I find that all too often today, people are focused on the “what’s in it for me?” angle and take little to no time to look at the impact that an amazingly ordinary life can have on so many people.
When I started TreadlingHome, it wasn’t my intention to become a professional blogger; let alone to chronicle the lives of the people closest to me. Both the friends and family members who have inspired me to be the person I am today have found their way into my writing over and over again. The more articles I write and the more I get to know the amazing people in the Treadling Nation (sign up to get updates in the sidebar), the more I find myself drawing on those stories and people who have taught me so many important life lessons.
I am the product of generations of amazingly ordinary women who worked hard to provide for their families, and in some cases to better their country when it called: their journeys never cease to amaze and empower me. When I’m having a hard time getting started on the chores that needs done, I think back to my grandmothers and great-grandmothers who were stay-at-home wives and mothers, and draw from the knowledge that their blood runs through me. I am the daughter of farmers and warriors alike, going back to the beginning of time, and I can do anything that I put my mind to.
When things go wrong, as they often do in life, I think “what would Dum or Grammy do?” (referring to my great-grandmother and my Grammy D. on my Mom’s side as well as my Grammy P. on my Dad’s side). When someone is in need, I ask myself, “What would Mum-Mum or Aunt Donna do?” (my great-grandmother on my Dad’s side and a friend who became family). These women were strong and caring. They were known for holding down the fort when the men had to leave, and showing kindness to strangers as if they were old friends. These are large shoes to fill, but I try my best every day to make each and every one of them proud.
This has been my bar for how well I’m doing at this stay-at-home-wife thing. Is Josh fed? Are the animals taken care of? Have the dishes been done? Is there laundry to do? Is it trash night? Do clothes need mended? Have I visited or at least called my elderly relatives and/or neighbors to ensure they are doing ok? And so on, and so on… Thus is the life of a homemaker; constantly taking care of everyone and everything around them to make the quality of life better for those around her.
This extends far past the familial threshold. It extends past your yard to the neighborhood in which you live and community at large. I think this is something that often gets forgotten or intentionally overlooked when talking about being a homemaker, whether you are a man or a woman. It is the humble homemaker that finds time to bring the elderly in their neighborhood a slice of pie or a meal to share over a conversation to help ensure the mental and emotional health of their community.
In today’s world the humble homemaker tends to be looked down upon in the wake of 3rd wave feminism as “less than” because she is seen as a “slave to the patriarchy” instead of what she really is…the pillar on which everything else in western society has been built.
The homemaker is a quiet and strong figure for everyone around them. They are a shoulder to cry on when a young one falls down and a rock to stand on when everything else in life has fallen prey to chaos. I know this first hand from the example that these women have set for me. The homemaker, in my experience, is one of the hardest, and at the same time, most rewarding jobs someone can do.
True feminism is about an inner strength that isn’t given to us by an outside source of approval, but an internal drive that has been divinely bestowed within us that tells us the right thing to do and how best to make the world a better place, one conversation at a time.