Urban homesteading, householdering, radical homemaking….call it what you will, the world of glorified housewifery seems, perhaps unsurprisingly, to be dominated by the wifery. Certainly the world of blogging about all this stuff tends to be the realm of the gentler sex (though I’m not sure how much gentler I looked as I slaughtered that chicken or shoveled that horse shit, but I digress).
More than a few readers and Facebook followers – women – have mentioned that they are in relationships with people – men – who are not entirely supportive of their efforts to run a productive household. This seems to be particularly true for women who have opted to not work outside of the home, focusing their efforts on negabucks instead of megabucks.
The tale I’ve heard quite a few times is that not-on-board man wants not-making-money woman to get back out into the big, wide world and start bringing home the bacon. (In the figurative sense only, of course, not in the, “Hey, babe, you need to start bringing home the bacon ’cause I just built you a smokehouse in the backyard and winter-is-a-comin’,” sense.)
I’m just speculating here, but I imagine that, to much of the outside world, and even to the outside spouse, running a productive home looks and sounds suspiciously like, “I don’t want to work,” “I don’t have to work,” or – and I hate this phrase – “I’m just a mom.”
Some people – and fortunately I do not seem to be surrounded by many of them – seem to think that the home is where weak brains go to die. In the world of the superwoman, the decision to “stay home,” particularly without children or after children grow past early childhood, is looked on as a cop-out decision made only by those unqualified for the world out there.
In this social context, perhaps the non-householder-husband really does think his bright, capable, vivacious wife would get more personal satisfaction from the balace that a career outside the home would offer.
But I suspect really, it comes down to money.
I suspect it comes down to money, and the perception that a job done for money is more valuable, by definition, than a job done for, really, anything else: self-sufficiency, education, personal satisfaction, the ability to put food on the table.
Radical Stay-at-Homemakers who spend their time growing the family food will rightly point out that you can’t eat a iPad, while their at-the-office partners can justly counter that the bank won’t take potatoes as a mortgage payment. Money – how to get it, how to spend it, what to do and how you feel when you have too little, what to do and how you feel when you save some extra – these questions are answered in the context of our values.
I am blessed to have a husband who is usually on-board with my hare-brained schemes, and willingly helps a huge amount in “my” garden. He also works his ass off outside the home. I am very fortunate to have him as a partner, but I flatter myself to think he’d say the same, since I’m no slouch in the hard-worker department either. Our values align and so we work, separately or together, to common purpose on and off the homestead.
But I am aware that this kind of shared effort and shared vision is not universal out there, and many great couples have very divergent views on what work and leisure should look like.
Does your partner support your efforts to live a more self-sufficient life? Have you run into any disagreement over your attempts to change the consumption habits or productivity of your home and, if so, how have you dealt with any strife? Or maybe you’re the spouse footing the bill for a non-working urban homesteading partner – do you resent that you bring more to the table as the wage earner?1
hmmm……….I have some pretty strong opinions on this subject. I am 58 years old, have been a "housewife" 98% of that time, and my other half has mostly supported me in my dedication of making a comfortable home for our 5 children and ourselves. There was a point (about 10 years ago) that he wanted me to go out and "get a job." This was right after our youngest had flew the coop. I have always took great pride in my "job" here as the main person running this household. I still do. I have (sometimes) resented the fact that there is no personal income for my efforts nor retirement or SSI. Good post. Sorry to be so long winded.
Annie Jones says
My husband is very supportive, and perhaps even more enthusiastic than I am about becoming more self-sufficient. Disagreements are minimal, and usual aren't centered around whether to make certain changes, but HOW to make them. For example, we both want to raise a few chickens, but I want a stationary coop and he wants a movable tractor. We haven't reached a concensus yet, but we will.
