There are no slippers on my feet. I don’t eat bonbons. I work. I work a lot.
A friend was visiting and shared that she had recently stopped working, choosing to stay home instead. She said people comment that if they stayed home they would be bored. It’s as if people assume we wear pajamas all day, sitting around watching TV. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This season of my life is about creating a home. I know we house wives have fun with the term “Domestic Engineer”, but I personally don’t like the sound of it. We use it in an attempt to sound professional but it sounds impersonal. Creating a home isn’t like taking a blueprint of a house, building walls and putting in fixtures and ta-da you have a home. Creating a home is more like creating a piece of art. There is no formula for an inviting, warm, welcoming, secure home but I can tell you that it takes time purposefully spent. Our home is not just a place we sleep and keep our stuff. For many in my generation that is their idea of a home. When we lived in the suburbs, our neighbors were never home. Their homes were where they slept and watched TV. Their lives happened other places. So when people comment that staying at home would be boring they think that is what happens at home, we sleep and watch TV. That sounds boring to me too.
I choose to stay home. Our lives happen here and we love it. I am not saying we never leave and never see other people. But our lives are grounded here with our family. I am not a “soccer mom”. I am not my children’s chauffer. I will not spend my parenthood on the sidelines as a cheerleader. Parenting is not a spectator sport. Is it wrong to put your kids in sports? No. But if running your kids around and watching them do stuff is the magority of the time you spend with your kids you may need to rethink your activities. When we evaluate what our kids do with thier time, can we say that those activities meet our goals as a family?
Our family goals are to steward the resources God has given us with the gifts God has blessed us with. God put my kids with my husband and me on purpose. Their gifts and personalities are a blessing and a help to our gifts and personalities. It takes time and energy working together to learn and develop the children’s talents. I would not have that time and strength to get to know my kids in such a way if I was working outside the home and if I was running our kids to 10 different extracurricular activities.
This is not an attack on working moms. I know for some it is not a choice. For us living on one income is a financial sacrifice . We have one car, no cable TV, I do not have a cell phone, our kids are not in gymnastics, karate, or anything right now, we shop at thrift stores for clothes, I cook our food from scratch, our furniture is a little used, my house would never be seen in Better Homes and Gardens. Those things don’t help our family meet our family’s purpose. Are you filling your life with purpose or business and stuff? What are you willing to give up to gain a home?
Creating a home isn’t about a physical place. For example, I follow Discover. Share. Inspire. This family has no house in the normal sense. But as I read their blog and read their interactions with their kids I can see a home there. God has given them a different canvas to create their family’s purpose on. Our family’s canvas for right now is our 20 acres. Our work and interactions on this farm are creating a beautiful home. At the end of my day I am exhausted but I can look back on it with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
What are some of your family goals? What is your canvas? I know as my kids get older and my life’s seasons change my idea of what makes a home will change too. I am curious what you as an empty nester or single feel makes a home. How do you create your home?
This was a guest post from my lovely bride. If you like this sort of thing, check our her blog, The 20 Acre Academy. She promises to update it as soon as she gets the time….lol.
My mum left work to be full time at home when I was born, and stayed home until my brother was born as well. She works part time at a school now, and so is home when my brother leaves for school and home upon his return. I think it’s great that you’ve chosen your family above having a mobile phone and such other things. I think I have really benefited practically and spiritually from my mum staying at home full-time and I’m sure your children will too. (Like you – not putting down working mums one bit!)
I think it is important for readers to understand that this is a choice. HFS’sW has a degree in education and has worked successfully in her field. We each need to become the person God wants for us. I can promise readers that she is equally successful or probably more successful in her work as a homemaker and parent. She is a very talented artist in her chosen field.
Awesome post. Big topic, small comment box :). I had a friend when I was young whose mum kept plastic covers on all the living and dining room furniture, including cellophane on the lampshades. We had to go through those two rooms to get to the “family” room (which was also immaculate, but you could sit on stuff). It’s all I remember about my visits inside the house, and her mum. We mostly played at my house, where the furniture had slipcovers with holes, but we could sit on it without permission.
Sounds to me like your kids memories should be filled with their interactions with you, not with the decor of your home, which is a “good thing”.
One family goal we had from the get go was to strive to be together for supper every night. Every night. With our eldest now 17, I’d say we manage this about 95% of the time. My husband works odd, flexible hours, so this means he sometimes heads back out the door after supper (yes, back to town – it’s only about 20 km). The result is two teens who can converse intelligently on many topics (politics, religion, current events, environmental issues), who have (relatively” decent table manners, and who don’t rush through a meal to get somewhere. We have had a lot of good times at the table.
I work outside the home. I’ve been a stay at home mum too. My home has never been immaculate, will never be well decorated. We spend a lot of time here, because we like it. We have friends who use their home as a launching pad, as you describe, for their busy lives – only 1 kid, but a different activity for kid or parents every night of the week. I sometimes wonder, are they bored with each other that they need all that outside stimulation? I don’t know. It’s the way they decided to live.