The Counter-Cultural Vocation of Homemaking

"...my wife chose a rare and counter-cultural vocation. She chose a vocation that was once very respectful but is now viewed with some shame."

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Bert Perry's picture

Just, Amen.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

Neither the homemaker nor the woman with a career should be shamed!

The local high school is up the road, past the shopping center, in a different voting ward, in a neighborhood of enormous new homes. We once calculated that with what it costs to buy one home there, you could buy seven of ours. Without exaggeration, they have more square footage in their basements than we do in our entire house. The school board reports that the average annual family income for students in that school is climbing toward $200,000. Suffice it to say, there are not a lot of single-income families there. There can’t be when you need to qualify for and pay down a million-dollar mortgage. There are plenty of nannies and babysitters, but not a lot of stay-at-home mothers.

I am not passing judgment on those families. Not in the least. I am merely making the observation that my wife chose a rare and counter-cultural vocation. She chose a vocation that was once very respectful but is now viewed with some shame. 

Observation from a retiree whose wife is a VP:

  • My wife went back to work after I broke my neck and had no income
  • She experienced the criticism of some church ladies for working
Andrew K's picture

Jim wrote:

Neither the homemaker nor the woman with a career should be shamed!

The local high school is up the road, past the shopping center, in a different voting ward, in a neighborhood of enormous new homes. We once calculated that with what it costs to buy one home there, you could buy seven of ours. Without exaggeration, they have more square footage in their basements than we do in our entire house. The school board reports that the average annual family income for students in that school is climbing toward $200,000. Suffice it to say, there are not a lot of single-income families there. There can’t be when you need to qualify for and pay down a million-dollar mortgage. There are plenty of nannies and babysitters, but not a lot of stay-at-home mothers.

I am not passing judgment on those families. Not in the least. I am merely making the observation that my wife chose a rare and counter-cultural vocation. She chose a vocation that was once very respectful but is now viewed with some shame. 

Observation from a retiree whose wife is a VP:

  • My wife went back to work after I broke my neck and had no income
  • She experienced the criticism of some church ladies for working

A real shame, but that particular attitude your wife faced must surely be on the wane--or at least survives mostly in highly conservative Christian ghettos.

We live in a strongly evangelical community and my wife often gets the odd looks and "so what do you do all day?" questions from some of the other ladies, most of whom find employment within the educational system for which most of us work--even though we have two children under five.