Monday, September 13

The Secrets of Happily Married Women...

In the words of Linda Richman, "Discuss."


Anonymous said...

I think that's great for them; they are obviously a very compatible couple and the husband clearly earns a lot of money at his job - not everyone can afford a treadmill, lol. I think traditional roles are good when applied in a godly way. They go wrong when they are used to oppress either partner. I am a sahm, but my dh and I agree that childcare is my full-time job and housework is something we share. I definitely do more of certain jobs though and he does more of others. Whatever arrangement a couple agrees upon, they should treat each other with love without a sense of entitlement.

~Jodie Anna

magda said...

I like the part where she's asked, "Where do you put your grump?"

I think I get frustrated because I want to be successful in the same way: making a beautiful, happy home, and it *is* hard work. Most of the time I don't feel like I have any successes.

Matushka Anna said...

Very wise.

A few key things (and I'm paraphrasing):
"I set the tone, the mood for the house."
"I think it's important for a man to come home from work and have a cheerful wife who looks nice."
"I give him what he needs and he gives me what I need."
"Taking care of a home is hard work - I look at it as a job."

I'm really amazed that there wasn't more negative opinion from the audience.

Arielle said...

I think she seems like a wonderful and happy wife, and she does a good job taking care of her family.

My husband and I got married with the understanding that we BOTH wanted us to have traditional roles. I wouldn't have married someone who expected me to work outside the home, limit our family size arbitrarily, or send my children to public school. Those were all non-negotiables. Paul was looking for a wife that wanted to be a homemaker and homeschool a large family, so we were a perfect match :) As a nanny, I've been around a lot of women who try to have a career and be a mom at the same time, and while there is much I admire about them, I always knew I was totally incapable of splitting my time and attention that way. I want to do one thing and do it well, and if I had a regular job, I would not be able to keep a home and mother well. I would be a stressed out wreck.

The one place I would part ways with this wife would be childcare. She has only two children and they are older, so it might work fine for her. I try to take care of all cooking, cleaning, and of course I do most childcare, but there are plenty of times that Paul pitches in with the baby, and we think that's fine and appropriate, and will become even more important as our family grows.

He also does the dishes every night, because he's such a nice guy :)

Melanie said...

As a recent stay at home mom, I can see the positive changes having a wife and a mother staying home make. My husband and I started courting in high school. I was confused with whether I wanted a career or to stay at home. We went a way together to college and after college got married and began our careers. We both got caught up with secularism and materialism. We were always wanting more, never content with what we had. Its been a little over 8 years since we graduated and our life has significantly changed. We converted to orthodoxy a little over a year ago, we have had our third child and I decided that I would return back to work. Although we are still trying to adjust to our drop in income it has been for the best for our relationship and the children. I do find that we are closer now than we have ever been. As cliche as it might sound, I love my husband more now than I did on the day that we were married. My husband does still help out at home, he cooks and helps me straighten up the house on the weekends, and most nights gives the kids baths.

Matushka Anna said...

I'm going to chime in with Arielle here: I also noticed that she has two children, no babies, and there was no mention of homeschooling. I'm not sure what their family dynamic would be if there were six children with two in diapers and the older four homeschooled.

I do look at the house as "my" domain and I'm very happy about that. However, it is understood that with a lot of little children who are home 100% of the time, it's nice to have a little help. My husband cooks very rarely anymore and we're both happy about that (c;, and he also doesn't really do any laundry (c;. I'm also the main cleaner, homeschooler and shopper. On the other hand, he tackles the yard, the bills and takes care of a parish. If I'm sick or otherwise out of commission he jumps in without complaint. He's a great baby-holder-diaper-changer-and-game-player too! We both try to make each other happy and meet the other's needs.

And my girls do the dishes every night now - hooray!

Michelle M. said...

I am actually impressed with how well this was approached on the show. Obviously, Rachel does not live this type of life (she is choosing not to have children for the sake of her career), so this topic is very foreign to her.

