There are some blogs that I love that sing the praises of homemaking (see here and here). There are sundry books on the nearly lost art of homemaking (try these: Home Comforts or Sink Reflections). I own half a dozen books on the subject myself, each inspiring in its own way.
The thing is: I totally hate housekeeping. This is probably because I am not doing it right. It takes me all day. I do nothing else, I don't get don't get finished, and should I get finished the kids fix that problem. There is an endless parade of dishes, laundry, wet towels, cookie crumbs, dirt, and crunched up bits of gook that run through my house and die in my corners like so many unhappy ants.
Laundry can lay in a heap for upwards of . . . many days (ehem) and I feel not obliged in the least to even glance in its direction. I'm not lazy. I'll do it, but I just hate it.
There are many talents I would like to explore if it were not for the demon mess. My last two confessions were related to housework. May I say that my Best Beloved is not impressed with my wayward disposition? That he may have actually called it a travesty? That occasionally he has been known to address the sometimes enormous behemoth Laundry Monster in the vocative (as in "O' great and wondrous Pile, please bequeath to your lowly servant underwear!")?
So I decided I had to do something before he secured the services of a service and sold me to the lowest bidder. Thus, the Nickle Chore Chart was born. The children as it turns out will do anything for a nickle! It is so great! After just two days, I have mobilized my mini-workforce for chump change! Literally!
In all seriousness, it is good for the children to take responsibility for their things and also the the place that they live. It is good for them to learn how to earn money, to save it, and make plans for how to use it. And it is loving. Homemaking is not really about drudgery and dust. It is about creating a place where love can grow and the family can work together. In a way, it is a little like the Garden of Eden.
God created a beautiful, well-ordered paradise and put Adam and Eve there to work and presumably start a family. Unfortunately, in choosing the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil over God their sin they turned away from their Father and to-ward death. And you know the rest of that story. Suffice to say that in raising children, there are lots of important aspects. Keeping house is a way of working out our of salvation. Teaching our children to do the same is not enslaving them to some crazy, worn-out ideal, but freeing them from chaos.
And with that I am off the chase the chaos from my kitchen (less grumbly and more joyfully)!