DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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23 July 2013

Let's talk about the new homemaker

While most of the comments posted here make great reading, I am very interested in the number that commented on the family, friends and community reaction to us as homemakers. It seems there is quite a bit of negative reaction.  I'm not sure why, but I never have anyone say similar things to me now. Possibly my family and friends don't because, even if they felt it, they'd not want to hurt my feelings. And from those I don't know so well? Who knows. Generally the reaction I get is that people love what I'm doing and they're trying to do the same. But I am a bit of a hermit so maybe I'm not meeting enough people.


No matter what the reason, I'm told that homemakers are looked down on and thought of as a bit lazy; they're at home all day not contributing much to family or community. The comments here confirm it. At best it seems we're seen as quaint and old fashioned, but who wants that. Most of you know how I feel about it. I think homemakers are the backbone of the nation. We are the ones who soothe shattered nerves when our workers and students come home. We make life more comfortable with warm food to fill bellies and clean sheets on the beds. We are the ones who stretch grocery dollars to make sure we get value for money and keep healthy food on the table. We balance the books, make do on little, mend, recycle and work away quietly to create a happy home. But we do a lot more than that. You all know what that is and I'm not going to re-write the sentiments of last week's post.

Maybe we cop this criticism because we don't speak up and let others know what we do in the home.  The type of homemaking we do is not the same as it was in the past; our work is not piecemeal, we have a full and holistic program for our homes. We work to routines and plans, just like a business does. Let your friends and family know there is a new form of homemaking now and it involves not only housekeeping but also choosing healthy food for the family, stretching the dollars, making sustainable choices for our family such as green cleaning, recycling and reducing waste. Explain home production to them. I'd like everyone who hears criticism of their role to defend it and their right to do whatever they want to do.


I am here to proudly say that as an intelligent, educated woman with many choices to do what I want to do, I choose to call myself a homemaker and author. I think I'm fortunate and privileged to do both. But whether you work solely in the home, or you combine outside work and home work, I think we can all stand proud. We stabilise and strengthen home and community life. Who else does that? We help run school P & Cs, we fundraise, we volunteer, we look after parents and children, and each other. And yes, we do the housework so that our husbands, wives, partners and children come home to warmth and comfort. We create safe havens.


When you talk about your role in the home, do it with grace. None of us want to listen to some arrogant so-and-so standing in judgement on us. Don't do that to anyone else either, don't criticise anyone's work. Work is work and whether you work at home or outside the home, no one should criticise how and where you choose to work.

Knowing we have our critics, you have to have a good measure of self-belief to do this but I want us to stand up and be proud of what we do, despite what others think. I want us to publicly talk about our role in the home, what we do, and that what we give to our family and our communities strengthens and sustains them. Make sure you tell your children why you've chosen your role as homemaker and explain to them how you see your work in the home as your job.


Let's start talking out loud. Let's explain to those who don't know, that homemaking has changed significantly. Explain what you love about your work. Explain the satisfaction and the happiness. Tell them you pick fresh greens in your backyard and collect eggs. Tell them about your cooking, sewing and knitting. Tell them you make green cleaners and offer to share your recipes. We might pick up a few converts. Hopefully most of those you talk to will understand what you're doing, and why. But if they still criticise, just walk away. There is no telling some people. Change is often slow but I think a new understanding is coming. It's up to us to help it along.

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, thats all who ever have.
Margaret Mead.

61 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful post !! Thank you so much.

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  2. This was a lovely post, Rhonda. I feel strengthened and empowered by your words. I don't appreciate the way some others have commented on what I do, especially when they ask me, "Have you thought about what you want to do when you grow up," like this isn't a deliberate, conscious choice. Like maybe I'm only doing because I have nothing better to do. That's so untrue. I will remember your words next time it happens.

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  3. The only comments I have ever received about my homemaking status are ones of envy.
    One career lady who is very high up in her chosen work told me she believes paid work is the new form of torture for many women and that the high paying jobs make it even more so.
    So taking all that on board I think I'm very lucky to be able to be home based.

