Perhaps you can offer me some advice. My daughter recently got engaged. She has only wanted to be a wife and mom. That has been all she has ever wanted to be. Her fiancee is fine with this, his family is fine with this. I have been fine with it for about 2 years now.I grew up with very strong feminist female relatives, an aunt who never married a career woman, a mom who wasn't a good mother at all divorced and remarried, and my grandmother who went to work in the 1950s when my mom started kindergarten because she wanted to.Anyway they are concerned that my daughter can't support herself if her fiancee dies or divorces her. She can come home if she would need to if those things happened. Her fiancee is a strong believer and hard worker.My relatives are unbelievers. I tell them that being a wife and mom is very important and my kids didn't turn out well by chance. When my first child was born my mom asked me if I didn't have good daycare in the neighborhood so that I could return to work. I try to explain that we try to live biblically but then they expect us to be perfect. If my husband says he wants me home then they say he oppresses me. They have no respect for a stay at home wife and mom. They say they only want my daughter's best and that they are "concerned". I have told them that I already know this and I have tried explaining that repeating these things doesn't make me want to hang out with them. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I want people to feel encouraged when they leave my presence, not torn apart. These are all single women now. I am an only child and must take care of them as they age. I don't know I am going to be able to handle it.One of them even told me that she writes down every time we visit and how long we stay. I can't compete with that, nor live up to it.I have been trying the soft answer because arguing is going to lead to saying words that can't be taken back. I am not generally quiet by nature but for years I have tried to not rock the boat. My husband has said we are the only Jesus they see but I am beginning to feel like a doormat constantly now, never good enough.Any words of advice or encouragement would be soooo welcomed. If this is too much for the comments don't post it.
Christy H, I doubt the comments and urging of others can sway a dedicated homemaker to change her mind about employment. Are these naysayers going to bring us job applications and force us in the car and take us to an interview? And will they pay the cost of travel amd expenses for going to work every day?They do not really have any strength beyond their words. Their influence can be a problem if your family is easily intimidated or easily swayed to act on suggestion.It takes some people awhile to understand that staying home comes from a personal belief , and that you will not go against your belief because if the consequences of having a neglected home, and your conscience toward God and yiur family. Being dedicated to the home does not mean you must always be ther, and it does give you a lot more freedom than being obligated to a strict time-frame at a place of employment. When based at home You can come and go as you need to, respond to the needs of the family more easily. People never quit trying to get homemakers to seek other employment, and they use money as a reason. However some people do not like it that you are home, for some reason, and will always want to argue about it, and they never give up. You just have to ask them, in return, "why aren't you home" and continue to ask why they do not follow Titus 2. However if you don't want to pursue the arguments try sweeping around them or cleaning house while they stand around criticizing. It will make them very uneasy. Go into the kitchen and start cooking, or get a box if things and started sorting and cleaning, fold the laundry, iron, or make a list of things to do, in front of them. Ask them to stay and help you, or say, "I really have a lot to do. I need to get busy. "
If you have a supportive husband and you are in charge of homemaking, you are employed enough. To take on another job would put a burden on you and on your daughters future woke at home.Sometimes you have to tell people you have had enough of their pressure.And sometimes if they will not quit bothering you, you have to put a little pressure on them to start being good homemakers and stop thinking about money all the time. That of course would be a last resort way of speaking.
I'm so glad you post the comments. I too have had "negative nellies" pester me about working outside the home in years past. I caved for a while and tried working, but it never worked out for obvious reasons. I'm a senior woman now and my children are grown. So most people leave me alone now. The answers you have given are reasonable, and the comebacks are wonderful. Thank you for the advise and I will employ them if or when the situations ever come up again.Any advise on sharing the information with the younger women of the family who are bearing children right now and considering work outside the home?I think I know, but for the sake of the post, what would your reasoning and advise be for those never married, on welfare and continuing to have children?Mrs. J
I am the original poster of the problem of relatives.I have worked outside the home as a nurse when my oldest was younger and then again after my twins were born. I can say from experience that I was stressed out beyond reason. Nothing ever got done well and I always felt so torn. Told my husband I couldn't be superwoman. My family is the only Christian family within my extended family circle and they have no respect for our faith. The women are strong pessimistic feminists. I think their motto is I am Women Hear Me Roar. It is only through God's grace that I am not some awful barfly type woman. For my relatives it is always the negative "what if." What if he divorces you? What if he dies? What if he becomes disabled? They have no concept of trusting the Lord.My daughter has grown up with me at home so she wants to be a wife and mom only. Just like Jesus loves us into the Kingdom, I think my husband and I have shown her how attractive being a wife and mom can be. So many women have believed our culture's lies about being a wife and mom. That it is worthless and a waste of time. I have children act out to the point of jail because their moms weren't there to just be with them. I know my own mother neglected me for her job and my step-father. (A whole other story) Anyway, our kids need us even more as teens. I never thought I would want children, just a career as I always thought kids were a waste of time. After I had my first one I was rocked by how much I loved that little person. After being raised as a feminist I can not believe how much satisfaction I get out being a wife and mom. Don't have children and work if you can help it.
