Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Homemaking Without Children

           Homemaking and child rearing are two concepts generally tied closely together. The absence of children seems to implicate homemaking as being unnecessary. In fact, a common advice to women is to work up until having children, and then she may choose to remain home. However, at what point during this career period does she gain the knowledge and skills pertaining to homemaking which would enable her to perform in such a capacity when she does enter the home full time? Certainly, God gifts and calls some women to careers outside the home and some within it. This isn't a career woman versus homemaking woman debate. The heart of the matter is this- whichever path the Lord has led you to then that is the path you ought to walk. If the Lord has called you to pursue home and family, then in faith take steps in that direction. 

       And so if the path is homemaking, then how ought it be considered prior to the blessing of children? As practice! I think of the situation as this: how does the performance and success of an untrained employee compare to a well-trained one? Yes, the untrained employee would pick up the hows and whys of the job here and there, but would likely not be near as proficient as the one who had previously been instructed and practiced. Similarly, homemaking, especially if it is a foreign concept, requires education and practice. Do not be fooled into thinking that to remain home is to waste time or life, because in truth it is such valuable practice time! Have faith and trust that God provides and He has called you to your path for His purposes. He certainly isn't going to abandon you now! 

    Despite assurance in the path chosen being a calling and not for my own glory but His, there have still be challenges. In those times, I come back to what has been gained in my own experience in homemaking thus far:

Growth in Marriage
    The time spent together makes a remarkable impact on the strength of a marriage. It is difficult to be highly in-tune to one's spouse and attentive to the marriage when so little time together exists. The more time spent together the closer we draw to each other and our marriage. In essence, in this sharing of life where we become one (Gen. 2:24 & Matt. 19:6). Furthermore, we aren't guaranteed tomorrow (James 4:14), and so to wait "x amount of time" for circumstances to change, or for our responsibility as a spouse and in our marriage to begin is foolishness. Your marriage is now, and so act now to give it the time it deserves. To greet my husband home after a long day of work, to share a meal each day, and to have his presence to confide my heart in are the blessings of time that make the sacrifices worthwhile. I also treasure how we do everything together. Again, it's about a sharing of life. 
      Remaining home also provides ample opportunity to learn and grow together through challenges, conflict, and focusing and working for each other

      Financial disputes rank at the top of marital conflict. It's a tough thing to blend two money philosophies and practices! In following the advice mentioned at the top, the shock of dropping from two incomes to one can create even more tension. It can nearly seem impossible to live well off of only one income, but it isn't. By practicing homemaking prior to children, the opportunity is provided to learn the many ways to cut expenses and manage on one income.It's a matter of having already established sustainable lifestyle choices. If you can live with less now, then you'll be better prepared to wisely handle more later. You may or may not need to keep all the adjustments, but you will have created a firm foundation for your family. Sacrifices quickly become insignificant when you consider that what you've traded for the gain of home and family is far more valuable.

Personal Growth
     Our capacity to change or grow is limited, but the Lord's ability is unlimited. He created us and He knows how to chip away at all that hinders us from life in Him. Once He has our attention, then He can then work on having our complete heart. The core of many aspect of personal growth like character, faith and love is the heart. I've come to discover that marriage is a tool in which He shapes our hearts. Oh, the lessons and work He's doing in my own! There exists a lot of falsehood in shared advice or example in life that we must sift through and seek Him and His will. Consider the time between marriage and parenting to be a time in which the Lord is doing a work in you within the role He has already blessed you. This time is also valuable in growing you to who He wishes you to be when another role is given to you. It's certainly a slow and often unnoticeable process, but a worthy one. 

Home Management Skills
      There is completion of tasks within the home, and then there is the management of the home. There is orderly proactive living, and then there is chaotic reactive living. This is the area that many individuals, like myself, are clueless in conducting. How do I purchase healthy foods economically and prepare dishes that will actually taste pleasant? How do I create and follow a schedule so that the laundry isn't spilling out of the laundry room and my home look an embarrassment all the time? How to I replace a button, redo the hem, take up the sides of clothing? How do I create a warm and inviting decor within my home with a small budget? On and on and on. For the most part, it's a matter of education and practice in attaining better skills as they relate to the home. The time before children is a great time to learn gardening, canning, economic cooking with wholesome ingredients, sewing or mending etc. Hone those home ec. skills that ..well..you were likely never taught ;).This is by no means to advocate reason to delay children, but to simply encourage you to utilize the time you have now to learn and practice the various aspects of homemaking.

