Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Working Woman


Once upon a time, I thought I had it all.  I was a wife, a mother and a legislative liaison for a large and flourishing Chamber of Commerce.  I immersed myself daily in House and Senate Bills, wading through page after page of proposed legislation to determine their affects on business.  I wore snazzy suits and high heels and regularly mingled with political and business leaders to discuss "important" issues of the day.  I shook hands with senators and rubbed shoulders with corporate giants.  And then, I went home.

During my years as a "working woman" I held the philosophy of most other women I knew. Stay-at-home moms were lazy.  They were pathetically dependent upon their poor husband for everything.  They did nothing but wash dishes, sweep floors and hang out in their sweats all day.  I viewed them as an objects of scorn and derision.  While I was making a difference in the world, they were wiping snotty noses and watching "Oprah".

After years of "having it all", doubts began to creep into my subconscious.  Why did I feel so guilty when I dropped my little girl off at daycare?  What on earth possessed me to want to make my own bread and feed my family wonderful meals when we could order in a pizza?  Why would I rather work in the garden than have cocktails with political elites?  Something was drastically wrong!

Little by little, I was awakened to the reality that I was designed to be the Mistress of my home.  Slowly, the hold of being a "working woman" began to lose its grip on me and the desire to serve my husband, care for my children and manage my own estate took hold.

In the years that followed my exit from the working world, our family changed drastically.    We pared down our lifestyle to match our income.  We planted a garden, bought a cow and had more children.  We looked to our own family for confirmation and encouragement, not some suit in a fancy car with alligator shoes.

And then the real work began.  All the years I had worked, I had been positive that at-home-moms were lazy and ignorant.  Six months of running (and I mean really running) my own home and I had a new respect for the Mistress of the house.  Before I left the working world, I had no idea how many things I had let slide in my own home.  My estate was in ruins.  I had been so busy working for another man, that I had neglected the one most important to me.

I had to completely regroup.  And, I had to completely relearn.  I had no experience with being the Mistress of my home.  What should I do?  Where should I start?  First, I had to learn what it meant to manage an estate.  Now I know many of you are asking "what the heck is she talking about - does she really have an estate?".  The answer is yes.  I live in a shop, in the middle of a prairie.  That is my estate.  I am in charge of managing this entire property.  My husband had entrusted me with this sacred duty.  It is my job to see that this home runs well, that healthy meals are placed on the table.  It is my job to see that my children are loved and well cared for.  It is my job to teach my children and train and mold their character.  It is my job to see that the buildings, roads and vehicles are well maintained.  I see to the gardens, the bees and the building of infrastructure.  I attend to the sickness, the scrapes and bruises and the mental health of all of my children and my husband.  I manage the estate finances and work with the contractors (most often my children).  I also direct the estate businesses (our home businesses).  The truth of the matter is that I have never worked so hard in my life!

The reality is that a stay-at-home mother is at the very heart of our great nation.  We raise the children, we manage the home, we improve the economy and we shape the souls of the next generation.  Just try to find a CEO with that kind of job description!

I have read with great interest the attacks being leveled against Ann Romney (wife of presidential contender Mitt Romney) because she has "never worked a single day in her life".  I can remember a time when I would have uttered such an ignorant statement - a time before I realized that I was the Mistress of my home.  Now I just laugh at such nonsense.  Obviously, the strategist who made those statements has no idea what it means to manage your husbands estate.  And therein lies the problem.

And now, I must get back to my soap operas and bon bons....

Until next time.

38 comments:

  1. Great post! Got a couple of questions, though...do they still make soap operas? And what the heck is a bon-bon?
    LOL!
    Now I am off to see to this estate...which means I have to milk the rest of the goats and make sure we have enough chicken feed to make it through the weekend...

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    1. Snicker...I guess you would have to have a TV to know about soap operas (which we don't), and I have no idea what a bon bon is - but it does sound French!

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  2. A Bon-Bon is some type of candy(I *think* they're kinda like a Cadbury Egg)-I've seen boxes of them at my first job out of high school, but have never actually tried one. To my knowledge, soap operas are still made, though they go by other names(daytime TV).

