Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dedicated Daughters: The Question

In today's post, we will start to examine a question most dedicated daughters in an unsupportive family eventually struggle with: "my parents want me to work. My father doesn't see himself responsible for me. That's unfortunate, but what do I do?"

I think it's very important to understand that in the vast majority of cases, the parents' disagreement with their daughter's home-focused direction isn't rooted in their wanting to make her miserable. Parents generally want the best for their children. But if you are a young lady in your teens or twenties, it means your parents probably belong to a generation which received a strong dose of feminism as a part of their upbringing in the 60's or 70's. This influences how they view the role of a young woman in her unmarried years.

Like I said earlier, I believe it is the father's duty to provide for his daughters until they marry. However, along with many other unfortunate changes in our mindset, a young woman who 'doesn't go out and do her own thing' is considered socially unacceptable. I do want to keep my eyes on the ideals – restoring the Biblical family unit. Right now, however, as we approach the second part of this series, I'd like us to examine together a few practical solutions that can help you on your path.

You can suggest a 'trial period' to your parents. If by now you have made your work a valuable and important part of keeping the household running smoothly, I'm sure it will be missed! Next time you have to eat a microwave dinner, or the floors are dirty, or a certain need of your parents is unattended because the daughter who used to dedicate herself to home is now at work, might just be the time for them to re-evaluate their decision. Now, I'm not suggesting that if you work outside the home, you become a slacker at home on purpose. You should still try and help as much as you can. But there's literally no way you can continue putting in the same amount of work, and if you did your job well, it will be noticed.

However, I feel I should say right away that if after all the reasoning, your parents still insist that you get a job or go to college, I think you should obey their authority. This is actually the most difficult part of the challenge you're facing: you don't want to compromise your convictions – but if you set out in open rebellion against your parents' wishes, you've already done that!

Having said that, let us move - hopefully, next week - on to the next posts, which will contain practical ways how you can be a financial asset, rather than a burden, to your family, and explore a few simple options to earn money from home.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...a young woman who 'doesn't do out & do her own thing' is considered socially unacceptable." How sad, but true! I'm happy that you're a voice trying to change this attitude, Anna.

Hope you're feeling better today. (o:

Brenda

Persuaded said...

Anna, I haven't had the time to read this post in depth yet...I'll come back later to do that, as it looks wonderful:-)
But I just wanted to pop on and say that I hope you are feeling better today! Blessings to you, my dear,
Diane

Anna S said...

Yes, dear ladies, I'm feeling much better today! Rest and good food were all I needed. Thank you. :)

Maggie said...

Anna,

Intriguing and thought provoking post. I'm still trying to digest it all.

Yes I do agree that parents truly do only want the best for their children, and sometimes that's learning to let them go on their own. My mom always said that when we were born she knew that eventually one day she had to 'give us up' as it were so it was better to accept that now, than to hold on forever.

Some might say this is harsh for a mom to say. But I think we turned out ok.

I knew that once High School was done I wanted to go off to university. Not wholly because of wanting an education -- though that played a large part. More than anything I wanted to get out of Dodge as it were. And my parents were aware of this and accepted it. They knew I wouldn't be happy staying at home and going to the local university. So they shipped me off and I haven't looked back since.

Granted, they didn't cut me off! I am still in weekly, if not near daily communication with them and at times when things are tough, they'll deposit some shekels into my account to keep me afloat. In that sense my dad never lost touch of his role of protecting his daughters. But it wasn't just financial protection. All of us know how to use tools, including power tools. My boyfriend was shocked at how well equipped my tool box is compared to his -- and he's studying to be an electrician!

But I suppose that's where our life paths differ, you never knew your father and I'm blessed to have a dad who plays a very active role in mine.

Kelly said...

Anna,

I find your blog so thought-provoking and refreshing. :o) Not to mention a great godly influence on women. My best friend is a single mother living at home with her parents and brothers. She's been through SO much in terms of reconciling what her parents want for her, what she wants for herself and what everyone wants for her son. I think that she'd agree with you 100% about a woman remaining in the home and under the father's care 'til marriage. She is a program director for a childcare center but is still very much provided for by family, who do not want her and her son leaving home 'til she's married.

I found this post really interesting, and I myself also agree with you. However, I do think that part-time work in a field that God has called you to or attending college are both acceptable options, too. I went to college and was a teacher before getting married and then I was a director of a three-day a week preschool so that I could be mainly a SAHW and then became a SAHM when my daughter was born. I just think that it's very important to prioritize and stay focused on God's plans, because no woman should ever be forced out of the home to re[ay unsightly student loans or because of debt incurred due to prior experiences. At the same time, I think that there are many unmarried and married (w/o children) women who find God's call in various fields of work...however, God should be their focus, not being in the "career world" to attain riches or please anyone else.

I look forward to more posts on this topic!

andrea said...

