Saturday, September 08, 2007

Taking Time To Reflect

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Before you read this article with intent to mock, go here http://homeliving.blogspot.com/2007/11/mature-audiences-only.html and read this. The list of 30 things was given to me as a teenager and I saved it. It was intended to help young women who claimed there was "nothing to do," or that they were "bored" at home. It was never intended to impose on any homemaker a must-do list. Most women never accomplish anything on this list because of the daily work that is necessary. It was not a list of things that would make you a perfect homemaker. It was intended to point out that homemaking is a full time job.

Young women need to also type in the words "Girls and Their Influence" and get an idea of why they cannot find a man to marry who will be a good provider and protector.

The 21st century progressives interpretation of Proverbs 31: 1-31 is increasingly biased towards the career woman who leaves her home daily to bring in a salary. I've not known the controversy over these verses until only recently, because prior to 1965, most women saw it as an ideal and left it at that. Today, they must analyze it and pick it apart until it means that she is a full time real estate sales person, and that she pulls in a salary. Preachers are liberalizing it so that they can justify the women putting careers first, skipping their duties at home, and bring in extra money for the family. Most preachers have their wives working these days and do not want to give up that extra money.

Instead of true study, many men are changing the meaning of scripture to suit the culture, rather than trying to change the culture to conform to the scriptures.

That chapter in Proverbs just gives you an idea of the worth of a homemaker, because of all that she does for her family. It was not intended to force women to work as realtors or as business women, and still expect them to manage the home perfectly. See what Miss Anna has to say about it on her blog here http://ccostello.blogspot.com/.
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I have a list of things that someone gave me when I was first married. It said, "If you can say 'yes' to these things 30 times, (for one month) you probably have time to take on a money earning job at home or go to work." This list also emphasised that women do not necessarily need to do every single thing. It was presented in case a woman said she was bored at home and wanted to go to work outside the home.

I believe that women should not take on extra work until she has the following things under control. Most new homemakers who have not had mothers and grandmothers as role models, will find it more difficult just to do the basics, so I would strongly urge you to do things in your relaxing time that really make you happy and relax you, rather than trying to prove you can bring in a second income.

The most intelligent, strong decision a woman can make is the decision to be a full time homemaker. It is not necessarily more "strong" or smart to choose a career or get a job...it is actually the easy way out of doing her duty. Strong, intelligent women at home have always been able to be artists, writers, inventors, midwives--even scientists. I've mentioned some of them in past articles. Progressives of the 20th century have always spread the stereotype that women at home are not "allowed" to do anything but house work, in an effort to persuade women to choose careers. They were told by the media and at school that homemaking is limiting their "choices," but you will find you have more choices and interests at home. At work, you are limited to the dictates of the company you work for, unless you have your own business. Many women have businesses at home that bring in extra money and give them great creative pleasure. There is nothing wrong with that, but to say a woman MUST earn money to make her of any value, or to say that she cannot do anything because she is "at home" is to mis represent women from the beginning of time.

Another thing that needs to be clarified is that although the Old Testament was written "for our learning, " as the New Testament states, it is the words of Christ that are my final authority, so, rather than anguish over Proverbs 31 and whether or not the woman was a full time real estate agent, I go to I Timothy 5:14 and Titus 2, and many other New Testament Scriptures that state clearly what is expected of a woman. The younger women were told to marry, bear children and keep house. That speaks volumes, and much more could be written about it by older women who have already experienced it. The older women were to teach the younger women how to love their husbands, love their children, and manage the home. There have been many good books that elaborate on how this is done in any given country or any given era. You can get a nice book called "Treasury of Vintage Homemaking Skills" by Mrs. Martha Greene, that elaborates on everything from laundry to cooking and more. I will add this book to the side bar.

Here is the list:

1. Do you have a morning routine in the house?
2. Are your dishes washed and put away?
3. Is your cabinet top clear?
4. Is your table clear, when not dining, and do you have a centepiece?
5. Have you cleaned your cupboards and storage areas and fridge in the last 3 months?
6. Is your porch clean and the entry way cheerful for visitors or people who see it from the road?
7. Are your carpets clean?
8. Is your floor clean?
9. Is your living room ready for company?
10. Is your laundry washed, folded, ironed and put away? (Keep in mind, I am not saying you have to do this. I am only listing it in case you think you have time to bring in another income!)
11. Is your mending and button replacement caught up?
12. Do you bake bread? (Once again, no one HAS to do it, but if a woman is bored, maybe she should bake her bread. It takes more time. It smells wonderful. It has far greater effects than can be listed here, both emotionally and physically or even involving childhood memory)
13. Is your bathroom shining clean and does it smell nice?
14. Does your house smell nice?
15. Have you re-decorated or re-arranged in the last 3 years? (You need not do it, but if you think you need to go to work or take on extra work earning money at home, why not put the time into re-beautifying your house?)
16. Are your beds made? Are your sheets and bedding fresh?
17. Do you hang your clothes on the line? (You needn't, but it takes more time, and is good for your health and it actually increases the life of your sheets and clothes, as opposed to the dryer)
18. Do you grow a garden, or even a tomato in a pot?
19. Are your drawers and storage areas organized?
20. Are your photos organized?
21. Are your computer files organized?
22. Is your correspondence caught up?
23. Do you make any of your own clothes?
24. Does your husband ever have to ask for an ironed shirt?
25. ARe your books organized?
26. Do you go through your things regularly for garage sales?
27. Are your windows clean?
28. Do you cook regular meals from basic ingredients?
29. Have you had anyone over for tea in the last month?
30. Do you read at least one good book or learn something new within the year, or learned any new skill?


Perhaps there are interests such as writing, crafts, hobbies, or other things that you can pursue. Some of these things also can be sold and can double your enjoyment of them. However there is always a danger of pressure and burn-out if it is done at the expense of keeping your home beautiful. I think it is fun to make something to sell once in awhile but I don't think women should be pressured to do it all the time.

NO one should feel they must do all of this, but the point is that there is always something you are needed for in the realm of the home and family. You are not NEEDED 'out there' in the same way. You can be REPLACED in a hired job, but at home you are not replaceable. There is a distinct role for you that NO ONE ELSE can fill. No one else can be the wife, or the daughter or the mother or the guide of the home. No one else can be in charge of the home but the homemaker. Even if you can say "yes" to these thirty things, there will be 30 more things waiting for you to do. If you are really bored, you can start a business at home. If you are tired of all the work at home, you can do something that relaxes you. Our foremothers used to read a great deal, write letters to their sisters and mothers, make hooked rugs, make jewelry, make all kinds of things! They loved going for walks and telling stories and I can't list all the other things. We have a generation of women who do not remember these things or have not had the privilege of experiencing them. Sometimes they do not know how to act at home.

