Please, Ma’am, Don’t Ask Me This Question

by Bailey on October 14, 2011 in Standing Firm

They mean it nicely—I know they do. It’s only polite to ask it of up-and-coming students. There’s really no way they can avoid it without putting themselves in an awkward position.

But whenever this topic comes up, nausea slowly takes me. Jitters begin in my pinky toe. I pick at my black blazer, blink rapidly, grin stupidly, all defenses on alert: “So what do you want to do after high school?”

I guess the problem is twofold: I’m too honest and I’m not honest enough. I’m too honest, in that I can’t lie straightfaced and say with a proud smile, “I’m taking an internship at an engineering school to become the first woman to design a rocket ship compatible with amphibian life.” Shocking—acceptable—but unfortunately, untrue. Of course I could tell the truth, but that would be shocking, unacceptable and very unfortunately true: “Actually, I want to get married and be a mother one day.”

Invariably This Question pops up after I’ve done something of substantial achievement. For instance, last year I went on a world tour (in exhaustion, not extent) for two speech competitions. That meant multiple luncheons and award ceremonies of dry chicken, blouses, nervous small talk and the ubiquitous question.

After the handshakes, the pictures, the spoils of war tucked under my arm, someone comes up and wants to know what this fine young lady is doing with her life. I’d smile wryly and say something impressive about me studying Christian philosophy through an online college and not really getting a career but rather doing ministry right where I’m at, and trying to be totally honest about how I won’t be moving into an apartment at eighteen without wholly giving away the point.

A little lights flips off in their eyes as they catch themselves after the stumble. “Oh, that’s nice,” and we’d bumble through the awkwardness of them assuming I’m off my rocker.

There’s a ghastliness to it, like a fog in spring—and the thing is, that’s not the extent of my unconventionality. I hate to imagine what glazed eyes, what confusion, what tight-lipped disappointment would occur were I to say, “Um, actually, I really want to be a homemaker.”

“They just want to know what you’re doing with all your talent,” my mother soothed after another speaking engagement/life interrogation segment.

True, which is why I keep silent. Bright young ladies staying home is socially suicidal. It’s comparable to a genius happily, delusionally sighing, “My highest goal, my dream job, my heart’s desire is to be a garbage collector!”

Not that I think that. Not that anyone says it (out loud). But it’s perception, you know. This poor girl, so smart, so brainwashed by 1950’s propaganda. How many re-runs of Leave It to Beaver has she watched?

In sum, I’m terrified to face up to one of my biggest dreams. It’s just too hard to explain, especially when culture and glazed eyes are against you. “Please don’t think I’m stupid—I’m really planning on changing the world—I really will use all my talents in the home—I’m not throwing myself away for changing diapers.”

Yeah, right. Check the white pages for mental institutions.

But ignoring the problem—THE QUESTION—doesn’t help matters. Indeed, I really think a collective effort on home-loving girls’ part would go a long way. The love of home and family is so deeply a part of most women that, truly, we could reset the status quo if we were just honest enough to speak out.

Even the girl working the cash register at Walmart or the education major at the Bible school or the forty-six-year-old professional at the law firm—the desire’s there for home and family life. Our circumstances may not immediately betray our dark secret, but somehow, someday, it leaks out.

Sometimes all it takes is for a dream to be verbalized—for a bright young girl with lots of promise to talk big about how she wants to marry her man and raise up babes for the glory of God. Just saying it, no matter how immediately awkward, can justify it in those who unconsciously hold the same dream in their heart. It may cause slight discomfort for ideologies which have no room for differences or eternal perspective—but then again, you may run into one of those closet home girls, the kind who can’t stop hoping that someday they can come home.

If we talk about it—girls who aren’t chained to a specific pattern of life, denomination or homemaking regime—if just normal girls like you and me with our different lives and interests, if we start being honest and confident about our dreams, we can change how people think.

Old Professer Kirk in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe mentioned that there are three possibilities when a girl starts saying crazy things: Either she’s lying, she’s mad or she’s telling the truth. If she doesn’t tell lies and it’s obvious she’s not mad, we have to assume she’s telling the truth.

Our homemaking dreams can be a total joke, the proclamations of mad women or, maybe, maybe, the inklings of something true. People may not take you seriously. Well, then, not everyone will do that even in respectable paradigms. People may bemoan your loss. But some people aren’t as magnanimously-minded as they hope to be. And the good thing is, some people will admire you for your courage to follow a path few women dare to take.

