Monday, May 08, 2006

Frazzled By the Age of Fifty

If you are a young homemaker, taking on part time work, full time day-care in your home, or sales, I want to warn you to be careful. If you haven't read the partial list on the previous article, of things that need to be done to the house, for the family, or for yourself, please go and read those things and make a mental checklist of your life before you take on the world's work, or before you decide to "help out" with the finances. If you have an able-bodied husband whose back is not broken, then do let him be the provider. It builds him as a man and draws out the qualities he needs to be the masculine protector and provider.

In one interview I had with a new homemaker, she gave her reason for wanting to quit her job and be a full time homemaker: she said that over the years she had observed that women who stayed at home and managed the house had a serenity and a more gentle countenance and a contentment that the women and work lacked. She wanted that femininity in her life. Being the manager and guide of the home increases a woman's femininity.

You might look at other's homes with envy and wish you could have a house like theirs or children like theirs, but how do you think their homes got that way? I've been called crazy, for sure, for being a full time homemaker and not working out after my children grew up. Yet my home is usually available for any one who needs some hospitality or a cup of tea, and I'm able to concentrate on improving it through cleaning, arranging and de-cluttering. While someone is standing there telling me I'm crazy, I can point to the very place they are standing and ask if they think a crazy person cleaning and arranged it, and if they are eating scones and jam made by a deranged person.

These homes that you admire so much did not get that way through neglect. Homes get that homey feeling from the presence of a woman who is not always pressured for time, who is not always rushing around. The stay at home wife has time to think about what she is doing. If she never sits still long enough to observe her home, she does not "feel" it. She needs to feel the atmosphere of her house in order to understand it and change things that need to be changed.

If you work to earn money, whether outside or inside of your house, you will serve your family with a divided heart. One or the other will not be done well. You cannot serve two masters successfully. Usually, the one that "pays" will get the most attention. Money talks, but it is often hollow talk. The money you make while neglecting your family, your house, and your life, will often make itself wings and fly away. You probably won't be able to point to very many things that you have, that you got from earning money. Mostly, it pays for things you cannot put your hands on.

You can live without the newspaper, magazine subscriptions, trips to the races, movies, cable television, extra telephone services, and most other unnecessary expences. The best things in life are not things. Family values are not having nice cars and a house in a neighborhood like everyone else. It is better to have nice, respectful children and a family where there is lack of stress, than high house payments and car payments.

If you take on extra work besides the house and the family,, it steals your time and your mind away from doing the best that you can at anything. It cheats your family of the attention they need and creates frustration and pressure in their lives and yours. Some people think you can just go to work and earn a lot of extra money to hire other people to clean your house, decorate your house, care for your children, and feed your husband, but the whole point of being a homemaker is to put your own heart and your own special touch into the home. You can of course hire others to do this work, but you may lose the homey look in exchange for the institutional look.

There is an article on this blog somewhere, where I state that I've never yet seen a woman living under a bridge because she quit her job to be a full time wife, mother and homemaker. Things have a way of working out when you do the right thing. We must be willing to do what is right, no matter what the cost. We are too busy thinking about "things" that will nto get paid for if we do the right thing, but what good is a car or a house paid for if you lose your sanity, lose your children, and have a total collapse while trying to "do it all?"

There are plenty of people that can do all that extra work, but there isn't anyone else that can be the wife, mother and keeper of your home. No one else will do. You are it.

If you'll check out some of the decorating magazines on the newsstand you'll find that people are able to live beautifully in less than perfect houses. Some designers have even made an art-form of the shabby look, the sparse look, the old look, the cast-off look, the hand-made look, the freebie look, the Wal-Mart look, the dollar store look, and even the rich look on a budget. Some people have made beautiful havens to live in, from dwellings that are not listed in the top ten places to live.

When you try to earn a living while being a homemaker, it steals your time and your mind away from your home and family. It cheats your family of the attention they need and creates frustration and pressure in your life.If you keep on going this way, you will be frazzled by the age of fifty and not be any good to anyone.

Women are the weaker vessel, but that doesn't mean she is weak in her role. Her strength is made for making a wonderful home and guiding her family aright, but she will break down if given pressures that she was not intended for. If you keep taking on extra work, you will not be able to give your best. I've always said that if a married woman will work, the man will let her, and he will not feel the pressure he needs to feel in order to recognize his responsibility to earn a living for his family. It may entail letting a bill go unpaid, and letting the phone go dead before he will open his eyes, but if you continue to stand in the gap and earn money for something like this, you will never be relieved of the responsibility. I know there is an awful lot of sarcasm directed at Fascinating Womanhood, but if you will read carefully the section about the man's responsibility, you will see more clearly.