I will remind you that these things are not all necessary, but it is important to know what all there is to do before attempting to take on more work. Now if a woman has a hobby and it gives her joy, and someone wants to pay her for making something for them, well and good. But I don't think home makers should feel any pressure to make money. They make money just by the work they do, because otherwise they would have to pay someone else to do it, pay for convenience food, pay for housekeepers, or pay for expensive clothes.

I have read several sites that recommend that women buy things instead of growing them, or making them, but in my opinion if you like to bake bread or knit, you should do it. My parents had what I call in my book, "Just Breathing the Air," a "Great Potato Enterprise." They cleared a spot in the back area and showed us how to plant potatoes. We went behind them as they dug up the rows and we plopped the sprouted potatoes in the holes. Then a brother or sister walked behind us and covered up the holes, and then another one watered it. We did a similar assemby line routine when it was time to harvest them. Since there were 7 children, our parents thought we ought to be busy and they let us sell some of the harvest. I mentioned in my book how much I enjoyed taking my share to market and what I bought with the money. Some people might argue that it would have been cheaper to buy potatoes elsewhere, but my parents liked the taste of new potatoes grown themselves, and they also wanted to help us learn to feed ourselves and learn to sell our products.

I do not mean to refute anything anyone else is writing about this, or to hurt anyone's feelings. but I just want to say that each family can do what suits them, as long as it doesn't endanger the wife's rest and health. I think in general, it puts too much pressure on a woman at home to expect her also to earn money.

Here is a sting to this list: Most people will never ever get it all done to the point they "have nothing to do." Some times the so-called empty-nesters can do a better job in their yard work, or get all the walls painted at the same time, or catch up on the photo albums. Even they are sometimes overwhelmed with the work of the home. That is why it takes a full time homemaker to do it effectively.

Also, a home maker should allow herself time to reflect. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers of the Victorian era (isn't it interesting that all of our generation had Victorian relatives--especially since so many young women seem to hate that era!!) took time to stroll in the garden, smell the roses, look at the water or watch a sunset. They enjoyed a glass of lemonade on their porches. They had time to make calls on other people and take baskets to other people. During the day, they didn't have to have people watch over and dictate to them how to live at home and what to do next. They seemed to have a natural instinct for it. The new generation has somehow had, through education, that instinct for the home removed from them, so that they are always looking for answers about how to conduct their days as homemakers. The best way to discover your routine and responsibilities is through observing daily what you seem to be doing. That is usually how homemakers operate. They do what needs to be done the most urgently, first, and then if they are able, do other things. Eventually a routine will develop.

46 comments:

Jonine said...

Thank you for an encouraging article. Many times over the past several years I have felt the "necessity" of earning money from home. I felt that I had to be a keeper at home AND a snappy, brilliant business woman who raked the money in by handfulls. I am wiser now that it is five years to late. My money making schemes actually became a burden to my husband because the initial investments cost more than we could possibly make back! Please pray and consider whether or not a business would add to or take away from your fruit as a keeper at home. A list such as this would have been very useful to me when I first began my Titus 2 journey.

Anna S said...

Dear Lady Lydia, thank you for taking the time to talk about this important point.

Allow me to venture even further, and say that *even if* a woman has everything on that list (or other lists) accomplished, it doesn't mean she should immediately dedicate all the time she has left to money-making.

As I mentioned in my comments to your previous posts, I work from home. I tutor children and do translations. 'Working from home' sounds very comforting to some women, and in a sense it's true: you have a flexible schedule, and are there for emergencies. But it still means investing lots and lots of time.

There was a summer when I took on a very large translating project, and it kept me by my computer for 7 or 8 hours a day. Of course, I could take breaks whenever I wanted to, and I was still at home to tend to the needs of my elderly grandmother, but regarding my other duties at home, it was not too much better than if I had to work a job outside the home.

Theoretically, I learned, it's possible for me to run around, crossing things off my to-do list at top speed. Theoretically it's possible for me to pile up grocery shopping, laundry, vacuuming and washing the floors, cooking for the week, washing windows and what not, in one day. It's possible in an emergency. But this will be a day when I collapse, exhausted. This will be a day when I won't have time to do anything special and memorable, anything that really makes me a homemaker and not a housekeeper.

The way I see it, insisting that a woman should have a home business isn't that different from insisting a woman to work outside the home. Sure, if I had to choose between the two, working from home is definitely a better option; but in essence, it all boils down to this: a woman must bring in money in order to justify her existence. Managing the family budget wisely isn't enough. Being a busy, creative and resourceful wife isn't enough.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think there's anything *wrong* with having a home business, for those who can incorporate it into their lives. But not if the woman's more basic duties (wife, mother, homemaker) are suffering, or if her sanity is compromised. And I also think it's better if this income isn't regular and doesn't become an actual part of the family budget, because before you notice, you and your husband will come to rely on it.

I'm sorry I made this so long, but these are thoughts that are always on my mind whenever home businesses are discussed. When a homemaker feels she *must* find some way to earn money, otherwise her presence isn't valuable enough, where does it bring us? Isn't it the very thing we're trying to avoid?

Rosemary said...

I think the media is the worst enemy of women today,TV and Magazines giving too much of the wrong kind of example e.g so called celebrities and top models.We would do well to keep away from the media as much as possible, with the exeption of family based programmes and magazines which help women as homemakers.Both my Mother and Grandmother had a strict weekly routine for household tasks.Washing on Mondays,Ironing on Tuesday,Living Room and Kitchen cleaning on Wednesday,Thursdays bedroom cleaning,Friday baking,Saturday shopping(most of the groceries,meat,fish etc was delivered and the orders placed for the next week with the delivery man)So this was shopping for clothing,haberdashery and an excuse to meet friends for tea.Sunday was the day for church or chapel,but also for stripping and remaking all the beds for Monday's wash and cooking a roast meat dinner at lunchtime and preparing an elaborate tea for 5.30pm.All our neighbours and relatives mostly followed this routine with minor differences.As well as these above tasks they would preserve garden produce,help in the flower garden,tend poultry etc etc.The standards of homekeeping were high and if you failed to keep a clean house and a good table your standing in the church and village community was nil!!

Anonymous said...

Most "successful" men have a wife backing them up at home--taking care of the children so childcare issues rarely interfere with work, keeping their clothing clean and well mended, and doing 90% or more of the necessary cleaning and shopping to keep the household runing smoothly. Wives often enable husbands to pursue an outside interest or hobby without having to factor in the disruption this could cause to the smooth running of a household. Many husbands take this situation for granted as their basic right. By contrast, many women do not have anyone to "back them up." If they don't have the time to shop, clean, cook, raise the children, and do all the small, intangible things that "make a house a home" then those things often are done haphazardly or not at all. The Proverbs 31 author fell into the trap of seeing "women's work" as lacking intrinsic value on its own merits. There are seasons of a woman's life where it is possible for her to make extra income without sacrificing her ability to meet her God-given calling of "keeper at home." There are other times where attempting to combine family responsibilities with outside employment or a home business can result in a cold and chaotic home life. I know the cost of living is high and families sometimes find it difficult to thrive on one income. However, I don't think this should be an excuse for "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" and urging the general adoption of a lifestyle where a woman's value is determined by the amount of income she adds to the family bottom line. Miss Kris

Katy-Anne said...

