In my book, Reconciliation A Son’s Story the subject of “homemaking” is compared and contrasted with contemporary realities.
“In the context of contemporary life, “homemaking” in the traditional way, although highly honorable, is not a generally realistic choice for the long term for either partner in a relationship where children’s needs must be met every step of the way. The total emotional, nurturing, and financial needs of a family are difficult to achieve if one’s spouse is not fully engaged in a professional or vocational career. It is realistic, however, to plan for mom or dad to stay home for a couple of years to provide the close care and bonding needed for a new child. This goal is only possible if both parents achieve an adequate education beyond K-12, either academic or a vocational institution. Our country just can’t afford to support a one income family anymore. This reality started to kick-in during the 1950’s and was especially apparent as boomers became adults. A huge “war chest” is necessary to minimize family debt and to provide for the education of each child. Even with good financial support, college bound kids still need to be resourceful by getting their own loans and working along the way.
With the good education and success of both parents, dreams of family security, happiness, and a strong partnership in marriage are realistic to achieve. Still, the challenges of raising a family in a chaotic and media driven 21st century world are many. Technology affords us all a more efficient path forward, but requires education and funding as well. The demands of work and school put big pressures on families, especially those who join the military and are sent off to war. It is even more essential to plan smart as a young women or man to avoid early pregnancies and premature responsibilities in raising a family. It is hard, very hard to get this done, and the risk of failure increases if partners do not practice a little discipline in making education a priority at the outset. I discuss this with my kids and others whenever given the opportunity. Be patient, be safe, and get educated or pay the price later, and a higher price at that. Think about your choices and how they affect others in your life before making a move. Life happens and the challenges are enormous. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Be smart and enjoy the journey while minimizing risk. It’s not an easy journey, but doing the right things right make a huge difference. Avoid mistakes!”