Monday, October 6, 2008

Defining a Confession

Housewife: a married woman who manages her own household, esp. as her principal occupation. (from

Armchair: can also be used as a pejorative modifier to refer to a person who experiences something vicariously rather than first-hand, or to a casual critic who lacks practical experience, in phrases such as armchair general, armchair quarterback, and so on. (from Wikipedia)

I was contemplating what to name the journal I wanted to start that would chronicle my journey towards being a better homemaker, and a few titles came to mind: WannaBe Stay At Home, No Susie Homemaker, Apprentice Wife, and the far from politically correct, Recovering Feminist.

But none nailed it like the chosen title, as The Armchair Housewife is what I have been guilty of being for quite some time now. When Caleb and I were first married, and we were living in Vancouver I had no choice but to be a housewife, as I couldn't work and we were broke so I needed to learn how to do it all. Since that time, however, I have been working in one way or another and as such I have been a homemaker of the most amateur nature. The zeal to be a better housekeeper, cook, and hostess has waned and waxed over our nearly six years of marriage. I've had periods where the house was ship-shape, meals were planned, and I was having people over on a semi-regular basis. But, I must confess that there have been longer periods where the house was just struggling to stay liveable, laundry was behind, dinners were often takeout or heated up frozen stuff, and I would have been mortified to have anyone over.

What has made me extra-guilty of “armchair”ing is the fact that during all this time, the waxing and the waning, I have always been a fan of homemaking blogs, books, magazines. I love to read about how other women keep their homes, cook fabulous food, and entertain in their homes. But sadly that has not always translated into a monkey-see, monkey-do chain reaction. Instead this monkey has been guilty on more that one ocassion of spending an hour reading homemaking blogs and ordering pizza for dinner only to leave the dishes to sit overnight and find her hubby had no clean undies to put on in the morning.

Eegads, it's hard to see the above sentence typed out.

After much prayer and deliberation, I have decided tomorrow to inform my beloved bosses that, as of December 1st, I will only be available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9-3, instead of the current Monday to Friday. This has been a tough decision for a lot of reasons, but Caleb has been supportive and I really believe this is the right thing to do. I have been getting better, slowly, at making the most of the time I have in the evenings and weekends to make our home a warm and inviting place to be, but I just want and need more time. I hope this can be a journal of my progress I becoming more of what I truly want to be- a good home maker. The Armchair Housewife if a confession writ large, but it is not a proud embracing of the moniker. I hope to transcend my self-imposed label and be able to truly glorify God, and serve my family and others in Christ's name by being a better “keeper of the home” (Titus 2:-5)


Heidi said...

Thanks for your honesty Nicole :-)
You are not alone in your quest to be a better wife!

Nicole said...

Thanks, Heidi! I hope you will come back and be a regular contributor! And do let's get together soon for dinner again!

dpm said...

are you sure we aren't related? i sooooooo coulda written this. I will adopt your label as an armchair housewife. some days i'm convinced that those people who seem to have it all together (housework, entertaining, parenting AND blogging about it etc.) are lying. :-)

Armchair Housewife said...

Delina that made me laugh out loud and touched me at the same time. And we *are* related.. sisters in Christ (although in truth, I wouldn't mind a few of your genes, pretty lady. ;) )

FreeMommie said...

I just wanted to drop by and espress my gratitude for your blog. I think that you're an excellent writer and I enjoy reading your post. Your honesty truly reflect the struggle most of us would like to hide. Keep up the good work; I think you're further along than you think in your quest! :)

Armchair Housewife said...

God Bless you, FreeMommie, and as it happens, I was writing you a comment while you were leaving one for me! Thanks so much for the encouragement and I pray you'll come back and be a part of the community.


Civilla said...

I am a housewife, and I find it hard to motivate myself sometimes, especially since I have discovered the blogosphere!

Lynn said...

Wow, I love this post. I think a lot of us can relate to the desire to be better homemakers. My husband and I still laugh about the time he saw me reading (yet another) homemaking book, and asked, a bit peevishly, I thought, "Instead of reading about vacuuming . . . why don't you just vacuum?" It's definitely a journey for those of us who aren't naturally organized. Thanks for sharing :)