There is nothing wrong with earning money, but if you are to be a devoted wife, mother and homemaker, the money-earning should be done in liesure and not under pressure. There is an old saying, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Think about this. Your money doesn't have to be spent. It can be saved. And, it is more than a penny earned if it is saved. It can earn interest when invested properly. I hope to write more about this concept later. So, I hope you will give up all those extra responsibilities and put your home and family first.


Anonymous said...

I felt you had written this just for me! I have recently started writing homeschooling books at the same time as homeschooling my daughters and looking after our home. You are right - I AM feeling frazzled and I'm only 36! I started doing it to help out my husband who is currently out of work but I do wonder how much longer I can keep doing it all. Thank you so much for this article - it really made me think - Sarah

Lydia said...

Sarah, sometimes we get frazzled not because of the family failing to cooperate with us, but because of the extra responsibilities we heap on ourselves. You can still write your materials and even sell sewing projects, just by elongating the steps--after all when people had to do things by hand--writing, or sewing, it took much much longer, and it was done during leisure hours after important tasks were done. What is happening today is that women are demanding such huge quotas of themselves and burning out and losing interest doing the simple things in life, beautifully. .

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman,
This article really hits home with me. I actually became pre-maturely frazzled at age 40! You are absolutely right when you say that so much of the money women are leaving their homes to earn merely evaporates into nothingness. When I had a job my wages went mostly for conveniences and the costs associated with being out of the house all day - definitely not worth so many years of my life. I've been a housewife for only three months now and life is so much better. Yes, we gave up cable, subscriptions, cell phone and when our old, second car dies we probably won't replace it. We don't take vacations except for sightseeing in our own state and we have never been happier. I'm still working on getting organized. If any other ladies are newly at home and beginning to despair about this issue, please remember your working days when you could count on it taking at least six months to get into the groove of a new job. Well, homemaking is your new job now and believe me, it takes some work and study to get it all figured out! And, if you have never been home before it will take a long time to catch up the backlog of de-cluttering and organizing. Thank you again for all the work you do on this blog Mrs. Sherman and Cinderella.It is my most important resource for learning to live beautifully! Many thanks and may God bless you, Mrs. T.

Anonymous said...

I can identify with your article in the deepest way.

When I left my job a little over a year ago it took such load off of my mind and shoulders. I only worked every other weekend and you wouldn't think that it was that much but it was. My husband didn't like it that I was gone when he was home and I had a hard time not worrying about it.

It has only been in the last 2 years that I have let my hair grow ( it was always short, ever since I was five) and then to start wearing dresses most of the time. Then going to work, as a nurse, in charge of people is was hard to be soft then hard and then soft again. The changing of my demeanorwas hrad and confusing. My whole mindset has changed so much becoming a Christian and then not working and wearing dresses ad having long hair. I felt like Samson, with his hair cut off, for a long time.

The Lord has blessed me so much for all of these changes. I have never known such peace and happiness. The stress doesn't seep in anymore and everyone is much happier.

Sorry to go so long.

Anonymous said...

I can testify to the truth of what you've said here in this post, Mrs. Sherman. At the age of 37, my health broke down entirely, due to overwork. At the time, I had a job that required 80+ hours of time per week, a newly adopted older child and a house to keep up. I also had a husband who refused to accept his responsibility to support his family and who drifted from job to job with long periods of unemployment in between his episodes of "trying to find what he liked to do".

When your health collapses, you are never the same. You might regain outward health, but the damage done to your body is irreparable to a degree. If this happens to you, you might find that there is no way you will ever be as healthy as you were "before" - and you might find that you will have no choice to stay home. That is no way to end up at home! It is much better to make the choice when you have your health and can use your healthy body and mind to make home a wonderful place for your family.

Thankfully, now I have fairly good health again, but I will never be 100% fit and must take great care not to overwork. It took ten years to reach this level of health.

Your well-being is a precious thing, and it is not infinite. There comes a point where a body cannot withstand extreme demands placed upon it, and it will get rest one way or another - usually by breaking down to the point where you simply cannot go on.