I don't believe women earning money is really a good idea, but you cannot say home business is wrong, as it is very clear that the Proverbs 31 woman did just that. Also, some wives like myself DON'T take care of the family budget. My husband would rather take care of the money and that's fine by me. I don't like dealing with money, and he's the one who makes the money anyway. He pays all the bills etc. We like our arrangement.

Kimber said...

What a relief to come here and find agreement after reading that article and feeling that I was coming up short AGAIN. While I am sure he meant well with that article, it made me very uncomfortable to read it. Why can't what I do in my home and for my famly be enough? It fills my day and it makes their life so much more beautiful that I am here in the home. I always have time to talk to one of my children if they need me. Our life isn't perfect, but it is much less rushed or stumbled through because I can take my time.

The other thing I don't miss is when I was doing business from home, there would be a feeling of urgency for doing "business" when really I needed to sit with a child on my lap and read to them or talk to them in an unhurried way. I had too many occasions of having to tell my children or my husband I would have to see to their needs "later" when I had the time. There were too many thrown together meals and sometimes even missed breakfasts or lunches that I would replace with little more than a snack to hold us over until I had time to do better.

I did the work from home things on and off in cycles for years while my husband was going back to school to get education to better his career. It was exhausting to me emotionally and it also took a toll I think spiritually. The writer of the article was correct in the assessment that my house looked cleaner, my schedule seemed to run more smoothly. However, though my house SEEMED in order, the thoughts going in my head were really not in order and I had areas where I HID clutter and disorganization. I had so much going on that I felt no sense of peace in my mind and that spilled over into my home.

I read that article with an open mind, but then I just felt judged and like I was coming up short because I couldn't do all that I do AND a home business. Why was I feeling condemned or less of a woman/homemaker/wife? That man has no say over me at all! I have my own husband who tells me that I do not have to work outside the home or inside the home in a home business as long as I am pursuing my passion. I may take a class here and there along the way so that I can go into counseling when my children are raised. Also, someday I think I would like to write and have a helpful website. Right now I am gathering experience in order to have something to say :)

I spent years helping my husband be able to move up the ladder in the corporate world to a well paying job so our needs would be met. I help him with his outside projects like rehabbing houses when I can and he is glad for it. I was the one to oversee the construction of our home because he was away traveling so much of the time. But what he really wants is for me to make a home for our family. He wants a refuge to come home to. He wants some of my attention after he works hard. He wants beautiful things and that "woman's touch" to be seen all around him when he is home. He wants meals cooked with time and attention to the details. Those things were many times lacking when I was working from the home.

For women who can do it all, yay for you. Now consider if you have time to do something nice for your husband and each of your children and yourself daily. Life isn't just about industriousness that brings in money. I think this man missed the point of the value of work done for one's self...the satisfaction perhaps of a tomato from our own garden. The hominess that the aroma a loaf of bread baking can bring and the smiles that go round the table when we slice it, still warm, to share with one another. Some things we do just for the joy of it. I'm not willing to give up those things for more money and thankfully, my husband doesn't press me to!

I pray that article doesn't put ideas into overly many husband's heads that their wives would just be so much better off if they had a home business on top of taking care of their "business" at home.

I thought his article was treading dangerously close to the feminist belief that a woman can "have it all" which I also believe is saying that a woman "can do it all." I can't do it all. I don't even want to try. And while I am carefully picking the things that I do want to do, I am happy with what I do have, even if I don't "have it all."

Thank you Lydia for the list of things to consider. I am copying it down and plan to work harder to meet those goals within my home and life.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I had a mother, grandmother and great grandmother that I am able to look back on and see how they lived. They took time to go for walks, time to visit, time to reflect.They got meals on time but they never felt they had to prove anything to anyone. In those days most women stayed home and most men worked and the arrangement was very natural. In the 21st century, I have noticed the tendencey for ministers to interpret Proverbs 31 as a working woman who did real estate. It is like they only see that verse. They are not as fascinated with some of the other verses, such as "She looketh well to the ways of her household," or "Her husband praises her," and "her children rise up and call her blessed." Most of the 21st century sermons I've heard or read on the Proverbs 31 woman have set out to prove she was a woman of commerce, a working woman.They like it that way because it justifies them wanting a second income. Most men worry about money and maybe this gives them a chance to send their wives to work.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

There is nothing wrong with having an online business but if it takes its toll on the family, there has to be limits set. What I am talking about is the tendency of preachers in the 21st century to interpret the Proverbs 31 woman as a working woman who sold real estate. I don't think she did that if you look carefully. Also, she made garments to give to the merchant. She didn't have to sit in a shop all day. And there are seasons where you might be creative enough to make extra to sell, and seasons where you aren't able to do anything but keep up with the house and rest.

Anna said...

When I began working after marriage and after my children were half grown, I seemed to have enough energy to work and get my house duties done and all seemed great. I think it was the adreneline of a new project. Over time though, it began to wear on me and things started to not get done...as one writer said things got put aside to be done another day and so on. On the surface things still looked good. In the back of my mind though I knew things were piling up and it would take longer to undo them than usual. Little by little over time I became anxious as something here and then something there never got done or only got half done. I did not have time to share fun let alone help to make happy times for our family. There was less time to spend with each other and I knew my children were growing fast and the years at home to learn were growing short. At work they kept piling more things on me to do in the same amount of time. At home less was getting done. The basics were done, yes dinner was on the table but not with any joy or sense of accomplishment. Life went on but my heart was getting very heavy and it was harder and harder to push the thoughts out of my mind that I wanted again to be home full time being more involved with my family and feeling again I was where I belonged. I had never taken being home all those years for granted. I only went to work because of some tough years in my husbands field of work. I could have worked for more years to help out financially but after several years my husband and I agreeded we would all be happier if I came home full time again. In our situation the money did help as I did not need any child care but the tole on our home life was quite numerable. It was not worth it. When we added up the little money I made and the excpense to our lives it was not worth it at all. I had always thought about and appreciated my husband working for us. We made sure he knew it too. After working those years though, I came to an even more in debth understanding of some of the things my husband has to deal with daily for us. My appreciation grew even larger. I marvel some days at how he can stand to go to work another day but he goes out the door each day as he feel it is his duty and place to do so for us. My love and respect for him grows daily.

