Making Homemaking More Meaningful
2015 was tough for me as a housewife and stay at home mom. So often it felt like my children would orbit around me, but with chaos instead of the beautiful illustration of swimming planets, as Allah describes in the Qur'an. Wherever I step, wherever I go, there they are, in want and in need of something from me.
2015 was tough. With my 4th child born in January, it started out rather smooth, but with a 4 year old and 2 year old still needing a lot of attention, things built up rather quickly. The logistics of life with three little ones and a teenager that couldn't yet drive, wore me down, but you know what wore me down even more?
The idea that I should be doing more than "just being a mom". That making a home for my kids and husband wasn't enough to satisfy my personal aspirations. The idea that I gave up my career and no one really saw what a sacrifice that was, in order to focus my attention on my family.
Toward the end of the year, and especially with the coming of the new year, I decided I needed to change my perspective.
I didn't give up my career in the technology field, instead I changed careers. It's no different than choosing to move into the health science field, or the teaching field. I am now working in my career in the homemaking field.
Let me take a moment to recognize all the women out there that are homemakers while juggling life as a student, a full-time employee, or the like. You are amazing! What you do is special in its own right. My focus here is on women who are solely focusing their efforts on homemaking, which gets far less praise in our society and culture.
One book that really helped me in my mental shift toward appreciating my career as a homemaker is Journey of a Muslimah Homemaker: Spirituality in Homemaking (you can by the eBook for $5 directly from the author, Ameera Rahim by emailing her at email@example.com). Her air of thankfulness to have a family to care for is infectious, and has helped me see the beauty in our every day work.
Another breath of fresh air for homemakers in the midst of the hustle of life is Gift from the Sea. I wish they handed out this book to each mother on their child's second birthday, it's that good.
Another step in changing my attitude toward being a career homemaker is educating myself in the best ways to use my gifts from Allah. Sometimes that is learning more about child psychology, brain development and positive discipline. Other times it's learning how to make things from scratch, like mayonnaise (super easy, by the way!), ketchup, lotion, and play doh.
Both help me feel that I have knowledge about my career as a homemaker and that no, not any random person off the street could fill my shoes. If someone were to take my place, I would have things to teach them, and in sha Allah I have valuable skills and information to pass down to the next generation.
I appreciate when I can gain some intellectual stimulation by learning new things that will improve my homemaking, but part of this career path is turning homemaking into an art as well. Making the house a home, finding recipes that my family loves, and tweaking them to be my own, are all part of that journey.
I'm (slowly) learning how to decorate my home for more than just function. Our current home is the only one I've ever planned to live in for more than a few years, so it's the first time I've wanted to customize it, and make it both beautiful, in sha Allah, and highly functional. Picking colors overwhelms me, and I always second guess whether things actually match, but little by little, I'm gaining confidence in turning our home into something special.
In sha Allah I'm just in the beginning steps of this new attitude, and the journey that comes with it. I hope to join hands with others that find value in choosing homemaking as a career as well. With homeschooling planned for my little ones, I have nearly 20 years ahead of me, in sha Allah. Better make the best of it!
AUTHOR SHANNEN: I'm a revert to Islam and I homeschooled my teen daughter while starting the homeschool cycle again with my two little ones. Being recently domesticated, you can find me knitting, crocheting, quilting, tatting, or picking up another hobby just for the fun of it. Blogging is a domesticated fit to my IT background, and you can find me writing about how to homeschool high school, preschool and everything that goes along with it. You can connect with me via my website at www.middlewaymom,com or on my social networks.