How to be a good Homemaker when you have NO CLUE what you are Doing

Do you suddenly find yourself in the role of “homemaker” but realize you don’t know what you are doing?  Not sure how to be a good homemaker? 

Maybe deep down you think, “I WANT to be a homemaker” but you just don’t know where to start.  That’s okay.  You can learn what you need to so that you are successful in keeping your home the way you want.

Be a good homemaker

I know what it’s like to suddenly be a new wife and not know how to keep my home.  I know what it’s like to struggle for years to come because homemaking didn’t come naturally to me.  I know what it’s like to have three small children running around and STILL not have it together when it comes to keeping my home.

But, after 19 years of doing this homemaking job, I finally feel like I’ve got some of it figured out.

NOTE:  I did not say I finally figured out how to keep a perfect, immaculate home.  That will probably never happen for me.  But I have fallen into more of a routine where things flow around here a little more.

I don’t know where you are in your homemaking journey, but since you are reading this blog I’m going to guess that you are having a hard time.

So, how do you be a good homemaker when you don’t have a clue what you are doing?   What do you do when you feel overwhelmed at home? Well, I’ve got some tips for you.

What IS a Homemaker?

First of all, What IS homemaking?  When you hear people talk about homemaking, images of life in the 1950s seem to come to mind.

What is a homemaker?

But here’s the deal.  Homemaking isn’t an archaic role. While less women are full-time homemakers because they work outside of the home, most of us all do a little bit of homemaking.  If we didn’t, none of us would have clean clothes to wear!

Some examples of homemaking synonyms are housewife, spouse, stay-at-home mom, etc.  Many people equate homemaking with all those titles.

But really, no matter what you call yourself, homemaking itself is the act of managing our homes.  As the homemaker of my home, I’m basically “the manager” of this operation.

What does that mean?

Well, what does a manager do?  They make sure things run smoothly.  When something doesn’t, they tend to come in and fix it.

That’s what I do.  I make sure everyone eats 3 meals a day.  I make sure there’s clean clothes for the next day.  I make sure dental and doctor appointments are booked and that kids get there on time.

And to make the “home” experience enjoyable for my family, I do things like bake cookies, or schedule in an afternoon at the beach, etc.

Now, please don’t mishear me.  Being a manager of your home doesn’t mean you do it all.  Do managers do it all?  Nope.

Yes, they often do extra, but managers are really good at delegating.

And so, I delegate chores to the kids.  I ask my husband if he can pick up some bread and milk from the store on the way home from work.  I ask my child to bake some brownies for an event we need to take them to (because my kids are old enough for that job now.)

So, being a homemaker doesn’t mean you are the one who does everything around the house.  Being a homemaker means you are in charge of making sure things run smoothly around your home.

But, let’s not kid ourselves.  Homemaking is hard work.  Investopedia says that if you were a homemaker, especially one with children, and you DID receive a homemaker salary, you should be receiving an annual salary of $178, 201.

Oh man, the things I could do with that kind of money.

But, as cliche as it sounds, homemaking is a job I don’t mind doing for free.  Even though I don’t love laundry, or cleaning, I love being the caretaker of my home.  And that’s worth any money you could offer me.

However, if anyone DOES want to pay me that amount of cash, I’m not going to say no – just sayin’.

Homemaker VS Housewife – is there a difference?

There isn’t much of a difference, really.  A homemaker and a housewife both stay home to take care of their homes.  The main difference is that a housewife is a title we give only to women, while there are homemakers that are men.

Yes, it is more common for women to be homemakers, but it is not ONLY women who take on that role.

So, now that we’ve got the basics of what a homemaker is, let’s also talk about the responsibilities of a homemaker.

What are the responsibilities of a homemaker?

If you are new to homemaking, or maybe have been at it for a while but are struggling,  you may really be asking yourself, “what does a homemaker do?”

The truth is, homemaking isn’t going to look the same for everyone.  Homemaking, in essence, is taking care of your home.  That will probably include some cleaning and cooking.  It may or may not include things like sewing.  Homemaking skills will vary from person to person.

If you have children, mothering is going to be a part of homemaking for you.

responsibilities of a homemaker

I’m going to share a list of ideas that may be included in your homemaking schedule so you can have a place to start.

Here are some homemaking responsibilities:

  • Daily cleaning
  • Weekly deep cleaning 
  • Meal planning 
  • Budgeting
  • Grocery shopping
  • Homeschooling 
  • Baking
  • Cooking
  • Overseeing chores for kids
  • Driving kids to activities
  • Managing the family’s schedule

Again, this is just a list of ideas.  You may not do them all or you may add something different to the list.  For example, if your kids go to school you won’t be homeschooling them.  However, you will probably be making lunches, filling out school forms, and possibly attending field trips or parent/teacher nights.

Write out your own list of responsibilities that fit for your life and your family to help you manage the things you want to do each day to keep on top of things.

HOW TO BE A GOOD HOMEMAKER WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED

Write a list

Every morning when you wake up and are enjoying your morning coffee, write a list of the things you want to get done that day.  You can also write this the night before as well if that’s easier.  As the day goes on, check off what you get done.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make it through everything on the list.  There are many days I don’t get to all I want to.  But the list also shows me all the things I DID get done and can help me feel more positive about the job I’m doing.

Delegate jobs

Being a homemaker doesn’t mean you have to do it all.  What it means is that you are “managing” the home.  If you have kids consider making a chore chart. 

A chore chart has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.  My kids are older – 15, 13, and 10 – but even small kids can do something.  My kids take turns doing the dinner dishes 6 days a week, clearing off the table, sweeping, and setting the table. 

