Have you ever done all the laundry in your house in one day, and then sit back and think how great it is and how you’ll never go back to having piles of dirty laundry again? You’re changed, you think, and you love the smell of clean clothes and how nice it is to find something that isn’t wrinkled (because you actually hung it up).
Your kids even have matching socks.
You have figured out the secret to laundry and you can now conquer the world! (It’s almost as good a feeling as when the kitchen is clean.)
Until one day you walk down to your laundry room (because someone says they can’t find socks) and THERE ARE ALL THE CLOTHES IN ALL THE PLACES and what happened? Didn’t you just do laundry, like, a week ago? Why oh why can’t it all just stay clean and put away?!
Maybe you can just run to Target and buy some new socks.
This is my life. I am maybe not the most awesome at cleaning, but I am a homemaker. Can you be a homemaker if you stink at cleaning? Yes, yes you can.
Let’s talk about that for a moment, how you can, in fact, be a homemaker even when there are no matching socks to be found.
How to Be an Awesome Homemaker When You Are Not Awesome at Cleaning
First of all, part of being a homemaker is teaching your children how to do their own laundry.
I did not do laundry until I was 14 and faced with the reality that my mother did not do laundry and I would have to figure out how to do it if I wanted clean clothes. I’ll never forget walking into the laundry room, navigating around piles of clothes until I got to the washer. Which was the washer? I lifted the lid and read the directions. WHO READS THE DIRECTIONS ON A WASHER? Me. I did. I followed the directions and a miraculous thing took place: my clothes got clean.
Here’s my point: kids can do their own laundry.
My kids are 8, 10, and 11, and when they say to me, “Mom, I don’t have any matching socks!” Do you know what I say? DO YOUR LAUNDRY. I love you. Get a step stool for them, and BOOM, they can do it.
Next up in being a homemaker who is not awesome at cleaning: Submit to your husband when he insists on doing his own laundry.
So I maybe shrunk some my husbands clothes and I maybe mixed colors and turned some of this things pink. And he maybe told me that I was banned from doing his laundry from here on out, except underwear and socks (of course).
I am nailing the excellent wife thing.
Let’s move on.
My next tip in being an awesome homemaker is to hire someone as soon as you can.
I am telling you, if you can swing it, GET YO SELF A MAID. (Is “maid” still used? Can we say that?) I am waiting for the day when I can hire someone to clean my house. I CAN’T WAIT. I don’t know if that day will ever come, but if it does, I MIGHT ACTUALLY BURST WITH JOY. See, it’s possible to be a joyful homemaker!
I remember the days a couple of years ago when I had the most wonderful woman come over and clean my house once a week. I miss her. I would walk into my house and it smelled, CLEAN. I didn’t even know what that smell was before her. My husband would come home and say, “Was Missy here?” Yes, yes she was. Bless her. (Missy, come back.)
There is nothing wrong with hiring help my friend. You are the keeper of your home, and if you can keep someone cleaning your home, you are managing like a boss. NO GUILT FOR IT.
Here’s my last bit of encouragement for today for you homemakers who aren’t sure you qualify as homemakers: Don’t be so hard on yourself.
So what if you’re not the best at cleaning. Your identity is not in your ability to clean well or keep a home or be a “Proverbs 31 woman.” Cleaning and homemaking and caring your people, those things matter; your work in the home is good, holy work, planned before time by God for you to do. But it’s not your identity. Be gentle with yourself. It’s easy to look around at other women who seem to have their homemaking stuff together and you’re over here like, “WHERE IS THE OTHER FREAKING SOCK?!” It’s okay. Do what you can. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up.
One day at a time, one thing at a time, one sock at a time.
You know what makes a “good” homemaker? Loving your people. Love your people, love your neighbors, and care. Care about your home and the atmosphere and how you talk to people and how you talk to yourself. These are the things that matter. Care enough to not give up. Care enough to let go of perfection and comparing and just enjoy your people and your home.
Be kind to yourself and others.
And there you have it, the key to it all: love.
Love makes a home. So keep loving and doing the next thing.
Love, Sarah Mae