Most Women Don’t Prepare to Be Keepers at Home

Most Women Don’t Prepare to Be Keepers at Home

Undoubtedly, whenever I write about women being keepers at home and raising their own children, I receive comments from women about how wrong I am to teach this and then proceed to give me all of the exceptions as if their exceptions negate truth and what is best for the children. Here is a case in point from my Facebook page:

Krystal Rasmussen wrote: “What does it say about women in the workforce? Well Lori, some of us have no choice. If I want my daughter to have food, I have to work. If I want a roof over our heads, I have to work. If I want her to have clothes, I work. I don’t have the luxury of staying at home. Do I want to be home with her? ABSOLUTELY. But can I? No way.”

Amanda Wright responded to her: “Why can’t you? Specifically? One of the things I’ve found interesting on this and similar pages is how many women say they ‘absolutely’ would choose to be home with their kid(s), but they *can’t* and so stop shaming them! Comments similar to yours – who will pay for their food, shelter, clothes?! But while there *are* exceptions, most women in your situation got there because: 1) no one told them being a wife and mom was a career goal; 2) they got themselves in college or credit card debt or both; 3) they are unmarried single moms; 4) they married someone who was not on board for them to be a SAHM and won’t support their desire to do so.

“Again, this is not unilaterally accurate, but it is *often* accurate. I have many friends now who I would have laughed at as an unwise, foolish teen and early 20’s – when I was focused on career goals, money, and achievements of that mind, these friends were learning from experienced mentors how to budget for a family on a sole income, how to sew, how to garden/can, how to clean house, how to maximize nutrition and natural remedies, how to homeschool a wide variety of ages, and more. They knew they wanted to be wives and homeschooling mothers, so they lived at home to save money, studied for their desired ‘career’ of running a home, and saved every dollar from cleaning jobs or nanny-style work. They went into their marriage (all are happily married with good men and many children) equipped for their role, and a helpful chunk of money to boot.

“Thankfully, the Lord opened my eyes and I was able to course correct in my early 20’s! But I had debt to overcome and other things that made it SO HARD to be a SAHM, yet we did it, because my husband was determined. However, we went without many things for a few years. Now we are truly blessed, but I am teaching my daughters to follow the example of these other women in their early years! Women who ‘absolutely’ want to be staying home should be sharing Lori’s advice like *crazy* to the younger generation, because getting to stay home full time with their babies absolutely IS POSSIBLE if they will take advice from wise older women such as her. And you – be prayerful and talk to your husband and do all you can to make it happen! 💖”

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
1 Timothy 5:14

43 thoughts on “Most Women Don’t Prepare to Be Keepers at Home

  1. My story is very similar to Amanda’s and I too am so thankful God opened my eyes before it was too late! I’ve now been home a little over a year. We are finding great success with homeschool and expecting our fourth baby in the fall. God has blessed us exponentially; honestly I feel like our lifestyle never even changed because most of what I made working went to daycare and other costs to finance the career (gas, eating out, clothing, etc)….and that was even with me making a large salary. God is so good!

  2. I 100% agree with this. I was the only girl in a family of six and my mom stayed home, but she didn’t have me learn things from her and I was a tomboy (not blaming my mom, to be honest I wasn’t interested because I wanted to be out with the brothers playing in the mud ect… and even when I was a teenager I wasn’t interested, I wish now she would have made me). When I married I had a very feminist attitude and am ashamed of it now. I could do anything men could do and all that garbage. However, I too course corrected once our son was born, being a SAHM all of a sudden made since, and my husband looked for a way for us to make it financially. He said he wanted me raising our son, not someone else. I was able to leave my full time job for a part time job, and then when he was around 2 I was able to come home by keeping my nieces. I’ve been home ever since and he’s grown now. I had a friend tell me when I was leaving my full time job that she wished she could stay home and I offended her by saying “Well, I couldn’t do it if I felt like I had to have a different and newer car every year”. It was hard at times, but so worth it!

    And also, a little testimony for those that don’t think it’s possible. While I was working part time, I would cry every morning on my way to work. I would beg God to make my husband want me at home. Finally one day, I was just wore out mentally from it and I asked God if He couldn’t bring me home, then to make me content with it. THAT very evening when I got home, my husband asked if I thought we could make it if I kept my nieces.

    1. God hears our prayers! It’s His will for women to be keepers at home, He tells us His commands are not burdensome, so women need to pray for His will in their lives and do all they can when they are young to not prevent it from happening.

  3. It’s the husbands, and the families.

    These women have to work because if they didn’t, they would literally be shunned…or even worse wouldn’t be married because so many men have been taught to marry for $$.

