Successful homemakers have acquired wisdom that comes from years of on-the-job training.
Loving your husband, raising children, and managing a home is not a job for the faint-hearted.
There are things you can do to make your home a joyful, efficient, peaceful place.
Here are some secrets to help you experience joy and success in your homemaking adventure.
Secret #1: Patterns & Habits
Set up patterns and habits in your home to instill security and create a restful environment. Daily, weekly, and yearly routines allow family members to fall into peaceful patterns of living.
Annual customs such as holidays, birthdays, vacations, and seasonal activities come along each year, giving everyone in the family things to look forward to.
Weekly habits such as attending church on Sunday mornings, taking part in Bible study on Wednesdays, enjoying family night on Friday, doing laundry on Thursdays, and cleaning together on Saturday morning gives the household a rhythm to each week that is predictable.
Daily routines such as mealtimes, schooling hours, chore time, and daily devotions repeated over and over again produce a sense of order and peace in any home. Nighttime and morning routines are especially important. Our children were raised to do their “five things” when they woke up: brush teeth, get dressed, make bed, have a Quiet Time, and clean room. Each evening, Mike read a bedtime story to the children and prayed over them before tucking them in at night.
Secret #2: Realistic Expectations
Each member of a household should have realistic expectations of themselves and one another. Keeping an immaculate home with a toddler underfoot is possible, but not necessarily a noble goal.
You will have horrible days and terrific days. Don’t expect to enjoy every single day of homemaking. No one I know enjoys their job every single day.
Children blow it, make a mess, and embarrass you. So do husbands. Oh, and you will not be perfect either. Set your heart on Jesus–He is the only one who is perfect. His love will overshadow the imperfections of yourself and others.
Secret #3: Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing
It is easy to get distracted and focus on unimportant tasks, neglecting the eternal ones. Your main job is to support your husband, train your children in the way God wants them to go, and create a home that is warm and welcoming.
If your home decorating project keeps you from spending time each day reading aloud to your children, then you are getting distracted by the less important things.
With that said, there are so many creative ways you can make your home a beautiful, celebrate joyfully, and stir up a love of learning.
Secret #4: Get Rid of Everything that isn't Useful or Beautiful
Pare down to things that are useful to make life easier or add beauty to your home.
Books, of course, are always useful. Good music, pots, pans, a globe, lamps, and desks are all examples of useful items. In addition, we want to be surrounded by beauty. Paintings, photographs, area rugs, throw pillows, and plaques may not be useful, but if they are beautiful, they are worth their weight in gold.
You might consider getting rid of broken furniture, ripped clothing, ugly things that have no usefulness, uncomfortable furniture, ripped linens, and anything with frayed electrical cords.
Secret #5: Have a Place for Everything & Keep Everything in its Place
Make sure that clothing, food, utensils, books, DVDs, CDs, blankets, pencils, pens, pot holders, and anything else you can think of has a place to be. Tidy up regularly, returning things to their rightful place. This will keep your home tidy.
Make sure an item’s place is easy to get to if you use an item often. If not, people will get it out and leave it out. That’s why people put a pencil holder with pens and pencils next to the phone with a pad of paper.
Pots and pans should be kept close to the oven and coffee mugs stored close to the coffee pot. Make sure that you have a spot to plug in and charge laptops, tablets and phones.
If there’s something you find created disorder over and over (like shoes or coats), ask yourself if there is a convenient place for them to be stored. If not, create one.
Secret #6: Fill Your Home with Things that Nurture
As woman, we are created to bring forth life and nurture it. That’s true in our homes, too. Fill your home with things that nurture your family spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
Store Bibles and inspirational books on an easily-accessible bookshelf so it’s easy for family members and guests to grab one whenever they need it. Fill the kitchen with nutritious food and snacks.
Create an atmosphere that communicates to each family member that they are special. Bedrooms are a great place to personalize for children. When my son turned twelve, we got rid of his cute train bedspread (which he covered with a blanket) and got a new bedspread, curtains, and wall hanging with the theme of his favorite football team: Philadelphia Eagles. Mike also painted a portion of one wall with chalkboard paint so he can write on his wall. This communicated value to our son. Now, if I had fixed Jenny Rose’s room up the same way, it would not have communicated the same message.
Fill your home with maps, books, globes, good music, instruments, paint, art paper, and craft supplies to encourage intellectual growth and creativity. Let’s your kids bake, cook, and experiment in the kitchen.
Secret #7: Focus on the Positive
Life is full of ups and downs, but we can choose what we focus on. Cultivate gratefulness and focus on the bright side of things. This will create a joyful atmosphere in your home.
You’ve heard the old saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, aint nobody happy.” While I don’t appreciate the poor grammar, I do agree with the sentiment. As homemakers, we create the atmosphere in our home.
If we are lighthearted, kind, and thoughtful, people will love being in our home because the atmosphere is one of acceptance and joy.
Laughing, joking, and silliness lighten up a gloomy atmosphere quickly. There’s always something funny going on; you just have to keep your eyes open. Jokes, as long as they are not sarcastic or put-downs, can get the whole family laughing.
Affection is another atmosphere builder. Greet one another each morning with a cheery hello and a hug. Kiss or hug each other goodbye before anyone leaves the house. Greet family members when they come home, especially Daddy. Stop what you are doing and greet guests when they stop in.
Secret #8: Love
Love is what everyone wants and needs. Do everything you can to maintain family unity, including walking through conflict with and forgiving one another as often as necessary.
Conflict is inevitable, but disunity and division can be banned from your home. Refuse to allow anger and bitterness to fester. Read Matthew 18 about working through conflict and forgiveness. When something happens, have the people involved try to walk through it alone. If they are unable to resolve the issue, bring in one parent. Forgive one another quickly. Forgiveness is not excusing someone’s behavior, but rather cancelling the debt.
Anger and yelling creates insecurity. Ban angry words from your house. Speak gently to one another and require everyone to do the same.
Affirm and encourage one another. Love one another deeply. Let your home be a safe, secure, and loving place.
We have resources to help you grow as a homemaker: Jesus, Fill My Heart & Home Bible Study and God's Girls 105: Homemaking. Jesus, Fill My Heart & Home is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip or Currclick. God's Girls 105: Homemaking is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip or Currclick.
Happy Homemaking and don't forget the 8 Secrets!
For His glory,