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  4. Hi Rhonda! I love, love this post! Because of my personal lack of funds, I have had to learn to be creative. I am a single mom with 3 children to raise. Being a mom, is number 1 for me. I do work out three mornings a week. For the rest I have had to work out how to save money when I am at home looking after my family. Homecooked meals from scratch are a great starting point. Basic ingredients aren't usually expensive. My son bought 16 chickens last year and supplied our household with fresh eggs and more to sell. This spring I bought 32 of my own. These will provide me with some extra income from the home. Our back yard is now dubbed 'the farm'. We have a large vegetable garden and eat from it nearly every day. Extras are put up for the off season. The number of skills you learn being home and then being able to share them at times is so rewarding. It gives you the energy to go on. My next skill I want to learn is crochet. I can knit, sew and embroider but would love to crochet. Hopefully this will happen in the winter. Networking with friends is also a great way to share and learn new things. Yes, people look at me if I mention that many of our items come from thrift stores. But I know, we get far more satisfaction out of our way of living then they do. Thank you so much for all your inspiration! I love making your 5 minute bread. I make it most weekends. We all love it. Making bread the regular way makes me nervous and I really don't have the time. So for now, this is the perfect bread to feed my family!

    Sincerely, Janina from Ontario, Canada

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  5. Interesting....I am aware of a negative perception but I think I have heard more women say, ' I am just a mum/housewife/homemaker' rather than someone making a negative comment about that status. As for me having worked all my life full time, I would have loved that opportunity but the absence of a long term partner and not having children meant that I did not have that choice. Who knows if I would have lasted at it, but I was always envious of others. I am very lucky now to be at home full time, with Christopher still working for a few more years. As I am older sometimes I am frustrated that I cannot manage more in a day and my motivation sometimes is lacking. I know my mum worked hard but I was always envious of her being to pick and choose what she did and when she did it and sometimes choose to do,fun stuff rather than work as I always had to work

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  6. I think what every a person job is they want the feeling of there not wasting there time and actual there having feeling of contentment. But actual more in the homecare line I feel like I'm wasting my time then staying home and being a home maker.
    the other thing I get the eye roll on is that we're not big consumers either we don't have a lot of toys and debt....Coffee is on

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  7. I think it would be wonderful if more women saw homemakers as an important part of society. However, I know a lot of women who work in paid employment because it is 'easier'. They like the fact that they can 'switch off' from their home life as raising a family and being at home is hard work! Beats me then why homemakers are criticised for being lazy.

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  8. HI! I'm new to your blog (from Thrift at Home) and am enjoying it very much!

    On this topic: My attitude toward my own homemaking changed completely when I read the introduction to the New Laurel's Kitchen cookbook. The author convincingly argues (and I've since read the argument in many other places) that the denigration of homemaking is the direct result of marketing interests that make all their money when the home is no long a unit of production. If I cook exclusively from scratch with locally grown foods what happens to the processors, middle-men, restaurants, agri-business giants, packagers, advertisers, etc., etc.? Makes perfect sense that we would have been fed a steady diet of anti-homemaking rhetoric. The first job of colonized people (which homemakers are, I believe) is to decolonize their own minds.

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    1. Rebecca that is such a succinct explanation that makes so much sense, thanks for sharing that information.

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    2. Oh wow, I loved your post. This is so true, just when you think you know all of our societies marketing cons, there comes another one. I hadn't thought about it like this and appreciate how clearly you made it. I feel so much stronger to dig my heals in and make my homemaking life a career choice that I'm proud of - with grace of course! Gillian McDowell

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    3. Rebecca, this is a great point. It's sad that so many people have a belief system created from business advertising and media (all of which is on the big business payroll). I'm sure most people don't even realize how much they have been brainwashed. It really takes a lot of effort to separate yourself from it and then ignore it and live your life as you choose. That's why we are the radicals of today. However as to cause and effect, I am a middle aged woman and my experience was that first came the deliberate denigration of homemaking and raising children by the women's liberation movement. It took many years before a sizeable proportion of women had been to college, and/or were employed in well paying jobs, and were more likely to be single and the sole decision maker in financial matters, and had discretionary money to spend on themselves and their lifestyle. Only then was there large scale marketing of products and services directed at these women as if only they mattered. I can remember TV ads that basically said to women you are important because you want to take good care of your home, whereas today they say you have better, more important things to do than take care of your home--both types of ads for the same products. You can see their point, what can you sell to people who are creatively engaged in doing more with less and who value self-sufficiency so highly? It's the spillover of marketing strategy and media hype into the everyday mentality that is so objectionable.

