Today is a pantry post about things I have been thinking about. Over time we have touched on this many times. Working in the home, caring for children, caring for the family, budgetting, cooking and nourishing a family, laundry, decorating and all the bits and pieces that go into building up and protcting your home... ALL of it is a REAL job.
It's so important and beyond anything else. Yet there can be a lot of opposition to this. When the girls were little I was constantly advised that my time could be better spent elsewhere... running a shop was the usual suggestion. While in some cases it was meant to be a compliment my reply was I would rather care for my children, thanks.
At school was the same. I don't think I ever actaully DARED tell the truth and say that really my hopes and goals were to have a family and care for them. I always knew that I could bring in income from sewing, flower arranging, embrodiery, cooking etc. but only as a way to support what I really wanted to do which was have children.
You could not say this. Well, I never felt I could.
When the girls were born I was in my element. I was really lucky with family support and it wasnt long and I found Laines Letters which really encouraged me in the belief that THIS was my job and to do it with all my efforts.
I also loved CS Lewis and kept his works close to my heart... "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work."
Most people it seemed to me though of children as the distraction. Or worse.
In fact I soon noted that people were terribly fussy about who could drive their car. They would never let a stranger drive their car! But handing the kids over to strangers... no problem. (I found that one so bizarre.)
I had it in my head I had a limited time and I better make the most of it.
Not that I considered it but mathematically it never made sense to put the kids in day care. I had a friend who did and she only made about $2 an hour after expenses and all the problems it gave her life. I knew I could save or make more than that and still be with my children and still pcik them up from school and be there in shcool holidays and all of those things.
Mimi frequently talks about this. She has seen the same. On her blog she often will add up the dollar value of what she achieved during the week and it will amount to some enourmous number. I do it too sometimes. I know on Monday by having time to shop around I saved almost $100 in the moring on a necessary expense. I know my baking in the afternoon had a $80 value. Even not counting anything else I did I know this saved us almost $200. I would be hard pressed to earn that outside the home. Then I would have to pay tax out of it and cover expenses...
I don't care really what other people think. I felt clear on my mission and still do. And I kept my mission statement on the fridge decorated with rose stickerss, no less. Now I keep it close to me and pretty much know it by heart.
(This printout is available from Keepers of the Faith blog, in her printables section)
This whole subject is always on my mind. I see Mothers picked on all the time for wanting to stay home. It infuriates me.
I have had letters too expressing this same thing. That you are wasitng your time at home, that surely you must be bored and need entertaining, that surely you must have so much free time on your hands you need to be given work to do for someone else and usually the person talking to you. That every committee and fund raiser assumes you lay on the lounge all day and surely would feel rescued by their offer to put you in charge.
Actually I learned to think of this verse "her feet do not remain at home" from Proverbs where a not ideal woman is described. This is a bad thing!
Here are parts of two letters from Teri and Vicky recently (with their permission!)
I really think you could do a great post about how we are always busy and actually a homemaker is a JOB!! I want to tell you a couple experiences I went through raising our kids. First off I was the "odd one out" by being a sahm. My family, sisters-in-law, neighbors, etc. told me to my face "how could I stay home and raise my kids, you need to have a job!" I always responded I have a job, just not a paycheck!! :) You are so right about being asked to do stuff (like PTA mom/president, volunteer for EVERYTHING etc.) because I was always home doing "nothing"! lol Well, it took me years to learn to say no, but I finally did. I was taking care of our home, children, sewing most of their clothes plus some of mine, cooking from scratch, learning new skills, gardening/canning, and making many crafts/gifts. Yea, I was bored lol HAHA!!!
We didn't take trips to Disneyland, fancy cruises, etc., we went camping, took picnics, spent time with our kids. We saved money to rent a few days away (places with kitchens in them), nothing fancy, just a small get-away. I've never been to Disneyland nor do I want to go there. It's ok that others do that, it's just not important to me. I worked hard each summer to garden, can, stock up for winter, things like that. My kids could tell lots of canning stories, picking bushels of peas and lots of walks around the neighborhood ( we always teased that our stroller logged 100,000 miles)! lol
One day, I read a newspaper article in the food section written by the food editor. She made fun of moms that stayed home and "ate bon bons" and watched TV all day! That made me so mad and upset, I called and complained. She apologized and asked if they could feature our family and share recipes in the newspaper, no less!. She even retracted her statement about stay at home moms! :) Well, that was all years ago. I did try to make a little money from time to time (selling my crafts, making gift baskets) but then I wasn't getting other important things done.
Im happy to help people, but it was really getting out of hand. Because I do not work people were calling and asking me for favors all of the time "because they knew I had the time" and I was scrubbing other people's carpets, taking care of their kids and animals, cleaning, weeding flower beds and giving rides here and there with my gas. I was working hard for others with no return so I just got to the point where if it was the chronic can you do me a favorers calling I just said sure, but I will need this or that. They stopped asking for favors all the time if they thought a couple of bags of potatoes or having to give me gas money was asking too much. Gas is one of those things that I budget for the month and if I run out that is it until the next month. I try to do all of my errands in as little trips as possible. Vicky.
(Thank you Teri and Vicky once again.)
Haha! Boy do I relate!
I remember one classic example. The girls were in primary school and I had just taken them to school so 9 am the door bell rang. A local lady had turned up at 9am! I must have looked surprised and she announced she had come "to keep me company for the day" (THE DAY!) Luckily I had grown used to this kind of thing and I told her I was sorry but I had work today and a really busy day planned. I told her if she wold like to return at 2 pm I would have afternoon tea with her and take an hour off. I was by then through with this idea that you sat around for the day doing nothing.
So how does all this relate to our pantries?
Knowing our job and mission statement leaves no doubt that the Proverbs womam was not afraid of the winter as she was prepared! It is part of the job. It is part of looking after the family. As Teri said this isn't achieved by laying on the lounge eating bon bons for the day. lol
Recently I was reading some sound advice. We have been discussing the fact that so many people now are building up their pantries and about wise and safe investments. So I ended up reading about King Solomon. He had investing totally worked out.
His advice was "divide your portion to seven, or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth" (Ecclesiastes 11.2)
The opposite basically of the "don't put all your eggs in one basket" concept.
I am surprised even today of the number of people I know who have most of their eggs in one basket.
We have previously covered other scripture on this and on being like ants! We thought about King Solomon's advice and as usual this advice has not aged. It is exactly right today as it was then. I now consider my pantry and cellar to be one of our portions, one of the seven or eight.
It is a tangible. It is not a bit of paper that might be worthless tomorrow! Solid things that are useful. This is a worthy investment.
So I hope someone else can relate. We are doing something important. Don't take any notice of anyone who tells you otherwise. Don't let anyone hijack your time or plans. Get on with your work with a happy heart and know that it is important. Have confidence in the value of what you are doing. Be diligent and prudent with your time and resources. You will not be sorry. xxx