A comment left on the post, Do You Pity the Girl at Home? Feminism Lies Again, further reveals our feminist indoctrination, the whole point of my original post, so I chose to address it separately. I challenge you to read this post objectively.
“I was raised with this idea that being at home is best just as you believe. So I have been at home with my babies since I was twenty. I don’t know that this was the right choice for me but then again it wasn’t really a choice for me, it was expected from me by all our homeschooling conservative friends and family….I was told this was the best way and I would be content at home. 15 years into it I’m tired. I know that homeschooling and homemaking don’t fulfill me…Please give your girls the freedom to make this choice for themselves.” -Katie
It resonates with all of us, doesn’t it? It feels right to say it. But take this comment and replace some words. Then compare our feelings/response. Watch:
“I was raised with this idea that career is best. After all, not one person asked me after graduation: “So, are you going to pursue a career at home, or are you going to work outside the home in addition to your career at home?” So I have worked a full time job since I was twenty. I don’t know that this was the right choice for me but then again it wasn’t really a choice for me, it was expected from me by all my friends and family….I was told this was the best way and I wouldn’t be content at home. 15 years into it I’m tired. (After all, I now have TWO full time jobs.) I know that an outside career doesn’t fulfill me…Please give your girls the freedom to make this choice for themselves.”
See, I wasn’t given a choice, as Katie wrongly assumed. From very early on, my teachers, friends and family fully expected me to go to college after graduation. And we all knew that one goes to college to “get a good job.”
And I did. And I felt betrayed. Two years into my teaching career I wanted to know why no one told me about the gut-wrenching I would feel as I drove away and left my 5 month old baby with the sitter. About how I would have to dry tears before I walked into the classroom, and stuff my broken heart deep down to carry on with my day.
Why hadn’t anyone prepared me for the exhaustion of rushing to get out the door early in the mornings and coming home at 4 or 5 p.m. with supper to cook, laundry to do, a house to maintain, a husband to encourage and two little ones to be a mommy to? I still had papers to grade, for crying out loud, who has time for a home? And when and how was I suppose to slow down enough to train my children, to shape their character, to daily teach them the important things in life that look small at first, but add up after years of attention?
Why didn’t they tell me I would spend a ton of money on quick lunches and meals and gas and clothes and school stuff? And that my health would suffer. I wasn’t prepared to feel stretched in every direction all the time, unable to really give my best to anything.
But this is “normal” they said. This is what everybody does. You just have to figure it out. NOT ONCE did anyone tell me it was OK to leave my career and manage my full time career at home. In fact, when I couldn’t do both any more, I quit my job teaching against almost unanimous opposition, feeling guilty even, being told I was burdening my husband. No, I wasn’t given a choice; I made it.
We’re not having this conversation, are we? Why? Because an outside career is honorable and an at-home career is not. Raising children and helping a husband is regarded as a low station in life. Working at a bank or an office is not. This was the entire point of my original post and the comment could not have reinforced it more. If we really believed that the career of investing in family was as important as any other career, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Now consider the comment but this time, it’s my husband (or yours) talking:
“I was raised with this idea that providing for my family is best just as you believe. So I have had a job since I was twenty. I don’t know that this was the right choice for me but then again it wasn’t really a choice for me, it was expected from me by all my friends and family….I was told this was the best way and I would be content working. 15 years into it I’m tired. I know that providing for my family doesn’t fulfill me…Please give your boys the freedom to make this choice for themselves.”
We’re not having this conversation either. Why? Because men provide and it’s the best for families and if men suddenly felt oppressed and made a mass exit out of the work force, it would wreck us. It doesn’t matter so much whether it “fulfills” them or not, or whether they are tired. Because life really isn’t about that. It’s about fulfilling my responsibilities and doing the best thing for my family.
The reality that few of us are willing to admit is that families need mothers and wives devoted full time to them. Are there women who have to work? Sure. But to acknowledge that and to call that “ideal” are two different things. (Hat tip: Matt Walsh)
My girls do have a choice. In fact, we’ve never had a conversation that suggests they couldn’t pursue an outside career. But there’s a reason for that.
They don’t have to experience something to understand it. They hear the horror stories my sister tells of two-year-olds who cry and scream all day for their mamas. They see the women around them who do have to work who are torn between that and family. They don’t feel envy for those women, they feel compassion. They wouldn’t choose it. And I pray they never have to.
Additionally, they are too fond of the freedom they know comes with managing a home to ever desire to be constricted by someone else’s schedule and demands. They know women with full time home careers ARE tired; how much more women who have the extra load of another job.
So yes, I agree with you, I need to give them a choice. A choice to not feel bad about choosing to pour their lives into raising people. A choice to say “no” to what almost everyone around them tells them they should do. A choice to be home-builders, upon which a healthy society is made. A choice to stand with their husbands and create a shelter for him from the battering of the world. A choice to be everything to a few people and, clothed in strength and dignity, to have some left over to care for the needs of others around her. A choice to use their gifts wisely, to continue their education, to be creative, to be resourceful, to be productive, to run a business, to flourish in a thousand ways.
We will do all we can to offer our girls this choice. And as a Christian woman, with daughters to instruct, how can I defy what Scripture has expressly commanded me, which a loving Heavenly Father has given FOR OUR GOOD:
“That the older women may teach the younger women…..to be keepers at home.”
I can’t pretend that families are just as well off without full time mothers and wives. And we are hurting ourselves to do so. Because if we were honest, we would be making more effort to support women at home and to bring women home who have to work. We wouldn’t, ourselves, be so easily swayed by the “better choice” only to find ourselves unfairly juggling two full time jobs.
Are there seasons where a woman is more free for outside pursuits? Sure!
But most young women will be married and have children. They will begin their season of adulthood with a full time job already. Let’s allow them and tell them the truth and rally behind them in their season of doing the most important work on the planet.
“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career. ” -C.S. Lewis