Having grown up in NY, just a half hour north of the city, I have a very good understanding of how other women my age view this type of lifestyle. Most of my high school friends are either unmarried, newly married or co-habitating. They aren't planning on having children in the future and even when they do, they aren't planning to stay home with them. My lifestyle is very strange to them. But just like the woman in this clip, this is what I have always wanted. Originally, it was just because I wanted to be a mom, but know I see how much our faith plays into this. It is important for us to be there for our husbands and our children. I have a husband who works incredibly hard for his family, and whenever he goes away on a business trip, I make sure to have a perfectly clean home for him. I put fresh sheets on the bed, clean towels in the bathroom and I make sure I look nice for him, with a special nightgown for the first night that he is home. And he deserves it!
I do think it is empowering to be a stay at home mom. I love running the home and being the primary caretaker of my children. Like I said, this is what I always wanted, and I am so blessed.

Bethany Hudson said...

I'm just so pleased that this is being discussed in the secular sphere in an open-minded manner. I think women need to see homemaking as a viable option. They also need to see that it's possible to choose to be JOYFUL at home.

Michelle M. said...

I also noticed how the wife in that scenario seemed to have two school-aged (non-homeschooled) children.

I have no idea what it is like to not have children (plural) in the home. It is much more difficult when you do not have your daytime free from children. So, it does make sense that she could not have a grumpy mood at the end of the day. And, also, that her house could be spotless, etc.

MamaBirdEmma said...

I meant to be more involved in this conversation, but life in the nest has been a little wild today:)

I am someone who has always wanted to stay at home. Fortunately, I have a husband who works two jobs in order to make that happen... it is usual for priest wives to work because there just isn't enough money to stay at home.

I worked as a first grade teacher of for the first year of our marriage and began staying home once our daughter was born.
I hope that I never have to go back to work... even when our children are older.

Fiona Ferris said...

Emily, thanks for posting this, I really enjoyed watching it and I'm glad to see she has other videos to watch. I'm very different from your other readers - I do not have children and my husband and I work together in our own small business. In spite of this I actually consider myself a very traditional wife. If we are lucky enough to have a child (I'd be happy enough with one, but don't think it's going to happen at all) my husband and I both agree I will be at home . In the meantime I use my two days off work a week to make our home clean, welcoming and peaceful, and make the most of myself. I've always loved the traditional roles of husband and wife, but it's not a popular subject these days and I keep my thoughts as my own secret garden. My husband knows, and loves it. He says the days I am at home he loves coming in to a bright, pleasant lived-in place, rather than when we both come home from work together to an empty house.

MamaBirdEmma said...

I read Courtney's blog, Women Living Well, and she does homeschool her children. She has a pretty detailed schedule for her day on the first or second page of the blog.

I do agree that it is a lot different when you have two school aged children rather than babies, toddlers, and school aged children. If I didn't have my husband's help with the children and with the occasional chore (he vacuums and does dishes a lot for me), things would be really difficult.

Anonymous said...

re: Anna's key things:

what are your thoughts on these things? I'm thinking it is in some ways true the the mother sets the tone in the house...we find it's more my dh who sets the tone. In any case, it takes a lot more than hot apple pie and lipstick to set the proper tone in a Christian home ;o) I also think the comment about a man wanting a cheerful, nice-looking wife to greet him after work. I was surprise no one threw a shoe at the stage at that point, lol. Sure, it's nice. Children who always listen are nice too, as are personal masseuses who bring you a latte...but let's get real! Life's not always pretty and we need to be mature and able to love no matter what and to give sacrificially to our partner even when they have nothing to give.

Kh. Patty said...

There's so much I'd love to respond to in this video, but I'll pick one so I don't write a novel on Matushka's blog.

I'd love to have the presence of mind to stop before my husband comes home and "freshen up." :) Right now, though, what I have discovered is important to my husband is not so much that dinner be finished the moment he walks in (rarely is anyway), but that the house is not a disaster. So, even though MY priority is dinner at that time, lately, I try to stop and assess the house. If I do a quick pick-up before he comes home, he is a lot happier and that makes ME happy.

Michelle M. said...

I should give her some credit since she does homeschool, but there is certainly a difference when you are dealing with school-age children and toddlers and babies... and rough pregnancies.

I don't get a lot of help from my husband, so the bulk of the work in the house is mine. I admit, I am wiped out by the end of the day, but I am still thankful that I am able to stay home, even if I don't get much help.

Melanie said...

To clarify my earlier post I am now a full time homemaker.

Having had a career and had been climbing myself up the corporate ladder, I can understand how women have felt entitled to being equal to their spouses. However, I do not agree with it and have been able to experience the dynamic of a career wife/mother and homemaking wife/mother. There is such a difference between the two. Yes with both areas you do have grumpy days but the rewards of being home far out way any rewards of having a career.

