Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What I'm Going to Do Now

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

The trouble with living alone is that it's always your turn to do the dishes. ~Author Unknown

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. ~Nancie J. Carmody

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots. ~Hoosier Farmer

Tit 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Now that my children are grown, and gone from home (well....there is a slight technicality there--they DO come back, and they bring more with them!), here is what I am going to do.

1. All these years my husband and I have looked after our children. I'd like to focus more attention on my husband and do some things with him.

2. I hope to get a chance to really catch up to all those things that I was constantly putting off, when my children were being raised. I have scrapbooks and photograph albums to catalog and date. I have old clothes to sort through. I have bedrooms to convert into office or sewing rooms or guest rooms. I have to go through my children's belongings and make a trunk of their childhood things, for each one of them. I have also fallen behind in house work and house repair. I am going to repaint the house and re-decorate. Maybe I'll get rid of the old worn out couch and get a new one. I would like to give the house a fresh new look.

3. There has not always been a lot of time for the ladies of the church. I would dearly love to have more time to host them in my home for Bible study and to take in younger women who want to learn to sew or keep house. I'd like to be able to serve others more, that are outside my own family.

4. I need to recover my health. I'm going to start getting more rest and devote more time to the garden so I can get more exercise.

5. I am going to plan a trip to visit my own mother and father. When I was a busy mother myself, I did not have as much time for them.

6. I'm going to be available for any of my children who may need my help, or who may come home for awhile.

7. All the way back in history, my ancestor mothers and grandmothers, aunts, etc. were homemakers full time. I would like to experience what that life was like, by doing it myself. I would also like to see what following the Titus 2 model will be like. I'd like to experience it! I'd really like to try it! I want to see how it works and how effective it is.

8. Since I have sewn for others over the years, I've fallen behind in sewing for myself. I am first going to catch up on that, and create myself a nice wardrobe that I can confidently wear, that even young people will like enough to want to know how to sew and how to dress modestly.

9. Since I homeschooled my children, I'm going to be available for encouragement for my grandchildren.

10. I'm looking forward to getting into my fabric stash (which came out of the closet) making little dresses for my adorable "Miss Pooh Bear" at The Pleasant Times.

You asked if I considered going to work outside the home. It is interesting that you should ask that. I've got too much to do at home, and my husband's salary is enough for both of us, especially since we've been eliminating a lot of expenses and lowering our debt. With the children gone, I am learning more and more about ways that two can live as cheaply as one, and how to manage on our income. Also, as I am getting older now, I want to be able to lie down and rest when I feel the need to do so. I need to be home to prepare meals for my husband and keep his clothes laundered and ironed and help him get ready for work in the morning.

I'm still very much needed at home, and I have a lot of experience in homemaking that I would like to use now, and also pass on to others. If I leave my home too often, it will suffer neglect. As I want to be a good example to other women, I can't really go out to work and neglect my home. I would be just to tired to keep house after work. Most women my age are retired, anyway and would not be out in the working world. I am not retired, as there is still a job for me at home.

As gas is so high these days, I think I'll not buy it and use the money maybe for hospitality or to help someone in need. I don't really need to add to the morning traffic, and I think it will leave the jobs for those who do not have a breadwinner in the family. I enjoy what I am doing, now, and am personally fulfilled by it. I do thank you for your concern, and I hope I've answered your question. Please, let me know when I can set aside some time to have you over for tea. I am trying out some new recipes that I've always wanted to use. Here is my number. Be sure to call me. I'm usually home.


Lydia said...

This is a very polite response that will influence and build good will at the same time. You would probably laugh to hear what people would have said to such a question "in the old days." Women at home actually thought that was a very funny question and would have said something quite outrageous such as "You always said house work wasn't rocket science, so now I'm going to study rocket science." It did not make much sense but they really thought it was a nonsensical question and they answered it as such. "That's for me to know and you to find out," or "That is on a right to know basis and you don't have a right to know." Actually people were not as polite about this question as they are now. They seemed a lot more blunt.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for this post! I have a better idea of a gracious response when I am asked , "What DO you do all day?" Blessings to you, Dee

Sibyl said...

I remember when I quit the workforce, how people asked me what was I going to do all day. I look back now and wonder how in the world did I work and attempt to take care of our home, and children. At times I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do. I do take care of what I need to do.

Thank you so very much for your wisdom, even for us older women I do appreciate all that you write about. Even though I am not newly coming home, or first year, there are so much wise wisdom in what you write.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I remember when I decided to stay at home, my family wondered what I was going to do all day :-)

I find that when I tend to other things that are not family related, or house related, that is where I loose complete control of my time.

I agree with you, when you do go out, everything else falls behind.

Thank you Lady Lydia for such an encouraging post.



Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear Lydia, what an encouraging post! I think women without children face these questions most often... and I mean both young wives who don't have children yet, and older women whose children have grown up and left. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Lara said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
You really don't need to tell anyone what you're going to do. There's plenty to do when you're a homemaker, whether you have children at home or not. But I loved your post. Very well written and so encouraging. There is something wonderful and very useful that you are already doing: sharing your wisdom with younger women like me. Thank you.