Kelly said...

Wonderful article and very well said. I work from home and it can take too much of my time if I let it. It was an online business that I started long before my daughter was born. After she came along I realized that I suddenly had a lot less time to work. For over a year I did nothing with the business. It's only recently I've started working again and I work maybe two hours per week and not in one sitting.
A work at home business in any form can take more time away from your home, family, and your own health than an office job. Boundaries must be set.
Family, home, and my health come first. It's been a hard lesson for me to learn, being a workaholic personality.
Lady Lydia, I love how you mentioned that all of our grandmothers and great grandmothers kept their homes well but still had time to walk in the garden and smell the roses. If we're working so much that we can't enjoy God's creation then we must give something up.
Kelly

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My husband and son had their eyes opened when we were working three weeks "Book Rush" at the University to help pay for Christopher's Jr. College expenses.

Our food budget skyrocketed since we had to eat out far more (junk food for the most part). The house looked awful after the first week and it took awhile to catch up on laundry.

I won't hear "what did you do today" for a very long time. It was very good for them to "see" what I do all day when it did not get done.

I've agreed to work once in awhile as a call in cashier but that will be once or twice a month. It's all the house and I could handle. :)

Karen said...

Another major problem with that article is the author's dismissive attitude about home crafts. It's incredibly foolish to expect that today's prices, which make home production of vegetables, bread, and clothing something of a luxury, will stay as low as they are today. (Decent readymade clothing is already more expensive than decent homemade clothing - it's only by comparing t-shirts and jeans that you come out ahead buying clothes.) Learning and passing these skills on isn't just a hobby. What if a time comes again when gardening, canning, breadmaking, and home dressmaking are necessary for survival? Maybe the author should show respect for his elders and go talk to some of his churchmembers who survived the Depression.

Kimber said...

Lydia,

May I ask where the nice little home beautification video clip went? Was the format not working on the web page?

I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed it. I was hoping you might do more of those!

Anna S said...

"That's exactly what the feminists have been telling us, that we are only worth anything when we achieve in the market place."

I sensed it too. The author's attitude, I felt, was bordering on that point; it's unfair and unhealthy to expect women to 'do it all', and it's unfair to compare those few women who can do it, and those who can't.

At this time of my life (no father, not married yet) I can't afford not to work. So I work from home, which is still a better option I think, and I try to keep things simple around here, and somehow I pull it off. Many things just don't get done, though of course I'm still blessed with more free time and peace of mind than many of my peers, who spent the last few years living on campus and are in debt up to their ears.

Frankly, once I'm married and completely in charge over a household, if I have some extra time I'd rather dedicate it to beautifying my home and doing something special for my husband. And when, God willing, children come -- mothers are so busy, I really can't imagine having time for any additional pursuits.

I'm happy we already decided about this with my fiance. It's so rare these days to meet a man who proudly takes up his Biblical role and doesn't feel as though a woman must justify her presence at home.

Beth said...

Lydia,
Thanks so much for bringing this up! The Proverbs 31 Woman article left me feeling rather disturbed. The author seemed completely unaware of the value of making a home. When a woman is running her home efficiently, she IS making an economic contribution to her household! By resisting the urge to "buy" everything and in learning to produce some of the family's needs herself, she is buffering the family against possible economic collapse. Also, she can produce things more specific to her family's needs--custom-designed clothes to fit the unique shapes and tastes of the family; breads made without ingredients that family members may be allergic to;etc. The work of overseeing the family's health, planning times of recreation and refreshment, attending to child discipline and education(whether homeschooling or not!),being a confidante to the husband...these responsibilities are huge and require certain amounts of mental energy. Why squander these types of activities, which go so far in enhancing quality of life, in exchange for a paycheck! Thank you again for this site and for the chance to discuss this article in particular!

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I took down the video because it wasn't to my liking. We will do a better one soon.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Lady Lydia,

Yes, this is a touchy thing. It does do good to show much much money is saved with a woman being home so folks understand and appreciate that. BUT, if that is the focus, it still leads to this kind of thinking (such as in the pastor's article) in the end i feel. It is only when the more subtle (but deeply impacting) presence and care a woman offers in making a home are stressed as actually key ~~in itself~~ that she is seen as beyond her "monetary value" ...as soon as a woman's value is judged in terms of money in some way (be it what she brings in or what she saves), it down the line leads to the kind of stuff like in this article. All this guy did was put into words the view that results.

I think this view is very much behind feminism too, where a woman is stressed to have value becuase she can "work just as well as a man can", that (and not her deeper qualities) being what gives her "value".

This stuff also reflects how we see time i think. The person writing this article thought all time that didnt have efficient "production value" (like "puttering in the garden" as he put it) was spiritually empty. But our spirituality DOES deeply need openings and pauses and receptivity to flourish, this is just as "spiritual" as outwardness and activity. How on earth do people miss that so much? As you put it, "a home maker should allow herself time to reflect. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers of the Victorian era... took time to stroll in the garden, smell the roses, look at the water or watch a sunset..." That stuff is just as important as the work that needs to be done, becuase the state of a woman's spirit and peace of mind WILL deeply impact the feeling of the home, and true care should be given to it.

I am more and more wary when folks look at keeping at home more in terms of its "production value" rather than its deeper gifts...

Peaceful Week,

Wendy

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Whoops, it should have said: " It does do good to show *how* much money is saved", not "much much moey is saved" lol..

Mrs. Brooke said...

Thank you for this post, I read the Proverbs 31 article on LAF and it made me feel awful!

Anonymous said...

Karen, that was the feeling I got too. Gardening, sewing, preserving food, woodworking, home repair, etc. are skills that are never wasted. How many women can't even hem a garment and take it to a tailor? Or pay premium prices for organic food? Everyone talks about the Proverbs 31 woman. What about Dorcas who sewed garments for the poor? Should she have spent her time doing something else?

Kimber said...

That article has just bothered me all day, even after I made a comment on it here explaining what I felt was my opinion on the topic. I think what bothered me was that it seems the introduction on the LAF site was written by a man. It states in one part something about "having our wives at home" so it gives an impression that it is authored by a "husband" editor. I feel greatly troubled that the "editor" seems to have been taken in by Reverend Abshire's views :( Am I reading the introduction incorrectly?

It states that some of what is said may rub us the wrong way. SOME? It implies there is a lesson in the the article somewhere. Was the lesson that many Christian men believe their wives need to work from home in order to bolster finances and that she needs to bring in extra money so they can prosper? Was the point to bring discussion because we should disagree with the article? It was such a discouraging commentary for me in every way.

t reminded me of hearing a comment made by a youth pastor a few weeks ago on a Christian radio program. He said that his wife had just recently given birth to their third child. They needed to have more money for his salary from the church for them to make ends meet. He went before the church council and explained his situation and they immediately advised that his wife should now get a job. They had 3 children under 5 years of age and one was a newborn and the church elders were advising that his wife get a job! I was SO upset to hear it. The person who was heading the talk show he called into dismissed that entire line of reasoning, thank the Lord, and supported the view of a wife and mother's value in the home!

