If you’re searching for homemaking advice and support, look no further than Homemaking 101. You can be a better homemaker with these tips and reduce your stress on the home front!
Being a modern homemaker is not for the faint of heart, trust me. I’m speaking from experience when I say that working from home and doing all of the modern homemaking tasks can quickly get overwhelming.
If you’re new to being a homemaker or are considering making this transition for your family, you may be feeling a little stressed. And intimidated. And possibly thinking longingly of the days when your only responsibility was keeping a cactus plant alive.
Trust me–I’ve had those thoughts too!
However, at the end of the day, I am 100% convinced that my decision to be our family’s homemaker and to transition to a work from home job was the absolute best thing that I could have done. Not only am I able to contribute financially, but I also have the flexibility to be able to complete household chores and errands throughout the day and attend my kids’ school events.
Yes, being a modern homemaker really is the best of both worlds!
If you’ve been thinking about making the jump to “homemaker”, you might be thinking to yourself…
What does it mean to be a homemaker in today’s world?
Is a housewife the same as a homemaker? Isn’t being a housewife seen as a negative thing?
How do I get started with being a modern homemaker?
I’ve asked these questions myself over the years, and that’s why I’ve decided to put together this article on Homemaking 101. I sincerely hope it will help you on your homemaking journey!
What is a Homemaker?
To tackle the first question, the definition of a “homemaker” is pretty simple–it means someone whose main job is to manage their family’s household. I think you can agree that living in a house or apartment is not the same as living in a home. And creating a “home” is a large part of being a modern homemaker.
I also think it’s essential to point out that there is no one type of homemaker. For example, it’s much more common for husbands to stay home nowadays as opposed to wives.
Being a homemaker also doesn’t automatically mean you’re not contributing financially to your household. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done a wide variety of part time jobs from home while also being a homemaker, including testing websites, mystery shopping, and teaching online. There is no ideal “homemaker mold.”
Housewife vs. Homemaker vs. Home Manager
I’d also like to point out that a homemaker is not the same as a housewife, nor are these two occupations the same as being a home manager.
According to Merriam-Webster, a housewife is defined as “a married woman in charge of a household.” Now, the term “housewife” has acquired quite a negative connotation over the years, especially with the increased number of working mothers out there.
In my opinion, the term “homemaker” has removed the gender qualifier of “housewife.” They’re the same thing in several respects.
So, what is a homemaker’s job?
Maybe we should ask “What DOESN’T a homemaker do?”, because that would be easier to answer. A homemaker wears many hats, but here are some examples of a homemaker’s jobs:
- Washing, folding, and putting away laundry
- Preparing all meals
- Doing the grocery shopping
- Keeping the home clean
- Generally taking care of your children and your spouse
- Managing kids’ schedules including taking them to school and extracurricular activities
- Running errands (picking up dry cleaning, going to the bank and post office, etc)
- Keeping track of the family’s finances and paying bills
- Planning fun family activities, holidays, and events
So, what is a home manager?
A home manager is someone you employ outside of your family who orchestrates the daily runnings of your household. I tend to envision Carson from Downton Abbey.
Confronting the SAHM Guilt…
If you have been out of the workforce for any amount of time, you may be struggling with feelings of guilt as a stay at home Mom because you’re not earning an income. I can remember this all too well!
When my kids were younger and before I started working from home, my sole job was “homemaker”… I even had that listed under occupation in my Facebook profile. But since I wasn’t going to a 9 to 5 each day, I often felt guilty and had to remind myself of why I decided to become a homemaker in the first place.
I wanted to cherish every moment with my children instead of putting them in daycare. I also wanted to enjoy more stress-free time with my husband. And I don’t regret my decision for a single moment.
I also want you to remember this little mantra from yours truly:
Stay at home Moms feel guilty because they think they’re not doing enough… Working Moms feel guilty because they think they’re not doing enough… Let go of the guilt. You are enough.Amy – The Savvy Sparrow
There are specific reasons why you’re here reading this post at this moment in your life. Make a list of why you’ve decided to take this leap and leave the guilt behind.
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The True Value of a Homemaker
I struggle with the idea of putting a monetary amount on my worth as a homemaker because life isn’t really all about the money you make.
However, sometimes it’s helpful to see a number attached to the endless homemaking tasks that tend to fill up every moment of your life. This is especially true if you can’t shake that SAHM guilt I previously mentioned.
