Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ex - Housewife

Journalist Elizabeth May Craig Leaving Home

The other day, Mister had to fill out a jury duty questionnaire. When he was finished, he left the papers on a desk for me to mail.   I glanced at the part where it said, "Name of Spouse," and "Occupation of Spouse."

Here is what he listed as my job:

"Mother and Housewife."

I was delighted and proud.  This is my lifelong vocation.    I have a home to care for.  I have children and grandchildren to tend to.  I am my husband's companion. I keep the home. 

Today's homemaker often has a home where everyone "does their own thing."  Husband and children can microwave their own food. They are capable of doing for themselves, after all.   They can clean the house, do the laundry and anything else Mom can do, right?  Well, of course. But this breeds a home that needs no mother.  This breeds the home where lessons of homemaking, and tender mothering, cannot reach the next generation.

My boys (16 and 20) were talking about working mothers.  I said, "I could never leave this house. I am needed here." I went on to talk about all the things I do, and the just being here.  One of my sons said, "How would we ever eat well if you were not here to take care of us?"  Now this son is an amazing chef himself and a hard worker, but he appreciates having Mom home to keep the house and prepare special meals.  Yes, he can do all these things himself, but why would one want a home without a full - time homemaker, a full-time mother?  The family needs a dedicated mother to make the home a place of rest and recovery.

I realize there are mothers in terrible financial circumstances who currently work.  Many want to be at home.  But there are many more mothers who choose to go out to work because they want to.

Some mothers had been home while the children were young, but then decided to go back to work, or got bored and wanted something new and exciting in their life.   This is called an "Ex-housewife." This term breaks my heart.  It makes me think of a broken home and an ex-family.  It makes me think of a home that fell apart because mother left.

The older Christian mother is to be the example to the younger generation.  Her staying at home, often waiting through the seasons and phases of life, faithfully loving and tending the home, is to be the ideal example to the young Christian Mothers.  What breaks my heart is that many of these Titus 2 Mothers are abandoning the call of home and becoming "ex-housewives."

Scripture says for us to be ye separate.  We are not to mimic the actions and ways of the world.  If there is a mass exodus of women into the workforce, why would the Christian woman join the crowd and leave the home? 

Is it hard to stay home?  When there are financial trials - YES!  Upper class housewives have it easier than the rest. They worry not about money.  But the majority of Christian Homemakers work harder than most people by making food from scratch, laboring in the garden and home and taking care of the family.  This is hard work. But it is a precious calling.  It is a normal way of life for the sweet mothers of yesteryear.  We can keep this going, from generation to generation. But we must learn to never take on the title of being an "ex-housewife."

Mrs. White

"Who, but a few wild visionaries, and rash speculatists, and mistaken advocates of 'woman's rights', would take her from the home of her husband, of her children, and of her own heart—to wear out her strength, consume her time, and destroy her feminine excellence—in committee-rooms, on platforms, in mechanics shop, or philosophical institutions?" -   John Angell James, 1800's

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Mrs. Laura Lane said...

It is hard to stay home when the financial pressures are great. The pressures of momma not being home are even greater.

Through the years of poverty and near poverty, of father sometimes working out of town or traveling, only having momma home has been a constant in our lives. It's stability for the children and my husband.

Harvest Lane Cottage

Cindy said...

Sharon, I love this and need this. I tell you what! I have just been convicted that for this phase of my life, I need more structure. My children are grown -- except one who is 14, though three live at home still. I have been flailing about in my mind for my purpose -- knowing it's still here, but HOW DO I DO THIS? So used to being ACTIVELY needed 24/7, as in 'Mom, where's my this and that?' and 'How do I do this?' and 'Mom, I need you' or 'I need help' . . . Those days are gone and I need to reformulate my vision for how I am needed in this next phase. It is so important to just BE AVAILABLE to these dear children, husband, grandchildren, in-laws, etc. that God has chosen to gift me with! Think of laying aside such a gift! Doesn't fit me anymore? I need to go find a present that God did NOT give me? Really? Oh, my dear Sharon, this is such confirmation!