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  9. Hi Rhonda, i find most people are interested in saving money where they can so I tell them how much they can save just by making their own laundry detergent & using vinegar & sodi bic to clean with, if they are interested in learning any more i tell them about yours & other web sites i read & learn so much from. Those of us living this wonderful way of life show by our actions & snippets in conversation how rewarding it is, it sells itself. I feel an air of peacefulness now that I didn't have before & people notice 'how well or happy I look' - & they want to know why!! so I tell them, just start by changing one thing, it'll grow from there.

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  10. Oh yes. So very very true. I'm telling anyone who'll stand still long enough to listen. With parties and playgroup here at the farm I have contact with such beautiful young families and I let the parents know how wonderful they are, and how important their role is. The conversation always moves to home making and how important I feel it is, and how we have been made to feel that home making is seen as no longer being a worthwhile occupation. I talk about the things we do here and how satisfying they are, and that I've never been happier than I am now. That I have much more purpose in my life looking after my home, producing food, budgeting,sewing,knitting etc etc.There is a surge of people looking for something different. We have to willing to share the information with them.

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  11. For me personally I don't feel the need to defend my lifestyle or even talk about it that much to other people unless they show an interest. I think you really come into your own when it just doesn't matter what other people think as long as you are doing what you want. I quietly thank my lucky stars every Monday morning that I do not have to hit the rat race...it took hard work and planning to get to this point and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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  12. Dear Rhonda. This post really resonates with me. I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mum and I'm proud of the two men that I have raised. Now that I am retired and a home-maker I can do my bit by helping in the community, and making myself available when I'm needed to help with the grandchildren.

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  13. I love your series on homemaking! While I currently work outside the home, I take pride--and pleasure--in making sure the house is always tidy, foods are lovingly prepared and that our home is warm and inviting. My husband calls me an old soul since many of my peers (mid-30s) don't see the value in homemaking. Some are stay at home moms, but they don't enjoy the homemaking part of staying home. I will get to come home, and stay home, starting later this year and I'm thrilled! I love a good challenge, and going to one income while getting ready to move our family half way around the world to Japan for the next few years is the challenge put before me. I couldn't be happier and I already stand proud of my decision in front of my co-workers. For me, the home is the heart of my family and if I can keep our home full of love and bellies full of good food, then I feel that we're all prepared to start our days on the right foot. Knowing that we all get to come home to this place and eat a home cooked dinner ends our day on the right note. There's few other places I would rather be than at home.

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  14. I get raised eyebrows & funny looks all the time from my work colleagues when I say I can't wait to be home on my week off or for good when I retire!

    Their comment is "won't you be bored?"

    I respond "there is no such thing as boredom!"

    I tell them I have a garden to grow & tend so that we can eat healthy food. I have food to preserve so that we can eat well out of season. I have food to make so that we can live cheaper. I have housework to do so that we have a clean, happy home to live in & enjoy! I have a dog to walk, washing to do, soap to make, sewing that needs to be done and too much to do it all in one day...so how can I be bored?

    Being a homemaker is busy, fun, tiring & one of the most rewarding things you can do!

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  15. Thank you Rhonda for a great post. Makes me more content everyday going about my home maker work, I have a full day that I can plan and know I am contributing to a healthy, happy family.
    Regards Leonie

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  16. The warm fireplaceJuly 23, 2013 8:23 am

    Great post Rhonda, i am proud to be a housewife, all my friends are too, i dont worry what people think only my family under this roof, i know the value of my work and what happens if i am not here, but each to there own, i know its hard out there to make ends meet, but i would and do go without to be where i am and no regrets.
    Sue

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  17. I think the lazy perception occurs because homemakers are usually only seen by others when they're not undertaking usual work, e.g. when they have a break and go out for a coffee, or visit the Gallery on a weekday when it's quieter rather, or queue up at the RTA to renew their license. In these situations a frazzled office worker running errands on their lunch break might look at the calm homemaker and think "He/She has it easy!" but of course that's because they're not getting the whole picture, they don't see the hard graft that happens in the home. The same could be said for the less enthusiastic homemaker who looks at the corporate worker and thinks the clean suit and polished hairstyle looks oh so glamourous but fails to realise the pressure of crushing deadlines and middle (micro) management. The truth is we all need to be a little more empathetic and perhaps a little more proud of our contributions. After al,l we are all cogs in a wheel, all our roles have their part to play.

