A Soft Place To Land


When I was a child growing up in my great-grandmother's home, my fondest wish was to have a room of my own. But our home was too small, so I had to share one with my grandmother.

I credit this experience with my love for decorating today. For as soon as I became an adult and had my own place, I was eager to try my hand at decorating and gardening. 
  
I made lots of mistakes. I sewed crooked seams. I cooked many dishes that had to be thrown in the trash. I learned by trial and error. 

I learned that a house is just a dwelling. But a home is a place designed to weather the storms of life. A soft place to land.


I was never bored staying at home when my children were young. I never felt cheated out of a career. 

I was not ashamed when others asked me what I did, and I said: "I am a homemaker." Though others might have pitied me this admission.

I happily sewed curtains and quilts and baked bread and made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

I got together with other young mothers and we learned from one another and traded recipes. 

I got married three times, thinking all the while that that was part and parcel of homemaking. But I was wrong.
 
It doesn't matter whether you're married or single. A mother or childless. Someone who failed at marriage or someone who never ventured into such a union. 

You are a homemaker even if you live in a one-bedroom apartment. Even if your garden is just pots on a patio. Even if the only other inhabitants bark instead of talk.

37 comments

  1. So well said Brenda! I have been a homemaker for most of our marriage and love being at home.
    Have a good day.
    Robin

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    1. This is not to make light for those women who must work and keep a home. Their jobs are even harder!

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  2. I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Aside from 6 years of my life as an adult I have worked full time plus. Those six years when I was able to stay home and care for my house and family (such as it was) were the happiest I've had. I loved gardening, yard work, cooking, sewing, quilting, knitting -- well, you get the idea. I am enjoying this new stage of my life, but I am looking forward to retirement when I can enjoy those things full time again.

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    1. We are all in different places. Home is a state of mind too.

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  3. What you have written is so true Brenda. A home is a place to feel safe and hopefully loved. I wish everyone had such a place.
    I love to decorate and do so until I am satisfied I have it just right. I also like to potter in the garden looking at each flower and tree, this gives me a lot of pleasure. I am so pleased that where I am now with just a patio I am still getting visits from wildlife. The chipmunks were here before we came I am told so maybe the previous owner gave them a nut or two just as I am doing. I was shocked the other day to see what I though was a giant chipmunk. My husband didn't believe me but I googled it and yes there are some that are up to 5 inches long!

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    1. I hope you get all the wildlife you so desire! They are highly entertaining.

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  4. People look at me differently when I tell them I'm a stay at home mom. They either assume we're wealthy (ha!) or I'm not very clever. Or perhaps I have two heads?

    I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Any time I have talked about going back to work my son has said no, not unless we needed the extra income. He has loved having mom to volunteer at school and on field trips. I was the carpool mom dropping kids off in the afternoon. Now most of them are starting to drive. We played Thomas the tank engine together and napped together when he was little. It was awesome!

    The best thing about staying home is that I've been able to provide him with the security of knowing that he always has his family and his home here waiting for him.

    My house might not always be clean and my tastes in decor have changed a few times. I've killed so many plants you could call me a serial killer. My sewing skills are pathetic. But when all is said and done, this is our home. Our sanctuary.

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    1. We all have a different skill set. As you wrote, our homes are our sanctuary.

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  5. I worked as my children grew up, of necessity, and wish I had been able to spend more time with them. One thing that always bothered me was the attitude that a "homemaker" really wasn't as important as working. Being a homemaker is one of the most important jobs one can have. I guess I'm a "serial killer" too when it comes to plants. I belong to a garden club, but probably should be thrown out, lol.

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    1. Many, many women have dual roles: mothers, homemakers and full-time jobs outside the home. All important jobs!

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  6. So true, Brenda! I love this "a home is a place designed to weather the storms of life." That is what my home has been for my husband and I. It became that place for my foster children who at a very young age had weathered many storms, storms they were not equipped to weather alone. But when I would sit in my rocker and take them into my lap and tell them that right now, they were okay, that is what "home" was to them. And that is what each boy, girl, man and woman needs, whether they realize it or not.

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    1. You are such a wonderful example! I so admire that you took in those children and made them feel wanted.

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  7. THE best compliment I ever got about my home was way back when, a friend visited and told me "Your home is always so comfortable and relaxing".
    That simple sentence still makes me glow whenever I think of it ~ that is what a some Should feel like!

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    1. I don't think it gets any better than that.

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  8. Like you, I love nothing more than puttering around my little house and creating a warm and cozy space. A soft place to land....that's perfect!

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    1. I sure don't know how you do it all, Debbie!

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  9. So true Brenda! I so loved being a stay at home Mom. I did have a job for many years after they grew up but I always loved being at home best and I still do. Hugs!

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  10. So true. Homers what we put into it.

