WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAY?- THE MODERN WOMEN’S GUIDE TO HOUSEWIFERY PART III

Thanks for following along for this super short series!

Whose job is it anyway? That’s the main question that started this series of articles. When it comes to the home, whose job is whose? In the first article in the series, I shared a few questions wives can ask their husbands to get some clarification.

Today, I’d like to focus on what a stay-at-home Mom (or one with a home based business) does. Here’s a definition from Wikipedia (so you know it’s true):

A housewife is a woman whose work is running or managing her family’s home—caring for her children; buying, cooking, and storing food for the family; buying goods that the family needs in everyday life; housekeeping and maintaining the home; and making clothes for the family—and who is not employed outside the home.

Hmmm. Two aspects of this job description stick out to me.

  1. That’s an awful lot of responsibility.
  2. Really?! You haven’t updated this definition since 1950? What about taking the kids to sports events, play practices, or the multitude of other things kids do nowadays-Occupational therapies, speech therapy, tutoring and the list goes on forever…

I googled stay-at-home mom and got all kinds of blog posts and some advice I wouldn’t repeat on here. I saw kids called rotten words that I couldn’t imagine coming out of a stay-at-home Mom’s mouth. Not only has most of our current culture devalued the purpose of Motherhood in general, we Moms are devaluing ourselves. YIKES. Just ask any Mom what they do for a living. Even if they have a part time job at Starbucks (which I wouldn’t mind if I got to drink coffee all day) they will mention that before “I’m a Mom.” Or “I’m a home administrator.”

Then I found this gem on forbes.com:

“…the typical stay-at-home mom works almost 97 hours a week, spending 13.2 hours as a day-care teacher; 3.9 hours as household CEO; 7.6 hours as a psychologist; 14.1 hours as a chef; 15.4 as a housekeeper; 6.6 hours doing laundry; 9.5 hours as a PC-or-Mac operator; 10.7 hours as a facilities manager; 7.8 hours as a janitor and 7.8 hours driving the family van.

Salary.com aimed to market price Mom in the same manner it prices a job. For 10 titles, a nearly 100-hour work-week and a six-figure annual rate, moms may be the most valuable workers in the country.”

That’s good news, right? We Moms have a monetary value and should be called the most valuable workers in the country. You want to know the real reason what Moms do isn’t valued like Forbes suggests?

You can't put a dollar amount on a Mom_

You cannot measure the value of what a Mom does in mathematical terms. It’s not dollars and cents. It’s not something you can plot on a graph. What Moms do is invest in relationship. Yes, she does all the work listed above. Those are important, but they are actually footnotes in the larger scheme of things. You can’t put a dollar amount on a Mom:

  • investing in a child’s character
  • teaching them how to navigate life
  •  teaching them the foundations of family
  • unconditional love
  • the value of grace and mercy
  • forgiveness
  • steadfastness
  • how to pray
  • reading great literature
  • baking together just because
  • sitting by the fire with hot cocoa and having an in depth conversation with a teen about life

The reason our culture struggles with valuing Mothers is that you can’t really put a numeric value on it. It’s an eternal value that can’t be seen. But when a Mother has not done her job, you see the gaping hole in a child’s life. When you see a child who can’t manage to navigate the world when he is older, who do you blame? The Mother.

So, Mama if you are reading this and you have believed the lie that what you do is not valuable, remember this- C.S. Lewis said:

“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career. ”

 

WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAY?- THE MODERN WOMEN’S GUIDE TO HOUSEWIFERY Part II

Yesterday, I gave you a few questions to get the conversation about housewifery started. How did that go?

As promised, I want to delve into some scenarios today.

When a husband and wife agree that she will be the keeper of the home or the home administrator, that job needs to be clarified. A home administrator, according to Proverbs 31:

 She looks well to how things go in her household,

She is in charge of running the household. She makes the schedule for when things get finished,  unless there has been a conversation with her husband and he wants to take responsibility for something. It should be up to her to decide what should be a priority on a day to day basis.

Home Administration

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say Mom is home with the kiddos. They are having a great day playing board games and then the sun comes out. Everyone heads out to enjoy the weather. The lunch dishes are still in the sink when hubby gets home. Should he complain?

