Friday, June 20, 2008

The First Year At Home

The Rose Room, by Susan Rios, from Susan Rios Inc. and Pierside Galleries

There are several young ladies preparing for their first year of marriage. In all the advice they get, the people that encourage them to spend that first year out working, are the most vocal. I wanted to write something to show the wisdom of staying home, as did the women before us, who took the time to really invest in their marriage and establish a great spiritual foundation for the home, in the first year.

Here, we have an opportunity to show the importance of staying home that first year and getting used to a routine. I hope many people will post about this subject! Several young ladies say they want to be home the first year but they "feel guilty" because their husbands have to work everyday, while they, the wives, "are not contributing." It grieves me to hear this, because it is a quote straight from the mouth of Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto. He claimed women at home were "not contributing," and did much harm to the home. You all know what a lazy bum he was, refusing to look after his own wife and children. They lived in squalor in London while he wrote long thesis about how the world ought to be run. His ideas were rebellious and unBiblical, yet they are ingrained in the minds of most young women today.

The words of the Bible, addressed to young women, are quite the opposite of those of Marx. The Holy Spirit said that women contribute the most by being helpmeets to their husbands, and it shows them how to do that by guiding and guarding the home. This was well-understood by generations before us. The apostle Paul warned Christians not to believe myths and old wives tales, yet there is a huge population of young ladies who believe in this myth. They actually think that in order to "contribute" they have to bring in money.

Money seems to be foremost on everyone's mind, but what about love? Sadly, the young connect the word "money" with "love," but money cannot keep a marriage together, make you a good cook or a good housekeeper, or hand down good values to your children. These are things that must be learned, whether or not you have money. In fact, getting out and earning money that first year might handicap you and prevent you from acquiring the skills you will need the rest of your life, in your marriage.

As Jesus said to Martha, "You are worried about many things," that is one of the main problems that exist in homes today. Young women are taught to worry from an early age. They worry about money. They worry about how they will survive. They worry about education. They worry about careers. They worry about poverty.

I listen often to young women in their conversations in Ladies Bible Classes, at tea parties, in church, and other places and one thing stands out supreme: they don't seem to be worrying about their spiritual condition or the spiritual condition of their children. They don't worry about whether or not their husbands are happy. They don't worry about their children's character development. They don't worry about whether or not they will be able to keep up with the housework and maintain the home. They don't worry about whether or not they will be able to have proper nutrition at home. They don't worry about their husband's health. They do not reveal any of this in their intimate conversations with other women, so if they are concerned about these things, it is a big, big secret.

I sat and listened, a few years ago, to a young married woman who said that her children were going to join clubs that would teach them to race cars, drive speed boats, and many other things. The child's soul was never mentioned. I've heard many women talk about all the "things" they want in their houses but rarely talk about the spiritual journey they hope to have, with their husbands and future family. Whereas years ago women would say, "I hope my son knows and follows the word of God," today the young women are saying, "I hope my son makes lots of money." I realize not everyone is like this, but this represents what I've been hearing in my corner of the world.

In keeping with my attempt to have shorter articles, I will now proceed with the things that can be done in the first year of marriage at home.

These future brides wonder what they will do all day at home, while their husbands are at work. I used to sympathise with this question, while I was raising my family, but when they all grew up and I was left with just my husband in the house, I was ASTONISHED at how much time it actually took to look after one man again! You have to keep his clothes ready for work, remind him of his schedule, check his mail, show him the bills that need to be paid, keep track of some of his paper work, remind him of upcoming events, and keep him from losing his mind. I know a couple in retirement, where the wife is always always busy.She quilts and she gardens and she fills up her days at home, even though there is just one man to take care of.

So you cannot say that I was married so long ago that I cannot remember what it was like as a newlywed at home. When children are grown, it is like being a newlywed again, and here are some things that have to be done, that take the entire day:

-If your husband is health conscious, you have to "get your food from afar" as did the Proverbs 31 woman, by seeking the best natural sources in the form of local farms and organic markets. This takes a lot of scrutiny and time.

-You will have to plan some menus so he won't get tired of having potatoes every night.

-You will have to pack his lunches. This in itself is a learned skill, that can be acquired that first year of marriage. You may need your mother's expert help for the first few days. Seasoned married women know how to make a packed lunch beautiful, nutritious, interesting, and sentimental.

-You will have to begin early in the day while he is gone, to get the evening meal ready. When he comes home, you need to have the major labor of it out of the way so you can relax with a cup of tea or a cool drink and visit with him. You need to have the table set. You need to have dinner on a back burner, warming. You need to have taken a shower and dressed in fresh clothing. You might not do this years later when you have children and live in a bigger house, but the first year of marriage is your honeymoon, and you will have more time to pay attention to yourself.

-You will need to have his clothes washed, pressed, mended, and ready for him to wear the next day. When he gets ready for work, you don't want him running around desperately looking for matching socks and shoes or trying to find his watch, his cellphone, his keys.

-In the morning you can make him a hot breakfast. When he leaves, you can clean up the kitchen and get out a project to do: maybe a new tablecloth and placemats, or framing a picture. You might need to go to a thrift store and find some things you need. While you are out, you can check on your mother and your new mother in law. Maybe you could take them a batch of cookies that you have baked. You have time to teach a younger girl something like sewing or crafting.

-The first year at home is a good time to send out thank you notes for the wedding and shower gifts. Many young married women neglect this.

-The first year at home is a great time to fix up your living quarters. It will give you the experience that you will need when you move to something else. I remember reading in an old magazine written in the 1800's called "The Dileanator" about a newly married girl, who had very little in the way of material possessions. From scraps of fabrics, she sewed together a table cloth, some napkins, curtains, and made coverings for the tops of boxes which she used as end tables and coffee tables. She did this by cutting the fabrics in strips and alternating them so that they matched. Smaller pieces were made into doilies by cutting them in circles (traced with a dinner plate) and stitching a border of lace around them. Her home, this article said, was the coziest of homes, and if I can find the article I will reprint it in full for you here.

In doing this, the young married woman shows an example to other young women just how it can be done. Learn to live on your husband's income that first year, and you will be well on your way to prosperity in the future. If you start out working, it will be almost impossible to quit, as your expenses will go up, and you will want to reward yourself by buying things, with your money.

In the story "When Queens Ride By," one of the theme articles on the side links, a woman tells her story about how her husband wanted her to go to work with him in his business when they first got married. She explained to him that a woman's place was in the home, and later he found out what an advantage it was to him to have one person to come home to who was calm, had a good day, and made life comfy for him. If he had a bad day at work, at least there was only one of them in a grumpy mood. This story was made into a movie on "The Loretta Young Show". It was one of the episodes, and I saw it myself when I was younger. It showed the difference it made when a woman cleaned up her house, took a bath and put on fresh clothing and put a hot dinner in the oven. It showed the difference it made in the men, who, instead of coming home to chaos, neglect and tension, came home to peace, beauty, order, happiness, smiles, cleanliness and good children. A woman cannot achieve all this without staying home and really concentrating on it during the day.

-The first year of marriage is a time to establish a routine. You will need this all of your life, and having that first year free, is crucial. If you wait, and do not come home until you have children, you'll feel huge pressures upon you. Learn to adjust to a homemaking routine when there is just you and your husband, and it will be much easier when additions come into the family.

I know there is so much more to this subject, but I've already gone beyond my self-imposed one page limit, so I'll let the others add their useful comments to this.

When a woman goes to work, she cuts herself off socially, from the home, the church, her parents. I have seen this many times, as a preacher's wife. Christian women know the importance of such spiritual qualities as accessibility, availability, and flexibility. Working away from home that first year cuts off your flexibilty and your accessibility. I remember when we were able to visit aunts and uncles and the aunts were home, so we visited with them until the husbands came home. Years later when so many women went to work, you couldn't make a trip to visit a relative because the women were not home anymore. You had to wait til they both got home, and when they did, they were in no mood to entertain. Homeakers are flexible with their time. Although we must get our houses in order, we know we can drop it all at a moment's notice and attend to something else when it comes up.

