A Wife Loved Like The Church

Honest Thoughts on Being a Housewife and a Mother

Posted on: September 8, 2010

I recently watched Mona Lisa Smile. I haven’t seen it in a long while and forgot just how much I love it. The first time I ever saw the movie, I was no where near the mama path. In fact, I bordered on anti-mama {or anti-children}. A lot can happen in seven years.

{photo credit}

If you aren’t familiar with Mona Lisa Smile, it’s the story of a free-thinking art professor {Katherine} at a conservative all girls college who challenges the girls to question their traditional societal roles. Most of the students desire to marry {and marry young}, have a home and children. Katherine scoffs at the idea of giving up their education just for homemaking; scoffs at the idea of choosing something “less”. In one scene, Katherine finds out that her student Joan has eloped and decided to not attend law school.

Joan Brandwyn: It was my choice, not to go {to law school}. He {husband} would have supported it.
Katherine Watson: But you don’t have to choose!
Joan Brandwyn: No, I have to. I want a home, I want a family! That’s not something I’ll sacrifice.
Katherine Watson: No one’s asking you to sacrifice that, Joan. I just want you to understand that you can do both.
Joan Brandwyn: Do you think I’ll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?
Katherine Watson: Yes, I’m afraid that you will.
Joan Brandwyn: Not as much as I’d regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I’m doing and it doesn’t make me any less smart. This must seem terrible to you.
Katherine Watson: I didn’t say that.
Joan Brandwyn: Sure you did. You always do. You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, but you don’t. To you a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You’re the one who said I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.

I have searched high and low for the video clip {so much better to see than read}. My jaw dropped. Literally. I confess that for years I thought housewives had no depth, no intellect, no interests. I thought they sold themselves short, sold themselves out for what they were told they should want. Little did I know, it’s actually what they wanted. It’s what I want.

Mothering has changed me in so many ways. It has opened my eyes to far more than I bargained for – my sins and my faults, but also my hidden talents and untapped desires. As a housewife, as a mother, I know that the women who choose this path are amazing. They are brilliant, they are creative. Even more, they change lives, they turn little babies into mature adults, they make nothing into something. They hold the world’s most important job – being a mother.

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12 Responses to "Honest Thoughts on Being a Housewife and a Mother"

This was a great post, Sarah! And, so true! I try to have a thick skin about staying home with Jackson since it’s definitely what I (and Josh) want. But, it’s hard to be out in the “real world” when you can tell others don’t really see it that way. They sometimes assume we have nothing of interest to share since we “just” stay at home all day. *Sigh* This is why I love surrounding myself with friends who are just has happy as me to stay at home with our babies all day 🙂

Love, love, love this!

Great great post! I was just talking with a mom abut this last week. She and her husband moved here from the East coast this summer and she’s had a hard time connecting with other women. She was saying how hard it is to tell her husband’s coworkers wives she stays home and watch their eyes glaze over and then try to get away, how sad but I’ve definitely experienced this. I totally agree with Dana, it’s great to surround yourself with other women who do the same. But, I must admit part of me wants to get out there and change people’s minds too haha.

I want to rent it now. I haven’t seen it! The cast looks great!!!

You should! It’s really good!

I couldn’t have said it better!

Very cool post, Sarah! I’ve never seen it, either, but like agugliuzza, I think it’s going on the “to rent” list! Thanks!

Another thoughful post and I enjoyed reading it. However, as a working mother of two boys ages 2 and 3, I think all mothers-working and stay at home-should be celebrated. Without working mothers, society would lose large percentage valuable workforce. There are numerous nurses, lawyers, teachers ect. who are fabulous mothers and wives while also making a significant contribution to society with their careers. As a working mother I know I have just a strong a bond with my sons as I would as a stay at home mother. Yes stay at home mothers are very talented and deserve a lot of credit but so do working mothers. So I just wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments, talents, and sacrifices of all mothers.

Aimee, thank you for this. I totally agree! All moms (whether working out or in the home) deserve recognition for their hard work! My hats off to you! 🙂

Aimee, I just tried emailing you, but was denied. Bummer. If you read this, I have an email for you! 🙂 Maybe you can email me and the I will email you back? Sarah dot Windham at gmail dot com.

Great words, Sarah. I think it’s funny how stay at home moms feel insecure and so do working moms, regardless of what we say. We can (and do) feel guilty about both roles. I will say that staying at home has been much more challenging than work ever was, but much more fulfilling, too.

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