The Feminine Role vs. The Working Wife
We have spent the last three chapters on the subject of femininity. What is the best environment for you to grow in your feminine nature? - the home. The home is like the greenhouse in which your feminine nature will grow and blossom. As you care for your family and learn the gentle art of homemaking, your womanly nature will have the best chance of bearing fruit. However, even though women have an ideal soil in which to grow, some of us choose to uproot ourselves and try to grow in an outside field.
I am not sure at this time what the statistics are for women working outside the home, to stay-at-home wives, but it is growing all the time. More and more women are choosing a "career" over their role as a wife, mother, and keeper at home.
When It Is Suitable To Work Outside The Home
There are some circumstances when a woman has a legitimate reason for working outside the home. Some situations are obvious - if you are a widow, single, divorced, or if your husband is disabled, then you have a necessity to work.
If your husband is physically able to work, then you my be justified in the following situations:
Emergencies: A financial emergency can give a woman no other alternative except to go into the working world. The family should all pull together and sacrifice to work out this difficult situation.
Husband's Education: There are times when your husband is going to school to improve his career or chances for employment that you may need to work. This situation should only be seen as temporary. Be sure you don't get into the trap of needing your income after your husband is employed because of the purchase of luxuries. Be sure to always keep in your mind the goal of being home full-time.
Older Women: If your children are grown and gone from home and you find you have a lot of time on your hands, it may be acceptable to take a part-time job, but first consider several factors.
You still have a household to run and a husband to take care of. You may be able to step into the next phase of your life as a grandmother. Your devotion to your husband, children and household will go far in building up your feminine charm, whereas working outside your home will do nothing to further it.
When It Is Not Suitable To Work Outside The Home
Easing the Pinch: There will be times when you will be tempted to help your husband provide for you - you don't have enough to make ends meet, you have needs that aren't being met, or you just never seem to have enough. But the price you pay being away from your home will not be worth the trade.
There are many things you can do to help ease the pinch while you are at home. Learn to cook frugal meals, make your own clothes and recycle the ones you have, learn to shop wisely, use good organizational skills to avoid waste are among the things you can do to help.
For Luxuries: Many of us feel it is alright to work for the extras we feel we need. You may work so your income may go toward a larger house, a boat, a nice car, nice clothes, new carpet or furniture, or other things. Your extras may be more benevolent in nature...you may be having the "good" of your children or spouse in mind and work for piano or other music lessons, dance lessons, college, private school or so your children can have the latest fashions to fit in. It would be far better to learn to live within your husband's means.
Because You're Bored: Maybe you just don't feel you are cut out for home-based life. You get no joy or satisfaction from spending your days at home and long for the "excitement" of the working world. You may even be able to convince your husband that this is a good idea, but the thrill will be temporary once the reality of the "real world" sets in.
There are many things a stay-at-home woman can do to enhance her life. There are ways to broaden her horizons and find fulfillment in her sphere as a feminine woman at home. First, learn to find satisfaction in a job well-done. Next, learn to have satisfaction as a giver to your family. Lastly, if you need an outlet, volunteer work is a good alternative to the working world.
To Do Something Important: You may feel that your time at home is wasted, that your talents as a woman are not being used to their fullest extent, or that you are not making a worthwhile contribution to the world. You look at the women in the men's world and feel you pale in comparison.
This may be a prevalent notion among women of the world, but it is not a correct idea. Men's work is extremely important, but best done by men. When women leave their area of expertise, half of the whole picture is missing - part of the family set-up suffers. Women's work is every bit as important as men's, it's just in a different arena.
To Ease Your Husband's Load: Being the loving, caring wife that you are you may feel sympathy for your husband because of the work load he is carrying and the stress and strain caused by that load and want to help lighten it. Avoid this! For one thing, you already have a load of your own to carry (especially if you are being diligent in your homemaking/children duties), secondly, this is his job. He not only is equipped with the temperment to handle it, but most men derive a certain pleasure from the challenge. They are also physically able to handle the work better. Let him operate in his sphere, then you make life in your sphere enjoyable for him.
Because You Want a Career: You may have a special talent in one of the arts or have a skill in a highly technical field and feel you should pursue a career. Think this over carefully and consider all the reasons stated above. Your family will suffer and your husband will not be able to be in the number 1 position with you. Your marriage will suffer. Is this the price you want to pay?
Some women complain that they don't get enough fulfillment in the home and their women friends at work are more interesting and exciting. They accuse their stay-at-home friends of trite talk about their babies or what they are making for dinner.
No one ever said that a wife and mother cannot be an interesting, well-read person. No one ever made the rule that she must allow herself to be dull. And no one has ever proved to me that work outside the home is more interesting and fulfilling than my life at home. Your life will be what you make of it - and that means that life at home can be every bit as enjoyable as life in the working world.