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Amen! Excellent post! It is so sad to see women forsaking their God given privilege of making a home for the workplace. A place we were not designed for !! Thank you for such a fantastic post.

Anonymous said...

I have always been a homemaker, and still am even though my youngest is 18. It is too important, this job of raising children, to let someone else do. God has always provided, but I was prepared to be poor if need-be, but this never happened to me, so I can't say I was heroic in any way. I also grew up in a town/time where all moms were home, so it came natural to me. Going to college did not even sway me from my life plan.

When I was a nursing mom, I got out of jury-duty for that fact. We seemed to get called alot for jury duty goes by voter registration, I was told, and driver's license..not sure which is used more, but maybe alot of people don't vote. But, interesting to note, when I had to change a jury assignment, I was told that it is very hard to get out of it now, even if nursing! I can't imagine how that can be so...luckily I am older now!

Beverly said...

^^^Cindy. I'm in the same situation. We are three at home, daughter is 24. I find myself trying to figure out what to do next. So many feel I should work since I'm "not needed" at home.

Mrs. White...I NEEDED to read this so much. Thank you for having a vision that is so clear you do not waver from it. You are a blessing and inspiration to so many ladies.

Blessings to you friend.

Sarah said...

By the grace of God, I am a housewife that has enough financially through my husband's job. However I have learned so much from other housewives online and how they make the most of what they have that I would rather do things more frugally. I enjoy making bread, doing all meals from scratch, shopping thrift stores and the like. Thanks to all those out there who do the most with what they have and do it joyfully. It serves as an example of Christ to all. :)

Rhonda said...

I love this post too. I have been married 33 years and have been employed about a third of those years. Being home is best for me. Now my children are grown and I have young grandchildren that fill many of my days. It is a busy life, and sometimes lean times, but I so thankful to be just be a homemaker with no job title at all.

Mrs. White, thank you for the sweet comment you left on my blog about my parents home and quilts, but I accidentally deleted it and once they are deleted, they are just gone. Hope you will visit again when you have time.

Pink Slippers said...


Mrs. U said...

I LOVE this post!! I am always encouraged by other ladies that love sharing their profession of homemaker!!

I was recently at an eye doctor appointment. When called back, one of the nurses said to me, "I have to tell you, we all noticed your occupation listed as 'homemaker'. No one puts that these days. We are glad you did!" I was surprised!! That one little word on a page full of words was noticed!! And I smiled very big and told her how much I LOVE taking care of my husband and children and that it was always my dream to be a homemaker!! She smiled, too. Made me wonder if she secretly wished to be home, too.

Thank you for this (and all!!!) your articles!!

Mrs. U

Unknown said...

I had an opportunity to take on 12 hours of work, my husband and I were praying about whether it was the right move for us, and Praise the Lord the opportunity fell through. It definitely would have been a big temptation.

Cathy said...

This is so true. Thank you for encouraging women in it. I have been blessed to be a homemaker for 38 years so far. My husband, and my grown children, and my grandchildren enjoy many benefits that come from me being at home and being available.

Unknown said...

YES. I love this. I'm proud to be a wife and homemaker (although right now I'm also a college student and a part-time library worker!). Thank you for giving the role of housewife the honor it deserves, and I'm glad your husband and sons do as well.

On a side note, I just completed two weeks of jury duty service! If your husband ended up serving, I hope it went well! :)

Unknown said...

