Not a Domestic Engineer

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.