Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Daughters at Home

A host of people seemed unhealthily curious about what my daughter did at home, during her teen years. I'm not sure what they thought was happening, and although I assured them that she was content and busy, well-meaning relatives and friends thought that she would not be fully formed in some way if she did not go to public school, have boyfriends, or attend all the activities of other girls her age.

One of the by-products of daughters at home is their thoughtful approach to life. Everything has a purpose and there is no peer pressure to be distracted from the quiet pleasures which help develop their minds.

My daughter spent a lot of time looking at me. I remember thinking I had a little shadow, when she was young. While I was washing dishes, sewing, or cleaning house, I would sense those big brown eyes in that face framed by dark brown hair, staring at me. I would connect my eyes with her for a moment and then she and I would go about doing the things that we were doing. When she was very young, say, about 4, she seemed to look at me every 15 minutes. She came from her bedroom every quarter of an hour and found me, looked at me, and then went back to her occupation of playing or looking at books. As years went by, she looked at me less, until when she was in her teens, she would only come into contact with me every hour or two. Most of that period was spent worldlessly by my side in the kitchen or sewing, yardwork, shopping. Now that she is grown, she calls me at least once a day, but not always. She has discovered that one of her children has this same tendency.

I think this kind of contact is very important for the mother and child. It is a special bonding that is broken when the child is sent to other people to be educated. Instead of forming a bond with the parents and siblings, the child develops friendships that, although can be rewarding, do not have the same strength as family connections. By the time she was 15 she was capable of taking over the responsibility of the home if I was tired, had to be away or was not feeling well. She married at 18, and has been married for almost 8 years, with three children. We noticed a lot of girls her age who thought she was being deprived of fun and parties and the free, single life of dating, did not fare so well in their lives. At a young age, many of them could not form good relationships, and already are sufferring from divorce.

One of the problems with dating is that it sets up a pattern of divorce. If you date someone for awhile, it should be for the purpose of marrying, however, most people don't date for that purpose. They just want to have fun. Then when they see something they like better, or if they have a little quarrel, they throw off that partner and find another one. The bonds that were formed are then severed, and there are a lot of hurt feelings on the path to finding the perfect mate. Most of the girls who thought we were crazy by protecting our daughter from dating, had difficulty being committed enough to marry, or finding someone committed enough to marry them. This is due to the dating mentality. Our son once wrote a tract about dating called, "Kissing, Hugging, and Dumping," because this is often what happens. Later, when some of these people get married, they have the same habits, which ultimately bring on marriage break up. If someone who has dated quite a lot, or has gone steady with someone, eventually marries, he faces the problem of the embarrassing contact with women he has dated before. Can you imagine walking arm in arm down the street with your husband or wife, and having to acknowledge and introduce a former boyfriend or girlfriend? Wouldn't it be better not to have "a past?"

When a girl has a settled way of life with her family at home, she will repel the guys who don't want the domestic type, and she will attract only the one who desires to settle down to the serious matter of marriage, home, and family. This kind of man may often have a strong bonding with his own parents, and want to reproduce that in his future life with his wife.

Some of the things my teen daughter did at home were routine. By this time, she had observed how the home operated for many years, and the routine was automatic to her. She often prepared meals because to her it was grown up and fun. She cleaned up the kitchen afterwards. She knew how to mop a floor, and straighten up a sitting room. She knew if this major work was done, she had time for even more exciting things like sewing, quilting, rubber stamping, letter writing, or hospitality. One of the highlights of her teen years was a type of cooking club that she formed. Once a month, she invited some girls to the house to cook and serve a meal to their parents. Each girl brought a recipe they had not ever tried before, and created a salad, a main dish, or a dessert. This helped them all learn more about cooking. These girls today still mention how helpful that was to them.

There were things she enjoyed besides homemaking that she did at home: she liked music a lot and after taking quite a few years of lessons, she set up her own studio in the home and taught piano to children. Stamps were just becoming available, so she made a greeting card business portfolio and took orders for cards. She also learned to quilt from books, and sold several quilts that she made.

One other thing that a daughter at home enjoys is planting a vegetable garden in the spring. Our daughter had a gardening diary, or notebook that you can buy, which had places to write the date certain things were planted, and were they were planted. It had a place where she could plan the garden. From a small raised bed, she grew an abundant amount of vegetables for the family.

Our family went into the Tea Party business, where we met many interesting people. One person we met was influential in the local newspaper, and asked our daughter to write a column for it each week, which she did via email, for several years.

