One of my (and my husband's) favorite verses is Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it."
When the majority of my children were preschool age, this verse spoke to me largely in the aspect of training, meaning teaching them how to behave, how to listen and most importantly how to obey. Now that the vast majority of my children are well past toddlerhood and in their schoolage years, it is begining to take on a new meaning. I'm looking past teaching them to be well behaved children and into their adult years. I'm viewing their training in the sense of preparing them for adulthood.
As a homeschooling mom, some of that is academic, preparing them to be successful in college and in their career choice. Some of that is home related, preparing them to maintain their homes physically and relationally. Some of that is in choosing their "career paths".
When you have girls, the idea of choosing a career path leads to extra complications. I want my daughters to be able to support themselves should they ever need to. I want them to be compentent to succeed in the world in any way in which they choose. I don't want to dash hopes and desires of being doctors and business women. Yet at the same time I hope they choose to first be moms and wives. I would love nothing more than my daughters all choosing to be stay at home moms, wives, ministering to their families and communities.
Yet, one never knows when, or if, a girl will marry. I want her prepared to lead a single life, competently, whether living in my home in her early single years or living alone. This poses many problems for moms. How do I encourage her to follow her dreams of being a (insert profession here) without making the alternative of being a keeper of the home a short term, temporary, second thought?
Many women who choose to stay at home during her childrens' preschool years, or even all of school years, think in the terms of temporary. We have gotten to the point in our culture where we are usually tolerant of stay at home moms, even encouraging. Yet a stay at home wife? No kids to care for? Should this truly be something young girls aspire to?
It is seems sad that society accepts the idea of being a mommy, yet being fullfilled in being a wife is, well misunderstood. While our children will always be a part of our lives, they will not always be the main focus of our lives, but our marriage should be. We should be as committed to being wives as we are being moms. It is my desire that my girls would see modeled the idea of the wife being the part of the whole that handles home care while her husband shall be the part of the whole that handles the majority of the financial provision. I want them to see that a woman at home is as financially valuable in her ability to help save money through her resources and resourcefulness as well as any homebased financial endeavors she shall provide. I pray that they will see the emotional/relational value to helping a husband be a minister, no matter his profession.
But this is a life choice they must make for themselves. Short of modeling and mentioning it in passing during the occasional "What do you want to be when you grow up" conversations, there is no real way to "force" this desire upon them. No matter how much you want your child to be a doctor, you cannot make them do it. The same goes for being a professional keeper of the home.
And adding to that complexity is that I believe every girl needs to have skills that would allow them to support themselves in the event it become necessary. So, my problem: How do I encourage my daughter in her dream of being a doctor and in being a homemaker?
I'm linking this to Raising Homemakers Homemaking Linkup. Check out the other posts!