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"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do good and not evil all the days of her life..."
Have we ever stopped to ponder the effect that a woman has on the home? We say that the husband is the strong one, the leader. But, if we look at the behind the scenes activities, we might change our minds. A woman can be a powerful person.
There might be a bit of truth in the story of a couple that were celebrating 50 years of marriage. A younger guest asked the wizened old man, "What would you say is the secret to your being married happily for 50 years?"
Without much thought the husband replied, "When we married, we had an agreement. I will let my wife make all the small decisions and I make the big ones."
"How has that worked out?"
"Oh," chuckles Pappy, "Excellently! We have yet to reach our first major decision. So it all worked out well."
We might take it as a we wish but, let's not deny it, the woman has a powerful influence.
The saying, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," is very true. Does anyone have more influence on a young child than Mom? Us fathers typically gain the admiration of our children. They dream of being like Dad when they grow up. They tend to think that Dad is strong and invincible. However, let our children become sick or hurt. Who do they turn to for comfort? When they have a bad dream, is it not natural to cry out to Mom for comfort?
A mother's heart is designed to be tender. This tenderness reaches to the deep inner being of the family's heart. Let's be careful how we respond to that person called Mom, the Wife, the Better Half, or any other name she may go by!
Who hasn't heard the saying, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? We men might not like to admit it, but take a look at what happens when Mr. Flu visits our home. Normally the children get sick and stay home from school. Mom adds nursemaid to her duties and life goes on. The household is still in order.
When Dad gets sick, he will typically try to plug on as long as possible. However, when it gets worse, he's flat in bed or on the couch. I have heard horror stories of Dad moaning and groaning, the children tiptoeing around so as not to disturb Dad's aching head and Mom waiting hand and foot to try to comfort Dad's aches. Of course, this doesn't happen in our home, I just overhear the tales of what happens in other homes!
Now finally Mom comes down with the malady! If mom is flat, you know it's BAD! What do we do to help? I recently read this little anecdote.
As hubby walked into the house from work one day, his sick wife apologized from the couch. She apologized for all the dirty dishes in the sink, the house in a mess and dusty, and dirty clothes laying around. Was it maybe a plea for help? Here is where different mentalities don't always connect.
"Oh, that's alright," he assured her, "It can wait until you feel better."
I am thinking that, by then, she had about a full day's setback to better health. Really, is that all we can do?
When we men arrive home from our day jobs, we tend to think our day is done. This is a misconception many of us have. I decided to do a little investigating into the time card of a stay-at-home mother. Follow along as we observe from an inside view.
On a typical workday, Mom arises with Dad to pack the lunchbox and see him out the door to work. 15 Minutes. Get laundry started before the children are needing to be up, 60 minutes (75 total).
Time to get the children out of bed, fed breakfast, dressed, faces and fingers washed, don't forget behind the ears, homework checked, book bags readied, papers signed, library books all found, hair combed, coats put on, found that lost mitten under the couch (why was it there?) possibly pack lunches and all the goodbye kisses and warnings taken care of. Whew!! Another 45 minutes gone by (120 and counting).
Now for blessed peace. Some quality me time! Oh no, she hears the toddler ready to get up. Up the stairs she goes to get him out of bed. Toddler's fed, washed, dressed and ready for the day. Another 20 minutes (we are up to 140) and she hasn't even had breakfast yet!
Finally she has time for a short breakfast on her own. But, she can't dally too long. In summer there is produce to can and freeze, there might be baking to do, clothes to mend or sew, this accounts for about 2 hours. Take into account that the house also needs to be made aright after the morning rush (we are up to 260 minutes).
By this time Mom needs a short break. She sits down to read a bit to Baby Dear and rest a bit, another 15 minutes for the little one with only 15 for her own rest. (275 minutes) It is now time for a quick lunch and kitchen cleanup. Kitchen cleanup reminds Mom that she needs to start thinking about what to make for supper! But before that, the laundry is dry and ready for folding, (we're up to 300 minutes).
