Monday, December 28, 2009

Shall we make a revolution?

I'm not a superwoman. Perhaps there are women out there who work full-time outside the home, and whose homes are still clean and immaculate and who put three good homemade meals on the table every day. I know in many cases it's a fa├žade of having it all, which is hiding severe burn-out and incapability to spend time with family. Perhaps for some it does work and it's all peachy. I know I could never do that, and there's no shame in it.

A more realistic picture, in my opinion, would be that of a woman who works because she has to, doesn't like it much, but does the best she can with what she has. If it's you, my heart goes out to you. It's beyond difficult, and there is always a price. What annoys me is the insistence that no, there is no price and women can juggle it all with no adverse effects to their peace of mind, their home life, or their family.

In the land of idealistic egalitarianism, both spouses work the same number of hours and spend the same amount of time on childcare and household chores. But in real life, it rarely works. Feminists can shout themselves hoarse about how unfair it is that their ideals don't work because men aren't prepared to pull their share of "the second shift", but personally, what interests me more is the situation in real life, and in real life, egalitarian job division doesn't work. Does tradition play a part in it? For sure, but it's not all.

Men and women are simply wired differently. The Almighty made us differently. Women are more inclined to take care of the home, a perfectly healthy and natural instinct of a nesting mother. Even if the number of good homemakers has dramatically declined, it doesn't mean women now feel comfortable in neglected surroundings.

If my husband has to stay alone with Shira for a few hours, he won't be inclined to multitask around the house and do whatever needs to be done. He is willing to help out if it is needed, but the home is mainly my territory and will remain so even if I busy myself elsewhere. Women nest, men usually don't. Women, generally, have more patience with the countless mundane details of family life. We can tear our hair out because of it and say it's a despicable notion that must be eradicated at all costs. Or we can adapt ourselves to reality.

Yes, we can learn to live with how the Almighty made us, and have a beautiful life once we have achieved a sense of peace about the fact that men are men, women are women, and we are differently suited for different tasks, and there's nothing wrong with delegating what must be done to the one who will do it better.

Feminists can boast that women now comprise half of the work force, but men are still in the overwhelming majority of top-rank jobs. That's because even though families have fallen in the trap of the second income, as a rule, wives choose positions that are more about communication, not competition. Around here at least, it's common for women to be teachers, nurses and secretaries. Women choose jobs that are less competitive, that might allow them to work part time, that are close to home. No wonder so many of them earn so little compared to their husbands. The wage gap is not a patriarchal creation. It's a result of the natural inclinations of men and women.

You can give a woman scholarships and tell her how talented she is and how she should advance herself for her own benefit and for the good of the community. You can't stop her doing whatever she can to make her home life at least bearable, which for many means taking a job that will be more family friendly. I know so many, who have acquired lofty degrees, and a couple of years later, have re-trained as teachers to get more flexibility and more time off.

"It's a good job for a mother", I have heard people say in disdain in such cases. What they truly mean to say is "We understand it's a dead-end job that she's taking to have more time for her family. Her career has ended. What a pity." But truthfully, I doubt there is a job that is "good for a mother", unless we're talking of the primary mission of wifehood, motherhood and homemaking.

I'm convinced: some rational thinking, a re-forming of priorities, a doable effort – and many women can come home. The homecoming revolution might start with those who earn significantly less than their husbands and who don't find particular interest in their jobs. If they will return home, it will create a vibrant community of homemakers which will make it easier and more acceptable for other women to come home as well. Just think how wonderful it can be for all women who have a heart for home.

30 comments:

Erika said...

Bravo! I love what you said. The last job I had was driving a school bus with my toddlers and it lasted 4 months. I thought, I will still be with my kids and home most of the day.

But it caused more stress than having a tight budget did. So I came home that was 10 years ago. And have been blessed because of it.

Love your Blog! My family is reading the Old Testament together and many questions have come up about the difference then and now. One day I will email you my questions. Till then keep up the good work.