Kelli said...

Dear Mrs Sherman,

Thank you for demonstrating that working in the home is a worthy and honourable occupation. It can sometimes beeasy for married women without children (like myself) to feel guilty about leaving outside employment to return home. At this stage I'll be leaving full-time employment on 20th August. Your articles have helped maintain my resolve. For this I thank you very much.

Just to comment on your title "Frazzled By the Age of Fifty". The Australian news media have recently reported (quote):

'Tiredness is the new epidemic and it's striking women in their thousands'.

The major cause? "Doctors have identified that women are taking on too much - that is, careers, families, managing homes. They are burning out". I'm sure that peice of news does not suprise you Mrs Sherman! It's sad really. I now understand why God in His supreme wisdom and love instructs: let women be keepers at home.


Lydia said...

You make good points about health and well-being, namely that there is a certain kind of health for youth and a certain kind for later on. If you live overly-stressed, rushed and complicated lives, you tap into your health resources for the future and will be more tired in later years, even in your thirties and forties, than you should. You can recover, but it takes lots of rest to get back to normal. Why not take a steady sensible pace in life, not taking on any more than you can do well, and being happy to live without too much commotion, too many things, and too much debt, all which add stress.

Johanna A. said...

Dear Mrs. Sherman,
I am and have always been fortunate that I did not have to work more than part-time and under pressure outside the home. And I have stayed at home for many years now. My husband prefers I be home.

For a long time I felt terribly guilty that I should doing my share to pay for my exercise classes, tithing and other things. There is still a bit of a challenge there but most of the battle is in my own heart.

I have let some of my former hobbies go and gone unto other things. I think there is a season for everything. My sewing machine and serger awaits further projects!
My home is our castle and I like to have it clean and cozy for my husband and I. Our children are grown. Soon I want to paint the whole interior, one room at at time, as it has been 12 years.

I hope you do not mind that I put you on my bloglines. I sure enjoy your site.

God bless,

Michelle said...

Thank you for your encouraging note. I've been home full-time for almost a year now. (I worked half-time from the time my maternity leave ended, until the end of last school year, which was about 6 months.) I was so stressed out and tired and physically sick all the time, and I am so glad I am home now and my husband supports me in that decision. Sure, there are times when I go a little stir crazy, and times when I feel like I should be a little more "productive". Then I remember that I'm not home to be "productive", but primarily to take care of my child(ren--one on the way). In fact, my standard of housekeeping is much higher than my husband's, so I'm putting the extra pressure on myself. (I'm not speaking ill of him--he would say the exact same thing. In fact, he's often telling me to take some time to relax.) Anyway, I don't mean to say that there is not plenty of work to be done at home, and that the Bible says we are to be "keepers at home", but I think for the most part, it's a different kind of work and productivity than we're used to in the world of paid employment.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman,
I recently came upon the LAF site and found your blog from there. I was raised in a Christian family with loving parents. However, our family could probably be categorized as "mainstream" Christian...not conservative, but not liberal either. Over the past few years, through study of the Scriptures and prayer, my convictions and beliefs have slowly begun to lean more and more towards the conservative end of the spectrum. I strongly agree with much of what you write about, for instance. However, neither of my parents support this. In fact, they often come close to ridiculing me for my "legalistic" views. Right now I'm living at home (in between college and marriage) and I'm daily struggling with trying to honor them while still staying true to my convictions. I previously held part-time work, but have been unemployed for about three weeks now. My mother is constantly after me to get another job...she has expressed her disappointment in me as a daughter many times. (I chose not to use my college education to pursue a career.) I hesitate to get another job because my heart is not in it. God has given me the desire to be a homemaker and I truly wish my mother would appreciate that desire. I apologize for being long-winded, but I am at a loss as to how to respond to the pressure from my parents. I will be getting married within a year, but there's much contention over what I should be doing until then.
Secondly (I promise I'm almost done!), how do you feel about wives working outside the home for their father's business? My soon-to-be fiance is self-employed and therefore we are struggling with a way to find affordable medical insurance that covers maternity (we are both opposed to birth control). My father has offered me a part-time position with his firm that will include health benefits. He is willing to let me set the schedule (as long as it's 20 or more hours a week) and he knows my family will be my number one priority (he respects my beliefs moreso than my mother does). I realize the conflicts that will eventually arise with children, but I plan on quitting the moment I can no longer find the right balance. What is your opinion on an arrangement like this?
Again, thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. I greatly enjoy reading your blog!

