1. Shoshana Z. says:

    Waiting a whole week is going to be really difficult. 🙂

  2. Adah says:

    It sounds like you’re familiar with Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael, but if you’re not it sounds like it might really resonate with you. I love this post (and series). It is really hard to convince people (I teach high school, so the people I try to convince are teenagers) that the skills of homemaking (although I don’t put it in those terms – I put it in terms of independence and self-sufficiency) are worth the effort because most of them already know that they don’t have the time for it. And they don’t, and their parents don’t. They are in such a forceful current of activities that are making them more marketable to colleges that it seems literally impossible to swim in place or even get out of the river. They can’t see how learning to bake bread or sew or develop a self-sustaining compost system will help make their college application more competitive – of course, it probably would if they took the right approach but they can’t see that. They get excited about the idea of getting out of this cycle, really excited, but can’t see how. So sad. I’m new to your blog, but I’m already addicted. Thank you!

    • Beth says:

      I haven’t read the book you mentioned, but will certainly add it to my list of those to pick up when back in the states. What an awesome opportunity you have to influence that impressionable age in subtle (and overt) ways. I have dreamed of opening some sort of back-to-basics community ed program and teaching homemaking skills to demographics who aren’t getting much of that at home. Thank you for your work, it’s invaluable.

      • Adah says:

        That sounds like so much fun. What’s interesting is that the demographics that aren’t getting these skills are a hugely varied. What skills would you teach? I have also spent my time day dreaming about teaching this stuff and have visions of my students building a cob oven, learning to make scratch pizza, designing and implementing some version of a food forest, students building and using worm bins for school lunch waste, some plumbing conversion projects – the list goes on. I do get hung up on th fact that it is hard to get this kind of stuff done when I only have a group of students for 55 minutes a day and each project requires hunting/funding supplies. I need to be doing a lot of this at home before I spend so much time on it at work!

  3. Toni says:

    I really am enjoying your blog, I only just discovered you and am so glad i did. I am a homemaker, three kids 14, 4 and 1 year. I love being at home. I feel fortunate. I bake all our breads and pizzas and pasta and I am also starting to grow our food, this has been a very liberating experience. To know that I am capable of making change beginning at home. I really connect with what you are saying about “being busy”. I like to operate at a slower pace and often feel like an underacheiver compared to most people around me. I don’t want to be part of the “rat race” and have never identified with it. After my first child was born I only worked part time so I could be with her outside of school hours. I now am a full time homemaker and feel extremely lucky. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I look forward to your next post!

    • Beth says:

      Thank you, Toni! I, too, feel extremely fortunate to be a homemaker and see the ripple effect that the balance I maintain (or don’t) has on my family. You’re right – the art of making home is full of opportunities both for good living and much needed change, especially to those of us who set our own pace. It’s refreshing to hear from others who have found the same to be true!

  4. Emily says:

    Can’t wait to hear more about number four. We need part-time fulfilling work options (that are challenging and allow advancement, too) that allow balance between family and career!

  5. Lydia says:

    Great post! Really looking forward to the third segment. I just kept thinking “yes. Exactly. Uh-huh.”

    Now, what do we do about it? See you next week.

  6. Molly says:

    Amen sister!
    Sign me up.

  7. Kyce says:

    Thank you so much for articulating these big thoughts on intentionally radical homemaking. Your orientation and the comprehensive way you are approaching this is so appreciated!

  8. Jen says:

    Hello from a new subscriber! I just found your blog last night and had to read every thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I would love to read more from you about the political state of Mexico and the level of safety right now. You have a couple of posts alluding to media hype in the US about it that, combined with the lack of horrific kidnapping stories in your blog, give me the impression it’s all baloney. I’ve tried to find more ever since my husband told me a while back that his amigo leaves his gringa wife here in the US when he visits family for safety reasons, but I haven’t known where to look. I love Mexico and reading your posts has revived my dream of a trip with my family that I thought was totally out of the question at this time.