Erika @ Homegrown Family

Insearchofhubby said...

Your post mentions nothing about the economical realities of today which can and often do dictate that both spouses work in order to afford a reasonable living.

I would dearly love to you your sources for your take on feminists’ ideas of idealistic egalitarianism. And which feminists’ ideals that didn’t work do you refer to specifically? It would be appropriate to point out that one of feminists’ ideas was an idea of equality between men and women in the workforce. As a woman with an established career, I can personality testify that feminists’ ideas and subsequent willingness to fight to put that idea into practice has paid off. For my career has been very much in my own hands, and didn’t depend on anyone’s personal favors and/or likes/dislikes of me.

Anna, the reality is that some women enjoy home making, and some don’t. I love to cook, clean, iron, and etc. I can make a great meal out of simple ingredients. My hands don’t get tired from it. My mood doesn’t get spoiled. In fact it helps me to relax. I have a demanding career, which I enjoy very much. I spend lots of time at the gym, because I like that as well, and I manage to have guests to a home made meal cooked by me at least twice a week. I do it because these are the things I enjoy it. At the same time I have female friends who stay home, and despite all the free time they have on their hands, they don’t clean/cook/etc, they hire others to do it for them.

As an immigrant, myself, my mother, my aunt, and few of my cousins, have gone through the usual route of securing cleaning houses and being babysitters as our first jobs. All of our clients were frum ladies in Baltimore. Dearest Anna, from my personal experience, I can testify that there are many young married frum ladies who stay home, or work very few hours away from home, are just starting to have a family (we are talking about having one or two kids), and they needed hired help to help them to run household.

At my first professional job I have met a lovely frum lady, a mother of 12 kids. She works full time as an IT professional, and manages her household without any hired help, except babysitters. My very close friend in Baltimore, a mother of 8 children now, has tried cleaning help only once, and refused to do so afterwards.

At the same time, I know many men who enjoy cleaning/cooking/baking, and doing all various functions that are associated with home making.

I think it is best to let a couple figure out what works for them and what doesn’t. If a woman wants to be a breadwinner and a man is happy to take on the role of a homemaker, what’s wrong with that? Why is it deemed OK to shove the art of knitting down a girl’s throat when she rather go and do mathematical equations? Why should we work against natural tendencies of an individual instead of working with them? If a girl wants to work, and that makes her fulfilled, let her work. If a guy wants to be a stay home dad, and take care of the house, and that fulfills him, then let them.

Since you are clearly pro women being a homemaker, what are your thoughts on the kollel culture that promotes an idea of a woman being a breadwinner, and man staying home and learning? Indeed, what I have witnessed in many kollel families, men often take on the role of the homemaker, because as you have pointed out, it is pretty darn hard to have a full time career (as many kollel wives do), and then come back home and run a household.

Coffee Catholic said...

A vibrant community of homemakers would be such a blessing!! All women have to do is... stay home. We don't even have to say one word. Just stay home and wow, what a change we'd see in our societies!!

Civilla said...

Very well said, Anna T.

Heidi said...

I'm this person, who is stuck working though I'd much rather tend my home. Good news, I don't have children (yet).

I am praying that I will soom be able to stay home.

I have talked to my husband about my frustration at work stemming from my inability to really keep the house, but he wants me to keep my job until we buy a house or have a baby.

Sometimes I wish I'd get laid off (terminated due to bad economy), but somehow I am always passed over because I'm a valuable employee.

It's difficult to be a traditional family in a society that is moving away from traditional (USA).

I'm ready to join the anti-feminist revolution. What can I do?

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much for your messages on strengthening the home and family. You have helped me have a new perspective on my job of keeping a home and raising a family. I wish I had a clearer perspective when I was as young as you, but I am grateful to be cultivating this love for it now. Thank you for inspiring me and so many others.

Angela said...