Lydia said...

Several years ago I put a Serger on layaway at WalMart, but when I finally got it, I had so much to do, I never got time to use it. It still sits in its original box, and I've never watched the video. There is just so much a person can do. Taking on new hobbies, although initially relaxing, can become taxing and add to the burden of stress. It is best, I think, to limit what we do and do what we do in an excellent way.

Lydia said...

I think fathers hiring daughters is a much better idea than hiring a secretary and working with her all day.

Lydia said...

To continue: it is my opinion that it is a mistake to even start being a working woman. The reason for this is that it is so hard to know when to quit. There is always one more bill to be paid, or one more goal to reach. It is best to begin your marriage being a homemaker and being all you can be in that realm. Working creates more stress than you can imagine, and you will become dependent on that income. It is best to adjust to your husband's income from the very beginning.

Read "When Queens Ride By" which is in the archives on this blog, about the woman who stated she would never go to work with her husband because he needed someone who was not equally tired and over worked, to come home to. It is no good both of you being tired and under pressure. SOmeone should stay home and keep the home fires burning.

Read also, Taylor Caldwell's essay, "They're Spoiling Eve's Con"
which is also in the archives. She saw the change over in society when women once stayed home, and the drastic results when they went to work. She says the men thought, "Let 'em work!" while they lost their protective chivilary toward the fairer sex.

If you stay home in the first place, from the beginning, you can learn to manage on your husband's salary. Even during pregnancy, you will want to be able to put your feet up or take a nap during the day, and I doubt if you'll be able to do that even if your father works in the place. You will need to use the bathroom OFTEN during pregnancy. You need to be home getting ready for the baby and taking care of your husband's clothes and food and house so that he can function in his work. Your husband's job is to earn a living and your job is to help him do that by all the things you do at home to make it possible for him to do it. You keep an eye on his nutrition to see that he doesn't get too many sweets, which are not good for him and will make him lethargic. You want to make sure that the bills are paid, and you will keep careful track of the expenses. There isn't enough time in the day to go to work, also.

I know a woman who married at the age of 15, when her husband was 17. She still has a notebook/scrapbook she kept from their very first year, where he brought home a meager paycheck, and she still had a list of all their expenses, the bills they paid, the checks they wrote, and their grocery receipts. Over the years she was able to shop carefully and save money. He improved himself at his job, and eventually they had money saved up to buy property. If she had not been home, she would not have had time to keep careful records and make sure their bills were paid. While you are home, your husband may phone you from work and say, "Could you please go to the post office for me, or the bank, or get the car serviced?" because most of the time those places are not open during his working hours. This is the way that two can live as cheaply as one. If you go to work, it will actually cost you money, and your husband will end up subsidising your going to work. If you do go to work, keep careful records to see if you are actually making money. After expenses, most married women find out they make more money just staying out of the workforce. They have no expenses (travel, food, clothes, etc.) and can cut back on their own needs. I know there are many women who have discovered this.

If you do go to work, and then come home, then you will remember when there are hard times that you can "always go to work." You will be tempted to join the workforce once again, and you may never get out. It is best, in my opinion not to start it in the first place. If your husband knows you can go to work and pick up the slack, he won't object to you doing it. It is best to say that it is not your realm and that you function best taking care of him. I don't know which president's wife it was who was asked, "And what will you be doing during your husband's presidency," and she said, "Why, taking care of ____ of course."

When you are married, your husband is the president of your home and you are the president's wife. The president's wife may do some volunteer work or be a sort of good-will ambassador for him, but she doesn't take a job in another firm...(so far.) Your husband goes to work, and you take care of your husband. There isn't time for anything more, unless you want him to continue to be a bachelor and take care of himself, get his own meals, do his own laundry, make his own appointments, etc, while living with you. That is hardly a marriage. He takes care of you, and you take care of him. If you go to work, you can't take care of him. You might think he is no trouble and that you can handle a job and a husband, but you will have to hurry through your jobs at home and you won't enjoy it.

I probably could say a lot more on the subject but I think there are a lot of other women who have had first hand experience with this that might be able to shed more light on this.

Lydia said...

And when people ask you what you are going to be "doing" you can tell them you are helping your husband.

Lydia said...