Lady Lydia,I want to thank you so much for your encouragement. I just need to tell them I hear their concern but we are not concerned and leave it at that. Their "world" is so small, with very few friends and nothing to do, as they are all retired. they can't see things from my point of view. I just need to let it go and focusing my Pleasing my Lord and husband.
Since they are not employed outside the home, they must be home now and are homemakers. Since they Re home, they are in the same realm you are in and ought to pay attention to their homes. They do not have any business telling young homemakers to leave home if they are home, themselves.
Dear Christy H,Be encouraged! I think that these women are meddling inappropriately into your business. Some women think that because they are family members, they can tell you how to live your life, and give unsolicited advice any time they feel like it. This is unhealthy for them, and especially for you, your husband, and your children. (Added stress hurts your family.) It is YOUR family and your business and the only one you must answer to is the Lord himself. (And your husband.)By listening to them and worrying about their opinions, you are giving them power over you, which will invite even more "concern". I have been where you are and I really feel for you. I ran out of "honey" a long time ago, and finally moved across the country to beautiful southern Florida with my children. (My husband did die, leaving me with 4 children to raise.) It is not ungodly to take your life back. I feel freer and more at peace than I have in a long time. Now I am free to focus on God and my children instead of worrying about the gossip or other people's opinions. Sometimes the people offering you all of this "advice" are inappropriately fulfilling some need in their own lives, by trying to control yours. In my case, gossip was heavily involved, constantly adding fuel to their fires. Bored women should be out blessing others or taking care of their homes and families instead of gossiping and meddling. And in the unfortunate and highly unlikely event that your husband does leave you or die, there are programs to help widows survive and continue to raise their children at home. One is social security survivor's insurance, and it is based on how much money your husband made, as well as his age at time of death, and how many children you have. There are options, if you happen to need them. May God bless you with wisdom for this stressful situation, and a peace that surpasses all understanding, as only He can do.Sincerely,Julie P.
Dear Christy H,Please be encouraged! I think that these women are meddling inappropriately into your business. Some women think that because they are family members, they can tell you how to live your life, and give unsolicited advice any time they feel like it. This is unhealthy for them, and especially for you, your husband, and your children. (Added stress hurts your family.) It is YOUR family and your business and the only one you must answer to is the Lord himself. (And your husband.)By listening to them and worrying about their opinions, you are giving them power over you, which will invite even more "concern". I have been where you are (without my late husband to defend or assist me) and I really feel for you. I ran out of "honey" a long time ago, (and politely said goodbye to my concerned family members, who I will keep in touch with from a distance) finally moved across the country to a small town in beautiful southwest Florida with my children. (My husband did die, leaving me with 4 children to raise.) It is not ungodly to take your life back. I feel freer and more at peace than I have in a long time. Now I am free to focus on God and my children instead of worrying about the gossip or other people's opinions. Sometimes the people offering you all of this "advice" are inappropriately fulfilling some need in their own lives, by trying to control yours. In my case, constant criticism and very negative gossip was heavily involved, constantly adding fuel to their fires. Bored women should be out blessing others or taking care of their homes and families instead of gossiping and meddling into the lives of others. Maybe they truly are "concerned", but whatever their motives, they have expressed their opinions to you, and that is where it should end. You can politely thank them for their concern, but you are not obligated to take their advice. A healthy person will realize this and stop bothering you. And in the unfortunate and highly unlikely event that your husband does leave you or die, there are programs to help widows survive and continue to raise their children at home. One is social security survivor's insurance, and it is based on how much money your husband made, as well as his age at time of death, and how many children you have. There are options, if you happen to need them. May God bless you with wisdom for this stressful situation, and a peace that surpasses all understanding, as only He can do.Sincerely,Julie P.
