The Thinking 
Housewife
 

Becoming a Housewife Before Children

June 12, 2017

ANNA F. writes:

I like your blog very much, especially your posts on modesty. It is refreshing to read your writings on various topics because you display the common sense that is sorely lacking in world today! Well, most people might think what you say is outrageous but it would have been accepted as obvious truths 100 years ago. Right? I hope so.

Originally, I came across your blog from googling Solange Hertz’s name. She is my favorite author and I have read many of her books and your writing reminds me of her.

Anyway, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions.

1. I’m embarrassed to say, but years ago I did yoga until I realized it was Satanic. But the past couple of years my muscles, especially my leg muscles have been very tight. I want to stretch them out without doing anything yoga related. What would you suggest? (I would be doing the stretches on my own.) How did dignified women of the past stretch their muscles? I don’t like the idea of being in immodest positions even on my own.

(On a side note, I agree that jogging is immodest and women should not do it. I read your blog post on this and totally agreed. Not “calm and gentle” by any means! I played competitive soccer as a girl and it definitely affected my personality. I stopped because of a bad injury but looking back it was definitely God’s will. I could never imagine myself playing again. The competition, movement, uniform, aggressiveness, is all extremely masculine and of course it will rub off on the girls playing.)

2. My second question refers to being a housewife. I am in school now and will be graduating next spring. I am hoping to get married shortly after (God-willing). Truly, I want to be a housewife and not have any job outside of the home. However, I find that this is a very radical idea in today’s world and I know that I should not worry about what other people think but I can’t help imagining the responses I’ll receive when I tell people that I won’t be applying for any jobs. I think that people have an easier time understanding housewives with children. But I don’t know when children will come and at least for a little while I would be a housewife without children. I think that what I’m looking is for affirmation that it is good to be a housewife even before children. What are your thoughts on this?

Thank you for taking the time to read my email! I value your opinion very much.

Laura writes:

You’re welcome. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful encouragement.

Feminism has masculinized women through aggressive sports, and that’s not the only way to stay healthy and active. I hope to write in the future about the kind of calisthenics and exercises women have done in the past. In the meantime, I can recommend with some reservations a book of stretching exercises. (The photos here are not modest, but I don’t think they could be otherwise because of the need to illustrate the movements, which can be done in private.) I have used these exercises and they helped almost miraculously when I had back pain. They are well-conceived. However, at least one exercise is immodest and Dr. Vance Bonner gets extremely carried away with her talk of a “revolutionary system.”

In answer to your other question: Yes, it is definitely good to be a housewife before children.  It was not something that I did, and it is not something that every woman can do, but I certainly wish that I had done it and I can confidently say that it is ideal.

Establishing a home and its rhythms takes so much work and energy. As a young housewife without children, you can benefit from the time to get to know your husband so that you can respect and support him as he is; acclimate yourself to the relative isolation; learn how to resist the irrational fear of being cut off from the world — a fear that housewives are prone to in our world — and begin to master all the tasks involved in running a home and raising a family. You can gain initiative with your time and resources. You will find absorbing interests that can be pursued at home if you look for them. There is so much you can do to prepare yourself for children and anticipate their needs, but the greatest preparation is internal — acquiring composure, protecting your youthful exuberance, and cultivating inner strength. These will be the foundation of your home, whether it is a palace or a shack. Through thick and thin.

As for saying you are a housewife, I understand and sympathize. You are going to be an outsider. You can’t necessarily help feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable. Wherever you go, people will ask what you do. Job and career are the center of personal identity in America. A non-careerist is viewed as lazy.

Here’s what I suggest:

A housewife does many things. Focus on one or two of those things when people ask what you do.

“Right now, I am helping my husband in his work” or “I am working on our house” or “I am studying (a subject you are thinking and reading about) and hoping to teach someday.” (You will be teaching your children much of what you know.) You might say you are an artist or a writer if you are engaged in artistic projects and writing. If someone says, “What kind of art do you do?” Just say, “I am working on various projects.” Usually, the conversation will then proceed to something else.

Of course, you should not at all be embarrassed to be a housewife without children. You should be proud, but the world is as it is, and you could elicit the jealousy of others or shades of the culture war in addition to your own feelings of inadequacy by just saying you are a housewife. (Many women secretly would like to be at home or are very troubled about the issue and many men would like to have a housewife. It’s good to be sensitive to their situation.) I hope you can someday confidently identify yourself as such with no hesitation, but I suggest you employ tact and discretion at first so that you don’t feel intimidated, shy or too much like a culture warrior.

I wish you the best in the exciting adventure of building a home.

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