The Insecure Housewife and Other Matters

First of all, I want to thank you for your comments on my post yesterday.  I know the whole gay marriage question is a very sensitive issue, and I hope that no one felt offended by what I wrote.  I believe that civil discourse is critical, and I also believe it’s important to listen to what others have to say—even if we disagree.  So please, keep disagreeing with me, because believe or not, my views are influenced by what you say—and many of you have shared great insights on Facebook and my blog.


I also hope that you understand that just because I do not support gay marriage does not mean I’m homophobic.  One of my greatest joys in life is meeting new people from different cultures, countries, and religions, and I’ve loved learning from their experience.

The main question I raised was whether gays view fidelity in marriage the same way that heterosexuals do.  Yes, I know that people cheat on each other and a lot divorce each other, but I hope that society still overall views fidelity in marriage as the ideal.  For me, fidelity is paramount as I have chosen to put myself in an economically vulnerable position by staying home and raising my children.

I was disturbed by this  New York times article where leaders in the gay community openly question fidelity, and yet only of you clicked the link.  Perhaps reading it may help you understand why I feel so concerned.  In addition, the article quoted a study that showed that out of 556 male couples, about half had sex outside of their relationship and were open about it with their partners.   All I’m asking is that this question be further examined.  I know I would be much more comfortable with gay marriage if upon further study, the statistics of heterosexual and homosexual marriages prove to be about the same.

Which leads to this post—the insecure housewife.   As you know, I have had such mixed feelings about writing a blog, and at some point, I may just up and quit on all of you.  I worry that I might sound like I’m bragging when I share my joys, and I worry that I might be revealing to many of our family’s problems when I shared our bad days.

Life is such a mixed bag, and it’s so hard to get it right.  So I’ll be honest with you.  I was the oldest of eight children, and I thought having my own would be a piece of cake.  I didn’t realize how insecure I would feel, how unsure of myself I would feel, how utterly incompetent I would feel.

When my husband and I started having children, we decided that I would stay home with them, but I can’t say this has been easy on either of us.  My husband feels the weight of providing for a family of seven and he’s had to weather a serious economic downturn as well as adjust to the unpredictability of the banking industry.  Banks are exiting markets, entering markets, and being bought out by bigger fish, which is exactly what’s been happening to my husband’s bank right now, but throughout all of this, my husband has not asked me to get a job.

Still, there is a constant nagging feeling I have that I am not doing enough.  My undergrad was in economics and I’m constantly thinking about efficiency, especially every time I’m at my kitchen sink.  I could pay someone $10 an hour to do this work and make more money if I went to work as an attorney.  Life would be easier, wouldn’t it?

The decision to work or not to work is such a personal decision, and for me, it makes sense to be home.  Sometimes I feel hurt because people seem to assume that because I have a husband, and I can stay home with my children my life is easy or perfect.  It’s not.  I believe that God put us on this earth to make us stronger and gave each of us our own set of personal challenges.

So I don’t like running errands, and I really don’t like paperwork, and I never know where I’ve put anything, and my kids are so much smarter than I am.  It’s hard for me to stay at home when I feel like my skill set is so poorly suited for a homemaker.  And yet here I am.  Hoping I’m doing the right and feeling entirely incompetent as I do it.

I have friends that have chosen or need to work, and I admire them for how much they do, how they balance so much.  I heard a woman say that before she goes to work in the morning, she puts on her brightest lipstick and kisses each of her sleeping children on the forehead before she leaves.  When they look in the mirror in the morning, they see her lip prints on their forehead.  How sweet is that?

It’s time to practice tennis with my son so I’ve got to go, but we’ll continue this discussion tomorrow.

What makes you feel insecure?  How do you find confidence in what you are doing?



  1. Hey Beck! This is a really sweet post and I’m sorry that you’ve had conflicting feelings about your value as a stay-at-home-mom. To be honest, I don’t think that the story of the mom leaving lipstick on their foreheads is a sweet story… I think it’s sad that she’s not there when they wake up. I know what you mean about feeling like you’re not doing enough and the housework can be such drudgery but just remember that NO ONE can replace you as a mom. There is not a single person on the planet who is better qualified or equipped to care for your children than you. Motherhood is the least selfish pursuit there is… because it’s all about taking care and loving someone beyond ourselves. It’s giving our all to someone else. And then just remember it’s only for a season. YOur kids will be grown and gone before you know it. Have you thought of going back to work when all your kids are in school? You would probably really love it. Is there a part time job you could pursue? I’m hoping to go back to teaching maybe in ten years or there abouts. Keeping my license active. Don’t ever doubt your value as a stay-at-home mom though. THe best professional nanny in the world could not do as well of a job as you because no one loves your kids like you do.

  2. And I might add, there’s no one your children will love more (at least while they’re still at home) than their own mother. You are irreplaceable.

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