Thank you for this post, it is very encouraging!

All I want really is to get married and have a family. But, my mother sometimes sees this as something that gets my focus off of the school and work I am doing now. I do admit, I am prone to daydreaming, but how do I reconcile the two?

My boyfriend and I talk of engagement, and we think it is a good thing. He tells me again and again how he wants to provide for me. I think things through carefully. But my mom thinks we are too young and shouldn't be thinking about it now. I am the eldest and only daughter in my family. I am sometimes too focused on pleasing everyone at the expense of my own desires.

This is often a distressing issue for me, but I am usually able to talk it through with my mom--but she always trys to convince me of her view, and I am afraid I will lose myself in this somehow! :(

But, your posts are encouraging, I will definately be back to read more!

Terry said...

I am of the mind that when a young woman is unamrried, there is a certain amount of balance that can be achieved between a life of school and/or work and a focus on home and family. I don't necessarily think it's an all or nothing issue. Any of our daughters who wish to attend college will do so with our full blessing and support. Of course, there are conditions attached that support, the first of which being that they live at home during their schooling years. I think a daughter must, as you stated, first honor her convictions by obeying her parents, even if it means a few years of college or work. Use it as a time of learning and growth. Most importantly, if your heart's desire is to dedicate yourself to home and family upon marriage, be sure to choose a husband who supports that vision. If, for instance, you meet a young man while in the work force, does he understand your heart on these issues? If your parents insist that you pursue a life outside of home, be very careful about the decisions and relationships you make while out there. Once a young woman becomes a wife, I think the boundaries narrow considerably. It is virtually impossible to be a dedicated wife and mother while pursuing an outside career.

Leann said...

in this day and age its best for a girl to learn how to support herself.
the men now days are not as good to pick from for hubbys as they were a few generations ago.in fact I pitty the poor girls who have to pick from them.the world is not the inocent place it was when I was young.
growing up and becoming a wife and mother was all that was open for most of us.it was all I ever wanted to be was wife and mother.

but I did not know Id marry a man who didnt want kids or a wife cause his love was a beer bottle.
and soon I was left alone with two young girls to raise by my self.
I had no way to make a living and so I ended up having to ask for help.
now people look down on people who ask for help.they would rather see you in the street with your kids.and you are teated like dirt.
your kids are told your lazy and good for nothing.and teased in school.its not a easy life.

so yes girls should know how to support them selves.in case the man is a bone head and she has to run for her life.
children are raised to leave home and become their own person.

getting a job gives them a way to learn what its like to make a living.they learn to value a dollor cause they see what it takes to make one.

my grandson just started work a few weeks back.it has changed his mind about his Dads job.he also has a better respect for his Dad and mom.he see,s how hard it is to work long hours to make the money.
please do not figure a man is there to marry you and support you.cause the world has changed and not all men figure its his job alone to support his family.

only the christian,s do.and less and less of them believe that.
yes God said the wife should stay home with the kids.but this world is not set up for it any more.the devil has seen to that.

so its best to be able to support your self before you get married,then to have to learn if some thing goes wrong and you have a few kids.

its scarey to have to go out and get a job.but its much more scarey to be married to a man who is still a little boy and has no idia how to be a hubby let alone a man.
its scarey when your with child and the guy is drunk and says he doesnt want you or the child your carrying.its scarey when he throws and beer bottle at you and your kids and says your a burrden to him cause he cant go drinking.

its scarey when you have to leave cause he is abusive and the kids are being messed up.
its not a wonderful life being married either.and girls need to know that.its not some snow white or cinnderalla story.
I have seen both sides and life alone is much better then being with someone who is messed up.

I see hearts broken and smashed on the floor cause they thought marriage was a way to leave home and be taken care of.
be able to make your own way in the world.cause trusting anyone but the Lord is risky.humans are human and not perfect.and just cause they are christians dont make them perfect eather.

I have given my heart to Jesus cause he is the only one who values it.he is the only one who loves me no matter what.its taken me along time to learn it but its one learn that saved my life.

mothers and fathers who make their kids learn how to servive are good parants.its like the mother eagle who teaches her eaglets to fly.if they dont learn they will not become eagles,cause a eagle flys..
in the bible it talks about "long suffering",as a gift of the spirit.marriage is why it was put there.
getting married is easy,staying married is hard.

to all you young ladys out there dreaming of being a wife.take a good look around and you will see that its not a easy thing. so dont figure some johnny come lately will stick with you forever and be perfect.
aint no such bird out there.they all have good intention,s but they dont all keep their word.

at frist your the only thing he wants.soon he knows all there is to know about you and he is busy checking out the shop windows for new eye candy.
this may sound mean and like I am just raining on your party.but dear this is the real world.open your eyes and take a good look.you will see I am not lieing.

the ones who serve the Lord and him alone are blessed.cause they arent stuck under some mans thumb.if he is a good man its a nice place to be.but if he is a jurk its not.

in 58 years I have only seen very few realy good men.and in my faimly can only count on my two hands the good ones.

