Saturday, January 23, 2010
Are you REALLY a keeper at home?
In this day and age, we hear so much in the conservative Christian community about raising our young women to be keepers at home. Even in the secular community, there are many "stay at home moms." However, how many of these mothers are actually staying at home? How many Christian wives and mothers are actually keeping at home?
Being a keeper at home is so much more than not having a job outside the home. It is more than keeping the home clean or keeping up with laundry. It is staying home and doing productive and creative things more than finding ways to be entertained or busy outside the home.
I know. I sound like an old woman. I used to wonder why my own mother used to question why I was out so often with my young children (this was back when I only had 3 or 4). I'd be at the zoo one day, a friend's house another day, and the library another. I made sure I was fulfilling my duties at home, but I was not content to stay at home. Eventually, neither were my children. Having fun meant going out and doing things - NOT staying home, "house-BOUND."
Now that my children are older, I find peace and comfort in staying at home more. This is not to say we do not go anywhere. We still enjoy visiting friends and fun places. However, the crankiness of the kids when we come home and the exhaustion that hits after being gone all day does not make for a restful home for my husband to come home to. Also, believe it or not, this homeschool family finds education important and I cringe when we cut into our homeschool week and responsibilities too much. My children's education is their responsibility. When they are older, my sons will have jobs they need to go to every day and put in a full day's work before they can go and do "fun" stuff. In keeping with our school routine and schedule, my daughters' are learning to fulfill their duties before doing other things - just as they will have to when they are wives and moms.
What are we teaching our children by going out all the time - even if it's as a family having parties at other people's home on a continual basis? That life is a continual party? So often, soberness is lost during these times of fellowhship. I love to get together with other Christian friends and families, however, spending time with my own family and finding that fun and enjoyable is just as important. It is a sad thing when a quiet evening at home with just one another is considered a boring evening. I admit, I have felt that way - it has taken time spent at home to learn to really see that a full life is not dependent on outside activities. You can have fun without going anywhere or having anyone over!
"But I don't have children actually doing school, yet." "I don't have children at all." "Once the chores are done, what am I supposed to do - look at the walls and twiddle my thumbs?"
First of all, are your duties in the home done to the best of your ability or are you doing just enough to justify going out for yet another day at the mall? What about actually playing or reading to your little ones and creating memories? How I wish I did even more of that! What about letter writing and card sending? That is such a lost art in this day of instant messages via e-mail, facebook, and, ahem, blogs. But, there is nothing like holding a card - especially handmade - that took someone time to send. Making cards for others is a desire I have, and am hoping to set aside specific times in order to do it. Yesterday, an acquaintance of mine stopped by with a wonderful plate of cookies just to say "thank you" for something. What a blessing! She had such gratitude that she took the time to bake cookies, write a note, and drive to my house to drop them off. She didn't do that by running to and fro throughout the earth - she is a keeper at home. Notice, she did actually leave her house. The reason for her outing was to be a blessing to someone else - and there was true joy on her face.
I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade. Going out is often a stress-reliever and a breath of fresh air. I even think it is necessary - AT TIMES. I'm just trying to challenge each one of us (including myself) to re-evaluate our roles as "keepers at home" or "stay at home moms" and look at the time we actually spend at home blessing our families and others rather than flitting around the town having fun.
Go - enjoy life as a TRUE stay at home mom!