“Managing your family and your household,
Is like running a craftsman’s workshop.
It must be carried out skillfully.”
— The Craftsman’s Collaborative
The Second Element of Life-as-a-Craft is concerned with the smooth running of your home making it a happy place for all family members to live and grow. If the family and its environment is not managed in a balanced way, conflicts arise causing pain and distress for family members.
Good Family Management is like managing a master craftsman’s workshop, and a critical Element to the family’s happiness and success. If you think of it as ‘managing the family workshop’ where people are learning and practicing the way of craftsmanship and life as a craft, a wide range of subjects both tangible and intangible come into view.
Tangible as in managing the physical infrastructure of your home and equipment. Intangible as in the thoughtful guidelines and processes you will observe and practice as members of the family workshop.
Managing the Family Workshop
In craftsmanship traditions across the world, a Journeyman or woman would submit a high-quality work product known as a master-piece to a body of peers often known as a guild. If the work met the standard, the journeyman or woman would be admitted to the guild in a rite of passage and transition to the next phase from Journeyman to master craftsman.
Traditionally, in many crafts, only masters were allowed to open their own workshops. Even then, the master had to be skilled and demonstrate proficiency in workshop management not just his or her specific craft, if it was to succeed as a viable business.
Similarly, in many cultures to this day a couple cannot not formally unite in marriage until the household workshop building and financial resources are established to provide a solid environment within which to raise a family, and training often lasting a year or more before the wedding during which the couple would undergo study, discussion and skills development with advisors covering everything from roles and responsibilities, conflict resolution, household rules according to the community standards and child raising guidelines and requirements.
The concept of management deals with achieving desired goals through planned, guided activity. It is an essential component of family living. Successful human relationships are the natural outcome of skillful family management practices in the home environment.
Therefore, Family Management deals with the practical application of the principles of management; planning for the desired outcome in your home. It is the administrative aspect of family living. It is linked with your Family values, standards, and goals which give meaning to the lives, thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the members of the family.
When looked at in this light, Family & Household Management is in all countries, the #1 occupation employing the most people and handling the most money. Therefore, family management like workshop management, requires competence in specific subjects and craftsmanship; skill execution of the finished work, and the manner in which it was done.
It is a structured approach to managing the life of the family through learning and practice rather than flying by the seat of the pants. In practice it creates a sense of control and well-being in the family managers which then trickles down in a positive effect to all members of the family workshop.