It wasn’t until recently that I learned about modern homemaking and realized that I had been a modern homemaker for basically all of my adult life. I cook, clean, budget, and so much more that encompasses a lot of homemaking values.
While it was surprising to realize, it was because I didn’t actually know what a homemaker was or did. I used to believe that homemakers didn’t work, only focused on the home and the people within it, but there is a lot more to it than that.
The most surprising thing I learned about homemaking is that most modern homemakers earn some kind of income, even though their primary focus is caring for their home.
Modern homemaking is a beautiful, balanced combination of traditional homemaking with modern amenities. While it looks different for everyone, there is a lot that modern homemakers have in common, and this post is going to bring light to all of it.
Modern homemakers do a lot to care for their home and the people within it, but there are also particular things they don’t do, which I’ll expose at the end of this post, so be sure to read all the way through it.
What is homemaking?
Here are a few definitions of a homemaker to help give you a more traditional perspective:
Homemaker: one who manages a household especially as a spouse and parentMerriam-Webster Dictionary
A homemaker is someone who spends a lot of time looking after their home and family. You usually use homemaker to refer to someone who does not have a job outside the home.Collins Dictionary
Homemaker: a person who manages the household of his or her own family, especially as a principal occupation.Dictionary.com
Each of these definitions are similar in the fact that they point out that a homemaker primarily focuses on managing the household. They don’t state that a homemaker doesn’t work, but that the work is done within the home.
Why is homemaking important?
I believe that you can ask one hundred people this question and receive one hundred different answers. However, I will do my best to explain why I believe homemaking is important.
The practice of homemaking is what makes a house a home. It brings order, life lessons, comfort, and much more into a home.
A homemaker creates a welcoming environment, not just for herself, but for those who live in the home with her or come for a visit.
She not only creates a home, but she also manages cleaning, cooking, laundry, taking children where they need to go when they need to be somewhere, and many other things that we will discuss later in this post.
She also has many valuable skills, such as mending torn clothes, being creative with living more sustainably or making things like towels or sweaters, and so much more!
Everything a homemaker does adds value to her home and those she blesses as a result of her efforts.
Homemaking is a calling for some and a necessity for others, but it is a joyous thing that I believe anyone can do, even if you do work outside of the home. This is where the term modern homemaking becomes more important than ever.
What is modern homemaking?
As I mentioned in the introduction, modern homemaking combines the beauty of traditional homemaking with modern-day living.
Modern homemakers utilize different tools and resources to help them achieve results faster, which is why modern homemakers are inclusive of women who work full-time.
The tools and resources are things like a washing machine and dryer to purchasing clothing from a store versus making your own. Each of these things help reduce the time traditional homemaking tasks take considerably.
With the creation of new inventions to help make life “easier”, a lot of modern homemakers also provide an income of some kind. Thanks to the beautiful creation of the internet, having an online business is easier than ever, which is great for homemakers who want to help provide financially for their home.
Characteristics of a homemaker
Even though homemaking looks different for each household, there are many common characteristics that homemakers share.
A homemaker is full of joy and is happy to care for her home. It brings her fulfillment to be able to make her home clean, welcoming, and a place of relaxation for her family.
A homemaker isn’t just worried about herself. She cares a great deal about her family and friends, which is why she can find such fulfillment as a homemaker.
A confident homemaker is a happy homemaker. She knows that she brings value into her home and that providing financially is not the only way to add value. She doesn’t allow the opinions of others to make her feel any different about her abilities.
There is much to be thankful for as a homemaker because each day you’re reminded of people who love and care about you. She sees all that she has and thanks God for all of it.
A wise homemaker knows when and when not to respond in different situations. By observing first, then taking the time to process, a homemaker’s reaction is can be of sound judgment.
Homemakers are intelligent in many ways, whether through formal education or through taking care of their home. There are an infinite amount of skills that homemakers possess that lead them to be quite intelligent.
In their daily routines, they are excellent problem solvers, crafters, grow in wisdom, and more. Again, there is no limit to a homemaker’s intelligence.