As a homemaker or a stay at home Mom, you may feel guilty because you don’t have a “real job” to contribute to your family’s income. But, in fact, you contribute to your family’s finances in a HUGE way… not by bringing in MORE money, but by allowing your family to spend LESS money.
In 2019, Salary.com estimated the annual salary for a homemaker, factoring in the following occupations:
- Child Care Provider
- Laundry Service
- Lawn Care
Do you know what that salary would be???
The Salary Wizard estimated the median annual paycheck for a homemaker today would be $178,201 (and that’s based on minimum wage!).
You may not be working the nine-to-five grind, but as you can see, what you are doing as a homemaker matters. And you are worth so much more than some numbers crunched into a salary calculator!
10 Homemaking Tips
Becoming a modern homemaker can feel disorienting at first, especially if you’ve recently stepped away from a demanding career. As humans, we are creatures of habit, and it’s understandable to feel lost when your routine gets disrupted.
Finding your footing as a homemaker is a process, and I’m here to provide some helpful homemaking tips to get you on the right track.
#1 – Wake Up Before the Kids
If you have children of any age, you know how crazy the morning can be. This is especially true when your alarm happens to take the form of your child standing creepily next to your bed in the predawn light. Scary, right?
In her book Girl, Wash Your Face, entrepreneur Rachel Hollis talks about the importance of waking up an hour before your kids.
“It wasn’t until I started the practice of waking up an hour before my children that I understood how powerful it is to get ahead of the day. Now, I am intentionally planning my morning routine around the kind of day I want to have, because if you own the morning, then you own the day.” ~Rachel Hollis
I couldn’t agree more on this point. When I make a point of getting up early, I feel much more calm, collected, and ready to face the day.
#2 – Create a Weekly Menu and Grocery List
One of the biggest struggles for busy modern homemakers is preparing meals, and for good reason. It’s difficult to plan and cook three meals a day every single day for your family, especially factoring in picky eaters and a food budget.
One of the highest costs of every household is food because everyone has to eat, right? But you can help with food costs by reducing the number of last-minute take out orders and eliminating impulse purchases at the grocery store by planning ahead. I have found that when I didn’t create a menu ahead of time, we would spend much more on groceries throughout the week.
Once you have a solid idea of what you’ll be making for dinner each week, you can create a shopping list. However, to really save money (and time!) at the grocery store, you’ve got to stick to your list!
If you’re a pen and paper kind of girl, then you can create a master grocery list with printable sheets. Or if you like having everything on your phone, then you can try a shopping list app. I love the Out of Milk app because it keeps me on track while buying food, and I don’t buy anything that’s not on my original list.
#3 – Avoid Procrastinating and Plan Your Time
When you’re a homemaker, it can be easy to put off the least savory chores until the last possible minute. Unfortunately, that can also leave you stressed throughout the week because you KNOW there are things you should be getting done.
And when you don’t have a time clock to punch or a boss telling you what to do next, you can easily waste hours each day scrolling through social media or binge-watching TV.
A helpful homemaking tip I’ve learned has been to write down weekly priorities, or things that you absolutely want to get done, whether it’s deep cleaning the kitchen or decluttering and organizing your medicine cabinet.
Many people – myself included – have found that our motivation to complete mundane tasks increases when we’re able to check off boxes on a to do list. That’s why I LOVE having a weekly plan also… I’m able to write down tasks to do to stay organized, and then I can put that super satisfying check mark next to each one!
You can check out my tips for creating a weekly plan to be more productive, and grab these cute free printable weekly plan templates:
#4 – Find Your Organization System
One of the most crucial parts of becoming a better homemaker is finding a system of organization that works for you, especially when it comes to keeping track of household papers.
If you have extra paper clutter scattered around your home, it can actually have a negative psychological impact. In fact, there is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that the amount of clutter in your home can contribute to emotional stress.
I suggest keeping all of your essential household papers in a filing cabinet or binder. I’ve been using this filing method for quite some time, and it works well for our family. Or you can also create a home management binder with printables stored in a large binder, divided into separate categories.
Ultimately, you’ll find what works best for you through a bit of trial and error. No two people are the same, especially when it comes to managing a household.
