Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How should young women prepare for their future?

I got an email from a lady to whom I will refer as Mrs. V, in which she posed some very challenging questions. She kindly agreed to allow me to post her email here, along with my reply, and so I'm going to share it.

***


Hello Anna,
 
I've really enjoyed all of your postings defending mothers staying at home to raise their children.  I so agree with all of your views on it.  For me, doesn't it make sense that God would want mothers to raise their precious little blessings?  To introduce them to His world?  To form and mold them?
 
Anyhow, I wanted to get your thoughts on something.   I always work backwards from the desired end result (i.e. - a mother staying home to raise her children and the father working to provide for his family) and try to figure out what is impeding that from happening.  So in today's society, from the time our daughters are young, we are preparing them for a career.  Of course education is a good thing.  These days, there are so many ways to educate oneself outside of a classroom. So, if people are preparing and encourage their daughters to seek a university and post graduate education, isn't this setting them up not to be with their little babies?  

One of two things seems to happen:  1. women are ambitious about their career, end up landing a job (often at the cost of a father out there who needs to provide for his family) and then they either delay children, or if they have children, put them in daycare right away as the child impedes the women's career. 2.  if a woman decides she wants to stay home with her children, she just spent $80,000-100,00 on a career and in most cases is in tremendous debt, which is an incredible burden to be starting at the beginning of a marriage).  

The other resulting factor of so many women working is that I think they are taking away potential jobs from men (and fathers).  Just think of the jobs that would open up for men and fathers who are unemployed if women were home caring for their home and family!  The family would end up being more stable, there would be less drop out among young men.  Right now, the statistics for boys are horrendous.  I can't remember the numbers (read it in Meg Meeker's book "Boys should be Boys), but basically, more women are going into professional careers, are being accepted into university than men etc....kind of depressing statistics). 
 
Sorry for being so long-winded.  So my question is: is higher education for women really good for the family?  Could there be an alternate form of education?  Maybe a 1 or 2 year program that is somewhat goverment funded that teaches practical lifeskills for being a good homemaker? Or other programs that includes history/art/philosophy etc.. might be an alternate solution? (although people would think I'm crazy if I actually said that out loud.  That's the sad part, people don't even see a problem with abandoning their children to the care of other people.  I know abandon is a strong word, but that's what I feel it is).   
 
Anyhow, have you ever thought about these things?  I know Catholic homeschooling moms who are encouraging their daughters to be lawyers/pharmacists etc...but it surprises me, because don't they think about their daughter's children and being home with them?

***

I think many things are very much backward when it comes to women's high education and preparation for a career. It's like women are prepared only to pursue a career, and not in the least set up to do what makes up the essence of womanhood: being a wife and mother. On the contrary, women are encouraged to get a degree which requires years and years to get, and end up to their ears in student debt - all too often before they even get a chance to understand how important it will be to them to be with their family, when they get married and especially when they become mothers. 

Essentially, once such a young woman does have a baby and suddenly wishes to stay at home - not an uncommon scenario - she is trapped, because she has all the student debt to pay off, not to mention that she is expected to work now that she put all those years into her education. Furthermore, chances are higher that the man she married entered into the deal with the expectation that she should work, and it might easily be that they took a mortgage and other loans assuming a substantial financial contribution will come from her career. It's sort of a snowball - every part of the equation makes it more difficult for this woman to stay at home, should she wish to do so at some point of her life. 

It doesn't mean that such a change wouldn't be possible, but it would be difficult, financially as well as mentally, and would require a great deal of commitment from both spouses. 

Today's economy is geared up towards women working as well as men, and there's no doubt it causes the cheapening of labor and lowering of salaries. However, many women make poor employees, what with taking maternity leave and a lot of sick leave, and the constant - and very natural - mental pull they feel towards their families, homes and children. 

I think that in a hypothetical situation, if suddenly the majority of women decided to pull out of the workplace, it would cause economy to undergo quite a shake, but eventually, we might all be better off. 

