The myth of working women
Have you ever read a blog and thought "I disagree with this" or "this is just not true". It plays on your mind and you mull over the words. I have read a couple of new blogs this week and have felt this way so I am going to respond. You may not agree with me, and that is ok. We are all different, with different opinions and that is what makes blogging so enjoyable.
So what has annoyed me?
Working men and women often make comments about at stay-at-home mums and wives and wonder "what do you do all day". I have had many conversations with colleagues along this line and defended SAHM/Ws. However, it also happens the other way, with SAHM/Ws making comments about working women that simply aren't true (not all women bloggers, please don't get me wrong). So I want to tell you my experience, which are very similar to many of my friends and their friends.
We are not all frazzled, worn out and exhausted women.
We are in fact: full of energy (as much as any woman in their 40's can be), able and willing to cook home cooked meals every night from scratch, able to run a home smoothly and keep it clean, neat and tidy, keep up with the laundry (we don't run out of socks in my house!), do the dishes and always get the children to school on time with a homemade packed lunch (don't need to do this any more).
In my spare time I: read, do arts and craft, photography, cook, garden and watch movies (not all at once). And I'm learning to sew (again) and embroider. I chat with my parents several times a week and run errands for them eg hunt down books and DVDs etc.
I have two grown up sons who I still run around for (and bake!), and if they need me, I am there for them.
I work full-time as a statistician and social researcher. I love my job but I don't like getting up at 6am! Who does? In my lunch hour I read, post mail, do banking, decide what is for dinner, read my bible, go for a walk, read blogs, sit and think. I am not a slave to my job, I am not "married" to my job.
I am busy but I am NOT exhausted.
There is a myth that women/mothers/wives who work cannot run their homes successfully. This is a myth, it simply isn't true. If I kept it any cleaner, it would drive DH mad.
We are not lesser Christians
Do I think working is sinful? No, and in case you are wondering, I didn't find my job, it found me after much prayer. Why do I work, because I love doing what I do, I don't do it because desperately need the money, I do it for enjoyment. It might sound strange to some. I am not a lesser Christian woman because I work. I am not honouring God less because I work. We can honour God from many different places, not just as a SAHM/W.
I am a keeper of the home, I take great care of it and all those who live within it. Just as you do.
Does my husband want for anything . . . no, if he wants a roast on Monday night, he gets a roast. If he wants me to pick something up, I do it. If he asked me to stop working, I would. It isn't my life. I submit to his wishes, however much of what we do is as a team.
Artificial flower workers by Alexander Mann
How did I learn to work and run a household? Thanks to my mother who did just this. She was a teacher all my growing years. . . why did she work? Because if she didn't, we probably would have been very poor as it takes a number of years to get a farm established and running successfully. She never neglected us and we lived in a wonderful family home with the love of the Lord overflowing (and those who know her, I think you would agree, she is one strong determine Christian woman who doesn't not follow the world).
What was my mothers greatest gift to me (besides the love of the Lord) - how to be organised. I am a very organised person and as a result all runs smoothly. You could say I run "a well oiled machine" as the phase goes. And in reality - keeping my house organised no longer takes me much time.
But I am NOT a superwoman.
I think it is wonderful that many women are at home and homeschooling (it wasn't something that we saw a need to do), but please, I beg you all, don't assume that us working mothers and wives are living in a complete mess and our children and DH's are being neglected. Not even the cats in my house are neglected. And if you come and visit, I can provide homemade cake and bread!!
We are all working women, we just work on different things. Women have been working both inside and outside the home for centuries, including in the bible and we have all managed to keep the "home fires burning" and care for our children and husbands and through the Grace of God, we will continue.
PS I am no feminist, even though I work!
Making feathers by Johann Hamza
Footnote: These are my experiences and are not necessarily the experiences of other women. It works for me because I have made it work. As I say - my job is not my life and my employer does not rule my life. Many of my friends also share very similar experiences to me. This is not to say that other women find it difficult.
And when do I find time to blog . . . you would be surprised!!!