July 29, 2014

When Should You Go To Work:
This stay-at-home mom has advice for you working (or want to be working) moms

A woman in her... natural habitat?

I have been a stay-at-home spouse/parent for over a year now. It's working very well for our family, although money is sometimes, as you can imagine, tight.

One day, I want to return to work. If I have my way, this will be writing, and I will be able to do it from home, at least sometimes . So there's that.

One thing that I have noticed is that I am...odd for a stay-at-home mom, at least in our area. Apparently, an overwhelming number of them are Christians, some of whom are quite fond of advocating homeschooling. Whodathunkit?

For some reason, this particular demographic very much believes that they are entitled to give other women advice on what to do with their lives.


That advice can sound a lot like Emily here, over on Raising Homemakers:

Do you ever get tired of being bombarded with the idea that you should go to work?  Everywhere you turn there are ads about going back to school to further your education–this is especially targeted to women these days–all so you can have that wonderful career your life is not complete without.  Maybe your relatives (or in-laws) wonder why you don’t help your husband out with a paycheck–poor guy is providing all on his own!  Maybe your husband is trying to get you out the door, because, after all, you’re not really helping him unless you’re bringing in money of your own. 
Maybe even you, yourself, have been tempted to think that things would just be easier if you found a job, oh just part time even…It would so much ease the burden of the finances!  Maybe you feel guilty that the economy is so bad and your husband is struggling to make ends meet.  Maybe you think you could help out…just a little. 
Do not be deceived!  If you are a homemaker, you have a full time job already.  You most likely work more hours than your husband.  Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for taking care of your home, husband, and children.  It is a big job to do. 
Maybe you know the Scriptures that clearly state that the woman’s job is to be a keeper at home, but you think to yourself…”Well…I can have a job and be a keeper at home!”  Well, if you are away from home, at a job, you cannot be keeping the home.  You simply will not be there to keep it if you are at a job. 
Note:  This is not to condemn any woman who is working outside of the home against her own desires.  It is to dissuade women who would willingly take on this responsibility that is not theirs, and to encourage other women who are bombarded with guilt for doing their God-appointed duty of keeping the home. 
If you are having any of these thoughts or problems with others regarding your proper duty of being a wife, homemaker, and mother, I want to encourage you to go read a story called When Queens Ride By.  It will show you how you can best help your husband and children, even in these hard times. 
Also, read Taylor Caldwell’s essay about women’s liberation.
I...don't know where to start with this.

Let's just start with this: On behalf of a mom that's choosing to stay home, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that posts like this are out there, trying to make you feel like less than.

I resent the implication that this is a better path. It isn't. It's simply another path. Both have their challenges, both have their rewards. What works for one family will not work for another--and neither path is superior. Period.

I loved working. Sometimes, I truly miss it, at the very core of my being, even when I know I'm making the best decision for our family at this point. As secure as I am in that, I miss the thrill of working, of feeling productive, of interacting with adults, of sharing ideas. These are all things that I cannot get--at least, not at the same extent--by staying at home. And I refuse to feel Less Than because I miss it, and because I know that staying home isn't all for me. I refuse to feel Less Than because I am more than a mom, a wife, and a homekeeper.

Here's what I think you should do with your life.

I think you should do what makes you happy. I think you should go to school if you want. Go to work if you want. Stay home if you want. I think you should do what you need to do--whether it's working or staying home or going to Mars or what have you.

Because you are important, and you are special, and you are wonderful, and your wants and needs matter.

There is no predestined idea of how your life should be--there's only what you make of it, right here, right now. And that's enough, because you are enough.

Period. Full stop. End of story. That's a wrap. The end. They lived happily ever after.

No adendums, no appendices, no deleted scenes.

I know that it's hard to believe, sometimes. The world pulls you in a million directions. If you are working, you are neglecting your kids. If you are at home, you're wasting away, you antiquated thing you. If you are married, you are old-fashioned. If you are single, you are a heathen. Your body isn't good enough. Your plans aren't good enough. Those around you know better than you do. You can't trust yourself--you are irrational, frivolous, weak, subordinate. You are at once supposed to be blissfully innocent and wantonly sexual. You are an object, but don't act like. Be quiet. Speak up.

But you? You are enough.

And don't let any homemaker tell you differently.

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