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  18. I want to print this out and put it on my wall. Bravo Rhonda! love, Tina xxx

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  19. Hi Rhonda I got some more point of lay chooks on the weekend to add to the clan. I love collecting the eggs and watching them as you open the gate letting them out for the afternoon. I told people at work they look at me as if I am weird. You no what I don't care they make me happy and we do very well selling the eggs. Just like fine dining and weekend clothes shopping is for them. So happy to read your blog and know there are others. We are the backbone of every household. Cooking cleaning and parenting if crisis comes we are the reliable strong people that hold it together di

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  20. I view my job as CEO of Household Management with enthusiam and excitement. Each day is a new and wonderful work day. Whenever, asked I am happy to explain the multi-faceted requirements of running a household efficiently, so everything runs smoothly; nothing falls through the cracks; healthy meals are prepared; laundry is current; the budget is balanced; the shelves are stocked; the required contacts have been made; etc.

    When our children were growing up I stayed home with them by choice. It was what my husband and I decided. My goal was to be a Proverbs 31 woman. It is the best job I've ever had and, now retired, the only one in which I have been totally content.

    I never stopped learning, so after my children were in College I obtained my Master's Degree in Nutrition and opened a counseling office. I truly liked helping others, but am happy to be back home running our household, canning, gardening, dehydrating, organizing, sewing, quilting, and all the other wonderful things that go along with Household Management. Now, in my mid-60's, I work harder than ever :).

    Jobs come and go; relationships and memories last. Women (or men) who are running a household are creating memories for their children, their husband, their neighbors, and their friends. A homemaker can do so much for the community and for those in need.

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    1. Good on you Glenda - the Proverbs 31 woman - her worth is "far above rubies". Hallelujah!

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    2. Rhonda - the fact that you receive positive affirmations I guess may be that you are already retired. It can be different for those who are younger in years. The expectation is that you should be in the work force.I have spent may years in the work force. Early on I made the decision that I sipmply "do not do fulltime work". The reason being that you work Monday to Friday, pick up kids, cook a meal etc and are exhausted with very little left to give out to your own family. On weekends you would then work all over again, but at home. Start all over again on Monday!
      I think that the commment made by Rebecca is right - the impact of marketing, together with the feminist movement - has a lot to answer for. Women think "we can do it all" but it often comes at a cost. Marketing has meant that women are 'chasing the dollar". I think that as a society we have become greedy. We want the best of everything. Homes, cars, investment properties, flash holidays.

      The women of the last generation would volunteer outside the home - CWA, Meals on Whells, op shops - and contribute to the community. Volunteers are a dying breed. They are saying that when they are too old to continue, who will be doing this important role? Young ones are busy chasing the dollar.

      I think it is rather sad with the expectation of society on the role of women. It is a personal choice as a family as to what the woman decides to do with her life.Not the business of others to determine.

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    3. I think that is not true. Women don't have it all. One wage no longer supports most households. Feminism gave you the right to have the choices you do. Women are far from being greedy and 'chasing the dollar'. That's an erroneous and insulting view of women who choose or need to work outside the work place. I was a full time sahm and now work at home for myself. Oh and I am a volunteer and so are many others. Again you generalise, there are plenty of young people volunteering. I find your post rude, generalising and offensive to women and the young.

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    4. I don't think that Robtrev said anything worthy of such harsh criticism. Correct me if I'm wrong, Ronda, but I think it's safe to say that we don't talk to each other like that on this blog. We're all free to share our thoughts, and strive to do so with grace and kindness, even when we disagree.

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  21. Wonderful post! Thank you! So well said, so well written!

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  22. I think I might print this one to remind me in my quiet times that I don't need to feel so guilty about working within our home. Our income is good, but unpredictable, our financial obligations are high - so going 'out' to work could make things easier ... or would it? I bake, make and mend, keep the fires going in our old farm house, feed the chooks and garden. Sometimes I feel taken for granted that nobody really knows and often doesn't notice what I do all day, but I know, and I value it. Your blog always cheers me up and keeps me going. Thanks Rhonda, you are a true light. Kind regards, Gillian McDowell

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  23. Thank you Rhonda! Your website is such an education and such a refreshing change from all of the buy more, do more, be more that we're bombarded with from everywhere else...
    You're confidence, contentment and encouragement create a ripple effect through all of us and I am so thankful...

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  24. Love this post. Had circumstances been different I would absolutely have chosen homemaking (and writing) as my chosen work. I know how blessed I am to be on the cusp of returning to my desire to make a home (and write).