Even if they don’t, conscience and conviction ought to be enough to keep us on the right direction. One thing’s certain: If we’re not proud of where we’re going, that sentiment will certainly catch on.

Bailey

Bailey is a seventeen-year-old homeschooler in love with anything literary or theological. The second oldest of nine children, she finds joy in romping with her younger siblings, scribbling in her ever-expanding notebook and trying her hand at the home arts.

More Posts - Website

{ 43 comments }

Amy October 18, 2011

Hi Bailey, I know the chances are slim as I am in the UK, but I hope one day we will meet.Then I can ask you that question and when you say that you want to be a homemaker I will hug you tight and say “Hooray! What a wonderful dream. We need more homemakers.”
I went into this homemaking thing woefully un-prepared and am doing a new thing for my daughters so they aren’t in the same situation. I am so delighted to hear that this is your dream and that when it happens you will be really ready and prepared. God bless you.
From a homemaker and mother who has been happily “wasting her talents” at home for 8 years now. 😉

Bailey October 18, 2011

Well, you know, the next time I do a “worldwide speaking tour,” I’ll stop by the UK and give you a hug back. 😉

Annalyn October 18, 2011

From about the time I discovered that puppies grow up to be dogs, kittens grow up to be cats, and little girls grow up to be mommies, I’ve wanted to be one. My own mother was a stay-at-home mom, doing in-home day care till my youngest brother hit first grade. (She then got her commercial driver license, a passenger and school bus endorsement.. and began driving school bus. She wanted to have the same days off that we did.)

I’ve never been shy about telling people what I want. I usually preface it with something about my dream job doesn’t pay very well, “In fact, it actually doesn’t pay anything but the benefits are pretty dang awesome…” Then they ask what my dream job is, and I answer, “Stay-at-home mom” with a big grin on my face. It truly is my dream job! Hanging out with the kids, playing, talking, preparing food, learning things, exploring, teaching.. Seriously, how fun would that be??!?

Yeah, some may think that it’s a tragic waste of marvelous intellect, but as was said by a very wise man once, “No amount of success can compensate for failure in the home.” I refuse to fail in my own home, with my own children. They and their daddy are (will be, given my current not-married, non-parent status) my 2nd and 3rd priorities.. after our Father.

Diane October 18, 2011

Bailey, I encourage you and others (younger and older) to practice answering those questions about future dreams as a homemaker (or present reality) by looking others straight in the eyes and speaking with joy about what really matters to you and learn to respond gracefully to the rejection you will certainly encounter. How will those responses ever change if we stay silent. I am at the other end of the curve (my children are grown) but it was my dream to be a homemaker, wife and mother as a teen in the 1970’s when women’s lib was in full swing. Believe me, I know the reactions you speak of in social situations; it was my reality. I have had the blessing of that dream realized and it was worth learning to speak of it with confidence. It did take much practice and in my 20’s I struggled with the reactions. Now, I see the trend changing and more mothers who currently work outside of home are sacrificing to be homemakers. Speak up…it might influence another person’s heart.

Babychaser October 18, 2011

It’s funny (though not the haha kind), but I find myself in the opposite situation. I actually don’t ask high school girls what’s next because I’m saddened to find that they will be going off to school and not focusing on homemaking. And I’m really sad when I learn that a young mother will be going back to work. Then I just don’t know what to say. It’s tough to be counter cultural!

Amy @ Homestead Revival October 18, 2011

I’m jumping up and down applauding you, Bailey!! Perhaps those of us that are “more advanced in years” could meet your challenge as well and come up with better questions to ask young ladies graduating from high school. Perhaps something like… “Have you considered how you might use your talents in raising the next generation?” or “I adore my domestic engineering job. Any chance you might be considering that field of work?”. Maybe even something as daring as “Tell me… any chance you’ve considered being a stay-at-home mom someday?”

Catherine McChessney October 18, 2011

This is such a great article! I have been home with my children for probably 12 years now and this article touched even me. 🙂 I need to remember more often that I made this choice and I LOVE this choice and it is a perfectly valid choice.

Thank-you for that reminder. I hope my girls will be confident in their choices when they are ready.

Harriet Fasenfest October 18, 2011

Though I am neither a Christian (though believe in good works) nor a young woman, I love what you have written and think it is high time we stop being embarrassed about a life that can offer so much to so many. But then, I wrote a book on the matter so you know I believe it.