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  3. If Ms. Rosen could see my hands, I think she would define never worked a day in her life different. Overseeing a house and all those in it is hard work. For those that ask what I do (for a living) I just tell them I manage a farm.

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  4. Excellent post! From a former stay at home mom (now owner/real estate broker of my own home based business), who worked very hard and cherished every moment of raising my children. Still do - they are teenagers, and very good kids if I do say so myself;) I always say the highest compliment I receive is about my wonderful children - it is truly the most important job!

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  5. Former corporate executive here and woman. If any woman wants the easy road then go to a job that gives you a paycheck coz' being a homemaker / housekeeper/ wife/ mother is extremely hard work. This type of work is not for the faint hearted!

    Personally I have always had repect for the care taker of the home, I use to joke to my friends while I was in the work a day world that I needed a "wife" someone to do all the things at home that traditional wifes do. Now that I do that job (housewife) I don't ever for a second think that this is menial labor, far from it. It is extremely important work and always has been. It is the highest of honors to serve your family and to do it with flair and efficiency. Power to the housewife, a most honorable profession ordained by God!!!


    I don't give a wit what the media says or our current society says, they are wrong and we traditionalist are right. Yes, I have brought home the bacon and now you can best believe I can fry it up in a pan and look good while I'm doing it! Viva La House Wife! A good housewife rocks. Hey, it's the domestic revolution and I'm extremely pleased that God placed me in the middle of it. He's been calling his daughters back to the home.

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  6. The Tea I was drinking came out of both nostrils when I read Ms Rosens' statement on Mrs Romney " never worked a day in her life ", obviously she has never been a stay at home mom . I married in the mid sixties and had been raised to be a stay at home mom > I was able to stay at home until my children entered kindergarten ( I can't remember at that time that I was even aware of Homeschooling ) I do remember that I thought that going outside the home to work was a " vacation " compared to all that was needed to take care of our " estate ". Now retired, my hat is off to all of you stay at home mom's !

    Dee, the Great American South West

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  7. So sad when women start attacking their own in the name of "politics." Ms. Rosen is living an "alternative" lifestyle (from what I've read) and therefore, I doubt that she has any idea what it's like to be a stay at home mother. She sure has been displaying her envy of the Romney's to the whole world.

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  8. To Tina-with all due respect, your children aren't grown when they are teenagers. They still need you there managing your home, as much as when they were little--or even more!! Sorry, but you make it sound like your children are raised and gone and your job is done.

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  9. Bless you,I have long said that being a GOOD wife and mother was the most important job in the world.
    When my children were young someone asked me what my husband did for a living,and then asked me why I didn't have a job .I replied "I do , raising his children to be good , honest citizens!" As the man walked away a woman said"Good for you." I now have two of the best young adults in the world...of course I might be just a little prejudiced .

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  10. It always seems like my non-stay at home friends and family think I have all the time in the world to run their errands. Yes my schedule is a little more flexible. No, I cannot wait in the courthouse line (for tags, taxes, or some such)for hours. Love ya, but no! (This was very hard for me to learn to say.)
    TK

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  11. That is why I have a home based business - I still am at home:)And yes, they very much need me now!

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  12. Ms. Rosen went about it wrong, and that is because she is the person that you used to be, Enola. She doesn't understand how hard stay at home moms work, and therefore she spoke in terms that degraded women who choose that path.

    We really need to understand the issue. It's not that Ann Romney is a stay at home mom. It's that she has never for one day in her married life had to worry about how to feed and clothe her children, how to keep a roof over her family's head, and how to manage on the little she has until the next paycheck comes in. She may have been a stay at home mom, but she has never been in the same situation as you Enola, or any of the others that read this blog. She is not someone that we can look to for understanding of our situations. She's never been in our situation. She married a man of money, from money, and she has never had to do without something herself in order to provide for her children's needs. She just won't get it.

    Do you?

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    1. anon 3:57...ms. rosen understood perfectly..and if you think about it, you do too..how do you know that ann romney did not have to worry about money for food, clothing or shelter for her children, herself and her husband? or how to budget on certain amounts of money? often times, marrying into money has nothing to do with being a stay at home mom...granted money is always nice to have, but even those with money to burn do make choices just the same as the rest of us..she does "get it"...and mrs. santorum "gets it" too. mrs. bush and laura bush "get it". quit making excuses for ms. rosen...she can do that well enough on her own..her apology was a poor example of sincerity and she will experience the height of embarrassment the rest of her lifetime for her statements that she uttered in public.. never ever pick a fight with a mom whether she works or stays home cause you are not gonna win.

