturing, balance, and harmony. A place where we take time to be and not just do, where we are present while enjoying life’s little moments and savoring time with loved ones.

Occasionally, when we find myself caught in the endless cycle of picking up the house and cooking meals, we notice ourselves thinking, “shouldn’t we be doing something else with our time?” And while we may have still have moments of self-doubt about fully embracing our roles of homemakers—we also know that these acts are sacred and worthy. These small everyday moments of caring for ourselves, our families, and our home end up composing a large part our lives. In this light, the quality and presence we bring to these moments is essential.

A Maker of Homes—this new title is something we can stand by. This new role of homemaker, we fully embrace!

4 Comments

  • jane says:

    VERY thoughtful….I like the “redefinition”….for women of certain ages this is a very real tension…..what a shame!

  • Nina says:

    This is interesting to me because here in the UK the term “homemaker” isn’t used. We do have “stay-at-home parents”, but the more old-fashioned term is “housewife” (sometimes “househusband” is used too). When I first came across “homemaker” (possibly in Cheryl Mendelson’s book ‘Home Comforts’) I thought it was quite a good word. “Housewife” doesn’t imply activity – it sounds like someone who is passively married (tied!) to their house. “Homemaker” suggests that a person actually DOES something, creates something. I read it very much as you’ve defined it, I suppose because to me it was free of associations.

    • Laura and Alison says:

      Thanks for your comment, Nina. We love that your interpretation of the word homemaker includes activity and creation—we agree!

  • Coco says:

    Just finding your blog through the Simplicity Parenting facebook page. Looking forward to exploring more.

    I am always saying that the feminist movement backfired on intentional homemakers. Then again, it has allowed us to enter into the home with more consciousness, so that is a true gift.

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