Not all of her time was spent being productive. She had plenty of time to rest, and one of her favorite things to do was go retire early so she could read a good book. Her brothers used to complain, "I wish she had not found a book to read, because now I know she won't be playing with us for a long time!" When she lost herself in a book, the boys begged her to play with her. Growing tired of interruptions, she closed the door of her room. They then slipped notes under the door. When that didn't work, they went outside and tapped on her window. Eventually she had to give up and come out, lest the pestering continue.

I've met other daughters at home and not one of them regret being under their parents roof during those years. They slipped easily from their parents home to their husband's home, to continue and improve that way of life which they had enjoyed. These girls adjusted well to marriage, home and family.


Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman

This is a heart-warming narrative. It is pleasant to know that such traditions still survive, and that when the time comes to begin a family of my own, there will somewhere be a girl who awaits her opportunity to become a homemaker.

In Indian cities, it would appear that such traditions are dead. The girl who gets married decides whether she wants to assume the responsibility of cooking, and only then proceeds to learn how to cook. The couple normally prefers (obviously upon the wife's insistence) to subsist on a diet of readymade meals, eating out at restaurants, or in most cases, with a financially convinient tradeoff: the husband cooks three days of the week, the wife three, with Sundays spent in local restaurants. Not surprisingly, both look forward to the Sundays.

Mordenists may call me archaic, but I still think that a woman taking on the role of cooking for the family raises the culinary craft to sacred levels. Find me one son or daughter who doesn't like his or her mother's cooking. In these times, I promise you'll still be hard pressed to find anyone who prefers his father's cooking to his mother's. This is true even in families where the father is a chef by profession!

I think this is so because the woman's role is divinely appointed. She is the only person in the family fit to play the role of homemaker, wife and mother. She cooks magically, adding along with the standard ingredients dollops of love and care. Because of her role, she is always important, perpetually in demand. It is sad that modernists, with their commercially convinient ideas, supress the vitality of this role and hamper the training of young girls to become well-qualified homemakers.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
Thank you for sharing your experience with your daughter. It is a blessing to me. My first reading is a bit rushed, but I plan to reread this again later when I have a quiet moment.

Cherish the Home said...

This was a delightful read, thanks for posting it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you for this article! I am a 23 year old "stay-at-home-daughter". I can't begin to tell you how blessed I am and all I have learned by being able to stay under my father's care.

Thank you for this lovely site, too. =)

Lydia said...

I'm so flattered to see 23 and 24 year olds on this blog. I'd hate to be stuck with a bunch of old ladies like me. Youth is so refreshing!

Marie said...

Sounds idyllic. Wish I had spent my teen years that way@

The Mysterious Writer said...

This was fun to read. But it also saddens me a bit. That is the kind of girl I would have loved to have been for my mom, unfortunately, I have never really been able to help her much, besides cooking a small dinner of simple egggs and toast, or running down in to the basement to bring up the clean laundry. I always wanted my mom to be proud of me, in the simple way that I would help her with anything. I always wanted to help lighten the burden of cleaning up after 5 kids and taking care of the house. Instead, now I feel like a just make more messes for her to clean up.
But, since I'm still a young teen, I am still trying to learn to keep a home. I am afraid I have grown rather lazy, but I am hoping I will be able to shake it off, and be as good a mom and homekeeper as my mom.

Lydia said...

I really must comment on this post. It is good that you are making up your mind to do it from a heartfelt sense of purpose. I've not seen many girls who were constantly nagged and pushed, develop a love for home making. When a daughter sees how she can help, or how she can make the home lovely by her own gumption and creativity, she is more likely to do a good job.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Your articles are always so heartfelt and beautiful. I have enjoyed every last single one of them. THis spoke to me ..it really did. YOu shared something that is so needed in today's society..even in Christian circles. The imprinting you speak of is so important. When I was in college I learnt in psychology class that
when little ducks are born, they imprint on to the first person/ animal they see. If it is the mother duck, they follow after her. They learn how to swim , how to catch food and how to survive from her. She takes them everywhere. She watches them with attentiveness. Her whole life seems to be lived to train these baby ducks and guide them until they are ready to live on their own successfully. Now, if the first living thing they see is not the mother, ....let's say a person, they will imprint on to this person. IT is quite amazing. They will follow this person wherever they go. I thought it was funny when i was a teen to learn of this in psychology class. But now i am a mother and wife and it finally makes sense.
So thank you so much LAdy Lydia!

TheNormalMiddle said...

I married at 21 and have had 3 babies in the past 7 years. It has been wonderful being a "young mom."

I was not a daughter at home as you describe, but it sounds lovely and I wish my own parents had done things this way.

I dated one man from the time I was 15 until 21 when we married. Now, we were not morally pure and I certainly do not condone dating so young as I did, but I did end up marrying my first love and only love...and for that I am forever grateful.