If you are bored, as a young married woman at home, then you are not discovering the work that must be done. You are not doing enough. Boredom does not exist in the mind of a thrifty, industrious, creative


Anonymous said...

If there is time, this is always a good year to develop a cottage industry from home. You talked about using scraps of fabrics. There are so many items made with fabrics at the kithen table, and women have always been able to sell their quilts and their hand stitched baby clothes--all made from scraps. Card making is big, these days, and good cards are expensive. Making cards at home to sell can be quite profitable.

Kimberline said...


Thanks you for the wonderful article. My oldest daughter will be getting married in August. Her young man is willing for her to be a keeper of their home, but he has admitted to concern that she will be bored at times. I told him there are any number of things she can pick from to make her days full and joyful.

I plan to copy this article for her to read later today. It is full of wonderful advice which she will take to heart, I know.

I am blessed to have 4 daughters, but we have had a struggle here about keeping them at home as blessings to their daddy and for helpers. My husband has blessed me to stay at home, but he has pushed my daughters relentlesslyy toward college, jobs, earning their keep and to get out of the house at the soonest possible moment. I have seen it really hurt my oldest daughter and am praying for a change in his heart very soon as my next oldest daughter is 16 now and he has begun to talk to her of "going away to school, getting a meaningful job." You know, this hurts me deeply because it is a bit of a denigration of my value here.

I would covet advice and articles which I could maybe use to encourage my husband to allow these daughters to grow to full potential within the safety of our home, expressing their talents for his benefit and to further their skills for their future husbands.

Have any of the other ladies dealt with this? How did you handle it? For women who have husbands who fully embrace daughters staying in the safety of the father's home, is there anything you can advise for us?

I am just SO grateful that I can show my daughter this lovely way of being a fulfilled woman within her home so she can know the value of what she can offer her soon to be husband.



Kacie said...

My husband and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

The first three months of our marriage, I was working 40+ hours per week outside the home. It was a stressful, miserable time.

After I left my job and became a homemaker, our lives were much happier! I've been able to learn the art of keeping a home (still have a lot to learn!), our weekends and evenings are freed up to spend time together instead of doing chores, and many more benefits.

I became a freelance writer, working from home as time allows. My husband considers me to be the family's "CFO" because I'm always looking for new ways to save money. He considers my work to be just as valuable has is!

Now that we have a baby on the way, I'm glad I already have a homemaking background. Things will be a lot easier on us, I think.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding post! I especially liked:

If you are bored, as a young married woman at home, then you are not discovering the work that must be done. You are not doing enough. Boredom does not exist in the mind of a thrifty, industrious, creative, spiritual person. If you will really apply yourself to the job and be the best you can possibly be, you will find that there is not enough time in a day to complete everything. (emphasis mine)

This can happen to even a seasoned wife. Just recently I found myself falling into the boredom trap or the trap of needing to constantly be entertained. And you know what? It's exactly as you said, I wasn't doing enough at home. I wasn't being industrious, creative and my spiritual life wasn't where it should have been. I've been working on it this week and it's like night and day.

As you mentioned in your post, I, too, am very disheartened at the prevailing attitude these days of 'not contributing' if you aren't bringing home money. Is money all we value these days?

I am far from being a first year bride but as a SAHW w/o children posts like these are always encouraging. I can't wait to see what everyone else has to say. (o:

Many Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Any woman who truley enjoys being a wife and working outside the home full time, either doesn't care about her home and family or she is in denial. I am still at nearly 6 months into marriage, working outside the home, the first 2-3 I would come home in tears of frustration. I know at this point in our lives we have no choice, but my husband and I are both looking forward to the day, hopefully very soon that I can come home. It is hard enough to set up a home together and a routine, I certainly wouldn't want to wait until I was just home from the hospital with a new-born as some women do. At the moment all that we can do is pray for help in going in the direction that God is leading us.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I wish I had had the sense to stay home before we had children, and after we got married. Granted, it was only about a year until the first baby came, and then I did quit, but I could have used that year before the baby came.

Get your home in order, learn how to cook, how to properly market, keep the home budget, get a housekeeping schedule, do all of it before the children come. Why? Because once the baby comes, you will be very busy.

And even once we get pregnant, we are still expected to work until we go into labor! I would advise anyone that even if quitting before you get pregnant seems ridiculous to you (and it won't seem so ridiculous after the baby arrives), at least quit once you are pregnant and enjoy those long, lazy days. Get your home and the nursery ready at nice, slow pace. Take long rests.

I can't go back in time, but if I could, I would have quit after I got married. No doubt about that.

~ Ann

Unknown said...

I just made a copy of the article for my sweet girl to read later. As I was looking it through I noticed your comment, Lydia, about trying to have shorter articles. Please do not try to pare your articles down! I think you do a great job of covering your topics and short bursts might not serve so well to say enough. I know in my case I would rather come here and have the satisfying deep soaking "rain" of a long and perceptive article than a brief shower that doesn't even "whet my whistle" with information or insight.

Just do it the way you do it. I've never regretted digging into any of your more lengthly articles.

Thank you for taking the time to keep this site growing. It blesses me every time I come here and lately I have had real gladness to go back and read articles from 2004 and 2005. They aren't exactly oldies yet but they certainly are goodies!



Anonymous said...

I am in my "first year at home" even though we have now been married almost 16 years! I was inspired by the story "When Queens Ride By" to quit my job and return home. I was just like Jennie--working too hard outside my home to take proper care of my real responsibilities and destroying my health and family happiness in the process. I have worked full-time, gone to school, or worked part-time throughout our marriage. This is the first time I have truly focused on our home life and thought of myself as a homemaker first. It has been not quite a month and I already see great differences. Our house is much neater and cleaner, nourishing meals and clean clothes appear on a regular schedule, my childrens' manners, health, and behavior show great improvement, and I have the time and energy to do the "little extras" my husband desires like baking a pan of brownies for him after we finish dinner. Best of all, I am rapidly regaining my health and good looks after several years of exhaustion, back trouble and constant colds and sinus infections. I can tell my husband is still not totally reconciled to the idea that I am home to stay, but I hope he will come to see over time that benefits of having me home far outweigh the loss of my meager income. I work hard to use our income wisely and make our homelife both comfortable and frugal. When I get discouraged, I remember "there was once a queen" and that it is my true calling to be the queen of our home. Thank you for all your inspiration and guidance! Miss Kris

Karen said...

I "came home" a month before our daughter was born. People were asking, "what are you going to do all day?" or, "I worked right until the baby came"!!!

Well, let me tell you, I was never bored! That month was heaven! I could rest (I needed to, being 8 months pregnant), have supper ready, the house clean, etc. I could finish getting ready for the baby. I had enough time to detach from the office and prepare mentally for the birth and for my new role as a mother.

Looking back, if I could have been home the whole time after getting married, these are some things I would have done:

-organizing (everything from photos, to recipes, to clothing, to our storage areas)
-volunteering (more) at my Church

Aelwyn said...

As a woman who married later in life - yes we are out there - I have mixed feelings about the article. Ideally, it would have been wonderful to stay at home from the beginning of our marriage. I already had an established teaching career, but would have given it up in a heartbeat if it had been feasible. My husband is also a teacher. Teaching is a fickle career choice in that one is so dependent on enrollment and the salary is quite low. Before we married, my husband became gravely ill and was between contracts. (ie. no health insurance) We are still years later paying the hospital bill. Through the generosity of friends, we were able to rent a house for far less money than the market demanded. But, EVEN WITH THIS GIFT, we barely made ends meet on two salaries until we paid off some of our debt. Family did help also.