Incidentally, I've been a stay-at-home-wife since shortly after we married 11 years ago. A few years ago, I thought we needed the security of extra income, so I took a job outside the home. My husband was supportive — he didn't say I couldn't have a job, in other words — but after just three months we were both so unhappy that I decided to quit. When I told him I was going to quit, he was 100% supportive of me "coming back home".
Some of his friends don't get it though. They ask him why he doesn't "make me" go out and get a job. He just laughs and tells him that we don't "make" each other do anything.
Erica, thanks. This is an important conversation. The problem I have is that my husband (of 34 years) sees the garden work as a hobby. He is minimally supportive. He and other family members are always saying things like, "Since you don't have anything else to do, could you do ______ for me today? I am asked to provide meals for farm workers (his farm workers) on the spur of a moment, babysit the grandchildren, help on his big farm, run to town on errands, etc. In the viewpoint of my farming family, I am not doing anything because I am not making money. This prompts feelings of uselessness and guilt. Here I sit with a master's degree and all I do is garden and preserve food. It's hard work every day to convince myself that I am more than the family doormat.
We only have so many hours in a day. We can only do so much. To look at what we can accomplish in those hours in strictly dollars-and-cents terms is misleading, if not downright degrading.
I know that assigning a monetary value to what we do is just a way of accounting for our time, but if we lose sight of the fact that it is simply an accounting process, that we see the dollars as the things of value and not the accomplishments, well, then we have deluded ourselves and we've missed the point.
What we do is much more important than how much it cost/saved by doing it. It is impossible to place a serious dollar figure on the intangibles. How much is being there to see your children explore and discover worth? How much is the sense of satisfaction you have when you look into your full pantry and see the actual fruits (and veggies) of your labor worth? Who can actually place a price on the flavor of a fresh, homegrown tomato, still warm from the sun?
Never be so caught up in the concept of money that you miss what is really important and what has much more lasting value, and I'm sure you are not.
By the way, what would you do if Homebrew Hubby actually built you a smokehouse in the backyard?
Thank you for this!! As a young wife working my ass off to support my husband being in school and achieving his dreams, along with paying off my student loans and starting my own business, I am constantly thinking in terms of money. Every second. I know that their will be a time where I can take the time to concentrate on my home/garden/cooking, and I want to be fulfilled in that work too! Your comment just makes me realize that I need to find joy in all of my accomplishments, not just the size of my pay check 🙂
Jenni @ RainyDayGardener says
It's difficult to challenge prevailing mainstream ideas and in mainstream American culture, the dollar rules. The ability to earn the dollar and spend the dollar.
My husband and I are jointly looking out our life comprehensively and desiring a drastic change, but change does not come easy. Making cost cutting sacrifices are hard on both of us.
Hubster is supportive of the idea of reclaiming our home and building an urban homestead, but does not participate..yet.
I very much appreciated your husband's post yesterday to showcase the cooperation of both spouses to run a household and to highlight that men can do it too, but moreover, that it can be a pleasurable and bonding experience to build the homestead together.
I think a lot of time it depends on how your spouse was raised – they tend to see that as how it should be in their own household. At least in my experience.
Great post! It was a join decision for me to stay home when our older daughter was born (actually he was even more on board with it than me!). He grew up with a mother in a high powered career, who was gone 60+ hours a week and a father who worked tons of overtime, too. He was in and out of daycares and babysitters and he said that wasn't the life he would have chosen for himself and it wasn't the life he wanted for his daughters. I grew up with a stay at home mom who tended a huge garden, preserved the food, took care of the chickens and rabbits (in Seattle…BEFORE it was popular to have urban homesteads :)) Anyway, there is nothing I'd rather be than a stay at home mom and wife, and since my husband is fully on board with my homestead dreams I feel that we are a solid unit with a solid front, even in the face of the naysayers (mostly the in-laws! They don't understand our chosen lifestyle).
