Finding the Courage to Work as a Homemaker, Housewife, or Stay at Home Wife - Even Without Kids!
Avoid the Real Housewives Reality Show Stigma
Being a career homemaker without children is certainly not about living a life of leisure while your husband works as the breadwinner, this is a vocation. Though you have the added flexibility of setting your own hours and choosing what tasks to focus your attention too, you must guard your time well. The Real Housewives series showcases the lifestyle of women preoccupied with leisure, obsessed with beauty, engaged in catty behavior, and endless extracurricular activities, this is the polar opposite of God's call to women to work as a helpmate for their husbands.
Article and Photo's by Rain San Martin
Homemakers are Not Just Stay at Home Mom's - SAHM's
In the article: Housewives without Children: Celebrating Life as a SAHW, the author writes of her past experience in the business workplace and how she had made the decision to work as a homemaker creating an "oasis away from the rest of the world", preparing nutritious meals from scratch, making crafts such as wreaths, gardening, and serving her husband as a helpmate, all while being frugal.
"Often, the public is led to believe that you need two incomes to stay afloat. This isn't always so. Get rid of the second car, the gas for the long commutes, the money you spend on take-out and restaurants, and the extra wardrobe costs. When you do the math, sometimes you will realize you are profiting MUCH less than you previously thought."
Today's homemakers with kids can learn a lot from those who relish the craft of homemaking in itself, though they may have no children of their own. Often the art of homemaking gets lost in the Stay at Home Mom mindset. Day's can easily be filled with rushed soccer mom activities and PTA work, rather than tending the nest and pampering their husbands. Though raising children is a deeply important task, when you place a healthy emphasis on serving your husbands and making your home feel like a bed and breakfast, the whole household benefits, this includes you!
But why must there be courage? Because modern society has created such a negative stigma image regarding today's Stay at Home Wife, that choosing to be a vocational homemaker can be like walking against the wind. You must be brave, even radical.
The Application of the Proverbs 31 Wife
How you apply the principles of the Proverbs 31 Wife as a homemaker will be at your discernment. Remember to interpret scripture in light of scripture. Titus 2:5 states that women should be workers at home as their primary vocation, and 1 Timothy 5:8 teaches that a man should provide. Yet if she is industrious she may find time for a part-time home business.
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2: 3-5)"
The Proverbs 31 wife's primary job is that of a homemaker and helpmate, however it also mentions part time business work:
"She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants."
The Work Ethic
As a helpmate without children you should uphold an exemplary work ethic. Once your homemaking tasks have been complete you will most likely have time for a home based business or volunteer work. The most common argument against being a housewife, stay at home wife, or homemaker is the appearance of laziness. Work is a virtue and is God's blessing in our lives.
"Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." (Exodus 20:9-11)
How to Explain Your Homemaking Work to Others
Negative PR given by homemakers themselves in regard to how they describe their work has been a major contributor to the downfall of societies perception of "housewives". In the 1980s and early 1990s, when asked "what do you do?", the homemaker would often respond sheepishly stating "I don't work, I look after the kids. "Do you think women said, "I don't work" before the industrial revolution? They worked hard in their households preparing meals, caring for their families and managing the household. After women had begun receiving a paycheck for their skills out in the "work place", they began to associate work with a paycheck. Though today's homemaker has many more modern conveniences she would not be a good steward of her time if she replaced that spare time with excessive leisure. It should be invested into a part time business, honing a skill or special gift, or volunteer work.
You may at some time hear the following question in a condescending tone:
How do you answer them? The answer is: with confidence. Always regard your homemaking as work. If you manage your day right you may have time for a part-time business, which you could use to help pay off debt or place in savings while keeping up your skills or pursuing a dream. However, make it a goal not to rely on this income for expenses, or you may soon find yourself cutting into vital homemaking tasks to make ends meet. This is a paradigm shift for most people in this modern society.
Example: Let's practice a realistic conversation, we'll say you are a full-time homemaker, with a part-time Etsy business selling stained glass pendants, you volunteer once a month with Clean and Green, and have no children:
Question: "So what do you do?"
Possible good answer: I'm a homemaker (say with pride while standing tall) and stained glass jewelry craftsmen.
What not to say:
"I don't work. Hubbies the one who earns the paycheck. Oh ya, well I do like to make stained glass jewelry, when I'm not being lazy that is, I've sold a couple of pieces on Etsy."
