The homecoming revolution

Posted By on April 25, 2010

I’m not a superwoman. Perhaps there are women out there who work full-time outside the home, whose homes are still clean and immaculate, and who put three good homemade meals on the table every day. I know in many cases it’s a facade of having it all, which is hiding severe burn-out and incapability to spend time with family. Perhaps for some it does work and it’s all peachy. I know I could never do that, and there’s no shame in it.

A more realistic picture, in my opinion, would be that of a woman who works because she has to, doesn’t like it much, but does the best she can with what she has.

If it’s you, my heart goes out to you. It’s beyond difficult, and there is always a price. What annoys me is the insistence that no, there is no price and women can juggle it all with no adverse effects to their peace of mind, their home life, or their family.

In the land of idealistic egalitarianism, both spouses work the same number of hours and spend the same amount of time on childcare and household chores. But in real life, it rarely works. Feminists can shout themselves hoarse about how unfair it is that their ideals don’t work because men aren’t prepared to pull their share of “the second shift,” but, personally, what interests me more is the situation in real life, and in real life, egalitarian job division doesn’t work. Does tradition play a part in it? For sure, but it’s not all.

Men and women are simply wired differently. The Almighty made us differently. Women are more inclined to take care of the home, a perfectly healthy and natural instinct of a nesting mother. Even if the number of good homemakers has dramatically declined, it doesn’t mean women now feel comfortable in neglected surroundings.

If my husband has to stay alone with our daughter for a few hours, he won’t be inclined to multitask around the house and do whatever needs to be done. He is willing to help out if it is needed, but the home is mainly my territory and will remain so even if I busy myself elsewhere. Women nest; men usually don’t. Women, generally, have more patience with the countless mundane details of family life. We can tear our hair out because of it and say it’s a despicable notion that must be eradicated at all costs…or we can adapt ourselves to reality.

Yes, we can learn to live with how the Almighty made us and have a beautiful life once we have achieved a sense of peace about the fact that men are men, women are women, and we are differently suited for different tasks, and there’s nothing wrong with delegating what must be done to the one who will do it better.

Feminists can boast that women now comprise half of the work force, but men are still in the overwhelming majority of top-rank jobs. That’s because even though families have fallen into the trap of the second income, as a rule, wives choose positions that are more about communication, not competition. Around here at least, it’s common for women to be teachers, nurses, and secretaries. Women choose jobs that are less competitive, that might allow them to work part time, and that are close to home. No wonder so many of them earn so little compared to their husbands. The wage gap is not a patriarchal creation. It’s a result of the natural inclinations of men and women.

You can give a woman scholarships and tell her how talented she is and how she should advance herself for her own benefit and for the good of the community. You can’t stop her doing whatever she can to make her home life at least bearable, which for many means taking a job that will be more family friendly. I know so many who have acquired lofty degrees, and a couple of years later have re-trained as teachers to get more flexibility and more time off.

“It’s a good job for a mother,” I have heard people say in disdain in such cases. What they truly mean to say is “We understand it’s a dead-end job that she’s taking to have more time for her family. Her career has ended. What a pity.” But ,truthfully, I doubt there is a job that is “good for a mother,” unless we’re talking of the primary mission of wifehood, motherhood, and homemaking.

I’m convinced: some rational thinking, a re-forming of priorities, a doable effort – and many women can come home. The homecoming revolution might start with those who earn significantly less than their husbands and who don’t find particular interest in their jobs. If they return home, it will create a vibrant community of homemakers which will make it easier and more acceptable for other women to come home as well. Just think how wonderful it can be for all women who have a heart for home.

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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

5 Responses to “The homecoming revolution”

  1. Thank you for this post… It mirrors my thoughts so closely – it’s something I wish was posted on *my* blog! 🙂

    I think it’s interesting with how “much” feminism has achieved, that so few people can see that women, on the whole, just aren’t buying it. I remember in high school and college, when my “friends” ridiculed me for not wanting something “more” from life than to be a wife and mother… But as far as I know, none of them are now happy corporate CEO’s.

    I will certainly share this message… Maybe we can get the counter-revolution going!

  2. Jen says:

    I love this article! I just bought a shirt at Goodwill the other day that said ” I am not Wonderwoman, but God made me wonderful” 🙂 We deff. need a homecoming revolution! I know my family would like to push me out of the home, which makes staying in the home alot harder for me, in my situation, but I just hold on to Jesus, in time, He will provide 🙂

  3. I love this post, and I so needed it today. I have worked on and off for most of my 8 year old daughter’s life, mostly part-time, but the past few years it’s been full time. We just moved to a new state in June, and I was able to stay home with my daughter and be a full time homemaker until the fall, when I had a horrible working experience. I was home again for 3 wonderful months. I feel like I took advantage of it, as I have been working again for the past 3 months and missing it every day. Everyday I come to work begrudgingly and take phone calls from verbally abusive patients who scream at me when I have no control over their issue. Meanwhile, my house is suffering. I think I will never catch up with laundry, I will never have everything in its place again, and it makes me crazy. We would be able to just make it financially if I left this job, but then we would have no health insurance. My husband would love for me to be able to stay home, but he sees the financial need in me working. I am so praying that the day comes that the Lord would speak to him about this. I believe that taking care of my home and family are far more important than small luxuries in life. Even my husband says that our home was much more peaceful and inviting when I wasn’t working. I would give anything to have those blessed 3 months back. For the first time in my life, I finally realize that this is what I was born to do. Yes, the Lord has given me gifts and talents to use for Him, all of which I do at our church. However, making my nest a warm and inviting safe haven for my family makes me happier than anything. When my daughter meets the one that God has for her and she decides not to go to college and be a wife and mommy, I would be the proudest mom ever. Thank you for this article!! I needed it so much today!

  4. I love it! Thanks so much for hitting the nail on the head! Blessings!

  5. ladyscott says:

    I am convinced that if all married mothers in 2-income homes who work outside the home returned home then our men would have better job opportunities, advancements, benefits and incomes. It is a fact that because of political correctness some women are hired over men for advanced positions just so the company can fulfill their PC quota. Some may scoff at me for saying that but I’ve seen it with my own eyes!

    I always liked the older movies, books and stories where the woman did work outside the home, usually in female-dominated professions of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and it was fully understood and expected that once she married, she would become a fulltime homemaker….and it was fully expected that the husband would (and should) provide.