Being neat or organized is of the most imperative for a homemaker, but it isn’t always a natural skill. The good thing is that the characteristic can be learned and improved upon each day.
[I was not a neat child, and now I cannot imagine life any other way. I love for everything to have a home and to be easily put away with finished with it.]
Whether hosting guests or caring for her family, a homemaker is one that is easily approached. She loves welcoming those who need her and brings a sense of warmth with her.
Discipline is one of the most helpful things to keep a homemaker productive and efficient with managing her home. She doesn’t allow her emotions to lead her actions.
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are the ones that I believe are of great value for homemakers.
Many homemakers are also Christians, but I don’t believe that you have to be a Christian to be a homemaker. Although, I find much more comfort in being a Christian Homemaker.
Biblical encouragement for the modern homemaker
Speaking of being a Christian Homemaker, I find so much comfort in reading the Bible and allowing it to educate and encourage me on the homemaker I am meant to be. It has allowed me to grow so much as a person, and I want to share it with you!
Proverbs 31 Woman
The Proverbs 31 Woman is the original homemaker and who God calls us to be like with our own homemaking efforts. There are many lessons to be learned from this passage of scripture, so if you’ve yet to learn about the Proverbs 31 Woman, I’m so pleased to share this with you!
[By the way, I use the NIV Life Application Study Bible, and highly recommend it if you’re in need of a good Study Bible!]
A wife of noble character who can find?Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
I just love reading about the Proverbs 31 Woman, because she is who I strive to be.
One thing I do want to point out about the Proverbs 31 Woman that many people overlook, is that she doesn’t do it all on her own. She has help – her servants.
As modern homemakers, we also have servants – washing machine, dishwasher, and many other modern appliances and tools they didn’t have in those days. So we may not have help in the same way, but it is encouraging to know that at any place in time, help is a viable resource found in many ways.
Related Post: Biblical Minimalism: 10 Bible Verses About Contentment
Titus 2 Woman
The Titus 2 Woman is someone I’ve recently come to know and learn more about as I went through a period of not knowing which direction to move towards. I felt called in two directions, but once I learned more about the Titus 2 Woman, the direction I needed to go was crystal clear.
[Again, this passage is from my NIV Life Application Study Bible, and highly recommend it if you’re in need of a good Study Bible!]
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.Titus 2: 3-5
There is so much to be learned in such a small passage, but I wonder if you noticed that God wants women to be busy at home. I realize that not every woman can work from home, but when you are home, God wants you to be busy doing things that care for the home and those within it.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I do believe that modern homemakers can have full-time jobs outside of the home.
Regardless if you work or not, caring for your household is a priority.
Modern Homemaking Skills
Modern homemaking looks different than traditional homemaking, but there are many skills that overlap. These skills are not only useful to learn, but very beneficial for many reasons.
What are homemaking skills?
Homemaking skills are things you do to keep your home running smoothly and efficiently. Some skills are imperative to learning, while others are based on preference.
Either way, the skills I discuss below are skills I believe are most beneficial for all modern homemakers.
One of the first skills I believe any homemaker should learn is how to be an efficient homemaker. You don’t want to waste time on things that aren’t helpful or allow you to waste time.
To be an efficient homemaker, there are three things that really help!
1 // Systems
When you have systems in place for how you do your daily tasks, you automatically increase your efficiency.
As an example, having a laundry routine where you do a minimum of one load a day helps you to stay on top of the laundry pile, easily conquer this task, and enable you to not fret when things don’t go as planned.
Another example is having a system for how you spend money. We will discuss this in further detail. However, I want to briefly share that going over your income and expenses each month, creating a plan for groceries and bill paying, and being on the same page with your spouse makes life much easier.
When you don’t have to question your systems, your work is far more efficient and your decision making power lasts far longer than without systems.
2 // Routines
Similar to systems, having routines make homemaking tasks much easier to complete.