In this instance, Mom decided fresh air and some outside time was a priority. She made an executive decision. The dishes can wait. Dad can pitch in if he likes.

Here’s another scenario:

Dad comes home and the project Mom started is still on the floor in pieces. Maybe she didn’t have time to apply the last coat of wax to the desk she painted, so it is still in parts. Maybe something else was a priority that day.

Just to put this in perspective- does dad ever have a day at work when he doesn’t complete everything on his agenda? Does he ever have a bad day? Does everything always work out perfectly at work? Should it at home?

Here’s one last one that I ran into a lot. Hubby would come home and the house was a wreck-

“So, you didn’t do anything today?” he would ask.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking, we had the best day EVER. We hiked on the trail. Read a book aloud. Made cookies. You get the picture.

Another day, he would come home to a sparkling clean house and say:

“Wow, you got a lot done today!”

I would be thinking, I didn’t even crack a school book or play a game. We had a cleaning day. Everyone helped (which is great), but I looked at it a little differently.

This is why conversations about these things are so important. Women tend to be more relationship oriented and men more task oriented. I am a planner. I do love a schedule. But when it comes to being a home administrator, I look at the whole picture- now and the future. A sparking clean kitchen is not what my kids are going to remember. It may be something I teach them to do. It isn’t the first on my mission statement list.

With that said, let’s read some words of wisdom from Sally Clarkson:

  Your home is your domain-it is the part of creation that God has uniquely designed and delegated to you to subdue and rule over, especially as a homeschooling mother. However, homes of disorder get in the way of our stewarding this very important place, and creates an environment of stress and anxiety.

Home administration is a serious job. We must have a plan. We must be proactive. Kids can pitch in and help. Once we have a plan in place, it should be a guideline. If we can’t keep it perfectly, we shouldn’t throw it out. Tomorrow, I’ll get into a few more points and questions for you about being the Home Administrator. For now, if you feel as if you aren’t organized by nature, read this post- Schedules are for Unorganized People.

Whose job is it anyway?- The Modern Women’s Guide to Housewifery

The expectations of a stay at home Mom are often high. Add homeschooling to the mix and often the bar is raised instead of lowered.

  • Your schoolroom/area should be perfect
  • Your kids should be well dressed and clean all the time
  • Your home should be sparkly clean and farmhouse perfectly decorated (or whatever your style is) at all times.

Like in the fifties television shows, Dad comes home from work, sits in his easy chair and reads the newspaper. Mom, wearing her string of pearls and a dress covered by an apron finishes preparing a lovely home cooked meal.

Unfortunately, as beautiful as this picture may be, or maybe this picture makes you downright angry. It’s just not reality.

This series was sparked by some recent conversations with friend and Whole House peeps who need some help, clarity and wisdom (myself included). Some of us gals have hired outside help to clean our homes *GASP*. Yep. Me. I did that. This triggered a text conversation between hubby and I which we accidentally had on a group text with male church friend (YIKES) who finally joined the conversation with:

I don’t know what’s going on with you guys, but I’m praying for you.

Hubby relented to my plea to have some outside help with:

You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, so if it is going to help you- go for it.

It was true. I had a lot on my plate with preparing a workshop, podcasts, writing deadlines, etc… But, here’s the real question- Whose job is it anyway? To clean the house? To manage the house? Whose job is it anyway_Times have changed. It’s not the fifties anymore. Society has changed. One thing that won’t change is stuff has to get done. Houses have to get cleaned ish. Laundry won’t do itself. Meals have to be prepared. So, again, whose job is it anyway?

The truth is – you and your hubby need to have this conversation. If jobs are divided verbally or on paper, it makes it easier to know what your responsibilities are. It’s unrealistic to think that the woman must do everything.