I think we need to be careful to say, that yes staying at home is the ideal presented in scripture, but, at the same time, we live in a fallen world where circumstances can interfere with God's ideal. We need to treat this subject with grace.

All that said, when our first child was born, I stayed at home and had a tough time getting the routines down.

Aelwyn said...

I did want to make one more comment. I see a lot of people commenting on staying home while you are pregnant. If at all possible, I would encourage this. I was planning on working until two weeks before my due date. I thought it would give me time to rest and "nest" before the baby came. I did not do a very good job at my outside work. I was exhausted all the time. Both home and work were neglected. Also, I started feeling ill about 4 days before my last day at work. I decided to take a couple days off at the end and use sick time. What would have been my last day at work became my daughter's birthday! I didn't realize that the virus I thought I had was early labor. Even in taking that last day off, I had someone say, "You should have come into work. You would have been closer to the hospital."

Plan on giving yourself a LOT of time to get the home ready for the new baby.

Anonymous said...

I read Fascinating Womanhood during college, and loved it. My husband loved the idea of it, too, when I told him about it while we were dating. I went ahead and finished college, a science degree, but we knew I would stay at home once we were married. He is an old-fashioned man at heart.

He had an old house that needed a ton of work, and I was going to quit work and work on it while he was at work, the smaller things that I could do.

My mother-in-law apparently assumed I was having a hard time finding a job. She offered for me to work, filing papers and answering phones, at a tax office with her during the tax season. I didn't want to do this, as we weren't settled in our house yet. My husband didn't want me to work as a principle, but he thought we should accept this one time offer because he kind of thought my mother-in-law was just looking forward to spending some time with me at work, and it wouldn't be many hours or anything, and it would be over in a few months and he didn't want me to hurt her feelings.

It turned out that she wanted me to work there because she assumed I was being lazy, and that at least doing this job would be making me work some, better than nothing. She had made another assumption that I hadn't finished college, or else why would I be staying at home, or doing this little job? She was intimating to people that I wasn't very bright, and she treated me like this, and I definately got the message after a while, that she felt I had just picked up her son for a free ride. To the impure, all things are impure. In reality, I had waited years and years for the right man to come along. I had earned my degree, worked full time, taken on huge music responsibilities at church, refused to get involved with men who might have been easy to date.

I knew she was not a Christian when I married my husband (although HE was definitely saved), but I never dreamed that a person would be this ugly inside and opposed to me. I knew we would not agree on a lot of things, but I did not count on her actively working to discourage me from the beautiful hopes I had had for married life. I realized how nasty feminism can make a person who has unthinkingly absorbed it.

Her feeling toward me really affected me. After the tax season, I got pregnant, but then went on to take a short job as a cashier until the time I delivered, just because she made me feel so funny about staying home, and I guess, in my heart, I still did want to please her, and let her know that I wasn't a bum or anything. It made me feel that my state of motherhood was less than exalted, however. It made me feel ugly instead of beautiful and treasured.

I do wish I could have this time back. Pregnant, a part-time job made me just tired enough to not be able to work on the house (there were some extensive projects to do). Nothing was ready when the baby came. My attitude in my marriage had soured a little. The task of taking care of baby was overwhellming in a house that wasn't ready. It caused enormous problems, and frustration and exhaustion.

My mother-in-law didn't help out at all, even by coming over for a pleasant visit after I had the baby. I think she wanted me to know that if I was going to stay home, I was going to have to work hard there too. No free rides - she told me she wanted me to know that she "didn't do diapers". It made me feel that even if I was "allowed" to stay home, I shouldn't be "allowed" to enjoy it! My husband did not feel this way at all, but he did not realize how his mother was affecting me. She didn't talk to him like she talked to me.

Yes, I wish I had not worked, even part time, but clung to my husband and our new home and life instead. When he said it might be good to work at his mom's suggestion, I should have had the confidence to refuse - he wasn't telling me I had to, just thought it might be nice, and I wanted to please everyone.

By the way, after 10 years, I have never been successful in pleasing my mother-in-law yet. I realized that until she gets saved, she will always oppose me, because that is how Jesus said it would be (nothing could state this more plainly than Luke 12:53). I wish I could "do over" that first year, and make a better start in terms of habits, memories, and feelings, and take away the bitterness of not doing what I was looking forward to doing when I had read that book a few years before - just living my daily life as a new wife.

You are so right in your blog - I love to come here and feel supported in the Lord. The more I love my home, and my femininity, the happier we are! You also help me feel empowered to stand up to others who feel that I shouldn't stay home, have so many kids, homeschool, etc. I don't have to answer to any family members, I have to answer to God, and not try to please anyone else.

Working in the first year will not be attached to mother-in-law probems for everyone, of course, but it may cause problems in a million other little ways which are not able to be seen right now. It will lead you in a direction you don't want to go.

Staying home establishes the "stand" you are taking with family members that it's your husband, with you beside him, who are making the decisions in your new family and your new home. It empowers you to make future stands of how you are going to raise your kids, etc.

You should be free to relax (there's a ton of work involved, but I mean relax in your attitude) and enjoy the whole married future ahead of you, with all that it holds for you, without apologies to anyone. Don't let sour people make you feel you are not "allowed" to be amazingly, overwhelmingly happy at home.

That is one thing that I love about your website, too. Watching you "play" at home has been very healing for me - doing crafts, decorating, playing with children, having fun. Thank you with all my heart for showing what should be normal, right and good.

P.S. We have moved away from the in-laws, and my husband still LOVES me staying home and having sweet babies! :) My mother-in-law only gets more unhappy as the years go by, but I am, of course, very respectful toward her when I see her.

candy said...

Dear Lydia,
This was a wonderful post!
If I ever feel bored I have a list of household chores and,..... a list of FUN household things to do such as: making cards, writing cards, baking, making something. The "fun" things are adding to the beauty of my home ..for example, just this morning I had all the basics done on my cleaning schedule and was looking for something to do so I made a slipcover for a chair. It was so easy (you can see it on my blog)

Candy from Canada

Aubrey said...

I would be interested in information on daughters staying home. My husband was hard to convice on homeschooling, but now he's determined that they will never go to public school again. Still he believes they should leave home and go to college. I remember college, not a good place for a conservative young lady. Needless to say I left school to stay home. I am just not sure how to explain that we aren't wasting our intellegence on caring for a home.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,

In my former comment, I didn't mean to make people wary of the negative influences of mothers-in-law, but wary of the negative influences of feminists. My mother-in-law just happens to be a feminist. I am not trying to be disrespectful to mothers-in-law.

Susan said...

For the first year and a half that my husband and I were married, I worked outside the home, out of necessity. Then he went into the military, and my "working days" were over, not because he made so much money in the military (ha!) but because I wanted to stay home and we both agreed to make it work. It was another 2 1/2 years before our first child was born, and I wish that I could say that I filled my time with crafts and organizing and doing for others. I was lazy, sitting and watching TV or reading all day. These habits continued well into our "baby" years and caused stress and misery in our home more times than I can tell you.

We're now in our 24th year of marriage, and I am just now learning of all the good things I could have been doing in those early years. The good thing is that I'm coming back into those years now, with our 3 children being teens and one of them already in college. The time is opening up for me to do all the crafts and organizing and such that I didn't learn in the early years.

My advice to a young woman able to stay home, before children, is to make the most of every day by learning new things to do, making your home a haven for your man to come home to, and spending time in Bible study and any other kind of things you'd like to learn. You won't be sorry for spending your time wisely, but you will regret it terribly for squandering your time!

Lydia said...

