In this episode of our new series, The Productive Household, we are tackling the issues of boredom. I’m going to challenge your mindset when it comes to feelings of boredom, fulfillment, and a good days work within our homes. Let’s dive in!
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- Book recommendation: Eve in Exile
- Documentary based on the book Eve in Exile
Throughout college as I was writing papers on Ancient Near Eastern History and learning how to read the Bible in the original Hebrew (yeah – I was a double major – History and Biblical Studies and loved every minute of it), it was easy to feel like I was spending my time on extremely worthwhile things.
After college, I worked full time and had dreams of getting my masters degree (I still do for that matter) and it was easy to feel like I was contributing to my family by bringing in an income when we really needed it.
Now? My days are spent changing poopy diapers, teaching math (often in with lots of tears), the endless cycle of meal prep, breaking up fights, teaching kindness, cleaning dishes, putting up a new load of laundry, folding that laundry, putting it away and starting all these processes over and over again.
When my first 5 kids were little, I hit a wall at some point. I started feeling defeated and a bit overwhelmed by all the physical needs in my home and it was easy to NOT look forward to the next day of repeating it all over again. Somewhere along the line, I forgot the importance of what I do.
And I gotta say, some days are just boring. So whether you find yourself battling tough and mundane days or boredom, I feel yeah. It’s easy to feel that way in our homes.
Especially in a culture that doesn’t value what we do at home. We tend to boil our home tasks down to just: cleaning and meaningless cooking. But what if we changed the way we looked at our homes? And the work we do within In?
I think a lot of us struggle with these feelings from time to time. But we don’t want to voice them because then maybe it will look like we are not “good” mothers or “good” homemakers or we are not grateful for all that God gives.
I want to challenge your mindset.
Often, women will express that they want to go back to work because they don’t feel challenged at home. They want to do something worthwhile with their talents and their time and they feel like that isn’t happening at home.
They want to do something with all their creativity and feel like the work they are doing is valuable.
As I shared at the beginning of this new series, I think a big part of this is that we’ve moved all modes of productivity out of the home. Homes have becomes places that we primarily consume. And for all of humans history, until the past 70 years or so, homes have been the places in which we create and produce.
Maybe the problem isn’t our homes, maybe it’s that things are too easy. So we feel bored. We are not challenge.
Listen, women. We are creative. We are smart. We are fiercely smart. We are able to multitask and juggle hard things. But our modern homes don’t engage large parts of our brains. We balk at the dishes and cleaning toilets because we don’t feel challenged or fulfilled.
One important caveat: Not everything in life is exciting or exhilarating. Often, God is asking us to find joy and be stratified in HIM through the boring and the mundane.
But I also think we can look at our homes in a different light. The amazing book, Eve in Exile, traces the feminist movement and what it has done to our current view of the home.
In the book, she talks about the golden era of the 1950s and how maybe, they were not that golden after all.
I want to challenge you to manage your home with excellence.
We tend to scoff that “extra” things women do in their homes, as if it’s all “extra fuff’. But what are some challenge things you can take on in your home for the betterment of your family?
Can you learn how to cook? Or how to cook from scratch? Do you want to master baking pies and making the most killer pie crusts?
Do you want to learn how to quilt or making baby blankets? Crochet or make aprons with beautiful stitching on them?
Do you want to learn how to build furniture and redo your home for your family?
Often as Christians, we look at these things as if they don’t matter. We over spiritualize our homes so much so that we downplay how important and beneficial these things can be.
We might look to an instagrammed who has mastered pie baking and is now writing a pie cookbook as if she is amazing. But we laugh at the mom who has mastered this skill for her own family?
We applaud the etsy owner who embroiders beautiful flowers and names on aprons to sell, but don’t see how much she can give to her own family and community with that same skill?
In the documentary, Eve in Exile, Rebekah is sharing some of this stuff with the audience while she is making her down beautiful TILES for her kitchen. She’s gotten creative with her budget, is making a beautiful and unique home for her family, and is doing it all with her own two hands.
For me, one huge area of satisfaction like this is my kitchen. I came into marriage with ZERO homemaking skills . I didn’t know how to cook at all. But I wanted to learn.
So I threw myself into learning how to cook. Sloooowly but surely, I taught my self to cook. Then I began being interested in healthy cooking and cooking from scratch so I could control the ingredients. This has led me to learning how to cook from scratch.
Now? I know how to make bagels and donuts from scratch, how to make kombucha and homemade root beer, I’ve made cheese and butter, and we have homemade ice cream weekly.
I turned to my husband the other week and said, “can you believe how good of a cook I have become??” He laughed and said “I know! When I married you, I had no idea the bonus benefits I would be getting”!
What skills or trades can you learn that would benefit your family? What things could you learn to do with your kids? What hobbies or extras can you imagine being both enjoyable, worth the hard work, and fulfilling? Let’s throw ourselves into some good old fashion hard week and see how often we say “I’m bored!”