You’ve been much on my mind since receiving this question via the Google search you embarked upon. I admit my initial response was confusion. How could anyone not want home? But as I pondered it further, I came to respect your honesty.
Especially in Christian circles, home is where we as wives and mothers are expected to be. After all, we all know the Titus 2 exhortation and some of us have even joined up with groups and studies to get the training and encouragement we need to do the home-thing well. But, knowing how to create menus, manage housekeeping chores, and plant a garden doesn’t mean that our hearts are in it. Sometimes our hearts are wistfully looking outside of the kitchen window, even while we diligently do dishes, dreaming of…I don’t know…something ELSE.
Maybe you left a blooming career. Maybe your dream of flying around the world has been put on hold. I don’t know. I do think it’s ok, however, to mourn whatever you had to kill in order to create life within the walls you have. It’s sort of like really wanting the flourless chocolate cake, but the waitress says they’re out and you could have the blueberry cobbler instead and so you do and it’s ok but it’s not the same is it?
Being home is not the same as doing the “else”.
But, maybe…maybe…it could be better.
The homemakers I know, here in America, have an incredible amount of freedom. They can manage their own time, prepare and eat what they like, wear whatever they wish, and learn whatever they want. Many homemakers have taken advantage of internet opportunities to form like-minded communities, participate in distance education, and earn money from home. They can create their own particular nest, and then change it up with paint or whatever Pinterest picture inspires. In other words, there is almost nothing that you can’t do from home. At home.
If we’re honest though, staying home can be horribly frustrating, provoking, or even boring at times. I know we’re not supposed to admit that, that somehow it fails to glorify God to say so, but it’s true. It reminds me of the woman who gushed all over my baby daughter with Down syndrome, about how much of a blessing she is. Well, yes, she is. But I already know it is going to be difficult, maddening, and gut-wretching, too. I’m going to have times of looking at her and wishing the Downs away.
Maybe you misunderstood: homemaking–like parenting–isn’t all happy all of the time. Maybe you feel a little guilty that you don’t have that sense that supposedly every other homemaker has.
I have a few thoughts on this.
One, what you’re lacking is not a fake Pollyanna attitude. You don’t need to “just buck up” or paste a fake smile on (although it IS true that smiling DOES turn on the happy hormones in your brain). Rather, maybe you *do* need some education on homekeeping, cleaning or meal preparation. Seek it out, get it. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve read books on exactly how to clean my house, and I still don’t know how to properly fold fitted sheets. I’m actually ok with wadding them up! (Hmm…are you trying to live out someone else’s idea of what homemaking *ought* to look like?)
Or, two, if you’ve got that sort of nuts-and-bolts under control, what you’re lacking, and what you might need, is IMAGINATION.
What is it you want? A college degree? A weekly salary? A trip to Hawaii? Do you want to dress well, feel great, get more sunshine? Travel around the world?
Instead of waiting for college, could you begin borrowing books from the library and begin educating yourself? Instead of being an employee, could you be an entrepreneur? Instead of traveling to foreign places, could you cultivate relationships with pen pals from far and wide? Instead of lounging in the tropical sun, could you take advantage of the rays you do have and take a strolling walk?
Why can’t you learn to bake brioche? Wear something pretty? Start an online or home business? Can you take some time to volunteer at the nursing home or humane society instead of nursing or practicing vet medicine? Or could you join a garden club or write your book or create your own spa in your own bathroom? Could you do some transcribing from home, paint a new color on your walls or decide to make nothing but Italian food for the month?
Within your home, you have the FREEDOM to pursue just about any interest you want! It is truly one of the blessings of homeschooling, by the way…your children can pursue their own interests as well.
Lastly, I almost hate to break it to you, but happiness doesn’t necessarily come from getting what you want (ask the lotto winners who end up with ruined lives). A happy home, as it says under my blog banner, flows from belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an inner joy that sustains me when the toilet overflows, the flu hits, and I can’t afford a Costco run this month. It is the peace that surpasses understanding when grief is like inner mud or fear threatens to rage in my mind. It is what strengthens the persecuted, feeds the feeble-minded, and causes the heart to long for its REAL home…which isn’t here right now.
I sense that home is not what you want, but happiness is. If you haven’t done so already, and will repent of your anger, your bitterness, your pride and whatever else presses on your conscience, and trust the Lord to cleanse you and keep you, HE will be your happiness.
At that point, wherever you are, He will be with you…even if you’re at home! Wherever you are, you can have His joy. And let me tell you, that joy is even more wonderful than the happiness you are currently seeking. I pray you find it.