“The time we spend teaching our daughters… about the joys and responsibilities of womanhood will provide benefits for generations to come.” Emilie Barnes
Some of my most cherished memories of childhood revolve around spending time with my mom at home. I am blessed to have had a stay-at-home-mom who not only enjoyed caring for her family, but made it a priority to teach my sister and I to do the same.
I remember when I was about 7 years old, my dad came into the kitchen to discover me standing on a chair and digging through Mom’s cabinets.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Making a cake for Momma,” I replied.
“Do you know how to make a cake by yourself?”
I looked at him in shock- “Of course I do!”
Now, I don’t recall exactly how tasty that cake turned out, but I do remember my mom bragging on how smart I was to be able to make a cake all by myself. Despite my young age, I felt like a budding Betty Crocker!
Now, as a young mother with two small daughters of my own, I try to make it a point to pass on a love of femininity and homemaking to our girls. I don’t want to find myself, ten years down the road with teenager daughters who can’t sew, cook or clean, wishing I’d taken advantage of these fleeting years of childhood.
Just as my mother taught my sister and me to love caring for our family and home by simply doing it, I want Amy and Emily to grow up learning what it is to be a wife and mommy- and love it- by “practicing” along side me every day!
The best way to train little girls to be homemakers is simply to include them in the daily tasks and responsibilities of keeping a home. Obviously, it slows you down a bit to have a toddler beside you rinsing dishes, stirring cookie dough, or sprinkling grated cheese on a homemade pizza… but I believe it truly makes a difference in whether or not our daughters will cultivate an interest in homemaking or not.
I know of too many half-grown girls who would rather laze around on the couch reading romance novels or go out shopping with their friends than lift their finger to help out around the house. Even worse are the multitudes of young women who find themselves newly married with absolutely no knowledge of how to cook nutritious meals or keep a house.
We mothers are not doing our daughters a favor if we allow them to grow up expecting that someone else will always be there to pick up the loose ends of housekeeping.
Obviously this takes a good dose of creativity and patience… and if confession is good for the soul, then I admit I’m still a work in progress on the patience part! But the rewards are definitely worth the sacrifice and effort to ensure that a 7-year old knows how to bake a cake… or a 21-year old knows how to cook a meal when she becomes a bride.
Thank you, Mom, for training me at home… your legacy is busy at work in the little hands that daily help me out around our house!
Tips for helping little girls become homemakers:
Buy or make them a little apron of their own to wear while they “help cook”… our girls love wearing their aprons whenever I get mine out to wear.
Let them play with “real” dishes, spoons or bowls, not just “pretend” ones- we have a drawer and cabinet of dishes in our kitchen that Amy and Emily are allowed to play in any time.
Include them in your daily routine, even if it slows you down. Little girls learn best simply by copying what mama is doing.
Praise their efforts liberally (even when they make mistakes)! Nothing is as encouraging as genuine praise, and little ones thrive beneath their parents’ smiles of approval.
Guard against a complaining, negative attitude. Nothing will undermine the role of a homemaker in your children’s minds like a mother with a bad attitude. Don’t let your children grow up remembering Home as a incubator for a sour disposition!
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.