This young man's heart was to be able to provide for his wife and family without her having to go into the workforce. The gentleman running the show advised him to go back to the elders and even before the church body and explain this because THAT was the Biblical stance. Their expenses would have been VERY great to have her go back to work. 3 children in day care, a baby that could no longer possibly breastfeed so formula would have to be purchased, a different way of eating, another vehicle, increased expense to bring her wardrobe up to work standards, gas, etc etc etc. One bit of advice was that if they just could NOT have a raise and could not make it on the present salary that he look for a job that pays better or take on a second job himself as he is able.

I was so glad that many women wrote in here and told of their own situations. I am especially glad that the ones who have in the past or who do work from home now shared their hearts.

Does anyone have clarity on whether the article was put there because they agree with it, or was it put there because they did not agree with it? I would write to them directly for clarification, but their comments are shut off and an email address is not available for LAF at this time. I also decided that I would directly write to the pastor who wrote this and honestly explain to him why his article was a discouragement to a woman like me. A snail mail address for the group running the website is available. I feel that man might benefit to hear the comments so many of the ladies have made here. He might be welcoming of honest feminine critique of his article :)
Then again, he might just tell a woman like that she needs to get a job!

Just because a Pastor/PHD wrote the article and possibly a Christian husband agreed with it doesn't make it valid for me. I am reminded that we have to hold everything up to the light of the scriptures and look to our own husbands to lead us as they are the heads of our households. I am not under the authority of any other man. Today after reading that article and thinking the "editor" seems to agree with it, I am SO glad that I have no accountability to either the editor or the author of that article!

I am happy at home being wife to my own husband today :) And that is definitely following scripture...

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Kimber, we must have heard a similar radio show. A wife phoned in to the host and said that they were having a difficult time financially, and apparently her husband was not working. The host gave her all kind of encouragement and ideas for bringing in extra income, but never once in the exchange was it strongly suggested that the husband get a job and provide for his family.

Sabine said...

Dear Lady Lydia and readers,

I would like to let you know that tomorrow is the beginning of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. This is sponsored by Rest Ministries. To help spread the word, I am having a giveaway on my blog (there is no obligation to read my blog; just leave a simple comment so that your name is entered). Two winners will each be sent 2 small books and a pretty pillowcase made by me.

I read the article in question and was quite disturbed by it. Yes, I do agree that we don't have to grind our own wheat and spin the wool from our own lambs to make our clothing, etc. As a woman with very little 'quality time' I do not bring in an income nor do I manage my home as well as I wish I were able to.

Did you know that the divorce rate amongst couples wherein one has a chronic illness is around 75%? I believe this is largely because certain societal 'expectations' are not being met, not the least of these being monetary (the loss of income and increased costs due to medical needs). This could apply to the husband or the wife, of course. I am extremely thankful that my husband considers it worth his time and money to take care of me.

Wendy (loved your comment, dear friend) and I both suffer from chronic invisible illnesses and I am sure many of your readers do, as well. We still want to have beautiful, peaceful homes, just as much as able-bodied people do. I take the ideas you present in your lovely site and try to adapt them to my own needs and limitations. Thank you for providing so much inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late jumping into this discussion. It was a very disturbing article over at LAF, & I have to wonder if the man that wrote it has ever actually observed his wife for any length of time, as she does her home related jobs. It requires a good deal of effort, as well as time, to do things well. Does he think she has some kind of magic wand that she waves over the more labor intensive tasks, making them easier to handle?

I almost cried when I read here about the wives & mothers whose husbands were adamant about adding paid work to their already very full day at home. What are these men trying to do?...run their women into the ground?? I didn't grow up on a farm, but I remember hearing a quote about how to look after your work animals: "Rest your horses while they still have one more pull in them". It is foolishness, at least, & cruelty, at worst, to insist that a busy, productive at-home-wife find time in her day to set up & maintain a home business. Talk about trying to have it both ways!

And for those of you out there who need some kind of on paper, logical proof that tasks at home ARE money earned, I encourage you to read the writings of Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced "decision"). She wrote The Tightwad Gazette back in the '90s. There's a good deal of practical information in those newsletters. I hunted up an article she wrote in February of 1992 called "The Time & Money Chart". She calculated the hourly worth of several tasks, & compared them to the cost of a similar task if it had to be purchased. Everything from diaper-washing to pizza-making was calculated. It's worth a read.

I think it's rather sad that someone who is supposed to be on "our side", so to speak, seems to be so infected with feminism himself. Ladies, it looks as though we have a long way to go!!

sincerely, Brenda

Anna said...

As stated I still wonder what the man's wife thinks of what he wrote. She is the one who is now to hold 2 jobs. She already was working full time at home AND homeschooling and now he wants her to have a home business too. He must think she has plenty of time to do it all. Was she telling him she had too much time on her hands and wanted more to do? I doubt it!! :-) I am glad I go to a church that upholds the Biblical standards and is not afraid to preach it.

Joanne said...

