Modern homemaking can be a title that most wives and mothers don’t want to accept. You can call it family manager, home engineer, or even lady of the house the point is being a homemaker doesn’t have to be left in the past.
Laundry still piles up, kids still need to eat, finding cleaning motivation, and the home still needs to be maintained. In this post, I’m going to share with you what modern homemaking is all about. I’m going to go into detail about homemaker jobs, how to be a homemaker, and what being a homemaker means to me.
After this post, you’ll have a good understanding of why I think women (and men) should embrace the title of modern homemaking. And why they should wear that title like a badge of honor. Because it is hard work. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to this or an old pro, sometimes we need a little help and nudge.
Being a modern homemaker
I would love to welcome you to a mini-series I’m calling Knowing What A Modern Homemaker Is! I’m so excited about this theme because this is a topic that people are often confused about. Frankly, we don’t talk about how important being a homemaker really is.
Before we really get into it let me answer this.
A homemaker is a person (in most cases a housewife) who manages a home.
The homemaker is “in charge” of making sure everything gets taken care of. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s the homemaker’s responsibility to do everything. Just make sure that everything is taken care of.
2017 is far from the expectations of the 1950’s. What we as homemakers needed to know in the 1950’s is not what we need to know today. In this post, I’m going to be sharing the 5 simple skills that help become a more efficient homemaker.
Most of the time moms and wives (regardless if they stay at home or not) do not refer to themselves as homemakers. I know I never do.
The other day I was thinking about my life and the things that I need to do to “stay afloat” on a daily basis. It got me wondering about the 1950’s and what “homemakers” did on a daily basis. Did they feel the pressure that we feel now?
Was there to do list never ending?
With modern age luxuries like washers, dryers, dishwasher, crockpots, delivery people, and the iRobot we can save time more ways than the 1950’s housewives did.
I started wondering more about the skills that these women needed to get through their day and how much times have changed.
When I was in school I took home ec. I learned how to sew, cook, and care for a sack of flour (aka a baby…). Do we still need these same skills as homemakers in the 21st century?
How many moms mend holes in jeans or buttons on shirts?
Do we throw more things away then we do fix anymore?
Our lists are never ending
Just a generation ago (my mother’s generation) needed to know things we don’t. Like how to cook from scratch, mend clothing, and clean the home. They didn’t use those handy little kitchen and home appliances that we use now.
My mother didn’t put me and my siblings on the couch with an iPad so she could clean the house or cook dinner (I’m sure she would have if she had the option!)
So with technology changing, more women working, and the busier lives that we live, do we need different skills to be a modern homemaker?
The answer is YES!
The skills that we need are not hard and with a little bit of practice, implementation, and discipline you too will have these skills down in no time.
So what skills does the modern homemaker need to poses to survive today’s demands?
Homemaking skills of the 21st century
These are the skills that I feel are really important to succeed as a modern homemaker. Now I’d like to dive into each of these skills a little bit further.
It can be so hard to find a solid social support system. With social media and smartphones being a part of our daily lives. We tend to forget to make friends with our kid’s parents.
Now I’m not saying starting a mom group. Having some moms (or dads) in your social circle that you can count is great. If you’re running late from a meeting or an appointment. There’s someone you can count on.
If you are anything like me, the thought of making a new friend makes me want to breathe into a paper bag so I don’t hyperventilate. So what can you do to make this happen?
When you are standing outside your child’s classroom before the bell goes off and you see fellow moms standing there staring at their phone say something about the teacher.
The great news is, you already have a common theme-your kids are in the same class. That means that your kids are spending, what 6 1/2 hours together 5 days a week.
Also, that parent probably won’t bite you or tell you to jump off a bridge (and if they do, you don’t want them in your corner anyway).
What will probably happen is she’ll answer back and a friendship will start to form. Day after day, you’ll see that same mom or the same moms and it will get easier to talk to them.
So give it a try!
The next skill that I think you need as a modern homemaker is:
Use apps and be a little tech savvy
Now I say somewhat because I don’t think you need to know code or how to put an entire computer network together to survive in today’s daily life. But I think that it’s important to know how to set passwords, unlock computers, and check histories to keep your children safe on the internet.
