THE HOMEMAKER today, unless she is wealthy, often faces a hostile environment. Not only does society at large continually celebrate careerism and refuse to grant the full-time mother and wife moral support, but friends and relatives may criticize her or refrain from any enthusiasm for her way of life.
At Home Living, Lydia Sherman encourages women at home to turn their minds from all this. She writes:
Any pressure you feel from others, or any uneasiness they give you, can be used as a motivation to make some progress in your home. If someone makes a rude remark because you are wearing a dress, just sew some more and wear them more often. If someone makes a critical remark about what you find to do all day, treat yourself to something that gives you rest and recreation, or something you have been wanting to do. Try not to spend much time feeling wounded or depressed. Reward yourself in some way by improving your home or doing something interesting.
When there is pressure from others, dig your heels in even harder and stick to your commitment to the home.
— Comments –
Thank you for posting such a wonderful encouragement from Lydia Sherman! It is so easy to lose sight of purpose as a housewife in today’s world. I think the most challenging part for me is listening at parties and gatherings with women who are primarily “career” women (even if it’s part-time) and learning to keep my mouth closed, feel contented and blessed, and stop trying to convince everyone else that there is a more excellent way.
I was recently at a large birthday party for a young child. The hostess had provided a lovely party. It was most comfortable to me to instantly gravitate toward socializing with the other full-time housewife and mother in attendance. We had enjoyable conversation and obviously a lot in common.
While I was visiting with her, I overheard the newest mother (with a child three months old) at the opposite table sharing with some other women how glad she is that she’s “just part time” at work. She said she could have never imagined herself saying this before, but that she wouldn’t mind “not working.” I inwardly chuckled at the notion that being home with an infant is “not working.” There was a qualifying statement; she said she didn’t know if she could “handle being stuck in the house” all the time, after the cleaning and vacuuming had been done – she was in a total state of confusion about what she would actually DO all day! However, it tickled me that she was not Super Mother with her high-profile, health-professional job and her new little one: she actually was a NORMAL woman who was realizing, perhaps for the first time, that maybe it would be excellent to be “not working.”
Some of the other women who work part-time are rarely home on their days off from their careers. They are going non-stop and their children are, too. I feel often very misunderstood; I see the blank stares that I get when I answer their questions -they ask, “What did you DO this past weekend?” Well, I did what I usually do (cared for my toddler, took care of my huge and pregnant body, served my husband and made his meals for work and dinner, kept a tidy and fresh smelling home, created hand-sewn aprons, shopped frugally, etc.), and I did not find it monotonous or boring, but I am learning that many people would rather digest slugs for breakfast than spend twenty-four solid hours in their homes with their families! How has it happened that we have never learned how to do this? Where have we lost the ability to just relax in our homes, live life and enjoy our God-given blessings? Where have we gotten the idea that even if we are home, we have to be perpetually busy? What in the world is wrong with reclining on the couch with a toddler and listening to music?
Mrs. Sherman is correct; it is better to focus on leading by example than it is to stir up strife and contention by insisting on being “right” to people who are blinded by feminist ideologies and have out-of-order homes. I suppose it is much like the woman of a gentle and quiet spirit who wins her husband to Christ because of her inner being and not because of her outward appearance.
Thus I have decided to answer the question, “What did you DO all week?” with a quiet, “Oh, it was really just a very relaxing time” and leave it at that. Perhaps this is too much of a passive stance. Who knows. If someone were to express interest in entering into “REAL-ationship” with me outside of a casual gathering, I would probably share with them more of what occupies my hours inside of our home by default – they would probably be invited to share friendship in my home periodically. Until such time, I will continue to quietly share by example and pray that Americans wake up, one family at a time.
Mrs. P. writes:
When our children were 16, 15, and 13, my Mary Kay cosmetics consultant tried to talk me into becoming a consultant under her. Although she was a school teacher and had a family, she was determined to build a base of Mary Kay consultants so that she could make money off of what they sold. She was going after that pink Caddy as I recall. I was not at all interested in joining her team though. My hands were full taking care of my family and helping my husband in his business which for me amounted to work I was able to do at home in my spare time. I thought I had made it clear to the woman that I was too busy with the family to sell cosmetics, but she kept pressuring me. Finally to my amazement, she said “Come on! Be a good example to your children.” I couldn’t believe she had said that to me. Although I was stunned, I quickly replied, “I already AM a good example to my children.” She stopped bothering me after that.