Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Pleasant Paths to Contentment at Home

Image 'Little birdie Blessings'

I glanced through a freebie daily newspaper today. There was an article by a writer who had heard several women recently saying that they did not regard themselves as feminists. The writer saw it as his responsibility to point out that 'If you are not 'for' feminism, then you must be 'for' the oppression of women!

I draw the opposite conclusion. The women I know, having to go back to work after maternity leave, are heart-broken to leave their babies. They are expected to make a good wage and fulfil their 'potential' out in the workplace. The soft, nurturing, supportive, gentleness of most women's nature is 'oppressed' as they toughen up to cope in the work environments. Home-making is ridiculed and they are made to feel stupid if they enjoy feminine hobbies. So 'feminism' to me now stands for 'be ashamed of being a woman, because they are of no value. Childbearing is an inconvenience and child-rearing is best left to the state. If you can't be a masculine, aggressive, academic woman then you'd better shape up'.

Women have been fed this line for many years and this is one reason why paths to contentment at home can be strange and unfamiliar for some home-makers. I do not say these things in an arrogant or 'know-all'  or dictatorial way, but from my own experience. I have found that although my paths have often appeared very overgrown and strange, soon the way felt reassuringly familiar and I began to spot the lovely roses growing along the way!

(Little birdie blessings)

One really helpful path to take is a pretty, meandering footpath with  one or two picturesque stiles that cross little streams of water. Why the poetry? because that gives a clue to a facet of contentment at home - pace.

Pace is so important. The pace of home-living is slower, not so direct. You don't 'go get' with happy home-making! For longer than I wish to remember, most things I did around the house were accompanied by the noise of slamming cupboard doors, clattering dishes and huffing and puffing as I worked at breakneck speed to complete each task and get to sit down. Then one day, out of the blue, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me. 'You are going at the speed of the World, now I want to go at the 'speed of Love'. Well, I listened to that word. I was so surprised to find that when I slowed down (and made less noise about the place) I began to feel calm and contented. My body felt less stressed and gradually I became less 'performance-minded'. Even better, even though I slowed down, more things got done. And I was able to enjoy the process of home-making. That had never happened before and it was a complete revelation to me.

I am finding more pleasant paths to contented home-making as the years go by, and I hope to share some more with you soon. But for any ladies out there struggling with contentment, who are cupboard door slammers and speedy cleaners, try the meandering path and the 'speed of love' . I wish you well.

I would love to hear your comments, tips, or experiences ladies. Please leave a comment.



17 comments:

  1. "So 'feminism' to me now stands for 'be ashamed of being a woman, because they are of no value. Childbearing is an inconvenience and child-rearing is best left to the state. If you can't be a masculine, aggressive, academic woman then you'd better shape up'."

    I so agree! That is what feminism is really about. I left the working world/career mindset to become a homemaker about 2 years ago, and I do not regret it at all. I don't feel as rushed as I used to, like on Sunday nights I would frantically try to get as much done at home so I could go back to work on Monday morning. It was horrible and stressful. Now I have 7 days a week to make my home lovely and livable, and my husband and son are so happy with me around all the time.

    I hope to be able to slow down and enjoy my duties like you describe, because sometimes I do rush.

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  2. Thank you so much Sarah, for posting this comment. It is so helpful for others to read someone's personal experiences - and I am glad, but not surprised that your family are reaping the benefits. x

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  3. Your post was excellent, and what Sarah said in the top part of her comment is so true! We are so blessed to be women! Thank you for sharing this and it was a good reminder to me to slow down and enjoy each duty of the home. In fact, right before I got on the computer I was "speed" cleaning :) Have a delightful day!

    Hugs,
    Stephanie

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  4. This is such good advice and a good reminder for people like me who tend to be too task-oriented sometimes. Thanks for your beautiful posts. :o)

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  5. "The speed of love." That really caught my eye! The Lord has been working with me and teaching me how to slow down and enjoy my work rather than rush through it. He has been using ladies like you to encourage me, and I thank you for sharing this teaching moment with us. I love your blog and read it every day! God bless you.

    Peace,
    Vicki

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  6. Thank you both : ) Welcome Vicki too. Thank you for regularly catching up here at heart for Home-making

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  7. Thank you, all the way from Perth, Australia, for your lovely blog. I too have been learning about 'God's speed' - infinitely slower than mine, that's for sure. And I agree totally about the feminism. For years I was looked down on because I chose to stay at home and bring up my children; suddenly I had nothing to say, nothing to give society. It was such a shame. Now I don't bother explaining much, but more importantly I don't bother defending myself either. Instead I generally smile when someone asks 'what do you do?' and say I have the best job in the world. I get to stay at home!!!!

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    1. Hello Liz. Nice that you've dropped in from Sunny Perth. Lovely comments - thank you

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  8. I agree with everything you say Budgeteer and said in such an eloquent way. Years ago it was said that if there were more women in the workplace, the workplace would become a nicer place to work in. I don't think so! Instead the workplace has changed *them* and they have incorporated masculine qualities to survive.

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    1. That is a very good point Rosaria. The workplace is changing them, and not the other way around. Thank you

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  9. I agree with everything you have said,the terrible failures in our society today can be blamed to an extent on the lack of a nurturing early life.I consider myself lucky, as the last generation of women who were expected to be stay at home Mothers. I only returned to part-time work when my children were in their teens.In previous generations this was not questioned.

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  10. Thank you Rosemary. I truly believe there is still hope to turn things around family by family.

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  11. Newest follower here! I found you through the Tuesday blog hop. Cute blog, I can't wait to read more.
    -Melanie

    P.S. I’m doing a $50 Shabby Apple giveaway on my blog. You should check it out here: http://meandmr.com/post/35113285949/shabby-apple-50-giveaway

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    1. Thank you Melanie and welcome. I am hopping over to your blog right now to join in your giveaway!

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    2. Oh dear, I've just realised that I am not able to enter as I am not in the US. Never mind. But good luck to all my American friends!

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