Much respect – I KNOW you are not mad.

Harriet
A Householder’s Guide to the Universe

Sara October 18, 2011

Ahhhh, I love this! I’ve encountered this same scenario countless times. Thank you for being so encouraging, Bailey! 🙂

Kathrine October 18, 2011

I think it’s WONDERFUL that you’ve addressed this question!!! I have 3 daughters, all of whom have been asked this question (even though 2 of them are only in 2nd/3rd grade), and you’ve inspired me to give them a GOOD ANSWER to give when asked this. I’m going to tell them to tell the “interrogator” that they’re going into the Family Business of Domestic Engineering and Child Development. Not an untruth at all. I, as a housewife and mom, am a Domestic Engineer. I also, as a mom, have a lifelong career in Child Development. My daughters can also say proudly that they’ll be attending “MOMU” for college. 😀

Heather W October 18, 2011

I was not nearly as “accomplished” as you seem to be when I was your age, but I always dreaded the question too. There were some that would ask that I could tell I really just wanted to be at home raising the children God decided to send me. Here I am 12 years after high school, I was married at 18, we have 6 WONDERFUL children and life is hard, no doubt but also very fulfilling. I see God’s hand in my life and people still ask me what I am going to do when I graduate from High School. 🙂 I try to be thankful I have aged so gracefully 😛 Hang in there, this will pass and you are not alone!

Shalene October 18, 2011

Love it!! So glad there are girls that ARE willing to say that they dream of being homemakers. It took me a long time to realize that it was my dream, and now there’s nothing I’d rather do. Even on the days when it saps me of all strength (and seemingly saps me of all sanity) there’s still nothing I’d rather do. It is the best career God could have ever chosen for me!! I was made for this!! And I’m so blessed to be able to teach other women what it means to do it as well… I wish I had known to embrace it when I was still young. But God had a plan, even in that. 😀 I’m proud of you… stand up for your convictions and your dreams!

Suzann Smith October 18, 2011

I admire and applaud your honesty and your heart. I pray that some day my girls will be as dedicated to their future, whatever that may be, as you are. I remember starting college and being told that I was too smart to teach, I should do something more intellectual like be a CPA (because after all we don’t want smart people teaching our children). Then I remember the shock and upset when I announced I was quitting my teaching job to stay home. To the even further dismay to many came the day I announced that I would be putting my career on hold indefinitely (more likely forever) to homeschool my children, and that there would come to be six to do it with. It is hard when people, well meaning though they are, think your dreams must line up with what is reasonable for them. Or perhaps reasonable to them.

Leasia Korbel October 18, 2011

Thank you for expressing so eloquently a sentiment I’ve held for some years now. Even now after 6 years of marriage and four kids I still get the same words…”I wish you’d gotten a college degree or “I always thought you would have done more with your life.” Believe me, I am doing plenty and very content in it! God bless!

Natasha Atkerson October 18, 2011

Bailey,
I just wanted to drop you a comment and let you know that this article was very encouraging for me! Thanks for being honest and open about your feelings. This is my hope too, to become a wife and mother someday. Just wanted to let you know your not alone, please feel free to stop by my blog sometime. I post about modest fashion as well as other topics: http://www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com
Natasha

September anne October 18, 2011

WOW! Wonderful post! Thank you for writing and sharing.

Jess October 18, 2011

Wonderful post! I was one of those young women whose life plan didn’t match up with what others perceived. I did go to college and married my high school sweet heart a year later, working until we had children. Regardless of the path chosen, women, especially, need to be supportive of one and other.

Bailey October 18, 2011

I totally agree, Jess. I’m planning on going to college as well and am not the typical homemaker-in-training because of that academic bent. I definitely feel we sisters in Christ need to support one another in WHATEVER sphere we end up in – one woman’s call is not another’s and the proclamation of the gospel is key. I am open to whatever life the Lord brings me and do not believe that homemaking is the ultimate job for women *necessarily*…but still, I think homemaking is a valid dream, a beautiful dream, and I dream it with pride. 😉

Kelley Wallace October 18, 2011

Bailey, I always enjoy reading your posts. Just a little tip from an older woman. Rehearse an answer! You know you’ll get asked this question again so be ready. You might want to talk openly with an adult who really knows you and is genuinely interested in your future. If on the other hand the person asking is just a well-meaning acquaintance making polite conversation, all that is required of you is an equally polite response. Looking forward to reading your future posts!

