Preparing to Be a Godly Housewife and Mama

Posted on September 11, 2013 by


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One of my readers asked me if I would share about being a housewife and caring for a home as well as nursing babies.

Those are incredibly broad topics – about which thousands of books have probably been written.  So  – this is only a brief overview.  But here are some of my thoughts on preparing for being a wife, a mother and a homemaker:

CARING FOR A HOME AND FAMILY:

I think there are some areas to focus on as a single woman that will help you prepare and develop skills that will come in VERY handy whether you get married or not.

  • housekeeping – I tend to use a bit of a schedule to help me stay on track.  I usually shop for groceries every Monday.  I wash the sheets on Mondays.  I try to clean the bathrooms on Tuesdays.  I do laundry EVERY day multiple times a day!  I often sweep the main parts of the house 2-3 times per week depending on how dirty they are.  My goal is to keep things fairly orderly and organized.  I don’t try to be perfect about it like I used to.  That can become an idol very quickly!  Having everything PERFECT all the time.  The problem is, it is NOT worth it and it is impossible and it creates stress and anxiety – so, just orderly and fairly neat will do!  There is a website that can give you some very helpful housekeeping tips www.flylady.net
  • I like to think of myself as the emotional barometer of the home.  I set the emotional climate.  I can either make the home very chilly, cold, unwelcoming, bitter and painful – even a war zone, if I decide to.  Or I can make our home warm, inviting, welcoming, cozy, peaceful, pleasant and cheerful.  The wife has HUGE power to impact the emotions for good or for bad of everyone in the home.  I pray we will all decide to use our power for GOOD, to honor God, to honor our husbands and to bless our husbands and children.
  • I want ALL of my family members to feel welcome here.  I try to make the time each one comes home a bit special.  I always say, “Welcome home!” with a big smile and a hug for my husband and children.  I get the children a snack as soon as they come home.  I let them relax for a bit before doing homework.  I give my husband a serious hug and kiss when I see him.  I usually have supper ready for him when he gets home around 5:00pm.  I make sure that supper time is what works best for his schedule and preferences whenever possible.
  • I stick with my budget and do not overspend.  I make my home look lovely – but I strive not to be materialistic. And I seek to respect my husband by spending very wisely and being frugal.
  • For grocery shopping for a family of 4, I usually try to stick to about $100-130 per week.  I make most of our meals from scratch.  I try to not buy too many prepackaged things.  Not only are they more expensive, they are also much more unhealthy.  I make food my husband likes.  I try to cook some of his favorite meals a few times per month.  I also try to cook healthy meals – avoiding a lot of fat and salt and red meat.  I aim to serve at least one or two veggies at lunch and supper and one serving of fruit at lunch and supper.  I also strive to give my family carbs and protein with each meal in proper proportions and with healthy portion sizes.  I try to limit sugar for me and our children.  I don’t tell my husband what to eat.  He is a grown man, I allow him to decide for himself what snacks he wants and he always buys those  himself.
  • I try to decorate a bit for each holiday.  My sister and sisters-in-law are much more talented at this than I am!  But making each holiday and season special with your own family traditions are really important.
  • Allowing the children to enjoy their grandparents often and to see cousins and aunts and uncles is really important in our family.  We are blessed to be able to see extended family fairly often.
  • I believe it would be great to take some cooking classes, or cook with your mom or grandma, or get a few cook books and start practicing to make a number of different nutritious meals as a single woman.  It is economical.  You can eat leftovers and freeze the extra for later.  You can also get a lot of practice in so that you will know your way around the kitchen when you are married.  Plus, it can be very handy to be able to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies or something for a guy you are interested in.
  • I would suggest to practice keeping a fairly clean and orderly home/apartment as a single woman.  This is also great practice – whether you stay single or get married.  It’s so much more welcoming and peaceful to have an orderly home.
  • I seek to do each chore “as unto the Lord” with a heart full of thanksgiving for this precious husband and for these precious children.  I desire to have a servant’s heart and to be overflowing with joy at the privilege of being able to serve my family.  My desire is to never complain about this wonderful gift I have of being a wife and mom.
  • Some women may want to take classes or learn to knit, crochet or sew.    Possibly even taking a class on home decorating or reading about it online could be fun.
  • I HAVE to have my time with God every day!  That is the most important thing!!!!  That – and attempting to get a decent amount of sleep!

