Thursday, December 23, 2010

As we're all getting ready for Christmas...

I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Holiday season! May all your wishes come true for the next year to come.

Thank you so much for reading my blog! I will be back sometime after the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What you're doing is worthwhile

Please don't let anyone make you feel worthless because you choose to be a homemaker. We shouldn't be defined by what we do, but by who we are. The world has become so materialistic that we have lost touch with our inner selves.

We women often want to please, so it is hard to go against society's flow, but really, as long as you are happy, there is no need to feel insecure because of unwanted comments and perceptions. I really get those often it seems. Homemaking is so often a misconception.

It goes without saying that you stay-at-home moms have the hardest job on Earth. And you working moms as well! I get a lot of comments because I stay home without kids. If only people could know how fun it is to make up your own schedule, sleep in if you want, not answer to any boss, be creative in the kitchen, make a nice home for yourself and your family, and just overall feel like you are slowing down this crazy pace of life that society has created. Yes, we work hard at home, but we live simply. There is so much joy hidden in the simplest things in life. There is nothing wrong with working outside the home, but I personally wouldn't feel happy trying to juggle everything. There are working women who are great homemakers, and I send my kudos to them!

So get motivated, inspired and empowered by reading homemaking books and blogs. Find a circle of real life or online friends for support. Learn new skills, challenge yourself! We create our own happiness. As I get older, I start to not care so much about what other people think of me. My choice is the best for my family, and that is all that matters!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Keeping it simple

'Tis the season to spending...

I don't know about you, but I think that we have lost touch with the true spirit of the Holidays. Now it is all about buying a lot of gifts in order to impress, and stressing out about all the preparations. The stores are crazy: full of people that are buying gifts at the last minute with money they don't have in order not to appear like grinches.

The Holidays shouldn't be so materialistic. It should be about spending time with our loved ones, and why not make a few, if not all, gifts homemade. You can create many memories this way with your children and teach them good values. If you think you will insult your loved ones by not spending a ton on them when your budget is already so tight, them maybe they are not that worth it to begin with.

Remember to keep Christ in Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Am I a feminist?

That is the question! I definitely do not see myself believing in some of the ideas that the most outspoken and extreme feminists have spread. There are feminist housewives who believe that it is feminist to choose to stay home, so perhaps I am more in line with them, but overall, I believe that men and women were created equal, but different. No sex is superior than the other in my opinion.

Do I believe the feminist movement was necessary? Yes, as unfortunately, human nature is faulty and some men took advantage of women in the past. I do not believe all men were like this, however. Nor do I believe all men nowadays treat their wives well either just because we are liberated.

The "new macho" type I often see women marrying is a man who dictates to his wife that she not only has to work, but do every household chore plus spend 50% of her earnings to the household, even if her income is lower.

The stereotype of the enslaved housewife who has no mind of her own needs to disappear. It's not because I stay home that I am any less smart than working women. I read, play two musical instruments and sing, have hobbies and went to college (not that this is a requirement to be smart, but I disgress). One does not need to work in order to advance intellectually. In fact, how many people can say they are truly passionate about their work? If people could afford to, most of them would choose to stop working, besides the real passionate workers and workaholics!

I come from a generation of very strong Eastern European homemakers who literally rule the household, and I would not call them "dependent" or weak at all. If anything, I think I need to be less bossy at home!!

I believe that feminism has gone too far. Now you need a career to define yourself and not add any dependency on a man, no need to be home with your kids when others could watch them, you need to be a superwoman and do everything, divorce rates are very high, social role models for little girls are sexy pop stars (because men used to tell us to cover up, so now we have to uncover for them??), family unit is not important as individualism now is the norm, power is associated with money...I could go on but I think these rambling thoughts are enough for today!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The value of the homemaker

We live in a two-income based society. Why is there such a need for two people in a relationship to both work nowadays? We used to have a manufacturing based economy, but now it is a consumer one. How were single income households able to survive in the past?

Since real estate was based on one income, it was far cheaper. It used to be a place to live, but now it is an "investment". A lot of people don't put 20% down anymore, therefore raising the prices of homes. There were no credit cards back then and way less stuff to buy. Today, consumers are in debt quite a bit, not only with CCs, but with personal loans, HELOCs and student loans, as a Bachelor degree is often not enough nowadays. The need to work to pay all of these things is almost considered mandatory.

Hubby pointed out to me the other day how housewives of the past would fix and make things, therefore actually saving the household a lot of money. Now, as society has put aside these skills for the convenience to buy and the economy, it is sometimes more expensive to make your own, eg. clothing from China vs. homemade. Things used to be bought to last, but now they are made cheaply.

Because I don't work, we only own one car, I cook breakfasts and dinners and DH as well on his days off as he is passionate about food, I plan our shopping and menus, I make our budget and pay our bills, I do laundry, make the bed, dust, clean the bathroom and kitchen, make dishes, etc. There are lots of other homemaking duties I would love to do, but I live with chronic pain so I have limitations. Still, what I can do makes my hubby's life easier.

So, the bottom line is that homemakers have value. A second car, convenience food and restaurants, work clothes, magazines, coffee shops, laundry service, daycare, a house cleaner and a gardener all cost money and are not necessities. We may not get paid, but the reward to our frugality shows!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting rid of disposables

I have gotten us rid of some disposables, but am in the process of getting rid of even more in order to save us some money and be kind to Mother Earth!

