Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I wanna be ____________

High school is on the horizon for this homeschool family. My daughter is entering 7th grade. Before we know it, 8th grade will be over. Of course, this has us thinking more about her future: high school classes, college, career, etc.

Some of my friends are already entering this stage of homeschooling, and I see them asking the same questions:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Ask this of a child when he or she is young, and you're sure to get high reaching goals: President, doctor, lawyer, ASTRONAUT!!!!!

My family is no exception. I have heard so many ideas that I have to chuckle. But, my daughter came to me earlier this year and stated plainly to me that after thinking about everything, her goal in life is to be a homemaker.

At that time, I was thrilled. We've talked a lot about it, and what it means (and what it DOESN'T mean, IE - it DOESN'T mean she'll be selling herself short by not being a career woman).

Then the temptation and guilt set it. I listened to other moms share with me their daughters' dreams, various careers they wanted to settle into. And I thought, "My daughter needs to do this!" Before I knew it, I was challenging her to think about what she really wanted to do in life. 

Looking back, I want to give myself a big facepalm.

Why did I suddenly feel like what my daughter wants in life isn't good enough? Recently, I've seen friends of mine either go back to work or express how badly they want to go back to work. I keep saying to them, "You know, there's nothing wrong with staying at home!!!"

And then I tell my own child she needs to pick a career.


Don't get me wrong - I don't think going to college or having a career is wrong. I do think the optimal career for a woman once she has a family is to take care of that family. I never thought that before I did it. Now, I realize how much happier I am!

So...Now's the time for me to eat some humble pie...and remind my daughter that there's nothing wrong with her original decision to want to be a homemaker. And...remind myself of that, too!


Valerie at Home said...

Nothing wrong with being a homemaker. After all, most women (and men) are responsible for a household and there's a whole lot to know about running a home and family.

That being said, I've always told my kids that they need to find a career. You simply never know what will happen in your life. My daughters may never marry or may end up a young widow or need to separate from their husband for reasons of abuse or their husband may leave. They need a way to support themselves at a job with reasonable hours and an adequate paycheck, if the need arises. I don't want them to feel like they have to marry the first guy they meet or they have to stay in a scary situation because they can't support themselves and their kids. I've been home for 7 years now, but if the need arose, I do have the education, skills, and experience to find a good job.

My girls don't have to go into a career with the idea of moving up the corporate ladder and sticking with it their entire lives. I would love it if they choose to stay home with their children when that time comes. I just want them to have that safety net of a degree and a good resume.

Shan said...

Thanks for your comment, Valerie :)

I agree, there's nothing wrong with being a homemaker, but I am afraid that too many people teach that there's "nothing right" about it, either.

I remember growing up with the mindset that "I don't need a man for ANYTHING!", and that attitude affected how I treated men. It gave me a lot of challenge learning to be a submissive wife.

I know that we never know what challenges we will face. I have been a single mother, learning how to raise a child and manage everything. I have also been a working wife/mother. Now, I'm a stay-at-home wife/mother.

I think most importantly, we need to remember that God will provide - period. We should always pray for His guidance on how we should "prepare" for the unknown. And then...we must have faith to wait for His provision. If that provision happens to be a well rounded education, as long as we don't lose sight on the "optimal career", I think that's great!

Mainly, I realized I had started diminishing the importance of wanting to be a homemaker, trying to urge K into choosing a "career" out of some insecurities and envy.

Wow, I've blogged a whole post in this comment. I'll stop now!