I’m a blogger. And I blog on homemaking. My life is very public sometimes and people I’ve never met know details of my day. Why? Because I want to be an encouragement to women that what we do every single day matters!
But I think throughout the course of blogging about my life, taking pictures of recipes, filming videos for my online conference, squeezing in some time in the early mornings to write, and sharing photos of my boys on Instagram…I *think* it can sometimes look like I have it all together.
And that’s the biggest struggle of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs isn’t it? I’ve heard comments from many women that they had to shut down their Pinterest accounts because they felt like such failures that they couldn’t cut out special characters into their kids sandwiches for lunches, or home sew all their own curtains and pillows, plus make gourmet desserts for their weekly Bible study.
It can get exhausting trying to be the “perfect” homemaker and seeing all those other perfect homemakers all over blogs and Facebook can be exhausting and so discouraging.
The thing is, no one is showing the hard parts of the their day. No one is showing the utter mess their house is in while they photograph that amazing brownie recipe. Part of this is pride. What if everyone thinks I’m lazy? Or spending too much time on my blog and my house is a mess….And part of it is practical. If I’m filming a video (like my homemade chapstick video) then it’s going to be a lot less of an attractive video if the stove top looks like dinner exploded all over it and the sink is piled high with dishes.
Here’s a real life example of this. This is a long video so go all the way to the end and watch the last few seconds ;)
So nobody shares. Nobody posts the disgusting pictures of their house. The messy pictures. The hard days. Or what I like to call: Everyday Life.
I Want to Be Real With You
So lately, I’ve decided that I’m going to be more real with you. Not that I was being “fake” before. I just hadn’t thought to post about the dishes piling high in my sink. Why would anyone care about that (and would I be judged for my messy house?). But you know what? We ALL have those days. We ALL have weaknesses in our homemaking.
We also all have strengths. Is my house a mess all the time? Nope. Some days I do have it together. Some days the boys play happily and the kitchen is spotless until Daddy gets home. Some days I can make a wonderful dessert for Bible Study and work on a DIY project. And because I’m a blogger, I want to share those things with you too.
But I also want to share the messy parts of life with you. The hard days. What my normal routine looks like because I want to be an encouragement for you – especially if you have little kids!
I shared this photo before. On a whim, when I was in the midst of *trying* to Spring clean and my house just seemed to be getting messier and messier, I decided to share this photo of a semi-normal day. And you know what? The response I got on Instagram and Facebook was overwhelming!
I got comments like “Thank you for sharing real life!” and “So glad I’m not alone” and “That pic makes me feel so much better!!! Thanks!” and so many more encouraging comments. And you know what? I didn’t get a single negative comment. No one told me I was being lazy. Or that I just needed to work harder to get my house under control or if I could just implement such and such cleaning routine then I wouldn’t deal with this…
I whole heartily think that as homemakers, we need to invest in our homemaking stills. Laziness is a real problem I deal with as a homemaker. And sometimes those housekeeping tips, advice, and programs are exactly what I need to get motivated to keep an orderly house! I’m not perfect and often my messy house is because I’m not working hard enough.
But sometimes…my house is a mess because sick kiddos need cuddle time with Mama while watching a movie. Sometimes…the dishes are left un-done all day because I needed to fit in my Bible reading time. Sometimes…grocery shopping is more important than vacuuming. Sometimes…having coffee with someone new at church is more important that dirty laundry. Sometimes…life is messy and so is our house!
My mom died almost a year ago, in November 2013. I feel like I am just barely getting back to a new normal in my life and the last year, my house has reflected that. My life has been more scattered, messy, and disorganized since we moved into a brand new house 2 months after she died than I ever have had before. I’ve been mourning and other things have been more important in this season than keeping the sink free of dishes.
And I’m okay with that! It’s the season of life I am in right now. This minute. As I type this, my sink is, you guessed it, full of dishes. But right now, this minute, encouraging you is so much more important.
None of this is an excuse to let your house go. To live in filth and be fine with it. I think there are some very important things to be said for creating a peaceful and loving atmosphere in your home, but in some seasons, you just can’t simply do it all. So I want to give you (and myself) permission to be okay with the mess. Do what’s really important this minute (which might just be the dishes!) and walk in Grace knowing that you are doing the very best thing for your family.
Let’s Create a New Normal
Instead of Pinterest-perfect houses, groumet desserts, and perfectly fashionable children as the “norm”….let’s define a new norm.
A norm where it’s okay to say the dishes didn’t get done today because Bible study was more important.
A norm where we can encourage each other when our houses are messy instead of judging each other.
