I felt the women were being called home, what does it mean?
Why have I shied away at posting this for so long when the truth raged in me all along? I’ve always been cautious about my writing not being prescriptive for how could I know what is right or best for anyone else. There are so many factors that determine the life we live but also I wonder, are the perceived limitations we have not part of the problem? If the longing is to be central in the home and family are we not guilty of creating our own constructs that keep us away from it?
Though I don’t know that one day I might look back at this piece and feel foolish for sharing it, it won’t be because of regret. I will never look back at my life spent in close relationship to my children, my husband, my home and feel anything but satisfaction and gratitude.
Sometimes I think I must be crazy to be suggesting anyone give themselves over to this; it’s so hard, this homemaking/full on momming stuff. There are times when I want to scream and throw things, the demand from my family is too great, I’m not up for the challenge. Would I rather lock myself away at a job serving someone else than have to deal with the endless outrageous needs of my kids, the upkeep of my home? It’s a trade off, which is more valuable to me? Show me one job where you don’t question yourself through it, feel like you won’t overcome. So what? I am the first to say we should follow feelings of pleasure and joy, but I think that needs further explanation.
What I’m suggesting is that in fact the small menial tasks are what can be the source of pleasure and joy. If we choose instead to believe that this mundane work is the most meaningful, we can build a new measurement system. One that prioritizes the sanctity of the home, finding satisfaction and fulfilment from a meal well-made, a house orderly and clean, everyone’s needs being met - including your own. Raising up children that are cemented in the bedrock of family closeness, feeling solid and secure in being wrapped in love and comfort from their momma, from a nurturing home.
The nuances become so great here, I’m not actually advocating for accommodating your family’s needs over your own, I’m curious about finding the truth of the essence of motherhood being a balance of everyone’s needs being met through one stream of focus. I’m wondering if nourishing through homemade food brings more wellness not just on a physiological level but to a soul level. If a made bed can invite feeling of peace and security that become foundational. I’m curious if folding away laundry can become an active prayer and meditation that brings deep reverence for life in its most simplest forms. I’m thinking about how if I make the conscious decision for myself that right now home is where I am most needed, desired, and essential, can I give myself over to it fully without doubt or excuse.
Will that be my greatest accomplishment? Would it be so bad if it was?
I’ve had to make concessions in many places to be this available to my family. I’m committed to figuring this out, to keep finding the ways to make the life I desire possible. I most certainly don’t have it all figured out. I won’t ever downgrade my huge creative heart that is pumping out ideas on the daily. Ideas to bring more beauty and love to this world. My family is a pretty solid way to ripple that out though. If I change my mind that it would somehow make me less of an achiever, less of an instrument for change, less of a powerhouse, then maybe I can love it more. Become deliberate and unapologetic in my life choices.
That’s my daily question to myself, ‘how can I love this more?’. When I’m in the muck of it, or feeling pulled in a million directions, or touched out and beyond my capacity. Being a homemaker and mother doesn’t mean I allow myself to be abused or am at every beck and call of my family, it means I’m the cornerstone and the hearth. I will prioritize my own care as I care for others. Giving to one doesn’t mean taking from another. I will find a harmonious balance as much as I can. I still endeavour to be in service to others in some way — maybe through writing, maybe through baking, maybe through holistic health coaching. And the great thing is I’m not pigeonholing myself in one space, but I am prioritizing home.
I’m not alone here in this desire for home, it’s been echoed back to me over and over again by my friends and women I’ve worked with. This feeling of incongruence. Women in high-level careers, solid entrepreneurs and business owners, self-made leaders in their field. Our conversations often come back to the same place: women feeling intensely burnt out, out of rhythm with themselves and nature, feeling desperately like they would just quit it all and be…home. I find so many women who doubt themselves; as a cook, as a nurturer, as the healer in their home, as a creative. What lies we have been fed for so long to be that far away from our design. To believe that it would be beneath us as capable women to do the daily work needed — to clean, to prepare our food, to manage our health, to create our own sanctuaries. I am passionate in these conversations because I love the chance to offer a different perspective and to connect that woman back to herself. To tell her she’s not crazy for loving the small and simple aspects of homemaking or motherhood.
What does homemaking even look like?
Making things beautiful. Creating a haven for yourself and your family. Being the centre of your home. The nurturer. To take the resources provided and create with them. To know that all of that is as much so if not more purposeful than anything else you could do in this world. To keep your energy centred in your home and on your family. To mark your home as sacred space. To infuse it with peace. The quiet action of folding the laundry, stirring the soup, chopping the veggies, mixing the paint pots, kneading the dough, washing hands and faces, listening listening listening. To quell the noise of not-enoughness that the world is selling you for being ‘just’ a stay-at-home-mom, for identifying the significance you long for in the small hand of your baby, in the calm of your home.
Motherhood is a contract. It’s no longer lauded as being important work but it undeniably is. We look down at antiquated gender roles and shake our heads at our ancestors, how silly they were to limit themselves. Are things better now? With generations of women feeling distracted, bored, overwhelmed and completely unqualified to run their homes. We say it’s because we’re above menial work but in truth it’s because no one is modelling how to do this anymore. It’s become a lost art. There’s much to say about our dependency on others outside of ourselves and the lack of responsibility we take for ourselves but moreover there is this fracture in the home.
I share my experience here to ignite possibility. Maybe recognition, for the other mommas who have quietly felt this. Or for the feeling of permission to be more honest with herself about the magnificence of her role. This could stir up a lot of feelings. Resistance. Outrage. My writing is an invitation. This message was so clear to me, I had to put all my discomfort aside to say it.
Come home. Make it your most beautiful, soulful space. Dwell there. Become a beacon for comfort and peace. And to share the journey so other mommas can step into their own version of a homemaker with determination and embrace.
Part 3 coming next…