I have been both a fulltime careerist and a fulltime homemaker. I was trained for the former. I remember times when
*I wished I had the equivalent of a “wife” so that when I got home from long hours at my job, someone would have dinner ready, my clothes clean for tomorrow, my babies home and taken care of, and my house clean. Instead this tired mom got home around 6 or 7, nursed a hungry baby, made dinner, ground baby food for the next day, cleaned up the kitchen, did some laundry, repacked the diaper bag, bathed the baby, tried to spend “quality” time with her, and fell into bed exhausted for three hours sleep before baby’s next feeding. Everything repeated starting at 6:30 A.M.
*I wished that I could work (my job) during the late afternoon and evening when I was tired. Instead I gave my fresh hours to my job and then when I came home tired, I got to spend time with my husband and children. Even though it wasn’t an option, I knew that if I could give those tired hours to my job, I wouldn’t be able to excel there, nor to keep job security, nor to feel like I was giving my best. (No one cared that I wasn’t giving my best to my family…)
That feeling wasn’t there until I had babies; the young, childless me had energy after work!These were the kind of things that I pondered over and over during the ten years that I worked fulltime. I slowly realized that a woman couldn’t do it all, despite appearances. And it was exhausting trying to.
Most of my colleagues didn’t really try although they told themselves they did. They either didn’t have babies; put off having them until they had fertility problems; or succumbed to “the best” daycares, bottle fed babies, and often divorce. Their older children looked more to their peers for models than to any adult. Parents easily sighed that there wasn’t anything they could do: “you know how kids are.” And everyone, I mean everyone, agreed that once they became teenagers they would rebel despite anything that could be done.
Don was finishing his degree at the end of my working years, and we both wanted me home as soon as we could; we would make different decisions if we had it to do over again. Yet, finally home – what I wanted for so long – things were different. There were no accolades and no one respected the mom they way they did the PT. Absolutely no one made me feel that what I did behind closed doors mattered. It was tempting in the beginning to trade a job for civic and church responsibilities, and I did my share of that for a few years.
I wasn’t prepared to manage a household. I could do quite well with the hired servants paid for with my big salary (like the “servants” who did much of the cooking before I put it in the microwave, or the “servants” who made my bread, or the “servants” who washed our cars). In order to stay home on one salary (in a society designed for two), I needed to fire all the “servants” and learn to do all that work myself. Except that I was not trained to do that work and so was not efficient at it.
I quit working fulltime 16 years ago. I’ve learned so much since. When I made the decision to pursue a career (actually I don’t remember ever entertaining any other thought), I had never learned anything about feminism and its influence on women my age. I was totally ignorant of the changes in expectations for women during the 20th century and I was a sitting duck for going in the usual direction without any thought of the cost involved. I didn’t know the difference between a consumer household and a productive one. And, in my profound ignorance and arrogance, I truly thought that being a homemaker required no real intelligence or preparation.
In the ensuing years of learning, I have often thought I would love to write a book explaining about REAL homemaking. Most women really have no clue. I certainly didn’t. Those who are home often still farm out much of their job so that they still don’t really do anything meaningful.
Passionate Housewives is much of the book I wish I could have written. Certainly it is written much better than what I could have, but it embodies many of the things I have learned and feel passionately about. In addition, there were new nuggets of encouragement and conviction that pushed me forward. A few times in my life I have read a book that was so meaningful that I would like to buy a zillion copies and just give them out. This is one such book. I would love to hand this one to all the homemakers I know and all the non-homemakers who think I’m a bit crazy.
Touched on in this book is the scariest thing I have learned in the past 16 years: that socialism is partially premised on these feminist ideas. Early in the 20th century, the socialists wrote that what was needed was to get children from their earliest ages into the government education system and to get women out of the homes. A breakdown of family ties and education would prevent the transfer of Christian heritage and thought to the next generation, opening the way for socialistic thought. That battle wasn’t won on the battlefields of WW I or II, but it has been won since as we acquiesced of our own accord. A quick read of the Communist Manifesto is not shocking; it reads like a report on the United States. We now demand the government provide daycare, preschool education, medical benefits, salary if we are unemployed, and the list goes on.
A woman may no longer depend on her man, but she certainly depends on Uncle Sam… Chalk one up for socialism; it appears that our soldiers may have died in vain. But we are oblivious. What the socialists could not win militarily, they have won by patience and dogma. We’ve been the slowly boiling frog.I challenge women to get out of the boiling pot long enough to actually study their history. Take an honest look at the other side. Don’t jump to conclusions based on ignorance.
A good place to start is a Scriptural study on women starting in Genesis 1 and 2. A second place to start might be this book. It certainly is a good place to be if you are already a homemaker. It contains much wisdom mostly absent in our society. Well written by both authors, I highly recommend this read!
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