You may find that feminism is deeply ingrained in some of the older women.

It is better not to start out your married life with the woman working. It sets a trend that the husband may "fall back on" when he gets discouraged.

It is also best not to begin in debt. Couples say they "can't make it" without both salaries, but in the past, they did make it, on one salary, and not a very big one, at that! They were careful about paying too much rent and willing to stay in places they had to fix up, for less cost. Some of them lived in garage apartments at their own parents houses. Others found little trailers and I know one couple that lived in a tent the first year, using water from a creek to bathe in, and sleeping on cots. If a man wants to marry you and he thinks you should work "just the first year", be wary, because work might not be willing to let you go. In that time you can use up that money and if you quit, then you can't make it. It is better not to start out with the expectation that the wife will work. There is also the added problem of attractions at work. When women first started leaving the responsiblities of home to go to work, there were all kinds of problems. My husband and I met many a weeping wife whose husband had run off with the young secretary at work. Even the single daughters are better off working at home. There are many ways to create a home industry, now that we have the web, and in doing so, you can filter out the undersireable fellowships and concentrate on the relationships and the business you want. There are lots of girls staying home and making their parents home a better place by their care of it. I know a family of girls who are not out in the working world, yet they have sufficient money and they are busy all the time. There is also the matter of personal safety. It isn't a hundred percent safe for our daughters in colleges and careers. It is something they don't really talk about, but is present. If a girl is taught how to manage money and how to be resourceful at home, she ought to be able to marry and take care of things so that they can prosper even if they start out poor. None of the people that lived in tents, trailers, or garage apartments over their parents' houses, are still living there! They have moved on, and the women are still homemakers.

~~Deby said...

To be bored at
I have way too many interests. There are so many things you can learn to do. I have been doing embroidery and find it so relaxing, of course there is crafting, and then I transplanted my morning glory seedlings,cleaned my house, did laundry,amd prettied up for my husband who will be home soon..then add blogging and reading such inspiring blogs as yours....the thought about boredom is the one that spoke to me. I do think it is sin, I think it is saying to God you Don't have enough for me to do today and I am discontent. I think it is prevalent today and maybe with people not having as much $$$ to spend on gas some will seek a more quiet way to their lives, that would be wonderful, wouldn't it.

Lydia said...

With gas prices so high, it makes more sense for the wife to stay home and use the car just for trips to the store and church, etc. The wear and tear and cost of running a car to work is tremendous. The sad thing is that some women will think they have to go to work and will pay several hundred dollars a month for gas and several more hundred for daycare. They have practically nothing left to enjoy and have spent their time away from that house and those children. Even if you do not see your husband all day, it does not mean you shouldn't be there. Taking care of the home, if you are really taking care of it, takes a lot of time. Women need rest, also, and you cannot go lay down at work when you aren't feeling well. I did see some young girls working at a dress shop, though, and they were not married. They said they were working there for the discount on the clothes. I actually thought that was a better idea than getting involved in a career that would require years and years of college and much dedication. Working in a shop made them more flexible and when they married and went home, other young girls came and took up the jobs available there. Even if a woman worked outside the home for only a few hours a day, it would still be better than the lifetime commitments they have to make for careers, and it would be a lot more flexible. However, it does cost something to go to work, and sometimes you don't really make a profit.

June Fuentes @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home said...

Another excellent post to encourage all the ladies at all stages of life. I remember living off nothing early on and loving it. Praise the Lord for this blog and Lady Lydia's unapologetic writing and stance in being a light to all women...

Many blessings...

Anonymous said...

Your comment that a wife should "start out as she means to continue" is a good one. When we first married, I rushed out and got a job right away to show I was independent and "not going to be a burden." My husband wistfully said that he had always wanted to marry a woman who would stay home and take care of him. I did take care of him and our home and worked fulltime as well. If I had been wiser, I would have honored his desire and given notice the next day. I am reapig the consequences now. After 16 years of my working, he says I don't "deserve" to be a homemaker. He says I made my choice years ago and I can't change my mind now. I worked full-time until 2 days before I went into labor with my oldest and was back working part-time while he was still a nursing infant. I worked to pay off his law student loans and to help pay for his accounting degree. Dumb decision, and I am dealing with the consequences now. My husband gave me his blessing to work full-time, part-time or not outside the home at all last December, and I took him at his word and gave up my job when my teaching contract ended in May. He may have given permission, but he constantly urges me to seek paid employment for "greater security for our family" and "something to fall back on", and tells me I am keeping us from "getting a beach house or mountain home" because I want to be on "permanent vacation" while he works himself to death. I keep patiently working to show him a "stay-at-home wife" is a valuable asset and hope he will soften his opinion with time. I also remind myself that I created this problem when I started working as soon as we married. I would have been smarter to be a homemaker from the beginning. If you want to be a homemaker and stay-at-home mother, please learn from my mistake. Miss Kris

Unknown said...

Almost all of the ladies who posted listed many excellent ideas of what to do at home the first year. There are older widows in my church who are alone and homebound. It is a great blessing to me to be able to bring them an occasional hot meal and dessert. I am also able to bring them to doctor's appointments, the bank, etc. because I am not working outside of the home. Almost all of the other women are at work during that time.

My mother is a housewife. Because she bought into the feminist's lies, she has never considered that what she does has any value whatsoever and so I have had to learn almost everything on my own.

I think that it is a monumental mistake to marry a man that insists that his wife must work outside the home. I have never seen that situation end well. Happily, my husband has always said that what is most important is that I do whatever makes me happy.

Lydia said...

Yes, Mrs. McG. this is such a good thing to do. The childless woman at home is free to check on people and offer help. It is such a fulfilling way to live. I know people like this and they seem to be able to minister a kind word, a card, and are most generous with their blessings. Sewing was the all absorbing hobby that I enjoyed before I had children, and was home. Taking care of the house is really a big job, even if you live in a small apartment. There are many things to do that make that place different from the world, that say "A thoughtful homemaker lives here." Creating a wreath on the door, or putting up a window box is something that will give a new homemaker something to do. She will have to water the plants and look after the front area, sweeping it when necessary. Inside, there are things to be put away, books to be taken care of, letters to write, food to prepare, and laundry to be washed. Besides this there is nap time, which I really believe in. Especially if you are pregnant or want to prepare for pregnancy, I think it is essential to lay down and rest during the day. It helps to do this before dinner, so that you are not dragging, the last few hours of the day when your husband comes home. There are also time consuming things like looking after yourself, (fixing your hair, dressing carefully, etc) and cleaning the bathroom. Going to the grocery store should be fun when you first marry, because you can have a few perks from there--a special scented coffee in a small bag, a few flowers, some candles. There is so much to enjoy your first year at home. I urge young women not to miss it! Unfortunately, many of us marry in debt, and that puts a great deal of pressure on finances. If possible, educate your daughters not to buy cars and things with huge payments that would cause an extra burden on a married couple. I never had a car of my own, and when I married, I just used my husband's car. I know everything thinks I live in the past, but there was nothing wrong with a lot of things they did in the past. Young couples often did without telephones and televisions and went to their parents homes for evenings to enjoy these things. Doing without, is the kind of things that stories are made of, that are passed down to children. It can be an adventure.

Millie said...

Lady Lydia, thank you for yet another "linker" post. I have quite the collection of links to your posts - they're so great and straightforward.

My mother-in-law is probably wondering why I don't get busy and "help" my husband and family by getting a job. She probably assumes I'll pick up the slack when my youngest daughter starts school full-time. She's hardly a feminist but has been working since she was 18, in spite of being married to a man with a productive career and giving birth to two children. If my husband and I were so inclined, we could give her quite an education as to what her little boy did while she was away at work all day - including skipping school and fooling around with his girlfriend, whose mother also worked. (I'm not the girlfriend in question, by the way.)

