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Oh, hello! I’m just wafting the aroma of this soup I’ve been slaving over all day long. I’m so skilled at domestic chores, that my hand isn’t even burning right now as I hold this pot of soup.
Welcome to my kitchen. My name is Holly. Holly Homemaker.
This question is from a 27 year old single male who deeply values the fact that his mom stayed home to raise him. He wants the same thing for his kids, but doesn’t want to ask a woman to give up her dream job, or come off as chauvinistic. He’s wondering how to tactfully broach the subject, or if he’s missing the point all together.
Ever stay away from topics near and dear to your heart for fear of being misunderstood by the person you’re dating? Any ideas of how you could apply my advice to your situation?
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‘Broach;’ that is totally a new term I may/may-not have to add to my vocabulary.
This is a great question and I am betting offers some good discussion. This conversation typically comes up around date #3 or #4; as I try to get family values, upbringing and future plans out in the open early before I get emotionally attached.
I was raised in a single parent home and there was nothing that meant more to me than quantity time with Ma. I started chores at a young age and tried my hardest to have my chores and homework done before Ma got home from work so we could have “family time.” Fortunately Ma was self employed after I was in third grade and was able to spend nights and weekend afternoons with me. From third grade to ninth grade –when I moved out because I was too “independent”– we had many great adventure and I have some of the best fireside stories ever told.
It would be my preference my wife stay home with our children, I would even prefer “homeschooling” through the Elementary School years. MS and HS years private schools more than likely, obviously more to be discussed.
Throughout the old testament when ever a king is refereed to as a “Good King” the mother’s name is listed beside his, when the king is refereed to as a “Bad King” the father is listed.
Great topic of discussion!
@Arlo, Wow, never noticed that about the “Good King” vs. “Bad King”… very interesting point!
Joy I absolutely agree with everything you’ve said!
And just as a note to this young man. Take heart. There are women out there who want to be stay-at-home moms. (Myself included.) I know that many of my friends also feel the same way despite being successful in their careers or pursing degrees. They all plan to put those things aside, at least for a time, in order to rear children. And it’s not something we anticipate with disdain, dreading being “less fulfilled” as mothers. I look forward to being a mother.
I will say that this is not a thought many of us feel free to express often, just due to how society is. If my co-workers knew I felt this way? I’m sure they’d go all womens-lib-femi-nazi on me! I’d have people trying to convince me that I NEED to work professionally.. when I simply don’t agree.
@JOY, HAHA! I am actually talking a great guy right now who let me know from the beginning what he wants in a wife. I was amazed to find someone who saw things the same way I do. Before, I thought this desire would just be a pipe-dream.. but right now I am being encouraged to let this dream flourish. It’s been a blessing to my heart.
But thanks! I’ll let you know if things don’t work out! 😉
I’ve been a SAHM for almost 13 years and while I strongly value what that does for our 5 kids, I have a really, really crappy resume now. On paper, I’ve done “nothing” for the last 13 years. I probably couldn’t get a job that would value my true skillset to save my life. (That’s how it feels, anyway. I know God is brewing something up for me.) My suggestion would be to talk about how a woman could stay connected to her career while staying home during the important hours/years. Divide up those domestic duties as well so no one gets overworked and exhausted and bitter. It seems like the workplace is getting more progressive and flexible. Maybe a different job, where the gal’s skills and education are equally valued but in a different vocation, one that works for a mother. There’s a way to meet in the middle; she doesn’t have to throw away one education to start fresh on another (parenting! yikes! no one knows what they’re doing at first!).
@wendy, Well said. Having a conversation and appreciating each other’s values is most important and it’s good to not go into marriage blindly about what you value. But I do want to encourage you that those 13 years were notable and I believe there are many careers that would see it as such. It might simply come down to how you present yourself and the skills you bring to the table. Which are many.
It was probably a 1.5 year after we were married that my hubby and I were deeply prompted by the Spirit in this passage Titus 2:1-5 : “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: … that they (older women) admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” It became a faith choice for us when we decided he would work outside the home and I would renounce my “career” and take on the 24/7 job of stay @ home.
There were fears, doubts, insecurities, unappealing June Cleaver (who’s that Joy?)stereotypes, and a few vain tasks to conquer. Questions like: would we make it financially? How do we do a stay-@-home mom thing ( my hubby and I were latch key kids with hardened- single moms). Could we do it well? Or would our scar our children for life? Would God supply all our needs like He said he would?