If only more women would see the truth in your words. I was absolutely miserable working outside of the home. No one can take care of your family and home the way you yourself can and it is a full time job.

For our family, we are much happier and spend much more time together since I am now at home full time. Chores are completed during the day and I home school my daughter(we have a flexible schedule) so when my husband is here, we have family time. I believe other families could also benefit in the same way. It makes a difference when you don't have to rush home from a full time job, cook dinner and do chores, get the homework done, baths and then bed. Where is the time for family in that? No wonder the family suffers so now a days.

Lisa said...

Hi Anna,

I just want to followup on the point you make about the male/female wage gap. My husband has a Phd in economics and economists have long studied the wage gap.

It's true that a wage gap does exist. However, what feminists conveniently leave out of the conversation is that 95% of the wage gap can be explained by differences in choices made by men and women. These include differences in formal education/ training, time in & out of the workforce, etc.

95% of the wage gap can be explained by the choices we make!

You are indeed correct when you say that it is not a patriarchal creation.

Jo said...

I am one of those women not overly keen on house work but I do it (and keep a very tidy home) as I have to. No all women are drawn to "nesting" - some are, some aren't. It is too easy to place women into boxes (its done by both feminists and anti feminists)we are all very different and different things work for different people. One thing which mums at home may not know - but us working mums get together and talk about all types of things (cooking, children, relationships etc) and have built up a wonderful caring community. Even the men join in and it is such a great way to share ideas etc.

My husband loves to vacuum and I let him do it - we each have our chores and things run smoothly. I also get my adult sons to help - both boys and girls should be taught to run a household.

I think this is a topic that will always divide the female community - I also think that the experiences in our different countries play apart in our views. The work experiences of women in the USA, Israel and my own country Australia are very different. The work conditions and pay I have appear to be vastly different to others.

I am very proud of being a mum but I also wearing a "working" hat as well. And for me it does work.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anna. I support women who wish to stay at home, and feel that if one is to have children, one had better take the task very seriously indeed.

But I'm here to tell you that there are those of us--rather large numbers of us, actually--who love and honour God, and also love the fact that we were able to get good formal educations and good jobs outside the home, as well as having been blessed with those homes themselves, and often with children. People will manage various things variously, but painting the situation in this sort of black-and-white way seems, if I may say so, unhelpful and possibly a bit ingenuous. Women who don't want to be working outside the home should do what they can to try to "come home" (and, whether anyone likes to contemplate it or not, should realise that they could be left very vulnerable indeed by the death or departure of a working spouse), and they should be supported in that. But please understand that there are those of us who truly love our jobs, our lives, and God all at once--and we may be differently-programmed than you are, or have different ideas of contentedness. Please don't make assumptions about us or shut us out. We can all exist together.

-A Happy Career Woman

Mrs. Anna T said...

Insearchofhubby,

I think that the kollel culture is a warped modern phenomenon that puts a tremendous, unfair burden on women. I blogged about this before. Read here:

http://ccostello.blogspot.com/2008/01/women-supporting-their-husbands.html

And here:

http://ccostello.blogspot.com/2009/08/charedi-women-speak-out.html

I would like to remind everyone that in the ketubah, a man commits to support his wife. If he intends to put the burden of breadwinning on her from the start, the ketubah is a mockery. IN PARTICULAR when women are brainwashed to think that they are weak and not pious enough if they aren't willing to support a scholar husband.

no one said...

There is something good about kollel. In fact something so good that I hesitate to even comment on the whole phenomenon because i will be forced to mention the negative side.
The good part is that the interface with holiness we Jews have is by the Talmud and the rishonim (medieval commentaries on Talmud). The world of rabbis that is superficially built on Talmud is actually occupied by people that actually ignorant of Talmud and whose world view is based on money and power, not Talmud. So the really only decent leaders we have are those people that are highly occupied with the Talmud, not rabbis.