This is a very relevant topic for our family right now! We are considering having me return to work–I want to ease into it with a part time job, and hubby wants me to jump in full time. He thinks that I can't possibly be happy at home all day with our son and our chickens, and our garden. I get the feeling that he also sees me as "lazier" than he is bc "all" I do is cook (from scratch 99% of the time) and clean and tend the house, etc, and he works full time and then comes home and mows the yard and does bigger projects around the house on the weekends. While I do feel my job is often more mentally taxing than physically, and I wish I had more adult conversations, I think it comes down to the fact that I place more value in raising my own child, and providing healthy food for my family more than he does. I just know that if I go back to work outside the home, I'll still feel responsible for everything that I am now, I'll miss out on a lot of family time, our diet won't be as healthy, and I'll just end up getting less sleep–all for a little extra income that we are living without just fine that would mostly go to daycare costs?
My husband and I both decided a long time ago (25 years) that peace in our home was more important than extra money. We made a joint decision that I would concentrate on at-home work, while he brought in a paycheck. Learning to live on one income was not exactly easy, but not having arguments about why no one had done the laundry, or whose turn it was to pick up the pizza (since no one had time to cook), or whether we could get by without a second car (even though we had a second job), is worth more to both of us than a well-padded bank account ever could be. There are also less taxes to pay, less gas to buy, and less need for an "out-in-the-world" wardrobe. We've always had a clean and comfortable, frugal home (remodeled by the homemaker), filled with the aroma of from-scratch cooking. As a bonus, there's almost always someone available when a package arrives! There have been times when we have reconsidered our one-income decision, but we always come to the conclusion that this is one choice we got right the first time. Good post, Erica–it's an important question!
did my previous comment prompt this post? thank you, love 🙂
Erica/Northwest Edible Life says
Heidi – yup, at least in part, but I've had this "conversation" on Facebook before too and you are definitely not alone. Many women are trying to figure out how to bring their husband into the same mental space as themselves in re: at home labor.
I think homebrewing or, as I've heard it called – "man canning" – is a great place to start, personally. 😉 I swear it was huge in our house when Nick started getting really into the source of his hops. 🙂
Renee Felice says
Yay, for bringing up this tough issue. These comments are great and wide-ranging.
I believe each spouse has nothing to complain about if the other is following their passion/working hard … at something!
Some of society's dismissal of the stay-at-home spouse is based on the incorrect perception of laziness — that his or her day is spent surfing the Internet and watching game shows or soap operas (do those even exist anymore)? We all know it's a stereotype, yet it persists.
And even if people see that real work is being done at home (such as growing our own food), some see that as a waste of time that could be spent making money so we could go buy it in a store.
I agree with marci357 that the spouse tends to want what he or she grew up with. If his mom worked, he'll probably expect his wife to "get back to work" after the kids go to school.
My husband grew up in a shared-load household, where both parents worked full time. He feels stress at the weight of being the only "earner," and would want me to make more "real money."
But would if profit us to have both our kids in full day care and to take me away from doing what I love? In the end, no. We are never-endingly grateful that I have the CHOICE to work at home (when so many people don't). So with respect and gratitude, we will make the right decision for our family.
Erica/Northwest Edible Life says
Laura – have you done the math on it? It's very instructive. We figure I'd need to earn something like $200,000 to maintain the same quality of living we have now and outsource what I currently do (high-quality child care and before/after school care, assorted school vacation camps and summer camps, daily homekeeping, gardening from scratch cooking equivalents, etc.). Since this would never happen with my most marketable training (cooking, a low paid skill) our quality of life would by necessity suffer.
Sometimes even if you DO take the intangibles out of it, the "obvious" financial answer – go back to work! make more money! – doesn't actually make logical sense when you look at the real numbers. You may find doing this exercise with your husband puts a new light on your preference for "not work." Nick and I sure did. Good luck.