Nicole Seitler said...

This is such an encouraging post. My daughter will soon be three and I'm so excited for the sweet times that God has in store for us as she grows up in our home. It melts my heart to hear her say she wants to help me with dinner or when she gets "bigger and bigger" she'll learn to knit, too.

Lydia said...

What a beautiful family! Congratulations to you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for encouraging those of us with very young daughters. I look forward to having them by my side.

Today's picture is so wonderful...where do you get them?

Anonymous said...

I just felt that I needed to also post a comment. I too wish I could have spent my teen years this way. I went through the whole dating thing and it has taken it's toll on me, but I must say that the Lord has blessed my life and I am a married (26 years old) lady of 3 1/2 years and I have two wonderful children. 2 1/2 and 10 months. I thank you for your blog. I enjoy coming here and finding new posts! It is so refreshing.

Lydia said...

I think I clicked on the fine art section of AllPosters, and then typed in "sewing," to get this picture. You can also type in "children" and find quite a few good paintings.

Leah Spencer said...

Enjoyable post - and similiar to how I grew up. My parents have three daughters, one son and homeschool all of us. My baby sister and I have really enjoyed homeliving. We would take turns cooking, enjoyed sewing (clothes for her, quilting for me) and also grew productive gardens.

I lived with my parents until I married my one and only love at 21 and now at 23, I enjoy being his wife. I feel very blessed to be able to stay home and focus on meeting my husband's needs.

I find your other posts enriching in improving my own attitude and covering areas that I might have forgotten to include in my daily life. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Lady Lydia! This post was such a breath of fresh air to me. I am a stay at home daughter of 20, and have never worked a secular job or gone to secular college. My father is a pastor, so I work with him at the church a lot...doing all sorts of odd jobs as a secretary. I am also going to a small Bible college to increase my "theological" studies--which I love! :)

I have also taught music lessons at home, and since I love to read, I have a little business set up on the Internet where I can sell off the books that I buy. But I just enjoy being home! There is always much to do, especially with all the brothers that I have...and I have so many interests (reading, sewing, decorating...etc), that even if I worked on my "hobbies" for the next ten years, I wouldn't do everything that I want to learn!

Anyway, I said all that to tell you what I think the biggest advantage is to being a stay-at-home-daughter: Flexibility to serve others. That is it! As a Christian, it is my duty to reach out to other people, and to help my brother in Christ. As a daughter at home, I have the flexibility and opportunity to do just that. If I need to take a day to help a young mother in my church, I can do that. If I need to cook a meal or a plate of cookies for an elderly neighbor and deliver them with time for a chat, then I can do that. If I need to travel to the other side of the world to help my sister-in-law as she has her second child, then I can do just that--and that is what I am doing now! :)

Thank you so much for the encouragement. Even though I know there are others that believe like me, so often I only hear the "other side"--that I am too sheltered and "uneducated." :) If only they knew!

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Lady Lydia! This post was such a breath of fresh air to me. I am a stay at home daughter of 20, and have never worked a secular job or gone to secular college. My father is a pastor, so I work with him at the church a lot...doing all sorts of odd jobs as a secretary. I am also going to a small Bible college to increase my "theological" studies--which I love! :)

I have also taught music lessons at home, and since I love to read, I have a little business set up on the Internet where I can sell off the books that I buy. But I just enjoy being home! There is always much to do, especially with all the brothers that I have...and I have so many interests (reading, sewing, decorating...etc), that even if I worked on my "hobbies" for the next ten years, I wouldn't do everything that I want to learn!

Anyway, I said all that to tell you what I think the biggest advantage is to being a stay-at-home-daughter: Flexibility to serve others. That is it! As a Christian, it is my duty to reach out to other people, and to help my brother in Christ. As a daughter at home, I have the flexibility and opportunity to do just that. If I need to take a day to help a young mother in my church, I can do that. If I need to cook a meal or a plate of cookies for an elderly neighbor and deliver them with time for a chat, then I can do that. If I need to travel to the other side of the world to help my sister-in-law as she has her second child, then I can do just that--and that is what I am doing now! :)

Thank you so much for the encouragement. Even though I know there are others that believe like me, so often I only hear the "other side"--that I am too sheltered and "uneducated." :) If only they knew!

Anonymous said...

I love reading about family life. Thank you again, Lady Lydia, for another look into a beautiful part of your family life.

Randi said...

Your words are encouraging to me today! I have two teenage daughters-17 and 15- and the pressure to let them have more freedom is great--even from within the church. But my hubby and I feel that not all freedom is good, much of it is destructive.

