Why I Hate Sewing (and Other Excuses Homemakers-in-Training Make)

by Sarah Mae on August 14, 2010 in Uncategorized


Today is a guest post from Bailey of Big House in the Little Woods.  Enjoy!

It doesn’t take much for a reluctant homemaker-in-training to argue her way out of practicing her skills…especially if there’s a new book to read. As said reluctant homemaker-in-training, here are the excuses I put to myself when presented with dishes to wash, quilts to sew or a new skill to learn – and the truth that sets me free.

Excuse 1: I’ll learn this later. When I’m married. When I have my own home.

Reality: The point isn’t learning every single homemaking skill one might possibly need before marriage. The point is developing a heart toward home and the basic building blocks to make homemaking easier. And quite frankly, if I’m not motivated now when the house is a wreck, lunch isn’t made and it’s two o’clock, how would a change of marital status plus three babies motivate me in the long run?

Excuse 2: Homemaking isn’t my thing.

Reality: Even if one is a bookwormish, deeply literary, philosophical, thought-thinking kind of gal (me), this is no excuse. One doesn’t have to be a Martha Stewart to be a good keeper at home. My home may eventually end up looking more like a book store than an Etsy shop – and that’s okay. I may never learn the fancy stuff of needlework. But in every art – like homemaking – there are certain basics that must be mastered. In homemaking, there are just the generals like cooking, cleaning, organizing, baby tending and simply learning to love the home. We can’t eat out at McDonald’s every day. We can’t always go to the laundromat. We can’t always hire the Merry Maids on the weekend. That’s my job – the homemaker’s job. And while I may never be as creative with the crochet hook as the ideal homemaker, I can be confident in the basics. That framework of skill and a love of home starts here – now. Even if I don’t go for tatting.

Excuse 3: My parents just expect me to be a slave in the house…that’s all.

Reality: Perhaps I am the only one who tries to excuse her lack of industry by blaming it on the parents who aren’t there with horns and confetti every time she changes a load of laundry – and really, this is the weakest excuse possible. But I have thought it. Truth is, homemaking isn’t about my personal empowerment. It’s about service. Our God made it very clear that service in secret is actually done to the pleasure of God Most High. If that doesn’t motivate me to get off the couch and start some laundry, I don’t know what will!

Excuse 4: I’m too busy.

Reality: For someone, this might be true. If so, something has to go – something that’s not encouraging a homeward attitude (maybe softball?), that won’t matter in the long run (the local play?). Learning to give up activities for the greater good of the home’s peace is, also, an imperative part of homemaking.

But for me, this is not true. I’m just as liable to say this when lazying on the couch than when hopping in and out of the van. Busy with what? A book? Put it down. A movie? Turn it off. Outings with friends? Spend your Saturday tagging along after your mother instead. Fact is, if my mother is too busy for leisure, I am too lazy.

Excuse 5: Nobody will teach me!

Reality: A lack of teachers never stopped someone with true passion and interest from pursuing a goal. Our mothers taught us to read: we can pick up a knitting book and figure out how to cast on stitches. My younger sister taught herself all her homemaking skills from books and online patterns – with no teacher but patience and practice.

I’ve found with myself that this is a true statement: “Nobody will teach me!” is really a covert “I don’t have the motivation to learn.” Even the busiest of mothers, if begged long enough, can stop to give a lesson in de-boning chicken. But it’s got to start with me. I have to pursue the teacher. It’s not a question of the eagerness or availability of the teacher, but of the student.

Excuse 6: What’s so hard about macaroni and cheese, anyway?

Reality: Not much. So why don’t you make lunch?

Excuse 7: I just don’t want to right now.

Reality: And here’s the truth of it all – there is no excuse better to my mind than the fact that I just don’t want to. If this is our excuse, then we have none. Our mothers have felt this too and if they followed through with it, we their children would be naked, starving and living in squalor. It takes guts and a vision outside of oneself to pursue homemaking all day, every day – and we’re not talking tatting and fancywork. We’re talking three basic meals, laundry and vacuuming – plus all those dirty diapers and deep theological conversations with the home schooled high schoolers.

Finding excuses to not help in the home shows a faulty humility and servanthood. This is where we serve. This is where we employ our talents. And that’s a beautiful thing, if you think about it. The point is developing a heart and a vision for home. Not perfection. Not crocheted doilies. Just availability, humility and a servant’s heart.

Bailey is a sixteen-year-old homeschooler in love with anything literary or theological. The second oldest of nine children, she finds joy in romping with her younger siblings, scribbling in her ever-expanding notebook and trying her hand at the home arts. While her talents naturally tend toward academic junky, her deepest wish is to serve the Lord in the home. Catch up with all her thoughts at Big House in the Little Woods.

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae loves God and the beauty He weaves; His grace overwhelms her. She is the wife of Jesse (her rock and super handy-man dude) and the proud mommy of two lovely daughters and one busy little boy. Her days are spent hanging out with her babes, homeschooling, writing, and drinking salted caramel mochas. She writes at Sarah Mae, is a contributor to (in)courage, the author of Desperate - Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, and is the creator of Raising Homemakers.

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Jennifer August 14, 2010

Well said! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

lynda August 14, 2010

How very blessed we are to be called HOMEmakers!

Sue P August 14, 2010

I struggle with these same excuses! Thanks for the encouragement to stay the course and keep my goals in mind!

Amy August 14, 2010

I agree with Sue. Thanks for posting this.

Jennifer S. Jansky August 14, 2010

What an outstanding young lady. Wise beyond her years. 🙂

Chris Floyd August 14, 2010

Well done, Bailey! How proud your mama must be. Fantastic writing and fantastic encouragement. I have been uplifted. Keep writing and seeking to please God.

Pioneer Beauty August 14, 2010

Great words of encouragement for a mommy who is raising future homemakers.

Brooke August 14, 2010

This is a good post and, sadly to say, strikes home just a bit. Thank you!
Through Christ

Donna August 14, 2010

Beautifully written.

Mariah August 15, 2010

Ok, I’m so not traditional, but I want to be a homemaker. I don’t know how to sew, but I actually want to learn!!! Does anyone know of any good books that are easy to read and self-teaching for sewing? Anyone know of a good brand and model of sewing machine, that’s user friendly and well built?
thanks! 🙂

Katie August 31, 2010

There’s a website called youcanmakethis.com they have sewing tutorials and sewing patterns in pdf format that are very easy to use. I had never made anything before and was able to sew my little boy pajama pants from a pattern I bought from them, the “easy pants” pattern. Hope this helps! 🙂

Betsy August 15, 2010

I can very much attest to the truth in this article! A bit of help for other thoughtful homemakers (and those in training):

I’ve learned that there are so many good, theologically sound audio messages for free on line that help to feed my desire to learn theology. Being busy at home with 2 little ones, I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like! But I can easily listen to an interview or lecture or sermon while doing dishes or making dinner. The following websites have FREE downloads with excellent content.


God bless you all as you seek to bless our great God by being keepers at home – that His word not be blasphemed!

Evelien August 16, 2010

I find that I use these excuses too.. Especially the one with the “I don’t have anyone to teach me”. My mother doesn’t feel like teaching me the homemaking skills because she doesn’t want me to be a woman who stays at home.
I will have to go on a search to good books and equipment to get started! 🙂

Anna August 16, 2010

Wow, what a great post, Bailey! This applies to me, too, because I have more leisure time as a mother of one 6-month-old than a mother of many… but I know I need to keep good habits now to prepare me for my busier future.

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