Once my husband and I were married and decided to start a family, all I wanted to do was “be a mom.” I was ready to give up my profession and live my life following in my own mother’s footsteps of caring for a family.

“What’s your occupation?”

“I don’t work. I’m a homemaker.”

“Oooh. Okay.”

I used to feel (almost) a sense of embarrassment when I would be asked what I did or where I worked. I would always follow it up with, “I used to be a teacher.” I went to grad school, I earned my degrees and I had a profession I loved. I suppose I wanted people to know that I didn’t always “just stay home.” After six years of answering that same question, I now proudly respond with either “I’m a stay-at-home mom” or “I’m a homemaker.” And that’s it. Why should I say more? It is a blessing that I am able to stay home with my children.

I think of being a homemaker as a job — a full-time job with lots of overtime and the paycheck comes in the form of smiles, laughter, and love. I would be lying if I said it is an easy job and I struggle with something almost daily. I get in bed every night and reflect on my day and I think of everything I could have done – or what I could have done better. I beat myself up over a lot of little things.

I often wonder if I’m the only one who feels this way. Well, I learned that I’m not. I was inspired by my friend Stephanie from Happily Homegrown to think about the “ministry of homemaking.” She mentions that Melissa from A Virtuous Woman writes, “… homemaking is just as important as any other type of ministry because as the wife and mother – the way our family feels at home speaks volumes about how we minister to their needs.” It was Stephanie’s post and the way she shared her experience that made that light bulb go on for me — homemaking is a calling. I can remember throughout my Catholic school education being taught about vocations and to answer our “calling” in life – whatever it may be. For me, the calling was to become a wife and a mother – a full-time homemaker.

I decided to reflect on my calling. Being a homemaker is more than cooking. It is feeding the mind, body and soul. It is more than cleaning. It is wiping the tears and negative thoughts and instilling kindness and positivity. It is more than doing laundry. It is washing away the anxiety and fears and providing warmth and comfort.

Many people will begin 40 Day Challenges within the next 24 hours. Maybe those challenges include giving up social media or chocolate. Maybe they include getting organized and decluttering at home.  While I still plan on decluttering and organizing our home, I am also going to work on making my home the home that I always envisioned. I need more peace in my life. A peace that comes at the end of the day when I get in bed. I want to raise my voice less and laugh more. I want to be more patient and less in a hurry. I want to worry less and pray more. As the homemaker – the mother and the wife – I am the heart of the home. Everything seems to begin and end with me. If I want more peace in our home, it needs to begin with me.

Over the next 8 weeks I will be sharing my journey of organizing, decluttering and making our home more peaceful. I hope you will join me.

♥ Denise