Interview with a Homemaker: Stephanie Ernst-Milner
I am excited to introduce you to Stephanie Ernst-Milner, who describes herself as a reformed banker turned professional twin wrangler to her almost 2 year olds.
Stephanie moved from Brisbane, Australia to Almere, The Netherlands after marrying a Dutchie, and is in the process of acclimatizing to life in another country, parenthood and running a household whilst simultaneously trying to hold onto her sense of humor and sanity. Her aim is to find a coffee flavored wine so she can kill two birds with one stone. You can find more about her at her blog – “The Inbuggering Diaries“, where she writes to relieve the pressure in her brain and to share witty insights into her life.
Stephanie, what do you think of when you think of the word homemaker?
I think of one of those 1950’s housewives. You know, the petticoats, the heels, the perfect hair and that martini glass. Man, I’d kill for that martini right now.
What do you think other people picture when they hear the term?
I actually think some people have a slight negative view of the domestic goddess. Oh, you’re at home all day? What do you do? It’s not until you are one, that your perception of the homemaker changes to ‘Wow. This is a hard job’. Personally, I’d say it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.
How do those images compare to your vision of yourself as a homemaker?
They really don’t. I can trade petticoats and heels for jeans and bare feet, hair that is always a bit wild and a cup of coffee. Or wine. Lots and lots of wine.
Why do you think homemaking is important?
Homemaking is important – it’s the basis of everything – your beliefs, your morals, your upbringing. It’s the source of a lot of memories for your family and it’s part of what defines you. For me, I’m hoping that my kids will remember how their home was and how we made it together. I’m hoping that it’s happy memories for my kids. Making a home is about making memories.
How do you find balance in your life?
I do volunteer work maintaining a website and social media for a social group I belong to – so it’s easy to do bits and pieces between daily stuff. I do try to sort out some sort of schedule and I try hard to make sure that it’s in the kids’ down time.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of homemaking?
I love baking. I love new recipes and making different foods. I’m currently into bread making and also had a try at making cheese as well. My least favourite part would have to be laundry and doing the dishes …
Are you crafty? A great cook? A decorator? A cleanliness nut?
I’m really none of the above. I’m an experimenter lol. One day I’ll be a crafter, the next, a cook. I do love writing, and I blog to keep myself sane, as well as keeping my mind active. It’s also a great way to share my life with my friends and family back in Australia. I used to be a cleanliness nut, but then twins happened. Cleaning suddenly became less of a priority.
What’s your best advice for a new homemaker?
Don’t try to be anyone else. Be yourself. Do things your way – not your mother’s way, your grandmother’s way, or what books say. Your home is your castle, so rule it your way!
Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing your funny and down to earth philosophies!
How about you guys? What does making a home mean to you?