-Switch to table napkins
-Use cleaning cloths
-Use vinegar, baking soda, bleach, oxygen bleach
-Switch to hankerchiefs
-Switch to a duster insted of Swiffer
-Switch to a real mop
-Switch to a toilet brush instead of disposables
-Switch to a dish brush
-Get rid of Lysol wipes (I still love them for cleaning shoes)

I have some ordering to do! It is sad that there are lots of those items on my list that are unavailable in stores nowadays.

Friday, December 10, 2010

CSA and homemade gifts

Yesterday, we received our last organic produce box of the season from our wonderful CSA. We cannot wait for next year's season to start! The vegetables we get are the tastiest I have ever had and are also very affordable. Plus, I have known the family for quite some time now, making it fun to know where your food comes from!

I made a homemade cake for a birthday this week. We have decided to make homemade gifts for Christmas and birthdays for an unspecified amount of time as finances have been tight this year. I take several hours to make something from scratch for loved ones, who always appreciate homemade goodies, so I think it is worth it.

With all the easy conveniences of life, it makes it almost automatic to just buy something rather than learn how to make it ourselves. I know I have a lot of skills to learn!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The differences between the past and the present

It is interesting to me to look at the past for inspiration. Not with rose colored glasses, but with wonder. There are so many advances in medicine and technology today to improve our lives, but is society better off this way?

Here is what I like and dislike about today's society:

-Medicine, technology, minorities support, wider choice of professions and lifestyles to choose from, better laws
-I dislike: disappearing manners, manufacturing jobs sent overseas, little importance of homemaking for a lot of people, materialism, technology running over our lives, 2 income led society

What I like about the past is that the majority of people dressed nice, including children. They also had more politeness and manners, and enforced it to their kids, including at school. There were less things to buy back then, leading to more time to enjoy with family and less to work. Real estate was very doable on one income. Although I certainly don't think all women should stay home, the inverse today is as untolerable as it was back then to look down upon the married women who worked outside the home.

I don't have children yet, but what I often see makes me cringe. Children don't say hi to hubby and I when we visit people's homes, they play games in front of everyone and put their feet all over the couches, they don't eat their dinner and are given a few portions of dessert anyway, they disturb adults, etc. I am certainly not saying no kid is behaved nowadays and that no one is polite anymore, it is just a generalization of what I often see and what does seem acceptable today as opposed to highly unacceptable in the past.

So what can I do now that I live in 2010? Integrate what I like about the past and lead a life that makes me happy and fulfilled. It is easy to dismiss the past as we have advanced so much, but have we? Are we happier with the way things are now?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I made a wonderful salad yesterday for dinner, which is serving as lunch today!

Greek pasta salad

-1 box of rotini pasta
-3 big tomatoes, chopped
-4 scallions, chopped
-1/2 pound of feta cheese, diced
-1/2 cup of kalamata olives, chopped
-A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
-1 tsp. of dried oregano
-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
-2 tablespons of balsamic vinegar
-A little dijon mustard
-2 garlic gloves, chopped
-Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, in the bottom of a big bowl, whisk the vinegar, garlic, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper, and slowly add the olive oil while whisking. Add the cooked, drained pasta and stir well. Then add the tomatoes, scallions, olives and parsley, and mix. Add the feta cheese in the end and stir the salad carefully. Enjoy it at room temperature!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Making a house a home

We homemakers are artists in our homes. We put all of our creativity and artistry into making a house not just a place to live in, but a home for ourselves and our families. In my case, this is a rental apartment.

I always look for ways to improve myself and my skills. Having a clean and decluttered home just makes it comfortable to live in. It takes a little work, but even the work itself can be a lot of fun. I like to put music on, my timer on and just think about my day.

In the end, a comfortable home is where our hard working hubbies come to after work, where everyhing is put aside and where freshly cooked food awaits. There is no where else I'd rather be than at home!

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's not all about women in the workforce

"You don't work?"

I get this almost every single time I meet somebody new. People stare at me, ask me when I am going back to work and just generally wonder why in the world I would stay at home without kids.

For many feminists, it does not make any sense for a woman to stay home. Homemaking is associated with oppression for many people. What they need to understand is that it is a viable choice for women of all ages.

I often feel that society has decided for me to work. Nobody has ever asked me if I am a homemaker, nor has anyone smiled at my response. So I often go around the subject when I am asked what I do for a living in order to avoid feeling hurt.

This is part of why I created this blog. It is not okay to feel prejudiced against. I was raised to treat other people with respect and do not expect any less in return.

Part of the issue is that many people do not understand what a full time homemaker does! She may not earn money, but it does not make her any less valuable to a household. She cooks, cleans, declutters, shops, cans, gardens, looks after animals, sews, knits, raises children and may even homeschool them! What I find sad is the state of the art of homemaking in today's world. We all want to please and since this is generally looked down upon, it does not make it very easy to pursue, especially for women of my generation.

So what do you say to people that ask you what you do for a living?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Hi and welcome to my new blog!

I am a happy homemaker and wife. I created this blog to encourage and inspire homemakers, as well as aspiring homemakers from all around the world, and to educate people about the calling of a homemaker.

Let me preface by telling you what this blog is and isn't about:

-It is: About the daily life of me, a proud homemaker, who is merely learning about the art of homemaking in all of its forms. There is a lot to learn about the past and I am curious to know what I can apply in my present. I am not perfect, nor do I live a perfect vintage life, but I am here to learn with all of you and share my thoughts. My wish is for homemakers to be accepted, not looked down upon.

-It isn't: About wanting all women to stay at home. Not all of us are made to be homemakers, after all. It also isn't about wanting very few protecting laws for women again (and minorities).

So sit back and enjoy! I'm looking forward to this journey!