Representing Good Works

Posted By on April 20, 2010

If you are a full-time homemaker, you might well be the only one on your street, in this day and age when most women work outside the home. In fact, for many of your acquaintances you might be the only stay-at-home wife/mother they know. If you think about it, it means that for many people whose lives touch yours, you are representing the entire concept of being a helpmeet to your husband, a mother at home, a housewife.

It means that your conduct, your spirit, your behavior, and everything you say or do, affect the way people around you – your family, friends and neighbours – think about stay-at-home wives and mothers in general. This really makes you stop and consider the impression you leave, doesn’t it?

http://www.dreamstime.com/Msdnv_infoIf you project discontentment, people will think, “Staying at home is probably frustrating for her, she should be out working like everyone else.” If they drop by for a visit and your home is messy, they will say, “She is lazy – she doesn’t really work in her home, she just wastes her time.” And if you dress sloppily when you go out to the grocery store, people will decide all stay-at-home wives and mothers don’t care about their appearance because dressing up for their husbands isn’t worth the effort.

Such judgment may not seem fair, and it probably isn’t, because each family with a mother at home is entirely different, and even those who are excellent, cheerful, prettily dressed homemakers with helpful children have their bad days. But the fact remains, you are someone who, by her entire way of life, is in opposition to the common worldview for most women today.

That’s why I always try to seem content when out and about; I don’t think I’m being less than honest by doing that, even if I’m not having a particularly good day, because on the larger scale I’m not only happy with my life at home, but consider it a delight, a privilege, and the highest calling.

Often neighbours who work outside the home ask me how I feel about staying home full-time. When I tell them how happy I am, and what a good arrangement it is for our family, some of them secretly whisper to me they wish they could be home with their children, too. Others tell me how they see mothers at work coming back from maternity leave and crying their eyes out because they miss their babies so badly.

Not long ago a neighbour of mine saw me washing our windows on the outside when she came back from work, and told me how sorry she is she never has time to wash her windows. When she took a day off recently, she happily spent it working in the garden and cleaning, and told me how wonderful it felt to be working in her home. Her face shone with happiness. It was obvious to me her heart is at home, but being at home full-time just isn’t socially acceptable anymore.

Imagine that one of your acquaintances says about you when you aren’t present, “I know a woman who stays home for her family, even though she is well-educated and could get a good job. She is happy, her home is welcoming, and her children are sweet. And she is always so soft-spoken and cheerful. I never thought anyone could be so productive by simply being a housewife.” And perhaps one of the people who hears this is a woman who is struggling with the decision of whether she should become a stay-at-home wife; and perhaps hearing that there are other women out there, doing just that and living a happy life at home, might make her lean towards the decision of coming home as well. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

About The Author

I’m a Jewish woman, a wife, a mother, a homemaker. A thinker, a dreamer, a learner. An avid cook and baker and a yarn addict. I love everything that has to do with home and family, and enjoy the solitude of my quiet corner, which is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Israel.

Comments

7 Responses to “Representing Good Works”

  1. tmichelle says:

    I love the fact that you wrote Stay at Home Wife and House Wife as opposed to Stay at Home Mother because I believe it is hard for women to give themselves “permission” to stay at home if they don’t have children. I’m glad you are encouraging to all women.

  2. Tiana Krenz says:

    Thank-you for this. It is very convicting.

  3. This is so inspiring to a home-maker who may feel discouraged because she has trouble seeing the positive effect her biblical lifestyle has on those around her, who may have listened a few too many times to the cultural lie that to be productive, you need a paycheck, or you’re wasting your potential. Thank you so much from a young home-maker who is just starting out on this path! 🙂

  4. Cassandra says:

    I agree with tmichelle. I am a stay at home wife but we don’t have children yet. People look at me funny when I say that I stay home when they know we don’t have children (and these are church members). I don’t think they would even think twice if I had a baby, but it’s unusual to see married women without children who are homemakers full time.

  5. Meri says:

    I work outside the home, but am challenged by my longing to be able to stay at home. I have 3 young children and God has blessed us with the opportunity to have my husband home during the day (he works at night), but the “role reversal” has been a challenge. I pray that God continues to guide our path and I know He will lead me where I belong when the timing is right. I think there are a large number of women in my postition that are not necessarily “career” women, but also are in a situation where they cannot stay home.

  6. ladyscott says:

    I wasn’t able to read the full article because my computer won’t let me! Anyhow, I am one of the few stay-at-home moms in my circle, yet I know so many peers who look at me with saddness and envy. Some of them reason within themselves that “Oh, she stays home because it would cost her more in daycare costs than she would make at a job.” While that is true, it is not why I stay home.

  7. terrybreathinggrace says:

    This is a wonderful article, and very convicting for me as well because I know that when I am out alone with my little ones, I seem overwhelmed.

    This was good for me.

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