I used to be the full time mother in our family and my husband had the full time paycheck, and neither of us was really happy with the arrangement. He felt like he was missing all the good stuff, and frankly I felt like I was seeing far too much of my sweet little babies. We've since completely restructured our working lives so that we can both stay home half of the time, which has meant a considerable income sacrifice, and homesteading is a big part of that change. When I was first bitten by the self-sufficiency bug, my guy felt like it was not something he wanted to throw his energy at, but it hasn't taken long for him to see that it is really just another way that we can share our lives.
Thanks, Erica, great post. 🙂
Thanks Katy – this gives me hope for my husband and me. I work part-time and juggle two kids, chickens, garden, etc. There are many comments that I only work part-time and should get back full-time to beef up our bank account. Same work load at home, but less respect from husband and co-workers. It’s almost easier to work full time.
I have been encouraging my husband to find a part-time job or something less stressful that he can do from home so that we can start ‘living’! I would rather have less money and more time with my husband and children.
Ien in the Kootenays says
Of all the comments I read so far this one is my favourite. Believe it or not, this is what us feminists in the seventies had in mind. Somehow the part of the movement that was about valuing unpaid work got lost. Meanwhile the workplace did not move much to accommodate the demands of family life, and corporate powers used the entry of women in the work place to mask the decline in wages. The more we can all disengage from this inhuman system, the better.
Such interesting comments on this important topic! I've talked on my blog about how I've realized that historically managing a homestead required a full-time adult and several children at home do that full-time work. Today, without that social structure, it's much harder to fit it all in! I would LOVE to not work outside the home. But we live in an expensive place that we love and don't want to leave. And we don't have kids, which means those childcare and other cost trade-offs don't apply. All of which add up to needing two incomes just to enjoy the lifestyle we want. In fact, we would both love to work fewer hours outside the home, but we don't see how that might happen…
I just think that all families have to make the decisions for themselves; the important thing to me is that gender shouldn't be the automatic deciding factor.
I've been a stay-at-home mom and homemaker since our children were born, 8 years ago. Frankly, I was miserable for the first three or four years, feeling trapped at home with two kids and no-one to talk to, while my expensive education receded into the past and into irrelevance. However, after moving from the city to the country and starting a farm, and now that my children are school age, I find that the daily challenges of running everything are as much as I care to handle! Every day, I have physical work, intellectual work, and emotional work to do, between shoveling shit, helping children with their homework, balancing the books, etc.
It has also helped immensely that my husband now works from home. He can provide spot-relief when I need some, muscle for heavy lifting, and most importantly, he can see for himself what I do all day. Before, I think he kind of imagined that laundry did itself and food appeared on the table. Now he wanders in for a drink of water and can see me cooking, cleaning, folding, etc. I no longer have to justify my day to him.
I still do miss working outside the home, I think what bothers me most is that all my effort means exactly zilch outside the four walls of this house. I long to do work that matters to people other than my blood relatives. Bt I think there's plenty of time for that after the kids leave the nest.
I worked boring office jobs because that's what you're supposed to do, right? One day in October 2001, I just hit the wall. I explained to my husband that I needed to find something inspiring, and I thought it might be in culinary school. He was LIVID and it began a horrible 6month-long pitched argument. The light at the end of the tunnel was the day I said, I make about a grand a month, and if you want me to go on being sad and unhappy, the price for my misery is a thousand dollars a month – is that what you REALLY want for me? After he thought about it, the answer was, No- I want you to be happy because that makes me happy. By then, I'd already started the program and he saw how excited I was, so it was obvious that letting me 'do my thing' was best for me and our marriage. 15 years in May.
Women's Lib, feminism- these things are about giving us the power to choose what we want instead of having it forced on us.
Wow, wonderful conversation going on here. To all the ladies who stood up for themselves – good for you. I think radical homemakers have a lot to offer, not only to their children and families but to our community. Your food foodprint is lower, as a lot of your food comes from your backyard instead of across the world. Your children learn about nutrition, and perhaps that rubs off at other children as school, or on their children… You can be more involved in school and community events, you can give back. It is hard work, and it is not rewarded in dollars. But what do we need all those dollars for anyway? Perhaps the reward is the health and happiness of our children, of ourselves.
