# At Home With Madame Chic # Daily Connoisseur

The Third Biggest Enemy to Homemakers

In parts one and two of this series, I shared what I believe are the biggest enemies to homemakers. I've also shared The Homemaker's Best Friend. Today we are going to explore the third biggest enemy.

As a working and homeschooling mother of four children, I have a lot of experience as a homemaker. In this series, I explore the roadblocks that we face as keepers of the home. This video is not just for women like me, but all men and women who struggle with looking after their space.

We all desire to live in a beautiful and serene space. That is synonymous with a tidy space. But how can we keep our home clean and beautiful and still keep our sanity? It’s an interesting conundrum for sure, but I use a technique to explore living well. I look at the road blocks I face. I look at what holds me back and what is keeping me from achieving what I desire. So… are you ready to hear the third biggest enemy?


Yes, being unprepared.

How can this prevent us from keeping our homes as we would like?

Well, when we are disorganized and unprepared we become frustrated and waste valuable time trying to find what we need to complete our tasks throughout the day. That’s just a shallow look at the matter. But truly, this is a very deep issue.

In order to run an effective home, we need to be prepared. Prepared with our meals, prepared with our cleaning, prepared for each day through our organization.

When I lived in Paris with Madame Chic, I marveled at how she ran her home. Her home was run like a small boutique hotel. Meals were planned and on time, like clockwork. The house was always tidy and organized. There weren’t explosions of clutter here and there. There was no chaos.

So how can we be prepared like Madame Chic?

We can set everything aside and sit down and decide to take this homemaking business seriously. Even though you don’t get paid for it, even though you might already have another job, you can look at homemaking as your job as well. One you delight in.

Get intentional about meal planning. Keep your cleaning supplies organized and in strategic areas in your home so when it’s time to clean, you are totally ready. Set yourself up with a routine that you can stick to.

In short, be prepared.

Homemaking, though it can be overwhelming and exhausting, is also deeply satisfying work. Be prepared for all of it’s challenges and all of its beauty and you will not regret the time you spent doing so.

I hope you’re enjoying my homemaker series. Be sure to comment down below about how you like to prepare as a homemaker.

Here are links to some of the things featured in today's video: my books, my dress, my apron, my velvet hair tie, A Year in Provence book (by the way, if you haven't read this book, you must!), natural cleaning supplies and e-cloth, the candle is breathe easy by Cellar Door, the vacuum is Dyson (my model is a few years old... this is the newest one).
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‎Comment of the Week

A Lovely Inconsequence writes, "Hello Jennifer, I am acquainted with Childe Hassam because I am from Boston where his painting "Boston Common at Twilight" is very famous. It depicts a 19th century dusk in winter at the Boston Commons and even today and if one knows a Boston winter, it can make you shiver. The composition's light is exactly as it on a winter afternoon. My grandmother had a postcard of the painting on a bookshelf in her hallway."

Thank you for checking in for The Chic Assignment, Donna! By the way, readers, be sure to stop by Donna's blog and check it out. She has a lovely space over there.

Thank you for joining us today. I hope you're enjoying this homemaker series. I'm enjoying filming it.

I'll see you soon!

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FTC: This video is sponsored by American Blossom Linens. The link to the headband is affiliate.


Anonymous said...

This would be a great extended into a video on how you do this please

JennyP said...

Been at this for nearly twice as long as you but always appreciate the advice and inspiration.. Those cute smiley faces make everyone's morning brighter!Need to make up some of your lovely lavender spray today,makes the whole house smell like spring

Carolyn Maves said...

Jennifer, thank you for this blog post/video. I have a favorite quote on this subject that I put in the front of my planner every year. "The greater the proportion of your day---of your life---spent hidden in quiet, in reflection, in prayer, [in study], in scheduling, in preparation, the greater will be the effectiveness, the impact, the power, of the part of your life that shows." Ray and Ann Ortlund. Thank you for this series.

Mimi Gregor said...

I think of being a homemaker as my job, and as such, I try to use methods that one would use at a job outside the home. Things like taking inventory periodically to ensure that I have all the supplies I need on hand (I even have a list of what I need to have on hand to check against. Anything likely to run out is put on the shopping list.) Having a set schedule for things I do every week (Sunday is cleaning day, Monday is errand day, Thursday is "zone cleaning" day, Friday is food prep day since that is the day that the farmer's market is open.) Having a "home" for everything and putting it away right after use. Makes it so much easier the next time I need to use it.

Planning is the most crucial factor for me, especially meal planning. Taking the time once a week to plan meals for the following week around what our plans are, and making up a list of what I need to buy when I go shopping is vital. On days when I expect to be busy, I have freezer meals to fall back on so that I don't have to cook. (Whenever I make one-dish meals, like Coq Au Vin or beef stew, I make enough for an army, then freeze the excess for later meals.) On days when I have lots of time, I make something more challenging than usual. But it is all planned! I never cook "by the seat of my pants," because that way lies madness!

And just like people who work outside the home, I schedule a day off. No major cooking or cleaning (I do make breakfast and have to care for our pets.) Tuesday is my "Sabbath", and I do whatever is fun and relaxing for me that particular day. It may be hiking, checking out the consignment shops, or just staying home and reading. And I take breaks during the day as well, taking time to have a short nap after lunch, when my circadian rhythm is at its nadir. It may sound as if taking a break would be inefficient and leave you with more work to do later in the day, but I do not find that to be the case. I find that if I don't take a break when I need one, I make stupid mistakes which waste more time in the long run than if I had just relaxed when my body told me to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking time to explain your homemaking insight. It has really put things into perspective for me.

Rosalie said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for taking homemaking seriously! Whenever I feel that a home duty becomes a tedious chore I think of Jeeves, especially as portrayed by Stephen Fry in the brilliant TV series. With you, Madame Chic and Jeeves as inspiration, housework becomes a joy! Love from Western Australia xx

Christina said...

I was at the dentist yesterday and she asked if I was going to work afterwards (I always find that a compliment to how I'm dressed thanks to my 10 item wardrobe). I said, no and that I was a stay at home mom so going home. And she started talking about how that was my job and everything a mom does during the day is their work. She was so right. I know being a Mom and taking care of my kids and the house is my job but never thought of it as my work but it's true. A lot of planning goes into keeping a house running smoothly and being organized about it plays a huge part in how the days and weeks go.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much Jennifer for this series. At times, even though it was right for my family, I can feel discouraged and wonder why I left teaching to work part time while my kids are in school. Your thoughtful and thought provoking comments provide such a valuable reminder for me. We are in the process of an unplanned emergency master bathroom renovation. I was watching this video while I was clearing out the bathroom and decluttering my master bedroom in preparation for the workers arriving Monday. I was feeling frustrated with the whole process. So much goes back to the attitude we approach our tasks with. Thank you again for the new perspective!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ladies, thank you for commenting on this video. I'm enjoying this series and have many more in the works for you. I appreciate your in-depth comments!

With love,