Thursday, 18 December 2014

The hobby of homemaking

Of all the hobbies home is the most serious; indeed, it may be said to be the only serious hobby." ~ Arnold Bennett

Hmm, can taking bad photos be classed as a hobby?

Back in the 1920's Arnold Bennett wrote about making the perfecting of the home a hobby. I love this idea. To me it represents a change in attitude from homemaking is drudgery to homemaking as a pleasurable activity. As something we choose to do in preference to other activities. And what better way of exercising the creativity of thrift could there be than making your home your hobby? Remember, thrift is the condition of thriving through the best use of one's resources. And thrift's central ideas are industry and conservation.  It need not take bucket loads of money to make your home your hobby.

Frangipani pie - my husband's current favourite.
Making one's own fermented foods like yoghurt, cheese, and home brewed beer for example can save money. Cooking from scratch can also save you money and you know for sure what went into the products you're eating and drinking. Growing your own fruit and vegetables from seed - especially when you have saved your own seed from previous crops - can be very economical. And the taste!  What an improvement on fruit and vegetables that have spent weeks in cold storage. Not to mention the satisfaction that comes from having surplus to share. Learning to make one's own clothes, repair, and re-purposing can all be done economically and contribute to making our home's our hobby.

 This is not a gender biased hobby. Men, too, enjoy cooking, growing fruit and vegetables, and household repairs and refurbishments. Today with internet, and all the ‘how to’ videos on YouTube, we have the information we need to make our homes our hobby right at our fingertips.

A hobby is an activity we pursue in our leisure and for pleasure. By cultivating the attitude that one's home is one's hobby, we can feel more positive about coming home from a day of work to more work. Instead of merely working through our ‘to do list’ of chores, we are now pursuing our avocation. That of making home a haven - a safe harbour one creates for oneself, one's family, and one's loved ones. Home becomes our very own centre of creativity and productivity. A place where our own vision and personal power can hold sway.   Home caring becomes not an obligation, but something we choose to do. For example, I can view my daily vacuuming as a chore, or I can view it as an opportunity to bring order and cleanliness to my home. It is also opportunity to increase the atmosphere of welcome and comfort. 

Of course like other hobbies, some people have been able to turn this hobby into their vocation. What a lovely and worthwhile choice to be able to make.

By recognising my home as my hobby I believe it changes the status of my home-caring from drudgery to an avocation.   At the end of my day at work I am not going home to grudgingly do a few chores. I am going home to pursue my hobby. I have decided that from now on when someone asks me about my hobbies or interests, I am going to come straight out and say ‘home-making’. If they don't understand the breadth and scope of my hobby, well, that is their issue not mine.
Nikki - Bobble says "Hi".


  1. I like your idea of homemaking as a hobby. It is certainly a better way to look at it. P.S. Picasa works wonders for bad photos. :)

    1. Thanks Brittany. I do enjoy enjoy having a clean and orderly home, but sometimes when working to bring that about I find myself rushing and stressed trying to get through one thing and onto the next. By reminding myself to bring the attitude of a hobby to my homemaking, - that homemaking is an activity of choice and one I gain pleasure from, it stops me rushing and makes me mindful of what I am doing and why I am doing it. And it also helps me when I remind myself "it is never all done" so if it is never all done, why am I breaking my neck trying to get it all done? Arnold Bennett, who wrote about making the perfecting of one's home a hobby was apparently a well known writer in his day. I really like what I have read of his work.