This post is part of our May Homemaking Series. In this series of posts, we have examined many different aspects of homemaking.
In one of the previous posts in the series, I mentioned some of the basic elements of homemaking, such as cooking, cleaning, and childrearing. In this post, I want to take a deep look at how homemaking does not only impact our families and our communities, but also society as a whole. 
A huge element of the culture wars that are currently waging in the western world is the question of women’s role in society. Progressives assert that the tasks associated with homemaking and childrearing are oppressive to women, and that women should instead seek to go as high as they can up the ladder in a career in the professional world. Conservatives maintain the view that a woman’s family and home responsibilities come before her career ambitions. 
While there is definitely a spectrum on which women can fall in between these two opposing views, the gap between the two extremes is continually becoming wider in the 21st Century, as the battle of thought rages on. It is most likely obvious which side I lean towards, given the name and premise of my blog. However, I will state that although I firmly believe that a woman’s family should come before her career, that it doesn’t mean that a woman cannot work outside of the home and still keep her family her first priority. I myself have small children, and I also work outside of the home full time. It is not easy or ideal, but in this season of life, I have to. Everyone’s situation is different, and I think that it is important to remember that God looks at our hearts, not our maternal accomplishments. If our highest priority is our family first and career second, then we will be able to discern how that will look on a day-to-day level. We will know when to pursue work outside the home, and when to walk away from it.
Our society does not consider work at home to be true work. In the individualist society in which we live, our worth is determined by our money, our possessions, our level of education, our careers, and our accomplishments. Little girls are not encouraged to aspire to be mommies and homemakers. How did we get to the point that the work that we do as homemakers is not valued?
I recently read an article that explained that, from a historical perspective, homemaking tasks were not considered valued work because it was done by slaves. Even today, our childcare is often delegated to people in a lower income bracket. The household duties of those of affluence are delegated to lower income minority women. This article pointed out how ironic it is that the women’s movement of the last century, in its attempt to liberate women from tasks that it deemed oppressive, placed those jobs on the backs of those who in our economy are now the oppressed? 
In our society, to choose homemaking and childrearing for a career is a radical act. It is also of immense value to our society. The work of being a homemaker is true work, even though it is something for which you are not paid or climbing a corporate ladder. Sure, it takes financial sacrifice. But as a whole, our society is more focused on working and earning money than on family and community, and that is what is destroying the very essence of who we are and what we truly desire. 
I want to close with two quotes from the book Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes (not a Christian book, by the way, but I highly recommend it to everyone) that sums up this message:
“When women and men choose to center their lives on their homes, creating strong family units and living in a way that honors our natural resources and local communities, they are doing more than dismantling the extractive economy and taking power away from corporate plutocrats. They are laying the foundation to re-democratize our society and heal our planet. They are rebuilding the life-serving economy.
“The choice to become a homemaker can no longer be dismissed as a retreat from the ‘real’ world. It is a full, head-on engagement with the major tasks our society is confronting.”
What are your thoughts? Could you leave them in the comments? Thanks.