Housewife Baking. Ladies Magazine 1910 (Graphics Fairy)
I love the serene expression on this lady's face, as she concentrates on lovingly preparing some home-baked goodies for her family. She takes her time because she knows the immense value of her home-making. You cannot imagine many women baking like this nowadays, as there is no time in their day.
Have you ever heard women say to you 'I hate housework', 'I can't bake, I haven't got the patience to learn' , 'My cooking never comes out right' or 'I wish I could make my home pretty, but I don't seem to have the knack - or the money!' You may have even said these things to yourself in the past, and believed them to be true. I certainly have said them and believed them. But, very often, these assertions are not true at all. Many times, we think they are true because all women seem to be saying them to each other. They believe that they are just not cut out for home-making, or they have no interest in it.
'I hate housework'.
If someone went to work for an employer, they would expect adequate and ongoing training to do that job well.They might even be provided with a mentor to support them in their learning until they were competent and confident in that new role. In order to be good at keeping the home clean and tidy, well, exactly the same applies! You cannot enjoy housework if you haven't got a clue what you are doing, or you have been trained wrongly, or you have had poor, or non-existent mentoring along the way. Another reason for an aversion to housework is that you are not aware of the home-maker's value. So How can you change to 'I love housework'?
Don't label yourself 'useless home-maker' or 'hate housework'. Train yourself gradually in the home-making arts, especially from blogs written by 'actual' home-makers themselves. They can answer your questions and support and even mentor you in some cases. Lady Lydia's instructive blog ''Home living' has lots of articles for the beginner, and to help ladies to realise the honour, privilege and value of 'keeping the home'.
I can't bake, I haven't got the patience to learn
One reason that women think that they can't bake is because they can't reproduce the look and taste of the mass-produced cakes and cookies they buy from the shops and stores. This flummoxed me for a few years. But the point is, that the mass producers try like crazy to make their goods resemble 'home-made'! They fail miserably because everything they make is uniform in every way. A real home-baked goody is created with loving hands, in small batches, each one different, unique, slightly darker, lighter, softer, crisper. That is their beauty. And the fragrance wafts around the home and makes the family feel loved before they have even swiped a still warm cookie from the cooling tray. Remember that for the occasions when things go wrong (and they will from time to time), do not throw them away, just pour over the custard sauce and no one will be any the wiser!
Bake when you have a reasonable amount of time to give to the task. Simple recipes with few ingredients are the best and can be quickly learned. Have some washing up water on hand and wash as you go. Take joy in the process, like the woman in the image above, and concentrate on what you are doing. Do not try and make something that looks like you bought it from a shop. Rejoice in it's home-made loveliness. Have some nice custard on hand if it is a little overdone or underdone, and suddenly it's a delicious pudding.
My cooking never comes out right
A major reason that cooking doesn't come out right is the fact that so many woman try and cook at the same time as texting, tweeting, trawling Facebook or chatting on the phone. It won't work! cooking is an art, not an afterthought. Also, trying too hard with your cooking, complicated recipes or perfectionism will make you feel a failure in the kitchen
Switch off your mobile, put your house phone on answer-phone, shut down the computer. Now you can focus on cooking up something tasty and nutritious for the family. Simple meals, simple recipes. Set the table nicely. You won't be exhausted or frustrated or preoccupied as you all sit round the table and enjoy some lovingly-produced, happy memory times of family togetherness.
'I wish I could make my home pretty, but I don't seem to have the knack - or the money!
Lacking confidence in this area is very common, and it is one in which I have had difficulties myself. Another cause for feeling like this is simply because you are unfamiliar with your own home, and uncomfortable in it. Or so wound up with other things that you are hardly aware of your surroundings. A woman may see pristine-looking, expensive homes in magazines or on TV, and feel bad because she can't make her home look like that.
Spend as much time in your home as you can. Take quiet times just relaxing, enjoying a nice pot of tea, getting to know your home. wean yourself off of rushing out shopping unnecessarily (Added bonus - you will save a lot of money!) If you work outside the home, maybe you could reduce your hours so you could concentrate more, and enjoy more, your home-making. Avoid those magazines and programmes about homes of the rich and famous (By the way, they might look wonderful, but the rich and famous are rarely at home to enjoy them). Then begin by making small changes to your home. Brighten up things with an inexpensive potted plant or two. Now you are enjoying the home more, you will remember to water them. Bring some nature into the home (see my previous post) declutter your rooms so that you can enjoy the few, pretty things you do have on the little side table or welsh dresser. Find old mismatched china in the thrift shops and display them around. You will soon find your own style and without spending much money, you will begin to love the home you're in.
Happy Housework Ladies