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  25. Homemakers pat yourself on the back, you are the people who volunteered at my children's school to help them learn to read, who ran our sporting clubs and took my children on play dates when I had to work. Homemakers you taught me endless list of skills which have added to the overall health and happiness of my family. Homemakers you have taught me how I can return to part time work in the future and pay my mortgage off much earlier. No middle- man, sales person or High end collecting of useless products can give me what you have given me. In my eyes you are extremely valuable.
    I am happiest at home in an apron with a oven hot, the stove bubbling, the washing machine gurging and music playing! Miirih

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    1. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. It has been our pleasure. All of us should work together not against each other

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  26. I think everyone should mind their own business. There is nothing special about staying at home that you need to shout from the rooftops about, ditto people who do boring work outside the home as most people do. Leave people to make their own choices. We don't need to make converts and be zealots whatever we have decided to do ourselves. No one needs to feel guilty or needs to justify themselves. Just own your own choices and keep out of everyone else's.
    Jessica

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  27. Soothing a shaky soul today Rhonda, thank you. I feel like my husband doesn't value the work I do at home. I'm home with our 4 month old son. I have two degrees behind me and worked professionally for over 10 years, and this is the best job in the world. I wish I could be left to do it without his controlling. He thinks that since he earns the bulk of the money, it's his to allocate and decide how it is spent. Your words help greatly.
    Jacqui

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  28. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! My husband always says you need to have an elevator speech about what you do - that is, explain what you do/your stance in a few minutes' ride on an elevator. I want to do that for homemaking because I believe what you say and I agree with you.

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  29. Hi Rhonda~
    I just wanted to say, I'm one that commented on the previously mentioned article about how Homemaking is overlooked by the government... Maybe I spoke harshly...I'm not sure.
    But after reading this article, I do understand that I don't always put my homemaking duties in a good light. I don't always put my job out to others with the best possible attitude.
    I know that I'm to
    "do everything without grumbling or complaining"
    ~(philippians 2:14)
    I'm only recently discovering joy in the home again...and reading here. Reading your words and the comments of others...has been helpful.
    I liked this post-- it has made me look at myself first and how I might defend my job. I think the best way to do it would be with a smile on my face! ~ Patricia

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  30. Found your blog today. Enjoyed reading your posts!

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  31. Hi Rhonda, your writing is certainly empowering and accurate with regards to the joys of homemaking.
    I wanted to speculate that perhaps the "looking down" on homemakers might have to do with the fact that during the last 40 years or so, with the instability of marriage and the statistics that say that 50% of marriages end up in divorce, being a SAH mother/wife is almost a guarantee of women and children being left adrift should the "bread winner" (if it is a man)changes his mind and decides that he admires the nicely made-up and dressed women he is surrounded by day in and day out, comparing them to the housewife that perhaps, exhausted by house work and child care doesn´t look as "enticing" or sophisticated to him. Of course, the issue of gender could very well be reversed, but, let´s face it, the huge majority of SAH are women. In these circumstances, when a marriage ends, unless there is huge wealth, the SAH spouse could be thrown to the wolves, just to realize that as a single person, she lacks the experience and the work history that employers demand for most jobs after having spent years as a homemaker. This occurs to me, given the fact that a huge number of new couples make plans for the future based on double incomes. Of course, as the years go by, we realize as so many have, that wealth and possessions aren´t everything, but I believe that when a couple starts their life together, they plan big. It is very hard for a single mother to be able to take care of her children after a break up, when income is so tight that she is thorn as to what she can or cannot provide. Perhaps we women project this fear of it happening to us and decide that we will not make ourselves and our children vulnerable, should the love and commitment go out the window. Sort of an insurance against misery, perhaps.....
    Thanks
    Gloria from Toronto

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  32. I feel so inspired by what you've written Rhonda. As a full time stay at home Mum, I often feel undervalued in my role by society. At times I feel unambitious, wondering whether I should be aiming for more... but then I think that to be true to myself, I have to embrace my role as a homemaker which is my passion. I don't have any other aims career wise other than being a Mum and homemaker... this is my calling and this is what I am proud to be able to do and love. Thank you for your wise words - Amanda xx

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  33. I left a career at the age of 38 to start a new life at home - also starting a new home in a new country. I don't have children so it is just me and my OH, who works from home. No-one has said it to my face, but I'm sure there are people who have thought 'but what will you DO?'. My mum has said that she worries I will get bored. Bored? I have so much to learn about growing our own food, keeping chickens (hopefully), producing everything we eat from scratch, keeping to a very tight budget, renovating and maintaining a home without the money to call in professionals etc. Plus learning Portuguese, new crafts, reading, learning about any subject that interests me. Compared to all of that, sitting at the same desk, in the same office for 40 hours a week seems, well, boring!