  9. michelle says:

    I’m also looking forward to next week. 🙂

  10. Jo says:

    Hi Beth, what an interesting conversation you are having! Like you, I am a homemaker of many years, fell pregnant practically the day I left university, and have been home with four children (8 to 19) ever since, sometimes homeschooling, sometimes running a home business, and always having to find positive ways to define myself outside of the societal norm.

    It is interesting that the non-economic, stay at home mum is a fairly recent developed-world, middle class societal construct. Before Victorian times, and in most other cultures, mothers contributed enormously to the household income, but had/have their children right there with them, learning whatever it is the mother is doing. I particularly like the pre-Victorian model of the typical artisan household, run jointly by husband, wife and children with the addition of apprentices as part of the household, all run from home with a shopfront opening to the street. That is a real community enterprise.

    Look forward to further installments.

  11. Jennifer says:

    really nice. thank you.

  12. Beth,
    You have managed to very effectively articulate much of what I have been thinking for so many years. I am a writer, teacher and mother and enthusiastic homemaker. I have two children, ages 11 and 7, and believe, so deeply, in this idea of setting a foundation and in changing the world in small, incremental ways. I shared your post on my blog’s FB page and am planning a post that shares both your blog and adds my own thoughts. What a great conversation! I’m so happy to have run across you. I’ll be back next week and many times thereafter.


  13. Susan says:

    This is amazing. Feels like a manifesto of sorts for you (maybe?) I’m also continually amazed how so many people are having very similar personal revolutions (revelations?) but they are always uniquely expressed – how cool is that? Really speaks to both our “oneness” and our individuality.

    I feel a very strong resonance with what you wrote here myself – and I’m currently bucking trends left and right while still caught in many. The word “convenience” jumped right out at me because that is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately (and will likely write about in the near future).

    ps I studied in Oaxaca, Mexico for a month after graduating college… have you been?

  14. Gerardo says:

    Hola Beth, me gustó mucho tu post, realmente me va a ayudar a tener discusiones mas informadas con mi novia acerca del tema de las tareas del hogar. Saludos desde Monterrey, México.

    • Beth says:

      Hola Gerardo! Siempre es un placer contestar en Español! Pues, gracias por tus sentimientos y espero que mi post les ayudó. Saludos desde la playa!

  15. Ilsy says:

    I feel bad now that I left a criticism on the first post in the series only to find this post right after.

    Beautifully done.

    I even read the “not a Debbie Downer” warning and still fell for it. Ugh!

    • Beth says:

      Thanks, IIsy. No worries at all. I appreciate the honesty of your comment. I do hope that if you read through to the end you will see that my perspective is far from one of a victim. I am, in fact, a strong believer in personal responsibility. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  16. josefa says:

    new to your blog and loving it. I am surprised that I haven’t seen a link to Radical Homemakers (Shannon Hayes). In the off chance that you haven’t seen it, take a look.

    I am excited to explore and read.

    In solidarity,


    • Beth says:

      Hi Josefa! Someone just mentioned Shannon Hayes to me a few articles back. I am excited to read her work, but also have so much more to say from my own experience that I almost think I’d better wait to read her until I’ve written a book of my own (soon!) Not sure how that works when two writers have similar ideas – whether it’d be better to get her take or whether that might detract from the authenticity of my voice? Thanks for the recommendation – I’m oh-so-curious!

  17. Mujahid says:

    Awesome post. Just shared it with some friends.

  18. Cindy Hoven says:

    I am a 58 year old woman that never got the wonderful life of being a homemaker. I so wanted it, dreamed of it my entire childhood. But my poor choices denied myself and my children the dream.
    You are an awesome woman! I admire you., enjoy your blog and can’t wait to read your book. Do you realize your thoughts, ideas apply to all seasons of life ? Even at my age , working outside the home , full time, I am striving to live my life very close to your ideals.
    Thank you, Cindy H

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