I want MORE for my daughter's than what the world has to offer! Thanks for the reminder!

Lydia said...

If you are fairly sure your comments were posted properly, you don't need to try again and again. The reason for the delay of the comments appearing, is that in order to get rid of the advertisers, the comments have to be moderated first. I try to post them once a day, so if yours isn't on right away, they will eventually be posted.

Lydia said...

Flexibility: yes, this is one great reason for daughters to be at home and be available. I know several young women at home who are caring for their elderly grandparents instead of allowing an institution to care for them. It makes a lot of sense to me: why not hire someone who loves, rather than a stranger. The same money spent on a nursing home or care center can be given to the granddaughter for her living.

Another way in which daughters at home are very needed is in the area of helping new mothers. Every time my daughter has had a baby, she has wished that someone could bring her groceries or things she needs, or just help her other children, or fix some meals. I've tried to be there as long as I can, but even after 6 weeks, help is still needed. The teen girls are all in school activities like sports or yearbook, or social activities with their friends after school. They spend up to 8 hours a day in school and cannot benefit their loved ones at home. Staying home is a great advantage to both the daughters and those whom they would serve.

Lydia said...

I remember a true story I heard about this: a stay at home daughter was asked to come and look after a woman who was having difficulty recovering from a cold she had all winter. The girl was 17, and she came in, took over the household, preparing meals for the woman's husband and sons. After a few months, one of the sons proposed to her and they are married today. This was a perfectly harmonious situation because the parents already loved her and approved of her. There was no conflict.

Amanda said...

I think an experience like this would have been very useful to me. My mother taught me how to cook, clean, sew, etc., but she also wanted me to go away to school and "have a career" (I wanted to stay home). I left home at 11 and spent the next nine years in prep school and college UNlearning household routines, instead of solidifying my housekeeping abilities. I'm still trying to relearn everything that has to be done, and learn how to best schedule everything.

(Incidentally, the best argument I know for not going to college/professional school as a woman is that your husband will tend to expect you to USE the degree! My husband loves a clean house, but he's also very attached to my paycheck.)

Lydia said...

If you get a degree and want to be a housewife, more often than not, a husband will want you to use that degree. He will say that it is a waste of your education and a waste of the cost of that degree. There will be some resentment there, believe me. If you do get a degree, however, there is no guarantee that it will open any doors for you. The market changes so rapidly and by the time you get out of school, your degree is obsolete. Most people I know who have really succeeded in building a business or earning a good living for their families, have made it without a degree. Some, who have had degrees, have pursued other opportunities that presented themselves, (as they say, strike while the iron is hot). Degrees are over-rated in this country. It is important to know how to read and write, and to have a love of learning. These simple tools will get you just about anything you want, if you want it bad enough.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
It is such a pleasure to read your blog, and all the posts that have responded. I look back on my life, I looked forward and hoped to be a godly wife. I spent many hours in prayer in my teen years praying for wisdom in my choice for a husband and praying for help in development of my character. It wasn't easy. In my own way, I did what I could to prepare for being a wife and Mother. I had a job. Once in a while, a remark would be made in the office that I was the type that wanted to stay home and bake cookies. Funny, I felt it was shallow remark to describe my desires, but it never phased me.
Point is, my heart was there, and I tried. I am married now, a stay at home Mom. Yet, your blog has blessed me so much. I don't have the words to convey it properly. In simple terms, you blog confirms or helps me be excited about what my goals were a very long time ago. And you describe and discuss ideas that at that time, would never even crossed my mind. For example, even though I longed to be home, the idea of staying home and not working was not even a option to consider. But, if I were to go back to those days, things would be different. I would request of my Father that I not need to work, although, he might not have allowed me to quit. Or perhaps he would have allowed me to work lesser hours. Then, I would discuss with my Mother and Father a desire to spend more time sewing, cooking and I surely would help my mother keep the house clean and orderly. Then, time permitting, I surely would have come to find some new possiblities and interests.
I have two daughters, one who is fourteen years old. She tries to please her Dad and her brothers, especially, by baking yummy deserts for them and preparing their coffees. When her brothers express their joy as they see a plate full of cookies, my daughter feels quite happy about it. She helps me so much, especially in the kitchen. My nine year old speaks quite emphatically that she wants to grow up to be a good wife and mother and a good housekeeper like her mommy. It sounds so terrible, considering what surrounds us everyday in our world of feminism. At her age, and in this home, she has does not have to deal with any opposition.
Your blog is a great place of ease. A place where we can share what we women are enjoying, without having to deal with the never ending disapproval. Disapproval never stopped me, but it is wearing at times.
On this earth my treasure is my husband and children and the home that we all live in. They are gifts from God.
Thanks for your refreshing blog.