I would like to suggest that folks get some kind of life insurance and long-term disability insurance if they are able. In the unfortunate event of one's husband dying, the life insurance can go a long way to cover living expenses. At age 60, women are also entitled to a "widow's pension", a small sum to help tide them over until they reach retirement age. Long-term disability or long-term care insurance pays out in the event the husband becomes disabled before retirement age. I just think these are wise things to look into, so that the wife is not impoverished or put out of her house in the event of the loss of her spouse. Of course, there is no insurance against divorce, which leads me to wonder whether these pre-nuptial agreements aren't such a bad idea. It used to be that the courts looked very favorably upon a wronged wife, granting alimony in most cases, but now of course, the feminists have ruined that.
I do not like to comment on the negative side, but is it possible that these relatives are more concerned about their own welfare than you and your daughter's. Since you say that you are an only child and responsible for their care as they age, perhaps they are concerned about the financial situation. Why are they dependent on you for their care? A single career woman should have money aside for their aging care. Meddling in other people's lives has become a disease in this society. If you and your daughter are convicted to live as God commanded you must ignore their interference and move forward with your lives. By being stay at home moms you are doing the most important thing you can to change the mess society is in today. Those kids need and deserve your full time attention. Avoidance is one of the only tactics that works for me, although that is harder with close relatives. As Lady Lydia said, stay busy and concentrate on yourself and your daily life. Your daughter will be fine and soon so happily involved in her home life she won't have time to listen to their rude comments. I wish her all the best.
Susan I had not even thought of that. Maybe there is some belief going around that women who do not bring in a wage will hurt the income of those who retire. Who knows. More ignorant things have been said. All I know is the economy was worse for many of us in the 1950s and our mothers stayed home. Eventually they all became quite well off, owned land and had no debt, even able to give inheritance money to all the children, even in large families. The fathers did t want the mothers to work and there were fewer places for them to work, anyway. The home was the most important thing and these sacrificing ladies made cheerful havens from even the most humble cabins!
I just wanted to add one more thing to my previous comment that has been very helpful to me. Do not provide these ladies with any private information that can help them move forward with their gossip. Lady Lydia has wonderful information on this blog about how to handle these types of conversations. I am still learning but even with the closest of relatives it is possible to remain private. Being rude and not wanting to give out personal information are two different things. We are not required as Christians to share our lives to be kind. I was once ruled by this mistaken belief. The less information they have to gossip about the easier it will be for you. You can keep the conversation positive and still not get personal. Eventually they'll get the idea.
Private things include the amount and sources of your income, your savings, the amount of your expenses,nthe cost of anything you buy, or any troubles you have making ends meet. Practice the words "we are doing well and everything is okay". As an answe to any question. I had a noses woman doing that to me, asking when we were going to retire and where we were going to live, and what I was going to do now that I am of a certain age. When I explained my beliefs to her I was giving her more information for her to counter with arguments. One day I had to tell her that she was too inquisitive about private things and I asked her how much money her husband made and how her husband was feeling and why he never came to church,mthis inquisitive woman stated that I had no business inquiring into her marriage. So you see, the meddlers will back off when you ask them where they are getting their income from or how they are managing. It is all one sided.
Insurance is a wise investment in such cases, but it is not necessary to reveal this to those people who are so "concerned". Just say "we have it under control" or "it is all taken care of."
I am sorry for accidentally posting twice. I agree with Susan about not providing personal information to these relatives. Sometimes they may ask very prying questions about very personal things, but you or your daughter are not obligated to answer them.I also agree with Emmarinda's suggestion about life and disability insurance. No one is too young for these, either. In our case, my husband got cancer in his 30s and just would never buy life insurance, which he thought he was too young for. (As a result, I now have life insurance for my children's sake.) This is why I gave the option of social security survivor's insurance, though not as a first choice option. This is temporary, until your youngest child reaches the age of 16. It can provide enough time to allow you to go to school so that you can support your family. Knowing this is out there could give some ladies peace of mind.I think your daughter has chosen well and hope all goes better for her.
Dear Lydia,Curiously, after I made my comment here suggesting couples could look into buying life and disability insurance, the Facebook page I maintain has suddenly been showing ads for such insurance. I am reporting this to suggest that Google (which operates your blog) and Facebook probably have an agreement to mine each other's data for revenue enhancement opportunities. This may be old news to some, and therefore, I have arrived late to the party, but I thought you might be "flattered" to know that your blog is of "wide interest." (Please forgive a bit of sarcasm there).
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