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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Letter for Kate

happy homemaker in the making

Recently Kate and I have exchanged a couple of emails and the last reply became quite lengthy and I thought I would open the circle wider. Kate is currently working in a big city but looking forward to a simpler lifestyle in a smaller environment that allows her to raise wonderful children. She is learning lots of skills in anticipation and it makes my heart rejoice.

Dear Kate,

.....I am lucky to work part time now but I really do think I spend too much time on the computer and could be DOING more! You have probably noticed I don't blog every day and I do think you have to find balance. There are quite a few bloggers I have discovered who have significant illness which prevents them from working (in the conventional sense). They have perfected the homemaker art and I think their blogging is a wonderful way for them to share and be a part of a community. It's good for them but also lucky for us.


I really admire the goals you are striving for. Craig and I often comment on the differences between children raised by their parents and those raised institutionally while their parents are working. Many people say they both NEED to work, but is that REALLY the case? Really? If it is, then what are the options to change that circumstance? At one point in my life, my husband and I were earning a significant amount of money, but because of our work life imbalance, we were spending huge amounts on child care, petrol, bought clothing, home cleaning and dinners out because we were so exhausted and it was our best option for getting vegetables in our diet! We were working more but spending more. Our quality of life was in fact worse.

I have come through all the raising the family and working full time stuff as one of the next generation women of the world and do you know what? I feel dudded a bit. Work is good, it's important and my children needed to see that example but I am disappointed that we didn't celebrate the homemaker at this time (80's and 90's). I am so pleased that motherhood and homemaking is increasingly being accepted as worthwhile and valuable. There is no shame in nominating one person who earns outside the home and the one who stays home to enable that. I was sold the idea back then that it was subservient but I now know it's nurturing. Of course this only works if you have a like minded partner who appreciates the care you take of them, the home and the children (plus you have to live simply and turn your back on that bs consumerism). If the nurturing and appreciation is flowing right then you find, that life, love and relationships are back in balance in a more "old-fashioned" traditional role model way. Feminism has brought us a long way and now given us choice but did it dictate the choice?

I was recently at a charity function and when asked what I did, I replied "homemaker" as my primary role and there was a moment of uncomfortable silence. When I expanded further and invited comment, the man I was conversing with visibly melted and his posture became so positive and he opened up and told me how much he admired women and their role. In the safety of our circle he was able to say how much he missed women in their truer sense. He was a professional and a world-wide lecturer and leader in his field and many of his colleagues are women. Their choice was not in dispute, he was merely expressing regret that it had become socially unacceptable not to have a paying career.

Are my musings and experience merely one womans'? I doubt it.
Is it something you have to discover for yourself in your own time? Maybe.
What I will tell you is to have the courage to stick with your convictions and I applaud them. You should expect uncomfortable silences when you tell people in professional circles that you are a mother but one day we will be truly equal. For now the biggest accomplishment forward in such circumstances will be not having to justify your choice or to defend your inteligence by trotting out your degree.
Your children will thankfully be of the generation that accepts all womens' choices as being equal and will applaud the homemaker every bit as much as the Prime Minister.

6 comments:

  1. WOW! What a great post!

    I totally agree with everything you have said.

    I was only thinking this morning as I was enjoying the nice warm weather outside in the garden, of the women who feel they have to work. Their only time to do what they want is on weekends, depending what job they do. I do work part time earning an average of $100 a week for which I am satisfied. Hubby loves that I am home when he is (shift worker) and that I am able to cook meals and cakes etc. He loves going to work and saying this is what my wife made. We get to do things together more than if I was working, he even helps me with my job as I am self employed. We have prepared the garden together for this year and look forward to the rewards.

    Who could want for more...I certainly don't.

    Have a wonderful day,

    Tania

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  2. So on the same page with you Tanya - it's something I have been thinking about, mumbling on and griping constantly.

    It is uneconomic for me to work full time - no one is willing to pay me enough to put my kids into care full time - even with my work at night options now ceasing things are looking a little gloomy - the "boys club" who didn't take time out to bear children and care for them now have all the work I once did - so I'm moving on, my own boss, here for my family, we are definately poorer in the pocket, but not in our life - we kind of feel sorry for our city cousins who will never get to make the choices we have.

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  3. Love it Tanya.
    Thanks for sharing.

    cheers Kate (no not the one the letter was written to)

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  4. Great post Tanya and Kate is very fortunate to have you for a mother. My mom was a homemaker, she was very talented in so many things. When I now think back on all the times in my life that when I needed my mom she was always there and had time makes me appreciate the charge that the Almighty Creator gave to us women. Sure we can go out and land great careers and make a lot of money, but ya still have to take care of the blessing (home).
    I am a homemaker and I am so proud of my charge and my husband appreciates it too.

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  5. I find this really fascinating. I'm --almost-- in a position where we may not need both of us to work full-time (we already live the simple life as you know, but both work full-timeby choice). The difference is, when one of us becomes the home-maker, it will be my partner, not me. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the role reversal thing.

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