But here comes the negative part. There is no authority that allows one to use learning torah as a way of making a living not the rambam, rif rosh tur or shulchan aruch. And all rabbis that allow it are (nogae bedavar) they are not neutral parties. But stand to make a lot of money by allowing using the torah to make a living. In Torah law a judge who stands to make money by judging a case can't be considered to be an impartial judge
Thus kollels are actually non kosher institutions according to all major i.e. rif rosh rambam tur and shulchan aruch.
The further problem with kollel is that it is in general in fact for making money and the spirit of torah is lacking.
Therefore my conclusion is that as a people we have a few holy books we ought to stick with-Torah Talmud rambam. The new kollel version of torah which goes against the rambam is really a power ploy and has little to do with Torah.

Jo said...

In Australia the full-time adult ordinary time earnings (excludes overtime) for males is $1,284.10 and for females it is $1,063.40. And it is common knowledge that the differences is caused by the number of women in part-time employment or in occupations that pay less (eg retail). Women are making choices and that is excellent and thanks to unions (this is much more about unions than feminism), workplaces are now more flexible than they have ever been. However more needs to be done to create a more equal environment for those women who must work or choice to return to the workplace and this includes women in high power positions who may wish to work part time.

Judy said...

I am one of those working because I have to. I spent 9 years as a single mother, and returned to teaching at the beginning of that time as it was a job that would afford me the most time possible with my children (with whom I'd been home for 7 years before discovering their father was committing adultery and getting divorced). As for the work itself, it is generally pleasant once I get there (although I will admit to not enjoying the 12 - 15 year olds that I teach - I teach in the inner city, and they are very, very hardened - so sad).

When I remarried, my husband moved so that my older children would not have to be uprooted. By the time we conceived, he had not yet found employment that offered health insurance, and as I am a severe asthmatic, that is something we can not be without. So we decided to keep my job (I have tenure - which translates to job security - and excellent health insurance), and he left his to be home with our son (soon to be joined by another son - in April).

I hate the fact of working out of my home, away from my children. But I recognize that I am truly blessed to have a husband who is willing and able to be the parent at home (he does work evenings and weekends as well). When I go on maternity leave in March, I will be praying so very hard that my husband will find work through a hiring agency that will appreciate him so much that they offer him full-time employment with benefits that will make up for the loss of my salary so I can take my turn at home. But if that should not happen, I will continue to praise and bless the Lord for gifting me with the husband I have - who is wonderfully nurturing with the children, and who works so hard to make things nice here at home.

happyinthekitchen said...

i too, wish i could stay home and take care of what needs taken care of there. i get so stressed everyday, because i get home, and there is a disaster waiting it seems. i have no children yet, and luckily for us, i will not have to work much longer. i worked long enough to take care of any remaining debt i had, and at the end of this academic year, no more! but i still can't convince people that this is a good decision. i am a valued employee, am constantly praised and promoted, given special tasks,, etc. but really, i don't care. i don't take much pride in it. my true moments of satisifaction involve well-cooked meals, and the look on his face when a new recipe works out. when guest compliment how nice my home looks. and hopefully before long, i'll know how it feels when they say what cute babies i have! ;-) i can't help it. i was raised by a feminist, went to a big college, etc. but i'm wired the way i am wired, and what makes me happy is what it is. i'm lucky enough to have found someone who appreciates the things i truly want to do. i felt i should continue working for a bit to relieve some debt, and i don't regret doing so while i had no kids. until i have kids, i may pursue a few classes or some work in the community, but i really don't feel i have to. i know where i am needed. thanks for the encouragement anna! it's getting really hard to simply be a 'girl' these days!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Anna! I encourage women to devote 100% to investing in themselves and in their families. Being home is so much more than keeping a clean house and cooking meals. Women at home have the sacred opportunity of keeping society human. Working closely with our families, extended families, and local communities is a rich and rewarding work, with far-reaching effects. For example, the economy in today's world leaves many of us concerned. But I would rather work harder at home to provide for our needs than to go out to work to pay for things that are luxuries. I relish the opportunity to be *free*, to spend time with loved ones instead of co-workers, and to invest myself in work where I am completely irreplaceable. When a woman(or man) retires from his career, life goes on for that business. Someone steps in to replace hiim or her, and that is that. But the work we do at home, and our presence there, cannot be replaced adequately by anyone else. In my mind, the home is the place of highest honor for women. There are no limits to how strong she can make herself, her family, and her extended family; and no limits to how she can impact her community and the world. I pray that the eyes of more women can be opened to see the richness awaiting them at home.
Carole

