What defines a home? I never yearned to be a “homemaker.” I never yearned to “establish or manage a home,” as dictionary.com defines it. I never looked at it as “my calling.” For a long time, I didn’t even know if I wanted to have children. What did I know? I knew that I wanted to have a career. I knew that I wanted to succeed in any way possible. I knew that I wanted to know that I could stand on my own two feet. I was in my early twenties. Not married, no children, no mortgage, no home. I had an apartment and a budding career.
I was about to learn what defines a home.
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What Defines a Home?
God had other plans for me. Soon it wasn’t just me anymore. Slowly all the things I never knew I wanted became my reality. I got married, we bought our first house together, and a couple of years later we got our first “fur baby,” Lucy. We decorated, we hosted parties, we fought, we laughed, and we cried in that house. The more we filled it with people and loved ones that’s when this house became a home. What defines a home is not about the amount of square feet we had, it wasn’t about the lack of designer furniture, it was all about the memories made in that space.
Fast forward 10 years, two homes, two babies, and one fur baby later, my husband and I are living in our forever “home.” A home that’s three times the size of the one that we purchased as newlyweds and filled with double the amount of people. This means double the groceries, double the messes, and double the mortgage (well almost triple - yikes). But you know what hasn’t doubled? The amount of time I have to be a homemaker. If anything, that time has been cut in half as I now have two full-time jobs. One inside and one outside of the home.
How do I Manage a Home?
So, in the midst of all of that, how do I manage or establish a home? The answer is simple. I don’t look at our home as strictly a physical structure. Our home is the people who fill it. So, what do I do? I take advantage of all those moments big and small to love on my people and to create the feeling of home wherever we are.
When we’re in the car - we sing together, we tell stories, and we pray together. We create traditions together in and outside of our home to ground us. Every Friday on the way to preschool we celebrate “Donut Fridays.” A small moment in our overall week, but one that we can all look forward to.
It’s in the in-between moments of life where our home is created. It is those healing moments where your family is at complete heavenly peace.
Home is when we gather around the table for supper - even if it’s not the fanciest meal. Home is our nightly bedtime routine. Home is when I go downstairs and find my coffee on the counter exactly how I like it (my hubby makes the best sweet cream cold brew). Home is knowing Saturday is a lazy morning filled with cartoons and Sunday morning is spent at our small church down the road.
Home is knowing that every Christmas season, we will build gingerbread houses, dedicate a whole day to making cookies, and look forward to an evening of fast food, hot chocolate and a Christmas light tour. Home is capping our summer off at the cabin each year. All of these are home not because of what we are doing, but who we are doing them with.
As important as all of the traditions and small moments are, I also think our physical space plays a key role to our feeling of home as well. It needs to be welcoming, and comfortable for our immediate family and all those who visit.
8 Simple ways to Transform a House to a Home:
- I love to play on the senses. A smell can be powerful at bringing up and reminding us all of memories. Seasonally, I always change out all of the air fresheners. Autumn is my absolute favorite with apple and pumpkin spice lingering in the air.
- Annually, we take family pictures and the images on the walls are updated, but the old ones stay up too. It’s a road map of where our family has been.
- I bake. There are always special treats on birthdays, holidays, and sometimes “just because.”
- I work hard to keep our home “clean.” Clean meaning that we’re able to enjoy the space. Clean meaning there’s still toys on the floor and the house is “lived in.”
- I use special detergent that smells warm and cozy, so the boys smell it when laundry comes fresh out of the dryer.
- We have lots of plants and greenery in the home to bring life in.
- Every morning, regardless of the weather, I open all of the blinds to let natural light in.
- There’s comfortable throw pillows and blankets welcoming guests to get cozy.
So, do I match the traditional homemaker definition? Probably not. Do I still love to work outside of my home? Yes. But does that mean that I can’t manage my home? Absolutely not. What defines a home is not about managing the house, but managing the heart of the home.
It does mean that I have to get creative with the time I do have in our home and use it the best way possible. It does mean that sometimes I can’t do everything. Sometimes I need to ask for help to clean the house or put away the laundry and that’s OK. Because, at the end of the day, if my boys (all or them big and small) know I love them, then they will always know where their home is.
A Little More about Jenna
Hi, my name is Jenna Allerson and I am a home-grown Minnesota girl. I love Jesus, my family, country music, coffee, and being outdoors.
I'm a wife to my college sweetheart, Matt. In 2019, we will be celebrating our ninth anniversary. We have two adorable boys (I know mom's all say that!) Owen (4) and August (2), and a fur baby Lucy. I'm a full-time working mom and lifestyle blogger at jennaallerson.com
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