Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Living and loving my domestic life

Domestic: Of or relating to the family or household: domestic chores. Fond of home life and household affairs.

Yes, yes indeed. I am very fond of my home life and my household affairs. After working for a little over 20 years, I feel so... at home, here at home. Taking care of my family, working to create and maintain a nice comfortable place for them.

So many people misunderstand the domestic life. It can seem so boring. Stifling, even. Mind-numbing. "How can you stand to be home all day? I couldn't stand the boredom." Well, yes, we of small intellect don't mind the boredom, right?

This attitude comes from feminism, of course. Which really isn't feminism anymore because, if it was, it would not mock this choice. Remember when feminism was about choices for women? Maybe you're too young; it was a long time ago now.
There are also women, who don't call themselves feminists, who say, "Well, my husband and I are partners. We both work, and we share the chores at home." Usually that's said with an air of superiority, as if the only way to be a partner is to bring home a paycheck. Guess it is, for them. However, the only real difference is in the division of labor. Husbands and wives split the work, one way or another. Some do it well; for some, it's an area of contention.

In my home, the roles are pretty clear. We don't have to argue about whose turn it is to cook dinner or grocery shop. Or who will stop at the take-out joint because we've both worked too late to cook. We don't have to fight over who has to pick up the kids from daycare. We don't have to quibble over things like vacuuming or laundry or... all those pesky house chores. I do as much as I can in the home so he can concentrate outside the home.

Then there are the men who equate married women who don't work as prostitutes. Yes, it's true. I've read it with my own two eyes. Of course we know that housewives are just deadweight parasites on our husbands, right? (I still cannot think of that without laughing.) I suppose there might be some marriages like that. I don't know of any.

So what about that boring part? It's not boring to keep my family clothed and fed. It's not boring to keep the house looking nice. (Or get it there, when it's not so nice.) It's not boring, making home a place my family wants to be.

Laundry, cleaning, and doing dishes are not fun. Those tasks can be boring. But everyone has to do them anyway, unless they have a housekeeper. Teaching my kids housekeeping skills can be frustrating, but it is never boring!

I could do many things better. The house can be cluttered. (OK, it's usually cluttered.) The meals are not always so great. Like anyone else, I can waste time. I can indulge in some discontent every now and then too. That is when I remember my catechism.
What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. We glorify God when we fulfill the purpose to which He has called us. Some of us feel called to be home.

But you don't have to believe this to understand that some families work better when the wife/mom stays home, and that some men and women make a conscious choice to live this way. If you think a domestic life is boring, don't live it. But don't tell me I'm wrong for living - and loving - my domestic life.

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