Marriage, raising babies, being a stay @ home wife/mom and being a dependable husband/daddy, trusting God were all steps of faith for us!
16 years and counting…going thru thick and thin times, we have had no regrets with all of these stepping-out-in-faith decisions ( homeschooling included). God has carried us through every season. We have not been begging for food on the streets. He has supplied all our needs and been faithful in all His ways with us! I have walked by faith stretched out of my sweet spot in every season. We adore our kids and God gives us confirmations that those decisions were best for our family!
I agree with Joy’s advice find the woman who will be a good match on your faith walk and desires for the future! Your desires are honorable and wise! Have faith! The Lord will provide! Jehovah Jireh!
I love this! In our young adults group, this topic has come up a bit lately. Most of the group is people that are single or dating and most have a very “pro family” view of life.
We also have a few young families. Some work full-time while raising children and in others, the moms are staying at home to raise their children. One of the most common things the stay-at-home moms ask us about is knowing their purpose if they’re not part of the work force. It’s kind of alarming that they don’t see that they’re amazing people doing truly amazing things!
We’re working on forming a study right now about all of that. I’d love to share this video during that!
Thank you so much! 🙂
Great vid, Joy! I particularly like the bit about the strengths fathers and mothers bring to families. I am who I am today in large part because BOTH my parents chose to be at home as much as possible. Growing up I knew lots of girls whose fathers had to be always working in order for their moms to stay at home, and some of those girls are a real mess now because they didn’t really have dads in their lives.
Some families can afford (financially and quality-time-wise) a single income home. Some can’t. It’s different for everyone. And of course, as you mentioned, interests, talents, and personalities are all different too. In my family, my mom’s working part-time (which she, personality-wise also happens to LOVE) once we were in school provided the means for my father to be at home with us for dinner and at night and on the weekends. They took a lot of flack from their peers at church who believed there’s a one-size-fits-all, biblically-mandated Way across incomes, and personalities, but I am so very thankful to both my parents for the sacrifices they made and the love they gave–and continue to give–to my brother and myself.
Again, great response, Joy. Another particularly proud moment for me was your nod to the shift after the industrial revolution; Nancy Pearcey would be proud too. (And so would Richard.)
Some families can afford (time and money-wise) to have a single-income home. Some can’t. It’s different for everyone. The best way for my family to see as much of each other as possible was for
@reneamac, Your story was a perfect addition. And I totally should link to Nancy’s book. I think that’s where I first read about the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the family. http://www.amazon.com/Total-Truth-Liberating-Christianity-Captivity/dp/1581344589
I would love to be a stay-at-home-mom. At present, I am working full-time to support myself, but I am also very much looking forward to the time when I can employ my time taking care of my home, husband, and family. I would not be against working part-time if needed, but it is a deep desire of mine to create home and hearth for a supportive husband. I know plenty of young women who feel the same. I agree with Joy- if your heart is in the right place, you need not worry about seeming chauvinistic.
I think this is a perfectly great question to ask. I would love it if a guy asked me this. In fact, one of my guy friends, years ago, talked about this with me. We were just friends then, but even so…it was cool. It’s not an unrealistic expectation and it’s not being chauvanistic…not even close. What makes it chauvanistic, in my humble opinion, is when the guy thinks that’s the ONLY thing a woman is created to do…and nothing else. NOw having said that, on the practical side, if it was me and my guy wanted me to stay at home, I’d say “YES” in a heartbeat. I’ve always wanted to be a “Stay at Home” mom..I’d probably work till I had kids. After that, I’d figure out a way to work from home part-time…but that’s just me.
It’s important to have these discussions BEFORE marriage, because you do NOT want to be fighting about it afterwards. Communication is key…and if you can’t communicate with your girlfriend, what’s on your heart…than you might need to question whether that’s a relationship you want to be in. Just my humble offerings 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂
I think it’s really too bad that this guy is afraid to ask this question. It’s a great question to ask, and I don’t think I know any mature/dateable women who would be offended by it.
If it helps, I’d like to point out that single women appear career-oriented and passionate about their jobs because… well… we kind of have to appear as such to employers. If an employer or potential employer thinks a woman is not serious about working hard and improving her job skills, they will not extend any opportunities for career advancement her way. No one wants to promote someone who, in their perception, will leave at the very first chance they get. And, since we all know there’s always a chance we will never get married, and since no one wants to stay at an entry-level job for all their working days…
I hope this guy and all the pro-family guys out there can try seeing career success as simply good stewardship of the single life we’ve been given. The other option would be languishing in unemployment, and that doesn’t form a woman into a good homemaker, either. Good stewardship and learning making the best of what we’ve got will only help Holly Homemaker.