Lydia said...

I will tell you the truth about sending your daughters to college or work. It exposes them to all kinds of things that break down their innocence and harden them to the good things, the sweet things, the tender things of life. It ruins their interest in the home and family. It breaks into their privacy. It makes their lives public. I remember a woman who was already grown, whose husband insisted on her getting a job. She cried all the way to work every day. She got her first traffic ticket in her life on the way home one day. She had to put up with inner-office politics. She was working in a sewing factory, making pillows and duvets and she liked the actual sewing, but found the atmosphere stressful. One day after being shouted at by her boss, she walked out and went home. Homemakers can control the atmosphere at home, where they don't have to fight to get to the top, because they are already at the top. They own the place, and it is theirs to do as they see fit.

Anonymous said...

That was a nice article. I grew up wanting to be a housewife and mother, but when I hit 23 and was still single I let myself get pushed into going to college after being told "well, you don't have anything else to do." even though I didn't really care to go and I was already working at a job I loved. I think that's why it took 8 years to get a 4 year degree that is now just collecting dust. I truly believe if you don't want to go to college-don't! I'm going to be paying loans for years and after 2 years I cannot remember 1/4 of what I had to study!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for this beautiful story about your daughter's upbringing. I only wish that I and so many other women could have had that sort of guidance, love and security as children and young adults.

You are so correct about college degrees being overrated in America! I was forced against my will to attend a university by my parents, though I desperately did not want to. That degree, which took four precious years of my life to attain, has never benefitted me one iota. Any jobs that I have held were based on the skills I achieved during a high school typing course. No employer I ever had was ever interested in my degree, only in how I could type, write and organize their offices so that their businesses were more efficient and would make them richer faster (while they paid me not much more than minimum wage).

Now that I live in another country where degrees are not considered vital to existence and stay-at-home wives are not considered unusual, I have had a little taste of a more sane life than my first 37 years, where I lived in a chaotic and violent household as a child and then struggled in the American workplace as an adult. The stress is gone, finally - if only it had gone before it took such a terrible physical toll on my health. But we go on with what we have and benefit from what we've learned!

Anonymous said...

So what does one do with a daughter who does not want to go to school (18 almost 19) and does not like or want to cook, clean, etc.? She has no hobbies and spends the day watching TV or shopping (while I am at work). She is required to do laundry and dishes but she does the worst job possible. I will be home full time within a few months and I am ready to throw her out on the mercy of the world for I am weary of her self-centerdness. (Ironically, she wants to be a full time wife and mother someday.)

Anonymous said...

We are enjoying our dd in this very way!!!! She is a stay at home daughter just like I am a stay at home mom. She takes care of the grocery list, the menu and the cooking AND the cleaning of the kitchen. She gave up doing laundry so her younger sister could do it! She writes articles, makes jam for her dad, quilts, makes doilies, crochets rugs out of sheets, has a recipe book filled with things she knows she will need one day, she knows how to organize a shower (wedding or baby), she babysits for the next door neighbors, keeps nursery at church when necessary, has many useful things ready for a home of her own some day. BUT, she has a little trouble gardening. :)
Some wonder how girls can find things to do after they have completed their schooling. Our daughter is so busy she has to be told to watch what else she takes on!
I so much enjoy knowing that our daughter will be fully ready for the 'keeping' of her own home when the Lord sees fit to give her a husband. So much hangs on what the 'bride' does at home all day long. Why should she be bored? Why should she have to looking for things to do outside the home? I'm glad to know that our daughter will find plenty to do.
I pity the girls that get sent to college or full time jobs and miss the golden opportunity of learning things from their own mother.
What a pleasure to read all these testimonies. This has been the topic of conversation at our house this past week. Sadly, not all look on 'a daughter at home' with much respect.

Anonymous said...

I like the article. I'm 20, and while I cannot consider myself a "stay-at-home" daughter (since I'm going to college full-time), I am a LIVE-at-home daughter. I may ramble quite a bit here, so bear with me.