I believe that the reason more women get accepted into higher education programs is because institutionalized education these days, starting from elementary school, is fitted more towards skills that are more typically found in girls. Girls fit much more easily into a program where they are required to sit and work quietly, and with longer and longer school hours, and children more and more cooped up, girls fare better than boys. It might be that the fact that so many boys are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD is nothing more than the typical boyish "ants in their pants" and eagerness to explore. I think many boys would fare better with more active, hands-on programs, than the system that strives to get children in quiet, large groups. However, that would require resources that perhaps aren't even present in institutionalized schools. The result is that by the time they reach their teenage years, many boys feel like outcasts and fall out of the system. 

You ask, "is higher education for women really good for the family?" - I'm not sure I would put it this way. I'm a great proponent of education and a broad circle of interests, and I think that's good for everyone, especially in women who bring up their children and are the first (and in homeschooling families, main) teachers. However, I doubt college life and student debt are really necessary for a woman. Alternative forms of education abound, and self-education is my favorite. With so many informative resources now available, we can teach ourselves many valuable and useful things, and gain a broad and liberal education, if only we wish to do so. Many famous people never even went to school in the normal sense of the world, yet who can claim they were uneducated? 

I doubt a government-funded program would do any good; I believe more young women should think about their long-term goals, and ask themselves: do I want to be a wife and mother one day? Will I want to be with my children, especially when they are young? If so, which lifestyle is better fitting with that goal? Will I still be able to do it if I spend a lot of time when I'm young pursuing a degree, or several degrees, and a career? If not, what can I do? 

I have no easy answer, and I'm afraid I have to round up my email now because time is pressing. I thank you again for writing, and hope to have your permission to post your email (slightly abridged) on my blog, anonymously of course, along with my answer. I think it can sprout an interesting discussion. 

Blessings,

Anna 

30 comments:

Krystyna said...

My ideological position on this is so different that polemizing would be pointless.

But I can't help laughing at 'institutionalized education these days, starting from elementary school, is fitted more towards skills that are more typically found in girls'. Have you read "Tom Brown's Schooldays" or any other books set in 19th-early 20th century boys' schools? Education used to be even more focused on sitting quietly and rote learning than it is now.
True, they did have sports to release all the energy - at least in the English system, I can't remember any sports in school novels from my region.

All the best!

Gothelittle Rose said...

The main non-feminist reason I've heard for women to maintain some sort of education is the fear that, if her husband dies, she will not be able to support herself.

I couldn't say what's the right way to deal with that. I've heard different things from different people. And of course, each woman has different gifts.

I used about $10,000 in all to get myself a bachelor's degree from a community college ($1K/yr) and then a state university ($4K/yr). I did workstudy throughout my time in college and paid it all off within about 6mo of graduation. I was forced to use that degree for a couple of years when my husband was laid off, and the amount of money I could make with it was the only thing that made him able to get the extra training he needed to pick up the very good and stable job that he has today.

I put in some time now and then, as I can, teaching at a local tutoring center. More than the extra money, I do this for the experience... three to five hours per week keeps my resume fresh enough that if something happened to my husband (God forbid), I could go into the teaching field.

My sister-in-law spent her years before marriage getting her proper teaching degree online from Liberty University, working part-time and paying it off as she went. She did this because she planned to (and did) marry a missionary and she judged it the best way to prepare herself to be his helpmeet.

Now again, I'm not saying that "College Is For Everyone", and I'm not saying "The Feminists Are Right". I firmly believe that there is not a single good way for all women to go, because all women are different. But I wanted to share a couple of experiences that take a somewhat middle-of-the-road approach. Examine your options and consider where God is leading you... that's my advice. Everything you do by His leading will, whether now or later, benefit you in doing His work.

Mary said...

Very interesting post. I was having a similar conversation with some women last week. All of us are college educated and the other two women were both stay at home. One, who had a very technical background, related how she had been raised focused on having a career, but had not really learned a lot of basic home management skills. I am not able to stay home for the reason commented in the letter- I did not realize until too late that you have to make decisions on the front end of your marriage that you will live on one income, in order to have the freedom to be able to stay at home.

For our daughter, I will encourage her to explore her interests, but when it comes to college, to think out of the box. There are some on-line programs that are very good if you have want a humanities focus including one just starting that has tie ins with traditional 4 year colleges to finish the degree.

I have read a couple of articles regarding the issue that since the work force in the US is predicated on the "fact" that women "have" to work, it has depressed real income due to the increase in competition. Interesting topic and issue for study.

Analytical Adam said...

Dear Mrs. Anna,

In terms of the boys having ants in the pants and not being able to concentrate I feel this has more to do with the fact that they are treated in unfair and inconsistent ways by many parents (and others) that make them nervous and not be able to trust their own mind and be able to "relax". Including many boys in single mother homes and most young teachers are women. If they are treated as if they are the enemy how can they relax when they are made to feel they are inherently bad.

Most jobs that men would need to do require a man to have good concentration and be focused. Whether it is being a farmer, doctor, any profession and be good at it. In fact men are better at being super focused on one thing then women are and ignore what is around them. If not I don't see how men could have made inventions and do major surgery that require concentration.

In fact my own situation my father didn't like me because I was a little bit on the introvert/slow to warm up side and he compared me to other relatives who were more outgoing. My mother didn't like me because I was a boy and all boys have been using 5,000 years even 7 year old boys. Don't you know.

My parents have no problem labeling their boy with problems in our society that is more and more hostile to men and men who abuse other men are rewarded.

If the boys were in a rational decent way only being treated badly when they really did something bad the boys would be able to concentrate in school. This idea that boys can't concentrate I do think has more to do with how they are treated more then any other factor and many times they are treated with gotcha game that they can't relax and trust their own mind and thinking both the good and bad that comes through their mind.

Adam

Anonymous said...

I am a technical major at University, but also plan to stay at home and raise a family. My fiance is fully supportive of this, and we plan to live off his income, using mine only as a supplement until we have children, if I even work at all after my degree. I am mostly getting a degree for my personal benefit, in the subjects I am fascinated by, and am not going simply to start a career. Also, in some countries, to be able to homeschool your children, the parent teaching is required to have a degree. And, if anything did happen, I would be able to work and support my family if necessary. I think that there are still many good reasons to get a degree from college if you want to be a stay-at-home mum, as long as it is financially viable. For those who aren't suited to humanties-based subjects, it isn't as easy to do a degree online.

Sharon said...

I have a college degree and the student loans to go with it. I am also a stay-at-home mother. But I do not in the least regret getting a degree; the education and broadening of my horizons were well worth it. I am especially glad of my degree as I look forward to educating my own two little boys.

If I ever remarry (I am single) and have daughters, I will encourage them to pursue higher education, not in order to prepare for a career away from home, but to better enable them to be a wise and capable mother, helpmeet, and educator of their own children. However, I would strongly encourage them to do so without accumulating debt, if at all possible. And I would hope that my daughters could pursue higher education while remaining under the protection and supervision of their parents.

LouLou said...

My husband just graduated from college with a Bachelor's Degree. I am graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in December, and we have known from the beginning of our relationship that we did not want me to work until our children are grown. We have one little boy now, and we decided that my education would be beneficial for homeschooling him and volunteering in the community, specifically in my eventual career field- libraries. I have worked at a library for about 7 years, and by volunteering, I will remain current in the field while teaching my son the importance of volunteerism. My education has broadened my horizons and actually taught me that my preconceived notion that you had to have a career outside the home was actually false. I don't regret getting my degree and only have a few thousand dollars of debt which will be added to my husband's debt- which is multiplied many times over mine!- but his job will forgive all of our student loans. I am thankful I went to college also because otherwise I don't believe I would have met him! :)

Leah Brand-Burks said...

Very interesting, and also would be VERY controversial, if not in the unique environment that is your blog, Anna. :0) Thanks for the discussion.

Elizabeth Smith said...

18 year old Christian woman here and planning to be either a part-time working mother or a stay-at home mother after (only) 3-4 years at college. Traditional conservative in my orientation.

The Kitchen Witch said...

Oh boy I know the struggle with cultural "programing" that you are talking about. I still struggle with the fact that I consider myself a feminist but I am also a stay at home mom. My family was very poor but not poor enough to give me a free ride at university. I tried school but found that it just wasn't suited to my personality. I learn better on my own, at my own pace. I regret not getting a degree but also understand that staying in university would have made me miserable. I sometimes struggle with wanting to be a good feminist by getting a job, but again I would be miserable. I love being home with my lil 'un and seeing him grow and develop his own personality.

famayes said...

I think it is interesting that so many people, especially in America, conclude their arguments with something like, "Everyone is an individual and has to decide what God wants them to do in their situation." That sounds so reasonable, but is not actually a biblical idea.

God has quite clearly indicated what the roles are to be for men and women and has made it plan that the woman was to be a worker at home, supporting her husband and caring for her family. The word of God is our authority for all of faith and practice, NOT our subjective experiences (feelings, leadings ...) or what our present culture expects.

SubWife said...

It's hard to tell what I find more insulting: the email writer's belief that women somehow steal men's jobs, the discounting of those who never got to be wives and/or mothers as not quite real women, or the notion that many women makes poor employees. I think most of this is based on the romanticized ideas of how things were in the past that have very little in common with how things actually were. Perhaps a course in history isn't such a bad idea.

But I will follow Krystyna's suit and conclude that arguing my point would be way too long and rather pointless. The only thing I would say that I am eternally grateful to the options available to me in this day and age; and if I, God forbid, ever had to solely rely on myself to financially support my family, my choices would not be limited to minimum wage jobs and solely relying on someone else's handouts.

Nea said...

I mostly agree with yuo.

Just about boys and ADHD: I ofcourse know only the situation in my own country and schoolworld, but in here the number of ADHD(boys) has gone up, and for me as a teacher it seems to be a real thing.

It seems that the reason for ADHD's upcoming might quite much be explained by our hectic lifestyle. ADHD seems to be partly something a child is born with, but the enviroment he (or she) lives in has a tremendous effect to how, or if at all, it will affect his life. So, mothers staying at home would be one solution for that problem.

An other reason for ADHD might be certain food additives. These, too, can be minimized, if the food is done at home from scratch.

So to close with: mothers at home with teir children has a great effect on her childrens life in many areas.

Joanna said...

Interesting. While I agree that having twice as many people in the workforce drives competition and that daycare/nannies are a way of outsourcing motherhood, I can't condone a return to the oft romanticized days of old when women were unable to get a formal education. History (and indeed current events, think Afghanistan) has shown us that where women are prohibited from obtaining formal education they are victimized. Indeed, all people that are uneducated and even illiterate are ripe for victimization. For this reason alone higher education for women is a positive development. There are (at least in the US) plenty of ways of obtaining said education w/o debt and a woman's ability to choose to stay at home with her children has more to do with decisions made at the outset of her marriage and possibly choice of husband than anything else.

I also wonder if the classic archetype of man toiling in the fields for 16 hours a day, leaving the house before his children rise and coming in after bedtime (it definitely happens here in some cases when couples choose the husband's career as not only primary but only) while mom stays at home is the best. Perhaps there is a middle ground in which both partners work a lesser amount (even less than 40 hours a week, I would argue) and are able to share both housework and child rearing. Children benefit from interaction with both mom and dad. And as a homeowner I can tell you there is just as much work at the house for my husband to do as there is for me. Some of his duties I could take over but some I could not for the simple fact that he is much stronger than I. It's extremely unlikely that you'd see broad based support in the West for a return to days of women not being educated, but human beings are inherently innovative and creative and there are solutions that lie at neither extreme.

Joanna said...

@famayes: I agree that today's society has thrown aside Truth in favor of Relativism. However, I strongly disagree with your biblical interpretation that women should not be performing paid work. Indeed women are called to be "keepers at home" and, if we are honest, almost all women are performing this role whether or not they are feminists and whether or not they work outside the home. Performing paid work and being a "keeper at home" are not mutually exclusive. Read Proverbs 31 again. This woman is a merchant woman. While she may be home-based in her work, she "sees that her trading is profitable" and "makes linen garments and sells them". The Proverbs 31 woman archetype that so many of us strive towards is an entrepreneur! The idea that women working outside the home is not biblically supported is wide spread Untruth that serves only to divide Christian women into two camps. Who do you know that is interested in dividing women?

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to point out to your commenter that those of us in pink collar professions are not "stealing" jobs from men. Few men desire to be teachers or nurses (maybe b/c it does allow for easier part-time work and more time with family).

Katy M. said...

SubWife, I feel that there are indeed many romanticized notions out there. I am thankful to have wise elders in my life who tell me how things truly were.

Anonymous said...

I am the eldest of many, many siblings (mostly female) and from an early age I had committed to the single life. I had no problem at all in preparing myself for a college-education, to forge a career. My college-educated, parents helped instill an excellent work ethic, and how to flexibly adapt and persevere in the goals I'd set.

I attended community college and qualified for scholarship in the professional program, as well as a PELL grant, and work-study. If I hadn't qualified, I'd have been perfectly happy with the local college education. I'd advocate education or something that helps a young person maintain a desire for motivation to learn and remain creatively competent in their lives.

As a consequence of my college-bound preparation and debt-free college experience, when I did meet and fall in love unexpectedly in college there was no debt, and a lot of gumption to succeed. That's the way it was in my family.

Some of us held several jobs at a time, performed as professionals for our college tuition, but our folks could provide no monetary contribution. They encouraged a well-rounded foundation and education let us know from the beginning we would have to learn to provide and fend for ourselves, as they had done in their own lives.

The only one of us without a steady income, joined the USMC right out of high school and fell on difficult times because he had no college education to help tide him over when there were no manual labor jobs in the housing industry.

None of us women are in the doily-making business, but we know how to sew, make house repairs, change a tire, tend garden, manage our finances, etc. as well as give our children and communities the best we can provide.

My brother and his wife work for a school district wherein they can alternate years in teaching. One sister is a nurse and a mother and raised her daughter with the help of our folks. One sister was single woman, a college professor, and athlete. Other sisters are nuns, and still others are dedicated single women; artists, no interest in motherhood. I hold a doctorate.

We all contribute, no matter what level of secondary education. We don't make fun of or turn up our noses at others who share their knowledge gladly. And, I thank God that he didn't tell me or write in the Bible particular details of my role in the world, and how I would contribute with my family to His plan. I do have to say, though, that one grand benefit of how we were raised, is that it is difficult to maintain an artificial veneer of wealthy snobbery or discrimination based on surface appearances.

Jo said...

I am a mum, I have a degree from a university, I work full-time, have stayed home with my children (who are now grown up) and I am the keeper of my home (and I love caring for my family and home). We cannot put all women into one box, therefore it is important to not make sweeping statements about women with degrees. I have no regrets about mine at all (which I did via correspondences) and if women want to further their education, even if they choose to stay at home, then that should be fine.

Education is NEVER wasted and can be used for many things, even if not in paid work.

And in regards to women stealing men's job - rubbish - if women left employment our economy would collapse. The current problem in most first world countries is the low unemployment and if all the married women left, we would have a huge skills shortage and companies would run into big problems.

I am no less a mother and wife because I have a degree and I work.

Anonymous said...

I'm an advocate for higher education for numerous reasons, and while I agree with you that education can be self-initiated and self-directed, that it's more enriching to learn within a community, conversing and discussing ideas with other students and professors. Another reason I would especially advocatae higher education for home-schoolers is to insure the quality of knowledge they give their children (including the boys, who might want higher education and find themselves ill-equipped). Besides, learning about child development, psychology, theories of education, health, and, as in your case, nutrition can only make a more knowledgeable homemaker.

Just one womana's opinion!

Blessings.
- Sally

Gothelittle Rose said...

About boys in school: There is more to school than just how well you sit and study.

In the U.S., in the old schoolhouses, school wasn't the day-long event it is nowadays. Those boys had been up at dawn and spent at least 2-3 hours of hard work before they were expected to settle down and study. Then they had a free break for lunch, in which they could run about all they liked, and when they got home they started on the afternoon chores.

However, as I said, the sit-and-study time was only part of the picture. School also used to be more competitive. Nowadays, it is a lot more about cooperation.. students do lessons in groups and each person is given the same grade as the other group members. Boys love competition. It provides a needed drive to keep them learning.

On top of that...

The Harry Potter books received such acclaim in large part because they were something that boys wanted to read. Boys are notoriously slow to read and slow to find interest in reading... but it's no wonder, considering the books in school nowadays! Teachers are more interested to teach about cooperation, sharing, non-violent solutions, etc. and the books reflect this. Of course, that means that the stories are more likely to be about Lisa letting Henrietta play with her doll than about Nathan outsmarting the burglar. There's no adventure, because adventure requires an aggressive, adrenal response, and modern feminism hates that in a man.

On top of this is the new threat, books geared explicitly towards specifically attacking the masculinity of the boys. Among them is a book about a young prince who decides he wants to marry and do kissy things with another prince and a boy who prefers to wear dresses instead of pants. A boy who likes to sword-fight with fallen tree branches or play Pirate Ship in his spare time may feel as if he's quite the anomaly.

In short, the problem with education for boys has very little to do with how quiet they are expected to be in class. We have to consider decreased work/leisure hours, an emphasis on cooperation over competition, and stories that are biased against both boys and masculinity.

Mary Bennett said...

Except, then when they are married for 30+ years, the husband gets cancer and can no longer work, and the stay at home mom has no marketable skills or education.

Thank God this happened to us in the opposite way, I have the cancer and no skills, but if it hadn't, I shudder to think what it would have done to my family.

Phebe said...

I won't comment on the post itself. I somewhat agree with Anna and the commentor, but I think I would take a slightly more middle-of-the-road view. I have already talked numerous times with my daughters about choosing education to enhance talents and interests that they can use AND stay home with their children.

I mostly wanted to reply to the commenter who said that few men want to be nurses and teachers. I won't speak for the teachers, but my husband has been a nurse for many years, and there are now A LOT of male nurses--especially in the ER (where he worked for many years), the ICU, and the Operating Room. The nurses my husband works with are male about 50 percent of the time. I chuckle whenever I see something in a movie about a male nurse being and anomaly. That is most certainly incorrect!

I mention this because few people know what a great option nursing is for men. You can get a nursing degree in only 2-3 years (ASN) to start working as an RN, and then complete the BSN later if desired. That is what my husband did (BSN was online, ASN at community college). He is now going to school for his Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist license, which is a graduate degree, and will bank quite a salary.

I say this because I think it is great for boys to graduate without tons of debt if possible, too. My husband has a very technical, relational job that he very much enjoys and that provides a comfortable salary for the family to live on (not that we don't still have to be frugal, but we don't worry too much). Nursing also has almost unlimited opportunities for advancement--take this course and get paid more, take that course and be able to change your place of work to something more interesting, go back to school for 2 years and be able to do something completely different.

Anyway, I don't know the scene of nursing in other countries, but I thought I'd add my two cents about nursing in the USA.

Rachel said...

I'd just like to say that I worked my way through a Bachelor's degree in psychology. I did so with the full intention of using my degree only as it applied to raising and educating future children. However, I didn't really learn anything in the course of gaining that degree. The specifics about different schools of psychology, counseling, etc. I could have learned just as well (if not better) at the local library. The last time I felt challenged in the classroom was when I was doing my lower division "general education" work. Now I have $35000 in student debt and nothing to show for it. Moreover, I've had to try to find work, and all that degree qualified me for was a job that pays the same as my high school job.

That said, I believe it is very important for women to be well-educated. We need to be able to educate our children and evaluate the validity of advice we are given. We also need to be able to communicate with our husbands on a level that maintains a dynamic relationship between the adults of the household. Similarly, I think it is good for a woman to have some workplace experience prior to marriage so as to have a better means of understanding her husband's experience of the world.

However, none of these things require a college education. In my experience and that of many people in my generation (I'm 27), the college degree was a grand waste of time and money. And it doesn't even help that much with employment for those who seek it.

harper said...

To the Anonymous who commented that most men do not want to be teachers or nurses:

Men are also actively discouraged from those professions. My husband wanted to be a teacher for a long time, but whenever he told anyone about it (especially parents), they would assume he was a pedophile.

Likewise, I have met many men who originally trained to be nurses, but thanks to the "glass escalator" were pressured into becoming doctors or promoted into hospital desk jobs.

Also, historically, men performed both professions. With teaching, it was assumed that children needed a firm, "masculine" hand. Having worked with children with learning disabilities and emotional disturbances, I'm inclined to agree. And nursing was considered too dirty and immodest a job for women.

Men also used to do administrative work. In fact, my husband (after receiving his degree in business) sought out administrative jobs, but was denied that kind of work because he is a man.

Mamacita said...

I like what Famayes has pointed out. She reminds us that God clearly set up a division of roles: father as provider and protector, mother as nurturer and stabilizer of the home front. One role is not better that the other. They are different and the purpose is for the stability of the family. Mothers can be entrepreneurs in the home. They can find ways to assist her husband and family, from home.

Even the way God created breastfeeding as a way to nurture and create attachment between mother and child says something to me about the importance of a mom being home. In the comments, I noticed there was little mention of the babies and children left behind. Why is that?

I did go to university and I was fortunate that I graduated without any debt. However, I can say, a good part of the time spent away at university I spent indulged in a secular lifestyle and being pulled away from my faith. The degree I got had nothing to do with the job I ended up doing.

G.K. Chesterton has some wonderful insights on education, home and motherhood. “I have never understood myself how this superstition arose: the notion that a woman plays a lowly part in the home and a loftier part outside the home.” Brave New Family, p 151

And the business done in the home is nothing less than the shaping of the bodies and souls of humanity. The family is the factory that manufactures mankind.” ‘The Policeman as a Mother’, in the New Witness. , BNF, p141

“I still say the only education worth anything is self-education” Robert Frost

Finally, I want to include one more quote from “The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage” by Dr. Laura Schlessinger “I was raised to believe that I could be all and do all. That philosophy soon crashed into reality. I had a career, a husband, a child, and a home – and I was expected to be able to manage it all. With great fatigue, I realized I was doing a pretty poor job of it. Then I realized the feminist movement had robbed us all. Before the feminist brainwash, women stayed home to love their children. Husbands were proud to care for and provide for their families. The woman had time and energy to devote to the pride and care of home and family. Wanting to return to such a life, I ran into the feminist agenda: my husband expected me to have all and do all. He, brought up in feminism, was not prepared to shoulder the responsibility of being the sole financial support for the family. After some problems in daycare, that issue was resolved. I am now a stay-at-home mom, and together, my husband and I are raising our children. The feminist lie has been outed – and we are in living the truth.” p31

Jana said...

Anna,
As always a very interesting conversation. I have a bachelors and when my babygirl came along I was blessed to be able to stay home with her. Now she is 3 and my husband has abandoned us. In spite of my education I seem to only qualify for low paying jobs that offer less than half of the income we had with my husbands income. I am having to return to school to get more practical training so I can make more for my baby girl. Right now I am very, very bkessed that my parents have taken us in allowing for that opportunity. Bottom line, educating women is extremely important. American marriages have a 50% rate of failure. Women who have nothing to fall back on if it happens to them are likely to live at or below the poverty level along with their children. While I do agree that the ideal social situation would be women being moms when the have kids at home it must br acknowldged that it is not always possible. And that is becoming true for more and more women each day.

Andrea said...

Anna, I liked both the email and your response! I concur! And preventive medicine for college debt, do it cheaper. I went to a college in my price-range because I knew I would never want to work, and I let my husband know that before we married. My college was for advancing my education, not for a job. And I agree on the points of a marketing aspect of jobs. If women didn't work, on a whole, economies would be based on a one-income family, which now takes two incomes, and children would be raised properly, thus eliminating future personal problems in their development. love,andrea

jesse said...

I agree that women's right to be homemakers should be defended. Although I would change it to 'a person's right to be a homemaker' in order to include non-traditional families.

My concern is that by saying 'women' you risk putting those of us who are not desirous of raising a family into the same category as those who are. I am still a woman even if I have no desire for children. I am still a woman when I choose to be a scholar. It does not detract from this. But I would not be happier if I was required to remove myself from the work force. I would be a very mopey scholar and then I would get a sex change.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

Just one question: what is one does not have the happiness of finding a husband? In that case one has to get out there and work - and have much less choices in choosing one's job as one is not prepared for that. I did not choose singleness. But I am glad I chose to prepare myself for other ways of usefulness.

At the same time, I want to thank you very much for your blog. I have a good friend who is an unhappy mother--at-home, and I hope to find soon a way of introducing your blog to her. It could help her a lot in seeing her tasks in a different light.

Wishing you a happy winter,
Eliana