Housewife and Homemaker – the unacceptable career choice

My previous 2 posts where a buildup to this one.  For those who haven’t read them, I am working through “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.  The first few chapters lead me to think about Character Traits and My Purpose in Life.

My purpose in life, as I discovered, is to be a Housewife and Homemaker.  The strange part is this is something I have always known, but I didn’t want to acknowledge.  Housewife and Homemaker isn’t exactly the career your guidance counselor wants you to strive towards in High School.

Arguments against being a HOUSEWIFE

The arguments against it bombard a young mind from all angles.  Some of the ones I have heard are:

  • What if you never get married?  You can’t rely on your parents forever.
  • What if you get divorced, or your husband dies or becomes disabled?  You need a career that you can fall back on if you are forced to become the breadwinner.
  • In today’s economy, it is impossible to live off a single salary.  Being a housewife is unrealistic in the modern world.
  • What about the fight for equality between the sexes?  How can you give up what so many women have fought so long and hard for?
  • It is a waste of your God-given talents and skills!  You should be looking at ways to use them to support your family and further the kingdom of God.

Points 1 and 2 – What if…

The first two I will acknowledge are valid points.  It is a wise decision for a woman to find something that she is good at and enjoys doing in addition to being a housewife/homemaker.  That way she has a backup plan in case she stays single or is forced into being the breadwinner.

Somebody I know mentioned that she feels that the ideal backup career for a woman is an K-12 school teacher (pick the age group you love the most).  She explained how Schools normally don’t hold it against you if you have left the workforce to raise children, unlike other career options.  She also mentioned how if you are trained with the younger children, you can start a daycare from the comfort of your own home if your children are still young.

Point 3 – Economy

When it comes to the third point, about the economy, I see that this one is only valid if your spouse is on minimum wage (or close to minimum wage).  But living off a single, average income, is doable.  It just means that you can’t be materialistic.  Accept that you will be living with less, your children won’t be going to private schools (you may decide to homeschool them if the public schools in your area are a problem), and that you will have to make do with second-hand whenever possible.

I did the maths regarding this when Mark and I were looking at me leaving my job and working with him in his business.  Due to the savings on fuel and food/snacks for lunch, and add into that how I am home to better plan our meals, and do our budgeting/bookkeeping properly each month, we have successfully moved from a double income to a single income and are currently still making a “profit” each month.  I should also mention that the salary we gave up was the greater of the two salaries.

Point 4 – Equality

To me, this is scratching the bottom of the barrel.  It is only a problem if you are trying to force other women to make the same choice that you made.  In my mind, I feel that women should have a choice either way.  It should be equally acceptable for a woman to have a career outside their home, or a career inside their home.  I know women who would go absolutely crazy if they had to stay at home all day, I also know women who are on the edge of going crazy because they have to leave their homes each day to go to work.  It goes both ways, therefore both options should be acceptable.

Point 5 – God

This is just plain nonsense.  Who are you to judge what God has lead the woman to do with the skills he has given her?  The skills you see each day might only be the ones that are relevant to her career, or what she studied.  How would you know if she was a superb mother, a frugal homemaker or a wonderful hostess and cook if you only see her in her job as a secretary or scientist?  For all we know, God might have put it on this intelligent woman’s heart to be a housewife/homemaker/stay-at-home-mother, because only a woman of her intelligence would be able to teach the child he had planned for her and raise him/her to be the person who will change the world in some way or another.

Ultimately, I am saying that a woman can use her talents by supporting her family emotionally and furthering the kingdom of God by starting in her own home.

Extract from my diary

This is an extract from my diary.  I wrote it without the intention of ever publishing it, but I feel that it is necessary to give my reader a full view of what was going through my mind and heart while struggling with the work part of the funeral visualization from my previous blog post.

I got stuck with the funeral visualization yesterday and haven’t completed it yet.  The next one I was meant to visualize was Work.  I am struggling with that one.  I have never been able to visualize myself in a career.  Each one that I think of I get the feeling of “that would be nice, but there is no excitement there.”

The only place that I really love being is at home.  Internally I am struggling between wanting to say “My home and family are my work” and something else that says “That isn’t a real career.”

After this I spent some time looking up blogs and opinion articles online.  I had heard of Titus 2:3-5 before, but I really did an in depth study of it this time.  More of this in next week’s post.  The end result was that I realized that God was leading me down this path.

Another extract from my diary (after all my research):

My heart is struggling.  Something in me wants to say that women were designed to be homemakers and this is God’s plan for me.  Something else is saying that it isn’t applicable to the modern culture, that I am looking for something to justify wanting to stay at home and be a housewife.

I spent more time thinking about this, and the conflicting emotions.  My main thought is “Why has it become so unacceptable to be a wife, mother and homemaker when just 60-70 years before it was perfectly acceptable?”

I haven’t found the conclusion to this question yet, and I think that this will involve a lot more research in the coming months.  It has definitely become a topic of interest to me.

If you have any thoughts, books, articles or blogs I can read on this topic , I would greatly appreciate a comment with the details.

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