First of all, Lady Lydia, you consider college degrees to be "over-rated". I'm not surprised if that is so. I was initially pursuing an Associate's degree, but have had to put that aside until further notice due to a family situation. (I hope to eventually pick said degree plan back up, mainly because I would like to have finished what I started, which is a skill that I would like to bring into my marriage someday.) For now, I'm pursuing a Bachelor's degree. I'm hoping that my Bachelor's and what's left of my Associate's after I pick that back up will be the be all end all of my formal academics. I think that basically the academic environment (at least above the high school level) is, at best, a relatively expensive (unless you can get the right amount of financial aid) of rewards (degrees) and requirements (classes you have to take). I have a feeling that most of what I "learn" in college, I will probably use either to only a certain extent or not at all. While I plan on finishing my degree because I committed to it, I don't think that having a degree will make me a better person, nor do I think that it will necessarily afford me a better future over someone with a diploma or less. (Sure, I may have a major career for a while, but life does happen. You can ask my dad.)
Also, to the anonymous person who is "ready to throw [her daughter] out on the mercy of the world" since the daughter neither wants to go to school nor will cook, clean,(and she wishes to be a full-time wife and mother?) or do something else useful: maybe you would be justified in "throwing" her out...or at the very least, charging her rent. I'm living with my mother and stepfather, and the only reason they are not charging me rent is because I'm currently going to school. Even though I'm going to school, I also find some time around my school schedule to help out with basic tasks, such as dishes (including loading/unloading the dishwasher as needed), wiping down countertops, doing my own laundry, and (more or less) taking part in the care and upbringing of my mom's 3-year-old cat and my stepfather's 4-5 month-old puppy, not to mention occasionally babysitting my nephew (who is only about a month older than the cat). I will admit that my level of skill in some areas, such as cooking leave much to be desired. Nonetheless, I am open to the possibility of being a full-time wife and mother someday (though I can only concentrate so much on it right now. For the time being, I'm afraid that I must consider myself career-bound). I will have to seek a job of some kind, not only to get me through college, but also to eventually pay off a student loan that I had to take in this year.
Also, on dating, the last boyfriend I had was in high school. I won't go into details about the relationship, but I made some mistakes and hadn't had much of a chance to apologize to said boyfriend, so I'm a little nervous about running into him someday, especially after I marry. Recently, I have made the conscious decision to NOT have a boyfriend, especially when I'm in school. I hope to hold out for marriage. (I think that boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are something that start out as a "good idea" at the time, but eventually become more trouble than they are worth.)
One more thing, college is probably not the best place to seek one's future mate. My mom met my dad in college, and they eventually divorced. My sister met the now father of her child (the nephew that i mentioned earlier) in college and they are going through a divorce. A lot of students tend to show up in less than their best appearance these days which probably doesn't endear a member of one sex to the other(didn't you say the same thing about "youth groups" in "Wasted Potential" Lady Lydia?) Also, there's probably too much familiarity, and sometimes even competition amongst the sexes to really spark any level of interest between them.
All in all, I liked this article and look forward to future aritcles here.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, thank you so much for this post. I'm a 15-year-old girl who dreams of being a wife, mother, and homemaker when I'm older, and am striving to be an obedient daughter to my parents in the meantime to practice. My 'work' time is spent in studies and chores about the house, and my free time in music, reading, or little rambles in the woods. I have never once regretted living in such a simple, old-fashioned manner, for it's also such a wholesome manner of living, and I know it will not only bring my joy in my life to come, but my life after death as well.

I do plan to go to college, but only after thoughtful prayer. The college I intend to go to carries on the tradition of my home... that of simplicity and old-fashioned wholesomeness. 'Tis a very small college, a very Catholic college, with high standards of student behaviour. The girls are required to wear skirts and act like ladies; the boys are required to dress and act in a gentlemanly fashion. I've had the opportunity to visit the college several times, as my older brother is attending, and I know that I could only grow spiritually there, and that it will not hinder in any way my striving to live up to high standards of goodness and lady-like-ness.

After this, if God wills it, I plan to be married and spend the rest of my life keeping house... something I adore to do! There is always a temptation for me to be embarrassed when I explain to those inquiring about my future that I want to be a wife and mother, but undeniably I feel proud of myself, for being the type of girl who wants such a future, and proud of my family for helping and encouraging me to be that type of girl.

I can't think you enough for your blog, and for your articles on LAF. They're so inspiring to me, and quickly dispel any temptations to live a different life before they have a chance to assail me.

God bless!

In Jesus' Sweet Name,
---Miss Mary-Therese

Olivia said...

This article and the comments of others brought tears to my eyes. I've been discussing this with other ladies this past week and many of them think that I'm off my rocker.

I'll be 19 next month and I stay at home. That is so much looked down on in this culture and then when you get Christian mom's who believe in being stay-at-home mom's saying how ridiculous it is to pursue that route as a daughter it's a bit disheartening! It seems like a double standard. They want their daughters to be like them after they get married, but up until then they want them to live completely different!

I for one, am a very happy daughter at home with more things to do then I have time for... and I truly believe this is the best training for being a happy stay at home wife and hopefully mother one day.

