Schedules are Important

Without schedules and routines, everything becomes a high-priority emergency. Every small problem blooms into a full on chaotic disaster. A general pattern arises, but not one of peace and productive living. Rather the pattern is one of chronic low-grade tension and unease, with intermittent adrenalin spikes followed by crashes into long-standing depressive episodes.

Having said that, though, schedules and routines are important because when their form is correct, they can allow for room to let go and be a little loosey-goosey. You have to schedule quiet time. You have to schedule rest. Our Lord schedules REST. It is an assigned day, and with the Israelites, there were many other assigned times to set the daily work aside and rejoice/relax.

This is what’s left out when conservative Christian SAHMs bustle around trying to find the perfect schedule to solve their problems of overwork and exhaustion. An ordered understanding of what schedules are would entail not burdening women with the idea that schedules are just about more and more and more tasks and filling up every second. You use schedules to build a routine, you use the routine as a baseline, and then you have something to retreat to when everyone is sick for weeks or there’s a big family emergency, or business travel, etc, etc.

Schedules aren’t supposed to be so strict the least deviation destroys the day. Schedules that accounted for what people can actually physically do would be quite limited by the crazy standards of American Christian SAHMland, but they’d be achievable and given how even among a lot of women raised in the church SAHM skills have been lost in transmission, having achievable standards would be a superior situation for everyone. Women could then teach the kids to help out, could meal plan, could organize the house in a more pleasing manner, could go hang out with some other SAHMs at high tea…just not all in the same day!

Schedules also cannot belong solely to an individual. That is to say, being orderly and having a routine at all is not truly possible without support from the external community, not just one’s spouse. It’s a total package, everyone has to recognize that home is part of the world just like work and school and church and that coffee place down the street and the grocery store, with rules and structure and form specific to it.

I was going to go somewhere further with this, but I think the takeaway is that the hestia is a real place, part of life as completely as any other physical locations and realms and only when it is part of an integrated life can a society and its communities support schedules and routines that vary with the needs of individuals but hold fast to broad general standards and expectations.

Abandon the Creeping Ayn Rand-ism

Basically, the instrumentalism of conservatives is maddening.  It is the case that there is much that is more valuable than rubies, and those small sweetnesses of life are sneered at by conservatives all too often because they don’t monetize well.  There really is a fixation on cash value for existing that I have certainly felt the bitter pull of, and it’s rampant in conservative circles.

A prime example is the cult of self-sufficiency/prepping, with its blissful disregard for the importance of community and infrastructure that make it possible to purchase barrels of wheat berries and ten thousand rounds of ammo for five different kinds of huntin’ gun.

Another example is the refusal to specialize, ironic given Rand’s heroes and heroines.  Or the push to get into “home-based” businesses that are pathetically obvious MLM scams.

Don’t get me wrong, the flipside, hiding one’s greed whilst claiming you are above money and petty worries about making rent has plenty of damaging aspects (like discouraging profitable investment and safe returns above 1% per annum), but at least there is a path to not requiring every aspect of life to be “productive” as in “makes that $$$$” if you go that route.  There is some room for things which don’t obviously monetize.

 

 

 

Live near each other. Build it if you have to.

Build triplexes, duplexes and other cohousing options that aren’t cramming 20 people into a 2 bedroom and do it with a couple other sympathetic conservative families.  This solves much of the SAHM isolation problem and the ‘who will play with the children’ problem.  Both are genuine and non-stupid obstacles for people desperate to live in real community again.

There are other ways to live near each other besides cohousing alternatives if one is open to not exactly living next door, but just in the same general area.  There is not any real obstacle to living in the same town or group of near-to-each-other neighborhoods.  For some reason, conservatives who don’t belong to a couple of very specific religious subcultures are the only ones who don’t think this way.

This is not a solution for everyone, family and community ties are the real obstacles.  But if you already have given that over, why not live among those like you in other ways?  Beats lamenting how such and such are pricing u out.

 

Domestic au pair and homemaking program

It could be more or less formalized, but training young women in the domestic, homemaking arts and giving them practical experience in childcare would be amazingly useful.

There are a number of avenues by which this could conceivably be enabled, not least as part of a general program of supporting women in their women’s work.

A model to start with would taking the system of the current international au pair program, and figuring out how to adapt it to the needs of young women who’d like to be keepers of hearth and home for their families and future husbands and families who could use the help of energetic girls in their late teens and early 20s.

 

The futility of reasoning from first principles

It’s utterly silly to endlessly deconstruct liberal precepts.  They are dissemblers and dishonest, leave it at that and use your own emotional gambits and actual history.  Liberals won’t accept all the facts, but they do reach a point where if it’s incontestable, they’ll shut up.  So there is no need to weedhead around (and that is just what it is, college bolsheviking sessions) recasting first principles.

The last broadly influential classically educated individual in the West was Mary Daly.  Interestingly, this is partly why there is some continuity of tradition in radical feminism despite their distinctly non-traditional views of male and female roles.

Reasoning from first principles chronically and insisting that it must be done to effectively rebut liberal precepts means you are doing worse at maintaining links to traditional ways of thinking and living than radical lesbian separatist feminists.

Adopt an Aunt and Adopt a Bachelor/Bachelorette

In the ongoing annals of having to systematize what used to be typical traditional relationships, conservatives could do a lot for the long-term singles that populate their churches and neighborhoods by reviving the ideas of the spinster aunt and the adopted bachelor.

One thing that is hard to accept is that conservatives cannot rely on blood and soil, so to speak.  Patriarchy that is functional and effective has a complex, interlocking web of kinship and community/city/nation bonds with obligations.  All that has been expertly demolished and the work of restoring even the idea that those bonds and obligations are real, crucial and important will be the work of generations.

A start on that, though, is finding ways for people to step back into some of those roles.  And adopt an auntie/bachelor is a way to bring back the social utility of those roles and restore the perfectly normal interactions of older adults with promising young kids and mentoring families.

Ideally this would not be a church ministry, but something formed outside of that.  Another day I’ll have to get into why the church can’t be the place all these things happen even though it often is the only institution many people have now.  But it used to be that aunties and bachelors paid for schooling, provided for basic needs and sometimes arranged/provided care for the babies and old as needed.  And also were among the folks throwing the parties that connected people to their future spouses or employers. Basically, they were connected to other families because marriage wasn’t the only lifelong, deep relationship one had with other people.

Part of community is finding ways to include people who aren’t in the tiny community of nuclear family.

Drop the universalizing of culturally specific traditions

The example for today is a wife taking her husband’s name.  There are many functional, traditional marriage cultures where this is not a requirement.  Some cultures practice hyphenation to demonstrate two families melding into one, rather than taking the husband’s name.  Others use taking the wife’s name to represent the wife granting her husband authority over all that she possesses.  The problem is not with a wife taking her husband’s name, the problem is that it is quite ridiculous to take a practice that is not universal to the practice of patriarchy and extrapolate that it is (or about as bad, that it is the most superior patriarchal approach, also untrue).

Conservatives in America, which is where I live, would do well to stop committing this ridiculous fallacy all the time about loads of other things, although the married name one is a chronic offender across the conservative spectrum.