Recently I've seen some very encouraging post across the internet about the subject of homemaking - people wanting to reclaim the dignity of the vocation and stretch its stereotypical gender roles. All in all it's a great movement; people want to be connected to their homes again, they want to be house-proud and able. However, for every post I see about it there still seems to be one main vein of thinking - that a homemaker, whether man or woman, must make it their sole occupation to have the right to claim that title.
Well, I want to speak up for those of us who feel that they deserve a share of that title even if we find it necessary to work away from the home.
Now, I don't claim to ignore that there are those who will always choose to work solely because it earns them more money and with more money comes more stuff and with that stuff they seem to find happiness. I'm not speaking of those who can't imagine life without thousands of dollars of spare income a month or multiple vacations, cars or homes or even weekly trips to the mall, the movies and restaurants. I'm speaking up for those of us who work out of necessity, whose families couldn't live more than hand(out) to mouth without some form of additional income. Perhaps we have two student loan debts, perhaps we're young men or women with entry levels jobs, perhaps we choose good honest work over high salaries, perhaps we've been sick without insurance, perhaps we have aging family members who rely on us, perhaps the alternative would mean unsafe neighborhoods and bad schools - but no matter the cause we choose to work out of a well thought out realization of necessity. Many of us see it as a means toward an end - a few years of double incomes to pay off debt and save up - and for some of us it will always be a reality.
No matter our reason we, the "Work Away From Home"-Makers, still have the same goals you do Mr. or Mrs. Career Homemaker - perhaps its to raise children, take care of relatives, avail ourselves to charity and volunteerism or just keep a warm and welcoming home as a haven to others. We still try to live frugal lives, we still stretch a dollar; in fact, many of us cook from scratch, craft and garden in our spare time. While we find ourselves in situations out of necessity it is our priorities, not our schedules, that allow us to claim the coveted title of "homemaker". I believe that if we still prioritize our homes, families and children above our things, our social lives and other earthly experiences than we are still working toward the same goals.
So if there is someone out there who wishes for the day they can say "I'm a full-time homemaker", but feel they can't because they work away from home, to you I say - claim it, tell people that you are a "Full Time Homemaker with a Full Time Job", a "Working Homemaker", however you want to claim it, do so. As long as your priorities are on making your house a home, as long as you strive to manage that home with economy and efficiency and to give your family the most of yourself that you can than be proud. Let's stop the nit-picking over the details of how we do it and focus on our shared priorities in our lives. We are Homemakers - we are people, men and women of every type, who wish to make a house a home for those we love.