    Not many women can stand-up to the non-stop insults and comments of in-laws and their own family members. And even if the husband’s heart could have been persuaded, having the husband’s parents make little comments is very bad for a marriage.

    The # of men to marry is not unlimited. X % of men want their women working, so those women who get stuck with those men are up the creek.

    Society needs to change and men with working wives need to be shamed for who they really are…

    Low Earners.

    1. This is something that needs to be talked about before marriage. Many women have to work after marriage due to all of the debt they brought into the marriage and plus, many want to continue working since this is what they have been taught their entire lives. Older women need to begin speaking up and teaching younger women biblical womanhood.

    2. There’s also the bemusing phenomenon of Christian wives who for all intents and purposes “wear the pants” in their marriages and it’s obvious that they do as they please with or without their passive husbands’ approval-until said women are presented with the Biblical command for them to be keepers at home; to which they immediately cry, “my husband wants me to work outside the home.” How is it that their husbands are disregarded in all other decisions except that one? This abuse of Biblical Submission is discouraging.

    3. Low earners? Really? Do you think any man would work, and stay at, a lower paying job if they had the chance to earn more? Shaming someone for not earning enough is not the answer, that’s absurd and very unchristian like (in my opinion).

      1. I can’t find the comment that you were referring to, but I wanted to respond. My husband has always been a low earner as he has worked in social services. He had options to go into higher paying jobs, but I always felt he was given a great gift from God. A passion for working with people. Anyone can work with computers, if taught, but not everyone has the gift to relate to people. For that reason, we’ve always lived well below the standards of others. I often joke that we live like the Flintstones. Or that if someone broke into our house, they’d leave US $20 when they found nothing of value to steal. We do have a 200 lb. TV that’s about 20 yrs. old lol. Our *new* car is 8 yrs. old. When our friends were taking vacations in Aruba & Europe, we were going 2 hrs. from home and renting a cabin in Big Bear or Mammoth, doing our own cooking while we were there, and hiking for entertainment. Loved it.
        If you want something bad enough, most women can probably do it. It’s not always easy, but is so worth it.
        Spend the amount of a dinner out on The Tightwad Gazette and Frugal Luxuries and learn how to do it.

        1. Debby – My comment was directed/from another commenter on this subject (follow the thread above). I do not believe in shaming a man (or woman for that matter) due to their occupation choice. All jobs are essential, no matter how minimal or trivial someone may think they are. Look all around us RIGHT now – which workers are the back bone during this crisis? Yes, the doctors and nurses are, but so are the “lowly” workers who get targeted for their chosen occupation (retail, custodian, etc.). It just upsets me. Not everyone had the opportunity to advance their education. For the most part, we are all vital members of society, people shouldn’t be shamed for what they do. How does that help the struggling father who wishes he could provide for his family and NOT have his wife work? I’m sure he feels bad enough, let along have friends or family needle him about his profession. Not everyone’s circumstance are the same, we all make different and difficult life choices. Does my college degree make me any better than someone who doesn’t have one — certainly not! People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Rant over – sorry!

    4. X % of men want their women working, so those women who get stuck with those men are up the creek.

      Feminism has succeeded far beyond its proponents’ wildest dreams in getting the vast majority of men to accept as natural the idea that their wives work outside the home full time, out from under their influence, protection, and headship.

      Society needs to change and men with working wives need to be shamed for who they really are…

      If you want to see attempts to influence change for the better fail spectacularly, go ahead and start shaming men en masse. Shaming is also the go-to feminist tactic, so it’s hardly logical to think that the enemy’s tactics are going to be beneficial in fighting the enemy’s ways.

    5. How about we just don’t shame people for anything and we just believe that everyone is doing the best they can in their situation? Thanks

    6. This is true for me.
      I always wanted to be a SAHM and I have mostly only worked part-time or not at all, but my mother-in-law said right from the start, that if my husband couldn’t earn enough that I would just have to get a job. My husband shares that attitude – he puts in a half-hearted attempt to earn a bit of money, and fully expects me to earn the rest, which I have always done.
      To his credit, he does take on the role of childcare when I am at work so we have never put our children into care, but his family’s attitude is disappointing.