I must tell you that this post warms my heart more than I can tell you. My mom has been a working mom my entire life. I had a lovely childhood and I love my mom. I made the decision a couple years ago that when I get married my job will be wife and mother. My parents were not happy! Mom had to work because if she didn't nothing would get done. She worked part time for awhile and she spent her days going shoe shopping with my grandmother. My dad said that needed to end. So she went back to work and was totally fine with it. Now, when I said I wanted to stay at home they gave me this huge list of reasons why I shouldn't. My aunt, who is divorced, stayed at home with her first husband and couldn't support herself financially when she was divorced. This was a big reason they want me to work. But, to me, working instead of staying with my kids because I may get a divorce is really silly to me. I don't believe in divorce, so if my husband wants to get rid of me that bad, he'll have to kill me! And if that is the case then there is still no reason to work. I love the idea of a home smelling of fresh bread and homemade cookies, being there for my kids for EVERYTHING, and being there for my husband as his support after a long day. I am pretty old school considering I'm only 20 and have made this decision. But anyway, I just want to say that this post has warmed my heart. I feel support from you that I do not have from the people in my life. I think this choice is very pleasing to God. Thanks!
PS sorry I just wrote a novel haha

Anonymous said...

I was considering becoming an ex-housewife as we have been blessed with 3 young children and our financial circumstances are extremely difficult. We live in a very small home with no room to grow all the vegetables I would love to. God used this post to remind me once again that 'Godliness with contentment is great gain.' Even though our budget is very tight, God has us in our situation for a reason and we will never go hungry. I came across this post completely by accident but now I know God planned it! Thank you so much for being yourself and letting God use you in such an amazing way. xo

Kay Schrock said...

Thank you for such a sweet 'old-fashioned' website. It is exactly the kind of encouragement I am always looking for. I don't want to follow the crowd so that we can live like the crowd. I want to find fulfillment and blessing in serving y own sweet family. (which I do!) I was in teh hospital with pregnancy/preterm birth last year for 7 weeks, and now and again my husband will tell a grumbling child: "remember how it was when your mother was in the hospital? Be thankful she is here and taking care of us!" :) Makes me smile to know I am needed here at HOME!!

Anonymous said...

I needed this today, so much. Thank you for the post. You aren't afraid to acknowledge the difficulties we face as homemakers. Of course, it is not hard to remain at home when there is a lot of help and money. But you show how we can stay home even when there are difficult times as well. I do so much every day, but I often think it does not look like much by the end of the day, when the clean laundry has been used, the food eaten and all I have to show for it is another full hamper and more dirty dishes in the sink. It gets hard to ignore the voices telling me in subtle and not so subtle ways that what I am doing is futile and I should "get a job".
How do you avoid self-pity? I have medical issues as well and this is a struggle for me.

Oklahoma Lady said...

I get so much out of your posts and have come to read them as much as you post them. This was an inspiring post. I lost my husband 7 years ago. The house was so empty even with me and the children (grown) would come and go but it wasn't the same. I have finally come to the place where the Lord has put me to see that a house is a home even if one is taken and the other left and now I spend my days finding ways to make improvements, try to get back into the organized homemaker(I'm lacking here still!!) Thank you! That lets me see in words that a house is a home when one makes it!

Debbie said...

Mrs. White,
Thank you so much for being honest about this topic. You have gracious readers, because if you posted something like this on social media, you would get blasted for being old fashioned.
I have been at home for 22 years now. We have lived through multiple lay offs, moves, unemployment, two children and I've homeschooled the entire time.

I am currently struggling with a new church we go to that almost demands the husband and wife to attend discipling groups and home groups and I am resenting the fact that they want to take me out of my home several times a week.
I wish people would just realize that what we do is valuable and needed and brings stability to the home.
Thank you for being a voice of old fashioned values.
I wish we could sit and have coffee by your wood stove one day :)

P.S. I just bought your latest book from Amazon and can't wait to get started!

Blessings and stay warm!

Anonymous said...

Mrs. White,

This article is very timely for me. In the fall all my children will be in school and I've been feeling "pulled" to go back to work outside the home. Now I realize that unless my husband requests that I make an active income, I will stay home and do everything I can to make our home a safe haven and someplace soft to land. Thank you for the reminder of our God given vocation to be wives and mothers.