A Woman’s Right to Come Home
Women have spent decades fighting for the same privileges men have always enjoyed. Females were still fighting for the right to vote a century ago. Mrs. Banks was distracted from caring for her family by her role as a suffragette in Disney’s original Mary Poppins movie. Mr. Banks was neglecting his children because he was overly concerned with his job. Those were the days! The tone of that old Disney movie clearly frowned upon mothers neglecting the children in the home to pursue things outside the home. Today’s culture frowns upon a woman if she chooses to take more than 6 weeks off work to care for her infant, and does not recognize a woman’s right to come home.
Grandma is not Permitted to Retire
Lately It’s been brought to my attention that all women desiring to come home are fighting for that right- not just women like me who’ve been birthin’ babies and homeschooling for several decades. I read a post today by a 57 year-old-woman who recently lost her very stressful job. She and her husband had been living frugally for decades. Her transition to the home was not financially straining, yet she struggled with the fear that people would think she was lazy or unmotivated if she chose to retire early. Yes, today’s mindset calls even married grandmothers to work, even when it’s financially unnecessary.
There were many, many comments on this post. Another woman had been berated by family and friends because she left a stressful managerial job to work in a position that was less demanding.
Other comments on the post suggested that the author needed to at least work part-time, or devote a large portion of her time volunteering. The author commented that she might consider volunteering-but not just yet. You can read her original post here.
God Gives Women Permission to be Home
Why are women made to feel so guilty if they choose to be home? As a culture, we’ve forgotten what the Bible says in Titus 2:4-5
Titus 2:4-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Also, if you examine the life of the Proverbs 31 woman (read Proverbs 31:10-31 here), all of her work was done around the sphere of her home. She made cloth on a spinning wheel (in her home), then sold her products to merchants (think ETSY). This woman bought land with her profits, and planted a vineyard (also around her home). She had time to gather food from afar and make clothes of scarlet to keep her family warm in the winter. The Proverbs 31 woman also reached out to help the poor. The tired, overworked women of today can do little more than grab some food from McDonalds and place a pick-up grocery store order at Sams Club or Walmart. I know because I’ve been there.
My Life As A Working Woman
I was a woman who had to work. I was raised to “stand on my own two feet,” because of my mother’s demise after my parent’s divorce. I earned my Early Childhood degree, and made a little bit more money than my husband. Our budget was totally dependent on my income, making it very difficult for me to come home. I’ve talked to many women who were brought up the same way. Women vowed to be different after seeing their mothers fall apart when widowed or divorced. They chose to be educated and entrenched in the work force in case of disaster. If I hadn’t become a Christian, I would never given myself permission to come home. You can read about my journey to becoming a stay-at-home-mom here.
Don’t Expect the Culture to Approve
My journey home was filled with persecution and disapproval. Currently homeschooling the youngest two of our five children, I’ve been home for 22 years at this point in my life. You would think that people would have left us alone by now. Just last week a relative attacked me about our lifestyle. Another person in my life drops frequent comments about women that like to “lay around on their backsides (only that isn’t the exact word used).” I won’t even go into the effort it takes to birth, breastfeed, homeschool, and maintain a home (our oldest daughter doesn’t live at home anymore.) where 2 adults and 4 children live. Remember, if you are obeying the Lord, persecution WILL come.
Do Not Listen to the World
The world will tell you that your family will starve, or that your children will never go to college if you come home. That is simply not true. Today, our dual-income counterparts have just as much debt (if not more) as our single-income friends. Our oldest child attended college for 2 years and acquired zero debt. Our son is currently in nursing school, and our third child will be going off to college in the fall. If you obey the Lord, your life may be harder in the short term, but HE will not let you be ashamed in the end.
Be A Worker At Home
Women aren’t called to be “consumers at home,” watching television all day and living the Life of Riley while their husbands provide everything. They are called to be workers at home. Younger women at home already have their hands full with cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing, but older homemakers like me are free to engage in some type of cottage industry, while continuing to maintain the home.
Our Cottage Industry
My girls and I have the privilege of being hired to clean my very good friend’s Airbnb. The house is right across the street. We clean it 6 or 7 times per month, on average. My 14 year-old puts clean sheets on the bed, and my younger daughter swiffers and dusts. I clean the bathrooms and sweep. I do not allow that pursuit to come before my primary duties of wife, homemaker, and mother, although I’m grateful for the opportunity. Also, I have to be wary not to let blogging overtake the job given to me by the Lord.
If You Are A Working Woman Who Wants to Be Home
Do Not Be Ashamed
Do not be ashamed of the desire to come home. God’s word is written on the hearts of all men, whether they acknowledge it or not. Begin preparing for the transition if your husband is in agreement. Read how God took care of Hagar, and her son Ishmael, here, if you are a single mother, or a working woman who cannot come home right now. She was a woman who became a single mother through no choice of her own, and was ultimately banished from her secure home.
Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
I wish I could go back and tell my old self how unnecessary purchases hinder one’s ability to come home comfortably. My brain would think, wow, this isn’t so bad, and I would buy things we didn’t need with the money I was earning. My daughter would get sick, or I would be asked to attend yet another evening PTO Meeting, and the lamenting of my heart regarding spending on unneeded items would begin again. This unhealthy cycle hindered my ability to come home.
Plan for Health Insurance
I transitioned to a part-time job before I came home. Financially prepared families do not have to worry about part- time transitioning. It gave me the opportunity to switch my daughter and I to my husband’s health insurance plan, which cost us several hundred dollars more per month than we were paying when I worked full time.
Downsize Before You Come Home
We totally failed in this area. Our tight budget included a car payment, and a land payment on an empty lot that we should have gotten rid of beforehand. We tried to have our cake and eat it too- don’t do that. Get rid of non-vital items, especially if they include a monthly payment or extra insurance (boats, extra cars, campers, unimproved land).
Prepare Your Heart
Prepare your heart and mind to come home. Pray like crazy and live in HIS word. I would not have made it without the assurance that being a worker at home was God’s will for women. Luckily, I was surrounded by like-minded women who helped me rise above the disapproving voices of workmates and family members.
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