Monday, June 24, 2013

Stay-Home-Wife in an “Empty Nest”…why I am still home?

(Today I'm linking up with the Courtney at Women Living Well

I get asked the “question” all the time, don’t we all get asked the “question”? Isn't it the common question that helps us to get to know a new acquaintance? Isn't it the “thing” that defines who you are? That defines what your purpose is? Isn't it the answer to that “question” that allows the new acquaintance to determine how to approach you, and where they fit in in terms of commonality, friendship, communication? This answer, they are hoping, will give them some insight into your intelligence level and way of dealing with the world.

The question…“What do you do?”

There are a hundred answers that would result in a wide eyed gasping expression, a gushing of compliments on how wonderful your job is, how needed you are in our society, what a great job you do, how hard you must work, how amazing you are.  Doctor, nurse, teacher, ....

Sadly, the answer I give often results in just the wide eyes. Often times people have no idea how to respond.  

Often the conversation goes like this:

“What do you do?” ….

“I stay home”, I say with a genuinely joyful smile, “I take care of my home and my husband,… you know, cook, clean, garden, all that stuff.”

Wide eyed stare. Crickets chirping. Slight hint at a smile.  “Oh, that’s nice”. “I wish I could do that but I would get so bored with just nothing to do all day”….

When I was younger, I would feel hurt inside, damaged, offended, questioning... but I have grown to understand that I don't find my value in what others say.  I find my value in doing what I believe pleases God, and builds up my husband and my marriage.

My life is quite the opposite of that.  I don't find myself bored, I don't find myself lacking in things to do.  I have a purpose, a great purpose. When I had a child at home, I homeschooled and was Momma 24/7 as well as wife, cook, gardener, and household organizer. That child is now a man, he is grown and married, but that purpose has not gone away, it has only changed. I am still Momma. I am also Momma-in-law. There are still needs to be fulfilled in my role as Momma, and I am thankful, oh so thankful that I have the time available to fulfill them.  

More, and most, importantly, let us not forget that I actually married my husband.  Sounds silly, huh?  Of course I married my husband!  What I mean to emphasize here is that I did not MARRY my child, I married my husband.  I chose to be his wife.

I am still wife,… even more so now. I do not have an empty nest. My nest if full, full of life and love because the man I married is still here. I love taking care of him and I take my job here at home very seriously. I'm aware that I am very blessed to be able to stay home, and I'm thankful that I have a husband who wants that for me as well. What a struggle it would be to have that desire, that longing in my heart and have a husband that wanted me to be out there “contributing” financially. My heart is here, at home, and he blesses me by honoring that.

My being a housewife "without kids" is not a reflection on my lack of qualities or motivation to do something with myself.  My husband often turns to me for help and advice, after all I am his help meet.  The beauty of it is that I am available to help him, and that is a joy.  It's not an easy task to "make" a home.  Anyone can live in a house, but it does take a bit of work to make it a refuge.  I enjoy that work, I enjoy that task.

My being a homemaker allows me to wake up a few minutes before he gets out of bed and make his breakfast, pack his lunch and see him out the door each morning with a kiss and a hug, telling him that I love him.  I am also able to be here when he arrives home each day, greet him at his car and help him wind down from his day.  I'm flexible with my time so that we can do things together on his days off (shift work is not very normal) and I'm free to meet him for lunch, run errands when he can't, and make phone calls for him (if I remember too, sigh).

To some of you, that may sound very "1950's", and if it does, I don't really mind at all. :)

I was having lunch with a precious friend not too long ago, and we were talking about our lives... we are both stay home "empty" nesters.  She said something that stood out to me... "It is about trust.  A woman trusting that her husband will take care of her and not leave her hanging.  A man trusting that his wife will do her job diligently and not run off with their life savings".  I loved that.  I believe there are a lot of working women who would rather be home, but work for the fear of not trusting that their husbands can take care of them.  Trust your man.

On the other hand, I was speaking with another dear friend the other day, whom has always worked and never stayed home.  While explaining to her the joy I have in staying home and that being a wife is my "primary" job, she tried to (kindly) correct me.  She wanted me to change my answer in regards to the fact that I have an Etsy shop.  I think me putting my housewife status above anything that makes money makes her feel uncomfortable.  She had such a hard time understanding how I would put being a wife above something that could be considered a "job".  I, lovingly, corrected her and explained that anything that I do that brings in extra income is still just a hobby to me, because my primary role, my job that I love doing with all my heart is being a homemaker.

" that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to  their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."  Titus 2:4-5

"She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness."  Proverbs 31:27