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  11. THE PHOTO OF YOUR YELLOW ROSES IS SO LOVELY.
    A HOUSE IS A BUILDING, A HOME IS SO MUCH MORE. WHEN I WAS WORKING,SO MANY OF MY COWORKERS DREADED HAVING TWO DAYS IN A ROW OFF. THEY WERE LOOKING FOR EXCUSES TO BE OUT AND ABOUT, I ON THE OTHER HAND WAS GLAD TO HAVE THAT MUCH TIME OFF.
    MY HOME WAS MY SANCTUARY, I ENJOYED EACH AND EVERY MINUTE, EVEN CLEANING WAS ENJOYABLE.
    EVEN NOW I LOOK FOR WAYS TO AVOID "GOING OUT". I AM CONTENT TO STAY HOME,SPENDING TIME WITH MY "THINGS" AND MY PRECIOUS YORKIE, CRICKET (she does not like it when I am gone).
    MAKING THE MOST OF EACH AND EVERY DAY IS SOMETHING I TRY TO DO. MY BABY IN MY LAP, OR SNUGGLED NEXT TO ME ON THE SOFA, WHILE I KNIT, HAND PIECE A QUILT BLOCK, OR READ IS SO ENJOYABLE AND REWARDING TO ME.

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    1. Pupsters hate it when I go out. They pitch a fit! I too avoid going out. Why would I want to go out when I have a cozy quiet home?

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  12. With all the sadness from Hurricane Harvey, what has been running through my mind is that old song from My Fair Lady--
    "all I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air, with one enormous chair--oh, wouldn't it be loverly!"
    We all need a safe place to land.

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  13. My late mother-in-law moved into a tiny efficiency apartment in an assisted living facility when she was in her mid-80s, and was there for about six years. She had resisted going there, but she couldn't manage living in her big, old bungalow any longer. She grew to love that little apartment, probably as much as any place she'd ever lived. Aside from a short time alone in the bungalow after my father-in-law died, she had always lived with family members. So the little assisted living place was like her first little home of her very own. I think she really grew to love having her own little place where she could make decisions and not have a parent or a husband or a child tell her that they didn't like it!

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    1. I'm so glad she did have that experience. I think we all should.

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  14. Brenda, I wish I knew you years ago when I was raising my children. It was right in the middle of the women's lib movement and I was a stay at home mother by choice because I didn't want someone else to raise my children. I remember once on a vacation, we did a tour with a tour guide and he asked each of us what we did for a living and I stuttered out I was a stay at home mom and you would have thought I said I killed kittens for a living. Everyone else had an "important" job. Now I know I had the most important job in the world and I am so glad I stayed home. I got to see the first step, the first day of school, got to be a room mother at school, got to go on the field trips they went on. If I had just had someone like you to turn to for encouragement, it would have been wonderful. Thank you for letting us know how important the home is whether you live alone or are surrounded by family. We all need a "soft spot" to land.

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  15. I was pretty much in the middle of that women's lib movement too. I have always fought for our rights. But I did like being home. You can do both!

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  16. You are so right. Home is my safe haven... I love being home and being a homemaker too.

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    1. And you're a young woman too! Well, I'm glad it spans all ages.

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  17. I chose staying at home, too, caring for the house and my girls It wasn't easy. Some of the job description I liked and some parts I didn't. It was hard for me to not be able to do as much creative stuff as I wanted because I had to get the laundry done or I needed to cook supper. But, I, too wanted to raise my children myself. It was hard, too, because we never had enough money to be comfortable and financial mistakes occurred because of it. But I still chose it. I tho't it was more important to be with the children than to make more money. They survived and I survived. The marriage did not. But, I'm glad I made the choice that I made.

    I have a friend who lived in Belgium for a few years when her children were small. I visited her there the first summer after her family had moved there. I learned that women who stayed home raising children automatically received a "mother's check" every month! I don't know how much it was but my friend felt she was fairly compensated for the work she was doing. I think that should be a law in every country, part of the national budget. And I bet if we quit pouring so much money into the military in order to go around sticking our noses in everybody's business the country could afford it. And perhaps our children would be the better for it. Now, there you have it: an out-dated, earth mother recipe for happiness!

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    1. I didn't have a car to drive during much of that time. When I finally got a car, it was this huge used Buick. Long and huge!

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  18. That's true! It's nice that you had a close relationship with your grandmother. Some people don't get the chance to know theirs. I stayed home with my 2nd child and was proud of it! I've been on the other side as a working mom before and knew the grass wasn't greener on that side. 😉

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    1. I grew up, till 13 anyway, with both my grandmother and her mother.

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  19. Very inspiring post, Brenda. I appreciate and love hearing your feelings--you are always honest. We women are not the sum of our past, our homes, or our current way of living. We are women who are strong and can do what we have always been equipped to do. Thank you!

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