Many times over the past few years, especially when money was tight or I had more time on my hands than usual, I would approach my husband about starting a home business or doing something in which I too could add to our income. Each and every time, my husband would wisely ask two questions: Have you taught our oldest son to read yet? and the other is...Have you done everything you can possibly do in the home - there is nothing else for you to do? These simple questions are his way of pointing out to me that there are so many things that I need to do; that I am already doing; and I really don't need to try to add any more to my day. He has a good stable job, his income is enough and more, and even if I didn't mean it this way, offering to 'help' bring in more money is just one "little" way of saying I don't think he's doing his job in providing for me. Why else would I need to earn money? I know that this may not be the way other couples see it. Some feel that by earning money from home the wife is honoring her husband. For me though, it is dishonoring to my husband to even suggest that I need to earn money too. I have my tasks, my work and he has his. His is to protect, guide and provide for us (probably more, but that's what is on my mind right now). Am I respecting his position as the head, the provider of the home if I am of the mindset that I need to earn money to 'help' pay the bills? Doesn't that just mean that I feel he can't do it? So I have given up all ideas of earning money and am focusing instead on keeping our home, caring for our family and being the wife that I need to be. The supporter. The woman behind the man. And it's not a bad place to be!
And in looking over your list, as I thought about the tasks ahead for today alone, I simply don't have time for all I need to do today, let alone taking on the things on your list and a 'job' as well! You are right in that it takes time to work from home. Time I feel is - for me - better spent doing something else! I have hobbies that have the potential to earn money, however they also have the even greater potential of providing lovely gifts for family and friends. I can save money and do something I love at the same time without feeling guilty about spending my spare time 'doing nothing'. And my husband has encouraged me to do this too. It is something that he feels would be a good 'use' for my hobbies. So in doing this, I would be honoring my husband. Isn't that worth more than a few extra dollars?
In saying all this, I am not condemning those who feel a wife can or should work. I'm just saying that this is what works for us. And for anyone who feels as I do, then I hope that this might be an encouragement to you too.
One last thing and then I'll go...my husband recognizes the fact that what I have offered to do, the things that I could make to sell, are actually a possible money maker. However, that isn't the point. He simply feels that there is much, much more that I could be devoting my time to - things that are far more worthwhile. He is already bringing in a sound income, so why don't I do something else with my time? Something he can't do? There are more ways of helping and honoring my husband than making money (far more enjoyable ways too!) so I have nothing to complain of!
And as I said earlier, I'd rather be in the position of supporter than co-provider. I'd rather stand behind him than try to walk beside him. He can forge the way and I can follow; knowing and being sure of the fact that he is tackling all the obstacles in order that the way might be more clear for me. When I have this offered to me, why would I want to try to walk my own path? I'm not being lazy, I'm being taken care of. My value to him lies far deeper than a need for more money. He values me far higher than that and it is demeaning to myself and to him to try to lower his standards.
Okay, I think I've ranted on for long enough. As I have stated before, this is just the way it works for us.
Thanks for the great article. I enjoy reading your blog because I feel that as an older woman, you have the experience and knowledge to offer advice to those of us, like myself, who are young wives. Good sound advice that is not tainted with do or die opinions. You are able to look upon the matter with a clear head, see things from both sides and then offer us the good and bad from both sides. It is a blessing to be able to gain such an insight because we, at this very do or die age, are often (like myself) very sure that ours is the only way. Thanks again!

BessieJoy said...

I, too, found the article disturbing. It seemed to me that money was very important to this man. I had to wonder when there would be time to serve others??? And if my husband were to feel this way about me, I think I would have trouble even functioning in a capable manner in my home!

Lydia, thank you so much for your encouraging post. I've printed off the list (for the second time, I believe.) Thanks again!
Renee

Kimber said...

Sabine,

How do I get to your blog to read about it? I wasn't aware of this week being designated for invisible chronic illness. I also suffer with that and have periods of time where I can do well and then periods of time where I am almost completely off my feet. If you are able to share with me in some way what it is that you and Wendy are facing health wise, I'd be so glad to know I am not the only one.

I'd love to look at what you wrote about it. I know I surely need encouragement for ways to do things with more time economy and hints and ideas for making the best use of "helpers" and then giving them just the right praise and thanks to let them know the value of what they do for the family.

Is your blog listed along the side bar in here? I am not sure how I would know it is yours unless there is a really large hint in the title or that your name is part of the URL.

I was glad to read the new additions to this thread of discussion.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I could probably add to this several other things:

Do you preserve any of your own food from the garden or a farmers market, and do you ever make your own jams and jellies?

I hope no one misunderstands this list. It partly comes from the old homemaking books of the late 1800's that showed women how to do everything from making beds to sewing curtains. In no way does it imply she must do all these things. In my opinion, a day is well spent if you can get meals and keep the dishes washed, and the laundry caught up. First in importance if you have children is the care and safety and health of them. Second is your meals and laundry and then your general house keeping like keeping things in order and having a living room that is clean. Lastly would be your side interests. However, there is nothing wrong with waking up in the morning and writing letters or sewing, if that is when you feel you have quiet time or when you are the most creative. What many people forget is that in a marriage, the husband loves his wife and wants her to be happy, so he will not insist that she earn money unless she wants to. Hobbies and crafts and other interests are wonderful, except when you start to earn money from them in a big way...sometimes you get a terrible burnout and disinterest when it turns into selling, because you expect to turn out products as though you were manufacturing them, and it all loses its relaxing pleasure.

Lyn said...

This pastor's teachings are really a shame. I sensed great worldliness throughout his writings. I did not like his tone and didn't complete it. Then I went back and read it completely, to be totally aware of what he wrote. It is sad and scary that somewhere he is teaching all of this to the congregation he belongs in. Also, I feel for his wife, if he is fortunate enough to have one with that kind of thinking.

I'm in the same "sisterhood" as Wendy and Sabine are. I have chronic health issues that affect my daily living. Young women of today do not begin to even think that by having an overly-full plate and by going full-speed all day long they will someday end up like me. But I will tell you, the chances are good, actually rather high. The physical body cannot take such ongoing toil without it being affected at some point. I SO wish that women will begin to see this and thus live accordingly now while they are young.

At no point will I ever be able to go back to the crazy, hectic christian life I once lived. There will be no more seasons of working out of the home. As I mentioned on Crystal's blog, God still loves us just as much no matter what we can or cannot do. Not every woman has the same health, the same energy level, the same discipline, the same mind or level of organizational abilities. We must all do just the best that we can.

And again I must say, shame on that pastor. He does not value for one minute all the talents and abilities of a good wife - and sees only $$$ signs in front of his eyes. I would like to know how effective, supported or blessed he would personally be if he did not have a wife who lovingly did all those things for him and his family. Take out the mother in a home, and there you will find a family that struggles to have good homemade food, clean clothing, a home that is clean and cared for, and so many other things - and most importantly, nurturing. Yes, the father/husband is very much appreciated and respected for working hard. But so must be the mother or wife as well, for we all wear many hats, and without her, the family stumbles.

As a woman with no living children I do not have the privilege as the Proverbs 31 woman did of having children to help nor of either having hired servants. We have to remember such things too when we read passages such as Proverbs 31. Not all of us can hold ourselves to such a standard. When it comes to taking care of my home in every aspect, I am the one who does it all (although I have a dear husband who will help if needed).

I'd like to encourage anyone who was discouraged by that article to let go and remember it is just someone's opinion. Although it may have frustrated many of us (as it did me), I plan to go on happily with my life as a full-time homemaker who does not work for money & I will remain that way.

Anonymous said...

I'm late commenting on this article, but I found the cited piece disturbing, also. It did imply that only the ability to bring in income mattered. Even babysitting for other people in your own home can change the dynamics of your family, not in a positive way. You almost always spend money on the children you keep, because you don't want to exclude them from whatever you would have for your own children. Ditto for some home-based businesses that focus on selling goods made by a company, most of them (although they advertise that you are your own boss) require certain goals, etc. to be met. They dangle the carrot of lower prices with the first order to entice you to advance a lot of money buying goods that you may or may not eventually sell, and there starts the pressure to devote much time to the business. Your time would be better spent in trying to control household expenses with home cooking, etc. for your own family. Just my observations from observing this closehand. Marie

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

To our resident critic, Cheryl, who claims these are mostly drudgery and brags that she has a job and can hire other people to do her job at home, : I'm sure you are perfect and you have the answers to everything. As Job said, "Wisdom will die with you." If you had a blog, maybe you can show us how you do it since you are so smart and I am so stupid!