Your mother will settle down when she discovers the many benefits of having a daughter at home. It is like having a companion, as in the old days when women used to hire personal secretaries to accompany them, keep track of appointments, and keep things organized. I know when my daughter was home it was wonderful to have a helper who loved the home and wanted it to be beautiful.After she left, I never really caught up with the work and seem to be treading water all the time. If you aren't just laying around, she'll really appreciate your presence in the home, especially if you are making it beneficial to her and easing her work load. It is good practice for being a housewife/homemaker.

Lydia said...

I'm posting this and that, as tima allows, inbetween getting some other things done, hence the many posts in a row.

As for insurance: a married man usually gets insurance to cover his family. I notice that "insurance" is a big drawing card to get women in the workforce. Investigate it and you'll find it is possible to get it without being employed.

Mrs. P said...

Emily Kay,

I just thought I'd add something to the good points that have already been made so far. I think it's wonderful that you want to be a homemaker from the beginning of your marriage. Are you and your fiance one in this? Does he fully support your staying at home? If he does (which I hope is the case), you can stand together against the pressure from your mom. As a wife you'll be promising to submit to your husband. In my opinion that means getting prepared for that while you're engaged. If he is not going to want you to work when you are married and he believes a woman's area of work is at home, then you don't want to do things against his wishes even now. As an adult, you still owe your parents respect but no longer obedience, at least to the extent that you don't depend on them financially. So if the issue is of your mom wanting you to get a job so you can contribute to the home expenses, and if you have right now no income of your own (no investment that would yield money while you stay at home), then if you and your fiance are one in this, I think that every month he should give you the money with which to contribute the share your parents feel you should contribute.

Please don't give in to pressure. This one year till you marry should be used to get ready for marriage and to learn to be a really good wife. You can't do that while working against what you will be doing as a wife. It's a matter of what your future husband wants, not your parents. All debating needs to end there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement and advice, ladies! I greatly appreciate it.

Yes, my soon-to-be fiance and I are in complete agreement about the place of a woman in the home. He was raised in a much more conservative family than I so he has been influential in helping me shape my convictions. He and I will not be getting married until his income is sufficient to support a family, which is what we're waiting on right now (pray for our patience!). He believes that wives working outside the home is definitely not the best way, if not completely contrary to God's perfect will in many cases. He and I are both praying about the job possibility with my father, so I appreciate the advice you have given.

As far as the insurance goes (which would be the primary reason for working part-time for my dad), I have done hours and hours of research into different policies, arrangements, and companies. I had to stop after a while because it got so discouraging. If any of you have suggestions on where to look for affordable maternity coverage, I'd greatly appreciate it. Only one company (HumanaOne) in Texas offers maternity coverage, and the rates are astronomical. I've also looked at Samaritan's Ministries, the National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE), and prayed about foregoing maternity coverage completely. My dad recently presented me with the option of working with him for full health benefits.

It's such a struggle to face everything with a good attitude and complete trust in God. I fall short so often. If you could join me in praying for my mom, I'd greatly appreciate it. She's a wonderful woman and an amazing mother, she's just been swayed by many of the the world's views on careers and feminism.

Again, thank you so much for the thoughtful comments!

Anonymous said...

This is so very true. I picked up an "at home" job in sales 3 years ago, and things have not been the same. My time and attention and priorities have become very fractured! I am making money at this point, but I'm not sure it is worth it. I have now put it all in God's hands. Thank you so much for your post. I think it is very much needed for women today.

Jen said...

During our first year of marriage my husband and I both worked full time at fairly stressful jobs. We would both come home at the end of the day exhausted. It was such a struggle to cook, clean or even relax. We both left our stressful jobs and both went on to other jobs. This was better but it was still stressful. Then I got pregnant and we had a son. Since then I have stayed home and have loved it. We have not felt any financial pressure, we are getting along better, and are just enjoying our time together. I am lot less tired and stressed (I'm only 26 now and I was heading for burnout at 23!) and although the house isn't always immaculate I am able to devote more time to it and to spend quality time raising our son.
Thanks for your continued encouragement.

Lydia said...

For the lady who questioned my reference to personal secretaries in the 1800's: most of the time they were unmarried nieces or spinsters from the town or family. It was a way of a woman making her way without being a burden on others, yet being in a safe place within someone else's household, but also the way the economy and the world worked at that time. I see some who are returning to that way of life, and am glad of it. I know several single girls who are personal secretaries to their widowed grandmothers. It is much better than having a caregiver from the state or a stranger.

