Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What we are creating

An often discouraging part of the homemaker's work is that most of our daily tasks are never "done". Cleaning, cooking, bathing a child, changing a diaper, pulling weeds in the garden - all these are things that will have to be done again, and again, and again, and somehow aren't appreciated enough.

Lots of guilt is heaped today upon women who choose to stay at home; guilt for not being productive members of society, for taking advantage of our hard-working husbands by not providing a second income, for not spending our time in a worthwhile enough manner. I think women who are labeled as potentially successful by the world's standards are given especially much grief for "opting out". This heavy burden of guilt and nagging worries and "what ifs" prevents women from truly enjoying what can be a blissfully content, beautiful life in their own homes. I took a lot of grief for not being ambitious enough, before I realized that perhaps I'm not meant to be ambitious at all, and just desire a family and a home of my own.

We are definitely doing work which must be done. If I'm not at home to clean and cook during the day, it will have to be done in the evening, which will chop away at our family time. If I go to work, my baby won't take care of herself - I will have to hand her over to someone else, most likely another woman, and pay for it. But so often, it may seem as though we aren't really creating anything with a long-lasting value; as though the results of our work can hardly be seen.

However, this is simply not true. Every day, without even noticing it, simply by being loving wives and mothers and being there, we are creating memories:

~ Memories of a tired husband who is so grateful to come back from work to a loving wife who has been waiting for him and has hot dinner on the table;
~ Memories of happy children whose mother was always there for them. It might be normal today for children to be away from their parents most of the time, but my husband told me he still remembers how his heart broke when his mother took him to kindergarten as a 3-year-old.
~ Memories of an entire family, spending time together in a comforting, nurturing atmosphere of a home.

Yes, the floors might become dirty once more, the food we cooked will be eaten, the laundry will need to be done again and again, the children need to be bathed every day and so the work isn't "done"... but the memories are created forever! Memories of togetherness, of a cheerful attitude, of contentment and love.

Every day, I see my little girl's face light up in happiness whenever she sees me. I don't think she would have been equally happy in the care of a stranger. She trusts me and needs me, at this point of her life, more than anything in the world.

Today, my husband told me, "how wonderful it is that you didn't buy into the feminist lies that a woman must work outside the home". Yes, I have the gift of a tremendously supportive, loving, appreciative husband. And I know I'm doing right. Not perfect, but right, by being where I'm needed most and learning to give all I can.

PS: An unrelated note - I wanted to ask you all to email me only at domesticfelicity@gmail.com ; I'm woefully behind on answering emails anyway, and keeping up with two accounts is simply too much at this point!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen sister! My husband is gleaming when he enters the door after a long days work and sees me waiting to hug and kiss him with dinner on the table. I wouldn't have it any other way. : )

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
Yet another post with wisdom so needed by the women today!

I find it 'interesting' that a woman could 'choose' a career of 'working in a day care center' and thereby be considered 'doing worthy work'. But take that same woman and have her doing the same 'job' (no not with the same care, but speaking of tasks only) in her own home and she is now somehow 'less productive'. The notion that a woman can only be a 'valued member of society' when she works outside the home is turning the truth on its head!

Now don't get me wrong here. I am NOT saying that the day care worker would be giving the same loving care to someone else's children. Not in the least. In fact the exact opposite happens and her care is much less than the exemplary care a keeper-at-home would give to her own progeny. And I think here with THAT word is a key to understanding this 'war'.

Progeny. Our children are our inheritance from the Lord. They will be (or not) the Godly Seed of the next generation. These infants, toddlers and youth today will be the ones (if they are the rare ones to even have any children) who will be teaching and training their children. My grandchildren and your grandchildren! We are establishing our children's foundations in life by being at home with them, tickling them, feeding them lunch day in and day out, picking flowers with them, enjoying the bouquets of flowers (really weeds) they bring us with that spring in their step and a huge smile upon their lips, being there to answer the innumerable questions. In ALL those seemingly unending tasks with no appreciation shown. But it is here that essential training happens! Here where our little charges (on loan from the Lord) learn about how big God is, that He is a God who can be trusted implicitly, that He will NEVER leave them nor forsake them, a personal not impersonal God who hears and answers prayers, that He is the authority with the answers, that God alone will provide for all their needs and not their own strong right arm, the unending depths that He is.

Sometimes I wonder if it is me who is in the most need of training, while I train these gifts from God.
Blessings,
Mrs. R

Anonymous said...

WHy is it that we think only of the homemaker's tasks as being "never done", when it is the same with any other? If you were in a "real job" to provide a bigger income, it would be the same; you would have to keep going back to work, day after day after day, because the money always leaves, just like a clean floor.

Heather said...

Very well put.

Shannon said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, that children needs their mothers and fathers in their lives without daycare substitutes. I loved to learn and enjoyed going to pre-school-it was an optional program when I was growing up. However, as school progressed I came to despise it as I was teased often since I was overweight and came from an economically disadvantaged family. I was an eager learner and a good student but the teasing and social stigmas only made me come to resent it.

HisBeloved said...

Some times it is easy to forget just how blessed we are. Thank you for the timely reminder.

Anonymous said...

While I realize that things may be different in your country, most working women do not work because we bought into the "feminist lie," but to help provide for our families. I realize you and others may disagree, but it is really a personal decision. And I assure you I do not neglect my family in any way.

I'm not sure if you're implying that children should never be away from their mothers, but your husband probably would have experienced some separation anxiety whether he was 3, 6, or 13 if it was the first time he was away from his mother.

Nurse Bee

Anna said...

I attend college while my husband works. This summer, I decided not to get a job but to spend the time gardening, putting away food, quilting, and doing other home making activities. I've been feeling so guilty, but this was a great post for me to read! I don't have to be working outside the home to help my little family be successful.

I think it's going to be even harder after we have children, because I have decided to stay home and care for them instead of working full time. There is so much blame put on stay-at-home moms who have degrees, especially in the nursing profession since there is a shortage. Being a wife and mother is a full time, all consuming profession. And it is a profession that, in my opinion, has been progressively undervalued over the past century.
Thank you for standing up for wives and mothers who stay at home, and proving that "woman's work" is the best work!

Ways of Zion said...

what a wondewrful post thank you!!!

Catherine R. said...

This post has been a great encouragement to me, Anna. I have always felt such massive guilt for not being ambitious enough in my life, that is before I realized I was brainwashed. I never did well in the work-world and always felt useless. Now I am highly valued as a wife and mom, I do this well!

Mrs. White said...

This is a wonderful post. There is also another problem that is not often mentioned: I think there is an enormous rush for homemakers to start their own home-businesses and such to bring in extra income. There is nothing wrong with this, but if one can stay home and "live on ONE income" they would be truly blessed at home.
Mrs. White

Mrs. Lady Sofia said...

Anna,

Oh, I so needed to hear this today! As Catherine stated, I've NEVER been good in the business world, and I have never been much of a "career woman." I have NEVER wanted that, and my husband doesn't even want a "career woman." He wants, as he puts it, "his housewifey at home."

You are correct when you say that there is A LOT of guilt put on women for not taking the "career path." I have currently just started being a SAHW (stay at home wife), and I still feel like I'm not "doing enough" by taking care of my home and my husband. It's like I have been living the feminist lie for SO long that I can't even break the vicious cycle.

Your post helped me to realize that it's okay to desire being at home and taking care of the family. I am glad that I am not alone in regards to these feelings!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful post. Thank you Anna xx

Kim M. said...

Love this post! So encouraging!