Household help, as a matter of historical norms, is crucial to the domestic life lived properly and correctly.
I used to joke all the time about the Proverbs 31 woman. I used to say, “You know, if I had a few servant girls to help me out, I think I too might be able to get a lot more done around here.”
But you know what?
It’s really not funny. It’s not funny at all. It’s completely true. And you know what else?
It’s completely BIBLICAL.
You know what? There are a few hours a week where something peculiar happens. No, actually, peculiar isn’t the right word. MIRACULOUS! No, that isn’t the right word either. I don’t know…how about…WONDERFUL. Something wonderful happens. You know what it is?
There are a few times during the week where I feel like …A NORMAL PERSON!
Where I don’t feel overwhelmed. When I am actually motivated. When I can actually think straight. When I feel happy. You know what makes all the difference in the world?
Taken from the blog “Hidden with you” (linked above). Her post is a good start to recalling that the modern idea of being a Super-human, able to do anything alone, is dispiriting and unsound.
Another excerpt from her post on this matter of having help (read the whole thing, it is worth the time):
Oh my. It’s like living in a completely different world. During those few blissful hours? I can nurse the baby, delegate a task, and the housework continues. All work does not cease to be done when I am caring for a child or helping them with something, because it is not completely dependent upon me to do it while she is here. I have help. I can use the bathroom without people following me. I can make a phone call in peace if I need to while she entertains the kids.
We talk. We commiserate. Her youthful vigor inspires and motivates me. My slightly more years of life experience answer her many questions. We encourage each other! It is absolutely a breath of fresh air in what can be very stagnant air of domestic life.
And then, there is another older woman. A dear woman, who without her kindness, I would’ve given up hope a long time ago, and I seriously might have walked away from the boring, stagnant life of lukewarm Christianity. She restored my hope in humanity actually. I had just about lost hope that caring people existed in this world. That is, people who cared enough to actually DO something for another person.
Do you know what this woman did?
She volunteered to use her day off from work to come over so I could go to the store alone! Or to run any other errands I needed to do. Whatever I needed to do for a few hours, while she watched my kids.
I still cannot express the PURE JOY of knowing someone cared. The relief that comes from having physical help. Someone to lend a hand during these years when our hands are so full.
So, these seemingly insignificant needs we have, that we often laugh and joke about, they are very real. Yes, adult conversation, using the bathroom in peace and having an extra set of hands makes all the difference in the life of a young mother.
So often, I’ve wondered if my faith was weak. Maybe that was my problem. If I just had more faith in God, couldn’t this be better!?! Couldn’t I handle this heavy load?
But we were created not only to live in communion with God, but also to live in community with one another. Family. Neighbors. Friends. For so many years of my mothering days, I have spent my life surrounded by empty homes. I would not have even known who to ask for any help, no one is home!
What young mothers are truly lacking, is a culture centered around family. Where families are not being ripped apart from every angle of society. Where older women are there to teach and encourage the younger women in this extremely important vocation of wife and mother. Where there are actually other women around to help one another out on the home front. To be there to answer our many questions and to guide us in this calling. That follows the Biblical model of Titus 2.
Anyway I can’t just reblog the whole thing (I suppose I could, but just go read it instead!)
That kind of post is why I started this blog. SAHMs are being failed by the very people who talk so big about their “commitment to family values” and other such pablum. This woman is experiencing real woman to woman support, genuine Titus 2 care from an older woman in her local community, and this should be the standard, usual experience for any Christian SAHM. It should not be some kind of unusual, magical fluke.
Just as it’s not a luxury to stay home with the kids at all, it’s not a luxury to have some level of household help and regular breaks and rest/recharge time. If it is such a big important job, then those who call themselves family-oriented should be happy to make sure the tools to do that job effectively and sanely are available to the mothers working so hard for the sake of love.