“One way the modern conservative movement has hurt the family is by regarding the man as the head in all decisions, rather than the overall leader of the home and family. Men have been taught they should have control over every decision and aspect of homelife, often requiring their wives to seek their final say on every decision about money and home care. This isn’t true to the Biblical model of servant/servant relationship, or the man as the spiritual and directional head of the home. We don’t see the Proverbs 31 woman seeking permission to buy a field, care for servants, and prepare the house for difficult seasons. The erosion of trust in the ability of Christian women to act like rational, intelligent adults is hurting the family and creating constant stress— men are asked for permission that they decline because they can’t see the need in the same way, and women feel frustrated because the head of the home has essentially forbidden her from caring for the home in a way that benefits everyone.”- Audrey Simmons

Maybe you have never actually had a conversation about who should do what in the household. Here are some questions to ask your hubby to get you started:

1.What jobs do you expect me to do?

 2.What is your definition of a well run, successful home? Is it a perfectly clean home? Happy, well rounded kids?

3.What’s most important to you in how the household looks and runs, and what are you willing to do to help make that possible?

Tomorrow I’ll be continuing the series with some home and work scenarios!

The Truth About Being a Peacemaker

When I mention that I tend to be a peacemaker, I often get advice such as:

Don’t let people walk all over you.

You need to stand up for yourself.

You need to practice some self-care.

While these things may be true… sometimes. I think we often get mixed up in this stew of modern culture that tells us:

Do what makes you happy.

Live for yourself.

Sacrifice has become a negative word in our society. It’s okay to sacrifice if it makes you happy, just not if it makes you uncomfortable? That just doesn’t make good gospel sense.

Peacemaking is uncomfortable work. It’s giving up what you want in the moment to serve the best interest of peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God..png

We are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, not say “My way or the highway”. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. To sacrifice His life so that we may be in relationship with the Father. What will we give up to be in relationship with those around us? What we will give up to maintain peace?

  • Having the last word?
  • Always being right?
  • Perfectionist tendencies? *OUCH*
  • Inability to be flexible?

In the book The Screwtape Letters, the demon Wormwood receives instruction from his Uncle Screwtape on how to manage his “patient”. This section pertains to family:

“When two human have lived together for many years, it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurable irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient the particular life of his mother’s eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it.”

How often do we get offended in family or church life and don’t make peace? We chalk it up to our personality or bad temper. We play the blame game.

Here’s my question- How can we minster to the world if we can’t keep the peace in our own homes? Or in our church body?

Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.– Ephesians 5: 21

We are to be courteous to one another. Peacemakers.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.- Romans 12:18

If you’re naturally a peacemaker, go YOU. If you aren’t, find one and make friends. You could learn a thing or two from a peacemaker.

During and After the Diagnosis of a Capital Letter Syndrome

This week on the podcast, Lori and I talk about diagnosing a capital letter syndrome. It’s pretty scary territory. Sometimes there is an invisible stigma attached to stepping out and finding some help. Not sure why, maybe we just feel guilty. Mom guilt is real. Even if you adopted, you know you aren’t immune to Mom guilt. We Moms have some weird knack for feeling guilty that things that we didn’t have anything to do with. Raise your hand if you agree.

Episode 41

Untitled design (2)Untitled design (1)

Another issue we parents deal with when searching for answers for our kids’ struggles is the “Just do this…” people. You know what I mean, those people who have all the answers for your child based on spending sixty seconds with them. It’s irritating. Right? Our advice, don’t share with them. Limit your time with those “Just do this..” people as much as possible. Don’t take it personally. Just move on.

During and after the diagnosis

*this portion was written by Rachel Eubanks

Be prepared that it will hurt even if you are expecting it.  You will take it personally and you have to be ready to push back against that.  You can’t effectively advocate for your child if you are too busy attacking yourself.

Act professionally at the appointment, keep it together (especially if your child is with you).  This isn’t a death sentence, it’s just a tool for you to help your child.  It’s okay to fall apart later, but keep it together at first.

Talk about it with a few people you trust.  Yes, your child’s diagnosis is their story and you shouldn’t broadcast it without their permission, but it’s your story too.  You know what friends and family who will keep your confidence and not judge, talk to them.

Your child isn’t sick or weird, they are just missing a piece to their puzzle and as their parent it’s your job to find it.

Do any of your children have a capital letter syndrome? Share your story with us! We’d love to hear it.

Do you suspect that one of your kiddos has a capital letter syndrome? Did this episode help? Let us know!