I have found the men from way back are more family based then men now.some thing has happened in the time from then to now.and people are diffrent.

sorry so long but its hard to say some thing in only a few words.

Christian Student Scientist said...

Hi Anna,

Very nice post and I'm really looking forward to the next post on working from home. Quite honestly, I don't see a difference between working from home and working outside of home, as long as the commitments are about the same time-wise. So I am looking forward if you are going to address that.

Also I was wondering if you could share your lists of regular home chores (whether they are daily, weekly, monthly, etc).

Thank you!

Devoted Heart said...

Hello Anna, I've read your blog a few times and just wanted to say that I really appreciate your humble attitude and sensative approach as you post about your different subjects. There are so many people out there with varying views and I think it's so refreshing to hear someone else's oppinion who has a non-judgemental tone. Does that make sense?

God bless,
Danielle

Anna S said...

Student Scientist,

As someone who has worked both outside the home and from home, I feel there's a difference. At home, I'm always available for the more urgent needs. I can take breaks whenever I like and do what needs to be done, like serving a meal to Grandma. Such a thing is impossible to do when one works outside the home.

I'll try to devote a future post to my daily routines.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

With my mom working outside the home, how would I approach this without seeming like I'm judging my parents' life? My parents are Christians, but they don't see someone staying at home as important.

Lylah said...

i just love your heart :-)

Lindsey said...

Hello! I've been reading here for awhile, but this is the first time I've commented.

I am thankful that my parents do NOT want me to go get a job! However, I am currently in the process of finding a way to earn money from home, so I am looking forward to reading your ideas!

I am blessed by your posts!

Lindsey

Calamity Jean said...

anna,

Once again you have a well written and well thought out post. I haven't been around much so I just got caught up on your blog today. I hope that you are feeling well.

Even though I disagree with you on the Biblical command for a Father to be responsible to provide for an adult daughter I do think that there are many times where it is appropriate for children to live at home and work in the home. I appreciate the practicality of your posts about this topic. So many of the articles and books concerning this topic seem to be written to the daughters of wealthy men who run their own business. The truth is that there is a small number of men who can afford to support several adult daughters.

Christian Student,
I have to agree with Anna. As a wife who has a full time career, I know firsthand how hard it is to work 40 hours a week in an office. Working from home is ideal for me because I am here when my husband leaves for work and I am here when he gets home. I have the freedom to conduct a business call in between loads of laundry and my lunch break is often spent organizing a closet or baking something special.

Christian Student Scientist said...

Dear Anna and Jean,

I do see how working from home can have its benefits, especially if there are family members (like ailing grandparents) who need continuous care.

However, if you really do take household chores seriously, I doubt you'd spend more than 2 hours a day working. So I think it is possible to work 10 hours a week outside of home without damage to housekeeping. I never meant to compare 40 hour week work with working from home...

I guess my point is: if you are staying at home solely to keep the household (with no homeschooling or grandparents involved etc) then why not work outside of home?

Adlyn said...

"a young woman who 'doesn't go out and do her own thing' is considered socially unacceptable." oh...my... goodness. My sister and I had a fight a couple months back and that what she was saying about me! saying that if I don't go out and party and "hook up" with random men I'll grow up to "reget it all". Thank you Anna, at least I'm not the only one that hears that on a daily basis.

xoxoxo,
Adlyn

Maggie said...

Adlyn, How did you respond to your sister telling you to go out and hook up?

Kate said...

I, though I would love to be a full time stay at home daughter, it is not a bad idea to work.

It opens your eyes to how your future hubby might feel when he comes home after a full days work.

It makes you more understanding.

It builds funds for your future life and takes care of your immediate needs.

It makes you look ahead and not take having money for granted

It also gets you experience in the work force for if, God forbid, something would happen to your husband and you would have to provide for your family.

I look forward to the day when my sweetie and I are married and raising kids and staying home. To be the wife and mother I've always longed to be

Libby said...

I'm 18 and for years now I've wanted to be a stay at home wife and mother. It's all the career aspirations I've ever had. But my parents aren't believers and they see adult children living at home as failures. I've been more lucky than some in that my mother has taught me quite a few housekeeping and cooking skills, and my father is still on the scene. But it's still hard when, as you say, there are some 14 year olds out there with all the skills I wish I had. I'm in the process of applying to college now, and I believe that in doing so I am submitting to my parents' authority.

My big question would be, how do you even bring up the subject of wanting to be a stay at home daughter with parents who are non believers? I scare them enough by being religious and by not being a rebellious teenager, so how would I bring up a topic so alien to them without completely ostracising them?

Thanks for your blog,
Libby xxx