Thank you SO much for this post.

Anonymous said...

To the "LIVE-at-home" daughter:

I would, if you please, beg to differ on a few facets with Mrs.Sherman's and your opinion about college. While I do agree that college education has little to do with helping a girl develop into a complete woman and empower her to undertake her responsibilities towards her husband, heirs and hearth, I think that it is a case of the college system being underutilised towards this end, and not being inherently hostile towards real women.

There are many ways in which young women can use the college system to their benefit. A study in child psychology will always hold a future mother in good stead. A degree in education, will help her call on a variety of teaching approaches, while enabling her to formulate a wholesome syllabus for her children as well. Home economics will enable the wife to better appreciate her husband's handling of his incoming paycheck. A study in the basic science, arts or commerce streams will allow the woman to homeschool her children better. After all, what she learns in her Bachelor's degree course will be tenth grade fare by the time her children are fourteen.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mrs. Sherman's stance on the social degradation that girls undergo when in college or at work. Having seen this myself, I know what she speaks of. But can't there be solutions to this problem? I spent a part of my life in an Arab country, and there colleges are segregated - you have men's class, and women's class. Both are held at different times, with different teachers - women are taught by women - and often with different areas of emphasis. Might this not be a useful approach?

Again, I agree that college systems have their weaknesses. But won't a well-homeschooled lady be able to take on such a system and draw all that is useful from it?

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for getting political, but an idea occurred to me which I would like to share: How would it turn out if the women of a community got together and started an educational system of their own?

They could, with the help of their husbands, formulate a cirriculum that everyone would support. And they could help each other with the teaching tasks that followed. For example, a lady who was good at history would teach not just her children, but those of her neighbours as well(upto a strict limit, say five children), while another, at ease with mathematics, would undertake teaching that subject in the same way. This would maintain, I think, all the benefits of a homeschool, while countering the oft-quoted fault that a homeschool can leave a child socially undeveloped. Expensive equipment like microscopes could shared, benefiting all the children of the community while not burning a hole into a father's wallet.

More importantly, this would toss the government out of school-level education affairs. No more political correctness. No male child would ever be accused of attention deficiency syndrome simpy because he was the restless type who would instead of sitting glued to a chair, rather build a ten foot sand castle - a future architect! Feminists would be rendered impotent because they would no longer be able to feminise boys. Girls would learn to respect boys; boys would be drilled into protecting and cherishing women. Isn't this what we are finally looking for?

Of course, the community of women must be small enough to involve ALL of them - no woman should ever be left out of the intimate experience of watching her children grow. And the men should have the foresight to never, ever, allow the government to intefere in these affairs. Yes, I am an anarchist at heart, but that is because all governments have a tendency to sweet-talk their way into controlling you. Also, all parents should take care that their educational cirriculum doesn't create a bias or predjudice against anyone - even a feminist.

Anonymous said...

To the person ready to throw her teenaged daughter on the mercy of the world - was she raised to be self-centered and lazy? So many young people are taught that they are the center of the universe these days because of the modern notions of childraising (obsession about self-esteem, belief that structure and manners are damaging to a child's imagination and feelings of self-worth, the oft repeated mantra "kids are going to be kids" being pulled out to excuse all kinds of bad behavior and lack of responsibility) and are not trained to accept responsibility, and then their parents are surprised when they turn into adults who will not help out around the house and who have nothing but their own self-indulgence in mind and seem to wish to remain perpetual teenagers well into their twenties and thirties. Once a child becomes such an adult, it is extremely difficult for them to change, as habits that take their entire childhood and adolescence to form are now firmly entrenched.

You might consider telling your daughter that she is now an adult, and must take on an adult attitude and adult responsibilities. If her upbringing did not give her practical skills in housekeeping, you could offer to rectify this and seek out ways in which she can learn to take care of a home. If she does have these skills, yet is deliberately choosing to fritter her time away with TV and shopping, she needs to be told that she is no longer a child or adolescent, and can no longer behave like one.

I would also let her make the choice, but it needs to be clear that she no longer has the option of watching TV and shopping all day while slacking on the household duties that are part of her contribution to family life. She must find a positive way to occupy her time or she must come up with her own solution to her situation. She should also have it made very clear that if her goal is to become a fulltime wife and mother, she is utterly failing to prepare herself for such a lifestyle, and when she does become a wife and mother, her home will be a chaotic mess which will do nothing but engender resentment and unhappiness for her entire family.