I realize this post isn't about working mothers, but if there's going to be a time when a couple learns to operate a household on one income, it will be during that first year of marriage, not after the wife quits her job to stay home with children. I stopped working when our oldest was born and while we struggled and still do sometimes, I hate to think what would have happened to us if we'd continued to rely on two incomes - only to lose one later.

I also wish I'd had the opportunity to stay at home that first year, to establish those routines. After sixteen years of marriage, I still have a long way to go. I wish I'd known about you back then. :)

My mother-in-law, my sister and a friend have all said to me, "I don't see how you can stay home all day." It boils down to not only a need for income, but also to be around other people day after day. I think if they decided to stay at home and get busy, they'd find their days would be filled - happily - with things to do at home and with good friends, rather than having to go off to a place of business and deal with coworkers' drama (which I can't stand). It comes from a fear of "losing oneself" by staying at home, which makes no sense to me. I can't think of a place where I'm more "myself" than at home with MY things, MY furniture, MY children and MY way of life. Some things are more important than earning money. Strange, but true!

Thanks for the great advice.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,

I cannot add anything else. You truly hit it right on the nose as you shared the importance of being at home the first year of marriage and how it will affect the following years as a wife and mother.

I read this article and wished that I had seen it when I first married, but alas I didn't. Now I am struggling patiently with learning homemaking skills 13 years later and wishing I could be full time at home. Even a few months ago, with tears in my eyes, humbly apologised to my husband for not being properly prepared for our marriage in the areas of homemaking. Strangely enough, I know more than most women I have ever known. My husband said that when we got married, he was surprised that I did not learn how to do some things.

Because of our choices with me working and my lack of teaching and initiative to learn to be fully prepared as a homemaker, we depend on my casual job as a nurse to help pay for bills and extras that we would like. Thankfully, I have the freedom to decide when I work.

I think that alot of what you shared comes from a selfish heart both on the part of the parents who are raising the young women and the young women themselves. Women and young girls are taught and encouraged to be selfish and not to be servants to their families. Parents (whether they have the homemaking skills or not) are to busy with their lives. The older women are "doing what they want now they have no children at home." Many don't value those skills as much anymore, but rather value "instant" cooking for example and yes - outside praise through careers and church involvement, etc. And the almighty dollar gets the win everytime too.
Our society...even the Christian community teach a confused and often wrong view of what we are to do and be as women.

If I could add anything else, it would be to check out the website of a newly married woman named Lyndsay at She is a wealth of practical information and I am learning so much from her on a daily basis. There are many blogs that I have seen and she is by far one of the best. She truly has a heart to help other women with their homemaking skills and roles as wife and mother. And she practices what she preaches!

Charmayne from Canada

Amy said...

A beautiful post, Lady Lydia. When we married just a few short years ago, I was amazed at how many people insisted I go up and get a job to "contribute" to the household. The protests my not working became even greater when my husband was sent overseas for a few months, which especially grieved me as had I taken their advice, I wouldn't have been able to accept my husband's phone calls or write letters & emails to him as I would have been busy with work, lacking the time to really focus on my marriage during the difficult season that continents worth of distance bring about. To think of not being available when my husband called after a rough day truly breaks my heart and is something I feel thankful to never have had to experience.

These first two years spent at home, before our precious daughter arrived, allowed me the time necessary to begin a routine, get settled into good homekeeping habits, and learn many skills which I was lacking. Also being a military wife, there were many times meals needed to be cooked for families in need, children watched as an emergency situation had arose in a family, and many other favors to friends & neighbors that I simply couldn't have offered had I been working.

Being home also afforded me the opportunity to spend time with a beautiful older woman, a former military wife herself, who blessed me with her knowledge from the years she and her husband spent with the military. I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing this dear woman and her husband have been to us; all the wonderful wisdom, heartfelt advice that they offered, and the perspective of their experiences offered with the richness of hindsight and life experience. Truly a treasure these lovely folks have been to us, and to think, I would have missed out in this immense blessing had I not been at home! :o)

edwardianbeauty said...

Nice article. I believe a woman should try to stay at home but a husband can lose his job or become disabled and she will have to work then. I believe a lot of women work out of fear. What if your husband dies or leaves you and you have no income? I believe women should try to stay at home but you can't blame a woman for being scared. Things can happen.

Anonymous said...

i find comfort, encouragement and inspiration in this blog. so do not attempt to make your articles shorter, just keep writing and writing. sometimes i find myself not wishing for your posts to end, you know. ;)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I will celebrate our 2nd anniversary in October. I cannot wait for the day when I can quit my job and come home. I'm praying that I can do this when our first child comes along. Of course if it happens sooner, I'd be ecstatic! My husband grew up with a mother who worked full time, and he sees no problem with it, so it's been hard for me to convince him of the benefits of being a homemaker. I'm also working on convincing him that homeschooling is the way to go-he greaduated from public school. So I just keep on praying and hoping.

DarcyLee said...

Oh, how I wish I had known these things as a young wife and mother. I always knew I wanted to stay home with my children, which I did much of the time, but at the same time, my husband and I adopted so much of the feminist philosophies prevalent today. When our daughters were in their middle teen years, we encouraged them to get part time jobs. This was not to their advantage because they got used to having their own money and spending it sometimes unwisely. This translated to our oldest daughter having a job as a young married woman and being accustomed to a particular standard of living. Now she says she doesn't want any children until she and her husband own a bigger house. I have to intercept here that I grew up in a conservative church, but so much worldly philosophy and the "rudiments of this world" were adopted into the lives of it's members. It was very common to be a "career" woman in the church or the church's schools. In fact, it was expected, even if you had small children. Then there was the issue of birth control, which was never addressed. Now I am finding that I have so much to share with my daughters and try to "backtrack" so much of what I taught them through example by believing what the church has been teaching, at least the ones we have attended. Now that our youngest is 17 years old, we have finally decided to let the Bible be our supreme authority and really listen to what God has to say. We have put our daughters into His hands and do our best to influence them to be the women He wants them to be. I know there are other women in the same kind of situation. Thank you, Lady Lydia, for all of your encouraging words. There is nothing more fulfilling for a woman than to be what God intended for her life as a stay-at-home wife and mother, actively teaching the children and being a helpmeet to her husband.

Catherine R. said...

Very encouraging article, Lady Lydia! In regard to what you discussed about parents of a new married couple being of help, my husband and I are both not blessed in this area. When I was considering him for marriage, I was concerned about this. I knew my own parents were divorced, non-Christians, wrapped up in their own lives and lived very far away from me. I hoped at least I could meet a man who had a nice family.

I'll tell you it is simply not an easy task to meet someone with an in-tact close family these days and it really does put added strain on a newly married couple. I am choosing to stay at home and I often do feel isolated. I know some of this is my fault...we have not yet established ourselves in a good church. We are currently looking for a new, less worldly church than the one we were going to. I just want to meet some friends.

Your advice is still great though.

Lynda said...

I was one of those women who worked right up until my first child was born. I was also overdue and still working. I was extremely tired at that time as I was working full time and trying to get my "house" in order by the time the baby came. I wish I could have stayed home when we first got married. I didn't get that chance until after I got out of the military. By then my child was 2. It has taken me the next 5 years to get a routine and a handle on my home. I am still working on it. I feel it has been such a huge disadvantage to us because I worked. I have a story that really reiterates this article.
LadyLydia, don't feel that you have to keep your articles short. I love coming here and soaking in the truths of your words. They are refreshingly biblical in truth.

Lydia said...

Regarding detached extended families: At least we can do our best to help the next generation to keep close to their parents and in-laws and have good relationships with them. As for lonliness, I know that working can get lonely too, as women may be surrounded by people but feel isolated in their beliefs and their values. I was just chatting with a friend who was remembering all thing things the women talked about at work, constantly, were about the name brands they bought and the material things they did, like high-end vacations and eateries, and status activities and places. The Pharisees loved to have the pre-eminence, and the best houses and the best seats in the community and loved to be called by their titles. This, Jesus chastised them for. He said that the servant would be the greatest among us. Homemakers need to approach their duties with a professional pride that shows the faithful and diligent servant of a great master, who is God in heaven. A lot of people have misunderstood when I have said that, because they think I am referring to the husband. The husband is a servant of God, also, and as such, will sacrifice for his wife, as if it were for God (which ultimately it is), and will work to provide for his family. She in turn, will care for the family and supervise the care of the home, because ultimately, it is for God.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I could be tempted to write so much on this comment. Butg, pleased to say, being a busy wife and mother, I don't have time right now.
I love this post. It is great. I wish it had been even longer. I will be reading it again. If you feel a desire to write more, please do!!!! Even after being home for about 22 years, these kinds of posts are a great joy, comfort, a reminder, and an extra boost to my morale.
Your ministry is a blessing.

Elspeth said...

"If you are bored, as a young married woman at home, then you are not discovering the work that must be done. You are not doing enough. Boredom does not exist in the mind of a thrifty, industrious, creative, spiritual person. If you will really apply yourself to the job and be the best you can possibly be, you will find that there is not enough time in a day to complete everything."

You'd be surprised haow many wives who have children that have said to me: 'I'd be bored at home all day.' With their kids!!! Is it any wonder they can't imagine being at home as a young wife without any children? Our culture has reduced the work of wife and motherhood to mean nothing. As a matter of fact, we don't value much of anything if there's no monetary gain attached to it. And this makes me very sad.

Lydia said...

This is just the whole point. God didn't say we had to be so majorly concerned about money, as women, but that we were to guide and guard the home and teach the children and show love to our husbands. Every single young feminist that writes to me always says "What if there is no money?" Let me tell you that many women before the big rush to go to work, have raised very nice families and had long, long marriages, and even bought property, without a personal income. Their husbands provided for them and their job was to make that money stretch. In my opinion it takes a lot of strength and determination and smarts to do that. I find those women were much better off than we are today. Divorce may be easier, but each time a woman divorces, she gets poorer. For all the fear women have of poverty, they are going in the direction of poverty in their effort to pursue a salary. It is bettr to build up wealth from the home, and there are ways to do it. For the young woman at home who is worried about not working, what I would suggest is to take a look at your home payments and the amount of vehicles you have. Sell the house and buy a smaller one that you can actually pay cash for, if possible. It might not look too great, but with your profit from selling the big house, you can fix this little place up and make a dream house. Without heavy payments around your neck, you can relax and have less worry. Sell off all your vehicles but what is absolutely necessary for basic survival. Put money in savings and in fixing up the little old house you buy. Fix up the yard, give the house a paint job. After a few months, that fixer upper will be worth more than what you paid for it. You can sell it at a profit and move up. As for rent: it is a waste of money and you have nothing to show for it in a years time. You will have spent $20,000 in a year on rent. Another alternative is to stay with parents and help them fix up their house, or even add an upper room. At least the money will stay in the family. Our problem is that we are too independent and not interdependent in the family. One reason is the pursuit of money.

Unknown said...

How I love this post--it will be printed off for my daughters.


Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I was 20 before I learned to operate a washing machine, cook a simple meal, or fix a loose button. Luckily for me, I fell in love with domestic arts and started catching up - and a good timing it was, too, because today I'm 22, newly married, and with a household to run and a husband to take care of.

My husband loves me being home, and I love being home as well. Even though we aren't rich and have a loan to return, we intend to make every effort for me to continue staying home. We don't think that two tired, grumpy people frantically cleaning and doing dishes late into the night after they both spent a long, hard day at work, makes for a good, calm family life.

If I worked outside the home, our home would be unattended, our evenings busy with housework, our meals unhealthy and carelessly eaten.

Many people don't understand "what on earth" I do at home all day. Like you suggested, I'm trying to settle into a satisfyingly efficient homemaking routine. I'm also trying to improve "extra" skills, like fancier baking, sewing, knitting, crochet, other crafts. We also intend to start a vegetable garden.

We hope the Lord will bless us with a child soon, and until then, I see this period of being a new wife as an important season of preparation, a season during which I "stock up" on skills I will have less time to learn in the future, and that will be important to me as a homemaker.

Something else I would like to mention is that during that first year of marriage, many young wives are already expecting a baby. Pregnancy isn't a time when a young woman should overtax herself, and a first pregnancy can be especially overwhelming. Suddenly, you need to deal with nausea, fatigue, and other symptoms. You need to snack and drink often, and every couple of hours you might need to put your feet up and rest for a few minutes. Being a homemaker allows that, but working outside the home doesn't. If your husband is a good, godly man, he will take your condition into consideration. But all a boss cares about is your productivity and how much profit he can get from you.

- Mrs. T ("Domestic Felicity")

Lydia said...

Dear Anna T, It is always good to hear from you. Thanks for reminding us about pregnancy and illness. I was so ill during pregnancy that I couldn't work. My doctor at the time said I should not be working at all. These days I don't know if doctors will tell young girls that. It isn't good for the baby at all. In fact, there was a doctor who wrote about this and how working women really endanger their baby's health. You need to be able to sleep in, lay down, take it easy, do all the nesting things, eat and drink properly and be very very close to the bathroom! Home is the best place for a pregnant woman.

Lydia said...

Also, the atmosphere at work--lack of sunshine and fresh air, artificial lights, machinery, television screens, cellphones, and other electronics, noise, loud speakers, loud music, are not good for pregnant women.

Anonymous said...

I agree with other commenters.. please don't deliberately shorten your articles. We are parched for the wisdom you share. Please don't limit your messages as they can lose the specifics and details we so desperately crave. Feel free not to restrict or stifle your wonderful, inspiring, insightful, God-honouring 'gifts' to us. I am truly grateful for any writing you do dear Lydia. Thank you! Love from L.M.L.

Lydia said...

Linda, It isn't so wise or inspired....lots of people have known these things for ages. It is just that the knowledge of it all has not been spread like it should.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the shortening too. I like the long articles.

~ Ann

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I have never read one of your posts that didn't encourage or inspire me in some way. Thank you for ministering to us younger women. Many times you have addressed how women can and should spend their time at home. Would you please write some advice or tips of how to organize your time at home when there are small children? Children require time and attention as all mothers know. How does the homemaker attend to the other needs of the home and the husband while "watching over" the children, guiding and teaching them? Did you set aside specific times during the day to devote especially to your children and other times to devote to household tasks? I want my children to learn the importance of caring for the home, but I also want them to know I care for them more than having everything just right. Your experienced, Biblical advice would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Mrs. M

Anonymous said...

Not contributing as a stay at home wife without children?

Economic contribution: Being at home saves $100’s (AUD) each week in terms of cooking from scratch, time to search out bargains, money saved from growing your own, time to fix household items rather than unnecessary replacement, savings on extra transport costs, convenience food costs, expensive office work clothes and less need for expensive entertainments on weekends to cope with work stresses during the week!

Environmental contribution: making food from scratch, growing some of your own food, less daily use of cars, making do and recycling all reduce society’s consumption of fossil fuels, products made from petro-chemicals and waste. Stay at home wives engage in these environmentally helpful activities on a daily basis.