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    2. What? I highly doubt that Enola was ever "Ms" or lived a sinful "alternative lifestyle". You can not compare them in any way, shape or form. We are all sinners but the willful choices made by Ms. Rosen are especially vile. Ms. Rosen will only ever see things through those choices, choices she thinks are the only appropriate ones.

      You display contempt for the Romney's wealth, wealth that has benefitted all those who they have employed and all those charities that they have donated to. You don't know what choices Mrs. Romney has had to make, as far as budget. You can not what what her worries were. You have never walked in her shoes, and I am fairly certain you are not a close friend and confidant.

      You do not understand the issue. Do you really think Mr. Romney will use only his wife as an advisor. I think he was honoring his wife and her life's work by publicly admitting he will seek her council. She must have earned it. Disgrunted women everywhere will pounce on this, perhaps out of jealousy.

      If the only woman that could "get it" would be one that has been poor and and those worries you write about, you would be fine with me as that woman. Not only was I poor, but I stayed at home and made really tough choices, went without eating much for days at a time, didn't know what a store bought diaper, paper towel, baggie, or anything in any packaging was like. I picked up pecans to sell, while my youngest child was bundled up against the frost, realizing enough profit to buy a package of meat from the "last day to sell" rack. I have done without TV, cell phones, land lines, hair cuts (cut my kids hair, too), women's groups, foo-foo stuff like manicures (which would be a waste as I am a hard working woman!), new clothes, gifts, fast food, activities for my kids that cost money or require trips to town. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

      I would be the last person you would want in the position because I have lived it and prospered. I have no patience or even tolerance for enabling poor choices by supporting them with kindness or tax money. You do not do for others what they are capable of doing, and the lies from the liberals that have been told to women that they CAN'T (a word my wise husband won't allow to be uttered in his home) be held accountable for their choices and they CAN'T be expected to pay their own way (which is why you get married before you procreate) would end immediately. Yes, Ann Romney would probably have more pity and compassion than I would.

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  13. housewife, mother, stay at home mom, homeschooler, whatever you want to call this occupation...it is the most undervalued, over criticized occupation in the world...especially if you are applying for a job elsewhere and you get the "look" from potential employers..i have been known when asked my occupation to state that i am a domestic engineer-dont cha know that raises some eyebrows!

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  14. I think it's been so easy to think of housewives and stay-at-home moms as being lazy, simply because they're Happy (fulfilled). When we're in the rat race, it's hard to see anyone happy and think that they're actually doing something with their lives (I'm miserable and super busy, therefore any happy person must also be unproductive).

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  15. Ummm... You ladies are being as critical about working moms as they are being toward you. (although being in the work place I can't remember having one single conversation criticizing SAH moms.). Enjoy your choice- let them enjoy theirs.

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    1. Defending myself is a far cry from criticizing others. However, since you have raised the issue, I truly believe that our choices affect our families and our nation - we can't just simply enjoy our "choice". We have jobs to do, whether we embrace them or not. We are not islands unto ourselves. The hand that rocks the cradle truly is the hand that rules the world.

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    2. I was asked just this past weekend about working. The other person, who has 3 children, said she had a graduate degree, as I do, and saw it as an investment that she had to use, implying I wasn't using my "investment." All I could think of at that moment, which I thought wasn't very witty but truthful, was well, we have peace in our home and I know it is b/c I'm here. Our husbands were there too listening in, wisely not saying a word. I thought later that I do use my "investment" daily, in homeschooling my children and in raising them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Our choices do affect our families and so our nation. Great post, Enola! EJ

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    3. Wow, I loved that phrase, Enola: "The hand that rocks the cradle truly is the hand that rules the world." I'd love that on a tee shirt - "The hand the rocks the cradle is the hand the rules the world." This is a famous quote, do you know who said it?

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    4. One more point I would like to add to this conversation.

