Thursday, May 5, 2011

Guest Post:: liZ from Simple Simon and Company

Today I have a very special guest - a kindred spirit.  liZ from Simple Simon and Co.  She is here to talk to us about homemaking.  Please take a few minutes to read it - she is so inspiring - and leave some comments letting us know what you think, how you feel, about the Art of Homemaking.

My name is liZ. Awhile ago I started a little homemaking experiment. And then I started posting about it on my blog. (Which is where the totally awesome Jessica found me.)

You see, recently I've been obsessed with reading books written by homemakers from generations past and then doing my best to follow their advice. I love the complete coolness of the 1950's house wife and dream of one day absorbing all their loveliness but....I haven't always felt this way.

In fact, here are some facts and feelings from my former self:
#1. The whole idea of motherhood---er, not appealing. Seriously? Who wants kids?
#2. Me, a stay at home mom? Not in this life.
#3. I will be educated.
#4. I will have a career.
#5. I cried several years ago on Christmas when my mom gave me a sewing machine.

Oh yea, that was me.

But here are some more facts. (And these are current.)
#1. I am a mom.
#2. I am a stay at home mom.
#3. I am educated. I graduated from 2 different universities with art, history, and special education.
#4. I have had two careers. I taught public school for my first career. But that only lasted for 7 years. Right now I'm working on my second career. I'm a homemaker and am confident this profession will last much longer than my first one did.
#5. That sewing machine has been worn have it's two successors. (Who knew that I would like to sew?)

No one could be more surprised than I am with the direction my life has taken. I adore being a mom. In fact, I can't think of a word powerful enough for the feeling of love I have for my little family. It is better than any life I could have dreamed up.

And yes...that includes the part where I am a homemaker (and not a sleek career woman wearing totally awesome power suits paired with fantastic shoes and amazing earrings).

And while I am convinced of the coolness of my job as a homemaker, it wasn't always so. I'm embarrassed to say that when I first quit teaching I was almost ashamed to let people know that I was going to be "just a mom". For some reason homemaking didn't seem important. But as time passed I came to realize just how wrong I was to feel that way.

Then one day I ran across a book that literally changed my life. It validated my growing feelings of the importance of being a housewife and helped me better articulate why being a full time homemaker is such an important and powerful profession.

Here's the book:

Not what you expected? Me neither.

In fact, I bought it for the kitschy illustrations and the hilarious one liners I read as I thumbed through the pages (like "beauty is a duty" and "if it isn't pretty, put it away"). I laughed and laughed. Then I put it on my shelf and forgot about it until one night when I couldn't sleep.

That night I started reading and I couldn't stop. I loved how dedicated this mother was to her career as a homemaker. She literally saw homemaking as an art. I couldn't get enough of her matter-of-fact attitude about the importance of running a clean, lovely, and efficient home. When I finished I needed more.

Soon I was buying up any homemakers guide from decades past. Ingrained within their corny writing styles and their complete political incorrectness are themes of dedication, pride, craftsmanship, and the importance of raising a truly happy family. These women were anything but apologetic about being "just house wives". They were passionate about homemaking and I have found their zeal not only refreshing but irresistible.

Let me share a few of my favorite books and quotes with you.

"The more intelligent, talented, capable, creative, and educated a woman is, the richer can be her life and the lives of those in her family. In this way she is a homemaker, not just a housewife. And she teaches children, instead of merely tends them...A home holds all the areas of achievement that can be found in any field...A wise woman makes her home her business."

---Daryl Hoole 1975

"To be able to manage well as a homemaker you must not only tackle your job with love---which almost goes without saying---but you must be knowledgeable. You must be willing to search for information and learn...Put into homemaking the interest, initiative, and zest that you would give to any other occupation to ensure success."

---Laura Snyder 1970

" the everyday housewife with children, tired working mothers, office girls and those others who just never find the time to get everything done that needs to be done...I only wish I could come into your home and sit at your kitchen table each morning and talk of our common problems..."

***Me too Heloise, me too. (Who knew that liZ the super feminist would find her most kindred of spirits from housewives of the past?)

"Love is the greatest thing you have to give. Give it freely ...yes, even if it is expressed through washing dishes and doing laundry...Do what you can. But...enjoy it if possible. Never sit and worry about what you have to do. If it bothers you that much, get up out of that chair and get it done...Mrs. Homemaker, I think you are the most wonderful person on earth!"

---Heloise 1962

I love Heloise, she is my current favorite, but I also love Daryl, Mildred, Laura, and Dorthy...some of my favorite housewives from days gone by. Sometimes I think how awesome their blogs would be if they were around today. I'd definitely be a follower.

Which brings me to this: I love Jessica's blog. I love her dedication to being the best, most creative, thrifty, housewife she can be. I love that she invited me to share some thoughts with you. I love that somewhere out in cyber space another homemaker is reading this and will leave a comment sharing with us her thoughts and ideas.

I love the give and take...this exchange of information. We all want the same thing--to create a safe, wonderful, sanctuary of a home that is perfect for our own individually unique families. And how cool is it that everyday as a homemaker I get to dedicate my time and energy into creating that environment? I love it.

Being a homemaker is important and powerful and wonderful and I will never be ashamed of it ever again. Ever.

Here's to being a homemaker---and for wearing fantastic shoes while being one!

Wow.  Thanks Liz!! Aren't you inspired now?!  Happy Homemaking everyone!


  1. Thank you so much for that post! I am on the cusp of making that change from career woman to homemaker myself and I so needed to hear this right now! Now I'm looking forward to it and will definitely take your reading advice.

  2. Great post! I'm only 20, but I dream of being a homemaker. The phrase "just a stay-at-home mom" makes me cringe. Being a homemaker, wife, and mother is a "real job," and I feel like it's the one that God wants for me someday. Now that I've (almost) finished my two year college program, I want to focus on my sewing business and learning the homemaking skills that I lack. :)


  3. I agree kristin - "just" a stay at home mom makes me cringe too. It's a LOT of work!

  4. I'm with you ladies...I hate the pharse "I'm just a housewife." It is lame and degrading---which is the opposite of what being a homemaker is all bout---especially is you do it right. (Which I'm constantly working on.)

    Thank you again Jessica for giving me the opportunity to guest post. It was a much needed reminder for me.

  5. I really love the concept of the 50's, classy mom, with that great retro kitchen and torquise fridge. Ahh, if I could have that with a Jackie O dress and some great shoes that would make my mother's day :).
    I agree with you ladies so much. My daughter is 9 months old and I've been a homemaker since the day she was born. It was a tough decision to make, since we were used to living off of 2 incomes, but we "just" make it work out.
    I too have several degrees, taught at a public high school for 6 years (yikes) and feel that I've finally found my purpose. It's so good to see a whole world of great mamas supporting each other! Thanks :)

  6. Nothing wrong with caring for a home and a family! Unfortunately for me, all the scrimping in the world wasn't enough to support the fam on one income where we live (and where the jobs are for the husband, boo). So I've had to work since two days after my daughter was born - for two years at home, and now in an office. I'm looking for ways to get back home now...


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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