Social contribution: Men with wives at home generally have more success and influence in the workplace. Our experience backs this. I humbly believe that my focused support, encouragement, counsel and care as a stay at home wife have helped my husband make a greater contribution at work. Economically speaking, after beginning with a low-average income he now earns within the top 3% of salaried employees in this country (and pays 3-4x the tax of the average person in support of our country). Ironically when we both worked (1/2 our married lives) and both earned an ‘average income' (paying average taxes) we struggled financially! Since I’ve come home we’ve gone from strength to strength. Every time I doubt myself and feel ‘guilty’ - then go back to the workforce for a while - we find that we save little money, the home is less than adequately kept and we are both tired most of the time due to trying to keep up with full time work/keeping house/social commitments.

Most important contribution: Marital happiness & strong spiritual foundation for life. My husband loves to come home at the end of a long day to a happy, warm home with the aromas of a home cooked meal. When I worked I was often too tired and busy catching up with housework to be much company when he got home– little wonder so many marriages today fail!

I hope this encourages new wives and women planning for marriage to consider staying at home from the outset if able to.

Anonymous said...

Please also consider the time required to keep a home lovely, even with only two of you! By trying to juggle both an outside job and a home many women end up feeling defeated in either or both spheres.

In my experience to achieve the basics of home making - that is, regular nutritious meals, grocery shopping, laundry & ironing and house cleaning for a household of two takes about 25 hours a week - and that’s just the beginning (the basics of your work). It does not include tending the garden, assisting in the home office, caring for pets, special touches like crafting for the home, special baking, bottling and/or candy making, organizing recreation -like picnics and other lovely surprises that bond husband and wife, extending hospitality and involvement with church and community...

As you can see being a conscientious wife and homemaker is more than a regular full-time job! When conducted in a God fearing way, forget economics, your work is priceless! Add children and your cup runneth over!

~ A big thank you once again to Lady Lydia for a most encouraging (and wise) post!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful article! I worked when I was first married, but took off about six months during that first year to do many of these things. I'm so glad I did.

If a young married woman does all the things you mentioned and still feels time on her hands, there are so many worthy organizations seeking volunteers. She could deliver midday meals to shut-ins, help at her church, or many other needs in every community. It's not likely she will have a lot of spare time, but should it happen--there is enough need in the world that no hands should be idle!

Anonymous said...

I very much enjoyed this article.
I am in my second year of marriage and we are expecting our second child. The first year of marriage I did help the ladies in our community with house cleaning but my own home was always neglected. I didn't have the computer at that time either so I was just plain lazy. Now with two children I am amazed at the things I find I couldhave done with all that spare time. Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

I am new to your blog and I like it. This post was extremely interesting and enjoyable.

My husband and I do both work- we work at our church as well as own a landscaping/lawn care company. We are blessed to have an extremely flexible church work schedule which does allow me the freedom to be at home part time and I love that.

Anonymous said...

Like some of the others who've commented, I got a lot of flack from a certain family member about staying home before the children came. Strangly enough, it was my brother-in-law. He arranged job interviews and told me that we shouldn't have children for a few years. Being so young, I was confussed until my husband pointed out that it was our marriage and not BIL's.

I've never worked. At times the women's lib people have come after me. But my husband and I have held to our ideals. I love being home. I loved raising my children. I love to cook, clean, and make a safe haven for my family.


Aelwyn said...

I second the request for hints about keeping a home while raising very young children. We are still completing the finishing of our home on the inside and have a large garden as a necessary step in frugality. I only have one child, but how do I manage the home, meals, garden, renovations, active two year old and husband. I HAVE to help with renovations because we do not have the money to hire it out and my husband has an injury that prevents him from doing certain tasks (although he does the majority of the heavy work).

I would love some tips. I don't want to neglect my daughter. It is not as busy in the winter (in AK) because my husband is teaching and there is no garden to tend, but I still seem to not be able to keep the house as it should be kept.


Learning To Love said...

Thanks for your post.
While I'm not totally convinced of staying at home after my children are grown & out on their own....I am learning to fully agree with being a homemaker and learning to love the role. I spent most of my life reasoning that the homemaker's role was not for me. But since my husband and I separated back in 2005 God has blessed me with jobs that I could do from home. They were bookkeeping jobs from my family & well as my landlords. With email & the Internet, I didn't have to go away from home to work.
I recognized that God's hand was in this and that He was conditioning me. Looking back, hindsight is 20/20. So the Lord blessed me with additional patience to be able to support my 3 boys (& for a short while my husband's son from his previous marriage).
1 1/2 years later the Lord brought my husband and I back together again. After 28 years of running away, my husband had come to the end of himself and realized that he needed Jesus to be the Lord of his life....and made the decision.
Since then I have let go of 4 of the 5 jobs I had been working while he was gone. With each job I let go, I learned more of the Lord's blessings upon my life. I still am hanging onto that one job yet. It's the one that my landlords gave to me to help me out. I keep it because the 2 ladies that I work with are Spirit-filled Christians. They're in their upper 50's, and have been so good in teaching me some Spiritual truths. I work with them and get feminine perspectives, as well as encouragement.
I would be interested in being a full-time homemaker; but I admit to having some fear of leaving this much-loved work and these two women who have become my friends. I work about 16 hours a week. It isn't about the money (although it is nice to contribute to our household in this way)'s about relationships.
I've always relied on the Lord to provide our needs; but to rely on my husband to do it....? Well, that's another post for me to write another time when I'm a little more seasoned in this marriage thing that I've been struggling through for the past 7 years (give or take). :-)

Right now at this job, I'm allowed to make my own hours, but I normally stick to a certain routine so that my husband and the boys know when I will not be at home. I'm not ready to leave just yet, but I am trusting the Lord to speak thru and show me His will.
The first year that my husband was back home with working was a blessing because it gave him "alone time" with the 3 boys, and they all bonded with him. But for me, it was wretched because I was learning to give up my distrust from our past. (He was a drunk that killed our bank account on a daily basis).
I am so thankful to the Lord that He changed my husband's life; and that He is changing my mind and I'm slowly becoming a woman who fears the Lord instead of one who fears circumstances.
Since he has been back home I've gained 15 pounds....this is good because I didn't weigh much more than 100 lbs for a long time; no doubt due to all the stress of having to be the Dad and the Mom...and trying to fit both roles into one person. The Lord is great, and I just thank Him so much for giving me the tools that I needed while my husband was being re-worked. I guess I'm being re-worked now in learning a new role and becoming more of a blessing to my family.
I just want to say "thank you" for your blog & the things that you post because they definitely help women who are struggling with this subject (like me). :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kimberline, your husband sounds like mine as he can't wait for our youngest daughter to be "off his hands". His mindset has changed in the last years as he sees the increasing "old years" coming on, and he wants to be free to do things he wants to do and not the dutiful things he has done in the past with the other children. This could also be a part of the problem with your husband. Men too would like less responsibility and more time to themselves, and they get tempted just like us. Vision Forum is a good site and has books and DVD's, I highly recommend it. Blessings Antonia.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia many thanks for the excellent article and I hope that you did not mind me talking to Kimberline via you. Everything you said I second as I have stayed home since the year I married and raised eight children. Everything you have indicated in your article is truth, if only married couples would follow the advice they would quickly come to see that God's Word should be taken seriously. Excellent post and well written. Thank you very much for this blog which is SUCH a blessing for women. Love Antonia

Heather said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Oh, thank you so much for your understanding, gracious and inspiring words which are rooted in strong truths! How refreshing and encouraging to read over your list of what a young bride in her first married year ought to be doing - and to recognize in it my very own To Do list of this year! This, my first year of marriage, has been my best year of life so far. I've been doing all of those things you listed, and although I'm a little tired out, I've never been so happy or felt so secure. My husband is incredibly supportive and gentlemanly, and is wholeheartedly in favor of my plan to stay home and keep things comfortable, thrifty, sweet-smelling, clean, nutritious and homelike. Sometimes he will smile and shake his head and talk about how wonderfully different things are now than how they used to be before we were married....back then life was lonesome, there was no meal scenting the home, everything was in disarray, and the house was not a home, it was just a place to come sleep before getting ready for work the next day. How bleak and dismal and empty! Now, due to my work at homemaking, all that is completely different, thank goodness.
It is a joy to take care of all the responsibilities at home. It puzzles me how other girls my age (28) manage to work full time and have any energy left to do anything around the house - they don't ever talk about this and I wonder about it - However, I am glad that I am able to spend my days peacefully buzzing around making things beautiful.
How marvelous of you, Lady Lydia, to write such things. I thank you for your practical and comforting views on homelife. Although I do not know you, I greatly appreciate your encouragement and explanations. America's climate right now is hungry for this set of ideas we have, I believe. We must patiently and gently set an example and communicate it carefully, I think. Carry the torch high, fellow homemakers!
Sincerely, Mrs. Neuharth.

