A Homemaker’s Day
A day in the life of the traditional homemaker is markedly different from the day of a woman in the workforce.
Before I Came Home
When I had my first child, Augusta, I was teaching kindergarten in the public schools. I would wake up at 7 am and hurriedly get ready, knowing that I had a 25 minute drive ahead of me and an 8:15 required arrival time. Oh, how I hated to wake up my baby so early in the morning! My husband worked shift work at that time. If he was working, I had to drop her off at my mother-in-law’s house. If he was at home, I would leave her sleeping in her crib.
After a harrowing day of teaching 27 kindergartners, and pumping my breasts during my lunch break, I would head to my car at the earliest possible moment. Upon arrival at my mother-in-law’s house, I would hear about all the things Augusta did that day. Many of her firsts were experienced by my husband’s mother.
If my husband was at home with Augusta, I expected everything to be perfect when I walked in the door. I wanted to see a sparkling house and a clean baby. I don’t know why I placed such high expectations on my working/child-caring husband (he often suffered with a low amount of bottled breast milk for feeding AND a demanding wife). I think I pressured him to perform well because I resented being away from my baby.
I came home shortly after Augusta’s two-year-old birthday. There was a long, financial struggle ahead of us filled with marital discord, blood, sweat, and tears out of which we’ve only recently emerged after nearly 30 years of marriage. It’s rough emotionally, physically, and mentally when you don’t have the money to pay your bills. Many of our financial problems occurred because all of our bills were based on two incomes before I came home. Also, we tended to be defensive rather than offensive when it came to money and debt. Financial problems generally lead to marital problems.
When the kids were little, my husband and I argued a lot. My family constantly questioned my status as a homemaker, or the amount of children we were having (we have 5). I was humbled, beyond belief, many times by our raggedy cars, the lack of groceries in our house, and the private struggles of my marriage .
I had no relatives to support or encourage me on my journey homeward (although they did support us in many other ways, they did not approve of me choosing to stay at home). Their disapproval of our lifestyle made it impossible to share my pain with them. My father has always been on my team, and I’m closer to him than anyone outside my immediate family. But, I know that he was concerned about our financial future, and the pressure on my husband to provide. My mother was supportive, but was addicted to alcohol, lived far away, and died fairly young. I don’t think family members intended to be disapproving. They were just doubtful regarding our ability to survive as a large, one-income family. God and my fellow homemaking friends made all the difference during those hard times. Reading my Bible, praying, and hanging out with liked-minded people were true lifesavers. Looking back at yesterday’s struggles, it was all worth it.
Uplifting Encouragement For Homemakers
As an encouragement to all downtrodden homemakers suffering financial, and possibly marital, consequences for coming home, I’m here to offer an uplifting word. First of all, remember that God called you home. It IS his will for women to be the keepers of the home. You may have family members and friends asking questions like this:
What about your retirement?
Don’t you think you could help your family more by bringing in a paycheck?
How will you be able to afford college for your children?
Doesn’t it take two, these days, to earn a living?
Why aren’t you working (at a paid job), and helping your husband?
Are you going back to work once the kids go to school?
Do you just sit around all day?
They may tell you that God’s command only applied to the first century, or that women don’t need to be home now that we have so many modern appliances, etc. Answer their questions as Biblically and politely as possible, knowing that the natural man doesn’t understand the things of the spirit.
My Beautiful Life Today
Now, 22 years after I first came home, let me walk you through my day.
When I wake up as a homemaker, I have my coffee first. I drink my java and pet my beautiful Morkie, Hercules. By that time, my husband is off to work. I always get a goodbye kiss. Next, I might start a load of clothes or work on my blog. I don’t have to worry about getting ready. I can wear pajama pants until lunch if necessary. For the blog, I might be arranging a tablescape, working on a DIY project for the home, or writing a post like this. My work has a purpose. My blogging goal is to encourage homemakers struggling in marriages, homeschooling their children, worrying over adult children, trying to raise a family after being raised in a blended family, living in a small space, learning to cook, decorating on a budget, or experiencing financial problems, etc. The point is, now that my youngest is 10 years old, I have time to enrich the lives of other women who are traveling the same roads I’ve already passed through.
Next, I wake up my two girls. They are the youngest of our five children. One is in 5th grade, the other in 8th. As they begin their morning school work, we listen to Adventures in Odyssey with my phone. Usually one of them reads a chapter aloud from whatever book they’re currently reading. Everyone has to finish Math before noon.
Then, we make lunch. When you homeschool, you always know what everyone likes and dislikes on their sandwiches. My older children usually eat with us. We might ask my 21 year-old son (currently in nursing school) to make his special guacamole recipe, or send my 17 year-old daughter (currently taking dual enrollment classes at the local technical college) to the store for a missing ingredient, or pick up McDonald’s on Fridays. It is a blessing to be at home together.
After lunch we study Science and History. Some days are mundane. Other days we make hands-on projects and go on field trips. Last week we made a Europe map from play dough, and a giant sugar cookie animal cell model. Since I’m responsible for keeping the books, I often balance the checkbook or pay bills at this time. Thankfully, we can pay our debts now. The Lord has blessed my husband’s income fourfold since I came home. When I look around at our two-income friends and relatives, I don’t see where their financial picture is that much brighter than ours.
I’m also available in the afternoons to go to Dr.’s appointments or run errands with my older children. We’re just doing everyday things, but as we’re out picking up a prescription, or buying books for college classes, my children are talking to me about their lives. I wouldn’t trade one single afternoon with one of my children (older or younger) for all the riches in the world.
This evening, my 14 year-old has ballet, and my 10 year-old has softball practice, so we’ll be on the go. I’ll put my pork in the crockpot for Cubano Sandwiches at 11 am, so that dinner will be ready to eat at 7 pm. At that time we’ll be back from our adventures, and my husband and 17 year-old daughter will be home from softball practice (he is a part-time coach). My son will emerge from his studies (or computer games). He works on the weekends and has classes, labs, and clinicals during the week. Everyone will sit at the Meadow Garden Tablescape I created yesterday, and eat the Cubano Sandwiches.
I don’t have to worry about a messy house, rushing home to make a processed dinner, or hearing about my children’s lives from other people. Like Moses, we have forsaken the riches of this world to be with God’s people. I am abundantly blessed, and thankful to the Lord for bringing me home. I’m also grateful to my husband for working so hard for us, so that I can spend today and everyday as a homemaker.
This post was featured at: Tuesdays With A Twist
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