There have been some good things coming out of the Idaho families in the latest decade. From artists and home sewing, to homemaking classes and publishing, these people are using their rural freedoms to produce many good things. I fondly call Idaho the new-south-comes-north state. It is nostalgic of southern ways. In some northern states the accents seem southern, as so many people are originally from the south. Lisa Hollinger, from Country Victorian blog, has a wonderful homemaking class which I participate in via Skype services, is in Idaho, and is well-known for her influence through hospitality and teaching.
Patrice Lewis, from Rural Revolution, is also in Idaho. She has written some very good e-books available here. She offers three books on canning, one on everything you need to know about moving to the country, and another e-book which features instructions for turning your talents into a home business.
Patrice also has written a recent article here refuting the prevailing rumor that being a full time homemaker is a "luxury." I don't know how that description began, but I don't remember women of the past thinking it was in any way a luxury to stay home and look after their husband, their children (if any) and maybe an elderly parent, the garden, the laundry, sewing, and the many other things involved, as a "luxury." The implication by the media is that women staying home is only possible if you are rich, and yet, many of those who tout this falsehood make a lot of money and are considered rich, but apparently, not rich enough to stay home and care for their own children. I don't call home schooling a luxury. It is a personal sacrifice. I don't call making your own meals or your own bread a luxury. It is cheaper than paying for it in the market, and it is a labor of love.
I wish the media and the politicians would just leave us alone. They have made a controversy out of something that has been completely acceptable and highly valued for centuries before this. Isn't this typical of government: to take something as natural as being a wife, mother and keeper of the home and create public discord over it? If anyone asked our great-grandmothers why they stayed home they would have laughed at the question. To ask a woman such a question would have been tantamount to asking them why they breathed the air. Women staying home is not a luxury: it is a necessity based upon belief.