A new norm where we can celebrate homemaking wins with each other!
A norm where we can cheer each other on when we share a new room that we actually got organized and de-cluttered…without assuming that person is bragging or showing off.
A norm where we can invite a new friend over to our house even if it is a bit messy.
Because really – we don’t all live with perfect houses everyday. Instead of stressing out, yelling at the kids, and frantically running around the house for 3 hours before having guests over - let them see a little bit of the mess. Because I can guarantee that if you popped over to their house unexpectedly you would see a bit of mess too - Paperwork on the counter, dishes in the sink, laundry clean, folded, and never moving closer to the dresser.
I want to create a new norm where it’s okay to live a little messy if you are instead focusing on things that are more important (i.e relationships)!! And a norm where we can celebrate those days when we dug in, cleaned like mad, and are proud of the atmosphere we’ve created! A new norm of honesty – and acceptance – so we can all live a little more “real”.
Introducing: Real Life Homemaking Thursdays
This has been on my mind a lot lately. Just the other day I posted this picture of my sink. I didn’t do the dishes the night before because after dinner my hubby and I were both exhausted, so we relaxed together and bonded. Being with my husband at that point was way more important than the pile of dirty dishes in the sink…even if that did mean I had no clean forks or plates in the morning!
I think the fact that I had over 230 comments on this picture within a matter of hours shows that I’m not alone in this. So I’m starting Real Life Homemaking Thursdays!
I’m going to post the photo below each Thursday on Facebook and Instagram and I want YOU to participate. Here’s how you can join in and encourage each other so you know you are NOT alone in your real life homemaking!
- On Facebook you can share a photo of your own real life homemaking by sharing it in the comments on that thread and/or posting it on your own wall with the hashtag #RealLifeHomemaking and tagging Young Wife’s Guide Facebook page if you want.
- On Instagram share a real life homemaking photo with the hashtag #RealLifeHomemaking and tag me @jamibalmet if you want so I can follow along with your real life homemaking journey as well!
Things to share:
- Your real life. In that moment. Stop on Thursday morning, take a quick photo (DON’T move anything) and snap a photo.
- What does YOUR REAL life look like today?
- Share your set up for breakfast
- Did you practice hospitality the night before? Share the realities of what your house looks like the next day
- Did you take on a big organization project and knock it out of the park (or maybe fail miserably like I did in the photo above)? Share your results!
- Did you make a big dinner and dessert and your actually really proud of getting that accomplished? Share with us so we can celebrate with you!
- Don’t hide, don’t pretend. Share what your real life homemaking reality is!
- And if this inspires you to start working on some organization/decluttering/cooking projects in the meantime…well then I call that real life motivation! :)
Need Help in Your Homemaking?
Of course, sometimes we just genuinely need help in our homemaking! Sometimes we DO need advice on organization, decluttering, or natural cleaning. I firmly believe that as a homemaker, we should take our role seriously and treat it like a career - a career that takes life long investment of time, energy, and resources so that we can always be growing and learning in our job as a keeper of our home.
That’s why I’ve put together the first annual Homemaking From Scratch online conference 2014!! I’ve brought together 12 amazing homemaking authors and bloggers to give you this unique learning environment. Learn from real life, Titus 2 women, as they share advice, experience, wisdom, and failures they’ve had in their lives as homemakers. CLICK HERE to find out ALL the details about the conference.
Here are just a few of the conference sessions (out of 13 total):
- What is a Homemaker? Discover the Biblical definition
- Biblical Motherhood – A Heart to Heart
- Keeping Marriages Strong & Growing
- Decluttering – Tips and Tricks that work in ANY home
- Prioritizing Time with God: Encouragement and Solutions for the Woman Who Wants to Go Deeper
- Practicing Hospitality: The Biblical Art of Serving Others
- Making Healthy Choices in Your Home
- The Benefits of Homemaking Routines
- And more! CLICK HERE for the entire list of sessions & Speaker information
My favorite thing about this conference though, is how we designed it! We knew we were making a conference for busy homemakers, so we made it easy for you to listen! Once the conference sessions are posted during the conference (October 7 – 9th) you will have the ability to listen to them anytime, anywhere, and on any device. The sessions are yours to keep – Forever! You can pause a session, stop it, and return back to it later at a time that is convenient for YOU.
AND – if you pre-register for the conference (between September 29th and October 6th), you can get $5 off your ticket price and over $200 in homemaking bonus resources!! Pre-register here and download your bonus items instantly! I hope to get to connect with you during the conference in our private Facebook group for attendees :)