I knew from an early age that my calling was to be a wife and mother. Sure, I also wanted to be a detective, a teacher, a superstar, a doctor, an events planner, a professional career woman (depending on when in my life you asked me,) but I never could envision myself in any of these professions for my entire life. Five years, maybe, but NOT forever. I always knew I would stay home and take care of my family. Now, that's not to say that I didn't go through a feminista, career-woman stage as a young woman.
How could I not? I grew up in a world that indoctrinated young girls with the heroic stories of the feminist movement and how, thanks to the hard work of my foremothers, I could be anything I wanted to be when i grew up: Doctor. Lawyer. President. Ins't it interesting that words like housewife, homemaker, or stay at home mom, much like Trash collector, or fast food worker, were/are never mentioned in this list of 'acceptable' vocations? I dont actually recall knowing any stay-at-home moms as a young woman. My own mom was home when i was a young child, but my memory recalls only that she went to nursing school--toting us around with her as she couldn't afford a sitter--and later that she worked at various nursing homes.--I should interject that while my mother did work, she always put her children ahead of her job, staying home with us when we were sick, taking off work when we needed her. She was not, however, a helpmate to her husband. In fact, a product of the feminist movement herself, she loathed the idea of serving her husband.
I recall weekly arguments in the cafeteria of my Catholic middle school with the boys in my class about whether God made Eve as a helper for Adam (and so Eve like the animals are under Adam's authority, a horrendous affront to my budding feminista spirit) or if Eve was God's masterpiece (Adam wasn't good enough by himself, God saved the best for last and women were far superior to men). I now understand that both sides were right to an extent--God did make Eve as a helpmate to Adam, and a wife should allow herself to be under her husband's authority, and Adam was not complete, not the best he could be, without Eve, who was in fact the crowning glory of God's creation.
Fast forward five or six years. I am in my first year attending a state university, trying desperately to figure out what I want to do with my life, besides earn my MRS. degree, which i did fully expect to obtain--that is after all, what I really wanted in life if i was truly honest with myself. That particular degree, however is not actually offered in any college that I know of, and social pressure says, "You must make something of yourself, and a housewife, is not something."--so I determined that i should be some sort of business woman. You know, wear suits and pencil skirts to work, hair up in a neat, classy bun, overseeing people in some capacity.
Five years later (I had more "fun" in college than i probably should have) I was just a wedding date away from that MRS degree and had landed my first "real" job. I was a career woman, and yes, i did enjoy working, having my own office, overseeing the crew, lunch with co-workers, business meetings, and the like. But I knew, even that first year, even before our daughter came into the picture, that I would rather be at home.
Six months into my new career the "Great recession" hit and i lost my job. I went home and never looked back. The change in my relationship to my husband, the change in the atmosphere of our home, the change in me, was enough to convince me to follow the path that God had been calling me to all along, my true vocation: wife and mother. It was social suicide. It was humbling. It was scary. And almost three years into my journey as a housewife, I know that It was the best decision I ever made.
So here I sit, a housewife and mommy, living a life that is completely counter to our American culture. I spend my days caring for our two children. I tend our gardens (vegetables, herbs, and flowers.) I work hard to create a lovely, inviting home for my husband and children, to cook healthy meals for my family every night, and to live out my Catholic faith through faithful adherance to Church teaching, and purposeful living. My husband is less stressed, and our relationship has blossomed thanks to the time we are able to spend enjoying each other, instead of catching up on housework. My daughters get the very best of me, all day, every day.
And now, I feel a new calling--to be an advocate for housewives, to change the hearts and minds of men and women to embrace their God-given masculinity and femininity, and accept, lovingly and humbly the vocations that God has given them as husband and wife. I hope this blog inspires young women to accept their true calling from God to be wives and mothers at home, and encourages housewives, SAHMs, SAHWs, homemakers--whatever they wish to be called--in this wonderfully rewarding and invaluable vocation. I hope to encourage Catholic women to live out their faith more fuly. I want to change the world, one reaeder at a time.