Sonja Philip October 18, 2011

Thank you for speaking up! I’m sure it’s quite difficult for you. My boys and some of their friends are experiencing the same sort of eye-roll shock when people ask them why they arent dating yet. “What pretty girl do you have your eye on?” “You got a girlfriend yet?”

These questions often come from “Christian” matronly women. And they act like they have to “free” them from their shyness or sheltering or something.

But I’m proud of them for standing up for what they believe in. And I’m happy for you for doing the same and sticking to what you believe is right for YOU and not what the world thinks should be right for you.

I wish I had the strength of character and presence of mind to do the same when I was younger, rather than halfheartedly working through college and trying to find that “fulfilling career”. But, I’m grateful that I’m now home with my boys, guiding and teaching them and raising them (along with my husband) to be leaders of their homes.

P.S. If you ever really want to freak someone out, you could take the slightly snippier route and say.. “The movement of mothers out of the home and into the workplace has not significantly increased the quality of our lifestyle, rather, it has lead to an increased emphasis on money and status and a horrible decline in morals and clearly defined family roles. I plan to use my considerable God-given skills to do my part to reverse that trend…. if only within just my family and sphere of influence. If you have a moment, I would love to explain further.” *large grin*… or perhaps *sweet smile*

alyssa October 18, 2011

thank you SO much for this! i was always that girl everyone expected to be the first female president or some other nonsense in high school, worked really hard, and was admitted to Dartmouth College. i became a Christian during my first year here – i’m a junior now – and God quite suddenly gave me this dream to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. i hardly tell anyone, though, because not only do they think i’m “wasting” my talents, but my college education too! when pressed, i usually mumble something about a year or two of full-time missions or teaching at a daycare. even most young Christian women i know put me in the “crazy” category, but your post has really encouraged me to take public ownership of this dream in faith that these women might be helped by it. and i especially like the c.s. lewis reference!

Becky@purposefulhomemaking October 18, 2011

This is a great post. Thank you for writing so candidly. Sadly, staying home to raise children is often looked down upon or it becomes a touchy debate between the SAHM’s versus the working mom’s. I’m not interested in debating and I certainly don’t think I’m better than the mom who goes to work and neither should I think I’m not contributing as much as the working mom. God calls us each differently. Personally, I think I’m able to influence my children the most for Christ by staying home and homeschooling them. And, truly, although I never aspired to be a wife or mother (at least I never really remember spending time daydreaming about it) it has honestly been the best fit for me career wise. Any and all talents are put to their best use by staying home and raising our children. Who knew? 🙂 God did.

We live in a wicked and depraved world and the best way I know to change that is to raise godly children who will then, Lord-willing, raise godly children, who will then, Lord-willing, raise godly children… It is a tough job and is harder than I thought (changing hearts is harder than changing diapers–http://www.purposefulhomemaking.com/2011/10/thoughts-on-motherhood.html) –but that brings me to the feet of Jesus–which is where I ought to be anyways. Thanks for sharing.

Elspeth October 18, 2011

Thank you so much for this post. Very encouraging for me; I know The Question and the looks/raised eyebrows that go with it… =)

May we all have the courage to stand for our convictions!

Amy October 18, 2011

I think it’s a wonderful dream, Bailey! I wish I had had more support in blocking out some of the world’s messages on this and taken the path home even sooner.

Theresa Kenny October 18, 2011

I really needed to read this today! Thank you, it really encouraged my heart.

Nora@ The Dollar Hollering Homemaker October 18, 2011

Great post. When I became a stay-at-home wife, we received a lot of criticism. I have a degree in middle eastern studies and I speak Arabic, all my former classmates thought for sure I would be working for the CIA or something. At one time I did want a career but not a typical one. I wanted to teach in countries where Arabic was spoken. Before taking off half way around the world, I decided to do a year of service in East. St. Louis, IL. Little did I know, I would meet a fall in love with my husband. I’m happy to be at home and wouldn’t change it for anything. I may never have a typical “career” but who knows how the skills I’ve gained will be used over the course of my life?

tori October 18, 2011

My Grama used to always ask this sort of thing. And I always told her, “I want to get married and have 6 children.” Well, I didn’t get to get married when I thought, and thus far I have only 4 of the 6 and 6 has turned to 8-10, but still! I’m living the dream and it is far more difficult and lovely than any of the other things I did: complete college degree; English major, Education minor and Japanese Minor, lived in Utah, Texas, Japan, and Australia….. I’ve learned more since finishing school and becoming a mother than I EVER learned as a student (in the “official” sense of the word)!!! Stick to your dream. Live while you wait for the guy who is meant to be yours for eternity finds you… and then keep living as you raise your family. You are doing and will continue to do wonderful things! Good for you, girl! Being a Mama is THE toughest job you’ll ever LOVE. (Marines… or is it the Army? Either way, they just think they’ve got it tough. HA!)

