Where Have All the Housewives Gone?

Recently I attended a bridal shower for a relative. Out of fourteen women, I was the only one home with my child. Most of the attendees were teachers. The older ladies eagerly discussed retirement and how bad their working lives were. The younger ladies, including the bride, were just starting out in their careers and surely couldn’t have been encouraged by that.

I found myself with absolutely nothing to talk about. I had nothing in common with any of them. I was asked by an older lady if I worked. When I replied that I stayed home with my baby daughter, she asked if I enjoyed it. I said I did, but sometimes missed my lunch break. She immediately reassured me that soon my Curly Haired Baby would be in school and I could go back to work. At this point, my mom spoke up and said excitedly, “She’s going to homeschool.” The silence was deafening.

Yes, I realize that these were teachers, whose jobs depend on people not homeschooling, but really. They had just discussed how bad the schools were, how much they hated their jobs, how they wished they could retire, etc. Yet, they’re totally threatened by homeschooling and someone doing something considered “counter cultural.”

It’s depressing to me that I have nothing in common with anyone I encounter in Real Life. I know other SAHMs. They’re all talking about how much they can’t wait to get back to work. I know other Christian women. They’re not much encouragement. Where are the Titus 2 ladies? Oh, wait, they’re at work. I believe in being a helpmeet (not a doormat, a helpmeet) to my husband, to being a full-time, at-home mama to my kids, dressing modestly, and living frugally. My house isn’t spotless and my kid isn’t perfect (although my Curly Haired Husband is pretty cute). I’m not Supermom and I don’t want to be. I just want to have something in common with someone!

Published in: on March 19, 2008 at 6:30 pm  Comments (3)  
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  1. I found your blog through your WFMW brown rice post, and I love it. (I am a curly-haired mommy, but it looks like all my kids have the straight hair from their daddy, oh well.)

    Anyway, I wanted to share my first response to this post – I am so glad that your mother seems to be very supportive and proud that you plan to homeschool. So many people do not have that.

    I used to be in the workplace, but now am a SAHM. I also miss my lunch break. Although I am glad that I had the experience of a satisfying career (I know both the good & bad things I’m not dealing with anymore), I think it kind of makes me feel like I’m doing lots of low-skill, menial tasks all day – picking up toys, changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning… It really does help to find a group of friends who are in the same situation you’re in, especially with your same values. I have found mine at church, where there seems to be lots of SAHMs and homeschoolers. (I am not a homeschooler, but do not rule it out one day – we’ll just do what’s best for us.)

    I remember the first mom’s Bible Study group I attended after I quit working. I felt so out of place. I didn’t even know how to communicate well at first because it was so out of my comfort zone. We went around the room introducing ourselves and I actually said something like, I was an IT manager at a large medical device company, but recently quit to stay home with my baby, so now I am… nothing. (I think I offended everyone there, although I didn’t mean to.)

  2. Yes, I’m really lucky that my mom is on my side, so to speak! 🙂 She is a retired teacher and she’s always been in favor of homeschooling. Unfortunately, we did not learn about it until I was in high school,so my school years were pretty miserable!

    I think what’s so aggravating to me is that I can’t seem to find any friends who are in the same situation, even at church. There are some SAHMs, but they are quite wealthy, while we’re struggling, and that can put up a barrier. I thought it wasn’t a big deal that we don’t have the SUV and big house, but it’s been rudely brought to my attention that it is. Sigh…I know they’re out there! I just have to find them!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m glad someone else “gets it” about the lunch break! 🙂

  3. I’m a SAHM (mostly) and homeschool my girls. I used to work in an office and there are two things I miss: being able to see the end result of the work I was doing right away, and being able to walk away at the end of the day. That said, I *really* don’t want to go back to working full-time. For a paycheck. 🙂

    And, just for the record, it truly **doesn’t** matter that you don’t have an SUV and a big house. In eternity, will these things matter? Not in the least. If money can fix it, it really isn’t a problem. 🙂

    PS I am really enjoying your posts.

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