      Back in the day, I went to work because I had to. I was married to a mama's boy, good for nothing, didn't want to work, all around bad man. I was literally standing on the street holding my baby. So, I kicked him to the curb and went to work. I figured - 'If I have to work then I am going to make the biggest financial success of myself that I can'. And the short of it is I did.

      But one thing I discovered along the way, men have changed. There are way too many men today that want to find a woman with a successful career to take care of them instead of the other way around. They want to be taken care of financial but offer nothing else in return. Men by their very nature are not suited to take care of the home. As a society we are doing our men folk a great disservice by women choosing to take on the role of the man and their own role as woman. It's not meant to be that way. If a woman has to work for pay as I did, so be it. But there is a price to be paid for women who choose to and that is the lack of 'real men' in the marriage market place.

      There are so many men these days that have been raised by single mothers who didn't make the effort to raise a 'Man'. Thus the result is a social role reversal. I raise ducks and one thing I noticed is that when I keep the drakes away from the hens(female ducks) the hens are much more friendly towards me. But when I put the drakes back with them, those hens avoid me. I think the same with people; demasculate the man get him out of the equation then the woman will be more pliable and go along with any scheme to the point of sacrificing their children on the alter of money. "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand the rules the world."

      In this country the role of housewife/mother was revered and in the last 60 years or so it has been condemned. Putting down the housewife/mother role over the years by those in the media has contributed to many societal ills we are experiencing today.

      I for one, am not afraid of being condemned. I stand tall and proud to be called housewife. Gee, I've got to make myself a tee-shirt. LOL!

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    5. Dear Anonymous,

      God always provides! I have a graduate degree and God gave me a special child to make sure I use it. It wasn't a path I had considered when I went back to college, but it was the one Father chose for me and now I know why. Education is never wasted.
      sidetracksusie

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  16. Well said! Perhaps there are "lazy" stay at home "moms," but they wouldn't be able to do any kind of work let alone being the mistress of the house.

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  17. Well said Ladies....this opinion from "down under" is exactly like yours. I was a SAH Mum and only went back to work (teaching)after my own sons had grown up and left school for university. For 3 years I/we lived the high life....we ate out - a lot, we travelled - a lot and we spent a lot of $$$ we would have been better off saving, enlarging our home. The crunch came the day I stayed home from work alone....I was ill and suddenly I felt like I was in a stranger's home....it didn't feel like my home any more! I returned to work, tied up any loose ends and retired to where I should have been those 3 years. Shortly after, we moved to a small farmlet....I have never worked harder and I love it. Whoever was responsible for making mothers feel guilty if they didn't work outside the home needs a severe talking-to! Hopefully by now she too has "seen the light".

    Thoroughly enjoy your blog Enola! Many thanks. Maggie

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  18. Another group or women (mostly women) that need praise for a simular job and thats nurses.
    I had several surguries a few years back at a VA (veterans administration) hospitol and I observed and hard the nurses worked and how caring they were.

    I guess its part of that mothering instinct, I dont know.

    Stay at home moms, working moms, just dedicated moms in general work their butts off and have my respect.

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  19. why is everyone anonymous? and I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU TOO.DO ALL THE FEMALES AND SENATORS AND POLITICIANS BELIEVE AS YOU DO. MY MOTHER RAISED 14 CHILDREN AND RAN A BUSINESS AND A ESTATE,SHE WAS A VERY SKILLED AND HARD WORKING WOMAN

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  20. Excuse me, I don't make excuses for Ms. Rosen. She is clearly ignorant. Please. Ann Romney has never had to worry for money in her married life. To suggest otherwise is a foolish thing.

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    1. "Ann Romney has never had to worry for money in her married life."

      So?

      I really haven't either. I'm a housewife with no children. My job in the home is to make it run while my husband is pursuing his much larger than mine career. We don't have Romney size money, but I certainly don't concern myself with how much money they have. I don't think they have a grove of money trees -- Romney had (what we call) large jobs which take large time and large stress.

      It ain't handed to ya. He's earned and done well with his life and I don't wish him less because of his success. None of my business. Good on 'em, I'm not jealous.

      I had a young friend commenting that his wife was less than satisfied with their lifestyle and his lack of earning potential. I point blankly said to him, "Didn't she realize that you were a farmer and not a lawyer or doctor?" Hello? He barely made it through high school.