Lydia said...

Regarding insurance. You do have the option of opting out of insurance. Our family has none, and our daughter and her husband have none. They find it an advantage, actually, and it gives them more freedom to choose the type of health care they want--such as natural health, and using a midwife. Midwives are quite excellent and professionl. They charge half their fee on the initial visit, and the last half at delivery. They bring oxygen and other necessary equipment with them, but rarely need to use it. Their fees are usually much less than the cost of a hospital, due to the fact that you aren't paying for all the staff, the doctor and the stay in the room. You can contact a midwife in her area and ask her some questions about this.

Lydia said...

If you don't have to have two of everything, you can really save a lot of money. Your husband brings home a paycheck, and two can live on it just fine if you will not insist on having all the things everyone says you must have. Insurance and "benefits" are nice to have but we can truly find alternatives. They can't be used as leverage to get women to work. I know women who worry more about "benefits" than about doing what is right. I don't have any "benefits" but we can put the money we would spend per month on those benefits, in savings. Women in the 50's stayed home and didn't have insurance, and survived. We need to take personal responsibility for our health and not be so dependent on doctors and drugs.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree, that if a wife's husband is able-bodied, she should let HIM be the provider, and she should guide the house. These are our biblical roles.

When we live our life role, and put forth in the Bible - amazing things happen! We actually start enjoying life! :-D

Here I sit, with my very first batch of sourdough rising, the kids naping, and I'm getting ready to take a rest on the couch and submerge myself in the Word of God. I've done my cleaning, half of my cooking, the kids are cleaned and homeschooled for the day... Now I get 30 minutes for myself.

With or without that 30 minutes of rest, life is still grand. I joy in the poopy diapers, the snot on the couch and the vomit in the rug. I joy in these things because this is part of raising my children, and I love them so much! Poop, snot, and all.

It took me some time to trust my husband as the provider of the family, because he is a MR. Visionary (see book excerpt at for a description).

With a MR Visionary, you never know how long he'll keep a job, or even have one. But, if you trust him, he can make money "appear", almost as if out of thin air. My visionary husband is a true genious. He can fix anything, and right now is working as an inventor and Prototype Engineer. This is one of his dream jobs.

He also had another of his dream jobs for a few years, where he got paid to drive around all day. This is (I think) the third dream job he has gotten to realize, and I love watching his joy in his work. But most of all, I love that when he comes home from a hard days work (whether it's at an official job, or from his fixing friend's cars) I know that he has worked hard to lovingly provide for his family. I love that man of mine, and I know that he and God work together to make sure that his family is well provided for.

My husband has worked hard to get us two very nice mini-vans and the nice house we currently reside in. Meanwhile, we have our eye on a farm that is up for sale.... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman,

Thank you for the gentle, yet bold way you state the truth. You are much like a grandmother and mother that we ladies never had. You let us know how things used to be, where more and more of us long to be.

I totally agree that women should not even start working. My mother said many times, "Don't start it, or you'll have it to do." Men will get used to it and then will expect it. It is one of the reasons she has been a homemaker for 36+ years, has never driven, never worked in the yard, etc. (Not that I oppose women driving or working in the yard.) They never owned a home until my brother and I were grown. What they own now is a nice mobile home, which is the castle that she loves. It is not much to some people, I'm sure. She and I both feel "Why have a nice home, if you can never be there?" (because you are working to pay for it). She also says that "Peace is worth everything." It is not peaceful to live a frazzled life, to purchase things that you cannot take with you.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman,
I really enjoy your thought-provoking articles. I was wondering if you would possibly write one on the discussion of insurance. I have heard of several people who also like yourself do not have insurance and I am just wondering how one might deal with major emergencies or surgeries, etc. Catastrophic illnesses can of course wipe out one's savings without insurance, so I am interested to hear more behind on why you choose the way you do. I am sure I can learn a great deal more about this topic if you care to share. Thank you kindly, Lyn

Lydia said...

Our son has insurance that covers injuries on the job, from his employer. I think that is reasonable since he is in construction and has had several accidents. However I think that the "castastrophe that wipes out the family income" is part of the sales pitch. It is possible to get insurance without going to work!If you'll email me I'll send you some man's opinion about the way insurance works. I have a take it or leave approach to it but it is good to know all sides of the issue. In some ways, it is a racket, a business, and doesn't protect you at all when you need it. In other ways, it is good if you get the right kind and don't worry about the big emergency that is going to wripe you out. We need to be more concerned about doing the right thing and getting honest service for our money.