They also clean the bathroom and tidy up our mudroom.  The two older ones do their own laundry.

I’ll be straight up honest with you – at the beginning I worried about giving them too much.  But then I remembered how ill-prepared I was to take care of my home as a young adult. 

How can I expect them to naturally contribute to their households as adults if I haven’t trained them as kids or teens. 

These are life skills that will hopefully make life a little easier for them, as well as cause a positive impact in their future marriages because they are helpful around their homes, whether they are a wife or a husband.  

So, delegate some jobs.  We all know it doesn’t really matter how many jobs you delegate, there’s always PLENTY left for mom to do.

Homemaking responsibilities

Meal plan

Meal planning takes the stress out of homemaking.  I know that sounds extreme, but I’m not kidding.  Do you know how stressful it is to decide what to eat at 4:00 each day? 

The last thing you want to do is look in your cupboards, decide you have nothing and have to run to the store or hit up the drive thru.  I like to meal plan week by week, but some people like to meal plan month by month.  

Batch cook

While you are at it, do a bit of batch cooking.  Batch cooking is where you make multiple meals at once.   I mean, even Martha Stewart is into batch cooking, so it must be a good homemaking hack!

So if you are making a pot of soup for dinner, double or even triple the recipe.  Toss the rest in the freezer so you can pull it out on a night that you are too busy to cook.

Clean the kitchen and bathroom first

Kitchens and bathrooms get the dirtiest, and they are also the rooms that people tend to see when they stop over for a visit. 

For some reason, if I go to someone’s house and their living room is messy, but their kitchen and bathroom is clean, it feels like they have their stuff together. 

So when cleaning the house, do the kitchen and bathroom first, and then move on to other rooms.  It will also allow you to breathe a sigh of relief if you have an unexpected visitor at the door.

Schedule cleaning

You can’t clean your home in one day.  There are jobs that need to be done every day like dishes, but the deep cleaning doesn’t have to be done every day. 

You might vacuum the house on Mondays, do extra laundry on Tuesdays, give extra attention to bedrooms on Wednesday, and so on.  You don’t have to come up with the schedule yourself though.  Check out this one already made for you.

Embrace routine

This kind of lines up with scheduling cleaning, but your homemaking will be a lot easier if you have a routine.  So, for me, I might get up, have my coffee, get some exercise in, homeschool my children, and then around lunch do some small chores and tidying up. 

In the afternoon I might work on my cleaning that is scheduled for that day.  At 4:00 roughly I start dinner prep.  Because I know that around the same time every day I have some things I need to do, it’s more likely to get it done. 

I also don’t become a slave to the routine.  Flexibility is key in my opinion.

Light a candle

One of my worries when my house is a mess is the smell.  I don’t want someone to stop in and smell…well….dirt and grossness. 

A candle can help with this.  It also makes cleaning more pleasant.  Don’t like candles?  Turn on an essential oil diffuser.  Add some citrus drops and it’s going to smell much fresher in your home.

Take a break

No one can do it all, all the time. Make sure you are giving yourself time to rest.  I like to take an afternoon tea break in my day because I can easily forget to sit down and take a breath when I am on the go and have a huge list of things I want to get done. 

You might think you don’t have time to sit down, but you won’t be any use to anyone if you burn yourself out.  So, work hard, but be sure to take a break regularly.

A day in the life of a Homemaker

So, now that you know what responsibilities a homemaker does, and how to be a good homemaker with some easy tips, what does a typical day look like for someone who has taken on that role?

I know I sound like a broken record, but again, it’s not going to be the same for everyone.

I’m going to start by saying something super controversial.  So, buckle up. 

You don’t have to get up insanely early to be a good homemaker.

Please don’t come for me.  It’s true.

I used to believe I could never be a good homemaker if I didn’t get my act together and wake up at 5 a.m.

But you see, all our lifestyles are different.  Some of us have health issues.  Some of us have older kids who go to bed later and so we don’t get to bed later.  Some of us have bodies that require a little more sleep than others.

Obviously, if you are sleeping the day half away while sleeping the full 8 hours at night too that’s a problem, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m saying, don’t base whether you can be a good homemaker or not based on the time you get up in the morning.

So, I’m going to give you what a typical day might look like for a homemaker, but I’m not going to give you any times.  Just an order of what it might look like.

  1. Wake up, do morning devotions, brush your teeth
  2. Exercise
  3. Make and eat breakfast
  4. Children do a few chores while you tidy up the kitchen from breakfast
  5. Start homeschooling kids (or getting your kids to school if you don’t homeschool)
  6. Work on budgeting/meal planning/scheduling while kids are doing some independent school work
  7. Prepare and eat lunch
  8. Clean and/or work on a home business 
  9. Take the kids outside for an activity such as walking, swimming,  biking, playing in the backyard, etc.
  10. Prepare and eat dinner
  11. Take kids to an evening sport or activity they are involved in such as baseball, soccer, music lessons, etc.
  12. Come home and relax as a family
  13. Put kids to bed

This is just ONE example of what your day could look like.  Yours might look completely different but at least this gives you an idea of what an average day for a homemaker might look like.

Homemaking Gets Easier with Time

Give yourself some grace.  Homemaking is not something you are going to learn overnight.  It takes time.  Don’t expect to perfect everything instantly. 

Don’t try and improve everything at once but instead take little bite sized chunks to work on.   For more homemaking tips, read this post. I hope these ideas will equip you on how to be a happy homemaker.

 

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