No one wants to see surprise charges on their internet or cell phone bill because the kids bought the upgrades or extra lives to their games.
So knowing how to set up passwords or passcodes that need to be entered before someone purchases something is important.
You also want to make sure your kids are safe on the internet to keeping an eye on what they are doing is important.
Using apps are going to help you with so many of your daily/weekly chores and errands that you need to run. From grocery shopping to keeping a schedule using apps are a great way to save time and help you with the demands of this job.
Maybe this is something that hasn’t changed since the 50’s but still a skill that I think is super important.
Until someone invents the money tree that can grow in the backyard this is important for 98% of us. Tracking your spending and knowing where your money is going is so, so important.
If this overwhelms you, you are not alone. Budgeting overwhelms most of us. Unless you are an accountant or in love with spending spreadsheets, the thought of putting together a budget might make you want to run for the hills or close up shop and forget about it.
The problem is, if you ignore your finances then it’s going to bite you in the butt sooner or later.
What can you do now?
If you don’t currently have a budget, don’t fret. Grab a piece of paper and write the word “date” at the top and then next to it, write “spent”. You are now tracking what you spend on this piece of paper.
When you buy something, write it down.
After a few weeks, you’ll have a good idea of what you spend your money on.
You can have your spouse do the same thing so you are tracking both spending habits.
Keep an organized schedule
This is probably by far one of the most important skills you can have however can be one of the hardest skills to implement. Not because it’s hard but because it can be overwhelming.
When you don’t have a schedule and you try to create one it can be one of the most overwhelming things ever. Putting everyone’s schedule into one place. Know what you already have scheduled, what you do on what day.
I need a nap just thinking about it.
So instead of taking on an overwhelming project of creating a schedule for you and your family, I suggest taking baby steps.
First, think about if you would like to have an electronic schedule or a paper and pen/pencil schedule.
Both systems work great and both systems have their plusses and minuses.
Like for instance, if you have an electronic schedule that is connected to your smartphone you know you’ll always have it with you when you have your phone.
Typically you can use these schedules over multiple devices so you and others can add to the schedule making it super handy.
Now, on the other hand, it can be easy to make mistakes to days and times without realizing it until it’s too late. With a paper schedule, you know at a quick glance that you’ve added the correct time and day.
There are tons more of pros and cons that I’m not going to get into because I think you understand where I’m coming from.
Being okay with not doing it all-delegate
Another tip for you is probably the most important (okay maybe I say that about all of them) but seriously I think it is.
In society, we as mothers are expected to know that we can do it all. We clean the house, do the laundry (yes, I know that it’s still cleaning the house but come on, it is its own project…), cook the meals, raise the kids, and give, give, give until we just can’t give anymore.
These are the things that are expected of us and how often can we complete our to-do lists?
Probably once every blue moon, right?!
So how can we be okay without being able to do it all?
We are the ones that see the things that need to be done.
I love my husband more than words can say. However, he does not see the kitchen sink needs to be cleaned or that the top of the TV needs to be dusted.
I think that women are wired to see things that men just don’t see (except I do know a few men that can see them but that’s a totally different story and a different post).
What we need is knowledge, help, and systems to help us.
Learn to create
My final tip for you is to learn to create or be okay with creating. What I mean by that is learning how to tackle small DIY projects. This will help you use your mind in a different way. It will allow you to learn a new skill. Plus, you’re able to save some money in the process.
I was not much of a do it yourself kind of girl. It wasn’t until I wasn’t finding things that I really wanted. Finally, I decided it was time to start learning how to pick up a hammer and do it myself.
You don’t need a lot of new skill to be a modern homemaker. The skill I think will help you, in the long run, is having a solid tribe of parents that you can call on. Using amazing time-saving apps to make your day run smoother. Finally, create a good solid budget so you don’t have to worry about things that pop up. Above all else, stay organized and keep a really good schedule.
I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I would love to know in the comments below what skills do you think that all modern homemakers need?