Don’t Be Ashamed to Put “Homemaker” Down as Your Occupation

The calling to be a wife and mother, to be a “worker at home” (Titus 2:5), is tremendous, as these quotes make clear:

“The life I have chosen as wife and mother entails a whole caravan of complications… It involves food and shelter; meals, planning, marketing, bills and making the ends meet in a thousand ways. It involves not only the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, but countless other experts to keep my modern house with its modern “simplifications” (electricity, plumbing, refrigerator, gas stove, dishwasher, radios, car and numerous other labor saving devices) functioning properly. It involves health; doctors, dentists, appointments, medicine… vitamins, trips to the drugstore. It involves education, spiritual, intellectual, physical; schools, school conferences, carpools, extra trips for basketball or orchestra practice; tutoring; camps, camp equipment and transportation. It involves clothes, shopping, laundry, cleaning, mending, letting skirts down and sewing buttons on, or finding someone else to do it. It involves friends, my husband’s friends, my children’s friends, my own, and endless arrangements to get together; letters, invitations, telephone calls and transportation hither and yon” (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, quoted in Kent Hughes, Mark, Vol. 1, page 84).

“When people begin to talk about this domestic duty [of a mother] as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean… If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute” (G. K. Chesterton).

SDG, Ezra

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