Wendy WaterBirde said...

A couple things....

First i just wanted to respond to Kimber...if a person's name is a link at the top of their comment, then then when you press it it often leads to their blog...to get to Sabine's sweet blog just press the name by her comment. I'd love to vist yours too btw if you have one...do you? (the link on your name didnt lead to one, at least not on blogger)

I have a similar question as you did as well, for Lyn:

Lyn, do you also have a blog or way to contact? I have always felt an affinity with your comments and would so love to read your writing if there is any : )

I think it would be wonderful btw to maybe form a little group somehow of those who keep at home who have serious chronic pain, as we are so little understood by keepers at home at large and perhaps could really encourage and mentor one another. I wonder if anyone would be interested in this?

Paix,

Wendy

Sabine said...

Thanks, Wendy, for letting Kimber know how to get to my blog. The URL is:
www.sunshine-and-shadow.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Dearest Ladies living with chronic illness or disability,

Let me begin by commending you for your honesty in discussing what can be a difficult subject. Though not living with chronic pain, I live with a significant vision impairment (of the Guide dog using, Braille reading variety) that makes homelife interesting. Though I've got most bases covered, areas like home sewing and the 'needle arts' - embroidery, lace making etc are quite beyond me, as is shopping independantly, handling home corrospondance etc. Also, some elements of housework are also. For this reason, I have someone come in once per fortnight to assist - with me doing the rest from day to day (bathrooms, sweeping etc). For over 12 years, I've also had the carpets in my home whether single or married dry-cleaned regularly (the people who do it use non-toxic bio-friendly substances). Prior to marrying, I received community assistance to do the grocery shopping; a role that my wonderful husband has done for the past two and a half years since we've been married. Sometimes I feel quite inadequate that I cannot aspire to the lofty achievements of my sighted sisters, but am comforted by the talents I have - compitence and confidence in the kitchen with not only preparation of meals, but production of baked goods and jams/marmalaides/preserves. Simply being here for my husband when he gets home (he's a shift worker) having baked something nice for his supper or even simply offering encouragement over the wear and tear of his day is invaluable. Around this time of year,my asthma usually 'bolts' and I'm unable to do pretty much anything till it gets under control again - since friday, a chest infection has sent me to my bed for 22 out of 24 hours and yes, the floors are in need of a sweep and my husband's breakfast dishes are in the sink (I've been eating little or nothing at all) but he's rallied behind me, laundry, other days' dishes etc. Only this afternoon have I begun to come good. For ladies living with chronic illnesses, there is a most excellent article upon LAF called 'homemaking with a chronic illness (just type the latter two words into LAF's search facility) which is excellent; as sometimes, we can come away feeling pretty poorly in the homekeeping stakes trying to measure up...


May God encourage everyone here to simply do their best for the day and not feel overwhelmed or inferior. There is so much wise counsel upon this blog from authors and commenters alike.

Blessings,

Mrs. E.
PS: for those who wish to know how someone with no reading vision accesses the electronic world, simply go to www.freedomscientific.com or www.afb.og and read up on assistive technology.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again, Lydia, for providing words of truth and wisdom to balance out the impact of the LAF article. When I first read the article, your blog was the first thing to come to mind as a source for a more biblical and balanced view! I understand the need to close the discussion on this; but might it be possible to leave your article, perhaps modified to delete all references to the LAF article? It stands alone beautifully for the benefit of women who are made to feel that homemaking is unimportant or insignificant, or that "there is nothing to do at home". I especially appreciate the list of 30 areas of homemaking to have lined up before considering other activities!
And, finally, I do hope that LAF will reconsider the appropriateness of that article for the LAF site. It doesn't seem to fit LAF's goals.
Just my $.02!
Pressing on for Him,
Beth

Kimber said...

Wendy,

Thank you for that helpful information. When I have time later today I will do some visiting of websites :)

To answer your question, I did set up a blogger account but have not put anything down at all. I just wasn't sure of how to do it. Then I got a hosting package and had set up a website that was to be about dealing with chronic illness. I just found myself not having enough time to write anything to put there and turned the hosting package over to my son ;) I might be bringing it back in the near future AFTER I have 30 days of being able to say yes to everything on the list that Lady Lydia gave us! ~chuckle~

I can't wait to read what some of you have written on your sites and to have the chance to know some of you better!

Warmly,

Kimberline

Sabine said...

Hi Kimberline,

I hope you won't be too disappointed, but there isn't much useful content on my blog. It's kind of a "fluffy" light-hearted blog. I am hoping to draw attention to NICIAW, really, not my blog. I love your comment about maybe bringing your blog back after 30 days of being able to say 'yes' to everything on that list. *smile* Now, I need to get to work...

Kathleen Grace said...

Wow, what a fantastic post, I am so glad I found your blog! Just the list of things to do is helpful and something I will print out to help me get more organized and remind me of several things that may have been neglected! Thank you:>)

Mrs. Pilgrim said...

I agree with you, Mrs. Sherman. This Cheryl person sounds ever so amazing. I suppose that her various servants must hold her in awe, because she is so obviously ABOVE them in every way. I'd imagine that there are people FLOCKING to sit at her feet and just stare at her, day in and day out. And as to her work? The world would collapse if she took a sick day!

...Actually, that was sarcasm. I suspect that if she dedicated half the time to worshipping God that she spends worshipping herself, she would outstrip the Apostle Paul for holiness.

Tami @ Titus 2 Heart said...

Keep me in your prayers. I work outside the home full-time. It is a desire of mine to obey God's Word in being a keeper at home. However, my husband doesn't see it the same way as I do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

MrsMelody said...

Thank you for sharing that great list. I will print it out and re-read it when I feel the desire to work outside of the home.

Blessings

Michelle said...

I have to say, as a thoroughly "modern" woman and something of a feminist, I've always felt more freedom as a homemaker, and more enslaved when working outside the home.

If one's husband is kind and loving, how could any "boss" be more benevolent or better to work for? I've never felt right working for the profit of a company over working to directly benefit my own little family (even without children.)

Perhaps for some people, the choice to do other work seems right, but I don't think people should automatically assume a woman who is a homemaker is being exploited or oppressed. I've felt much more exploitation an oppression under bosses who expect too many hours for not enough pay...and those types of job situations are more the norm than the exception, in my experience.

Anonymous said...

