Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aprons as a Spiritual Aid?!?!

I’ve been thinking about aprons a lot this week. I realized a few weeks ago that I desperately needed one. I’ve been baking a few times a month and I always seemed to be splattering batter onto my clothing whenever I mix anything. Who knew that baking would be consistently so much messier than cooking?

I finally broke down and bought an apron at Walmart. It was the kind that you decorate yourself (or that you’re supposed to decorate, mine’s still plain) and is plain blue denim. I fell in love with… the price. I didn’t think I’d find another tolerable apron for two dollars and since the apron is a practical piece of clothing I decided that it would be fine the way it was.

The next day was a cleaning day and I decided to tie the apron on while I went about my chores. I figured it would protect my clothing from the dust and dirt, but after about an hour I started noticing another effect. It helped change my mindset. I noticed that when I was wearing the apron I was more focused on what I was doing.

The simple gesture of putting the apron on helped me keep in mind what I was doing: by doing my duty as a homemaker and going about my daily tasks, I am ultimately serving God. I felt happy and light hearted as I went about some of my least favorite tasks.

When I hold the thought in my mind that I am serving God even while completing menial jobs, it helps make any and every tedious task joyful. It had the same sort of focusing effect that covering my head with my mantilla has when I pray. It is my own personal reminder, probably prompted by the books by Holly Pierlot and Kimberly Hahn that I have been reading (A Mother’s Rule of Life and Graced and Gifted).

I can’t guarantee that tying on an apron will have the same effect on every homemaker, but there are quite a few beautiful aprons out there that might just inspire you to try (and to cook, or clean or bake!).


  1. Aprons are the housewives "habits." They are a sign to others of our vocation. I too find that I focus much better on my tasks at hand when wearing an apron. Plus, aprons feel so feminine, I wish I had a dozen of them. My next sewing project, whenever I finish my daughter's purple dress, is an apron. The pattern comes in the same styles as the top three aprons in your pictures. One of the problems with baking and wearing long skirts is that the flour often still lands on the bottom of my skirt. I just have to find a way to make a really long apron...
    I really enjoyed A Mother's Rule of Life. Unfortunately, my life was constantly changing at the time (grad school, foster children, etc.) so I was unable to make a rule of life that I could keep. It would be worth revisiting now that I am a mother. I have enjoyed reading several of Scott Hahn's books and would be interested in hearing what his wife has to say.

  2. Hi Maria-
    It's great to hear that I'm not the only one who's noticed a difference in focus when I put my apron on! I wasn't sure if everyone would think I was crazy for equating a apron when cleaning with a mantilla when praying, but it feels so similar to me.

    The first time I read A Mother's Rule of Life (or started it anyway) was before Sadie was born. I'm halfway through it now and it makes so much more sense to me now that I'm in a situation where it's more applicable. Now I just need to find time to sit down and write out a rule...

  3. I don't know if you're familiar with "Hillbilly Housewife", but she had an article called "Apron Evangelism" that expressed similar feelings, and it what got me started wearing arpons [you can find it on google, I dunno if I can link here].

    I've also noticed the difference in wearing an apron - I feel more cabale in taking care of my home, it's sort of like putting on my "housewife uniform". It's also convenient - I have cleaning aprons with pockets for cloths and things, longer ones for in the kitchen [I converted a thrift store jumper into a great bib apron w/ a long, full skirt - it will protect a skirt/dress & is also good for bringing in fresh veggies from the garden], and a few fancier ones for entertaining. Most of mine are vintage - bought cheap in lots on ebay & secondhand stores, and then a few nice ones I sewed using the originals as patterns. The bib types are also great for "coverage" if you're lounging in a gown or housedress and have a knock at the door!

  4. Hi Raine-

    Thanks for the tip on the blog! I found it and while I'm only a few paragraphs in it looks great so far. For anyone interested the link to this particular post is .

    I'm definitely going to start keeping my eyes open for aprons at second hand stores when we travel. I wish we had more around in our area, but we are going to a memorial service in Monteray this month, and I remember a thrift store there that I loved! As I started looking at pictures of the ones online I started wishing for one that was a little more flouncy and pretty. Mine's pretty practical!

  5. I personally love my apron just for the fact that it enables me to do what I do around the house, cook and clean, and keep my clothes clean. It saves me MORE housework (washing clothes unnecessarily) and my time is valuable. Since I like to be in the habit of getting up before the kids and showering, dressing, doing hair etc. the apron helps me not feel like that is all for naught b/c I'm going to get filthy anyway, so it helps me keep up good habits. I have to say I don't feel any more happy or spiritual about my chores in wearing the apron, but I don't have to feel happy about them to know they need doing. I'm all for aprons!


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