I've been working on a book for.... hmmmm.... 10 years now. Yes, 10 years. It is slow and life is crazy but I am glad it is taking that long.... the older I get, the older my kids get, the more information I see as necessary. The title? "The Art of Housewifery" Why? Because I believe being a housewife is truly an art. One which society wants to bag as a "JUST" job.
JUST a housewife.
JUST a stay-at-home mom.
JUST a homeschooler.
Women, we are never JUST anything! We are so much more.
I could write on about how society gives housewifery a black eye. About how the WWII era sparked women to begin pouring out of households by the droves. About how the women's lib movement says we, women, are and ought to be treated equal to men.
But I won't waste the page space on those topics here!
We are NOT like men. p.e.r.i.o.d. Should we be treated fairly? YES. But more than all those issues, in my mind, is the lost art of housewifery and the complete lack of understanding (and implementation) of it. Being a housewife (with or without children of any age) IS a full-time job. But I will start with what it is NOT in order that I might dis-spell any myths which tend to taint our mighty calling.
It is NOT....
- watching t.v. all day.
- leaving jobs like dishes, laundry or any other remedial housework for husbands to do when they get home after a long day of work.... (I will elaborate)
- sleeping in because there is no 'job' to wake early for
- needlessly scheduling so much out of the house that you are rarely in the house (this isn't Beverly Hills T.V. housewives here!)
It is not anything which might fall under any one of the above categories.
- a JOB
which means it IS...
- T.V.s off to eliminate distractions (and temptation!)
- focused on others above self
- looking at each task, each piece of laundry, dirty dish, vacuumed carpet and so on as OUR responsibility... (of course there are always sick days... ours or our families... health issues, emergencies and, best of all, those sweet little babies we have which require cuddles and feedings and distractions on every level.... simply evidence that a darling little life is one of the things more important than scrubbing pots and floors.)
- waking to soak up time with the Lord and time with the husband before he darts off for his day... waking early because our home and our family ARE our beloved job
- being at.home. to tend to the need-tos before running off and doing the want-tos.
It is so much more than I could write in one concise blog (which is why I am endlessly building a book on it!) and it is near and dear to my heart. The art of housewifery is an endless attempt at balance and prioritizing which we don't always get right, but we work hard at, and doesn't end because the clock chimes "5". If we want to look at the rise in youth delinquency and divorce since wives/moms poured out of homes or the degradation of family values since women were told they didn't need a man or the art of housewifery, it would be a good start. I know not everyone can (or is called to) be a stay-at-home.... but those who are need to know:
Your Job is a beautiful ART.
It is a worthwhile investment of time and energy. And despite the dogma which clouds the housewifery of pre-liberation: homes, marriages, children... dare I say SOCIETY.... are happier with a housewife who realizes this.
Don't give up.
Keep your list of to-dos and invest.... invest in your family with your time and energy and watch the returns. They may not happen right away and they may only trickle in at times. But the returns, truly, are eternal. The Lord is your strength for each task, each focus on others instead of self, because you know you are building a better future and deeper hope.
Each scrubbed floor, dusted shelf, fluffed pillows, clean dish and home-cooked meal = not just a house where people live but a HOME where family resides and a doorway for God's love to pour through.
I pray your to-dos don't do you in, that your eyes are focused on the greater goal for the road often makes us weary but the greater reward still lies ahead. Press on.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 3:14