Lydia said...

Lady Lara, that is true. But, what if someone asks you the question: Since you have no children at home, what are you going to do?" Should we just smile and walk away, shaking our head in wonderment; should we answer and tell a few things that keep us busy, or should we say we are keeping house?

Lynn said...

Lovely post. It struck me this week that my children need my time less and less. But it is still good to be available to them which I wouldn't be if I was out at work. I also felt a huge freedom that I could look after my husband, home & neglected areas (me!)more.
I am happy at home.

candy said...

This was great!

The other day Rob (my husband) and I were meeting with a financial planner who asked Rob what he did for a living. Rob told him and then the man looks and me and asks what I do for a living :) :)

I said "I'm Rob's wife" with a smile on my face and twinkle in my eye :)
The man didnt quite know how to reply to that and there was a bit of awkward silence for about 20 seconds hahaa. I guess the man was trying to figure out what to say to that LOL But then he says "well then, now that I think about it, thats a full time job. I can sure appreciate that!"
He got it. He understood, after he gave it a quick thought. Yes, being a wife IS a full time job! Being a keeper of home IS a full time job!
Of course Rob had a big proud grin on his face because he liked that I had replied " Im Robs wife".
Back in the good ol days it was enough to be "just a wife" or "just a homemaker". Now people get stumpped for a second when you tell them.. which is just unreal to me. I mean, most peoples Mothers or GrandMothers were "just a wife".

This was a great post!

Thursday's Child said...

Seems to me you keep doing what you did before, only with fewer interruptions. ;)Theoretically speaking anyway. DH seems to be able to interrupt as easily and as many times as the 3 kids. LOL

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I am a 32 year old homemaker without children. My husband and I have one baby in heaven and pray the good Lord will bless us with another child. I can attest to the fact that homemakers without children can be busy too. I always have something to do. Right now I am making slipcovers for my sofa's. I love being a homemaker and I have finally come to the point where I don't care what others think about me. I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful homelife. All that matters to me is what Jesus thinks and I love Him and He continually blesses me everyday as a homemaker.

The Lady of the House said...

I'm already being asked this. My little one is only 3 and will only be going to preschool for 2.5 hours two days a week. I'm thankful that my husband asked that I spend the time resting, exercising, or doing some other fun activity that I just can't manage with my little one around -- like writing a good, long letter or sewing projects.

This is a very good answer that you've provided -- a very kind response.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, thanks for responding to that question with all honesty and integrity. For me am always soooooo blessed visiting your blog. Theres alot of wisdom i draw from your experiences, and I just want to say. Your trully a living inspiration to the womankind...especially to us the young ones, who are yet to take that path of life called Marriage....May God so richly reward your sharing spirit.

Many, many blessings.
Lady Barbra, from Uganda, East Africa.

Unknown said...

Enjoyed your post. But I am not one for wait til the kids are out of my house to update it. I want them to know the comforts of home is & how to do it. They need to know how to take care of things.
My plans for retirement are more voluntary work. Right now taking the kids to their voluntary work is mine also. When I am done raising them I too can donate my time. I look forward to it. Then there are the grandbabies that I will be enjoying. I can see weeks at grandmas house. I have that already w/my oldest daughters kids but there is more to come.
I can't wait but yet I can b/c I love raising my kids & enjoying our time together.

Jennifer said...

My children go to traditional schools, and in one more year my youngest will be gone too. I have already been asked by people, what are you going to do all day, and are you going to get a job? I still have a lot of work to do, and I spend some time volunteering at the school. Everytime one of my children is sick, I am filled with gratitude that I can still be there. I spent my summers raising my siblings because my parents both worked. My mother retired recently, and you won't beleive how much, as an adult, I love having my mother at home. There is always peace knowing your mom is available if you need her. Sorry this is so long. Thank you for staying home and encouraging us!

Anonymous said...

I've just been asked this question twice in the past two weeks! Why? Because my oldest is going to Kindergarten in September for two hours a day!!!! Oh yes, all that free time, I really should go get a paid job, ha ha.

One inquirer was an older woman who always worked outside the home, and was divorced and had one child.

She said, "When you're done with 'this' (gesturing to my home), what are your dreams, what do you want to do then? Will you go back to work?" I said, "Never." She almost fell off of the couch.

~ Ann

Kimberline said...

I loved the post and I dearly loved all the comments with each lady sharing her own experience.

I get SO much encouragement from the articles and the posts here.

Thanks to everyone who takes time to share in the blog comments. Lydia, as always, thank you for the time you put into this site and for your lovely articles.

Julie said...

What a beautiful life. I am striving everyday to be able to enjoy homemaking with five small children. What a lovely goal this post gives me! That is the older woman I would like to be someday. Thank you. Ahem, I think I will move nearby so you can teach me some of your amazing skills. :)

Candy, girl, if I did not love you before I sure would now! What a wonderful response, my dear!

jules said...

I read an article the other day that was talking about a 'new trend' with women (without children specifically) who were staying at home (taking care of their Husbands and homes) instead of working. They actually called SAHWs 'trophy wives' and said that they were a 'status symbol', a way to show that the Husband made so much money, their wives didn't 'have' to work. heh.

Go figure. They sure don't get it do they?

The interesting thing? All the Husbands of those 'trophy wives' LOVED the fact that their wives were at home, caring for them and their homes.

Anonymous said...

I think I will leave the jobs for those who do not have a breadwinner in the family.

Even before I really realized how needed I am in my home, as a SAHW w/o children, I always felt the same way. I felt it would be selfish to take a job away from someone who might *truly* need it just so I can feel 'fulfilled'. If someone really needs to get outside of their house that much then why not just volunteer somewhere and leave the paying jobs for those who truly need them.

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Good post. Good answer.

Mrs.B said...

Thank you so much for this post. My mothere in law rejoined the work force when her little ones left the nest. One downfall of that is she is unavaliable for her grandchildren. It is hard to tell the little ones why grandma can not come for a visit because she is working. Don't get me wrong we hold grandma up but I wish she could be avaliable more for her grandchildren because they miss so much when they do not know their grandmother.
I have enjoyed your blog. Thankyou for posting for us to read and learn.

Mrs. V. said...

I think it is so funny that people would expect a lady to go back to work once the children are grown. If she and her husband were able to make ends meet while she was caring for the home all those years, why would they then need an extra income once there are less mouths to feed?

I think it is a good thing to think about what you want to do in your home after raising the children. While I am still many years away from that myself, my mind does wander there from time to time. I had a wonderful mother, but she could not come to terms with my leaving the nest. She could not see beyond it. She even said she equated it with the end of her life! That was quite a burden for me to carry as I left home, and I don't want to do that to my children. So when you make plans for yourself post-children, you are not only doing yourself a service, but your children as well. How much happier and carefree it makes them when they know that mother is happy and content and not spending her weeks pining away for them to be back home.

xoxo, Chloe said...

I found your blog and have been enjoying reading all of your posts. I am a single gal that has an office job but I'd rather be at home of course. Thank you for your uplifting articles.

Katrinka said...

I REALLY like what you say about spending more time with your husband! Our daughter is still at home, but my husband and I have a lot more time alone together. Over the years, I've learned to really enjoy snatching a few moments of peace and quiet here and there without having to have everything done before I can relax. So, when he is free and I am free and our daughter isn't home, there is such a sweetness about the time we spend together on the sofa, holding hands and watching old reruns of really good TV shows or movies. What is great, is that our daughter loves to see us this way! We were walking into Starbucks one day, holding hands, and a corporate 30-something lady came out and grinned at us and said, 'You two are SO CUTE!' And what a good example of aged love (aged as in good cheese, good wine, good fruitcake :)). I don't think we had such peaceful times together when we were younger and more intense.

Really good point, Lady Lydia! And I haven't even had time to finish reading the whole post!

Sherry said...

So many wonderful comments! I, too, was pressured to work when I had 5 young children at home! It amazed me. Now, even though my oldest is 23, two are in heaven, & I'm home schooling only 2, I still find I can't get everything done. I am looking forward to being supportive to my grown children as they have children. I can be supportive as, hopefully, they are blessed with more than the "normal" number of children & they home school them. I want to give them the kind of support that I wish I had had.

Mimi said...

Lovely answer to a question that we are so often asked nowadays! When I was a young bride, there were many "older" women who stayed in the home even after their children were grown, and these women were such a great help to the church and to young wives and mothers, like me. I miss those days when there were so many experienced homemakers

Now that my children are grown, I thought I would have tons of time to devote to various projects. My husband and I even wanted to foster a teenaged child. Then, my dad became ill. If I worked full time outside of my home, I would not be able to tend to his needs and church needs and still be the wife and keeper at home I want to be. You can't always foresee how valuable your time at home will be during your empty nest years.

Anonymous said...

We've been away on vacation, so I'm just catching up. Wonderful post. But I was saddened when I read our Sunday School class newsletter of the week, another long-term homemaker in the class has decided to join the work force and asked for prayers for help in finding employment :o( sigh.....we are new to the church and I'm not sure of their financial situation, but their children are grown and I'm wondering if she's just feeling the pressure to "do something" I just hate to see this trend even within the church community. blessings, Marie

Bek said...

I just found your blog and have really enjoyed reading it.

What you have just written is what I have been thinking about and looking for.

Thanksyou for setting an example

Becky said...

I am a 27 year old SAHM with two small children, a 3 1/2 yo girl and a 21mo boy (and a tiny mite in Heaven).

I have been married for five years (our wedding day was exactly three weeks after I graduated from college).

I'd like to ask your advice on how to find a woman such as yourself in 'real life' to encourage and teach me. I don't know how to sew, sweep, vacuum properly, cook, or manage a home in general. I read ladies' blogs on these subjects and they seem so adept, but I really need a live, flesh and blood, woman here showing me.

Between having two small children so close in age and not 'having my act together' in the home, I feel as though I'm drowning!

Lydia said...

Becky, if you will indicate either here or by email, what town you live in, I will try to find the email or phone number of someone that you can contact.