Welcome dear one, My name is erin
I grew up on a small island near Seattle where my childhood was filled with nature, homemade meals, and open-ended play. It was a privileged life: idyllic, safe, and grounded in a connected community. We had the cutest Christmas parade in downtown, and we knew almost everyone at the grocery store. It was a place and time where I was allowed to be my whole self: creative, quirky, dirty, and playful. This blissful childhood ended with a nasty bully experience in fifth grade, and I woke up to the pain and sorrow of the world. I learned to distrust girls. I learned to doubt myself, hate myself, make myself small. I no longer felt ‘at home’ in my community.
Travel was always part of our family’s culture, and after High School my family moved to Ukraine for a year. I came back for undergraduate school, and my parents and sisters stayed in Europe, moving to Wales and later to Estonia. I visited regularly. In my Junior year, I studied in Freiburg, Germany and Vienna, Austria. I began to define myself as a citizen of the world, further distancing myself from a clear sense of home.
My longing for a cozy, connected place became an endless suffering, an epic chase. This is when I inadvertently discovered mindfulness. Even in the beautiful places I traveled, my journals were filled with longing , “I want…,” “I need…,” “I wish…” In a moment of awareness I told myself to stop wanting, and start being grateful. I forced myself to write down things I was grateful for. Comfortable in my depression, I resisted the practice and reluctantly started by listing the most mundane things around me: “table, tree, coffee.” I forced myself to do this for days until I could finally feel light coming back into my life. This was the tiniest beginning of what would become a much richer practice. I didn’t keep it up, but would remember this exercise when the darkness got worse.
In my twenties I met my husband, got my Masters in Teaching, and moved 10 times in 10 years. I became a master at crafting homey spaces in new places (I have to stop myself from rearranging furniture in other people’s houses). I discovered Feng Shui, built a Tarot practice, and studied Insight Meditation with Mare Chapman. Yet, I could not shake the call to “go home,” wherever the hell that was. As I began to build my own family and dream of having children, I longed even more for a place that would hold me, connect me, and make me feel at peace. I was chasing home, always seeking, never finding.
And then, I became a mom to twin boys. Having twins was a blessing in many ways. The first and most important gift was the immediate realization that parenthood/life is the constant act of embracing the unexpected. I also quickly learned to surrender to their needs, putting aside my activities to feed, change, rock, and play with my babes. I also learned to stand up for my needs: an unhappy mama is a shitty mama. For the first time, I became vigilant about asking for help in making time for me. I developed routines that nourished me and the children. And, I loved it. There was nowhere else to be but the present moment. Motherhood was a constant act of listening to the rhythm of life. The most potent moment was when I found myself ‘trapped’ in the nursery with a crying baby, and I didn’t have my phone! With no Facebook, no eBook, no distraction I was forced to simply breathe. In that moment Mindful Homemaking was born. I noticed the things in the room, I breathed, I listened to the babies, I breathed, I heard the birds, and I breathed. It was a holy moment, sacred in its completeness. I didn’t want for anything. I was home. For the first time.
Three years later, I am still crafting this mindful homemaking life. It is a constant practice, everything takes longer with kids. I tried going back to work full time, and hated it. We were all rushed, barely enjoying each other’s company, eating like shit, acting from a place of exhaustion, and never feeling at home. Nope! Instead we are barely making it on one salary, but happy with a simple and frugal life. We have less money, but feel richer. There is an abundance of time, good food, stories, ritual, love and laughter.
It’s also hard, so hard, to be a stay-at-home mom. It’s the mundane work of picking up all the food that ends up on the fucking floor, the laundry, the sibling bickering, the cooking, the diapers (so many diapers!), and the cleaning. It is also the fear! The fear of being worthless in a society that values work. Economically I am a non-contributor. I don’t have a ‘real job,’ or pay for a nanny or preschool. I can’t afford a housecleaner or a gardner. I make most our food, very rarely purchasing pre-made meals. I am afraid that I am wasting my education, mooching off my family, falling short when it comes to Christmas and birthday presents. And, of course that fear seeps into my self-confidence. Who am I to think I can write a blog? ‘Silly little girl, just shut up and hide in your home, pretend you don’t exist.’
Mindful Homemaking is my medicine. This is me leaning in. It is an act of transcending the stupid narrative that defines success by the amount of money you have, the size of your house, the amount of words your kids can spell. Even if you are a working mama, you suffer from similar fears. We are constantly suffering within a society that says we are not enough. Mindful Homemaking is my practice of being ok with the as-is-ness of life, breaking out of dominant culture in order to be awesome in this moment. This is what I am doing to find peace, and more. We are more than enough! I am establishing my own standard of success. I am defining my own dreams, cultivating a life that brings me deep joy. I am sparkling, radiant with a connection to Spirit, nature, and family. I am a magical being. You are too.
Making a home, mindfully, is where I am supposed to be. I don’t even own this house, and I feel more at home than ever. Ok, I don’t feel divinely perfect all the time, but I know how to get there. I have good road maps; this is what I am here to share - road maps to a time and space where you feel your most authentic, guided, and magical self. Life is chaotic, unpredictable, emotional, and messy. The challenge is in surrendering to our wisest selves, and align with the rhythm of this life (not someone else's on Instagram). The challenge is to accept that it is necessary to step into our divine perfection, and shine. Shine, bitches! It is your right to be happy. May these words help others be at peace, find deep joy, and feel magical.
About this site
Mindful Homemaking is a place for finding balance and magic in your life. Here you will find methods for integrating mindfulness into this chaotic life. Home is an ideal place, where we can feel safe and filled with love, and Mindful Homemaking is about cultivating a life that brings you deep joy. And even more, this is place where we can explore how to integrate Spirit into daily life. Let’s infuse the mundane with a bit of “woo” and see if we can transform a life labeled as drudgery into something magical. Mindful Homemaking is for anyone who seeks a place where they can be their most authentic and cosmically divine selves. It is a refuge for mamas who struggle with being homemaker and feminist, who feel called to care for their families and suffer from a fear of lack of worth. This is me redefining homemaking as a feminist and sacred art.