How to be a more joyful homemaker
Stop feeling your feelings
Do you ever feel bogged down by the tedium of housework and homemaking? Does the idea of coming up with yet another dinner idea (and making said dinner) for your children fill you with occasional dread? Does laundry sometimes piss you off? Does the scrubbing of cream cheese smears from couch cushions fail to spark joy? Does your constant labor as a caregiver in a country which doesn’t value your labor often fill you with red hot fury?
Mostly though, do you feel feelings?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, today is your lucky day!
With a little help from this handy infographic, I’m here to assure you that your household woes and existential despair can now be things of the past.
Let’s tackle each pesky feeling one at a time, shall we?
Do you ever “feel trapped” by gendered ideals of domestic labor and childcare? In order to stop “feeling trapped,” don’t question why you might feel trapped; simply stop feeling trapped.
Do you ever “brood” on the fact that your relationship isn’t an egalitarian partnership and wish your straight male partner would do his share of domestic labor and caretaking? Don’t communicate your needs and demand a fairer division of labor. Stop brooding!
Are you ever “self-absorbed” (read: do you ever think about your own wellbeing or life satisfaction?) Stop!
Do you make “careless mistakes” because you’re human? Stop making those careless mistakes (and stop being human).
Are you too “set on your own ways” by which I mean, “do you want a fulfilling life for yourself and do you prioritize your own needs?” Definitely stop!
Do you find yourself “being moody or grumpy?” Don’t be curious about those feelings and wonder about the causes of the feelings but do stop “being moody or grumpy.”
Do you “stick rigidly to plans” because otherwise your intricately cobbled-together care network of babysitters, carpool partnerships, and playdates would fall apart? Stop it.
Do you “easily accuse yourself or others” and/or do you hold others’ responsible for their actions or explain how their actions are impacting you? Stop.
Are you a killjoy? Do you “damp down spontaneity” and say “no” to your partner wanting to bring his entire flag football team over for beers at 10pm on a school night? See note about “sticking rigidly to plans” and stop.
Do you “DEAL BADLY WITH LIFE’S SURPRISES?” This could be a shocking death of a dear friend, a spouse caught spending your joint savings on a gambling addiction, or, like, a snake found in the basement. Regardless, if you want to find joy in homemaking, learn how to to deal “well” with life’s surprises.
Is lack of communication an issue in your family or your partnership? Fix it.
Does having to consider the necessary task of laundry basically until the day you die BORE you? Stop being bored and discover the wonder of folding. Discover the ecstasy of sorting. Turn that sweatshirt outside-in and fucking love every second of it.
If you’ve studied the above infographic and still fail to find adequate joy in your homemaking, the caption of this Instagram post might hold the answers. (Hint: It’s you. Hi. You’re the problem, it’s you.)
As The Focused Homemaker writes, “There's no formula for measuring or quantifying joy, but here are a few things that might help.”
Thing number one that will help you “enjoy what you’re doing” is “feeling happy and content.”
So like, if you don’t “enjoy” being forced to go back to work while you’re still bleeding from childbirth and then returning home at the end of the day to work your second shift of domestic work and childcare with zero time to care for your own body and soul, simply “feel happy and content” instead. You’d be amazed at how transformative this small shift in mindset can be. Remember, “If you're not happy with what you're doing, chances are you're not experiencing joy.”
Thing number two to help you “enjoy what you’re doing” is to “feel fulfilled in your work and life.”
Do you not particularly enjoy cleaning up the Cheerios your mercurial toddler decided to throw at you in a fit of toddler rage? Take a deep breath and make the choice to “feel fulfilled in your work and life” and that should do the trick.