Should You Train Your Daughters For a Career?
If you are like most of today's mothers, you have this list made in your mind with all the reasons you need to have your daughter train for a career - she may have an emergency, she may get divorced, her husband may die, her husband may get disabled...on so on. There are serious consequences to this action. Here is the flip-side of the coin:
It Will Make Her Independent: As we have learned, one of the traits of a fascinating woman is dependency. Training for a career and a job outside the home teaches her just the opposite. She becomes independent and without the need for manly care. She has taken over one of the duties of a man and is in danger of acquiring masculine efficiency.
Encourages Her To Work: Although as a single woman she may need to support herself, training for a career will encourage her to work after she is married. The tendency is to look at college or specialized training as "wasted" if she decides to quit work and focus on her home and husband.
Being prepared for a career not only encourages a woman to work but
encourages suitors and husbands to require a woman to work after
marriage and after childbearing. It puts a temptation in front of a man when he realizes the amount of money a highly-skilled woman can earn.
Training Becomes Obsolete: If a woman does decide to stay at home and care for her husband, what use have the years of training been to her? Her time could have been better spent focusing on other skills or a broader education. Even if she does enter the career field again one day, the training may be out of date.
Allows an Easy Exit: A woman with the ability to support and care for herself may be willing to call it quits with greater ease than one who is more dependent on her husband. Most marriages are hard work and have rough times. A woman with an easy-out may not weather the storms.
Deprives Her of a Broader Education: A varied education can provide a woman with a well of information and experience to draw from. This kind of education prepares her to help her children as they grow.
A woman who continues to grow and enrich herself in the home is much better able to meet an emergency than one with specialized training. During the years at home, such a woman will develop a well-rounded character. She will push her creative skills, learn to make sound financial decisions, foster wisdom and logical thinking, and many other things that come with a woman truly focused on making a success in her home.
Injury Caused By a Working Wife
When a woman works she steals part of the husband's rights. You will stunt his growth in this area of his responsibility. He will not need to strain himself to rise to the occasion. As you become more effecient, capable, independent and more masculine in your traits, he becomes less so. This can cause you to pick up even more of his load. Remember this: When you lift the bucket up, he sets it down.
You also cause harm to yourself. When you work by choice (not necessity!) your feminine charms dwindle and disappear. You will lose the special sparkle that you, as feminine, dependent woman can have. You will tend to put on masculine traits. Women in the working world get bold, mouthy, aggressive, pushy, arrogant, independent, capable, and efficient. How much of these traits you develop depends entirely upon the type of work you are doing. The traditionally female dominated jobs don't cause as much masculine development as more male ones, however, any type of work which earns money causes independence, which is an enemy to feminine charm.
Children suffer most of all in this type of arrangement. They are deprived of the mother's presence in the home. Merely being there is extremely important to a child's well-being. You may be busy with household tasks, but you are there.
A woman in the home and a man working provides children with a role model to pattern after. There is so much pressure today on our young ones to conform to opposite functions. Our boys are being feminized and our girls are being pushed to become more and more masculine. How will you teach them proper roles when you are doing the opposite yourself?
Our giving in to the pressures of the world and conforming to its standards will cause a further decline in society as a whole. Not only do we lose our masculine and feminine identities, but we upset the economy. Most families, especially those just starting out as young newlyweds, are finding it difficult to make it on one income (not impossible, just difficult). This is because women entering the work-force have brought down the wages. Once women entered by choice, now it is becoming by necessity.
What Can You Do?
You may feel locked into the working world, but you can undo this lock and free yourself from its grip. First, study everything you can on being thrifty and frugal. Learn tips and tricks to make what you have go further.
Learn to make do with what you have. Let go of the luxuries. Even some of the items you see as necessities may not be necessities, but luxuries. If you aren't working do you need a second car? extra clothes? Do you need to live in the house you currently have? Can you find a less expensive one?
Next, talk to your husband about quitting work. Provide him with all the reasons why it will be good for your family and all the reasons it is harmful. Tell him how nice it will be when you can focus on him and the family full-time. Tell him what you are willing and able to do to help without earning money. Tell him about home-cooked meals, a clean house and laundry done on time. Tell him about a wife with some energy left over to spend on him.
When you add up all the expenses of working and deduct that from your bring-home pay, I think you will be surprised at how little you are actually making. When you take this amount into consideration you will see that you can probably save that and more just by good management at home. Start making a list of every expense you have because of your job. Don't forget the higher taxes you pay at the end of the year.
You can do this!
(Thanks to Cynthia from the FascinatingWomanhood mailing list for some additional insights and comments in this lesson.)
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