At the end of January, I plan to hang up my professional tools and become "just" a wife and mother-a housewife. This is a fairly considerable change after 21 years in the workplace-admitted 17 of them part time and the last year or so very part time.
I'm not leaving because I don't like my job-I do. I worked for years to have this type of job and more than that, it is useful and I like to think, helps others.
It isn't because my post is immoral or wrong in some way. There are ethical issues as in most professional posts but not such that I couldn't, with a clear conscience do the job.
So why? Because I'm leaving the good to do the best-the job that God has designed for me at present. I'm becoming a professional wife and mother.
Those verses in Titus 2 about the younger women that they should be taught to "Love their husbands,...love their children" have become more meaningful to me. Not that I hadn't loved my husband and children before-of course, I have but that they need a practical expression of that with me around to run the house, to take control of the home education rather than leaving set work on a couple of afternoons, to ensure that my husband has the freedom to work in peace without worrying about the doorbell or sorting out grammar questions or what Mum really wanted on the timeline. Perhaps, more they need someone around who will be able to listen, to pray with them, to look after them when unwell. Someone who is able to just be there.
In thinking about this over a long time, it has struck me that a good wife and mother has many characteristics of a good professional although without the dispassionate interest. A wife and mother is, and should be, emotionally involved.
The professional works way beyond set hours-this has been a major issue for me trying to balance my job and home. There is extra reading, going back to sort things out, writing proposals and business plans and going to conferences. Similarly, what wife and mother has set hours?
A professional will be trying to improve the service. A home maker tries to improve the home to produce a better and more welcoming atmosphere.
A true professional wants to pass on their skills and teach others. What is God's command to parents? "These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children".
This analogy becomes limiting. God's role for parents is so much greater. We are training children not only about earthly things-how to read and write, blow their noses and tie up their shoe laces-important though these are but we are given the task, if we are Christian parents, of teaching them spiritual things and given the responsiblity of praying for those children.
Pray for me-this is a major change and one which most of you will have accomplished without any ado, years ago.