The word lazy should be banished from your vocabulary.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness. (Proverbs 31:27)
A homemaker handles all of the domestic affairs of the household, which includes meal preparation, cleaning, organizing, paper work, grocery shopping, and other important errands. Additional jobs may include: gardening, accounting, and household repairs. If you have children there is childcare, the role of a nurse, teaching, and so on.
Homemaker Job Titles
- Administrative Assistant
- Cook / Chef
- Professional Organizer
Homemaker job titles for women with children:
- Taxi Driver
- Cook / Chef
Your job as a homemaker may not earn an income, yet your work will allow your husband to focus on being a provider, allowing him to relax when he comes home to a peaceful haven. If you have children, they will enjoy this comforting unrushed environment which you can create. You will also have the energy to be a hospitable hostess.
This Stay at Home Mom Explains How She Transitioned Into One Income
Don't Let Society's Expectation of the Two Income Family Trap You
Lack of money can almost always be an excuse for mandating the income of both spouses. Historically before the 1960s, most women would not think twice about whether or not the woman could afford to stay home as a career homemaker, lifestyles adjusted accordingly. Societies definition of "needs" had greatly expanded alongside the women's movement which encouraged women to leave the sphere of homemaking in exchange for an exciting career.
Before the 1960s:
- Homes were half the size on average
- The average household had 1 vehicle
- Lunches were often packed
- There was less pressure to eat out at restaurants for social gatherings
- There was no need for day care which can sometimes eat up half of ones paycheck
- Clothes and furniture were often handed down
- People lived more simply
Today expectations include:
- Monthly subscriptions for full service data phone plans
- Assuming one must pay for a college education, when free learning materials and internships offering hands on experience often teach better
- Falling into the financial traps of acquiring a pool, the latest big screen TV, or even pets which can cost thousands of dollars per year in care
Carefully reevaluate your life, so you can make the shift to becoming a homemaker, if this is your goal. Learning about the lifestyle of simple minimalism will naturally help you to pare down your possessions making it easier to live on one income.
These Homemakers Without Children Choose to Live in the 1950s, 1940s, and 1930s
Homemaking Must be Re-branded as a Noble Career Choice
If a women is truly free and liberated, then she has the choice to work as a career homemaker, regardless of whether she has children at home. A re-branding movement must be done to shift the view of homemakers, housewives or Stay at Home Wives.
What can I do?
Start by describing your work with pride and encourage other homemakers to do the same. Create a weekly or monthly list of completed tasks and share it with your spouse or close friends. Just as you would run a business, though there is no paycheck involved.
Start a homemaking blog where you share photographs and articles on your noble work. Little by little a cultural movement can begin to shift societies perception of housewives, homemakers, Stay at Home Wives, or Stay at Home Moms. When describing the work you do, seek out the title "homemaker" as it connotes work, rather than simply "staying at home".
Nursing Homes Are a Modern Day Phenomenon
In generations past homemakers would care for their aging parents or in-laws within the comfort of a home. Today it is assumed women must re-enter the workplace full-time once the kids have grown, not only do they have little time to serve as helpmates to their husbands, they assume nursing homes are to care for their aging family. This has unnecessarily lead to bankruptcy and poorer quality of life for seniors. To be surrounded by sick people who are nearing the end of their lives can lead to shorter less full-filling life. And the financial consequences are dire.
It Takes Courage to Be a Homemaker in This Day and Age
If you want to fit in with society, hold a full-time career outside of the home, whether you have children or not. However if you'd like to live a life of faith, follow the biblical model of natural order to experience God's peace. Feminist's of yesterday have made slanderous statements about what a "housewife" is. Though this vocation has been a highly respectable and joyful job for women throughout the history of Earth, it is now an unpopular decision because of the shift of roles.
In the article Housewives without Children: Celebrating Life as a SAHW, the author writes of the societal challenges of this vocation:
"When you choose to be a SAHW, and especially a housewife without children, be prepared for some of your working friends to scoff at the idea or even stop talking to you."
Work with pride and diligence in your daily tasks. Stay true to your call as a helpmate, no matter the harsh words of society. Be brave as you walk against the wind and in doing so you will anticipate the joy that each sunrise brings as you begin your daily work.
© 2014 Rain San Martin