Matt Richardson October 18, 2011

Wonderfully and intelligently written. Believe it or not, there are still a great many men looking for a woman secure enough in her womanhood to proudly announce that she sees homemaking not as a demeaning chore, but as an important calling. As one of those men, it is incredibly refreshing to hear a young woman courageous enough to say it.

Tamara October 18, 2011

Great post! I hope more young women like you will stand up and be lights so those who feel alone or awkward and unable to express their desire to stay home can find their way too. You have the truth of it because one light can light another spark, light another spark, light another spark–and all for the glory of the Lord! When I first quit working to stay home even my own mother wanted me to go back to work, kept leaving me notes about available jobs, etc. Now, eight years later, it’s been the most rewarding blessing God has given our family. Not perfect, but definitely wonderful! And some family and friends who mocked at first, are now also SAHMs and thanks to God, have found the blessing of using their talents in the ministry of their hearts–their families and homes!

Colleen Brown October 18, 2011

Thank you for this! Just a little over 10 years ago, I too was one of “the crazy girls!” :o) The good news is; at 24 years old God brought the man of my dreams to me and I actually managed to follow my dream and “throw away” my talent and education on my dear husband and 7 beautiful children! I’m SO glad I followed my dream, my convictions and most of all my GOD! There trully is no better place for me to use my college education and talents than to shape 7 lives to serve the LORD! WOW! What other job can give such fulfillment in life?

Rebekah October 18, 2011

prepare yourself, young sister, because the next question coming will be “Do you work?”

Bailey October 18, 2011

LOL! Don’t remind me. 😀

Deanna October 18, 2011

I had to comment, just because I will always remember a moment I had as a 2nd grade teacher a few years ago. I was having the children write about what they wanted to be when they grew up. One little girl said, “I want to be a mom.” I kept insisting she elaborate, thinking there had to be more. Eventually I gave in and just let her write about that. I’d never had a student who didn’t already have in her mind some “acceptable career” in mind. It seems so ingrained in our culture that children start dreaming up what role they’ll play from early on. The irony was that if you’d asked me in high school, my answer would have been, “I want to be a wife and mother.” My parents had insisted I go to college and find a way to support myself. I got married at 28, and while it was nice to have a short teaching career before that, I was so excited to “retire” and take on the role I had always dreamed of. I now have two little boys and a daughter due in a few weeks. I hope my boys will grow up expecting to support their families, and I hope my little girl will never feel like she needs to be “more” than a homemaker. I’ve never forgotten that little 2nd grade girl and the strength of her conviction about what God had for her. I loved teaching, but I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than being a wife and mother, and I hope we can raise up a generation of girls who see that as clearly as you do.

Bailey October 20, 2011

There are still little girls like that? Hooray! When I worked with kindergartners, they thought it was the weirdest thing…that and the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend. 😉 I remember a conversation with another girl. She asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I told her. “No, I mean a REAL job.” “That is a real job.” “I mean BESIDES that.” I don’t mind women working other jobs, but it irks me that homemaking isn’t considered a “real,” full-time, valuable calling. Like you said, I’m hoping for a generation of girls who “never feel like they need to be ‘more’ than a homemaker.”

Christine October 18, 2011

Be thankful and joyful. You are blessed that someone told you it was ‘ok’ to want to be a homemaker. No one ever suggested such a subversive idea to me. Instead, I have worked for pay since I was 16, institutionalized my children in daycare since they were born and didn’t learn to cook until I was 35. Remember me one day, when you are drowning in poopy diapers and runny noses…and rejoice.