Anonymous said...

Regarding insurance: We have Samaritan Ministries - a burden-sharing program - not an insurance company. their emphasis is on sharing one another's burdens by praying for them, paying a share of their medical costs and sending them an encouraging note. You must be a Christian to participate. It is a reasonable monthly share and it is a blessing to share in another's need.

Theodora Elizabeth said...

Mrs. Sherman,

Thanks so much for this article! I'm still unmarried at 37. I've gotten myself into some debt (a couple of thousand on my one credit card and a car note). As there are no "prospects" for marriage at this time, I am using this season to pay off my debt and have something of a "dowry" for when I do marry - part of which will be a good 401K retirement account, of which I put 15% of my salary into. Being a SAHW/SAHM is something I DEFINITELY want to do from day one!

I sat down at my lunch hour at work today and worked out my expenses through the end of the summer to pay off my credit card. I currently have one month's expenses in a savings account, and will add much more to that as soon as the credit card is paid off, and I will also pay down the car loan much sooner.

I'm learning my frugality now. I don't have a TV, let alone cable. No cell phone, very basic telephone service (I have local service & DSL for $30 a month). I thoroughly decluttered and learning to want less now. It will make me a better wife one day.

Anonymous said...

I have gained so much from the things you share with us. Thankyou so much.
I was though wondering along the lines of what would happen to the women who stayed home all through her married life and had never worked outside of the home. If her husband was to die or become sick for a long period of time she would not have the skills to help out financially if it became necessary. Entering the work force for the first time you would also enter at the lower level of skills and pay. I know we are to save and think towards furure needs but life can throw you some big curve balls and you could have to live for years raising your family alone. Also a lot of husbands we know have retirement settlement contracts that can be done 2 ways that when they retire they have to say if [1]they want to have their retirement check made out to them and so they then get the biggest amount allowed and if they die the wife quits getting any monthly check. The other way [2]is to have the wife's name listed but they get less monthly but if he dies she gets something still. This is of course the best method. Also if the wife hasen't worked or only for several years the social secutity says you personally do not have enough units to qualify for any medicare or benefits yourself so you can only depend on the retirement of your husband and savings you two have accumulated..which hopefully will be enough but in todays society with health care going so high who knows?
I am Totally for wome staying at home and have been home all our married life but now later in my life it is a worry to me. Have I painted myself so to speek, in a corner? Could you please address your ideas on this situation. For my later in life issues and also thoughts for the young mothers? We have been able always to make ends meet no matter what life has thrown at us and know where the values in life are and it is in the home. I agree with you on this. Through frugal living we have done all we can. We are thankful to God for letting us raise our family with me at home always. Time is running out for saving and we have done all we could along those lines through out the many years but at times there was little we could do towards this purpose. Our later years ...closely approaching now...are my concern.
You have so much wisdom and compassion for the family and I am thankful for your taking the time to help all of us. Thankyou again.

Lydia said...

Maybe the best source of information would be widows that you know or elderly people who are not in the workforce. They might be able to give good advice on this. I know quite a few widows and elderly coupls and none of them work. I never asked them how they "stay home" but they all have some kind of security and don't find it necessary to work.

Shannon said...

Mrs. Sherman,

I thank you for this post and one earlier this week, I think, I am a full time wife and mom and my husband has no desire for me to go to work. He is a full time student and nurse. God has provided for us in ways we never imagined. I have been thinking about a sales job from home, but all along I just could not take the steps necessary to do it. It would mean leaving my kids home with each other. I have a 15 and 12 year old that could watch the younger ones. Both of my older children are more than willing to help in this endeavor. But always in the back of my mind it has been "That is my job not theirs."

Thank you for putting into logical words my feelings of uncertainity. I have always believed since becoming a stay at home mom that women cannot do it all and after having lived it I knew this sales job would take all of my time.

Becky Miller said...

Page, even as a young woman still, I had some of the same worries. Then I started looking at what the Bible says about widows. If you read 1 Timothy 5, you can see that God has a plan for taking care of women who have devoted their lives to their husbands, children, home and the church!