As for me, I work part-time and feel overloaded with work right now with canning season. My husband is not overly supportive of all my crazy ideas. That makes it harder than it otherwise would be. I press on because I believe in it. I need to do what I feel is right, and what fills me up inside.
I've been home for 15 years now. My husband has always been supportive of me being home with the boys, even now that they're older, however, as someone else said, he looks at my garden, canning and knitting as "hobbies". Nevermind that I can't find a sweater at a store to fit my orangutang-armed son. Never mind that my kids can't stand store-bought lettuce or canned peaches (but homemade? Oh boy!) He does say that he "doesn't mind supporting hobbies that have a family benefit."
However, for me the pull of a job is more social than monetary. We don't need the extra money, and I wouldn't make much anyway. Chemistry jobs have really dried up in the area in the last 15 years, and I'd be looking at starting over anyway. All the jobs around here are minimum wage, and I can't work more than part time just now. What I do miss is being around people. I haven't connected with many neighbors, and the one I did connect with went back to work. I get my "fix" by volunteering once a week, but I keep wanting to go in more.
Annie Jones says
I find it interesting that several people say they'd like to go back to work outside their home for social reasons. I suppose a lot of people feel that way, but for me, one of the big benefits of staying at home and working here is that I don't have to deal with people, and especially not with catty office politics.
Participating in blog discussions like this one and chatting with store clerks, librarians, etc., when I do have to go out is plenty of social interaction for me.
Just a different point of view…
My story sounds remarkably similar to several commenters here. I've had a few jobs now and then since getting married 14 years ago, but none of them gave me the sense of peace & satisfaction like staying home and honing my homesteading skills. My husband works in IT and for a while now has wanted to quit and start a farm, but we're realizing that dream might be a bit out of our reach, so we're trying now to be content with our current situation and do as much as we can where we are. Just got 4 baby chickens a month ago and we're both very proud of his coop-building efforts 🙂
I'm not concerned as much about the social life I'm "missing out" on by not having a job. I never found any lasting friendships at any of the jobs I had and I'm an introvert anyway. He makes friends at work and they have wives/girlfriends, and I've got Facebook, and also I've got the time to set up a social calendar since I'm not coming home exhausted every evening.
It's a very big deal to us both to have zero squabbles about who's responsible for the chores. I want them done MY way anyhow. And I'm good at them. I love the time I have to devote to other passions as well that make me feel like a well-rounded person. We get by just fine on his healthy salary and even if it's a traditional setup, it doesn't feel sexist to me. I could never earn half the amount he can anyway without going into ridiculous amounts of student loan debt. We live debt-free as it is now and perhaps that is due to our choice to remain childfree as well. To each their own!
I was married for 30yrs. Thru most of that time I was a stay at home mom and I loved it. Honestly I hate working outside the home. I was always whining that I NEEDED a wife too! And I think thats the biggest problem with all of this. Unless you make big bucks, your the one doing two full time jobs. The men dont do that.
At one point I was a chef working at a fine restaurant. I really did like the job and so did my ex cuz he could brag about it. BUT I was on my feet 8+ hrs a day and working weekends and holidays. HE started to whine about things not getting done and me not wanting to do the wifey things cuz I was too tired. He was Mr. VP and being Mrs. VP meant social things. Now I loved those things too but when you have worked all day on a weekend the last thing you want is to go out.
And when I did that I was too tired to cook for my family many days. People would say wow I bet your family eats good, cuz they knew where I worked. I said yea right…..KFC, Mickey Ds, pizza…cuz who wants to start all over when you get home from work? The ex never appreciated all I did which is why he is now my ex.