I recommend you establish a daily, weekly, and monthly routine, along with cleaning and errand running routines.
Knowing what you’ll do each day takes the guesswork out of what needs to be done. A daily routine includes many things, such as cleaning, tidying, laundry, cooking/baking, running errands, creating something new or mending something, etc.
A weekly routine includes things to help your daily routine run smoother. Things included in a weekly routine are menu planning, event planning, a few larger cleaning tasks, and bringing awareness to your daily routine.
A monthly routine includes larger tasks that don’t need more attention than once a month, such as doing a declutter sweep through your home, deep cleaning, budgeting, etc.
While modern homemaker routines can feel mundane at times, it does allow you to be more creative with your life. I’ve personally found that having these routines frees up my time to do things I truly enjoy as a hobby, such as photography and reading.
Related Post: 5 Simple Routines to Help You Stress Less
3 // Automation
Thanks to modern technology, there are many ways to use automation as a homemaker. As I mentioned in the section about the Proverbs 31 Woman, we have a lot more help [automation] than traditional homemakers from 50+ years ago.
Using things such as the washing machine or dishwasher allow you to start the appliances and forget about them until it is time to take them out of the appliances.
In addition to what we consider “normal appliances,” there is the robot vacuum cleaner that cleans your floors while you do other things, which reduces the time you need to focus on cleaning floors significantly!
A skill every homemaker needs to know is how to budget. I could list all the reasons why, but the most important reason is so that you know where the money coming in goes.
There are a lot of misconceptions about budgeting because a lot of people think you can’t spend money on fun things or do exciting things with money. However, the opposite is true!
When I first found a budgeting system that really worked for me, I found out that I had a lot more money than I thought! In fact, I was able to save even more money for fun things, like an anniversary trip.
If you want the same results, I highly recommend you check out Your Sunny Money Method! Sami [the founder of Your Sunny Money Method] paid off nearly $500,000 in debt in a matter of a few short years. She knows what she is talking about when it comes to budgeting!
I’m sure this skill is obvious, but it isn’t always second nature for homemakers. I know it wasn’t for me!
Cleaning isn’t just a skill. It is what allows your home to feel welcoming. Having a clean home and ready to invite guests into your home at a moment’s notice is imperative as a homemaker!
Over the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about cleaning and have really honed in on a few key things that make it far easier to maintain a clean and tidy home.
You can read more about it in my blog post: How to Keep a Clean House: 5 Secrets to Keeping a Home Clean and Tidy
One thing that is different for modern homemakers compared to traditional homemakers is that we don’t have to make all of our clothes. However, homemakers do have different clothing skills that are still very relevant in modern times.
1 // Laundry Routine
Having a laundry routine keeps order in many ways, because without clean clothes, well… let’s just say that we need ourselves and those within our household decent. 😉
When you hone in on a skilled laundry routine, it allows your home to run far more efficiently and that spills over into other areas of your home, such as cleaning and tidying your home.
2 // Mending
Many repairs to clothing are simple and quick to fix. Knowing how to mend allows homemakers to reduce tailoring expenses and the need to purchase new clothing. So it saves money and consumption of new things into your home.
3 // New clothing
Making new clothes is a traditional homemaking skill and not necessarily required for modern homemaking. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t new clothing skills that modern homemakers need to know.
For example, new clothing needs to be of good quality so that it will last. Fast fashion just doesn’t cut it.
Likewise, shopping secondhand for clothing is a great option, because you can save a lot of money on gently used or sometimes brand new pieces that others no longer want.
There isn’t a more helpful modern homemaking skill than organizing! Not only can you find great value in physical organizing, but there is also great value in organizing schedules, too. Both make managing a home far easier!
You don’t have to be a professional organizer or have your things look “Pinterest-worthy” to develop a great physical organizing skillset.
In fact, I believe that when you declutter everything you don’t need, organizing your things is far easier to do.
Being organized is helpful when you need to find things quickly, are tidying your home in a hurry, and just want peace of mind that there isn’t a mess hiding behind a cabinet door.
Taking a few minutes at the beginning of the week to plan your schedule definitely makes things run smoother in your household.
I love thinking that a schedule gives you direction and the confidence to navigate through it.
This doesn’t mean that you should plan out every minute of every day. There definitely needs to be some flexibility for the unexpected, but you don’t need to fly through each day by the seat of your pants.
I’ll admit that I’m not the best modern homemaker when it comes to meal planning, but my week improves greatly when I am successful. Plus, my husband appreciates it! 😉
Meal planning helps you stop wondering what to eat or cook at the next meal and it helps you remember to set out foods that need to unthaw so you aren’t stuck in a pickle trying to figure out what to cook.
Another reason meal planning is an important modern homemaking skill is because it also helps you waste less food and money. It is smart to always shop your pantry then shop the grocery store so that waste is minimal.
Here are three important things to consider when meal planning:
1 // Simple Meals
Simple meals are easier to prepare and often cost less. They do offer versatility when done properly, too.
For example, I often choose two vegetables for a week’s worth of meals, but it isn’t redundant. If I choose broccoli as one of my vegetables, I will saute it, steam it, and roast it for each of the different meals so that it never feels repetitive.
You can do this with anything you choose, like meats, vegetables, starches, etc. Getting creative isn’t complicated, so just give some things a try.
2 // Leftovers
There are two things I want you to note here:
1 // Plan to have leftovers as dinner at least one night a week because you’ll end up with some and don’t want them to go to waste. You can also enjoy leftovers for lunch.
2 // Leftovers can save you time and money. If you don’t normally cook enough to have leftovers, give it a try, because it will reduce your grocery bill and provide you with an evening off from cooking.
Be flexible with your meal planning when it comes to leftovers, too. Sometimes it is easy to cook far too much and you’ll only want to cook a couple of meals for the week versus several.
3 // Use grocery apps
Order groceries through an app or online save you a lot of hassle when it comes to grocery shopping. Instead of spending hours a week getting groceries, you can quickly order online, have the employees shop for you, then drive up and get your groceries.
I love that grocery apps for Pick Up and Delivery provide more jobs and save busy homemakers a lot of time!
If you haven’t tried ordering your groceries online or through an app, check out Walmart’s Grocery App!
Creating a Welcoming Environment
Whether it is just you and your spouse or your love for hosting parties frequently, a welcoming environment is a must!
No one, even you, enjoy a home that doesn’t feel welcoming. Imagine sitting around your home only seeing things that need to be done. The chance that you’ll be able to relax is minimal.
Instead, focus on making your home a welcoming experience, and somewhere you and your loved ones are easily able to relax. Remove the things that hinder these results to make it even simpler to accomplish.
With all that sustainable living encompasses, anything within this category skillset is extremely helpful for modern homemaking.
One thing that homemakers hold as a priority is using the resources already on hand. While many call this frugal living, I don’t think this skillset needs to be classified as frugal.
Living sustainable has a couple of different focuses that can be summed up into homesteading and conscious consumerism. Let’s break down both of these so you have a better understanding as to how these are a modern homemaking skillset and not just a traditional homemaking skillset.
Homesteading is about living a self-sufficient lifestyle, where you grow your own food and often cook from scratch.
Whether you raise animals or have a garden, either include skillsets that help you live more sustainably.
While I don’t believe you have to be a full-scale homesteader, doing at least a small herb garden can make a difference in your modern homemaking experience.
Conscious consumerism in terms of modern homemaking means that you find ways to reduce your consumption. This not only helps you live more sustainably; it also reduces your household expenses considerably.
Simply switching out single-use items like paper towels, plastic water bottles, and cotton balls for reusable options make a big difference in your life. Take a quick look around your home and see all the things that could be swapped out for reusable options.
When you focus on being a conscious consumer as a modern homemaker, you’ll find many ways to simplify your life.
Leading off the last skill, being creative is not just a gift, but a blessing! There are many ways you can be creative as a modern homemaker, including arts/crafts, mending clothes, and finding ways to use things you already have in creative ways.
My friend, Cassie at TrueAgape.com, is always coming up with creative art and education projects for her girls! I’m always amazed by her creative skills! I mean, check out her post about the different activities you can do with toilet paper rolls!
Let your imagination guide you in your modern homemaking journey and you’ll always find fun things to do!
Think outside of the box
If there is one thing I’ve learned about homemaking, it is that homemakers do not belong in a box! We constantly have to think and do things differently depending on circumstances.
For instance, homemakers already know they cannot do everything on their own, so they outsource things they need to get done but maybe don’t have the time or ability to accomplish something.
They don’t let their current skillset limit what can or cannot be done. Instead, they problem-solve and make a way for something to happen.
What modern homemakers don’t do
Now that I’ve shared with you all about what modern homemakers are, do, and build into their skillset, there are a few things modern homemakers don’t do that I believe is just as important.
Modern homemakers don’t lay around all day and do nothing
For people who don’t understand all that goes into homemaking, especially for housewives [those without children], they assume that homemakers sit around and watch TV all day. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
There is much to be done each day and lazy is not a characteristic of a modern homemaker.
This isn’t to say that some homemakers don’t struggle with wanting to be lazy or having more relaxing days than others, but their primary focus is to accomplish their To Do Lists each day.
Modern homemakers don’t allow things to pile up
Nothing is to be gained from ignoring something. A general rule of thumb for many homemakers is to clean as they go and don’t put off things that take two minutes or less.
This is why having routines and systems are vitally important! It keeps things from getting out of control.
Understanding that life sometimes gets in the way, it is ingrained in homemakers to keep piles from getting out of control. This is how welcoming environments are easily achieved when inviting in unexpected guests.
How to become a homemaker
I believe that you can become a homemaker regardless of how many hours you work outside of the home.
By simply going through the things laid out in this post, embracing the characteristics and skills of a homemaker, you’ll be off to a great start!
The advice I have if you want to fully embrace being a homemaker as your primary role is talk to your spouse, create a plan [whether you choose to work from home or not at all], and work that plan with all your might. Remember to respect how your spouse feels about the situation, as it is both of you in the marriage working together to create the life you want.
If you aren’t married and are looking to become a homemaker, you can start by learning the skills necessary for homemaking and set yourself up to work from home if that is what you really want. You don’t have to be married to be a homemaker, but it is such a joy!
How to enjoy homemaking
Modern homemaking is a calling for most, but for some, it is a necessity. Either way, we go through times that things just become mundane or we feel ungrateful for the role we have in our household.
To get to a place of excitement, you may find yourself doing a few different things, such as changing up your routine, doing a 30-day gratitude challenge, or focusing on why homemaking is meaningful for you.
I know these seem basic, but they make a HUGE difference in your attitude towards homemaking.
For me, it is enjoyable when I think about how my husband will love coming home to a clean home and cooked meal. Serving him is truly fulfilling for me.
Another thing that makes a big difference is making time for self-care. Whether you enjoy an at home spa night or take 20 minutes to read a good book, taking time to allow your body and mind to relax is very helpful and should be a priority for you.
If you’re ready to take action towards modern homemaking, I highly encourage you to check out my workbook, A Simple Cleaning Routine! It will help you establish a cleaning routine that fits your schedule perfectly!
Honestly, it should only take you 30 minutes or less each day to clean and tidy your home. My workbook shows you exactly how to do that so that you aren’t wasting time better spent doing something creative and fun!
Homemaking is a wonderful art. One that I love to cultivate each day, and by now, you know you most likely identify as a modern homemaker in some capacity.
What I love is that homemaking doesn’t have to look for everyone, like it did for our ancestors. We each get to decide which skills to learn, how sustainable and simple we live, and whether or not we invest in tools that will help us like a robot vacuum cleaner.
We all wear many hats, identify with many characteristics, but one that I’m glad we can wear together is that of modern homemaking.