Qualities: A genuine love for children is essential. Also, you need to have, or to cultivate, unselfishness, organization, compassion, resourcefulness, and a sense of humor. It’s a job for those capable of watchful caring and cherishing their responsibilities.
Training: No training is required although work as a baby sitter, camp counselor, teacher, or other experience with young children is helpful. You will learn by your mistakes and by reading what others say about child rearing. You should think about the methods your parents used and apply only what you value to this job.
Duties: A homemaker has to establish a place of refuge from the world for the family and a place of welcome for the world. The house becomes a home when it is filled with what you love – such as beauty, order, cleanliness, peace, or family traditions. The duties as teacher are daily. You will be responsible for the initial moral, spiritual, social, physical, and academic training of your children.
Payment: If you work at the job, you’ll be paid with the feeling “I’ve done my best.” The feeling of happiness within, not guilt, will be an intangible reward. A bonus of family appreciation may accompany the job, as well as happy, well-adjusted children. Your monetary payment? It’s difficult to determine the value of a homemaker considering the number of duties you perform. On an hourly basis, the cost of a tutor, dish washer, a child raising expert and a food buyer are constantly going up.. Your services, if purchased on the outside, might add up to more than or $90,000. a year. Right now, a homemaker’s job pays in rewards which last longer than money.
Hazards: Fatigue is common due to the long hours. You must learn to make quiet time for yourself to read, study, or rest. Frustration is another common challenge. A sense of humor, perseverance, and prayer will aid you here. As with any job, learn through your mistakes, and seek help when necessary.
Time Off: Since you are your own boss, set up a work schedule. Organize your time so you can pursue your interests, continue learning, and even prepare for a future career.
Note: This job does not include loss of contact with society, but rather is an opportunity to strengthen the basis of society, the home. It does not include doing everything for your children, but rather teaching gradual independence. Spoiling, pampering, and “smother love” are a disservice to all.
Children can’t put an ad in the paper for a full-time homemaker, but if we listen, we hear children asking for a consistent, dependable source of love. Jennifer and Ben are hungry for adult attention and quite sad if a day comes along without a planned program. It seems they’d be content with a lower standard of living or some other accommodation in exchange for more parental companionship.
Of course, children of non-employed mothers may be just as lonely. The important ingredient is the loving attention childhood deserves. And still the best source of this comes from someone who sees the career of homemaking as an opportunity to unlock the potential in family members, and be there to support when the world is challenging and cruel. Many are eligible for this career, either full-time or as a dual career with a job. How many will recognize this as a privilege and work to be a success at it?
Originally published in the Christian Science Monitor