Great advice, Joy and I totally agree with all that you said.
I think another point is that it would be wrong for a man (and someday a husband) to ask a woman (and someday his wife) not to work in a field or position that God has called her to be in. Not that this fellow is doing that – as you said, he’s “pro family”. It’s just something to remember.
For example, my husband would like me as the mother to be at home the best that I can with our future children. However, God has called me to be a nurse from a young age and I have a deep passion and drive for that. So he would never dream of asking me to give that up. Especially since for me to give that up would be, I feel, going against God’s will for my life and therefore disobeying Him.
Thankfully, we both agree in that I also want to home whenever possible with our future children. So I will work and fulfill God’s will for my life (and now our life) but on a part-time basis so I can also be with my children, which would be another calling God has set out for me.
Like you said in your video, most mature women will be able to have this conversation. I don’t know any genuine Christian women who would react badly to that question.
Loved this video, your response, and all the comments so far.
I think one of the most convincing ways a man can communicate his love for his wife and his desire to support her at home is by working very, very hard and demonstrating fiscal planning and responsibility in his life, even before marriage. I know several men at this point in my life who claim to be “pro-family” but are actually “anti-work”, leaving their wives to pick up the slack financially AND at home.
Hearing a guy say that he would like to support his wife at home is truly a breath of fresh air, but like Renea’s comment pointed out, in today’s economic climate, surviving on one income is often a challenge. Many of these men experienced the joy of having their moms at home filling home-maker roles, but haven’t adjusted their expectations in light of their own difficulties finding gainful employment and the lack of jobs available for many.
Of course, a lot of guys go off the deep end in the other direction by becoming totally wrapped up in their careers. Unfortunately, I’ve seen that happen less often than I’ve seen unemployed or underemployed husbands surfing the internet while their working wives wash the dishes. (I’m mostly talking about uncles of mine. No offense to anyone else!).
ANYWAY, all I was boiling that down to was that the desire to support your wife at home is an honorable one, but can’t be divorced from hard work and evidence to show you can afford to make that kind of decision together. L&R points out financial stress is one of the major causes of conflict in marriage. Remove that stress from your wife’s anxiety radar, and you might be impressed at how easily she embraces the home-maker role.
If the important thing is family and having a parent at home with the kiddos and being open to discussion–all things I agree with, then another thing to consider is being open to a stay at home dad option, or taking turns staying at home with the kids.
Love the great use of Proverbs 31 Joy!
Loved this topic and discussion! Speaking as a single young lady, I think another reason this topic is hard is that women (and men) of this generation can’t trust marriage like previous generations. Marriages of today are fewer, later, and shorter. Women may want deep down to be married and stay home with their children, but single girls can’t be sure those things will ever be in their future, or at the very least the near future. So we are encouraged to pursue careers “in the mean time” or “just in case.” Moreover, we are supposed to be “content” with our singleness which sometimes can come across as “independent” or “career oriented” (actually, I’m still figuring this out myself.) Even after marriage there is a “just in case” in the background that can make women want to keep up with their careers.
So while expectations and insecurity make things difficult on women, I think a couple of the commenters were right to say that jobs and taking responsibility are where it’s difficult for men. Speaking of which, the difficulty of providing for a family is often cited as a reason for moms to work, but you have to look at what Americans mean by “provide.” If by “pay the mortgage” they really mean “pay the mortgage on this nice house I was actually just hoping we could better afford in a couple years” or by “save for college” mean “save for an Ivy League school and private school before that” well, you just have to question priorities. (Of course I’m not at all trying to be flippant, and some people really do need more than one income; I’m just trying to give perspective to one issue.) After all, this is what society says is normal, but as a Christian you really have to ask if this is worth what you give up with mom working or dad working three jobs.
p.s. In my family, my dad works at home and my mom is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, who also has an online marketing business and is loving it.
I should add, I do not particularly wish to stay home, even if we could afford it. But I wouldn’t be offended if someone I was dating wanted to talk about it. I wouldn’t be offended if it were a deal-breaker for him. Better to talk about such things while dating than to fight about them after marriage.