2.14.2008

So you want to be a housewife...

Yesterday morning, reflecting on certain frustrations at my job of late, I said to my husband, "Maybe I can be a housewife..."

His quick reply: "Uh, uh. You can't be a housewife unless we have kids."

I tried: "But I could keep the house really clean and you wouldn't have to do any of it—you could do whatever you wanted."

"Hmmmm..." he paused.

Amazing how convincing the no-housework-for-you argument can be :-).

When I returned to reality, I thought about the importance of contentment. For the moment, becoming a housewife and escaping 8- to 5-woes seems next to heaven. But if I think on just a teeny, tiny big past the satisfaction of quitting, I can think of lots of problems with becoming a housewife.

Cleaning and cooking—and only cleaning and cooking—everyday would get old probably within a week. And then I'd start looking for a job because I simply cannot stand to be idle and feel useless (not that housewifery—a word?—is necessarily useless), which would promptly propel me out of my week-long homemaking career and into the workforce I had intended to leave behind for good.

Contentment in every area of life—not just in my not-always-delightful job—is so often difficult to come by. When I was single, a pastor told me that when he was single, he wanted to marry. When he married, he wanted kids. When he had kids, he wanted them to be old enough to vacation and play with. The quest for contentment never ends, he said, unless we make the choice to be content right now.

How's that choice made? Daily, I suppose. Every time I've purposed in my heart to be content for the long haul, it's never quite worked for me. Others probably have more discipline, but with just one day ahead of me, the decision for contentment doesn't seem as overwhelming. It's doable.

Now if I could just be a housewife...

4 comments:

The Chatty Housewife- said...

You can definitely be a housewife without having kids. I am! It doesn't say anything in the Bible about needing kids before you can be a keeper at home. :) The biggest struggle is idleness so I spend a lot of time walking outdoors (3 miles a day at least) spend time with friends, do crafts, thrift shop to decorate our home and give random gifts to others etc. I really enjoy it though and wouldn't want it any other way. I call myself a SAHW. "Stay at home wife."

Alison said...

Chatty,

Thanks for your comment! It's cool to see how God has called you to that. Obviously you are using your time for him. Probably if I stayed home I'd just want to sleep in and then scrapbook all day :-). The walking thing was inspiring!! I definitely need to do that more.

Right now my job is what he has called me to, for a number of reasons (one is so I can be a stay at home mom---which I think is critical---when we have kids). So I guess the point of my post was not to be anti-house wife but to show that God wants me to be content in any and every situation (like Paul says he learned to be).

By the way, I'm curious why you decided to stay at home, if you don't mind sharing. It's interesting how God puts us in all different places!

The Chatty Housewife- said...

I didn't take your post as being anti-housewife at all. I just found it interesting. I have worked before while being married- for the Coleman family appliance business actually! At this time in life my husband and I just really feel like it is right for me to stay home and I don't see myself ever going to work again, at least not for a long time. It is definitely a personal decision. If I do work in the future, I would prefer to work from home because I really feel like the home is my realm. Something like home daycare would be ideal. Anyways, I am rambling here! I really feel like "keeper at home" is literal for me. There is no other way to explain it.

This can be a very personal/touchy subject! There are a lot of varied opinions on this one that's for sure!

Alison said...

Hi Chatty,

Sorry for my delayed response. I agree it is important to be a "keeper at home" whether we work full time, part time, or not at all. I believe you're referring to Titus 2:5, KJV. That's an inspiring verse.

I have been doing a Bible study on Proverbs with some women in my church and we were talking about how important it is to make our homes a priority (in the context of the adulteress, who certainly did not). Caring for my husband and my home is truly a joy (except on days I don't feel like cleaning :-).

I also think about that delightful gal (poetic or not) from Proverbs 31. She's something to live up to! I think by our modern societal standards, she must have worked about six jobs, not including her homemaking duties. And I complain about my one and a half jobs! :-)

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