Sunday, May 10, 2009

Keeper of the Home

My mother taught me (by word and example) that anything worth doing is worth doing right. You can be whatever you choose to be in life, she would tell us, but "whatever you are, be good at it." When creating something, "make it handmade, not homemade" (meaning make it better than the standard, not inferior). It was not until college that I started realizing just how rare my upbringing had been:
I could cook--and not just simple things, but foods that people actually wanted to eat.
I could make bread, or crepes, or beef stew or brownies--all from scratch.
I could sew--not just pillows or baby blankets--but clothing that even led people to say "oh, you made that?!"
I knew how to mend.
I knew how to do laundry without shrinking anything or dying anything pink.
I knew how to get stains out of clothing and off of tile.
I knew how to prioritize my day, work before play, and get everything done.
I knew how to change a baby's diaper--even a cloth one with pins.
I knew how to stay calm when the baby was not calm, and how to rock him and walk with him for as long as it took.

I was reminded of all these things this week when Hubby came up behind me as I was doing dishes, and commented that he is very lucky, because I am not just content to cook meals for the family, but I take the time to learn to cook them really well, and to learn new recipes. My initial thought was, Really? Is that so rare? Of course I'm always trying to learn more and be better at what I do. This is my life, how could I be content with mediocrity?
Then I realized that this is due in great part to my mother, for teaching me that whatever I am going to be, I should be a good one. I have chosen to be a wife, a mother, and the keeper of a I strive to do these things well. Of course I'm not perfect, I have days--even weeks--when I feel that I'm not very good at what I do. BUT, in the bigger picture, I do not accept mediocrity from myself. Ever. I am always reading books on parenting or marriage, trying out new recipes, or coming up with new schedules and goals for myself.

It's not about being a perfectionist, not really. It's about magnifying the life calling that I have, and always trying a little harder to be a little better.

So thank you Mom (and her Mom),
for teaching your daughters to be keepers at home,
for being an awesome example of how to be one,
and for teaching me how to never stop improving at it.


nicole said...

Great post. You are an inspiration!

Mallory said...

I love all these mother's day posts. They get me all teary eyes and lovey!

Jess said...

We should all be so lucky.... your mom sounds awesome... as you are.. =) Hope you hae a wonderful day!

Katrina said...

Amen, to my own mother. And you say it so well.

Janeen said...

You ARE very lucky, many of these things have become a lost art this generation and as times get more and more difficult, women ARE going to lament not having those skills.

My mother did NOT teach me these things, she neglected to teach me much of ANYTHING really and it really has not done me well. Oh, I can do somethings like brew a pot of coffee and do my own laundry but those are the only things I can do REALLY well. Even cleaning was a lost art in our home except for dishes, I CAN do dishes because my mom REFUSED to do them. So yeah, I struggle a lot because I don't really know how to cook (the only one who was taught to cook was my BROTHER), I definitely do not know how to sew or any of those domestic things. My mother expected me to go to college, get my degree, get my master's and doctorate and work.

So yes, you are a VERY rare thing indeed in this day and age.

Sallyseashell said...

my husband has taught me everything that my mother should have. thank goodness for his Mom or i wouldn't know how to cook spaghetti. my mom did teach us how to have fun, though. a lot of fun!
this is a nice post. happy moms day!

Terresa said...

What a great tribute to your mom. Making a good meal, knowing how to mend, sewing well...simple things but so important in life and when raising up a family. Your family is lucky to call you mom.

Future Mama said...

What a great post and what a great mom!! I love your blog!! :) I think you will always be one of my favorites!! Sorry I'm late in wishing you a happy mother's day! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Thomasin said...

What a lovely post. It rings true. It's a blessing to have a mother who was able to teach you well, and to have a husband who cherishes your talents.

I'm new to the blog but enjoying it. Thank you for sharing!

The Karnes said...

I just stumbled on your blog. I really enjoyed this post. Going to check out the rest of your blog now. :)

Trisha said...

Awesome! I thought I was the only one who did this. I'm always reading or trying to do things (that I do) better. Not a competition, but I'm just trying to continue to improve our lives. One of my friends told me that I don't appreciate what I DO do. I don't think that is true. I think that I can ALWAYS better myself, as I am not perfect, and appreciate what God has taught me!

Debbie said...

Your mom sounds like a real blessing. I pray my daughter will be able to write something like this when she's grown and leaves home.

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