Before I got pregnant with Baby Daniel, I worked hard to be an intentional homemaker. But then I got so sick at just 2 weeks pregnant (of course I didn't know then that I was pregnant but looking back it should have been obvious) so I slacked off for awhile, mostly because the nausea was so bad that I couldn't move. Now that I'm feeling better (knock on wood!) I'm working on being extra intentional in my duties as a homemaker.
What originally inspired me to be an intentional homemaker was the book Created To Be His HelpMeet by Debi Pearl. This book radically changed my view on being a wife and mom. It also aided in radically changing our marriage during a time of struggle. Debi Pearl gets back to the Biblical definition of being a wife (and mom). It's completely opposite from society's view but if the Bible says it, then that's what we need to follow. I won't go into all the details of what Debi Pearl discusses in the book because you should really read it for yourself, but she details what our jobs are as wives. Titus 2:3-5 (KJV) is sort of the guideline for what our jobs are as wives, mothers, and homemakers. It states, "The aged women, likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women, to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."
I know, it's a lot. I felt pressured the first time I read those verses. But here's the trick: @@if we work hard at being intentional homemakers, all of God's guidelines for us will fall into place.@@ And don't you worry, I've got @@12 tips to help you be an intentional homemaker.@@ These tips will help you to love and honor your husband, keep house, to keep God first in your home, and more.
12 Ways To Be An Intentional Homemaker
1. Pray over your home and family.
This is something that I am working at doing better. I talk to God all day but I don't set aside specific time to just pray, especially for my home and family. Being intentional about praying over your home puts God first in your heart and home.
2. Create a daily routine
Having a set routine and daily habits ensures that you do what you need to do and will help you feel successful as a homemaker. Our days look pretty much the same, we don't have a strict schedule or anything, but we found a flow that works for us and our lifestyle well.
We wake up between 6:30 and 7am (hubby leaves for work around 7:15) and have breakfast right away (Mr. William is not patient, he wants his peanut butter toast ASAP). William and I cuddle after breakfast and watch Disney Jr. for awhile before he goes to play in his room while I shower and get ready for the day. If we have any errands to run or things to do, we usually head out around 9 or so. If we don't have any errands to run then we have a pretty chill morning, William does best if he basically just has free time in the mornings because he doesn't tend to focus well until the afternoon. I'll work or do a little house work while he plays. We have lunch around 11 and William goes down for a nap around noon. He sleeps for about two hours normally and if I don't need a nap then I like to use that time for my more "intense" computer work, like writing a blog post, and doing the dishes. William has a snack when he wakes up and then we attempt to do some tot school activities or some more focused activities. I start dinner around 4:30 and William usually watches Thomas and Friends while I cook because that or VeggieTales are the only things he sits still for (and leaves me alone to cook). Seth gets home for work around 5:45 and we have dinner together. We have a rule of no TV after dinner, the nights that he does watch TV right before bed, he doesn't sleep well at night, so we spend time playing together as a family. William goes to bed at 7 and then Seth and I do some cleaning and then sit in bed and watch something on Netflix or Hulu or work a bit until we fall asleep.
If you don't already have a normal routine or daily habits, it may take some time to find what works for your family. I suggest writing down what your days look like and taking note of how you feel; are you stressed? anxious? calm? indifferent? productive? Adjust your schedule accordingly and try again!
3. Organize Your Home and Family
This is another item that will take some trial and error. I know that I keep reorganizing my kitchen cabinets as William grows and as I find what does and doesn't work for us. Being organized will help you stay efficient and productive. Organizing your family means keeping track of everyone's schedules (we keep an oversized calendar in the kitchen for this) and making sure that everyone is on the same page and knows what jobs they need to do.
4. Spend purposeful time with your family
Since we made the no TV after dinner rule for William, we have been spending more time together as a family and it has been awesome. Seth and I have more meaningful conversations and you can just tell that William is so happy to have both of us playing with him.
5. Spend time with God
I recently started doing the Grace Upon Grace devotional from Kristin Schmucker and I love the easy to read and follow, short sections that you can do each day. Spending time in the Word and learning about God's plan for me is seriously a game changer.
6. Get enough rest and practice self-care
Before I got pregnant with Baby Daniel, I was getting up at 6am so that I'd have time to get ready for the day and/or do some devotionals before William woke up. I had to adjust things a bit so that I could get enough rest while pregnant and I've had to occasionally include naps in my day. I know that when I don't get enough rest, I can't focus and definitely don't get anything done. It's also important to take some time for yourself. You have to recharge and get away, even if it's only for an hour. One of my favorite things to do is purchase a cheap face mask from Target or Lush and do a face mask after William goes to bed on the evenings that my husband works late. Spending that twenty or thirty minutes relaxing with a mask on always helps me to feel refreshed.
7. Meal plan and prep
If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I love menu planning and prepping. It's an essential part of my routine that keeps our week smooth. Resources | Tips for Menu Planning While Pregnant, 5 Tips for Food Prepping When You Have a Baby, How and Why to Start Meal Planning, 10 Tips for Sticking to Your Grocery Budget.
8. Show grace to yourself and your family
It's unrealistic to expect perfection from yourself or your family, for that matter. We're only human. If you don't get everything on your to do list done, that's okay! If God can show us grace every single day, when we sin every single day, then we should also show grace to ourselves and others.
"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." Ephesians 4:7
9. Honor your husband
Ephesians 5:22 says, "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord." We are called to honor both God and our husbands. Honoring your husband means not talking badly about him to anyone, respecting his decisions, supporting him no matter what, and showing him grace and forgiveness. More verses about honoring your husband | Proverbs 21:19, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:33, Genesis 2:18.
10. Get up and dressed everyday
Most days William and I don't leave the house and if we do it's just for a playdate or walk around the neighborhood but I still do my best to get up and dressed. This simple task makes me feel like I've already accomplished something and if I look nice when Seth gets home from work, it's a way to honor and respect him. Sometimes getting dressed simply means clean sweatpants, minimal make up, and putting some dry shampoo in my hair before throwing it into a messy bun.
11. Be slow to anger, Quick to listen, and slow to speak
James 1:19 tells us that, "...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..." Try doing this and I promise you will see a change not only in your attitude but in your family's as well.
12. Keep lists
Lists are my life. Mostly because I have a terrible memory and that's not just because I'm pregnant. If I don't write everything down, I will forget things, no matter how important they are. Lists also help me stay organized and productive. I like to make a big long to do list of everything that I need to do and then I break that up into daily tasks. I've created @@an awesome free printable weekly tasks lists just for you!@@ I've included tasks that should be done everyday in the 'daily tasks' section and then I have assigned housekeeping tasks that should be done on certain days. Try it out and let me know what you think by tagging me in a photo of your list on Instagram! Click the image below to get your free weekly and daily tasks list!
How do you work to be an intentional homemaker? Comment below and let me know what other tips and printables you'd like to see to help you be an intentional homemaker!