Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It Has Come To My Attention

That certain young married husbands in regions East

Have been encouraging their young, newly married wives to get a job.

Now, if all parties involved are happy to be a two income family, that's great.

However, if young wife is only getting a job because young husband thinks she needs to be "doing something" all day, then let me help set the record straight.

I've been learning to deal with the far side of raising children; re-thinking my "role" as the children age and leave home.

I regret to say that I haven't given any thought to the near side- life before children- for a very long time. It's been 21 years, after all.

To work, or not to work; that is a good question.

The first year of my own wedded bliss was spent at College, where we were both finishing up our education.

The second year I did "work". I taught piano and voice lessons a couple of evenings a week.

I believe I also continued to teach music lessons during the winter that we had our first baby, but it was convenient for her father to be home with her while I went out.

The work I did was something I enjoyed, and it helped a bit financially, but for the most part my husband and I both had an old fashioned notion that he would be the breadwinner and I would be the homemaker.

Or, to put it another way, he would bring home the bacon and I would cook it.

If titles and roles are at issue, maybe this will help:

(When one aspires to be a "Stay At Home Mom", one needs to know what one is before and after one has children to stay at home with.)

I propose that B.C. (Before Children) one is a P.S.A.H.M.

"Practicing Stay At Home Mom."

P.C.? (Post Children)

R.S.A.H.M. or "Retired Stay At Home Mom."

If you can live simply and comfortably with one partner's income then do.

When both of you are working, you run the risk of living into both incomes, and really feeling the loss of the second income when the children come along and she stops being paid for her work.

I consider that my "job" is very important. I hope that at the very least I make this house feel like a home. I hope that it's a place my husband and children, neighbours and friends, visitors and strangers feel welcomed and relaxed.

My hope is that this is a bit of a sanctuary in the midst of a crazy, frenetic world. An oasis of peace, maybe. A place where the kettle is always ready and the cookies are homemade.

I know some amazing women who are able to hold down full-time and part-time jobs as well as keep their homes running smoothly.

I also know that I'm not that kind of woman.

I'm sure I could do it; but I'm also pretty sure I would be less content and much more stressed out.

I think that part of the beauty of what I do, is in my attitude and spirit. When I'm content and peaceful, it flows out of me and makes my space a peaceful place to be.

I figure that in a mad, mad, mad world, someone in the family needs to be centered and restful. I stay in the center of the storm; no matter how your day has gone, how wired you are, how tired, stressed out, frazzled or defeated you might feel- home is a haven.

And if you've married a woman who has the ability to find contentment creating a sanctuary for you and the children you will some day have- let her live into that calling if she wants to.

Think what a blessing it would be to come home to a home. With a woman who loves you and has spent much of her day creating a haven for you to retreat to.

And so ends the rant.

Now, to check on that rising bread dough...


  1. You said something up about halfway - "one needs to know what one is before and after one has children to stay at home with." I don't know that you meant it this way exactly but what you say is true. You need to know yourself before and after you have children. I think that for some this means they need to explore what it would mean for them to get a job, what it would mean if they have children and be away from home working. It is not all about the extra income. Sometimes it is about a vocation that needs to be fulfilled. And I suspect that in the coming years it may be about a need for both partners to share more equally in the job of childrearing and maintaining the integrity of the family.

    Nevertheless, I think you have given your family a gift by the choices you've made and that it has been as right for you to do that as it has been right for me not to.

    And Randall is one lucky guy to have had you creating that "sanctuary".

  2. Amen to that! I work and try to make my house a home at the same time. There are a lot of times where I feel overwhelmed, but I also know that I would not be content staying at home everyday. I believe that people should be able to stay home, if that is what they want to do (and if they are financially able to do that).

    Stay at homers (as I know men who do the same thing you describe) do a lot - even if it isn't paid financially, and even if it isn't always recognized.

  3. I really like these thoughts. I have worked since forever. I was back at my job when my baby was just a week old! (I know, stupid me!!)
    I wish I would have stayed home, at least until Kaden started Kindergarten, which is this fall.
    I love the sanctuary you describe and I wish I had that.

  4. Preach it sister !
    What you are preaching is our God given calling to be ourselves, without comparing ourselves to others who are different or judging them.
    Who said that one model of womanhood fits all ? Not God I think !

  5. Interesting juxtaposition if this post with the last.

    I'm married to someone that went back to work because staying at home drove them nuts (no fun to come back to after a long day) and being out actually brought more peace to the home. This was NOT our expectation: the plan was for Chris to look after kids and me to work. At least we were young enough to be flexible.