Friday, May 2, 2014

Home Ec: What My Momma Taught Me

The other day it was hitting me real hard that my family of origin plays a super strong
role in just about everything I ever dreamed of, want to be, and live out on a daily basis.
Shocking, I know. You'd have thought I'd been up and smelling the coffee years ago!

Driving home from an Easter get together I told my husband that I probably never had any
desire to be a career woman because my mom stayed home, my grandma stayed home, and all my
(maternal-side) aunts stayed home... and now I stay home, my sister stays home, and most
of my female cousins who are married stay home too! It's a conspiracy.

The "STAY HOME" club. SHC.
Watch out.

And here I am. The happy as a peacock product of my upbringing.

My mom taught me just about everything I needed to know in regards to being domestic.
I feel gypped in the "how to remove stains" department... but I'll forgive her. Seriously,
I had learned so much about childcare, gardening, cleaning, organizing, running laundry, etc.
that by the time I was getting married at the ripe old age of 22 the only cookbook I had to
my name was the original Betty Crocker collection.

Which I only opened for Christmas cookie recipes.

Ok, I don't know eeeeeverything. But that's when I just pick up the phone and dial "MOM".
Or "GRANDMA" - sometimes grandma knows even MORE!

I told my mom the other day that I was SO thankful she had me running laundry, babysitting,
cooking dinner, helping my younger siblings with their homework, cleaning the house... from the
time I was like oooh 8 because I'd be up a creek without a paddle now if she hadn't.
When I turned 16 I started doing most of the grocery shopping for our family of 7 too.
I could load and unload a full cart at Aldi like nobody's business.

Oh I complained, grumbled, moaned, rolled my eyes, stomped my feet, and sighed:
"I bet my friends' moms never make them do this stuff!" #woeisme

But you know what? Home Ec paid off.

Here are the 3 key lessons I learned that mean so much today:

1.) 20 minute pick-up

2.) do the dishes

3.) "get ready" for your husband

ONE: The 20 minute pick-up! INVALUABLE. This was something my mom had us kids do a couple
times a day to keep order as she homeschooled us all. Until I have kids who are old enough to really
"pull their load" - I operate on this principle 3 times a day.

Just 20 minutes of picking up. This includes straightening bookshelves, sweeping the floors,
wiping down tables, etc. Keeps things "under control" so I don't end up with a TRAIN WRECK
of a house at the end of the day.

Before lunch. Before Nathan comes home. Before the kids go to bed.

Doing a quick pick-up before the kids go to bed is SO NICE. They usually help with this
and it clears the space for Nathan and I to think/work. PLUS it gives me a clean slate
for the next morning. Winning.

TWO: Do the dishes! This lesson carries the most weight in the evening. I was raised
to leave the kitchen "immaculate" before bedtime - aaaaand I still leave the kitchen immaculate
before bedtime. Let me tell you something, waking up to clean counters and floors with an empty
sink is like walking into a Walt Disney World resort for adults.
We cook most of our food from
scratch - and I spend a lot of time in this space preparing allergen-friendly meals for my family...

I like it immaculate. Makes me feel human.

THREE: "get ready" for your husband! I think by now all the feminists reading have checked out.
Still love ya! But really, this isn't just a male/female role kind of thing - this is a
Something that I learned from my mom - and now do in my own home.

We do the "twenty minute pick-up" before Nathan comes home. Set the table. Prepare dinner.
Sometimes I take a few minutes, when I'm not in super model form, to re-fix my hair and make-up.
It brings SO MUCH PEACE to the evening when I've got this act together. I purposely don't plan
play dates or grocery shopping trips in the late afternoon so that we can BE HOME and BE READY
Without all the mess or dinner rush - we have time to relax, unwind, talk to
each other, and play in a mostly stress-free environment.

DISCLAIMER: And of course there a bad days.
There are days I don't make my bed or get dinner on the table in time.
There are days my husband comes to the door and he's lucky if I'm out of my pajamas!
No head in the clouds over here, but I've got a vision - a plan - something that I am able
to stick to most of the time because I know how much joy and peace it brings my whole fam.

You're probably bored now. Great.

So yes. You better believe my boys are gonna have some skilz.
You're welcome, future wives.

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  1. Happy homes, happy marriages, well-raised kids, they don't all just happen by happy accident. Love these tips! Thanks for sharing! Thank your mom, too!

  2. It's a whole lotta work, huh?! But it's soooo rewarding!!! I think I need my mom to do a guest post or something on this whole topic - my facebook wall/inbox has been buzzing!

  3. I love this! I could learn a lot from you. I need to get some systems like this in place so that they become habits, because I think Home Ec is my weakness. PLEASE tell me how you stay on top of laundry?!

    1. Laundry! I hate laundry. I seriously only run laundry once a week. GAH! Is that so bad or what?! We reuse bath towels and wear our outfits more than once usually - so that helps. Totally gross, right?! Lol. I usually run two loads on Thursday or Friday and fold it. Get it over with. I don't start it unless I will have time to finish it. Obviously there are always exceptions - but for the most part this how I keep it "done"!!!

  4. Loved every bit of this and will definitely use some of these tips to keep things in order around my way! Thank your mom for me ;)!

    1. Very good! I'll let her know, Nicole! I'm really thinking SHE should have just written this post... she could have added so much more! XO


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