I came across a blog post moaning about homemaking. It would have made me depressed to be a homemaker if I wasn't one and haven't experienced the truth. Reading it caused me to think more about the subject and I've decided to counter some of the popular myths.
Myth Number One: You need to be rich or at least well off to be a homemaker or stay at home Mama.
Before our oldest daughter was born, a book shop nearby was going out of business and I picked up a short book titled, "You Can be a Stay at Home Mom". I don't recall the author but it introduced me to the basics of being a stay at home mom and made me realize what was at stake. At that time Sean and I were making about the same income, neither one great, but both of us knew I should stay home with our new child.
When our bald headed beauty was born, our income was cut in half suddenly. We had Sean's school loans, a mortgage, and monthly bills. Both of us drove beaters. We made do and were contented doing so, knowing that building and investing in our family would pay off in the long term more than anything else.
Some quick ways we did:
1. Shopping second hand for just about everything: cars, clothing, and furniture.
2. Cooking from scratch.
3. Beginning to make a weekly menu.
4. Growing a small garden (in the city).
Over the years I have kept a home on a very, very meager income (below the national poverty level and without public assistance), and on a very spacious income. It can be done either way. The principles are the same.
Most Americans cannot fathom living simply or being contented without "having". Do you realize most German's live well on $17,000 a year (according to the statistics). The difference is the German idea of living well and the Americans. Most Americans think they need cable, two vehicles, luxurious vacations, and at the least the freedom to buy what they want on credit.
Myth Number Two: Being a Homemaker is bad for your marriage.
Yes, I can see how coming home to a (mostly) organized home and a hot fresh meal could badly influence your husband! ;) If, however, he is coming home to a complaining, nagging wife then, yes, your marriage will suffer. However, I believe it would be the wife's personal indiscipline and lack of kindness that would be causing the marriage feathers to be ruffled and not the homemaking. Ouch, yes, I know.
Myth Number Three: Being a stay at home Mom may not be best for your children.
Now, is this because they are being screamed at all day or because they get read to and taught and nurtured?
One of my pet peeves (a gentle way of putting it) is hearing people say that they don't have the patience to be around children. As if God shorted them.
How about developing the discipline to control yourself and keep a quiet spirit? Then the patience comes. Patience is a virtue we allow God to develop in our spirits. Enough said.
I'd encourage anyone who thinks leaving the kiddos with anyone other than a parent is a great idea to research the statistics on the matter.
Myth Number Four: Being a stay at home Mom is a waste of intelligence
Because negotiating world (home) peace is an easy thing to do, right? And having to be an expert in everything from plumbing and poison control to kitchen chemistry and child behavior doesn't take much intelligence? Why not use our intelligence to better our families before letting it benefit a company we have no vested interest in? Or is it that you have to get paid for what you do in order to be considered or feel intelligent? I'm not sure.
Myth Number Five: Deciding to be a stay at home mom and devote yourself to homemaking will make you grieve for company.
Honestly, I am too busy to miss adult company during the day. Call me antisocial if you like.
If you are a homemaker or stay at home Mama, and you do feel like you need adult interaction during the time your husband is gone, invite a friend over for tea. It's nice. I do it.
Cultivating a heart and home of hospitality is a good thing. Sitting around moping is not.
Myth Number Six: (This is a biggie in some Christian circles) Being your children's mother keeps you from "real" ministry.
I cannot even imagine a good argument for this. I've never heard one.
Because ministering from your home doesn't count, right? Like bringing food to neighbors or watching a pregnant mothers kids so she can rest or growing food that you share with a needy family....
Or ministering to the little ones every day isn't worth much? After all they can't give you recognition or testify up front on Sundays as to your faithfulness...
Putting "ministry" before your children and family is like putting the horse before the cart in my mind. If you do not have the patience or will to minister effectively to your family, how can you minister effectively to others?
Thought this little bit was interesting: http://www.albertmohler.com/commentary_read.php?cdate=2006-02-24