Now that you've dug up all those awful stories from your past, it's time to:
Transform your stories from "I used to feel. . . I used to think. . ." to what you want it to be by acknowledging your strengths--the things you like to do in homemaking and focus on those.
The process: This is a tricky step because it's really personal. For me, it had a lot to do with reading the books Virginia Woolfe’s A Room of One’s Own and Simple Abundance and focusing on my love of art, philosophy, talking, and simplification. Specifically, here are some things I did:
*I became interested in finding the ways simple, seemingly mundane tasks can turn into times for contemplation and meditation. Sincerely. I started to really think about why our lives are mostly comprised of small, ordinary tasks and what kind of meaning there is in that mentally and spiritually.
*I really considered what kind of life I wanted and wanted for my children (I frequently revisit this idea) and how my ideas of feminism would translate to them in specific ways. I try to be equal with teaching the tasks for each gender and I decided that knowing homemaking skills is vital to each of my children and will have a positive affect on their future family life.
*I changed from focusing on what was wrong with my apartment/flat/home, to seeing what it could become (this chair will go here, we'll frame this piece and put it there, etc.) in a week, month, or year's time.
*I would throw out a lot and only bring in items into my home I really loved, which made caring for them and cleaning them easier. Dusting a picture I loved, or a lamp that has cool design is a lot more enjoyable than dusting junk someone gave you at for your wedding that you didn't even register, but just put up because you didn't know what else to do with it and Dillards wouldn't take it back.
*I went through hand-me-downs with a more discerning eye so that my kids had fewer, but nicer clothes helped cut back on the amount of laundry I had to do.
*I threw away the mix-matched kids cups from random restaurants to choosing teal, matching ones for $3 from Target made putting away the dishes seem more deliberate. I slowly did the same thing with office supplies, toys, decor, etc.
*When I'm talking on the phone with a friend, I will clean. Dusting, wiping, picking up, going through, most everything but vacuuming can be done on the phone which makes it more enjoyable and makes me feel less guilty about talking on the phone.
*And cleaning out the home, room by room and having a place for everything, versus finding everything a place, was a big break through for me. For example, I would have a place for cups, a place for dishes, a place for jeans, a place for schoolwork, a place for wrapping paper, etc and when that space was full then that means no more stuff. I think a lot of people just try to find/cram in more space instead of editing their stuff. They have too much stuff. How many spools of ribbon do you need? Well, first know how much you have by having it all in the same place and when that place is full, then it's enough. How much schoolwork should you keep for each child? Well, a binder for each kid for each Elementary experience seems realistic, so get a binder for each kid and when it's full, it's enough.
Then the dialogues I associated with homemaking changed. Now I tell myself:
*I am modeling the way life should be (vs. the way it is) to my children: clean, orderly, full of beauty, art, literature, music, and peace. A way of life that is important to everyone-- women and men.
*This isn't a to-do check list, this is a WAY OF LIFE. By teaching this to my sons and daughters, I am affecting generations and changing the world. This is meaningful work because it will help my children everyday of their lives.
*I will have balance in my life and not let things be more important than people. A clean, orderly home makes others feel welcome and calm when they come to my home, but I will also make time to read and watch tv and not let the ideal take over the reality of living with five children.
*It's easier for me to do this work myself, but if I do it all, I'm not doing anyone any favors. I need to take extra time to teach and reteach and then check and reteach if necessary as my kids learn to do this.
*It will never be "fair." Life isn't fair. And most of the time, this works in my favor.
*I will never iron my pillowcases and sheets, but I won't judge my mom for doing that. It makes her happy and I think it's endearing.
*When in doubt, I will throw it out and not waste my time weighing the options or I'll never get anything done.