A while ago, I decided to start calling myself a modern homemaker. In fact, I'm sure many of you have noticed that small + friendly's tag line is "adventures in modern homemaking." I touch on what I mean by "modern homemaker" on my about page, but I thought the concept, and my personal definition, deserved it's own post. Because here's the thing: I love being a modern homemaker, and this blog is devoted to all the things (sewing, crafting, parenting, cooking, gardening) that make me love it.
I mostly share these domestic arts in the hopes that you too will love them. Maybe you don't know where to start in the kitchen, but you give a simple recipe a try and discover that you enjoy cooking. Or perhaps you've never considered yourself to be "crafty", but you feel compelled to follow a tutorial and discover that you're a regular Martha after all. Or maybe you're already creatively engaged in crafting a handmade life, and this is a spot where you can feel more inspired and less "weird".
Perhaps the best way to define modern homemaking is to explain what it is not. It is not housekeeping. Housekeeping involves cleaning, organizing, laundering, and it takes discipline and routine. It is necessary and does help make a house a home, but it's not what this blog is about. In fact, I'm a lousy housekeeper.
Homemaking, on the other hand, is about creating, nurturing, and crafting. It takes creativity and, to a certain degree, courage. (Although, scrubbing the toilet certainly requires a bit of bravery.) I know it's not "normal" to sew your kid's underwear from discarded t-shirts; or to spend your weekends tending a veggie garden and building a chicken coop. And not everyone dreams of a pantry devoid of boxes, bags, and aluminum cans; but this handmade life is full of rewards that can't be purchased at a big box store. And that is what I am aiming to promote.
Despite these cute images and my love of vintage style, the "modern" part of "modern homemaker" is an attempt to avoid the June Cleaver connotation. I strongly believe men are makers of their home as well. I also think a modern homemaker can still hold a job outside of the home, be a feminist, and delegate the dishes. I share these domestic adventures, not because I want to add to a woman's ever growing list of demands and should-do's, but because I get so much out of it.
And because I really want you to get in on the fun too, I try to focus on simple projects and recipes that don't require advanced skills or materials. It's not about getting it perfect, it's about giving it a try. And of course, the small + friendly approach to homemaking is not an all-or-nothing concept; you can be part modern homemaker, part sarcastic project avoider (I know, because I am).
So while it may not be for everyone, and while there are many serious reasons to celebrate homemaking, I'm in it for the adventure. And it's not a true adventure if it's not fun (or at least funny). Finally, I leave you with this silly little poem, inspired by a page in one of my favorite children's books.
Here's to happy homemaking.