NURSING A BABY:

  • The biggest key here is DRINK A LOT OF WATER!  I often drank 16-20 eight ounce glasses of water per day when I was nursing.  I nursed my son for 8 months and our daughter for 19 months.  So I have some experience with this, and it went really well for us.  What I would do usually, would be to chug 16-20 ounces of water after each session of nursing my babies.
  • I LOVED nursing my babies!  There is such an incredible bond and connection of love between a mama and her baby when the baby is nursing.  It is amazing how God designed pregnancy and nursing – miraculous, really.  The milk doesn’t come in until the baby is ready for it.  The body figures out how much the baby needs and produces exactly that amount.
  • It takes about 400 calories per day to nurse a baby.  And, of course, the more healthy of a diet mom has, the better for baby.  During pregnancy and nursing, a mom has to be extremely careful about medications.  Many medicines are dangerous for the baby.  Some foods are, as well.
  • Nursing a baby at first takes about 30 minutes each feeding.  You feed usually about 15 minutes on one side, then burp the baby, then 15 minutes on the other side.  At first, babies nurse about every 2-2.5 hours.  They hit a growth spurt at 2 weeks and then seem to want to nurse 24 hours a day for a few days.  That is difficult!  Then, eventually, it goes to every 3 hours, then every 4 hours.   I personally love the Baby Wise method of training babies to go to sleep on their own once they are a few weeks old.  It is really hard for about a week or a few weeks, but then things are much better!  Of course, if a baby is sick, then you will end up nursing on demand.  Our 2nd child was sick 2/3 of the time so she didn’t sleep through the night until she was 19 months old.  I didn’t sleep much at all.  That was REALLY difficult.  Our first baby was sleeping through the night by the time he was about 1 month old.  It was heaven!
  • When you are lactating, just hearing a baby cry can cause your milk to “let down” and things can get tricky sometimes if you are in a store and hear a baby cry.  Thankfully, nursing pads are usually enough protection for such situations.  But having a baby and nursing a baby definitely completely change your perspective of all babies and how precious they are.  You want to just take all the babies who don’t have a mama home and take care of them all.  They are all such blessings.
  • I worked about 20-24 hours/week when my babies were young.  So I had to pump at work.  That was REALLY a challenge in retail pharmacy.  Many pharmacies don’t give their pharmacists any breaks – not for meals or restroom breaks, and if you are busy, you just have to stay and work.  If you don’t pump every few hours when you are nursing, it is UNBELIEVABLY painful and will cause infections and all kinds of problems like blocked milk ducts which are very painful.  You will HAVE to have a job where you can pump at least once every 4 hours.  And you will miss your baby so much!!!!!  But – it can be done if necessary.  Get a GOOD pump – like the Medela brand.  They are so much faster.  You can pump in about 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes like some of the cheaper pumps would be.
  • It is easy for your husband to feel very left out when you have a new baby and you are nursing.  There’s not a lot he can do to help with feeding times.  I actually thought I was trying very hard not to make my husband feel left out – of course, it was before I learned about respect and all of this stuff I write about now.  But he told me recently that he did feel left out when we had our babies.  😦  Husbands have got to know that they are still the number 1 human priority – even when babies are little.  It’s easy for mamas to let babies take over their lives and become the most important thing.  They do have very urgent and important needs.  But your husband needs your time, attention, affection and availability, too.  You may have to get very creative here!
  • I think it is great to read the latest info about baby care, pregnancy, nursing, feeding babies and how babies “should” sleep, etc.  But, please keep in mind, the experts are constantly changing their minds on what is “best” for babies.  Thankfully, babies are extremely resilient and tend to thrive no matter what the current latest trends are.  It is easy for mamas to think that their husbands have no wisdom to offer about baby care because husbands often don’t read all the expert literature about pregnancy, childbirth and baby care.  But – many times, husbands are not as hormonal and sleep deprived as new mamas are.  They often DO have wisdom to offer.  Be very careful not to get prideful, thinking only you could possibly know what is best for the baby.  Your husband will not do everything just like  you do.  That is usually ok.  God gives children mothers AND fathers for many very good purposes.  Daddies tend to be a little less by the book, and that is often a good thing for children.  Daddies help to balance Mamas out.  Daddies also help to gently “break the mother/child bond” and help to keep mamas from being too child-focused or too overly protective.

I hope this info may come in handy in the future for many of you.  Let me know if you have questions, I will do my best to address them! 🙂

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