Michelle, I couldn't agree with you more. Not sure if it depends on your job, but I felt oppressed at my job all day, sitting in a cubicle, taking orders from ten different bosses. And this was a job that was considered a "good" "professional" and "well-paying" job.

My husband is a fabulous provider and I know when he goes out to work every day there are other things he would rather do, but he does it out of a feeling of love and duty towards his family.

I did work until I had my first baby, but I couldn't understand for the life of me why I would go sit in a cubicle all day over being in my lovely apartment with my cuddly baby. How is that oppression?
Ann

Kimber said...

A clip from Cheryl's post....."there are women who are strong and intelligent whose ideas need to be heard and seen in the business/science/art world. A female perspective makes business better,"

Why do you believe that female perspectives make business better? That sort of seems like a feminist tooting her own horn and those of other feminist's in general to me! Seeking validation from a job often leads to huge disappointments down the line. Also, I would have to tell you that I have talked to plenty of businessmen (my own husband included) who long for the return of mostly men running business aspects because of the many issues that blending the two genders in business brings. They say it is uncomfortable to travel with women as it leaves both a man and a woman open for gossip as to their relationship and indeed can even push them into a physical relationship because of a created sense of intimacy that they share for being together and away from their own spouses. I have heard it is awkward for men to handle business dinners with women.Where it used to be one on one man to man It is now one on one woman to man and it is too easy to slip out of business mode and into something "else" that has nothing to do with their job. My husband tells me that working one on one with women makes a familiarity between a man and woman that often leads the women to begin confiding personal confidences. This is often a first step toward an affair.

We personally have also had to guard our marriage against single women in the office who were on the prowl for a husband. Other men in my husband's office enviroments had to do the same. There have been a few women who set their sights on the married men in the office and would aggressively pursue them. Not exactly conducive to concentrating on business. And it is hard for the wife at home to compete with the single gal on the prowl who would not bat an eye to make her a lonely divorce when she gets that woman's man. It is uncomfortable for the male who is trying to stay faithful to his wife as well.

I've heard from many men that they get really tired of how often women have to beg off work to deal with their childcare issues and in some cases they have to work with women who are stressed beyond their ability to keep focused on their job because they are at work with a sick child at home. I've heard men complain of having to put up with emotional behavior from women battling PMS or menopausal symptoms. How would a man know it is that ? Because the woman is only too glad to tell everyone that is the problem. It is hard for business to progress as usual when the person you are trying to discuss a business particular with has a hormonal meltdown. You just don't hear of that many men breaking down in tears at work. Men seem better able to separate home life and work life and are not prone to discussing their private lives with business associates on a regular basis.

My husband complains about how often it is the women who are on the phone chit chatting with a relative or friend instead of working. His biggest pet peeve is gossiping in the work place. He sees it regularly in the women but said he rarely sees that in men. He admits that the women will try to draw the men into it though, often wanting a man's opinion to settle a dispute. It is hard to work when you are trying to navigate through that kind of mess which has no place in the business world.

My man has had to work with a lot of women who are working because their husbands won't. But then that same husband is also not working at home to see to the children or chores. Women who have to work because their husband is a bum are very angry in the workplace because they resent being there if they would rather be at home or are angry that they are pulling more than their fair share in the family.

He said that women who work and have children deal with huge amounts of guilt because they instinctually know their children need more from them and they are having to give the best of their day to their job. They miss the important milestones in their children's lives. Like the first step, the first word, little school presentations, concerts. Unhappy moms do not make good work associates.

Another sad thing that he sees are women who never married because they felt they had to have the career first. As they grew older, the pool of eligible men grew small. Toward the end of their years in working for the company, they are melancholy and they spend a lot of time retelling what they feel they missed out on. Some of the mature women DO marry eventually but then if they are past childbearing age, then they lament that. The company won't come be with them when they are old and dying or ill and needing comfort. They traded validation on their job for the stability of family.

I have heard many business men tell me that it used to be much easier to do business when women were few and far between or not present at all. Now, Cheryl, you can tell me how those men are just being pigs and they are all wrong about women. I guess as a stay at home wife I'd have to say that I agree with these men who have complaints such as this. I really do NOT want my husband forced into situations where he is traveling with female associates or listening to some woman's complaints about her husband. He would get so burned out listening to their daily situations he had little inclination left to listen to me. He said he gets listening fatigue from hearing the female voice all day.

I am sure each of these women would think she fits your comment about strong women who are intelligent needing to give their gifts to the business world. My husband wouldn't disagree that they are strong or intelligent, but he would disagree that they belong in the business sector because they impede the flow of business.

The longer my husband has been in business, the more he realizes that no one is irreplaceable. You may think you are the ONLY person who can do your job. You might think you are the absolutely best at what you do and no one can ever take your place. That thinking would be wrong. He said it seems that this is a worse blow to the women than it is to the men when they find out someone just don't give a hang about their ideas or opinions. He envys ME because here at home my ideas and opinions DO count and I have great control over how the home is run. Also, I am the only person that is a mother to my children. I could be replaced by housekeepers for keeping the home. I could be replaced by a nanny for caring for the children. But no one who comes into my home as a paid helper can give the care I do with love. Not a one of them could know more about my children or love them as I do. I am not replaceable in my children's hearts or in the heart of my home.

When you have had a child or two, let's see if you still think you don't at all see the "weaker vessel" issue or need that extra rest. You won't keep up that youthful energy forever and as yet you do not have to leave a child behind to work, so have not dealt with that heart tug. I sure hope you never have to! I would be so interested to hear more from you when you are older and/or have had children. I think my opinions were about the same as yours when I was in my early 20's. It is amazing how much more conservative and quiet I became once I was a mother. And once I was a mother, I had no desire to be anything other than a homebody.

My husband and one of his business associates licken the idea of boy only and girl only schools to business. That is often done so that the focus can be on education and getting things accomplished without interruption that comes with the mixing of the sexes. There are plenty of men who would love to see the office full of men so they could focus and get their work done. Women, they said, can be a big distraction because they just do business differently...when they do business. Maybe it sounds sexist. Is it sexist if it is true?

Kimber said...

An extra comment made by my sons after we discussed this issue :) They commented on this particular piece of quoted material from Cheryl's post "A female perspective makes business better," They felt it was very conceited of a woman to think that thoughts she would have about business are able to only be thought of by a woman. It somehow is implying that men's thoughts only in business just might be missing something without a woman's input.

Both sons felt the comment was sort of the typically heard comment that bounces around on the media these days where they are really promoting women and putting down men
We do see a lot of this attitude nowadays since the feminists push the idea that women are equal to men "only better."

I heard a comment yesterday yet again that has been tossed about for ages and I wince every time I hear it. "If women were in charge there would never be a war."

I will let that bit of women bashing men just stand without another comment.

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