Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wife, Mother and Homemaker

Does both the husband and wife working for a wage ensure a strong marriage and a good family? You would think so, according to the figures regularly produced by financial statistics. For decades, those who wish for women to be in the workforce, have claimed that a family "cannot make it" on the husband's income. Now they say the family cannot make it on "one" income. I remember when this was announced. It was shortly after I was married, and I was astounded. How is it that a whole generation of women in the 1940's, having no car of their own and few worldly comforts, still managed to stay home, with or without children, and manage the home for their husbands? How is it that my own mother, grandmother and great-grandmother found so much to do, even in poverty, at home, that they would not have dreamed of leaving the task to someone else to go outside and earn money? How is it that raising their children was such an enormous responsibility that they wanted to do it entirely themselves, money or not?

Women have got to understand the twist of words, when trying to understand the government "statistics" regarding what income is necessary in order for them to stay home. They need to understand many of the false foundations on which these beliefs are laid. The belief that a woman cannot be a homemaker full time unless she can "afford" it is based on some of these false notions:

* "Afford" is defined by other people. If you define it yourself, you can do without most everything the commercial world beckons you to have. Even if you had to reduce your comforts as drastically as going without a car, you will still, somehow be looked after. I know family members who team up whenever they need to make an essential shopping trip, using only one vehicle. Others have found a way to share the cost of a home, selling it later and dividing up the profits for their own homes. Young girls are opting to stay home with their parents until marriage, in order to avoid the high cost of apartment living.

* "Needs" are also defined by everyone else, particularly those who want to keep the women in the workforce, away from home.

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