If a widow is still young, she is supposed to remarry, and her new husband will support her. If she is older (over 60) and has children or grandchildren or other relatives, they are supposed to take care of her. If she is truly alone and has no family to care for her, the church is supposed to support her.

I know that many churches do not take their responsibility for widows seriously, but there are churches out there that do. Maybe there are widows in your life who need support, and you can set a good examply to other Christians by helping care for them now.

Lydia said...

Two things someone alerted me to today: if you are staying home and finding the finances a challenge, be careful who you confide in. We've found that if it is not someone who really supports your cause of wife, mother and homemaker, they will heap criticism on you and tell you to get a job or earn extra money. You need positive reinforcement in this work, not more people putting doubts in your mind.

Another thing that I've been told recently is that when the wife stays home, sometimes the husband gets opportunities to earn more. I don't know why that is, but nonetheless it happens, for some reason.

The other thing: if you want to go out to work, first observe some working women. Are they really better off than you are, or are they in more debt, tired, and frazzled? I've noticed that the married women who work are not really doing any better. They don't drive a better car, wear better clothes, have nicer houses or furniture, or go on vacations. They just seem to be treading water.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia - Thank you again for saying the things that I needed to hear today! I have not worked since the day before I married my Beloved, and I have never regretted our decision. In fact, Beloved noticed the other day that he has TRIPLED his income since we have been married!!!! He even said, "God has blessed us because we have done what He has asked of US!"

I have recently had pressure to go back to teaching at the children's school, because we cannot continue to afford the tuition. But we have decided to homeschool and have me stay home. This article has reinforced our decision and made me feel that at least one lady is in the world that would agree with us!

Thank you, Baptistgirl

Lydia said...

It is better to do a few things well, than to be so frazzled that you can only do a dip and a dab of everything, just enough to get by. Having a husband and a place to look after is plenty. If there is time left over, there are many enjoyable things to do, but when these things start to take over, your home life will suffer.

Anonymous said...

Christian Brotherhood is another form of Christians helping each other pay for medical bills. It is on the internet.

Esther said...

There is so much I would like to say and I don't know if this is too late.
1. I would like to comment on what Christi said in her experience even though she was a nurse:
"in charge of people is was hard to be soft then hard and then soft again. The changing of my demeanorwas hrad and confusing."

It is difficult to be of two minds. Truly it is so unfeminine to be torn. The peace goes because of the struggle.

I have read on this web site that a woman must BE in her home to really minister there, and that takes TIME. BEING is a state of mind... and it is very feminine to be in tuned.
When we are rushed and "forced" we loose the very heart of our home. The working woman (which I have been.) has a few hours to get things done, and it is done in a very efficient masculine manner, it HAS to be, she needs to move on to the next task to get ready for the next work week.... oh the stress!! Does she really have time to enjoy her home? No, not really. She certainly is not relaxed. There is always the strain of having to meet the next deadline or the next client or ????

2.Also the idea that because of Catastrophic lose a woman should be prepared... I believe with a good basic education a woman could re enter the work force pretty quickly if need be, a liberal education is perfect. I am an example, I was married and a SAHW when I experienced a divorce, I HAD to go back to school and I did and within two years I had a good paying job and I also had a Real Estate License which I used. Now I am getting out of the business. I am still unmarried but I desire to be at home. I want to be married and any man I marry must understand that I will be a "keeper at home."

3. I would suggest that a woman support her husband in any way that he wants to invest. I definitely believe in Real Estate. It has made many people financially stable. Encourage and build up your husband so he has the "COURAGE" to invest. It is needful. I recommend reading "Rich Dad/Poor Dad" series, it has some good concepts. It is not biblical, but with prayer God can give you strength and understanding.

Lydia said...

I concur that real estate is the wisest, most sound, and most lucrative investment. A house can be sold and the profits divided so that another dwelling can be purchased, and other investments made that will bring an income.

Lydia said...

Seasons tickets to games, going to the movies, and constant holidays or eating are unnecessary expenses if you wish to stay home without pressure to earn money. There are so many relaxing pleasures that can be substituted--leisure activities that cost nothing, such as having a cup of tea with a friend at home, or having a quiet pasttime like scrapbooking or sewing. Families often have a lot of unnecessary expenses. Even pets cost a lot , and I've known poor families who get poorer, even with both husband and wife working, because they have so many animals to take care of.