    7. Lori you need to post this story…

      This is from Henry Kaiser’s wiki page…he was the dude whose company built Libery Ships Every 16 hours during WW2

      This also shows how far we’ve fallen in expectations for our Male children…

      ——
      Kaiser met his future wife, Bess Fosburgh, the daughter of a Virginia lumberman, when she came into his photographic shop in Lake Placid, New York, to buy some film. Fosburgh’s father demanded that Kaiser show that he was financially stable before he would consent to their marriage; Kaiser moved to Spokane and became a top salesman at a hardware company, returning ten months later with enough money to placate his future father-in-law.[2] They married on April 8, 1907, and had two children, Edgar Kaiser, Sr and Henry Kaiser, Jr.[3]
      ——–
      Nothing like a little shame and expectation to get a Male to fulfill his potential

      1. Well, remember, back in those days a man went to the father of the girl he was interested in and asked him for permission to marry her. The discussions about financially supporting a family were between the two men. After the girl’s father was satisfied that the prospective husband would support his daughter, he’d give his blessing and not before. It didn’t involve a prospective wife shaming a prospective husband.

        1. I know that is “how it used to be” but I truly feel we would be in a better place if that were still the protocol for marriage. My husband worked for my father and was 24 and I had just turned 18 when my mom “introduced” us. A few months later my husband did exactly what you’re talking about. He asked my Dad for permission to marry his only daughter (only child actually) and made sure he could take care of me because I was raised to be a lifelong stay at home wife/mom and wanted a bunch of babies. My dad also told him he could not marry me until I turned 19, so we were married 3 days after my 19th birthday and my husband brought me home from our honeymoon pregnant and we have been married for 24 years! I know the world doesn’t work that way anymore but we would have more Godly hard working men and more wives living a life of biblical womanhood…Oh to dream!!

          1. I don’t think it’s “shaming” for a prospective wife to make it known she would like a husband who can afford a house, or rent, that has a stable job, who can put groceries on the table, has a 5 and 10 year plan for his career, etc.

            This way she knows if the man is serious and understands the sacrifice it takes to have many children and allow his wife to stay at home.

            It would be a red flag for a prospective wife not to make this known or inquire. She does not want to be blindsided. She might end the courtship to pursue another man who does have a plan and can support a large family.

            If the man feels “shamed,” perhaps he is not ready for marriage.

            There is no need for someone who is just looking around for a husband to commit to the first man she meets . . .

            Of course one can be polite about ending a courtship due to these reasons.

            It is similar to how a man might not want a prospective wife who is in debt or does not want to stay at home.

  4. Lori, I grieve for my daughter. I went to grad school after she was born to become a teacher. For her first two years of life I neglected her as I ran off to classes. I hated my job as a teacher because I was forced to teach things that meant nothing just to meet requirements to get state funding. My child suffered. I quit and I have been home since she was in Kindergarten. She is now a third grader and I have had a second child. I still secretly grieve that I did that. The money that was wasted. The time I will never get back. For what? For my child to suffer? My only saving grace is that I saw the light before she was old enough to remember it and now all she will remember is that I have been home with her and her sister. I love them both desperately. My husband makes more than enough money to take care of us all. We paid our house off and now we are working to purchase a second home to work towards paying off as a gift to our children later in life so that they may have a strong foundation for their future and not feel pressure to go to college and have careers to get a house. We are doing the best we can. I worry sometimes if I lose him, what will we do. But my husband reminds me to believe that the Lord will take care of us. Thank you for guiding us. I used to be an angry feminist. Now I am so much happier being in the home and taking care of my family and home.

      1. So grateful to not have the regret of utilizing daycare. The time I spent teaching and saving before my first daughter was born has allowed me to be home full-time for 18 years. I feel so blessed. I’d encourage new wives from day one to adopt spending habits of SAHM’s. If the Lord provides a child right away, you’re already set. If you have an opportunity to work and save until children arrive, utilize it! What a blessing to your husband to save and help to create a nest egg. We had no school debt when we married, so we saved for a home and lived well within our means to allow for full-time SAHM status. It’s not a mystery-talk about goals and priorities with your future spouse.

  5. Dear Lori, please help me to have the right perspective and not to lie to myself. I’ve been feeling inadequate in my role as a mother. Praise God my children are healthy. They are also happy children but I’m struggling to keep up with them. They are both creative and constantly busy. My son wants to learn about a subject that I have no talent with and my husband has no training with. There are literally only about 6 people who I’ve found in the world who study it. I’ve contacted 3 of them. One has been gracious enough to offer to help me but I’m so lacking that even the simplest tasks I struggle with understanding myself let alone imparting the information to my son. I know God has given my children the parents they but I’ve been feeling like I’m earning a C in parenting lately and I don’t like being inept.

    1. You don’t have to let your children have everything they want especially if it is difficult and almost unattainable! Help him to find something that he can learn online. There are so many resources online. The sky is almost the limit!