I agree with the poster here who said that having her pay rent might be a very good wake up call. She needs to understand that everyone in a family must "pay rent" in one way or another - either by contributing in a practical way to family life by helping to create and maintain the home or by contributing in a monetary way by providing funds for the maintainence of the home. If she's spent her life so far indulging herself and failing to contribute to family life, she will be in for a very rude awakening when she has to begin living in the real world, where there is no free ride.

I would definitely give her the choice to straighten herself out, particularly if she has been permitted during her upbringing to fall into the deadly habits of slacking on responsibilities and thinking of no-one but herself. However, if she's been raised otherwise and is rebelling by refusing to cooperate at home, it's high time she found out that childhood ends and doesn't continue into one's twenties and thirties, as so many media outlets would like us to believe these days. She must contribute one way or another should she wish to continue to live at home. Period.

I am in a situation where I see many young people who have been allowed to buy into the "slacker" mentality who end up living on their own for the first time and find that life is not a free ride in the harshest ways. Their lack of ability to organize and stick to a task is tragic and many of them fall into some terrible situations as a result.

Lydia said...

I would kindly remind the mother that in order to teach diligence in the home, she should also be there. If she is out working, the daughter cannot observe and pick up her good habits in homemaking.

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I am curious about something: do the Bible-believing evangelical churches you are familiar with actually preach about the role of the wife and mother(being a homemaker)?

I am Romanian. Over here they don't (at least from what I've seen and heard and from Christian women's reactions when you tell them what the Bible really says about women's role as a homemaker). Pastors' wives work just like everyone else. All I've learnt about being a homemaker (and I do love the role, only regret not being more disciplined and better at it) comes from good Christian materials written in English that I was so blessed to have access to. Books like Elizabeth George's 'A Woman After God's Own Heart' or Debi Pearl's 'Created To Be His Help Meet'.And teaching from American friends.


Anonymous said...

If the lady with the "unmotivated" daughter could get her to read this article:


-- it might help.

Sherri Williams said...

This is a beautiful post. Very touching.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!
I have been praying and praying for peace and reassurance about my role as wife and mother...and then I stumbled upon this web site! I know nothing about blogs and I just did a general search for moms, or something. I don't even remember how I got to this blog. But my point is that it is really quite beautiful and divinely inspired. Our good Lord has turned me right back to Himself by hearing these Christian voices. When you pray for guidance and direction (or anything!), our faithful God hears us. I think the more you desire to serve Our Lord, the more Satan tries to make you crazy. He'll never win I know but, man, can there be a fight sometimes! I have the unique experience of being a)college educated, b)a former Navy officer, and c)a stay-at-home wife and mother of 3. There's not a feminist out there that I can't handle. By the grace of God, truly the work of the Holy Spirit, I have come to my current role. I have to say this in response to some of the commentary on education for young women: education does not give value to anyone; one's worth comes from our Creator. Education does not corrupt nor does it tempt. Satan is at the heart of that. Education can be the means by which our Lord prepares you to do His will. I perfectly understand caution, but fear is not of God. I hope no woman ever discourages a curious mind in a son or daughter from the pursuit of knowledge for fear their child would be lead away from Christian life. Trouble comes when we as parents or individuals fail to keep all things, including the pursuit of knowledge, subject and submissive to God. I was raised in a very Catholic, Irish family (lots of humor!). I was always aware that my intellegence was gift...gift from the Almighty and not to my credit. That's my plug FOR education, good Catholic and/or Christian education. If it's not about Jesus, forget it.
I digress from my praise and gratitude for the kind of support this site offers. This web site is like Titus 2 in cyberspace! I will include all of the women, young and "mature" that have posted here in my prayers tonight. Please pray for me as I try to renew my daily commitment to my God, my husband, and my children.
P.S. More about how God may use even a college degree for a woman to live as His servant: I always wanted to be a nurse. In high school I wanted to be a nun (who would work as a nurse). Two nuns, seperately, told me, "No, I think there is something else for you." My prayer was to live in the image of Christ, in service to Him. To be a nurse I had to go to college. To pay for college, I joined the Navy. I married soon after college and we had our first child three years into our marriage. The Holy Spirit compelled me to leave the Navy and leave work completely (even if we had to live in a tent!). Our second son was born a year after our first. Our second son, at age 2, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that will cause him tremendous suffering and shorten his life to 15 to 20 years. His medical needs are great. His mental faculties are completely normal which means this child knows he is not well. My son is my only patient and my God prepared me my whole life to take care of him. Cooperate with the Holy Spirit: learn, travel, work...be in the world but not OF the world, so says the Lord. He will not let you go astray, so fear not! Thank you, Lydia, for your cooperation with the Spirit! I will save this site as a favorite for I am unsure of my ability to ever find it again!
Peace in Christ,