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  21. You know, there are women who cannot choose - circumstances dictate that some women have to work, such as the death of one's husband. At least these days, women are able to find jobs that pay well enough to allow them to bring their children up, rather than having to remarry quickly to have a man to provide, or give up their children to family or an orphanage, or move back into their parents' house because they are not legally able to hold property. This was once the case, and not very long ago at that.

    Enola states that she was very much like Ms. Rosen at one time. The fact is, it is people like Ms. Rosen that agitated to change the laws that used to disallow women many of the rights and privileges men took for granted, from being able to own property, to having one's own credit rating, to even being able to rent a house without a male cosigner. All women benefit from these changes. One day, God forbid, you may find yourself on your own with children to support. If that should ever happen, you will be able to continue on in life more easily, because of those changes.

    Ms. Rosen shows her prejudice by what she says. It is not necessary to bluster and carry on and get all up in the air about it. She ate her own foot. We don't have to eat ours in response.

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  22. Enola,
    This will be the worst election ever for crafty insults slinging at FAMILY values.
    The elitists want to implore to WOMEN voters that stay at home TITUS women, raising a family is passe, and harmful to our economy.
    Each woman will be shamed in actuality by these insults, not just the candidates wives.
    Women, it is time to chose God's words and paths chosen by HIM for us as wives, mothers, and keepers of our estates.
    Stay committed to what is providential and not presidential!
    We have very important work to do for GOD's plans.
    notutopia

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    1. Notutopia;

      I couldn't agree with you more. We must be the women God called us to be regardless of the popular notions of the day.

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  23. Great post...Gotta love those working women who have no time to see any of the wonders of their surroundings....
    Thank you for the wonderful truthful post.
    Love from NC

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  24. Hilary Rosen and millions of American women abhor stay-at-home Mothers. Such is the fruit of the failed feminist movement. People see the moral decadence in America and ask ‘Why?’ That is the wrong question. They should be asking, ‘Why NOW?’
    Montana Guy

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  25. Shaolin April 12, 2012 12:14 p.m.
    How true, how true - God is calling his daughters back home to the role He created for us. He's calling all ages and all backgrounds. I was raised to be independent (selfish). To desire a career, money and stuff. The culture dictates that women are equal to men and therefore should compete with them and/or be better than men. So, of course, I bought into that nonsense for way too many years. I justified that my job helped my husband provide for our children (stuff) and did not think about the priceless teaching of God's principles and integrity. Oh yes, we did attend church every Sunday but somehow fit God's teaching to align with what we wanted. Unfortunately it wasn't until retirement that we began seeking God's plan for our lives in ernest and praying that we truly "see" and "hear" Him.
    His plan is so awesome. Women are created strong to manage estates and families. Equal is not the right wording nor is the thought that women are less than men - we are created for a very specific role just as men have a very specific role - both of which have become perverted.
    Yes there are many women working outside of the home - some because of divorce, widows, or for whatever - but that was not & is not God's plan for women.
    Do you really think we've "come a long way, baby?" Just think, women now are equal to men in the areas of stress, health issues, heart attacks, and have surpassed them in depression and suicides.
    I know I digressed from the thrust of your post, Enola, but thanks for opening a forum about women in God's role.
    Grace

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  26. I think a lot of our societal problems would go away if we went back to one parent staying home with the kids, even if they are in school.

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  27. A thought: If women who are married let thier husband's work and put thier heart into thier home and family... then would the unemployment rate be so high? Think about it, many homes have two parents working which takes away one job that a potential husband could have (not including women who have kids and no husband it would still be very significant). If only we could all learn to live with less stuff and be happy in our God-given roles. Women are ordained by God to be keepers at home and a help meet to our husbands.

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  28. I used to live the dream, doing it all -- working woman by day, wife and mom by night. Guess what: my employer got all they asked for, and my family got the leftovers... which wasn't much. When I decided to stay at home when my second child was born, I invested in a bunch of scrapbooking supplies; after all, I was going to have all sorts of free time on my hands! Sixteen years and another baby later, I have passed the scrapbooking supplies to that second child, a girl, because I never did find all that free time!

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