      1. That is what got me into this mess to start with, online learning LOL! A couple of years ago I got a digital piano and an on-line piano program to include music with our homeschool. Both of the children took to it but my son completed our “lifetime membership” in 18 months and started playing original arrangements of Mozart and Beethoven. But the real issue is that from the time he learned what notes were he started writing “music”. He has books and books of “music” he has written. He writes new pieces a couple of times a week. He gets “inspired” and is driven to write it down. The problem is that writing music is like writing stories, there is a structure to music that I am ignorant of but he needs to learn if he wants to write real music and not just music notes on paper. He wants to be a “father of music” and write music like Bach and Beethoven etc. but the way they learned to write music has just recently been rediscovered and only about 6 people are teaching it. Helping him learn to compose like the greats of old in our modern times is the issue. (Oddly enough this composition method was taught to orphan boys of between 7-10 so it isn’t supposed to be unattainable but with it being only recently rediscovered it is currently only spoken of in the college/professional levels using language that I cannot understand very well).

        My children are a huge blessing but I don’t want to feel like I’m failing them.

        1. M, have you ever heard of Benjamin Botkin? He is a composer, and he has a website with resources for learning how to develop skills that composers will need. The website is https://www.benbotkin.com/
          It might be worth checking out.
          Secondly, if it is any encouragement to you, I have often been inspired by your comments about how you parent your children. My jaw hit the floor, for example, when you mentioned a while back that you are teaching your somewhat young children calculus. Most young children do not get those opportunities. They are probably already far better educated than your average American. One day, your children will rise up and call you blessed.

          1. Thank you Sarah. I had heard of Ben Boykin but not in that context. I glanced through his website and will definitely return for a deeper look.

            Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate the encouragement as one day I feel like things are going great and the next like I’m doing a terrible job. I try to be more level on the outside as I don’t want my husband to think he married a crazy person.

            I should clarify that currently my children (8 and 11) are only in algebra. They are currently on track to start calculus in a about 2 years but haven’t gotten there yet.

        2. Your son would enjoy the challenge of a music composition class. Any accredited college music department would have professors that are skilled in this subject. No offense, but you’re making it too complicated. I have a degree in Music Education and my advice would be to provide your child with music theory instruction, then focus on his specialized interest. Music is a broad and wonderful subject.

          1. I think you’re right on both accounts. He would love a music composition class. And I’m sure I’m making this harder than need be. If I had your knowledge and talent of music I’m sure I’d have a smoother path forward. For me, the knowledge you have might as well be alchemy as I’m extremely ignorant on music (and have no natural talent).

            I had checked out a couple of Udemy courses that I hope I can enroll then in at some point (especially for orchestration and music history).

        3. The Lord provides! I received an email today after writing this from the leading professor and he will be giving my children a lesson on this method to get them started! God does answer prayers and makes what little you have enough.

        4. My suggestion is to purchase a copy of Music Theory 2nd edition by Michael Miller. It is simply the finest primer on music theory that covers how music works: from scales to chord progressions including music composition. Mr. Miller also authored a separate primer on Solo and Improvisation. Both books are under the Idiot’s Guide umbrella but are simply superb. Also visit the Jamey Aebersold Jazz for a complete selection of music theory books.

          1. I’ll be putting those in my Amazon cart. I’d love to have resources like those at my fingertips. My husband pointed out that we had a Norton’s anthology but I think that will be good more for the history.

            I hope all the musical people know how blessed they are to have their knowledge. It is not easy to come by and is like a whole different world.

  6. My wife stays home, there was no “teaching” it was just simply wives stayed home, do what needs done with in safety limits, husband works for the money. That’s the way her family did. There were no plans for her to go to college, when she was in 11th grade, she was the only one with above a 4.0 GPA that had no plans for college, so school admin pulled her from class and started her prep for scholarship to go to the local business school. She received full ride, her dad even took of the days of work for her reward ceremony and graduation, he never went to stuff like that. She is the first one in her family to go to college. She will be teaching our daughter to make and income from home and take classes online.
    Men area not taught to take care of their families either, if I would have had more guidance I could have provided way better for my family. Thankfully my wife worked before marriage as well and we paid cash for our house. It is very difficult on a below poverty income level to care for a family.

    1. The Tightwad Gazette and Laine’s Letters are written by two women who lived on their husbands’ below poverty salary and each had five or more children. With God ALL things are possible.

  7. Women who ‘absolutely’ want to stay home should begin by reading the MANY books that have now been written about how we all did this!

    I married when I was 34 and was the breadwinner the first two years of my marriage. When I became pregnant we knew we wanted me to be at home but couldn’t see how it was possible, so we cried out to the Lord for His wisdom.

