That’s right, I’m going there. And yes, I recognize that I haven’t had children and I’m not a “homemaker” because I don’t have my own home, or spouse, or fill in the blank. However, I’m still going there because… well, quite frankly because I have an opinion on lots of things I haven’t personally experienced.
In today’s rampant feministic culture, there are two terms viewed as the most degrading titles that could possibly be attached to womankind. These are the “Stay at Home Mom” label, and the “Homemaker” designation. It is amazing to me how these two words, when spoken, can immediately lower your status as a woman in the eyes of a large majority of mankind. In fact, when I say “I want to be a stay at home wife so I can focus on taking care of my man”, or “I’d rather stay home and raise my children the way God has convicted my husband and I to raise them”, I immediately lose points. But what about my writing career?!?! What about my art that I should be pursuing?!?! God gave me those gifts! Why would I squander them?!?!?!
Really? Why is it that taking care of my husband (hypothetical), and children (also hypothetical) is such a shame?
Oh, wait, I know why. Because I should be putting me first, right? Me and my wants, my desires, my “needs”. That’s why. I should be pursuing me first.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a woman working, and believe me, I intend to keep writing and keep painting well into my marriage. And to be honest, my mother works as my Dad’s administrative assistant, my best friend is a single mom who has to provide for her family, and I know lots of girls who work until the first baby is born. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but what I am doing is asking for respect. When did fulfilling the most influential job become a social death?
Being a Homemaker is one of the most rewarding jobs womankind has ever, and will ever, have. Society says you aren’t a productive, contributing member of the social order if you are a homemaker and stay at home mom. Rubbish. That’s what I say, rubbish! Women spend their lives pouring into the next generation and we tell them they are nonproductive? How much more productive can you be? You’re raising the next generation, for crying out loud! How can there possibly be no power behind she who molds the future?
I have received an incredible amount of flack over the years for my desire to be the type of wife and mom who is there for her family, and I gotta tell you, I’m tired of it. I can respect the working woman. And I can respect that she is happy in what she is doing. Why can’t she respect me?
I’m sorry, society’s expectation requires that I sacrifice my own identity, that I become someone I’m not, simply to fit a norm. And since I won’t fit into their mould, I catch flack for it?
I’m sorry. I want to be there for son’s first laugh. I want to be there for my daughter’s first steps. I have no desire to have someone else tell me about them because I was in a corporate meeting. I mean, I’m sitting here feeling bad for the things that a father naturally misses because he’s working.
In essence, when all is boiled down, the people who tell me I “should be” are telling me I should give up my life with my child for a dog eat dog world. I’m sorry. Not happening. That’s not to say I have to become a martyr for my husband and children. I should still have my own identity, albeit tied to his in many ways as the two become one. I should still be able to do the things I love, even if there are kids to raise. No mother ever did any child any good when she neglected herself. As a troubled teen councilor I have told many people you can’t do anyone any good if you don’t take care of you, first. And it’s true. But I think there are also seasons of life. And as I watch my sister grow up right in front of my eyes I realized more and more very day that a child can never be replaced. And you only have them for so long before they are gone. Off on their own living their own dreams.
Why can’t people respect my decision? Why it is okay for my desires to fall under attack?
You know, I once was antagonistically challenged about why in the world I would want to be a wife and mother as a goal in life. And why in the world I’d want to spend the rest of my life taking care of other people. To those who have ever attacked me for my desires, here is my response.
I want to be a homemaker because…
I can spend the time to make the house warm and inviting for the man of my castle who has spent a long hard day on the battle field.
I’ll get to be my husband’s wife, and not the boss’ secretary.
I can spend life with that special man and be his help mate.
I can learn to read my husband’s thoughts.
I can stop my children at any time of day and say ‘Let us praise the Lord’.
We can lay by the fire and listen to Daddy reading from the Bible as our imaginations act out the story of David and Goliath.
I can be there whenever they need; I’m available for them at any time of day!
My children will get to lick bowls and spoons of chocolate cake batter (home made of course, and probably without wheat flour because God thinks it’s best I not eat that anymore) and smile with chocolate covered lips.
I can rock in my rocker (assuming it’s a comfortable rocker and I don’t outgrow the desire to have one), teaching a little one to read.
We can play Legos on an old rag rug that we made ourselves.
We can finger paint (although Aunt Mindy cannot be there because it would drive her crazy!)
I can make little iced cookies in the shape of hearts. Then me and the little people who call me Mommy can sit down and eat them with milk. Because of course, no cookie is complete without milk! (Aunt Mindy may be there for this part of the program)
We can play with peanut butter play dough and then eat everything we have constructed.
I can sprawl across my fourteen-year-old’s bed and just listen.
My boys can bring in frogs to show me, or display their 12’’ snake they just caught (no poisonous ones please, mommy is a good sport, but not THAT good of a sport)q.
I can grab the camera and capture that Kodak moment of the boys in a full blown mud fight (no cow pies please because then you will be learning how to do your own laundry real quick). I proceed to smile and shake my head; hand on my hip of course, at those mud spattered boys who think they can come in my house like that.
Then I get to send them out to the hose and spray them off myself! Torturing your children is one of the best parts of being a mom, or didn’t you know?
I can fill mason jars with jellies, then watch my six year old slather his toast with it, licking his lips in anticipation.
We can catch tadpoles in the pond, name them, put them in an old fish bowl looking container, and watch them grow legs and turn into the ugly green things that girls mistakenly think you can kiss and a prince will magically appear. (I’m telling you, girls, the battle scarred warrior is way better than prince charming! I’m not kissing a frog, I’m sorry. I’m waiting for the warrior. You guys can have the prince.)