Harper said...

I thought this was a great post, and I linked to it over on my blog.

Lea said...

I too believe that we are all wired slightly differently and should follow how God made us. I greatly enjoy working outside of my home and feel that I am called to do so by God.

I feel sad for women who work and who want to stay home. I also feel sad for women who desperately desire to work outside of their home (and feel God has called them to) and are either told they can't or shouldn't by religious authorities or others.

We are also coming to things from different perspectives and places. My standard for my home may make others cringe (or, on the other side be amaized!) but we find it clean and comfortable. I also started cooking, cleaning, baking, sewing, gardening, and all the rest when I was just old enough to work (about 2 1/2 or 3 years old). Now I'm in my mid-30s and have routines down that make my work efficient. If someone is just learning, they are still developing their routine and learning skills. I can make from scratch, serve, eat, clean up from (no dishwasher) a meal and tidy my kitchen in about 1 1/2 hours from start to finish. Others may not be able to do that. I do one major chore a day (ironing, wash, dust, floors, etc.) Monday to Saturday and then two non-regular chores each week on my 'light days'. This works for me and my family. Hubby and my son vacuum - they love it!

I also think that different personalities play a part. I am outgoing, love to be around people, need a lot of intellectual stimulation, and, now that I'm healthy again, have a lot of physical energy. I enjoy a relatively fast pace of life that includes time with my family being active. I do like to read, sew and embroider but not all day. Being in the workforce gives me a chance to use those things. My dearest life-long friend is an at-home wife and homeschool mom. She is much quieter than I am and has never wanted to be away from home for long and enjoys being home with her family very much. Things that take me an hour or two could take her days and she definately isn't lazy or slow. I would never ask her to work outside her home or expect her to.

"Support" can take on many meanings. Financial support is only one. Emotional and Spiritual support are more important to me than financial and if a woman is called to work outside of her home, sometimes having her husband love her and help in caring for a house and home is more important than the financial support. My perspective on this is coming from a slightly left/moderate Christian background that does not have 'defined' roles for genders or husbands and wives.

Sorry this is so long - I think these 'black and white' opinions are part of the reason why the "mommy wars" as we call them in the US happen. I keep wondering why we have to argue or defend what we do if we're doing what God has called us to do whatever that may be....

Thanks for 'listening'.
Lea

Lisa said...

"However more needs to be done to create a more equal environment for those women who must work or choice to return to the workplace and this includes women in high power positions who may wish to work part time."

Jo,

I have to respectfully disagree with the last part of this statement. More does not need to be done in order to make it easier for women (or men!) in high powered positions to work part time. The reason these jobs are high powered is because they require a great deal of dedication, energy, and time. That's why these jobs pay such high wages. Women and men need to recognize that there are tradeoffs for every decision we make. If you want more family time, choose a less demanding career. It's simply unrealistic for people to think that they can be a high powered executive AND be home every night by 5:00pm.

Anonymous said...

I like this post much better than your few previous posts. Yes, I work, I am skilled (ie. earn a good living), and yes it is mainly for finacial reasons. If given the choice, I would probably work only a few days a month. But if I did that we would lose our home, our good car, our good health insurance, and have to worry a lot about money. I realize that some women would still choose to remain at home and forego the above. But I think that's a hard choice to make and I don't need judgement from others, I certainly wouldn't make it for others. And I am in a job with a lot of flexibility which is about as good as it gets for motherhood, I think.

I do feel that my heart is really at home with my family and my husband and I both strive to make our home a good place and make our children feel loved and a priority in life.

Just some thoughts from a working mother

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Yes! Thank you - beautifully said and I agree 100%!

Marylouise said...

I agree! I`m 54yrs.old.When I got married 33yrs.ago I said I wanted to be a stay-at-home wife.Even my new mother-in-law said that I needed more to do.Nothing is more important than caring for my home and family.I believe it`s God`s will. Thank-you for letting women know you can`t do it all!
Marylouise

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments makes me appreciate the fact I live in a country (Israel) where health insurance is not dependant on your job. Everyone gets universal health insurance at a pretty low rate. You can pay more and get some perks....but in any case, it has nothing to do with where you work. You pay the same whether you are a CEO or unemployed.

This post really resonates with me. For once, I agree with just about every word you wrote.

In most cases, though, I think women's salaries are often crucial. I do not earn an insignificant amount compared to my husband. My salary is 30-40% of our income, and with 5 kids, one with special needs, we need it all. Like many working mothers, I work for basic quality of life, not for trips to the Carribean.

I suppose we could sell our house, move to a tiny apartment, sell our two ancient cars and take the bus everywhere, and eat bread and butter all day. Never buy anything for the kids. Never send them on school trips or to friends' birthday parties. But I expect we would all be a lot more miserable than we are now with me working part-time. The laundry may pile up sometimes, the dishes aren't always done on time, mom is sometimes stressed, but we don't feel like we are struggling in poverty.

While I think many women would prefer to stay home, I doubt many families would be willing to return to the standards of living of 50-100 yrs ago. My mother grew up in a two room house - living room and one bedroom - and they were a family of seven. I personally would not be willing to do that, even if it meant I could stay home.
Tammy

Lori said...

Anna,

Well said! Well said! Lol....it appears we still have alot of unconvinced women out there as to the value of being home.;)

The opportunities abound for those women who have intellectual skills to offer those skills in the community, with friends, ect. I personally enjoy many such times volunteering my nursing skills in a health clinic, learning quilting skills and using those for the benefit of the homeless or crisis pregnancy centers. There are just a host of things a SAHM can do that those who work "outside" cannot. When my neighbors are in trouble, I'm free to help. Whether it is a transportation need, or a health crisis ( I have one neighbor who has diabetes and other problems and lives alone...where if I wasn't home and didn't notice the man collapsed outside his house...and didn't call the squad, this man wouldn't be alive...a better neighbor we couldn't ask for!) What a blessing to help someone else in their time of need!

Incidentally, my kids and hubby do pitch in with the housework. But, I agree Anna, when I am gone for any length of time...especially a whole day...it can appear as if a cyclone has hit! I also agree that mostly it is women who have the nesting instinct....I believe those guys who stay home have to work at it ;)

I also agree with some of the posters who have talked about the differing personalities. Some SAHM can take all day to do chores....while some are quicker. It's not that they are lazy, they are just created differently...and that's OK. I really believe that the Almighty has differing roles for each woman to play at different times of her life...and His plans reign supreme...whether that is at home, at work, with or without children. Each of us are essentially accountable to HIM in how we live out our days.

Although currently I am a SAHM....and will be for a good long while yet, I suspect.( and I enjoy it very much....I love hearing my children laugh and the pitter/patter of bare feet! ;) There may come a day when I move on to other interests using other skills or learning new ones. I believe we are here to not only help our own families, but for the betterment of all mankind as well.

Thanks for this topic Anna, I've really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on these issues.

Great Post!

Anonymous said...

Probably this has already been written about but stay at home moms and working moms should not be comparing house keeping standards this varies widely between people in the same group .Staying out of the paid workforce does not mean a woman has become a stay at home housecleaner .I think a lot of working women see the home as a place to do what has to be done and then relax with family that is how I looked at my home when I worked. A stay at home woman looks at her home and extended family friends and community as the place she does her work ,which is varied . Baking, giving service to the people outside the family more often as the littles grow ,cleaning ,caring for the elderly making sure the old person around the corner has a ride to the doctor or a favorite piece of pie or a chat now and again things like thse make a huge difference in the quality of lots of lives not just our own families.And all this takes time more than resources.TIME .I have in the past cared for my neighbors children for years and their mother didn't even realize it. every day they were in my home for meals and care and play often 3 meals a day sometimes leaving in the dark to go home to a dark empty house because to be honest the parents were out drinking after work every night.My next door neighbor wanted to turn them over to social services who would have put these children in foster care I disagreed and stepped up to raise someone elses children for about 5 years, This can't be done in a society where all women work away from home. I have eggs to share with the poor and vegetables fresh from my garden for those who can't afford such things small things but nice. Life is nicer if more women stay home not as rich but more pleasant.

Mrs Glenys Hicks said...

I enjoyed reading this post...I think a quiet revolution would be very powerful....just stay at home! It's such a simple statement that speaks volumes! Blessings!

Kat said...

It saddens me that there must be so much "fighting" among women over this issue. Every woman's life, home and family are going to look different. As long as a woman has sought out the counsel of her Lord and her husband...it really does not matter what statistics, magazines, books or even other blogs say. We need not try to extinguish another sister's flame in order to make our own seem brighter. Blessings, Anna.

Thursday's Child said...

During the 12 1/2 years that I've been a mom, I've been a SAHM only a few. :( I'm a teacher, which is wonderful in that it allows me to be home during the summer. When we lived in the States, I enjoyed my work, but really wanted to be home. I did end up being home with the kids for about 3 years and loved it.

When we moved to Q8 to join my husband I worked. I was blessed with a wonderful school and several free periods that allowed me to get all of my work done so I never took work home with me. My time home was with the kids and it was wonderful.

The kids and I have moved back to Lebanon. I worked for a few months but the structure of the school did not allow me the flexibility with my time that I had in Q8. I was bringing work home and my oldest's grades were suffering because I was doing my own homework instead of helping him with his.

I'm a SAHM again and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm a SAHM woman at heart though. If I were more career minded I would probably have made it work better. I would have been energized by my job instead of drained and depressed by it.

My batteries are charged by being at home with my family, but there are others who get their batteries charged by working hard at their careers all day so they come home and enjoy being with their families.

In other words, while I agree with about 99% of what you've said, Anna, I think that women don't pop out of a cookie press. We more like drop cookies. ;)

Amanda said...

I have been a silent reader for quite some time, although I generally always agree with your posts Anna and find them a great encouragement. Although I come from a traditional Christian background, I find your views on marriage and motherhood to be right in line with my own.

I hesitated to leave a comment, because I don't want what I'm about to say to seem like an attack on the commenter "Lea", since what she wrote was probably not meant the way it sounded... but I grow so weary of women (specifically mothers) who work outside of the home and use the reason "I need intellectual stimulus" and "I'm very social". It somehow manages to make me smile AND make my blood boil at the same time! :)

Having worked outside of the home in a career I enjoyed prior to having children, I can honestly say that I spend more time with quality people of my own choosing (as opposed to a work environment where you might not like everyone you see daily) and have many more intellectual challenges as a SAHM than ever before.

I know that what I'm doing is the right thing - feel so peaceful and confident in that knowledge that I don't need to constantly point out to others the "whys" of my choice, although I do if asked. I'm always amused by the litany of feeble reasons some feel they must provide on why their way is right :)

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your post about women working in the home, it makes me feel special, and needed. I always get comments about how well behaved and kind my children are. That they have the most wonderful manners. I enjoy staying at home with my children.