I haven't worked in yrs due to getting plenty from the divorce BUT now Im in a place where Ill have to do that. I have a bf and he was working but work is hard to come by where we live and so hes been home alot. I am hating this. Even tho its just us two and my kids are grown and on their own, Id still rather be home.
I know my bf enjoys what I cook for him and that Im here but I do wonder how hes going to be once Im working. All the special stuff will be going out the door cuz I have a back bad and working is going to kill me.
I just know that while I agree with alot that womens lib has done over the yrs, getting us more money and equal opportunities, they have now taken away our choice of being a homemaker. Today anyone who hears your not working outside ,thinks your just a lazy ass. No wonder this world is so screwed up…..whos raising the kids, whos got time to work on a marriage?
My husband would be happy if I stayed home because he knows that the times I take vacation, SO much gets done around the house.
Alas, I make 75% of the income and all of the insurance. My spouse is in an (unpaid) internship, so I already do all the house stuff inside and out and work 50 hrs a week.
I'd love to stay home until our kiddos are in school, but that world I'm the princess of a herd of unicorns that shit glitter and gold coins.
My husband and I bought an old farm in northeastern CT in the early eighties. We were on the tail end of the "back to the land" movement of the time, as people realized how much work is entailed and turned to other pursuits. We built a solar home, raised two children and have lived as independently and sustainably as possible since then. Each year we raise and put by enough food for a whole year. (My blog is Preserving the Harvest" http://chocolat-earthcookie.blogspot.com/search/label/freezer%20tomato%20sauce )
Over the years one or both of us have worked outside the home. In the 80's I was told that I was "wasting my time" raising my own children. Farmer's Markets had not yet caught on, nor did people want to but "funny looking" vegetables like we were growing. Jack is a carpenter and developed a niche lumber market business that allowed him to work from home. As well as plan and do the lion's share of the gardening. He supported me to go out work as a teacher and library assistant when opportunities arose. I'm also an artist and teach oil painting from my home studio. I've also taught yoga.
Now that Jack has retired the children are living on their own (New York, Boston,) it is easier to juggle all this, but it is still a lot of work. But very much worth it.
How did we manage to pull it off? Some would call it "compromise;" I call it "balance." He has always helped with the housework and child rearing. I have worked beside him as a carpenter and went with him on deliveries to help unload the lumber.
It's important to note that we were in our 30's when we married and had both had various life experiences. We chose to have children and made a conscious choice about how we would raise them and live our lives. I'm hoping to inspire others to live close to the land by writing my blog. Check it out.
Lily Girl says
My comment was getting too long (again), so I wrote a blog post in response 🙂
I don't know how I missed this before…must've been a bad week at our end. I totally agree with you on this. We've seen this prejudice very clearly since my husband decided to stay home and care for kids, home, garden, and chickens. My own family was totally supportive as they all see the intrinsic value in the home but we both got no end of nonsense from his family saying that I "forced" him to stay home and that he was going to miss out on having a "real" career. We made the decision that ultimately our family and home have the prime importance in our lives. At work, as we've all learned in the last few years, we are often unnecessary or at least replaceable. It is at home that what we do matters the most. We could not for a moment think that my husband working in the great chain of some business or organization somewhere was more important than our family, food, and home.
This attitude of diminishing ‘homesteading’ women by society, and by women’s partners – and sometimes kids, I imagine – makes me really angry (I’m a career girl with neither). Friends of mine recently divorced after a terrible tragedy hit their family. She had had a ‘second wage’ job since high school, so did not earn as much as him. This man, who is a good person, took the view that he should get more in the divorce because ‘he brought more to the marriage’, meaning financially. I didn’t take him to task on it because of his grieving process, but I couldn’t help think: what about every load of washing she did, every shirt she ironed, every meal she cooked? (and yes, she was the one who did it). Just – wow.
A great author and teacher called Charles Eisenstein talks about how money has ‘broken’ how exchange used to mean something of value (ie. now it’s I don’t *need* you, I can pay someone to do it). Now we’ve got this stupid skewing of value EVERYwhere, not just in the public/domestic divide, but in the undervaluing of the work of volunteers, the environment.
