In today's society the thought of a woman without children or whose children are grown and gone, staying home to care for the home is almost unheard of.
I remember meeting a lady at a gathering that I had known several years ago. She asked me about my family and when she found out my youngest son was done with his homeschooling her first question was, “Are you working now?”, followed by, “What are you doing with your time?”. It was clearly a concept that was not familiar to her.
Being a stay at home wife is not a new concept. My grandmothers did not work outside the home, even after their children were raised. They continued to take care of their husbands and home.
I do admit to feeling a little lost when I realized that my job of raising and homeschooling children was done. I did reflect on my life and direction. Some women have aspirations to go to school or learn a trade and work outside the home when the children are gone. Some women need to for financial reasons. Some women may feel a societal pressure on them to go out and work. Personally I did not have those types of goals or needs. I remember talking to my husband about it and wondering if maybe I should think about a part time job. He said to me, I love the fact that you are home when I get home, that you adjust your schedule to mine, that we have our weekends together. Finally after all these years we have time to spend together. I love the fact that you keep the home clean, the meals you cook, I love knowing that our home is taken care. I would be very sad if that changed.
When you have children at home that you are raising it makes your purpose at home clearly defined. Purpose can get a bit hazy when you realize that you are done with this job. Now what is the purpose?
There is still purpose in being a homemaker even when the children are not the primary focus. Being your husbands helpmate and homemaking tasks are still needed. The key for me was to pray and ask the Lord for His wisdom and point me in a direction that still reflected my desire to love and serve and focus on valuable use of my time. As always the Lord is faithful and has done just that.
The Lord has shown me many ways to reach out and serve my family. It may be as simple as just more time spent with them, more phone calls, it has been meals, time caring for my grandchildren to give mama a break, etc. I've also been able to focus more on personal goals that I just did not have the time for when I was busy with children (such as getting fit, learning how to knit), and of course more time with my husband which has been a blessing to both of us. Not to mention there are still gardens to tend, canning to be done, animal care, cooking & baking and all the small things that go into making a house a home. I find my days very full and I am enjoying it more than I expected.
I realize that being a stay at home wife/homemaker is a small majority of women. It is not something everyone can do or desires to do. Because of this I rarely see encouragement directed towards women who choose this path. It is a worthy path to follow, it is not something new and strange :), it is an old path with its own blessings.