“I’ve heard of women being belittled for choosing to devote themselves full time to family, home, and community life. ‘Well, what are you going to do when the children are old enough to go to school full time?’ is a typical question. ‘Do?’ Have we not heard, have we not seen that human life is a gift, a treasure worth tending? Is it actually more valuable to push a pen on paper or buttons on a computer than to be expert in human life and its care? Is life more worthwhile because there is never time to pick wild blackberries and make a fruit crumble? Are things really more important than people? Will the warmth and wisdom of the expertise of caring for each other be handed on? Isn’t this an amazingly interesting and complex vocation on the one hand, and yet clear on the other?”
~Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, For the Family’s Sake
If we belittle the homemaker, we belittle the home. When we lose sight of the small blessings that make life good, when we neglect the daily sacrifices that sanctify us, we turn away from those things by which God chose to make human life worth living.
Remember that, while He spent three years in public ministry, Jesus spent 30 years at home, working with his hands, obeying his parents, growing in wisdom, spending time in study and prayer, building relationships, cherishing particularly the relationship He had with His Blessed Mother. If Christ's life was not better fulfilled in the attainment of those things we call "successful", why should we stake our life's fulfillment on such things?
Certainly, not everyone must be a full-time homemaker. But, everyone who wishes to benefit from the immeasurable wealth of a thriving homelife must value the homemaker and, thus, value the home itself. For it is at home that we are nourished, body and spirit. It is at home that we are free to be most creative and most fully ourselves. It is at home that we learn how to nurture relationships, how to care for ourselves and others. It is at home that we discover those things which bring us daily contentment, and it is where we welcome God Himself into our midst to share in the mundane sacredness called homelife.
But, to enjoy all these things, someone must keep the home functioning. Meals must be made, the sanctuary must be cleaned, routines must be established and enforced, the atmosphere must be tended to, loveliness must be cultivated. No culture was ever established through neglect but, rather, through care and cultivation. So too, with the home. And, the homemaker is the primary creator and protector of the culture of the home. She is its keeper, in every sense. This is no small task. Where homemaking falls by the wayside, so does homelife. Where it flourishes, so too the home, so too the family, and through such families is our world made beautiful and life worth living.