I am a relatively new blog follower so am late to this post party, but as I just enjoyed the comments, I’ll add my two cents. My husband and I are in our 30s with three small children. We’ve found a great balance of him working full time, me part time, and him running the garden and splitting the food preserving. We don’t do a lot of food preserving right now as childcare is intensive at this age, but I’found doing a few jars of freezer jam during a naptime or my husband pitting cherries while watching a mariner’s game (sets the laptop up in the kitchen) works great to do as we can now. Due to our 3yo’s medical condition, we don’t have the choice to work less because we need cash to travel across the country for specialized surgeries and pay our own health care premium, but we have found a balance good for our family now.
K Coghlan says
I’ve worked outside the home, in a full time high stress professional job, my entire adult life, so has my husband. We have two children, now grown. I’m much more the urban homesteader than my husband, although he is very supportive and has gotten more into it as time passes. Here’s the thought that the stay at home spouse might think about, maybe the outside the home spouse would like to be home, have more time with the kids, work with their hands as well as their minds, maybe they feel trapped. I always said that I wouldn’t have kids with someone who didn’t want/love them as much as I did. BUT, if you say that, then how do you justify being the one who gets to be with them all the time. How about you go out and work a few years and let them have a chance at home? Part time would be great, but is hard for many of us to do.
Wow, ALL of the comments here are from women!
(Just an observation; Nothing more.)
My name is Matthew and, as a Potential Husband Candidate (with a Potential Wife Candidate already in my heart) I must inject the following:
Such men are FOOLS.
As a gardener (currently at the beginning or “hobby” stage) MY GOAL is to produce enough food for us to eat. MY Goal is to supplement my income with gardening produce.
It is damn silly for anyone to counter that “the bank won’t take potatoes as a mortgage payment,” when it is quite clear that every potato and onion I dig, every lettuce, tomato and cucumber I pick, every zucchini, squash, pumpkin, melon, etc… contributes to a meal on the table.
AND EVERY MEAL on the table that comes from the garden IS ONE LESS MEAL on the table that came from the wallet.
THE MONEY SAVED from garden-sourced meals – money that stays in the bank – is money that goes to psy that gods-damned mortgage you self-important males so smugly mention.
The home-maker house-wife who gardens, raises poultry &/or other farm animals, keeps bees, collects eggs, butchers chickens, cooks, bakes, smokes, freezes, dehydrates and cans…
That woman is not only in need of a husband’s support – her husband needs to recognize (as I do) that her efforts SUPPORT HIM.
ANYONE who fails to recognize this is a DAMN FOOL.
That were my two cents worth.
Reading threads like this is really interesting from my perspective, as a father who stays home and homeschools during the week. All of the ‘radical homemaker’ (I like that!) duties stimulate me far more than my jobs out of the house to earn extra cash to keep our savings rate high.
My DW is very supportive of everything, though she thinks I’m a bit crazy/hippie/whatever with my new interest in urban homesteading.
Annie M says
I was raised on a small 3 acre farm. Mom and Dad gardened. We had chickens, pigs (until they were zoned out), and Dad milked our cows. When Dad had a heart attack at 40 and was unable to work his regular job, we had plenty of food put by, fresh milk, butter, chicken, pork, beef and eggs. We saw 1st hand how very important homesteading can be when all the money coming in was spent on mortgage, heat, lights and Dr bills. There was nothing left for food. My folks lived through the Depression. Mom’s family had no food, no home, not much of anything for MANY years. Dad’s family had the farm. It was paid for, they raised everything they ate and sold wheat, hay, and timber. When my folks married they understood from experience that if they produced our food that financial problems had much less impact on the stability of our family. I’m not sure people understand how bad life can be when money stops coming in. Homesteading can be the lifeline that feeds your family in hard times.