Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Free Range Housewife

I know a woman who has taken her tiny yard and turned it into an English garden; the type that you walk around in just to settle your mind.

Her work is centered at home, where she guides the family atmosphere, family activities and social life. She guards the care of the home and monitors the family income so that they have a profit at the end of the week, instead of over-extending themselves.

She likes to find substitutes for costly things, and she enjoys doing things herself. Instead of paying money for baked goods, she has learned to make them herself, which saves paying extra for labor.

Rather than being confined to someone else's place of employment, or someone else's schedule, she has free range of her home and her life. She is free to come and go, as she feels necessary. She can rest if she feels a fatiqued, and she can be as creative as she wants with her yard and house. She has a car, which gives her the freedom to participate in things outside her home, that she enjoys. She particularly likes to quilt, so she loves finding fabric stores that sell interesting fabrics.

There are times when she likes having guests, and there are times when she doesn't want anyone to bother her. She is free to follow her preferences in that regard. If she were employed by a company, her time would be regulated by someone else, and her range would be limited to the areas dictated by the paycheck.

The penned up chickens have to wait until the farmer opens their door and lets them out to range freely and eat the fresh grass. The housewife is only limited by her own desires. If she sings, or digs in the garden, sews, prepares the evening meal, has company, or washes the clothes, she is still free. The choices of when and how to do them, are all made by her. Her drive, and her ambition, is to be the best custodian of her own home.

Anyone who has bought a home, after renting, will know the difference in the feeling of pride of owning something, compared to living on someone else's property. It is this feeling of motivation that the free-range housewife has. A person tends to take better care of things that belong to them, whether it be the lives of others, time, or property.

The painting is called "Cahala Lilies" by Donny Finley and can be purchased at


Sandy said...

Besides spending time with my children, that 'free range' is my absolute favorite thing about being a stay at home wife and mother. Thank you for posting.

Mrs Honeybee said...

Your wonderful blog has been a contributing factor to my decision to become a homemaker. Words cannot express how much I appreciate your wisdom and tenacity in guiding us to return home. I am 29 years old and have been married for 3 years to an honest hardworking man and have a beautiful baby boy, yet I long to become 'the best custodian of my own home'. We are currently still living in my family home. Along with my beloved parents, I also have 5 other siblings under the same roof! Due to the economic downturn it has made it even more impossible for us to start life at our own place. I am trying to make the best possible use of my stay by supporting my mother in taking care of the family home. But I must say my heart aches to feel that pride in owning and guiding my own home.

Lydia said...

Mrs. Honeybee,

Do not feel so bad. You aren't doing anything unusual by not having your own separate dwelling. With gas and costs being so high these days, you are going to see more families opting to team up and share the house. Other people are doing it, including us. My daughter and her husband and children all live with us and it works out quite well. We share a lot of things and we are all very busy. I am sure she would like to have her own home some day but there are advantages to living this way. She makes my home a better place with all that she does for me, and I help in any way I can to ease her burdens, too. It isn't such a novel idea. After all, many cultures still do it and in the past in America, families sometimes lived together. Look at the pioneers coming across the plains to Oregon. We were reading that sometimes entire families came together, which included the grandparents and the aunts and uncles, etc. They lived together all that time and sometimes began live out here together, helping each other until they could all set up their own housekeeping. The Chinese in California lived together, several couples in the same house, and helped each other get their own homes.

Mrs Honeybee said...

You are right about the advantages of living together. It's nice to have the support and companion of your family, especially when it comes to childraising! The main thing we younger generations can do is not to increase the burden on our parents. After all, they've already spent the better part of their lives raising us. Thank you for your heartwarming reply. Now I'm trying to find other ways I can do to help make our lives at home better for all its occupants!

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I aboslutely love your blog!!! You have such a way with written language!! Your blog truly speaks to me. As a homemaker and homeschooling mom to four children, I absolutely loved this post ( as I do most of what you post :) ) My husband and I have been renters and homeowners and due to the economy we are back to being renters. We rent ( again) from my mother and father-in-law. They own a two family home which they reside in and we rent the downstairs apartment from them. It is wonderful having them ( along with two of my brother-in-laws) right here with us. My husband, children and I are able to maintain the home and property and my children are afforded the luxury of having their only living grandparents available to them every day :) When my sister and I were growing up, my mother was a single parent and my grandmother lived with us. At one time we had my grandmother, aunt ( grandmother's sister, so my great aunt) a cousin and her children PLUS my mother, sister and I living under one roof. I look back on those days now with nothing but fond family memories.