Vintage Mom October 18, 2011

What’s so interesting is that if a girl does go to college, then works for a few years, THEN gets married, starts a family, and stays home to raise her children, she gets FAR fewer negative comments about being a homemaker. Somehow, before children are in the picture, the general (tactless) public feels a girl should hold her options open… in case she never meets the right guy? Kind of a backhanded way of saying you might have to support yourself?? Ugh. I struggled for a long time to feel good about my decision to stay home with my children. I knew I was very smart, and that I would do a better job raising them than anyone else ever could, but I was so busy fending off the negative energy from various “helpful” people who thought my time would be better spent sharing my gifts with the world in some kind of corporate job, I didn’t have the mental space to realize that I was doing a *spectacular* job at a career that was the exact right thing for me, my personality, and my skills. As a teenager, I would have been too shy to challenge anyone (especially an adult) about my wish to become a mom, and too polite to contradict anyone who told me I should aim for “higher” aspirations. Now that I’m 43, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am confident that I am where I am meant to be. Good luck to you! ~ Lisa

Hpitts October 19, 2011

I did go to college and then worked to put my husband through grad school. Those were great, fun years, but they don’t compare to the joy I receive now homeschooling our three boys with another blessing on the way. Many of my husband’s female colleagues look at me with pity. “Poor woman, at home all day with all those kids.” They just don’t know how much they are missing. I can’t imagine missing my boys’ first smiles, words, steps, learning to read, discovering God’s Creation, etc. because I was sitting behind a desk somewhere while they where being cared for by someone else. If God gives me a secular career again someday, great. If not, even better. 🙂

Farmer's Wyfe October 19, 2011

Hi! I HATED that stage, of feeling like school was done and now I was supposed to “DO” something. A boyfriend from college even ended up basically breaking up with me b/c I decided to move back in with my parents after college and do “jobs” that would advance my knowledge and prove beneficial as a home-maker someday. I wanted to find things I could do from home to be able to help my husband. I volunteered and set up and ran art classes and gym classes for the home-schoolers at my church, which is still running now even though I can’t do it anymore. I didn’t get $, which made it not a “job”, but I fit it in b/c I felt it was important and needed for them, and a great thing for me to invest my time in, and I felt God leading me to try to fill a need. I also made and sold crafts from home, sold rubber stamps through parties, worked at a camp on weekends for inner city kids, taught Bible studies to them on Wednesdays, and then took on a part-time nanny job, eventually marrying the uncle of the kids I was nannying. And yet, I still got that question and look like, “So, are you actually going to DO something with your life?” It’s unfortunate that people view $ as the gauge by which success is measured. I am so thankful for those days of ministry. They are treasures I could never have gotten in a “real job”. But just wait: even when you do marry and stay home, you’ll then have to fill out applications for your occupation, and occassionally get the, “So your just a home-maker? You don’t work?” 🙂 But don’t let these questions offend you. It’s just b/c the values of the world are so different than the values of Christ. I wonder if He got that question after He left carpentry to go “wander about the streets and meadows” to preach God’s word? He knows. 🙂

Nancy October 19, 2011

Dear Bailey,
I applaude your desire to do the most important job in the universe. I’m a stay-at-home, home schooling mom. I’ve always thought it was odd that people will praise you if you say you want to be a teacher, spending your days teaching other people’s children, shepherding other people’s children and showing love and care for other people’s children, yet they respond negatively when you say you want to care for, teach and shepherd your own children!

That being said, let me ask you to consider something. While you probably will get married, be blessed with a full quiver and live happily ever after with a wonderful man who will never need you to help financially, I think it’s a bit presumptuous to count on that. To be putting all of your eggs into the basket of a man you have not yet met is risky business. I’m a Christian too, and I know my Heavenly Father loves me as much as I love my four children (and infinately more) but I also know he does not owe me what I consider a perfect life. My husband has always wanted me to be at home, and for the most part, I have been. However there have been times, like when he lost his job four years ago and was completely unemployed for seven months, that he has needed my help. I was blessed to be able to serve him and our children by working. The education and experience I had gained before marriage allowed me to get a relatively high paying, professional position managing an insurance agency that really helped us stay afloat.

Also, I have several friends who wanted home and family more than anything. God did not answer those prayers as they would have liked. If they had not been prepared to support themselves they would have been a burden to their families and eventually would have been left to fend for themselves anyway after their parents died. Likewise I have a dear friend who was widowed with three young children. Her education has allowed her to work from home, educate her children, keep her house and pay her bills. My point is, you can’t count on everything working out perfectly in this fallen world. Bad things happen.

Before you meet that man who will make your drem of being a homemaker come true I encourage you to redeem the time you have been given. Prepare to serve in another capacity in case you are ever called upon to do so. Unless you can find Scripture that specifically promises that YOU will marry, and that YOU will be blessed with children, and that YOUR husband will never die, never become disabled and never leave you, please be diligent in yur preparations. You just never know when God will ask something unexpected of you.

