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Home > Support > Mothering > What do other women plan on doing after the children are grown?
Question: I will be homeschooling my youngest, who will be in 12th grade, this fall. This will be my last year of homeschooling, unless God decides to bless me with a baby in my 40s. Already my relatives, who have all worked outside the home since their children were 6 weeks of age, are asking me what I am going to do now that my kids are grown and I will be done homeschooling. I have no desire to work outside the home, and although we live very frugally, we don't need the extra money. My husband would prefer me to continue caring for the home also. I was just wondering what other women are planning on doing after the children are grown, what is the Church's stance on this (if any), and what would be a good response to give to nosy people who assume that all women need to have a career and bring in money. They make me feel like I am being selfish and lazy to want to stay home. Please give me some insight on this. Thank you and God bless you.

Dear Mom,

I will be perfectly honest with you. I believe that the greatest work that women do is the work that uplifts and encourages their families and others. With that said, let us look at some of the ways women must work to do just that. Some women find that working outside the home allows that their families experience the lifting of the burden of financial concerns. Some women find that when they work within their communities as volunteers to further services and opportunities for the community at large they are in effect helping their own families. Still other women find the creative outlet of work that is fulfilling and enriching whether accomplished within their homes or outside their homes is uplifting and nourishes their spirit in such a way as to give them the necessary contentment to bring a certain peacefulness to their families. Humans were created to work. All humans have a job to do as is designed by the Lord from His great mercy for us. Each day we work.

To think that any one type of work or work situation is more worthy than another is to diminish the great power of the Lord. As long as the work is within the Lord's will for one's life then done in a holy way it becomes not only worthy but a spiritual gift offered back to the Giver of all good.

I believe that the Church's stance on work lies in the belief of the dignity of all humans according to the Lord's design. The Catholic Church teaches us that the dignity of man is fulfilled in part through the dignity of his ability to work and provide for himself and his family. This is the basic truth behind the human work ethic. To be fruitful in occupations that are uplifting and allow one to have a certain dignity is of the Lord.

With that said you can see that the dignity of homekeeping is in complete compliance with the will of the Father. It is only when the misguided notions of persons who equate work with a paycheck that we suffer misunderstandings and confusion. Isn't that always the way? The Tempter loves to muddle the holy with the worldly.

The choices that you are making for you and your family are the business of you and your husband. You two alone must make the choices for your family. Certainly you can listen with attentive concern to the opinions of others but ultimately you must decide for yourselves. Only through prayer and discernment can you reach peace in your choice.

As long as there are humans on this earth there will be those who do not understand the choices others make. So many times I was asked in the Delivery Room, "Are you going to have any more children?" My standard answer was always, "Not today." :) I believe when people ask questions of this nature and the nature of the questions you are experiencing they are not sincerely interested in knowing the depth of your reply. They are just curious and their curiosity is idle in intent.

When relatives ask you what you will do with all your free time answer...."Whatever the Lord needs me to do" or "I will occupy my time praying for my family and those in need of prayer."

I find that when we present ourselves to the Lord and say "Where do You want me to work, Lord?" Jesus has no problem giving us a job to do. A dear priest friend (92 years young) likes to say... "All people have a job to do even someone dying in the hospital has a job to do."

If you ever feel that you are lazy in your efforts at home then it only means you need to find more work to do. Present yourself to the Lord and ask for His guidance. My guess is that you will find plenty to do for the Lord always because you have a heart that is on fire with love for the Lord.

Let us pray today for all those persons who find that they are unemployed or out of work. Let us pray for those persons who are forced to work in dangerous situations, away for family and loved ones so that they can provide for their loved ones. Let us pray for those whose work is unholy, asking that they allow the Holy Spirit to enter their hearts and turn them from unholy work to work that is worthy. St. Joseph Patron of workers. Pray for us. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

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