When we go shopping at the store I can proudly say, ‘Yes, they are all mine!” And when the misguided old man asks “Do you know what causes that?” I will have no problem totally horrifying him when my response is, “Yes, sir, and we like it.” I mean really? Why do people think that’s funny? OF COURSE people know what causes conception. *rolls eyes *
When the kids get sick I don’t have to call the baby sitter or cancel from work. I can just nurture and comfort them without any hassle or groan.
We can snuggle on the couch under our thick colorful quilt (which I likely didn’t make because the one and only quilt I ever made was so complicated that I got totally burnt out on it) and drink homemade chicken noodle soup from our favorite mug while watching a movie. What movie you might ask? It’ll depend on our mood, but mom loves stuff with action, guns, crazy stunts, and a good plot.
Snuggling is good for the soul!
We can go outside in the fresh snow and build a snow family. Then we can come in and warm our hands around a nice big mug of homemade hot chocolate.
I can crawl around on hands and knees in the yard (I’m sorry if it makes me a bad mom not to have a garden, but the likelihood is we won’t1, unless my husband wants one, at which point he’ll have to be my gardening buddy because if I plant the plants, their ain’t nothing gonna grow!) looking for wooly worms with my ecstatic diapered helpers.2
My two year old can kiss me whenever he wants, and I can kiss him whenever I want.
We can put vinegar and baking soda together into a jar and cap it with a balloon for our science experiment.
My boys can bring me their newest addition of holey jeans to patch. And no, I’m not going to be one of those moms that freak out about grass stained knees. They’re kids. It happens. Just make sure you take a pair of play jeans with you everywhere you go.
We can read G.A. Henty before nap-time; every child should grow up with those.
I can spend the time to French braid my little girl’s hair. And then it won’t be in her face when I teach her gun safety and we hit the shooting range. ;)
I can give my baby a bath and spend that extra moment just breathing in that clean baby smell. Because we all know that smell only last for about 5 minutes.
I can simply make the house feel like home.
I can dictate what I want to do and when. How many high, well paid officials can do that?
I will know where my little ones are and what they are doing because they’re with me. I don’t have to ask “How was your day today?” I already know! Their dad, on the other hand, will probably have to come home and vent about his day. And you never know, the kids may have driven me insane and I’ll have to vent at him, too. It’ll be adult therapy time.
I want to be a homemaker because no one will know that man’s heart like me, and no one will have the hearts of our children but us.
Don’t think I won’t be busy; my work is never done. I will have “the time”, but not for worldly pursuits. I will have the time for nurturing and growing, for teaching and training, for watching and raising my children to grow to maturity. I will have “the time”` because I have made my family and my home my life.
I wear many corporate hats. Teacher, Doctor, Psychologist, Therapist, Coach, Referee, etc.
I don’t put in a time card, my work is twenty four seven. I don’t drive away for work; I need not leave my home to find my purpose.
I don’t put in a time card, my work is twenty four seven. I don’t drive away for work; I need not leave my home to find my purpose.
My job is the most fulfilling womankind has ever known. After all, my occupation is encapsulated in the beautiful words of Wife and Mommy.
When did it become wrong for a woman to spend her life loving and caring for her family? When did it become wrong to be servants of the Lord pouring our lives into eternal souls who will not fade away with time? The corporate world will one day end. Will woman kind be found having poured their lives into objects that fade into dust? Or will her legacy live on in the lives of her children and their children’s children?
Society looks on this role I seek as demeaning and degrading to women. I have found quite the opposite. I view society’s demands that woman leave this sacred sphere of influence to be the height of degradation. Give up my most sacred and glorified calling? For what, may I ask? I’ve never found anything more rewarding then having my old sister run to me, her little arms entwined around my neck, her face nuzzled against me; and she’s not even my child and I can’t imagine not getting to spend time with her, teaching her, and watching her experience life! I have never found anything that made me feel more loved or needed than when my 16 month old brother would grasp my finger, his heart rate easing when I would sing to him when he was distressed.I believe that women are very capable in the work place. They are strong, intellectual, articulate, and devoted. We as women want to change the world. We are wired to want to make it a better place. But I pose this closing thought to you. Why isn’t strong, intellectual, articulate and devoted women changing their families vitally important? They aren’t just changing their sphere of influence; they are crafting and molding the next generation, and, by default, the world and its future. John Piper once said a mother on her knees had more power than any high dollar big shot in the corporate world. When the women of our culture realizes that women have been changing the world for centuries in their homes and through their children, then we might see a massive change in our world as we know it.
Children need consistent and constant love and attention. They need parents united together to guide them through childhood so that they may learn to steer by the time they are adults. Mothers need to be a safe place for children; a source of comfort and nurturing love for the rough times ahead and the crazy emotional and hormonal upheaval that is to come. Fathers need to be leaders again. A sheltering protection from the harsh cruelties of the world their families are placed in.
I’m fully aware that people are still going to try and make me feel inferior for my stance. I recognize that members of my own family will sadly shake their heads because I “wasted what the good Lord gave me”. But you know what? I don’t care. I don’t need validation for what I believe and what I want. You can envy me, my friend, or you can think ill of me for my decisions and choices. But don’t pity me. Because all you’ll be pitying is love.
p.s. Yes, that is me and Elianna pictured. Just out in the orchard exploring the world through the eyes of a child.