How my motto, venerate the housewife, changed my entire outlook on home life!!
What does it mean to venerate the housewife? When I first heard this statement, I said to myself, “What on earth does that even mean?” Venerate is defined as “To regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference.” In other words, to venerate the housewife is to glorify, revere, or adore with the utmost respect. Once I saw what i meant, I was like “heck yeah!” I work hard at what I do. I’m growing and shaping lives, why on earth wouldn’t I treat it with the highest reverence.
I have said it before, but I love aha moments and hearing the phrase “venerate the housewife” was a game changing moment for me. By nature, I tend to not give myself enough credit for things. I knew being a housewife was important and it was what I am destined to be but sometimes you need to hear the right thing at the right moment for them to truly sink in.
I grew two healthy babies. TWO! My husband and I tried to get pregnant for over three years before it was successful. Trying to conceive is very emotional, stressful, and all consuming. You wonder why your body doesn’t do what it was made to do. Why can’t you get pregnant when it (seems) so easy for everyone else. Every month that goes by without success makes pregnancy and your future family feel further and further away.
Then it finally happens! You are pregnant. You see the little plus sign or the 2 pink lines and you know it has finally happened. You go to the doctor to make sure because it somehow doesn’t feel real until you talk to the doctor. Elation is quickly followed by fear. Could I miscarry? What happens then? Am I really prepared to have a family? To be a mom? Will I be a good mom? The doubts never go away, but the fact that you are pregnant becomes more and more real every day.
But being pregnant is no joke. It’s amazing, a miracle, but it’s hard on your body. You are tired to the point of extreme fatigue. The nausea can occur during any time of the day, it can be triggered by certain foods, or can only be resolved once you throw up. And your boobs seem to swell more than is humanly possible which makes them awfully tender.
And that’s not the only thing on your body that is changing. Ligaments and tendons have to stretch to accommodate the growing baby (aka belly) and to help push the baby out during labor. Which leads to aches and pains, particularly in the lower abdomen and back.
Heartburn, constipation, shortness of breath, varicose veins, leg cramps, headaches, frequent trips to the bathroom, swollen feet, and mood swings are just the beginning of the physical and emotional changes that happen before you even have the baby!!
Childbirth and labor are the most intense and painful things one experiences in life. Whether it is vaginal or c-section, the baby is no longer in the safety of the mother’s womb and is brought into this big and scary world. Some women experience contractions, while others are rushed into surgery to ensure the baby’s safe arrival.
No matter how the baby came into this world: vaginal delivery, c-section, adoption, or surrogacy the end result is a tiny little person “made from love” as the great Stevie Wonder said.
I sometimes I have to remind myself that I did this twice!! Which gave me 2 amazing babies both with ten little fingers and ten little toes. Perfect little noses, one with a loud cry, one with a tiny whimper, and they both captured my heart.
With a new baby, comes new physical changes. You have postpartum contractions, bleeding, swollen breasts, leaky breasts, hemorrhoids, fatigue, hormonal changes, and, oh yeah, taking care of new a baby.
I never knew something so little would be so hard to take care of. Midnight feedings when you are never sure that they are eating enough. Morning diaper changes, who knew a baby could poop so much! Soothing a screaming baby, finding a rhythm, bathing, and swaddling a wiggly baby because you just want them to sleep! All this while trying to find time to feed, bath, and sleep yourself.
If you add a toddler to that and you will be exhausted! Aside from a couple of weeks, I took care of an infant and a 19 month old toddler by myself! Feeding, bathing, and entertaining two kids under two. Rock star status!
As my kids got older, the things I needed to accomplish to take of them changed. I chased toddlers on the playground and rode down the slide with them. I pushed babies on the swings for what seemed like an eternity! I went to mommy-and-me swimming lessons, and played catch in the front yard. Tea parties, coloring books, tricycles, Little Einsteins, and Sesame Street seem like an eternity ago but also like it was just yesterday.
Now I homeschool my kids (which I never imagined I would do) so we are together a lot more than their peers. Sisterly fights, complaints of boredom, and defiance against chores are common place in our home. But we are also a family. A family who loves hard, sticks together, and venerates the housewife
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Taking care of a household of 4 takes a lot of work. For one, it is in constant need of food. For a certain amount of time I WAS the source of food for my kids. But once we were done with breastfeeding, a new challenge began. Finding the best deal on formula which would satisfy a baby’s upset stomach. Couponing for the best deals on baby food. Meal planning for a growing family now that they can finally eat dinner with the rest of us.
Once the meal plan was made, it was off to shop for the food with two kids. Maybe it was the candy, maybe it was the screen time, but I have managed to keep our house stocked with food and our budget (mostly) happy.
After shopping, comes the cooking. And after cooking, comes the cleaning up. It’s a vicious cycle that never seems to end 😉
My house isn’t spotless, but it is still standing as I have made and maintained a home. I clean up messes, put away toys, sweep the floor, scrub the toilet, do the laundry, organize clothes, put away everything imaginable, and keep the house tidy if that is even possible with kids.
I take care of my kids in sickness and in health. Cleaning up puke, poop, and pee. I mend wounds, wipe tears, comfort, console, give medications, take temperatures, cuddle, and worry when my kids are sick. When the sickness is gone, I play pretend, go for walks, dance with my kids, watch movies, and laugh with my family.
It isn’t all fun and games. I have survived a bankruptcy, something I am not proud of but from it I learned how to handle money, budget, and have financial goals.
I have also lived through multiple winters in Wisconsin without a car, stuck in the house with 2 children. No library, no grocery store, no fun. For months on end during the dead of winter. I should get a medal just for that!
I am a housewife and a teacher. Some of the things I have taught have been school related: learning to read, colors, numbers, math, science, and history. Some of the things I have taught my kids have been life-related: potty training, their right from their left, washing dishes, mowing the lawn, how to pump their legs on the swings, and how to shoot baskets. Be patient mamas. Eventually the kids learn to do the cleaning and the laundry, other things I have taught my children 😉
Venerate the Housewife
My life involves breaking up fights, dealing with attitudes, struggling with defiance and obstinance, and listening to very loud children (#IntrovertProblems). But it also involves pool days, bike rides, a family vacation to Disney, drive-ins, and family game night.
I have doubted myself, scared myself, surprised myself, and pushed myself to keep going day after day after day.
I have nurtured my marriage and encouraged my husband through all the trying times we have faced.
Most of all I have shown my kids just how much I love them. I have yelled and cried and worried and studied and laughed and prayed.
This has been my life since 2008. It could be the life you are living right now. The one where you question if you are doing enough or being enough. Let me tell you. You ARE enough. Everyday, you being who you are is all your kids want from you.
I venerate the housewife because I want all those other housewives out there to know that what we do is a skill. That it is important. That our love for our family is enough to fuel us each day. For us to do our best and serve our family. Growing and shaping lives isn’t for the weak so we should never feel like we are weak or unimportant.
I venerate the housewife because of all I have gone through, physically and emotionally, to become a mom. All the work I have put into our home and family. The work I do for their education and their life skills. Being a housewife is WORK, it is important, and we are the most important part of society as we are raising and shaping the future.
And perhaps the hardest part is we are working to work ourselves out of a job. Those little tiny babies we nurtured and the little kids we taught to read will someday do everything for themselves and not “need” us anymore. But we will always be mom.
Well said:). There has been an attack on traditional roles and a degenerating of what women do, to the point of hostility. To the point that not only are woman confused, but men have forgotten how to be men.
To be a woman who desires these maternal things, to make a home stable and nurture, and chooses to do so she is met with little respect and the grace deserved. It’s really terrible for those of us who do desire this more than working outside the home.