June 12, 2008

Homemaking skills

So many people ask me 'how do you do everything with three small children?' Especially if I do something like the tea party I did a month ago or the church Feast thingie- they are awestruck. Well you know what, if you want to do something, then you will find a way to do it.

The other day a friend came over on a Monday. I needed to get a lot done that day including baking bread. She was just so amazed that I would even attempt to make our family's bread with my children to care for too. It seems that most women have forgotten about the homemaking part of our role and focus on the 'stay at home mom' part. Just leave out the husband and house- focus completely on the kids. While it is obviously important to give a large part of our time to our kids, I don't want to just let the house and my husband go. People just do not seem to understand this!

Yesterday I got two phone calls from our friends trying to get me to get the girls and go swimming at the pool we live next to. I had to figure out a valid' excuse' besides ' I'm training my children to help me today' or' I'm busy with meal preps etc.'. Everyone else just seems to throw that to the wind and just go go go! Then they look at me and think I'm some type of homemaking queen know-it-all.

Well, I took my role as wife, mother and homemaker seriously and researched it. I began to implement what I learned in my life, much to the joy of my husband and children. Our life is not perfect and I work pretty hard most of the day. But I can't imagine just doing whatever we wanted all day- never planning anything, just going with the flow. I really hate people to exalt me and what I do, because I don't want attention brought to myself and I don't want other women comparing themselves to me.

When I realized what my job was so to speak, I wanted to do it to the best of my ability. I love reading Amish fiction and the Little House books among others. They are resourceful, hardworking, simple, and never seem to tire of what they do. I admire that and have tried to model what I do after them. Some of the skills I've picked up along the way is home baking. I used to hate to bake because I hated to measure. Cooking I loved, but once I got good at that, I decided to try the baking thing. I got better at that so I could guesstimate how much a teaspoon or a cup was and things turned out fine. If I had a problem with something I kept at it till I got it. We might have had biscuits 5 times a week because I was determined to get it down pat! The same with rolls and tortillas, although I'm still working on the tortillas. Do it and do it and do it till ya get it :)

I love doing things myself, so I really liked the idea of making my own cleaners, soap, sewing our clothes and all that. Even if I don't do it all the time, knowing that I can if need be is a great feeling. I may not have to make my own laundry detergent, but knowing what will work in case I'm in a pinch is very comforting. So now that I've been married for seven years, what skills do I possess?

I can cook almost anything from scratch. Almost :)

I can make the best cheesecake you ever ate :) For real...I've made like 15 one flavor that everyone loves.

I can sew well enough to make clothing, women's and girls that is.

I know enough about herbs and natural healing that I can generally turn to that before I get medicine from the doc.

I can pin a diaper on my baby and do regularly :)

I can use vinegar, baking soda and borax to clean our house.

I can make homemade dairy products- such as yogurt cheese, ricotta cheese, sour cream and so on

I can make toothpaste and deodorant, recipe coming soon :)

I can make soap from lye and fat.

Maybe there are other things too, I don't remember.

I am learning to live by the motto use it up, make it do or do without :)

I am not exalting myself, I'm just saying that I'm proud to know that I can do some of the same things our foremothers (is that a word) did a hundred years ago. I don't have to rely on the store all the time. I don't have to be like everyone else. I must not conform to society, LOL. I have always been like that somewhat.

Ok, well I must end the post as the girls are getting restless and are starting to turn on me :)


Rachel said...

I get those looks and scrunched up faces too when I say I recycle, garden, compost, bring my own bags to the grocery store, cook from scratch, make my own cleaners, etc. I just walk to the beat of my own drum and I'm very comfortable doing so. I have never been one to follow the latest trend. Some people are just so caught up in live and having it all - the rat race. I prefer a simplier life. I will tell you, having the knowledge and not depending on others helped us so much after the hurricane and losing everything. Don't feel you have to explain to people your reasons for staying home. instead, just say "not today, thanks anyway!" :)

Brandy said...

Howdy! I just wanted to let you know that I really like your blog. I came here through Candy's blog when she did that post about y'alls weekend meeting, though I do believe I've been here a few times before that. I added you to my blogroll -- hope that's alright.

Sarah Dee said...

You should be proud of what you do! You are an amazing person... not everyone can say that they know how to do all the things that you can do! You go, girl!

Sonja A. said...

Hi. I hope you are having a great day. I am soooo looking forward to your recipes on toothpaste and d-o!!!! That is just incredible! And also do you have a website or anything recommended for sewing for beginners? I'm not very good yet. In fact, my first thing I sewed...a cut in a skirt...I sewed it wrong! :( I'm trying, but a bit nervous. I would love to know how to sew dresses and things for our kids...especially since our daughter is an LP (Little Person) and we have to hem them anyways.

Looking forward to the recipes!

Lori... said...

I totally understand! Grind wheat...bake bread...are you Amish?!?! I am, however, curious what you are doing or using to make soap.

Great post!


Nikki & David Goldbeck said...

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Anneatheart said...

Rachel- yep that's me. I'm never 'in style' or trendy. I'm not back in the stone ages, but I prefer a timeless look :)

Brandy- thanks for visiting. Of course you can add me to your blogroll. Nice to 'meet' you.

Thank you Sarah for your encouraging words- I think that is your love language or something :)

Sonja- I do not have a site to recommend. The only thing i can say is to start with simple projects and keep on trying. I've made lots of mistakes and even thrown whole dresses out! I sewed for 7-9 months regularly before I attempted an actual dress for myself. I had been making dresses for my little girls and it was easier to make one for me since I was used to the basic method of sewing a dress.

Lori- I am not Amish by any means- i love electricity, especially the AC! I haven't made soap in forever, but I used lye crystals and vegetable oil among other oils for fragrance and softening ability and fragrant oils :) It was fun, but kind of tricky. I may try it again soon.

Lori... said...

I'm sorry - I wasn't asking you if YOU were Amish, I was referring to the questions people ask ME! LOL :) Thanks for the response to the question though. When we move to the farm in the next month or so I plan to make goat's milk and honey soap. I've never done it before, but I'm exicted for this big, new adventure!

Anonymous said...

Would you consider sharing your recipe for Cheese-cake? I received a spring-form pan for Christmas and have been searching for the perfect recipe before attempting to bake one. Thanks so much and I really enjoy your blog.

Jessica said...

I try too to do different homemaking things and other people don't seem to understand. My mother probably understands more than anyone which is a great help to me. I am still trying and sometimes get caught up in the petty stuff but am improving. Thank you for your blog. It is very inspirational.