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  34. Hi Rhonda,
    When I was 12 my mother had a stroke. At the same time it was discovered she also had a lung disease that eventually took her life. I left school at the age of 15 to care for her. My brother developed a mental illness when I was 21 and I also tried to do for him as well. At age 26 my mother died. By then I discovered that I was too old and unskilled and had no work record to gain decent employment. I have decided now to try for some work in Home Care - after all it is in this area that I worked in for most of my life. Anyhow - to cut a long story short, I cannot say how often I have been made to feel that I am a drain on society! I did Home Care before it was considered a job! I was paid a pension to take care of my mother but that is not considered as working (if only those who feel that way knew what it is like to care for someone who is very disabled or dying!). I see people now making good money and getting the chance to have their own homes while I have struggled financially! For people to tell me I have "never worked" is the height of insult to me! Just because I did my work at home taking care of ill family members does not mean I have never worked! I think some people who are stressed from too much work get jealous of those who make other choices. There are more ways of being of value to your community than just paid employment! Some of the most valuable ways are ways that have not been recognised! It's only been fairly recently that Home Care has been recognised - otherwise I may have been a rich person getting paid a proper wage instead of living on a pittance at something that was not seen as valuable until very recently. Even now I am trying to get some work in the Home Care area - and hope I am seen as "having enough experience" and as having the skills needed and having had some work experience too!
    Sorry this post is so long but it can be so hard when some areas in society are seen as valuable while other areas are just as valuable but are looked down on and undervalued or not recognised!
    I stand by my decision to care for members of my family who were ill and dying - even if it is seen as not good enough to be recognised as "work"!

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  35. I am writing this after writing my last response here. Basically I think everyone should decide for themselves what is important to them. I know older ladies who feel undervalued because people think they just sit around all day - when they are very active and volunteer much needed services to society! I agree with a comment here; people should just mind their own business! What is of value to one may not be of value to another - each to his own. Live and let live. We should respect that we will all have different ideas of what is of value. Basically WE ALL HAVE VAUE - no matter what our lifestyle choices have been.

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  36. I found that no one bothered me when I was a SAHM before my daughters went to school, but as soon as my youngest went full time I was bombarded with questions about going back to work...I crumbled and went part-time but hated the job and ended up taking work home as I was doing full time time work in part time hours. My husband told me to give it up and I did...but the questions started again...am I looking for work, what do I do with my time, do you sit and watch TV all day, don't I feel useless? I actually took on four allotment plots over the last 10 years and write a blog too on top of all my homemaking duties.

    I got invited onto our local radio show a couple of years ago as they were facinated that I cooked from scratch, grew our own veg, made jams preserves etc and I thought this would stop people from asking me questions about going back to work.....did it work?.....no these people didn't listen lol (family included).

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  37. That's a meaningful post, Rhonda! Actually most of your posts are.

    As you know, I am a lawyer working with a law firm but I still try to enjoy my time at home by just taking pleasure in rearranging the knick-knacks, making my sweet and milky tea, watering our plants...the little bits that make up a home/homely life.

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  38. When I left the Army to become a home maker I was required (as all leaving officers are) to write a letter of explanation to my career advisor - an extraordinary woman, widely regarded as the most professional and competent female officer around, and the mother of three well rounded children with a happy husband. How was I going to explain to her I wanted to leave her loved profession to focus on home and family? I felt like anything I wrote would sound pathetic.

    But she was entirely understanding of the choice I had made and, to my surprise, she said she wished she had the courage to make the same decision. With ratification from my career idol, and the ongoing support of my husband, I have been lucky enough to be able to continue being a homemaker without further internal questioning of the validity of my role. And if I'm secure in my importance, the negative judgements of others seems quite inconsequential!

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  39. Thankyou, i often feel terrible. I have people tell me I'm lazy and that i must enjoy being taken care of by my husband
    I'm always on my feet doing things around the house. Theres so much to do!!