Family Practices
     I discovered this past Christmas that the reason that the season's activities are so difficult and stressful to participate in is because they are all things that are capable of being practice throughout the year but aren't. Similarly, customs established within the family of two will more likely remain in the family that expands to include children. It isn't necessary to wait until the arrival of children to begin reaching out and serving others, displaying greater character qualities or even reading the Bible together. Again, this time of homemaking without children is a great time for practice. 

In all this practicing, it is important to understand that perfection isn't the goal but progress is. 

What are some of the blessings you've received in your time homemaking without children?
Enter the giveaway for a set of four cloth napkins!



  1. So many blessings!

    Firstly, slowly learning to be proud of the choice that my husband and I have made and actually enjoy it.

    Secondly, I'm slowly getting better in caring for our home, kicking laziness and serving my husband because I have the time and energy to do so.

    Thirdly, I had a very painful and disrupted home as a teenager, so God has been healing me as I spend my days making our house into a home.

    Love this post, Whitney!

  2. THANK YOU for this post! I often feel like people think I'm weird for being home without children. It's difficult to explain to people that I actually do keep busy during the day.

    My husband owns/runs his own business from home. Since leaving my full-time job almost a year ago... our income has INCREASED. We are taking that as confirmation that we are doing the right thing. He is more focused and efficient while working and our free time is more relaxed.

    What a great way to think of this time as practice!

  3. Excellent post!!! :) I relate to every single thing you mentioned. :)

  4. Thanks for that great post!
    I didn't have any time at home really without children (I finished my studies while pregnant with my first child) but boy do I wish I had!!! There are so many things I have to learn and doing so with the pressure children put on your time and budget it's really hard because there is far less room for mistakes, lake of skills and their consequence! I have been at home for 5 years now but I'm only starting to figure out my job as a homemaker: better late than never!
    What is funny is that everybody around me expect me to find a "real" job as soon as the children are in school and they have a terribly hard time understanding my desire not to do so!
    thanks so much for sharing your experience and insights.

    Rose from switzerland

  5. Love this post! I actually wrote about something similar today. I agree with you that it's been wonderful practice learning how to make a house a home. And I would add that even if you don't have children, there are so many opportunities for ministry from home. The number of elderly people who could use help or even just a friendly visit from a neighbor is amazing to me. I also really love the flexibility in my schedule. I have things I need to get done, but I can shift my tasks around to meet other priorities as they arise.

  6. Had to comment for two reasons...

    One, this is a great post! One of the biggest blessings for me being a homemaker without children is that I am so much happier and more fulfilled than I was while working a job I hated. I also feel blessed that I am able to figure out homemaking so that when I do have children I'll be more organized and be a better mother for it.

    Second, you commented a post a while ago about checking out the sneaky chef. I checked out her website and tried her chili recipe yesterday and didn't tell my husband (which was hard to do!) He couldn't tell at all! Needless to say I'm going to be investing in her book, and I just wanted to thank you for mentioning it to me!

  7. Whitney, these are wise words: "to wait "x amount of time" for circumstances to change, or for our responsibility as a spouse and in our marriage to begin is foolishness". My brother and his wife waited and waited for it to be perfect to have a family and now they are in their 50s and have no children. they are now understanding that they were not trusting in the lord but in themselves. Thank you for sharing this perspective...

  8. What a lovely post!
    Life never quite works out the way we plan, so when I had a little one I had to work (but I was lucky enough to take her with me.)
    Now that I have a blended family, but all the children are in school I am fortunate enough to stay home.
    Many people ask how & why? But I think why not?
    Not every one is blessed with the skill/ability to enjoy homemaking. I am. Many are. I think those of us that enjoy creating a loving, safe, clean, warm inviting home for our families should give ourselves a pat on the back. lol.
    My mama taught me the value of what a woman does in the home and I intend to show my girls. Proverbs 31 is my favorite. ;)
    Happy to find you on Time Warp Wives Link Up.


  9. I truly appreciated this post. As a full-time Homemaker who has not been currently blessed with children, sometimes, I feel that I am doing the "wrong thing" because I am "all alone," for I am the "lone woman" without beautiful children to raise. It's beautiful to read a post like this to help encourage me in the calling that the Lord has given to me in this season of life. It's also a relief and a comfort to know that I am not the only woman who is caring for her home full-time without the current blessings of children.

    -M. Wildflower from Growing Home link-up and your newest "follower. :)

  10. This is great, and I am so happy for you that you are pursuing this. I became a homemaker on the day my first baby was born - I was a student, and working, through the 11 months of marriage that preceded baby. That was 13 years ago now and I STILL wish I had made better use of those months by staying home!

  11. Thanks for this post and for how God is shining through your life! I'm single, but this post was still a blessing and inspirational. Thank you!

  12. I too am a stay at home wife without children. Truely I thought I must be the only one in the world. So happy to have found your blog and find that I am not alone. My husband is my first priority as I beleive God intended and I feel it is my place and my blessing to be home to take care of him. His coworkers are always jealous when he tells them the things I am able to do for him because their wives can't/won't do things for their spouses. He works a strange work schedule and by my being home I am always free to be with him. I believe we are closer than any couple I know and I believe it is because I stay home AND because we do not have children taking my attention. Many couples jump in too quickly to having children and never get to spend quality time together first learning how to love their spouse properly.
    Thank you for your blog and I am new follower. :)

  13. I so appreciate this post. It's a constant barrage of discouragement to staying at home without children; even among CHRISTIANS. I wish more women talked about and encouraged this.
    And thank you for encouraging me again to redeem this valuable time. My husband didn't think we could live on one income but by the Lord's grace we're almost debt free and thriving. I needed your reminder to get on the ball and be more self-disciplined. Thanks again!

  14. I worked outside of the home very little in the nearly 8 yrs before we had children. I worked 5 months as a waitress, a school yr as a teacher, and 8 months in a photo lab, plus various odds and ends babysitting--but none of that was regular work. I did volunteer. At one point it was too much, and my husband and I had to talk about it, and I had to tone it down.

    I remember someone asking me what I DID with all my day at home....and I couldn't think of what I did--I just knew I was very busy! hahaha! I'd have a better answer now, but I also wasn't expecting someone to ask that! But I took care of my husband. He had the weirdest schedules, and it was constantly changing. I was able to bring lunch by work in the 30 min he'd be there before having to run and be gone for the next 2 days, or bring supper at 10pm, when he was closing out business before coming home. We'd share those few moments together--often the only moments we had that day. I started waking with him, to make sure he had a FULL breakfast in him--as he rarely ate lunch, and could come home anytime between 6-10pm for supper. Or not at all, if last minute he had to go elsewhere. Had I been at work, I would have missed all those stolen moments.

    Sometimes, he would wistfully look at the couples with 2 incomes (me too) and wonder how much "fun" life would be with 2 paychecks--but I knew he'd HATE me being tied down. And so would I! We didn't have a ton of money, and we didn't get to do everything we wished, or even most things, but with carefulness in budgeting, we could go out here and there, or do fun things together.

  15. Love this post!! I am a homemaker without children and have never worked outside the home as health issues brought me home. I have been criticized, insulted and vilified! No one respects my choice in real life besides my husband.

    I really do think that my health issues were a blessing in disguise as I have realized that I do not want to be superwoman and that being home has taught me to live under our means. I also realized that I am a total homebody and that homemaking IS a full time job if you do it well! I am not a fan of feminism and am growing into the wife and woman I want to be.

  16. Great post! We tried to conceive for 7 years before our first, and during that time, my blessed hubby encouraged and wanted me to stay home. I am so very grateful for those years. I have a rambunctious house now, but I do treasure those preparation and maturity years.

  17. I am a homemaker without children. I want children, but they haven't come yet. I feel that God is giving me this time to heal from past jobs I have absolutely hated. I am trying to be thankful for this time that my husband and I can enjoy each other and improve our marriage. He is happier with a clean house, good food, and a happy wife! I am happy that I don't hate my job!

    Thank you so much for this blog. I thought I was alone in the world. I am still looking for a job, but I am happier being a homemaker! It is great to find Christian support online and a great reminder that God truly does have a plan for our lives.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this post!! I decided to stay home a few months ago after having a hard time finding steady work and also hating most of the jobs I had worked. I felt that I was being called to stay at home so I could take care of my home and my husband. I am loving this time to be able to hone my homemaking skills before we have children!

  19. Another great post! I became a homemaker after having my son, so I've had nothing but on-the-job training. BUT, if I could do it over, I would have done everything I could to be a homemaker from the time I was married. I do think it would have made a difference. But, alas, this wasn't the Lord's plan. So, in that case, I'll take this post and encourage those who are making a home without children.

  20. Until four months ago, I was a childless housewife and I appreciated how much time it afforded us to invest in our marriage and how much time it allowed me to develop new hobbies and skills (like sewing, embroidery, and blogging). It also allowed us to extend hospitality much more frequently than we otherwise would have and allowed me to move in with my grandparents three weeks per month in the final months of my grandmother's life to care for her full time. It was precious time with her I wouldn't have had if I had a job outside the home or children. Additionally, when I did become pregnant, I was so ill throughout my pregnancy that I wouldn't have been able to hold an outside job anyway.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Meghan! I believe that there are numerous roles and blessings that can be had while homemaking without children. I'm making efforts to regularly go see my Grandmother. The last visit we talked and talked while shelling and canning peas. I adore those stories and moments shared! Though I'm not expecting, I can understand how much of a blessing it is to be able to be home caring for your body at it's pace when ill. I'm still working on developing hospitality. I really enjoy getting together with others and believe the home is an excellent setting for such moments. We probably aren't as good at extending hospitality as we'd like, but we're working in it. :)

  21. I totally agree. I have been through the no kids, had children and raised them and am now empty nesting so again no children. Even if we did not have children I would have been at home. I am still needed and want to be at home. There is never an end to what I can and Want to do here. By the way your blog is beautifully written I think too! Thank you. Sarah

    1. Sarah, thank you so much for sharing. It is always so encouraging to hear stories of others who are on a path that focuses on home. Thank you also for the sweet words in regard to my blog itself! :)

  22. Thank you so very much! I resigned from my full-time position as Deputy Director of Operations at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC at age 28. I know God led me right to your blog; what you've written, along with the comments from others, echoed the insecurity (and frankly sometimes depressing thoughts) I have been experiencing this week. I have felt like I made a stupid, selfish decision and that I should be out changing the world. But I ADORE caring for my husband and our home more than I could ever express to those who don't understand! And I have time, energy and focus enough to read my Bible and spend real time with God. He is molding me daily as I'm convicted and encouraged by His word. Thank you for writing; I don't feel alone anymore. Please continue!

  23. I am also a homemaker with no kids and I love it! A lot of people do not understand why I stay home, I get comments like "what do you do all day?" or "I would go crazy if I stayed home" "Aren't you bored?"
    NO I'm not at all I read take care of my home I make jewelery, I visit friends, I take care of our home, I workout. I consider it a privilege. Some women works some don't we need to respect each others choices. I think a lot more women would stay home if they could.My husband loves it. It's all that matter.
    Don't worry about what other people think, to each his own.

  24. I'm so glad that I came across your post. I myself am waiting to have children, but to no avail as yet. I'm a stay-at-home-wife. When I get asked the question, "what do YOU do all day?", I feel put down already. It seems like they have no concept of what you said above in your post, and I feel really challenged on what to answer. I wish I could recite your whole post to them. Thanks for all that you wrote! Especially quoting the scriptures :)

  25. Thank you for this article! I just left a very busy stress filled job to be at home with my husband and I have to say that I've received support from most but some harsh questions from others. Thank you:) I'm on day 3 now of my new "job" and I'm doing a deep clean of my house and loving it!

  26. I really appreciate this post in support of the stay-at-home wife. Some of us stay at home wives God may never bless with children, however. I don't want to live my life in constant preparation for something that God never allows. I feel like my purpose in being a stay-at-home wife is to make a lovely, well run home for my husband and myself, be more available to help my husband in his ministry (down to grading papers for his Bible classes!), and have time to be hospitable/ do good works. I'm not able to work because of Lyme disease, but I plan on staying home as I improve and get well, and find ways to be a "worker at home" - productive like the Proverbs 31 woman! I think in our feminist society, making career sacrifices for children are understandable, but making career sacrifices for a husband is considered demeaning. My husband appreciates the work I do around our home so much more than anyone at a job ever has - don't feel demeaned at all!


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