Monday, October 25, 2010

Feminism, Femivorism, and Homemaking: Revisited

I wrote a piece recently that was a counter attack to an article I read, The Femivore’s Delima . It was a long and grueling piece and I am afraid that most of the points I wanted to make about homemaking were lost in the length. This is my attempt to summarize why homemaking is a legitimate career and needs to be celebrated.

Do you want a rewarding career and high pay? Don’t read further if you do?

We are seeking a homemaker to work and be on call 24/7, 365 days a year. This woman will be the manager of the home: insuring that the home is clean, the people in the family are well taken care of, and the logistics of the home run smoothly. Often this job entails tasks like shopping, cooking, cleaning, minor (possibly major) first aid, teaching, mending, laundering, gardening, and dealing with bodily fluids (of other people on you). A successful candidate will have proven skills in patience, communication, meeting deadlines, and being able to adjust to new and different situation on a moment-to-moment basis while still accomplishing the day’s regular routine. Potential homemakers should not expect any rewards or acclimates. If income is required the candidate will need to hold down a second job (often a full-time job) while still accomplishing all tasks necessary to be considered successful at homemaking. Lazy, selfish, self-centered people need not apply.

If you would have read this job description before you got married and chose to be a stay-at-home mom would you have made the decision to do it? Wouldn’t you rather work in a corporation where the pay is great, you receive awards for a job well done, and they have casual day only on Fridays? No poop. No goop. And no croup.

Feminists would have you believe that unless you get pay raises and vacations you don’t deserve as much respect as those who do. We even try to argue, “Well, I have a degree so I am as smart as you, I just have a higher calling?” Why do we feel we need to justify ourselves? Isn’t our job just as important?

Why ARE we so undervalued?

Because, we are looking to others to value us! We are valuable. God created each of us for a purpose and with loving hands. If you need to look any further than your own backyard, Dorothy, you are going to be sorely disappointed.

Each homemaker brings her unique personality into homemaking. Some raise chickens and grow organic produce, others shop at the supermarket. Some teach their children, others volunteer at the local school to help the teachers that their tax dollars pay for. Some work in high-rise office buildings, some work from their kitchen tables. Some are liberal, some are conservative. Some are poor, some are rich. Some are Muslim, some are Christian. Regardless of our personal convictions and political preferences, we are the same in one way; we believe we can best serve this world by serving our families first.

Sometimes we discredit ourselves. We say things like, “I am just a stay-at-home mom,” or “I don’t work for a living.” What are we doing?! Why would we discredit ourselves like that? They don’t need any more ammunition, do they?

Our profession is noble and righteous and always has been.

I am not trying to judge those who can’t have this lifestyle. Some times in life, “Crap happens.” We don’t have a choice to be a 2 parent family. We don’t have a choice but to put our kids in a daycare.” And, the only way our home is going to get clean is to hire someone to do it for us because we want to focus on being with our children instead of scrubbing the toilets. I get it and I am not talking about YOU!

I am sick to death of reading articles and seeing talking heads on T.V. telling me to be a complete person I need to have a job, have a degree, and sacrifice the well-being of my family for my own.

If it weren’t for homemakers who would do the laundry? Who would cook dinner? Who would pack lunches? Who would take the kids to the doctor? Who would clean the house? Who would help the kids with their homework? Who would pay the bills? Would do the shopping? Who would volunteer at church? Who would go to PTA meetings? Who would meet with the teachers? Who would be the home school teachers? Who would walk the dog? Who would take the dog to the vet? Who would take the library books back? Who would give the kids a bath? Shall I go on?

Homemakers: Don’t absorb the worldly view that you are less because you choose to serve your family. You are unique and beautiful. Your purpose is true and good. You don’t need to be anything than what you are to be important. Love your husbands and celebrate them for the sacrifice they make for your well-being. Love your children and keep them with you for as long as you can and don’t entrust their lives to the government. Make your homes clean and beautiful with what you have and don’t feel ashamed because your home won’t be published in House Beautiful. Value yourself; don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. Know that you don’t walk this life alone. There are millions of women exactly like you, doing exactly what you do every day. We can’t all be wrong

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