Anonymous said...

I will never forget my first real day at home. I was nine months pregnant and had gone on maternity leave from a very stressful job. In the morning after my husband left for work, I received a phone call. A man in a very authoritative voice told me he was holding my husband hostage and that I must follow his exact instructions or he would hurt him. I remember this phone call, of course, as if it were yesterday. The man was a sadist who was eventually arrested after traumatizing dozens of women. I cried for hours and hours afterward. Today, it symbolizes for me how totally unprepared I was for the task ahead of me. I thought I was strong and tough for being a successful career woman, but really I was fragile, ignorant and shallow. I deeply regret not having stayed home while pregnant and newly married. It took many years for me to establish the sort of equanimity I might have forged in some quiet time at home without children or career.

Anonymous said...

Thank you once again dear Lydia for this excellent article! I have always been a happy stay-at- home wife and then mother and now 'empty-nester' and am so thankful for the first year at home with my husband. I had the time to concentrate on my wonderful husband one hundred percent and he couldn't have questioned my devotion, desire, love, commitment, adoration and loyalty to him. (And vice versa.) Unfortunately I didn't apply myself to learning many of the domestic arts but my husband was awash with my adour and we enjoyed our total attachment to each other. I had the time and peace to delight in him. It truly was an incredible season in our life as was every stage of our family life. And now I get to do it all over again(with the children gone and married.)Although slightly hampered by ill-health in my endeavour to re-create and magnify the concentration on my beloved, I at least have some added skills I have learned over the years to help. I continue to learn so much more even now, and find I'm only touching the surface of many ways to bless him and run our household more efficiently and beautifully. I too, like you, am truly amazed at the time it takes to care for one man properly. I'm so thankful for the joy this lifestyle brings. Thanks Lydia for teaching what you do. Love from L.M.L.

Julie said...

i appreciate this post. i'm single, but even i see how i keep very busy between working (i'm out of my home from 7:30 to 5, 5 days a week) and then all the other things i would like to do with church friends and unchurched friends. and i totally see how families where the mom works, things are so much busier. i love the idea of how weekends and evenings can be freer if the wife can stay home and take care of "home business". i like being in the homes of lovely homemakers who value the tasks of the home.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, sometimes I wish I'd stayed home longer instead of knocking myself out in college when first married, but I also know that the casual networks of stay-at-home moms that I rely on now for company and support don't really exist for stay-at-home women WITHOUT kids.

I was home for about six months at first. Made curtains and dresses and socks, but had nobody to talk to for ten hours a day. I was sad and desperate for human contact, with my family thousands of miles away and my husband busy at work. My poor husband was literally my only real social contact most days. Too much for one man to take!

You couldn't really talk to the stay-at-home moms because you obviously didn't know much about motherhood, and you couldn't talk to the young women if you didn't have a job or school or somesuch to bond around. A strange bind.

I was really happy to go back to school and feel like a "real human being" again. lol.

But yes, now that I'm knee-deep in diapers, I sometimes wish I'd taken a more measured, leisurely approach to my first year of marriage.

Unknown said...

Oh Mrs. Sherman you write such great articles! I know this one is older now, but that doesn't lessen it's message. I came back to read it today. I rarely comment, but have been following your blog since 2008.

I also agree that it's of great importance for a women to begin staying home right from the get-go. I also worked for the first 15 months of our marriage before our first child was born and I felt such a pull to go back after she was born! I didn't go back, but it was so hard not to! That first year home and with a new baby was a very hard transition for me. Luckily I persevered and am still home 17 years and 5 babies later.

My husband has always rose up to the occasion and made enough income to support us. No, he does not have a trade or a univeristy degree. He works hard. He's been very supportive of me being home. He has grown over the years into such a confident manly provider, it's so wonderful to see how far he has come from our humble beginnings!

My children ranging in age from 17 down to 4. People, especially working women often feel the need to ask me what I do all day, and that surely I would be more useful to our family if I'd get a job and earn money. Some have said I need more purpose in my life and "me" money. (yes really!) I then have said that I have plenty of purpose, and that my husband's money is my money too and I lack nothing. They don't argue. I tell them that most days I'm so busy that there is not enough hours in a day to get everything done, let alone work another job, they look at me confused. I also tell them that with me home, we have a higher quality of life in many ways then if I worked out of the home. We are less stressed. My husband never has to miss work, interrupt his day or put his job in jepoardy because of a sick child and can focus on earning a living. We have more family time. I have more time to teach/guide the children. When my husband comes home he does not have to cook supper or do the shopping or laundry in his evening time. He gets quality home time with me and the children. He is able to tackle the home projects that we deem his job, such as repairs or home improvements, at his own pace, on his own time schedule. I have the time to devote to budgeting, shopping smart, family nutrition, well being, making our house a home, persuing my own interests etc. Working woman who have never stayed home can't see the wonderful blessings that occur when the wife stays home.

Stay home young mothers and you will be blessed beyond measure!

Have a great day Lydia and I am SO thankful for your blog and writings. God bless you!

Mrs. White

Unknown said...

Oh Mrs. Sherman you write such great articles! I know this one is older, but that doesn't lessen iht's message, as I came back to read it today. I rarely comment, but have been following your blog since 2008.

I also agree that it's of great importance for a women to begin staying home right from the get-go. I also worked for the first 15 months of our marriage before our first child was born and I felt such a pull to go back after she was born! I didn't go back, but it was so hard not to! That first year home and with a new baby was a very hard transition for me. Luckily I persevered and am still home 17 years and 5 babies later with no plans to go back.

My husband works hard to support us. He has grown over the years into such a confident manly provider! So great to see!

Our children range in age from 17 down to 4. People, especially working women sometimes have felt the need to ask me what I do all day and that I must be bored. That surely I need more of a purpose and meaning in my life than being "just" a SAHM and ask when I'm going to get a "real" job.I tell them confidently I have plenty of purpose. When I tell them that most days I'm so busy that there is not enough hours in a day to get everything done, they look at me unbelievingly confused. I also let them know that with me home, we have a higher quality of life in many ways than if I worked out of the home. I am less stressed. My husband never has to miss work or interrupt his day or put his job in jepoardy because of a sick/needy child and can focus on earning a living. We have more family time. I have more time to teach/guide the children. When my husband comes home he does not have to cook supper or do the shopping or laundry in his evening time. He has quality home time with me and the children. If he's tired, he can rest. He is able to tackle the home projects that we deem his job, such as repairs or home improvements, at his own pace, on his own time schedule. I have the time to devote to budgeting, family nutrition, well being, making our house a home, persuing my own interests etc. Even in this unstable economy, and believe me, we've seen our ups and downs over the years I've been dedicated to staying home making it a safe secure place for everyone.

Stay home young mothers and you will be blessed beyond measure!

Have a great day Lydia and I am SO thankful for your blog and writings. God bless you!

Mrs. White