Supper preparations are started, in 1 ° hours the school children will be home. Then Mom needs the plan in place. She spends some time with the food prep. Dad likes a full hot meal for supper followed with a good dessert. So Mom makes a Peanut Butter Cream Pie, a favorite of her husband's. It took some extra effort but she sees it worth the time for the pleasure filled look as he bites into it. Another 60 minutes have elapsed (360 and counting).
Soon the school children are home and behold the whirlwind cometh! Another 30 minutes of snacks, school happenings, homework, chores allocated etc.. Junior needs to get started on the lawn mowing, so Mom gets Sister to watch the toddler while she gets the mowing started outside. Another 15 minutes (this brings the time card to 405 minutes).
That taken care of, she hurries into the house, final supper prep needs to be done! She hustles in the kitchen putting on mileage between the fridge, stove and sink. According to the howls coming from outside, someone needs attention! Back out she goes. Investigation proves that the toddler is bored. Into the house he goes to wait patiently, muttering on a kitchen chair until Mom comes in, 15 minutes gone (clocking in at 420).
Back to the kitchen she goes. Toddler is kept out of mischief by staying in sight of Mom. She busies his hands at setting the table and starting to wash up more dirty dishes. He is not happy about it, but with Mom's evident cheerfulness expressed in song, his spirits can't help but be lifted. No one notices that Mom is a bundle of frazzled nerves hid beneath a smile!
Finally at 4:30, Dad breezes in, lunchbox in hand. "Whew," he says, as he plops down into the recliner. "What a day! What's for supper, how soon is it ready, did anything come in the mail? By the way how was your day, did you get anything done?" he asks naively.
Mom smiles and says, "Oh I just worked around the house today."
After supper Dad gets up and says, "Well, I'll take the children out of your hair a bit while we go out and do the chores."
Sister stays in and helps Mom clean up the kitchen and wash dishes, another 25 minutes elapsed (we are counting at 445).
"Run along outside and play a bit before shower time," she tells Sister. Now she is finally alone in the house, Dad has control of the brood. What a reprieve! Mom grabs the broom and quickly swishes through the kitchen cleaning children tracks. She picks up some scattered clothes and school paraphernalia on the way, another 15 minutes (460).
Finally she picks up the Ladies Journal and snuggles into the couch for a blessed 30 minutes of personal time. BANG goes the door. In troops one of the children with toddler in tow. "Dad asked if you would start us through the tub and shower they will be coming in a little bit?" Mom looks at the clock with a start, it is 7:30! Mom starts the routine. Dad follows shortly and helps get everybody clean and ready for bed, another 30 minutes (490 minutes).
Mom steps into the shower and relishes the few minutes of solitude after all the rest are ready for bed and relaxing, reading, or playing games. Dad and Mom combine efforts and get the troop to bed. Mom spends another 15 minutes puttering around, again cleaning up the finer parts of household organization. The children did as well as they could to do their part, but you know children. In the meantime Dad is looking at the daily paper. Mom heads through the kitchen for a final round, while she's there she spends another 10 minutes prepping for the morning rush of lunches. This makes her start to the day easier.
Wow! look at a stay-at home mother's work. How do the working women fit it all in? A mother's work is never done. These are all unrecognized tasks that need done to keep the home going.
Take a look at her time card. About 9 hours of work counted without figuring in all the eating times and all the little things that she accomplishes along the way! This happens at least 6 days a week and 52 weeks a year. Count it up, that totals 2,808 hours regular with 728 hours O.T. At $10 an hour pay, that would total out to $31,720 a year! Do we men realize what our wives are worth?
I know ladies, I haven't calculated time for weekly cleaning, grocery shopping, doctor and dentist appointments, school functions, helping your husband with his projects around the house, homework with the children, and all the other activities that account for a Mom's life.
A challenge to myself, did I say thank you for that marvelous Peanut Butter Cream Pie? Too often, I am afraid to say, no I did not. We take it for granted that they realize we appreciate it. Did I compliment the good cooking? What about the clean clothes hanging in the closet? How about a clean house?
Unfortunately we tend to take this for granted. How can we be a help?
It is no wonder that King Solomon, who had 700 wives and 300 mistresses, said, "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband... many women have done virtuously but thou excelleth them all."