Thursday, January 20, 2011

Updating!

I have been such a bad blogger lately, I apologize! I have just been very busy!

I've been thinking today about the little things we do that our husbands appreciate, such as making their lunches and ironing their shirts. A lot of modern women think of it as acting like their maids, but really, when you think of it, our men do a lot for us back, in other ways. I think marriage is a combination of both forces, coming together to compliment each other. I personally enjoy taking care of our home because that is what I do best. It doesn't mean that my husband doesn't help out because he does, but we both know I am better at cleaning and taking care of details, as well as the budgeting. He works and help out as well as much as he can since I have chronic pain and unpredictable days.

I think the notion of giving has flied out the window in recent years and been replaced with individualism: what makes us feel fulfilled personally as opposed to how we can make our family lives run smoother without feeling like we do everything all the time for everyone. I think husbands and children need to have responsibilities and treat everyone well, but I also think there are so many pleasures in cooking, baking and decorating the family home, and just enjoying living there as opposed to always wanting to go out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Foodie Fun!

My husband and I are both foodies and both love to cook (and eat!). It costs less than eating out, take out and prepackaged meals, plus we know what we put in our food. Cooking and baking are skills to be learned, but one can always start with simple dishes. I learned a lot from watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks. It's always fun to try a new recipe, or even invente one yourself!

I think we all need to go back to eating as a family at the table, and eating slowly and mindfully in order to enjoy the fruit of our labor. Growing a vegetable garden is a wonderful way of teaching kids where our food comes from.

It always warms my heart to know that my family enjoys the meals I've carefully prepared!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cleaning before guests arrive

Why is it that we clean like crazy before we have people over, but never seem to have the same standards for ourselves?

This is food for thought! I am guilty of this, then I am so tired I don't want to clean for a few days afterwards!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The risks of choosing homemaking as a profession

Questions about homemaking come up a lot on the web because people think it is a big financial risk and that all women should work in order to avoid being financially dependent.

I feel the need to clear up a few things: firstly, everything in life involves taking a risk. It could be studying in a field you thought you liked, only to change careers later. Secondly, couples need good life insurance. A 20-year term life insurance on your working spouse that is the equivalent of 10-20 times his annual income is needed, and can easily cost under $99 a month. A term life insurance is also needed for the mother at home, in order to pay for day care and other costs. Thirdly, there is no reason why stay-at-home-spouses cannot have their own retirement accounts. There is a spousal ROTH IRA available in the US and a tax free investment account available in Canada. Both don't require that the person works. Even investing as little as $50-100 a month can mean thousands of dollars in the long run. Also, everyone should have an 8-12 month emergency fund in case of a job loss (as you can tell, I love Suze Orman's advice). Three to six months is simply not enough in today's economy. Work hard at paying off your debt if you have any, and learn to live frugally.

In case of a divorce (it happens too often these days in my opinion though), there is alimony, child support and part of the spouse's retirement/social security income.

I know it is a risk because your degree and skills become obsolete after a while, but one can always go back to school, get a job relating to homemaking (taking care of the elderly, house cleaning, cook, nanny, etc.), until one finds another husband that approves the homemaking profession. There is also the possibility of continuing your education part time, or working part time, but working part time doesn't give you much career advancement in most cases.

In conclusion, my advice is to follow your heart. There are many happy stories of husband and homemaker that stay married. I know it goes against today's society ideologies, but you have to do what makes you happy. Homemaking and taking care of children is not always fun, but so is any job for that matter.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our consumer culture

I often wonder how the world would be like if 50% of women chose to be homemakers. Perhaps it would then be more accepted as a choice, but who knows.

Every time I see something to buy, I wonder if I could make it myself and if I could save money this way. There is so much more to buy nowadays than previously with all the technology available. I am rejecting the idea of working so hard just to spend on things we don't need. I don't know many people who have gardens anymore, let alone preserve their own food. Same goes for sewing and all these homemaking skills that actually save money in the home. Our society is based on consumption of goods that are either too pricey or made quite cheaply that don't last. What if we could be happier with less? What is important in life is: health, family, friends, roof over our heads and food, not all the gimmicks.

The total credit card debt in the US was $962 billion in 2008, and in Canada it was $78 billion in 2009! It makes me wonder why housing is still expensive for the average worker!

I want to be more frugal this year and save more money. I don't like to spend much anyway, but I always have a need to improve myself. I have a lot more skills to learn and I hope that we will own a house someday, either in suburbia or in a semi rural setting, so that I could keep my own garden.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season!

Among different goals, I am aiming to be more frugal this year and save more money. This is the month when many consumers receive credit card bills from the holidays that many are not able to pay back. I heard this funny song during the Holidays called "Christmas on Credit" by jazz singer Rhonda Silver. Like I've said in a previous post, I think we would all be less stressed if we kept it simple and family oriented! There is no reason to go into debt just for a holiday. True giving comes from the heart, and it should be kind to the giver.

I hope you all have a wonderful year of homemaking. I still have so many things to learn! I want to try new recipes, bake more and do even more homemade goods like try to make soap.