#5 – Make a Cleaning Schedule
For some homemakers, cleaning can be a therapeutic process. For others, it’s a fate worse than death. Life tends to get a little crazy at times, and cleaning can often fall by the wayside.
My homemaking advice would be to develop a realistic cleaning schedule that works for you during a typical week. Use checklists for each area of your home (kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms) and complete these tasks at the same time each day.
Create a goal for when you want to finish housework each day, such as 10 a.m. or during your children’s naps. Then, if life gets in the way, you can always take an hour later to catch up on cleaning and get back to business as usual.
#6 – Dress for a Productive Day
One of the things I love about being a modern homemaker (who also works from home) is that I don’t have to dress up or put on a uniform to get ready for the day. I could wear pajamas or yoga pants and a sweatshirt every day if I wanted to.
However, I make the conscious choice to avoid that. Why, do you ask?
Well, I’ve often found that the way I dress directly correlates with my daily productivity levels. When I don’t change out of my jammies until noon, I don’t accomplish much before then either.
After your cup of morning coffee, make a point to dress in something comfortable and functional that won’t interfere with the tasks you need to accomplish. It makes a world of difference!
#7 – Don’t Neglect Your Marriage
Managing your home is also about managing the relationships inside your home, including your marriage. And while you may not typically think of your marriage in terms of “management”, it does deserve the same level of care.
A large part of my job as a modern homemaker is making sure that my husband is taken care of, whether it’s making his lunch for work or ensuring that he has clean underwear in his drawer.
And while that view may seem antiquated, it has served me well in my 15+ years of marriage.
If you feel like your spouse is getting neglected because your other homemaking jobs are too time consuming, then readjust your priorities. Even something as simple as a sweet text message during the day or one of these 50 ways to show your husband you love him can make a big difference.
#8 – Schedule Time for Self-Care
One of the areas where homemakers struggle the most is scheduling time for self-care, especially for moms. As mothers, we are constantly in the caretaker mode, and it’s easy to reflect on the past few weeks and realize that we haven’t taken a single moment for ourselves.
Your emotional, physical, and mental well-being are much more important than making sure the toilets are clean each week. So if cleaning the bathroom has a regular spot on your schedule, self-care deserves a slot as well.
#9 – Don’t Try to DO IT ALL By Yourself
Taking steps towards becoming a better homemaker does NOT mean that you have to do every household chore yourself. In fact, spreading out the responsibilities teaches everyone in the household to actively participate in the homemaking process.
Try creating a chore chart for your kids that is filled with simple tasks they can complete each day to help around the house and alleviate your work load. My 11 year old daughter waters the plants in our garden and puts the clean dishes away, and my 9 year old daughter carries clean clothes to each family member’s room and changes the bag in the trash can when it’s full, among other jobs.
Delegating these tasks to my kids saves me at least 30 minutes each day, and it also teaches them to be responsible and to have a good work ethic.
If you want to read more about my chore charts and laminated chore cards, check out this post: Chore Charts for Kids & Age Appropriate Chores
Besides getting your kids to help with household chores, you can also use other time-saving resources to help with your work load as a homemaker.
I’m a huge fan of free services like grocery pickup from our favorite local grocers. No homemaking law says you have to spend hours at Walmart each week. Ordering your groceries online is a huge timesaver, and it also helps you stick to your budget by preventing impulse buys.
#10 – Perfection is NOT the Goal of Homemaking
I thought I’d save the most essential homemaking tip for last, and it’s something you’ll constantly have to remind yourself of throughout this whole crazy journey.
The goal of a homemaker isn’t to be perfect.
Your goal as a homemaker should be to achieve happiness as a wife, mother, and woman while managing your home.
Remember that your worth isn’t counted by how many loads of laundry you do, the hours you spend driving kids back and forth from activities, or your ability to make a perfect casserole.
Rather, your worth is all of the unique and beautiful gifts that only you can bring to your children, husband, and home. So don’t sweat the small stuff, give yourself some grace, and enjoy this unforgettable phase of your life.
Making the transition from working mom or wife to homemaker is a big leap, and I hope these tips for becoming a better homemaker have been helpful even for more seasoned homemakers out there.
Just remember that no one is perfect, the tasks you perform don’t define your worth, and always strive for the best version of YOU for your family and yourself.
You’ve got this, mama!
You may enjoy the following posts for additional homemaking support and advice: