Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why it often feels lonely at home

Many homemakers today feel isolated and lonely, not only because most women work outside the home, but also because many of those who stay at home don't find purpose and fulfillment in their work as mothers and wives. Often, the wife and mother being at home is only tolerated as a transitional stage aiming towards something bigger and better.

"What do I do? Oh, not much. I just look after the kids for now"; "I'm waiting for a job opportunity to open up"; "For now I'm a stay-at-home mom, but I hope to continue my degree next year" - such statements devalue the importance of the homemaker and discourage women from seeing wifehood and motherhood as a noble vocation.

Without seeing the possibility and importance of long-term life at home, so much falls by the wayside. Why improve the home, if it is just a transitional point? Why work on long-term projects, why establish routines and family traditions when you know that The Big Wide World - a job, college, etc - is just around the corner? And so women tell: "the six months I stayed at home after my baby was born were the dullest, most boring months in my life"; women at the end of their maternity leave confess that they are bored at home. Their already gear their minds towards something different.

Of course! If you know you will only be home for a few months, you won't bother building a satisfying home life. This is something that takes years, not weeks - the sweet fruit of a good, solid home life ripens slowly, and its rewards are sweet.

I know enough women who currently stay at home, or have stayed at home in the past for more or less extended periods of time, from a few months to a few years. But there aren't nearly enough women who see homemaking as an important and inspiring job, worth dedicating the best and most fruitful years of their lives to; I don't know nearly enough women who delight in living and working in their homes, who love and treasure their home as a safe haven for the entire family, and who see the importance of their secured, continuous presence at home.

And that is why I am so inspired by you ladies - an online community of dedicated homemakers who live rich, fruitful lives at home. Some of you run home businesses, some of you homeschool your children, some of you volunteer in the community; and you live beautiful, simple, full lives, and don't think you might want to leave the next day. You might be scattered all around the world, but I know you are out there, and that is so uplifting. Oh, how much I have grown, how much I have learned from your comments and emails, and from visiting your blogs! How important this is to a young wife like myself.

Through the blog of dear Jewels (which is dedicated almost in its entirety to the treasures, blessings and incredible value of loving, faith-filled, rich life at home) I followed a link describing a book of Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, For the Family's Sake: The Value of Home in Everyone's Life. If you click on the book cover, you can browse the table of contents and read the first pages - very inspiring. I am inclined to order this book. But even in the first few pages, which are available online, you can find many pearls of wisdom. Stop by and be encouraged.


Ways of Zion said...

Thank you for another inspirational post. I really needed to read this today! Hubby is sick, Magoo has Crope and the 2 girls have chicken Pox....not an easy week in our household!

Thanks again

Persuaded said...

and we are inspired by *you* dear anna♥

thank you so much for the link... i look forward to checking it out later today.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. T: I heard a quote relevant to this post.

"A Home is love made visible."

Enjoy! :) -Mrs. H

MamaF said...

Dear Anna,
once again i agree with you. One of my biggest fear is to be forced to go back to work at some point since my formal education is far more requested then my husband's. We're making whatever effort in order of me staying home, but still i'm so worried at the idea.
Jewel's blog has been of great inspiration to me as well.I ordered the book you mention and some other as well but someone stole the package from my mailbox. Can you believe i was so sorry. I just hope whoever took it might have learned something. I hope at some point i'll be able to afford it again :)
Have a lovely day.

Tasha said...

I was a stay at home wife/mom for 8 lovely years and had to go back into the work field due to marital separation. I long for the day when the Lord will take me back to being a full-time wife and mom. There is nothing like it and no job valuable enough to take it's place. I miss my children and cherish my days off to be with them. I am currently teaching my daughters and son (for his future wife), that the GREATEST calling for a woman is to care for her husband, children, and home.
It blesses me to know that you are blessed to be at home and that you cherish it!!!!

Helen said...

Hello. I found your blog by hitting the "next blog" button at the top of my blog.
I just wanted to say thank you for the encouragement. I am a stay at home daughter (God didn't bless my husband and me with children, in spite of the fact that we wanted many from the get go) taking care of my mom. Sometimes I do feel that life is on hold.
I do need to revise my thinking. Thank you. God bless you.

Elijah Lofgren said...

I hope to work from home a large portion of my time so that I can play a more active role in raising my children.

Likely being in software developement this is much easier than many fields, but I think that if more men thought creatively abot how they could spend more time with their family, there might be less wives lonely at home.

Anonymous said...

I did not get married and have children until I was 27. I am a blessed wife and mama to 5 children. This is by far the most wonderful "job" I have ever had. Being a homemaker is not boring and I necer want to be anything else. I thank my husband for working so hard so I can stay home.
Thank you for beautiful and wise words. Mrs Boyd

Bethany Hudson said...

Anna- As ever, your words inspire and encourage me. I agree with everything that you've said here. I feel particularly blessed that, like you, I chose to come home from the time I married BEFORE I had children! I learned that being a homemaker is about much more than changing diapers and slicing up bananas (though, those are some of the wonderful blessings of homemaking with a little one in the family). Being at home when it was just my husband and me gave me a strong perspective and passion for my vocation that I think may have been more difficult had I come home only after having children--when I was already so exhausted by taking care of a newborn!


Mrs. Anna T said...


What a shame!!


It's the best when both parents are there for the children. In my opinion there's nothing better than the entire family living and working together, such as at a family business or when a work-at-home dad is helped by the wife and children.

Love Abounds At Home said...

Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful post :)

Jenn said...

I cannot imagine anything more fulfilling than being at home with my children, raising them, homeschooling them, and making a happy home for my husband and boys. There are moments when I wish I had "more" but those moments are very rare and very fleeting. I'm convinced those moments are the result of my own rebellious heart and desire for instant gratification. The time to enjoy my children is right NOW. Their childhood won't ever come by again, while the "more" that I sometimes ponder will still be there when they are grown. Life's seasons are beautiful and fleeting and it's unrealistic to think we can experience all of them at the same time and not be neglectful of some part of our life (i.e., mothering and working at the same time of life).

Audrey said...

This is so true! And trying to find someone to relate with is tough. I recently met my new neighbor, and I was excited to hear that she was a stay at home mom/homemaker, but as soon as she said the words "while my kids are young", I was discouraged. There are very few women who are in it for the long-haul, and it's sad!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I found your blog via "At the Well--In Pursuit of Titus 2". Your blog seems to be a very lovely, encouraging place to visit. I'm a stay-at-home wife and mom. I've been married for 14 years and we have one child who is 9yo. I get quite discouraged and lonely because my closest friends either work outside the home or homeschool, and consequently we have no time for learning from each other and building each other up. I will enjoy visiting your site.

Anonymous said...

Something that's been hard for me is when we are meeting new people. They ask "what do you do?" and I say I'm a housewife & they immediately turn to my husband and say "what do you do?" and his very interesting job talk goes on & on & I just stand there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
Thanks for another great post. I always love how you phrase things - makes me know I have the best job in the world!!

I own "For the children's Sake". It was my mum's, and her mum's before her. It is such a GREAT book and I am so glad you mentioned it. I found it very inspiring and encouraging. Hope you can find a copy of it!
Love Miriam

Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...

I love Susal Schaeffer MacCaulay's books. Also, I always loved her mother, Edith Schaeffer's, books.

cbracken said...

I want to thank you again for putting my feelings so beautifully into words I can relate to and soak in.

Elijah Lofgren said...

I've quoted a few comments here:

I hope the authors don't mind! :)

Anonymous said...

What you've written is very true, Anna, both your musings about the homemaker's worth to the family by the love & care she gives, as well as your observations that many women who DO stay at home see it as a phase that will come to an end, when they can get on with their "real lives" again.

This past weekend was one of the most pleasant I could have spent with my husband & children. One of my daughters was inspired to try her hand at making scones; my other daughter helped me transplant seedlings to larger pots; my husband tilled my garden for me & enlarged a flower bed; my son encouraged me as we went for a short run. The fact that my family will take the time for ME tells me that the time I spend doing for THEM is no passing phase. Family life is so much more than eating & sleeping under the same roof. :o)


momof3girls said...

just thought you would like to know that facebook has a new application called "networked blogs" that has a directory of blogs that facebook users are following - I entered your blog as one of my favorite blogs and that I am a follower. Just thought you would want to know.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog a lot, and it reminds me of the days when my kids were young, and we were homeschooling. I have to say that your household, though, sounds nothing like mine, which was a chaos of lost socks, dog hair, unwashed dishes and naked children (in the snow). I did not enjoy the mechanics of being a homemaker - the cooking, the cleaning (or rather lack thereof), the laundry. I know some people find it meditative or whatever - not me. However, I loved the world we created for ourselves - safe, blessed, loving, and in the world but not of it. I am very thankful that, although I had forays into extremely part-time work, nothing outside of our home tempted me away.

Now that some of the kids are grown, and some almost grown, I find there are opportunities awaiting me in the outside world - opportunities close to my heart, which I would have missed had I prematurely pursued "career goals" while my children were young.

Keep up the good work - glad you're carrying the flag into the next generation!!

Karen said...

That is how I feel! I have so many goals I really want to work toward, but my husband is so set on me working in the near future. I feel discouraged because I know I will never be able to finish what I start.

Anonymous said...

thnaks for this post.i found it as i googled-lonely stay at home mother.
i am at home with my daughter 20mths bu choice.but am isolated and lonely.hsunabd works very long hours.sometimes i cry a lot.i had a miscarriage 2 mmonths ago and no one not even my parents have come to our home to see us.i have no friends.but thanks god i ahev my husnband and duaghter.

Anonymous said...

I've been a stay at home mom for 7 yrs.married to a cop..lonely.BEYOND physically, mentally & emotionally..& I've become a secret alcoholic. .I have a 7 & almost 4 yr old..who are you guys kidding? Oh..and I have no friends. ..don't make them easily either! Let's get real chicks..And YES i need help...