Raising a Homemaker – Q&A {part 4}

I started this little “series” back in February or March to answer some of the questions I have been getting about what it means (and, perhaps, more accurately, what it does not mean) when I say I am raising a homemaker.  This is part 4.

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And, again, if you have additional questions that I do not cover here (or elsewhere), please feel free to ask – either in the comments, or by e-mail.  Honest questions and genuine curiosity are always welcome.

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What about “marketable skills”?

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photo credit: TexasFreeway.com

 

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First, I think we need to clarify what we mean by “marketable” skills?

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Are we talking about Accounting? Secretarial skills? (Maybe this would include things like: filing, phone etiquette, organization, schedule management, computer skills). Nursing or another form of medical training?  Nutrition?  Culinary arts?   A teaching credential?  Things like that?

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(This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list.)

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Basically, I think the definition most people use when speaking of “marketable” skills, is the training, experience, and skill set(s) often required to build a resume, or to gain employment within the corporate, or business world.

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And, generally speaking (because, there are always exceptions), I don’t think that there is anything wrong with my daughter (0r any woman) learning, or gaining practical, or hands-on experience in these areas.

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But in doing so, I want her to look beyond their necessity and usefulness in the “business world.”

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For example:

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Accounting: Of course, skills, training, or a degree in this area would serve her well in a business setting.  It might even translate to a lucrative career.  But, it will also help her (and by extension her family) in wisely using the family’s finances: developing a household budget, living within their means, staying out of debt, saving, wisely investing, and giving her (or her family) the ability to financially support missionaries, or other ministries.

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Culinary arts: In our world, when this skill is employed in the home, it is not necessarily seen as a “marketable skill.”  And yet, we have entire television networks and competitions dedicated to it!  Knowing how to plan, shop, prepare, and serve a variety of healthy foods to family and friends is an invaluable skill to a homemaker.  Sure, she could be an executive chef in a 5-star restaurant.  But, why not utilize that skill and talent to serve and nourish her own family, and extending the blessing to friends through hospitality.

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Nursing/Medical Training: I’m sure any mother could tell you of the bumps, scrapes, and germs that come with the territory of small children.  Basic first aid training is a must for any mom.  And, I for one, think training as a nurse would have been incredibly helpful to my ability to calmly diagnose, or treat (minor) injuries and illnesses.  (That is, if I could handle the sight of blood and other “fluids” without passing out cold!)  But, this type of training would certainly not be wasted outside the walls of a hospital or clinic.  A woman with this type of training (be it EMT, nursing, physician’s assistant, or doctor) could also serve families in her church or neighborhood as a midwife or doula.  She could serve her community by volunteering her services at a local crisis pregnancy center performing ultrasounds, our counseling women with unexpected pregnancies, and giving them hope in the gospel.  She could offer respite to a friend caring for a chronically ill child, parent, or spouse.  And, these skills can certainly be of use on the mission field (both short- and long-term): offering basic medical services, diagnoses and treatments, vaccines, and ongoing education and training in areas of health, hygiene, and disease prevention.

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Secretarial Skills: Yes, she may make a great assistant to someone!  (And, in many companies, executive assistants can make good money.)  But, couldn’t she also utilize these skills to help her husband and children by:  maintaining an accurate and orderly filing system for bills, tax forms, medical records, important documents (passports, social security cards, birth certificates), and other necessary paperwork; representing the family well in correspondence and phone communication; keeping track of multiple schedules, appointments, meetings, events, games, practices, and other family commitments – to name just a few.  Maybe these skills could be used in a family-owned, or home-based business.  Or, she could use it (once again) to bless her local church by: volunteering to answer phones, sending out correspondence, organizing an office, library, or filing system; creating and maintaining a church directory or calendar of events.

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Teaching:  I do not believe that a mother needs a state-certified credential to teach her own children.  (But, I am not naïve.  I realize that our government may someday require it!)  But, at the same time, I want her to be competent to do so!  I want her to develop a life-long love of learning – for herself, and so that she can teach her own children someday.  Of course, a woman who has spent a concentrated amount of time and study on subjects like Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, or specific eras of history, or a particular author or genre of literature may be of great help not only to her own children, but also to others who do not have her level of specific training (maybe tutoring, or teaching a homeschool co-op class).

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Again, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list.  It is just a small sample of the skills that the world would consider “marketable” which can also be learned, and utilized within the home.

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Raising a daughter to be a homemaker does not mean that she will never develop, or be exposed to skills that would be considered useful for employment or a vocation outside the home.  It just means that we (as a family) view and value those skills not for their marketability in the business world, but for their ability to bless and benefit the family, the home, the church…and as a result, the culture at large.

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Did you miss {part 1}{part 2}, or {part 3}?

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