Thursday, September 10, 2009

If Your Mom Trained You in Home Management

I don't recall doing much grocery shopping with my mother. She must've done it while we were in school, but we always had good food in stock. When I got my license, she sent me out for piddly stuff. (I begged to drive and it was very convenient for her.) So I can't say I learned how to plan menus, but I did learn to "hunt and gather" from her. I also learned that feeding one's family can be a joy. Her motto was, "If you're going to have to do it every day for the rest of your life, you might as well enjoy it."

Mama taught us how to clean the bathroom when we turned nine. It was a sort of rite of passage. Not that any of our friends were jealous to join in the ceremony or anything.

She was meticulous about laundry, sorting all the clothes by color, weight, and fabric content. She never stuffed the washing machine, which I think is the reason that her machine, which she bought used in 1972, lasted over 30 years. I don't do laundry the same way, but I learned how not to ruin clothes, and was prepared for living on my own by age 18. The thing she still loves about doing Daddy's laundry after 47 years of marriage is that Daddy is still alive to dirty it. And Daddy, bless his heart, positively beams when he sees a drawer full of clean underwear, all folded in crisp right angles, courtesy of his bride.

I'm curious what you other ladies learned from your mothers in terms of homekeeping. What "stuck" with you, and what methods have you altered, for good or ill?


Rachelle said...

First: I have to be careful not to over-stuff the washer...correction courtesy of the man the wears the pants in our home! I guess taking more time to wash might really have a return(esp if I break the washer).

What I learned from my mother in terms of homekeeping:
-Don't take cleaning too seriously, a few dust bunnies are okay.
-Do the big stuff, like keeping clutter to a minimum and staying tidy.
-vacuum daily.
-Have company over for a delicious meal even when your house is not 'perfect'...they will still love you if they are really your friends.
-only buy things you really need and give away the things you don't.

I probably adhere to my mother's homekeeping ways in more ways than I realize. She was not 'fussy' about homekeeping; I always felt like she valued people over things. I hope I portray that too
(like when I leave the dishes a little while to spend time snuggling with my children or reading a requested book). Unlike her I do not vacuum daily.However, I can bake some mean red enchiladas that will win over any heart (house clean or not)...thanks mom!

Danielle said...

Pretty much all I know my mom taught me. She never taught me like it was a lesson, just learned by example. Grew up folding the laundry while watching "Little House on the Prairie."

The one thing I didn't learn much of was cooking (baking yes, cooking, no). But that was okay. She always said if you could read you could cook, and I've found that true. She told that to Josh too, and he took it to heart. My mom taught herself how to do most things: cook, sew, etc. Her mom either didn't allow the kids in the kitchen and didn't like help for that kind of stuff. My mom is a great example of someone who wasn't taught, but learned how to do many things by taking imitative, and I take that as my example for anything she didn't "teach" me.

Laurie Lynn said...

My mom seemed to “let” me help more than trained me to help! She loved her job and the love of that taught me more than I realized growing up She cooked breakfast for her family almost every morning I can remember. She kept the house clean and tidy. She worked in the yard. She taught me a lot about plants and shrubs! She could have taught me to can and freeze garden produce, but I wasn’t much interested... She was a true full-time Mom and homemaker. She did teach me some specific things in the kitchen; making cream pie from scratch was one. I never could get how Mom could make a crust so easily! She had a feel for it! She always said, “Don’t be scared of that dough.” I’d begin mixing the ingredients and declare my fearlessness, but still he dough would usually win! I can make cream filling, but those crusts continue to intimidate me, but not because didn't try! (That’s a side note to what Mom tried to teach me!) Without formal teaching she taught me to keep things clean, de-clutter, have fun decorating and what it means to have nice meals. As I said, she enjoyed homemaking and let me work along side her. There was something very endearing about that which made me think of the tasks as worthwhile, not burdensome. Thanks for asking!

Kelly said...

The one main thing I got from my mom was more caught than taught, and that was about being a good hostess: people are more important than things; we don't entertain, but make them feel comfortable and at home. There wasn't alot of opportunity for teaching me housekeeping growing up - any housekeeping she did was on the fly, fitting it in around at least one full time job (and often more) and the numerous other people she had taken on to care for. Much of what I've learned about taking care of a home and family on a day-to-day basis has come from experimenting and just getting on with it, but it's nice to know I still have my mom to consult on how to fit it all in! :)