In regards to the comment about looking nice when her husband comes home, she does not have young children at home with her (i.e. she does not sometimes end up with food in her hair or smelling of baby spit up :). My husband since the first day we meet, has always preferred me with out any makeup. On the mornings I wake up with dark circles under my eyes, he says I have earned them and should be proud to wear them. :)

MamaBirdEmma said...

I think that's the key, Sh. Patty! It is much more important to know what your husband wants and needs, rather than trying to accomplish what he doesn't really care about. My husband doesn't really care what the kids and I look like, but it means a lot to him when I make an effort to be cheerful and happy. Though he enjoys good food, he is much happier if the house is picked up, there's no screaming, and the laundry is done.

Kh. Patty said...

To add a little to my comment, I'd love to make it a goal to freshen up my looks a little before he comes home—kind of like how I'm trying to clean up the house a bit. I'm not saying I think wives should always look perfect all day long or that the house should look perfect. I can physically see the difference in my husband if the house is not picked up when he comes home (or if it's ALWAYS not picked up—last night I didn't get to it and he doesn't mind helping out with that). So that's my priority.

But I could see "freshening up" before your husband gets home on one of your Feminine Friday lists, Matushka, don't you think? :)

Jenny said...

I'm really impressed that this was actually discussed so openly. We've been married 14 years, and I've always been a sahm. Of course, having two little boys with special needs played a big role in that - but it was my dream from the time I was a little girl to have a husband to "take care of" and children to raise with him. My health issues have wrecked havoc on my dreams in a lot of ways, but for the most part I'm able to still set the tone for our home. My hubby does do some of the cooking and he'll clean if I point him in a direction and ask for help - but for the most part, if I'm capable of doing something around the house - I do it because I feel that's my job, and I find it very fulfilling. Homeschooling the boys, keeping the house under control, making our house a home - these are things that I always wanted to do - and I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to do them.
It was really encouraging to see other women validate my life choices like this! :)

Jen said...

I've read her blog, too, and she definitely pours her life into God's word, her family, her home, and her relationships. She is very genuine. She may not have the same situation as you, but she is thriving for where she's at. And I don't mean that b/c she looks put together and lives in a beautiful home, but b/c she focuses on God and has a heart of service to her family and is not a discontented wife.
I agree that we are to focus on what it is *our* husbands desire of us, b/c we're instructed by God to be submissive to our own husbands, not the general consensus of husbands of the world. There are some traits though that could be applied across the board. I think that when women say that their husbands don't care a whole lot what they look like, they would be suprised at his delight if they did put more effort in that area. Men in general are visual and appreciate the "ooh, you did that for me?!" gesture. Perhaps they say they don't care b/c they know we have a lot on our plates already, but why then do we put so much effort into our wedding day (and they for sure appreciated that) if they really don't care at all?

Anonymous said...

I'm coming to the discussion a bit late, I know (sorry, I only take time to read blogs once a week) but I wanted to add my perspective. I'm a happily married (20 years next month) mother of two (now aged 19 and 16), and I've worked outside the home for most of my married life. I'm a public school teacher, and yes my children have always attended public schools and have received a wonderful education IMHO. The only times I have NOT worked were when my children were very young. This was a mutual decision between me and my husband, insisted on more by him than me, actually. We share responsibility in all areas of our, housework, cooking, child-raising, etc. This works for us and I believe we have a strong marriage and our children are happy, healthy, intelligent, well-adjusted young people.

My personal opinion is that every family is in different circumstances and each couple needs to have open and honest communication about what will work best for their family. And we, as women, need to be respectful of each other and not try to fit every other woman into the same little box we've chose for ourselves. Even in the comments here, there's been judgement (she only has two children, her kids are older, does she homeschool?, etc.) What difference does it make? She's found a lifestyle that seems to work for her and her family. Great! My lifestyle works for me and mine, but I don't advocate that every single woman should follow my path. At the same time, no SAHM had the right to look down her nose at me because I work outside the home.

I know women who stay at home and others who work. Some in both camps have extremely happy marriages and happy, well-adjusted children and others in both camps who don't. The most important thing is for a husband and wife to be on the same page, and each contributing to the marriage and family in a way that is mutually agreed upon.

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