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  40. Thank you, Rhonda, for this encouragement to homemakers. I find I tend to make excuses about why I choose to stay home when someone asks me instead of just stating, "I'm a homemaker." This was a good reminder that what I do is valuable!

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  41. Thank you so much Rhonda for this really encouraging post. I usually feel pretty alone where I am, since the common view is if you are young, without children, you should have a "real job". It can get a little discouraging, even depressing. People view you as lazy and stupid, even though you work hard, and have to multi-task and be multi-skilled. Thanks again for this post!
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

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  42. Beautiful post rhonda! Thanks for the encouragement!:)
    Christina

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  43. I'm lucky in that I made the conscious choice to stay at home and so I was able to see what the others were really saying is, they wish they could stay at home too. But inserted they chose stuff over time with their children. Interestingly now that our kids have grown up and left home, they still need to work because they'd re still paying of their homes and more stuff, and I'm still at home doing what I want because we have paid off debt and I'm still happy with less stuff.
    Go figure.

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  44. We made the choice to live on one income year 2 of marriage. That was 33 years ago and I still manage our home with hubby retiring at the end of the year. To be honest, I never gave a hoot what other people thought. When we had our youngest son, he was born with Down syndrome and needed much care. He's now 17 and doing well .. but we are glad to have gotten along on the one income so I could stay at home and not have to adjust to one income after he was born.

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  45. Rhonda, the thoughts of one of my favorite authors, Wendell Berry, connect well with your thoughts:

    "...that is because I now live in my subject. My subject is my place in the world, and I live in my place. There is a sense in which I no longer "go to work." If I live in my place, which is my subject, then I am "at" work even when I am not working. It is my work because I cannot escape it..."

    "...seeing the work that is to be done, who can help wanting to be the one to do it?"

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  46. LOVE this post Rhonda.

    I have been criticised for not working out in the workforce, but I know which job I would prefer :) I want a happy life, not a money inspired one...

    x

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  47. Thank you Rhonda for your thoughts on homemaking.
    I have read all the comments and had a few things to add to them.
    I have been a homemaker for 32 years, I received lots of comments about not really working, that made me feel insecure. I realize now that when someone works full time outside the home, they come home and still have to be a homemaker. They think I am doing two jobs and you are only doing one!
    Most people don't understand the economics of working at home. They feel they HAVE to work if they are not working at a desired career. When I started describing how I saved or "made" more money than they did. They began to see things differently!
    When I saved a dollar at home it was a whole dollar no taxes come out, I don't spend on extra transportation costs, clothing, meals out, or childcare. And that's even if I did watch TV.
    Then if I garden, sew, cook at home and make my own cleaners and have the time to find the most economical place to buy groceries, I am saving more than most people's salaries, unless they are in a very high paying position.
    When my husband and I explained this to a good friends of ours who were lamenting that they could not afford a family,they did the math and one of them stayed home they had four children and bought a house.
    If you want to stay home you can unless you are the sole wage earner.
    And the comment about divorce, If you stay at home and pay off the mortgage then the house is half yours! The hubs won't want the chickens, and you can supplement your new smaller home with a part time job, or even working from home. If there are children they get support, at least in the US. You are in a better position than if you have mountains of debt. Of course that's just the money aspect you will need emotional and spiritual support.

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  48. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject! like some of the previous commentors I am mid 30's and left an "out of home" job to become FT mum (school aged child) and work 1-2 days a week for my husband's home business. I really struggle with people's perceptions that I dont work, all because my job affords me a lot of flexibility.

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  49. People do tend to try and make you feel you are lazy when most of your time is spent at home. A friend of mine is in her 70's and people are always thinking she's lonely and needs a pet - or asking her if she gets bored. My friend says she is busier now than ever before and cannot understand anyone who says they are bored. My friend does volunteer work and is learning to spin wool (along with me) and has one day she relishes because it's the one day she gets to stay home and do nothing! Maybe those who judge have never heard the saying; The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement!

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  50. Dear Rhonda

    I am from India and a man working at a busy office. But my desires are to be able to sit at home and attend to family and do what you so lovingly say "Homemaking". This is such an wonderful post and may God bless you.

    I just stumbled on to your blog when I was searching for "Bread making" and Wow it was good.

    Great! that is what I could murmur..

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  51. This is a lovely post and one I'm glad I found.

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