"Oh, that's right, you're just a housewife..." those words have echoed in my mind the past 20+ years since they were first uttered. Said by a "successful" restaurant owner my husband had done some contract work for at the time, this middle-aged man had his sites set on the tangibleness of a "job" being based in the money we make or the education applied. I smiled gracefully, though bruised inwardly. Here my husband and I sat, enjoying a rare dinner alone in this cozy lake-side restaurant, soaking up the gorgeous mountain view at the far side of deep blue glacier water, feeling complete in our roles as husband and wife having worked hard to build our home and family for more than 7 years at this point. Mr. Owner had invited himself to sit with us and shoot the breeze on life and work and his pride in the newly remodeled opulent restaurant we were dining in.
It was that moment which has become the defining point of my passion to BE more than just a housewife and make it known: we are not just anything.
When did success begin to hinge on the bank-roll or degree hanging on the wall? Who determined raising children, caring for a home, and administering the plethora of dailies wasn't enough to "count" as viable work? When my youngest was preparing to graduate high school in 2020 we were both asked "What are going to do after graduation." Only, for me, just because we homeschooled, my work didn't just stop when her diploma was in hand.
Even now, after 30 years of caring for home and family, with all the children grown, there were still floors to scrub... laundry to wash... nutritious meals to plan and cook... Life to manage... Is housewifery somehow lacking a key ingredient to be considered "success"?
What if, for just a moment, everyone took a step back from the bustle of money and degree drives and actually saw and acknowledged where success starts.... it isn't at the teller counter as you cash in your paycheck, nor is it with college degree in hand - Success starts in the home with women who have successfully nurtured their family and made the house somewhere people long and love to come back to.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
I am, in no way, intending to diminish women who work outside of the home whether by choice or necessity, but what I am doing is seeking to dispel this whole idea that homemaking is somehow separate from "success". After all, success isn't the achievement of pay and prestige, rather, at it's core, success is setting a goal and reaching it - for a homemaker, caring for home and family (even if family is sans-kids) IS a goal set and achieved.
No matter your course in life at this moment, remember, #1 - seek what constitutes success in the eyes of the Lord and #2 - don't let the world define your success.