Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

The Mark of a Good Family

Dear Reader,

Okay, maybe it is not THE mark of a good family but I think a great test is this: when you visit, do you want to be treated like family? Now we all show different faces when it is just family or when visitors are present. But I also think you can get a pretty good idea of how the family members treat each other if you are observant. I have some people I visit (some extended family) who would say they are treating me like family when I am there, and I just want to say, “Can’t you treat my like a guest?? A stranger??” Because I know they are on better behavior with people they don’t know, and frankly, I’d rather they treat me like that. But other families, who try their best to make me feel at home, I really wish I were their family. Because as nice as they are, it seems like it would be even better to really belong there.


Homemaking Questions

Dear Reader,

I am wondering how other moms and wives out there decide what to do. I mean things like: Do you make your own bread? Do you homeschool? Do you clean your house or hire help? Basically, how do you deal with the many, many things that go into running a home and family. I feel pressure two ways on this. From non-Christians and certain subsets of Christians I know, there is amazement that I do anything myself. You clean your own house? You don’t have help? You educate your own kids? I have actually been asked if I feed my family dinner every night. I had no idea how to answer this question at first. Umm . . . I have 4 kids. They have to eat. Then I realized that the intent was “you cook?! Every night?!” versus eating out every night.

On the other side, there are the more conservative Christians. Some in person and many here on the net from whom I feel pressure to do everything myself–homeschool (we do), make all my food from scratch, possibly even down to grinding my own grain, make my own soaps to scour with and on and on.

So I guess my question is how do you navigate all this? How do you decide what to do and what to outsource?

Some things for us like homeschooling are about how we want the work done. The kind of education and interaction we want our kids to have can best be done at home.

Some things are about money. I just can’t see paying someone to clean my house. Now my house maybe could use it but to me it is just not worth the money. Lately I have begun making my own croutons. It is not that we can’t afford to buy croutons but it just appalls me to pay so much for stale bread. I can stale my own bread at home. Obviously, there is going to be a lot of variation in what people can and can’t afford to pay for.

Some things I enjoy doing, like making bread. 

Some things are health decisions. I would like to avoid transfats and corn syrup so some things are better made at home.

But on the flip side, some things are time related. I could make my own soaps. I could make more food from scratch. But the time I spent on those things would have to come from somewhere else. Time is a commodity as much as money.  I have a little vegetable garden and I enjoy working on it. But I am not very good at it. I have to admit it is more efficient and productive and probably, since I don’t produce much in my garden, even cheaper for someone who specializes in farming to grow lots of veggies and for me to buy them.  

So how about you: what do you do and not do yourself and why?


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