Hallee the Working Homemaker
I had someone recently suggest that I could no longer have a blog titled “Hallee the Homemaker” now that I work full time.
Since my blog is not titled “Hallee the Housewife” nor “Hallee the [heaven-forbid] Stay At Home Mom” nor “Hallee the Non-Working Mom” I honestly don’t know how working excludes me from being a homemaker.
Making a home is still my priority. Providing my family a God-centered, clean home with good nutritious food and loving parenting is what I do. Working 50+ hours a week doesn’t change that.
When my children are at school during the day (between the hours of 8 and 3), I work. I write books, I handle correspondence, I market books, I deal with two blogs…I work. On Saturdays, I am often out of town, either at a writing conference, book signing, author faire, speaking at different groups and gatherings, etc (this past Saturday was the first time I had a weekend off in about 5 weeks). As I said on my author blog last week in The Down Side to Working from Home, I don’t typically handle household matters during the day. Because I purposefully focus on work only during those hours, it’s made me have to shift the way I manage my home.
Here are some changes that come immediately to mind:
- Meals have become simpler. While I LOVE homemade pasta as much as the next person, it’s now a treat. Meals are a simple meat or veggie dish with simple sides. I still make all of my bread, I still only cook with whole foods, but I just don’t create complex meals as a standard anymore. Because I’ve been so lax in meal planning (which is something I am rectifying now) I’ve even been known to throw a frozen chicken into the crockpot, crank it up to high, and have a roasted bird 6 hours later. (I DO NOT recommend doing that if the giblet bag in the carcass is plastic).
- I no longer do my laundry on a schedule. I learned while on vacation this summer that if I do one dark load and one light load every-other-day, and a load of towels or sheets every-other day, that I can stay on top of the laundry in the house. When I let it go (as I have this week – yikes!) it piles up and gets overwhelming. I’m going to have to spend an entire day doing laundry just to catch back up.
- I’ve hired a housekeeper. Once a week, a woman comes in and deep cleans every room in my house. I have her come on Mondays, because that’s the day after Sunday- a day when there is typically nothing scheduled other than church and our family can straighten rooms, put away things, and rid clutter in preparation for her arrival Monday morning. Because I can’t write fiction while being interrupted, I typically work on correspondence and blogging on Mondays.
- I’ve hired a lawn guy. Between Kaylee’s volleyball schedule, Gregg’s work/National Guard schedule, and my work schedule, none of us had time for regular yard maintenance.
I published my first book 18 months ago and since then have published a total of 5 fiction books and 2 cookbooks. That’s A LOT of focused and devoted hours of work in the last 18 months. I’ve had a yard guy and a house keeper for a little over 2 months now. I honestly don’t know why I went so long before hiring them. The removal of the stress of NOT getting my yard mowed or weed-eated, and the stress of NOT cleaning to my personal standards was weighing me down heavily. Now, I manage the work they do, but am able to focus on other things while they work. It’s wonderful.
I’m still making my home. I still do my 3 Chores You Should Do Every Morning. I still have regular date nights with my husband. I still drive to get raw milk every week and I still drive 45-minutes one way to get to our co-op, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. When my kids get home from school, my computer is turned off and I focus on homework, recreation, dinner preparation.
All that said, I am going to keep My Schedule up as a page on Hallee the Homemaker. It is has been hit several thousand times, and is linked all over the internet. It worked for me beautifully when I did not work.
So, for all of you homemakers out there – either those with outside jobs or not – how do you schedule your household chores?
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You absolutely are still ‘Hallee the Homemaker’. Stay at home moms and working moms have been fighting for years about what the ‘right’ way is. We’ve come to see that there is no right way only the best way for each particular family. Whether working from home or outside the home, to me if making your home a nurturing, nourishing environment is priority then in my eyes you are absolutely a homemaker. And by the way, you’ve just given me some much needed help. I’ve been having a rough time trying to figure out how to get my novella edited without letting the house go. Taking a tip from you and simplifying meals, letting go of the strict laundry schedule and printing your words to tape to my desk ” I don’t typically handle household matters during the day. Because I purposefully focus on work only during those hours, it’s made me have to shift the way I manage my home.”
Thanks for a most inspiring and helpful post!
Thank you so much for this comment and for the encouragement. Get that novella edited! :) (I’m going back to editing my upcoming release right…now!)
You did the one thing that I have been preaching for years! Get help. You can’t do everything, so focus on what you love, what is best for your family, your faith, etc. Sounds like, though you struggle to keep it smooth, that you are. Thanks for being our inspiration.
The most important thing in maintaining a home while working is to never let things fall behind. Don’t let 10 loads of laundry build up and forgo a family Saturday just to do laundry. Don’t resort to paper plates because your dishes are not done. I always keep the floors vaccumed, dishes done, and laundry done at any given time. The other stuff falls to the wayside during the busy periods of life. I may go a month without dusting or scrubbing the shower, but making sure those three things (laundry, dishes, vacuum) are kept up daily keep my household running smooth. As far as meals, I do more from-scratch-baking during the long, dark weekends of winter. During the work week, I keep it simple… meat, veggies or salad and a side dish like mashed potatos or rice. Snacks during busy times are usually fruits or cheese&crackers. We never resort to boxed food like canned soup, tv dinners, or boxed mac-n-cheese. You can make a fast meal of baked chicken, salad, and mashed potatos; or salmon, steamed veggies, and bread&butter.
I have been wanting to comment for awhile, and for one reason or another just haven’t.
First of all, of course you are still a homemaker! I second what Chris was saying, about doing what works for your family. I’m surprised that anyone would suggest otherwise. My only comment about scheduling my household chores is that for me I have to stay on top of them, doing some household chores every day, as opposed to one big cleaning day or whatever.
The other part of my comment really isn’t directed at this post, but about your blog in general.
I have read other posts where people feel you are not doing what is right for your kids or whatever.
I personally do not agree with each and every thing you post here. ( LOL…otherwise it would be my blog ;) ) I personally do not have use for each and every piece of information that is posted in your blog.
But I do get a lot from reading your blog. I enjoy learning about your point of view, even when it differs from mine. Our lives are very different. I am a single empty nester. I have a chronic debilitating illness and I work out of the home. I can still find many things to enjoy about this blog. I have learned many things from this blog and will continue to read and enjoy this blog.
If someone is outraged by your life, opinions or the way that you raise your children it is just so easy not to read your blog. Please continue doing what you think is right, and blogging about it. From the bottom of my heart-thank you.