Today's post is the last I planned in the "Dedicated Daughters" series – but stay tuned for a bonus feature later this week!
Until now we discussed the different ways of being a thriving home-focused daughter in an unsupportive community – from overcoming inexperience and lack of proper tutoring in the arts of homemaking to withstanding negative influences; from battling frustration to ways of making money from home.
As I stated in the beginning, I don't claim to have all the answers up my sleeve; maybe my suggestions, so far, helped you. Maybe they didn't. Maybe, for various reasons, working from home isn't an option for you. Maybe your family firmly upholds the agenda of feminism, and will not be satisfied until you attend college and climb the career ladder. Sometimes making compromises is inevitable – but it doesn't mean there's nothing you can do.
I will start with college. I already said more than a bit about college; and you probably already know that while I don't think college is necessarily always evil, I'm convinced that it's a terribly dangerous and corrupting environment for a young lady. If your parents insist that you get a college degree, do everything in your power to get a degree online or attend a college near home. It made all the difference in the world during my college years and beyond.
Now, I understand there might be rare circumstances in which a young woman is better off moving out, such as when the environment at her own parents' home is immoral and corrupting – sadly, that can happen too. And not all colleges are the same, of course. But in the vast majority of cases, remaining at home will help the daughter not to lose focus of her goals, responsibilities, dreams and the path she is seeking. Living at home will allow more orderliness and opportunities to exercise her homemaking skills and practice caring for others. It's far better than disordered, irresponsible campus life.
If you do have to work outside the home, the type of work you do also makes a difference. Your parents can insist that you have a job, but nobody can make you have a time-consuming career. You can try to have a part-time job; and preferably, something that would enhance skills that will be especially valuable to you as a future homemaker. And I think you should be particularly careful not to develop a career mentality that would steer your heart away from your duties when you do have the blessed opportunity to come back home.
You can live frugally and avoid unnecessary expenses which would pull you into working more hours. You know the saying, 'time is money', right? Well, it works the other way too: money is time! Excessive purchases will develop your appetite for more unnecessary trinkets, and next thing you know, you're working crazy hours in order to be able to afford all that. Before you notice, your beautiful vision of a simple, home-focused life is buried under a pile of enormous bills.
You can avoid the rat race and power struggle of climbing up a career ladder. Do I believe that if you work outside the home, it's better to do something useful and interesting? Yes. But there is a very fine balance. The higher you climb, the more is demanded from you. Get caught in the rat race, and again, you will find yourself working an insane number of hours to get to the top. More subtly, it will also affect the type of people who are drawn to you. You will be surrounded by career-minded women and men who probably don't plan for their future wife to be a homemaker.
It might sound awfully pragmatic but it's true – if now you work 50 hours a week, earn a large income and spend a considerable amount of your energy hunting for job opportunities, the transition you were planning to make – finding a good man who wants his wife to be a full-time homemaker, leaving the work force (or greatly reducing the number of hours you work), concentrating on your home – will slowly find itself pushed away more and more.
You can spend most of your free time at home, rather than at social gatherings. Nowadays it's common to come home from work and immediately run off someplace else if you have a few spare hours. As you understand, this doesn't contribute at all to a simple, quiet, home-focused life. You can make most of the hours you do have with your family. You can live with peace in your heart and love for God.
As we come to the end of this series, I know there is more, a lot more to be said. I have only touched some of the burning questions, challenges and objections a home-dedicated daughter has to face, especially if her own family isn't supportive of her convictions; even more remains to be said about the countless blessings we receive by being virtuous women, embracing our feminine calling, and serving our families.
But if I could pass you only one message, if I knew you would remember only one thing of what I wrote, it would be this: by choosing to focus on your family and home, you are renouncing glamour, promotions, pay rises and bonuses; maybe you will get very little appreciation for your work; maybe you will have to face ridicule and slander. But have no doubt: your work is important; your convictions are noble; it is thanks to young ladies like you that we have hope today to reclaim the culture of home, to rebuild our long-lost vision of virtuous femininity - and live it out for the glory of God.