    When we ask the Lord for guidance, He answers! I stepped out in faith by going part time during pregnancy. I stepped out in faith by hiring my replacement at work! When baby was four months old we were out of savings and couldn’t see how I could stay home. But God guided me to dozens of resources and answered our prayers in ways we could never have imagined! Each day a little more knowledge and faith!

    It’s not instantaneous…it’s a step by step faith journey.

    I meet women every week who say they ‘cant’ come home, but they can. The truth is they really don’t want to do the work that is required to stay home, and it IS work to do these things, but it is also putting your entire family first!

    It is totally possible to learn how to thrive on one income.

    You benefit, your husband benefits, and your children benefit! If you really, absolutely want to come home to your children, it is completely possible! Trust God and his word in Titus 2:4. He wants you at home guiding your children!

    1. Right. I think when women say they “can’t”, they mean they can’t come home because they would lose a certain status of living, which is likely true. But if you truly believed it was important, wouldn’t that be irrelevant?

  8. I’m in the UK. I left school in about 1972. While at school, we had house craft lessons, cooking and sewing lessons. When girls left school they worked until they got married or until they were pregnant, then they gave up work. Any working mothers usually worked part time during school hours so they could be home before their children, they were mostly working to replace something like a washing machine, so they quite often only worked for as long as it took them to get the money. Family life seemed much better to me. Out of the whole school only 2 pupils had divorced parents. Even though unmarried mothers gave up children for adoption, a lot of them didn’t, instead they married the young man who had got them pregnant and stayed married. Families helped each other a lot more, younger family members learnt from the older family members. I seem to remember that Ken or Lori mentioned some time ago, that when we were young, if Lori had started a page like this, people would have said, why bother because the majority of wives and mothers stay at home.

  9. This is for M from her 9:15 comment.
    Good for you seeking out music education for your son!
    All of my children study piano. My oldest has played for 14 years and the blessing of watching her share her talent with others has made every lesson drive, help given, and check written more than worth it. When any of them complain (it’s challenging), I tell them that it’s part of their education just like language arts, math, science, etc. We value it that much. I suspect a couple may drop it as adults as their other interests develop, but 2 of them play quite a bit, sing beautifully, and study additional
    instruments as well.
    I was cleaning out some college books and came across my Norton scores, so I had to chuckle when you mentioned the text. My undergrad was in Music Ed., and my interest was teaching elementary classroom music, so my memories of Music History 1 & 2 are not as fondly remembered, lol! I had suggested Composition earlier and I believe I saw Theory as well from another commenter?
    I couldn’t agree more. The foundation of theory will be essential in composition, and allow your son to explore additional forms of music. When my children add new instruments and vocal music to their piano background, their teachers have complimented their overall music knowledge. Each new element is like scaffolding and they’re intertwined. I always enjoy your comments, and from earlier posts, your children sound so bright! 🙂
    If your son has this interest, please help him cultivate it. I’m sure I sound bypassed, but every effort made on his behalf will be so enriching to his life!
    And, yes, I do know how blessed I am for my own background in music, which is why I’ve required involvement in my children’s development. My husband is fully supportive, and it’s been a blessing to see him enjoy their involvement and performances. He is athletic (as was I in high school), and while my memories are positive in those endeavors as well, music has provided endless rewards and beauty to my life.
    Best wishes to you and your son, M!

  10. Debby in Kansas: I loved your reference to the book “The Tightwad Gazette!” I have been thinking about all I learned from her when I bought her newsletters in 1990-1993. I still have all of them! That was before she published the book (actually 2 books). She was right- if you learn those principles, you can survive any economic downturn…including the one that is probably coming.

    I just found this website. Good discussion ladies. We need to be transformed in our minds and hearts to what the Word of God tells us. Blessings to all you young moms who are in the trenches raising your families. It is a wonderful time in life and it will go by quickly!

  11. Yes, many of us made foolish choices, but thankfully God had and has mercy on us all. The fact is, as a preacher I love so wonderfully put it, we have to deal with the Who not the Why. And whatever situation we are in when we come to him he accepts us and frees us from condemnation and he takes us from the miry clay. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles, Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

  12. I am currently married almost for 2 years to my godly husband. We moved in with his mother to help raise her children as she struggled with a drug addiction. She’s now sober, and we are planning to get our first home. Right now we both work full-time, and I recently stopped my college education not knowing that I may not even finish it. Because we’ve began learning this year that God’s plan is for me to be a keeper at home and raise our future children; which we are both on board with!! Now we are planning how to pay off my student loan debt and save up for our house to make it possible for me to stay at home. We know it’s possible and look forward to being in God’s will!!

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