Making Homemaking Your Career

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2015 was tough for me as a housewife and stay at home mom. So often it felt like my children would orbit around me, but with chaos instead of the beautiful illustration of swimming planets, as Allah describes in the Qur’an. Wherever I step, wherever I go, there they are, in want and in need of something from me.

2015 was tough. With my 4th child born in January, it started out rather smooth, but with a 4 year old and 2 year old still needing a lot of attention, things built up rather quickly. The logistics of life with three little ones and a teenager that couldn’t yet drive, wore me down, but you know what wore me down even more?

My attitude.

The idea that I should be doing more than “just being a mom”. That making a home for my kids and husband wasn’t enough to satisfy my personal aspirations. The idea that I gave up my career and no one really saw what a sacrifice that was, in order to focus my attention on my family.

Toward the end of the year, and especially with the coming of the new year, I decided I needed to change my perspective.

1. Attitude

I didn’t give up my career in the technology field, instead I changed careers. It’s no different than choosing to move into the health science field, or the teaching field. I am now working in my career in the homemaking field.

Let me take a moment to recognize all the women out there that are homemakers while juggling life as a student, a full-time employee, or the like. You are amazing! What you do is special in its own right. My focus here is on women who are solely focusing their efforts on homemaking, which gets far less praise in our society and culture.

One book that really helped me in my mental shift toward appreciating my career as a homemaker is Journey of a Muslimah Homemaker: Spirituality in Homemaking (you can by the eBook for $5 directly from the author, Ameera Rahim by emailing her at [email protected]). Her air of thankfulness to have a family to care for is infectious, and has helped me see the beauty in our every day work.

Another breath of fresh air for homemakers in the midst of the hustle of life is Gift from the Sea. I wish they handed out this book to each mother on their child’s second birthday, it’s that good.

2. Education

Another step in changing my attitude toward being a career homemaker is educating myself in the best ways to use my gifts from Allah. Sometimes that is learning more about child psychology, brain development and positive discipline. Other times it’s learning how to make things from scratch, like mayonnaise (super easy, by the way!), ketchup, lotion, and play doh.

Both help me feel that I have knowledge about my career as a homemaker and that no, not any random person off the street could fill my shoes. If someone were to take my place, I would have things to teach them, and in sha Allah I have valuable skills and information to pass down to the next generation.

3. Art

I appreciate when I can gain some intellectual stimulation by learning new things that will improve my homemaking, but part of this career path is turning homemaking into an art as well. Making the house a home, finding recipes that my family loves, and tweaking them to be my own, are all part of that journey.

I’m (slowly) learning how to decorate my home for more than just function. Our current home is the only one I’ve ever planned to live in for more than a few years, so it’s the first time I’ve wanted to customize it, and make it both beautiful, in sha Allah, and highly functional. Picking colors overwhelms me, and I always second guess whether things actually match, but little by little, I’m gaining confidence in turning our home into something special.

In sha Allah I’m just in the beginning steps of this new attitude, and the journey that comes with it. I hope to join hands with others that find value in choosing homemaking as a career as well. With homeschooling planned for my little ones, I have nearly 20 years ahead of me, in sha Allah. Better make the best of it!

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Shannen
I'm a revert to Islam and I homeschool my teen daughter while starting the homeschool cycle again with my two little ones. Being recently domesticated, you can find me knitting, crocheting, quilting, tatting, or picking up another hobby just for the fun of it. Blogging is a domesticated fit to my IT background, and you can find me writing about how to homeschool high school, preschool and everything that goes along with it. You can connect with me via my website at Middle Way Mom or on my social networks.

5 thoughts on “Making Homemaking Your Career

  1. [email protected]

    Sister Shanen

    Assalamu-alaykum

    As I opened my emails today , and in my current ‘mood’, your article hit the nail on the head! I feel extremely down and useless at the moment. As if there is no ME, just a mummy to 2 kids. My 4 yr old and 2 yr old girls whom I adore by the way.
    As I fast approach the age of 35 Years old, I feel like I am running out of time to be more than just a mum, to make a difference and do something worthy, especially as a believer! I feel quite useless right now :(. And i have no idea how to get pass this, I see family and friends who are doing great things, having kids or not and also having time on their side, because of being only in their late twenties…

    I feel ‘stupid’ and obviously of no worth or aprreciated or even havng a place in the world. just an under ordinary mum. I mean whats special about that right?

    Aadila

    1. Shannen EspelienShannen Espelien Post author

      Walaykum assalam Aadila,
      I hear you, I really, really do! I haven’t worked in an office in almost 7 years, and I’m finally coming to terms with homemaking as my career of choice. It’s always been a choice, because I felt it was best for the kids, but subhanAllah, appreciating it myself did not come easy.

      Whenever I question whether what I do is special, I remember how my parents talk about their mom. Not their dads, but their mom. Almost all their special memories center around their mother. Both have fond memories of their mom making homemade donuts, or how their mom taught them valuable skills.

      Just because the outside world no longer sees the value in a mom being a constant presence in the child’s life doesn’t make it so.

      Do you know how to knit, sew, make food from scratch or the like? I think it’s in Gift from the Sea that she points out that life as a housewife no longer fills that artistic itch we all have because the laundry is done by a machine, or clothes come pre-made, our food is “add milk and bake” and we no longer have time for hobbies.

      Learning how to do things the old fashioned way (not everything. I don’t see myself ever living without a dishwasher or clothes washer, if I can help it, in sha Allah!) brings back that pride in your work, plus your family has fond memories of the work you completed, whether that’s a favorite blanket you made yourself, a favorite special recipe only you make, or they know if their favorite dress gets torn, you can mend it for them so they can enjoy it longer.

      In sha Allah you find something that makes you feel proud of what you’re doing. Ensuring the kids are raised in an Islamic home can be enough, because that takes planning, and intentional parenting, too!

      The two books I suggested are really second to none. I have another book in my Audible library I’m hoping I can suggest in the future, too, in sha Allah. I’ll have to listen to it and see.

    1. Shannen EspelienShannen Espelien Post author

      Walaykum assalam Ameera!

      Love YOU! You’re such an inspiration. You, and other mothers like you, remind me that we can enjoy being a mom, even “just a mom.” hehe