Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Business of Your House

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 It has been my experience that most women want to stay home.  There are a few I've come across who roll their eyes and say something like they just couldn't be home all day with nothing to do.  Yeah, being at home is kind of like being on a deserted island.  I'm here with no one else in the house other than my dog and 2 kittens all day long and some days it's a trying experience.  However, I'm only lonely or bored if I choose to be.

If you are having trouble with the isolation, let me encourage you to be about the business of your house.  When you are busy you don't have time to dwell on how lonely you are.  Sit at the kitchen table and personalize a cleaning schedule for yourself.  Learn to sew and make an apron.  Learn to crochet and make a blanket.  Make homemade doughnuts or bagels.  Start taking your dog for a walk every day.   Make your bedroom an inviting place to relax and enjoy each others company after a long day.  Plan a date night or a game night for you and your husband.  Every once in a while I make up 50 breakfast burritos and put them in foil in the fridge.  The next morning I throw them in the oven to warm up.  He takes them to work and gains favor with his co-workers and bosses.  There are a million things you can do to be about the business of your house.

On the flip side of this is being careful not to put too much on your plate.  All too often a church member will need someone to head the decorating committee for Vacation Bible School.  All too often sisters need help planning a friend's baby shower.  All too often you host dinner for another couple you are friends with.  All too often you are running all day in the car and wind up pulling in the drive the same time as your husband.  This type of lifestyle will stress you out.  You will feel guilty about not getting enough housework done or pushing your family to the fringes as you go about helping others.  Helping others is a great thing, but really consider a task before you decide to take it on.  Women who work will not really understand just how busy you are.  They might think that because you are home you have time to kill.  They may even think they are doing you a favor by giving you something to do to break up your day.  You are not a charity case, ladies.  You are busy about the business of your house.
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Being at home can sometimes feel like you are on a deserted island.  You are alone all day sometimes craving another human voice, and sometimes it's peace that passeth understanding as you watch the birds at your bird feeder.  You go out with your dog and scout the area for flowers that might pretty up your camp and see two squirrels wrestling over the same nut.  You long for the companionship of another human as you weave a new mat for your hearth.  You wish you could speak to someone about the trials and hardships of what went into making your camp livable.  You choose some vegetables from your well-tended garden and start a nice soup over the fire and hunker down with a cup of coffee while it cooks.

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Then all at once the restless natives come into your camp and demand food from your well stocked reserve.  The need clothed and their animals need tending.  They take from your time and knowledge as you help them with their workload.  They make a mess of your camp dropping things here and there.  They use your water source and leave it filthy and unfit to drink from.  There is a big, but quick banquet as they stuff themselves to the gills with your bread, meat, and vegetables.  There is much noise and commotion as one fights with another over some insignificant totem necklace.  Another sets fire to your woven mat.  Your dog cowers in the corner and you remember earlier in the day when you craved another human voice.  Then, all at once, the next day it is like they were never there.  You are all alone again for hours and hours.

When your family is home it can feel hectic and busy.  So when you are alone you might feel the need to just sit down with a good book and eat a candy bar.  Yes we need time to ourselves to indulge in simple pleasures, but we also need to be about the business of our house.  So, be careful how often and for how long you sit at the computer.  Use your time wisely.  Take your well-deserved breaks.  Even take a small vacation once a year.  Just be careful not to kill the hours in the day.  This can bring a wealth of guilt that just isn't worth it.  Not to mention your house will fall into discord.

When you are a housewife you are running a business.  You are the manager of a bed and breakfast where people depend on you for clean linens and where the kitchen is always open.  You are running a taxi service where people depend on you to budget your gas and get them to where they want to go and they want a clean car to get there in.  You are the resident doctor where at any moment someone might walk in with a tick that needs removed or a cut that needs cleaned.  Businesses have budgets for both time and money.  If an owner of a restaurant has a cook that decides he isn't going to cook that day, I'd imagine the owner would find himself another cook.  That's not to say your husband will want to find another wife.  I'm only saying you will have a more peaceful home if you are are at the business of running your house.
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Do something nice for your husband today.  Make those breakfast burritos for his co-workers.  Start on a nice warm blanket for him.  Change the sheets and put out fresh candles.  Hunt for flowers for a centerpiece to go on the table for tonight's dinner.  Organize his closet and drawers.  Research a movie for the two of you to watch tonight and make some brownies.  Love your husband not just in feeling but in practice.  Be about the business of your house.

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