Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Home Comforts

Making our home both comfortable and comforting for everyone in the family takes a little thought and advance preparation but I feel that it's well worth the effort invested.  A comfortable and comforting home is truly a joy for all who reside in it.  I have chosen to remain at home to raise and educate our children, keep the house, garden for food production, manage meals and the household.  It is a choice made by me, but it is not expected of me.  It's a huge responsibility to run a home efficiently, and it takes considerable focussed effort to create an environment that our family thrives in.  Is it work?  YES!  Is it meaningful?  Absolutely!    

My husband, who is away from our home for 13 hours each work day, is greatly comforted at the end of the day by greeting the family and pets, walking into a reasonably  peaceful environment and having a delicious home-cooked meal to eat.  He does not expect this of me, he simply appreciates and enjoys it.  He is currently the "bread winner" in our family, working to support all 7 of us.  That's a choice for him, too ~ one that I am grateful for and appreciate deeply.  It's simply common sense to me, to put a little effort into making his daily homecoming pleasant and enjoyable as a show of my appreciation for his hard work.  He takes his job of providing for the family very seriously, going into work faithfully day after day when I know there's days he'd really rather not.  Our areas of expertise and our job descriptions are VASTLY different, but we both work very hard at our chosen jobs all for the family unit as a whole.

Home Comforts generally don't cost much (if anything).  They are usually paid for in thought, effort and time.   In no particular order, some small Home Comforts that my family appreciates are:

* a reasonably predictable routine with key anchors in the day for meals and bedtimes (there is much comfort in routine)
* freshly washed bed linens (all the better if line dried!) to snuggle up to after a long day
* delicious home cooked meals with comforting aromas to welcome everyone home
* fresh garden produce and eggs from our hens
* "from scratch" home baking
* a reasonably tidy and organized home (we aren't perfect, but we strive for tidy)
* a relatively clean home (not perfect but not filthy)
* a garden filled with good food and some flowers (comforting for all senses)
* a cozy fire and candles in winter (to warm us through our long winters)
* open windows and fresh air blowing through in summer (fresh clean air is such a tonic)
* clean clothing and clean towels (so nice to have fresh, clean linen and clean clothes to wear)
* good scents throughout the home.  The use of natural aromatherapy oils and essences can be very comforting and soothing
* having a stockpile of food and basics so that we don't ever run out of what we need
* preparing seasonal foods such as a hearty stew on the first frosty day (not many want to eat a hot stew on a blistering summer day)
* favorite foods on a family member's birthday (they all love this!)
* full cooked breakfasts on weekend mornings

By no means is this an exhaustive list, it's just a few things off the top of my head that I know my family appreciates (myself included!).  Do I do all of this myself?  Of course not!  We are a family and we all work together to make our home function and comfortable  ~ each pitching in to do our part. Lest you think this describes a perfect home and a perfect family, you are very wrong!  We have more than our share of things that go wrong, tasks left undone, more work than day, and of course, some not so pleasant homecomings.  Life is real here, in fact, if you popped into my home right now, you'd wonder if I'm crazy posting about Home Comforts.  Things are a mess here due to several emergencies popping up this week.  I have learned this week (without question), that the value of a comforting home is real.  I miss my routine and we all are missing the simple comforts that we haven't had time to create this week.  We STRIVE for a comforting home, and get as close as we can each day given the curve balls that are thrown each day.

Never underestimate the power of Home Comforts.  They are part of the attraction and lure of the home for us all.  When I've spent a day in town running errands, I can't wait to get home and relax with a cup of tea at home.  My husband thinks all day long about getting home to see his family and having a nice supper with us.  My boys come home from work and school, each counting on something good to eat, knowing that their friends are always welcome to tag along and share our meal.   My younger kids LOVE to come home to play and rest in the hammock, unwinding after a day in town or a sport practice.  Home is always a place where we all want to be as it nurtures us and sustains us, providing comfort in so many ways.

Home Comforts may look very different in your home depending on your lifestyle, your taste, your roles in the home, the season and even your climate.  What works for us, may be very unappealing to you and your family and that's ok :)  What are YOUR Home Comforts?  Do share!


  1. When I saw the title, I thought first of one of my favorite books "Home Comforts"! For us, a home comfort is having a meal planned or in the works for the evening, having all the school work done so we can play a bit, and having the windows open on cool evenings and mornings. I'm sure much of this will change when Baby finally arrives, and I'll have to think through it some more!

  2. Yes, I know that book and I love it, too! It's by Cheryl Mendelson Apologies to her for inadvertently "borrowing" her title. Oh yes, when baby comes, everything will change! it will be a tremendous comfort to have nourishing food brought to you, help around the house, help with the baby, etc. The ultimate comfort will be taking a nap with your new baby in your arms :)

  3. This is such a wonderful post.. isn't it funny we have to say home making is our choice, and I think this comes from socitey now expecting us all to go out and work.. how many times have I heard shocked replies to my "No I dont work outside the home" it is always "Oh" like I am doing something wrong.. for my family it is very right. My husband works hard, at 50 I am again raising kids 15 and 12 unexpectedly, they need/needed stability and nurturing.. out of their friends they are the only ones with home baking and sandwiches for lunch, that is a sad state. So your post is close to my heart and it is so comforting to know there are other woman out there, do what is good and right for their families and their lives.

  4. Thanks, Wendy :) I appreciate your kind words and yes, it is nice to know that there are other women "out there" who willingly and openly choose this lifestyle. It's very rewarding and satisfying, isn't it?