Homemaking is a profession, like any other, with its own set of knowledge, skills and abilities that must be learned if the job is to be done well. The environment we live in can have a powerful effect on how we think, on how we feel, and on our ability to be successful in our daily endeavors. The homemaker’s task is to create and maintain a physical, social and financial environment that supports and promotes the well-being of all the individuals within the home. This requires a great deal of thought, careful planning, a solid vision of desired end-results, the willingness and ability to be self-managing and self-directing, flexibility and a great many technical skills. It is a complex and essential job that is worthy of great respect.
Unfortunately, too many of us were never able to acquire the vision or the skills that would help us create a beneficial and well-functioning home. There were no opportunities—whether informally within the family or formally in school—to receive the proper training and, as a result, we do the job poorly. Frustrated and overwhelmed, constantly living in a state of “crisis management,” we seem faced with failure at every turn. Our stress levels ratchet up and our self-esteem sinks. We feel at the mercy of the job and it shows.
To have a professional attitude toward homemaking, however, is to change all of that. To respond to homemaking as a professional is to think of ourselves and act in our job in the same manner as if we were ambitious executives aggressively pursuing successful careers. This would include (among other behavioral choices) “arriving” to work on time, dressing in a way that is appropriate for the job (and that conveys a positive self-perception), doing one’s work swiftly and with integrity, interacting with one’s peers when possible to share new or more successful methodologies, and engaging in continuing education or professional development on a regular basis.
To assume the professional’s attitude in the realm of homemaking also includes thinking as an assertive professional would think. As one experienced business manager explained:
“ You take the job and lead into the work…You step into your work and you go after your work and you don’t act like you can’t do it. You are emotionally stable…effective. You stand straighter, walk with an air of dignity. You are thoughtful and articulate. You think and act with directness and intelligence. [The professional’s attitude] is a power by which you can influence others and then they can act accordingly. By being this way you set yourself up to accomplish what needs to be done.”
To be a true professional, in other words, is to own yourself and be in control of your job instead of letting everyone else “own” or control you.
By viewing homemaking as a profession worthy of respect, applying best-practices from the outside business world, and by deliberately cultivating a professional mindset, homemakers can be more effective in their daily work, have less stress and better self-esteem, and a greater ability to create the types of uplifting home environments they desire.