Weave your own basket. If it is His will, your basket will fit prefectly into your husbands, leaving a safe, secure place for your eggs to hatch. You will never be sorry that you have spent your time wisely.

Bailey October 20, 2011

Nancy, we are kindred spirits. I very much think everything you said is spot on. To tell the truth, I wrote several controversial posts over at my blog recently regarding unmarried girls and their calling. While many people I respect may believe that girls should remain at home totally until marriage and focus on homemaking exclusively, I am not of that mind. I mentioned above that I am planning on going all four years to a college eight hours away…so I will definitely not be the typical homemaker-in-training!

You’re right. The Bible doesn’t say that ALL girls (including me) will get married or experience financial stability to the point where she can focus exclusively on raising children and keeping the home. Neither does it guarantee a life of financial instability, hardship and putting to death of cherished dreams. Basing one’s future life either on the perfect homemaking dream or the probability of no husband or incapacitated husband is a horrible decision for young women to make…we have NO idea what’s coming to us even in the next few weeks, much less a whole lifetime.

I totally agree that putting all our eggs in the basket of a man I haven’t mean is both presumptuous and dangerous. So what I encourage girls to do is to submit their dreams, interests and hopes (including homemaking) to the Lord and focus on what He has called them to do NOW. I firmly believe the Lord knows the span of all our days, and if we are serving Him faithfully, He will work all things out to our good. For me, that means looking into college, furthering my education and taking what I learn there back to my community. I’m not worried that those tasks will hinder finding a husband or my homemaking goals. I can only obey now. As an unmarried girl, I will serve Him faithfully…and should He grant my homemaking dreams, I will serve Him faithfully there.

I babbled more about this over here: http://bighouseinthelittlewoodsblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/presenting-mr-ashley-newton.html.

Tonya October 20, 2011

I love how clearly you expressed my heart! Now after 7 years married to a wonderful man, and 5 children later, I still get The Question, just worded slightly different. Learning to be confident in the desires of my heart as a young person and in finding my fulfillment in following God’s will for me then, has helped me tremendously to stay content in my role now as wife and mother. Yes, i am living my dream, but it is the HARDEST JOB on the face of the earth! When I am especially weary and feel at my wits end, I am still at peace in my soul knowing I am in the center of God’s will. I can fall into bed supremely happy, not caring that some well-meaning family members think I am wasting myself. I am living my dream and it is INCREDIBLE! 🙂
My pastor’s wife left her successful career to be a stay at home mom once their first child was born. She answered The Question this way “I don’t need a job to define who I am.”

Breanne October 21, 2011

Hi, Bailey,

I never found anyone who told me it was ok to just want to be a wife and mother until I was a junior in college.
I had the nicest school psychologist, who informed me that there was nothing wrong with my dream, one I’d scarcely admitted to anyone! She said that since it was a life that I CHOSE, not one I was forced into, it was a great life and nobody could criticize it.
That same year, the man who is now my husband told me that he wanted to be able to support us both so I could stay home with kids if I wanted.
I still got some funny looks from people who thought I was wasting my potential, but it was the internal knowledge that I’d chosen a life goal that would be both attainable and deeply satisfying that kept me happy.

Three years later – it hasn’t entirely worked out for us, but I’m trusting God that it still will. At the moment, I’m responsible for our income while he finishes college, and we don’t have kids yet, but “someday soon!” is my prayer and my goal.

I hope you find yourself looking back to this goal someday, thinking, “I made it! And I will continue to live my dream!”

Allison (or you can call me Natalie) October 23, 2011

I’m 3 or 4 years behind you, as you know, Bailey, so I haven’t gotten the “You’re gratuated; now what?” question yet. But people have asked me what I’ll major in – as if it’s totally certain I’m going to college. Even though I don’t think college is a sin, am not necessarily set on staying home, and (how should I know?) might end up there after all, that most people think of “Are you going to college?” as an unnecessary question irritates me.

(I do apologize for my long sentences. Confusing, I know.)

What do I say to my freshman version of The Question? “I love photography … and I’d like to write fiction … and I’m actually rather interested in interior design. But I want to get married and have kids.” Most of the time, people aren’t too weirded out by that, since they can see that I have socially acceptable interests and am not some kind of hermit from a cult.

Great post! Keep down the path you’re going, Lee!

Affectionately,
Allison

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: