A little birdie once told me that behind my back someone called me and my husband, with much disdain, “extremely traditional,” particularly regarding our roles at home (my husband works full-time while I stay home full-time with 2boys). As the conversation progressed, the little birdie discovered that this person thought that we must be too stupid or backward-thinking or religious or something to even consider other [obviously better] arrangements.
I have to admit that it offended me some – I sort of like it when people think I’m smart and progressive. But, actually, it was good for me to hear the criticism. It reminded me that, deep down in our guts, these roles are very much a choice after long and forward-thinking and self-sacrificing deliberations. We’ve asked over and over again, “What is best for our whole family (spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc.)?” And our progressive open-mindedness to all of the options has led us to choose these “traditional” family roles.
When it comes down to it, I am taking on a “traditional” role in our home as a choice. It is not out of ignorance or unawareness. It is not out of blind religious obligation. I’ve thought it out and read a LOT and decided that it’s best for us, for lots of reasons. And, by the way, this choice has not been the easiest one; it has required a lot from our whole family: financial responsibility and discipline, a career “pause” for me, trusting God rather than ourselves to provide and bless and secure (things we can’t force for ourselves anyway, in all honesty), to name a few.
I’m not saying that the cut-and-dried “traditional” family roles are perfect for everyone. I’m just afraid that most people these days, in considering themselves so progressive and open-minded never even consider the “traditional” roles as an option. They get stuck in the very current cultural values (individualism, career, dual-income, personal success) which were very different a decade ago and will again be different a decade hence. And, I’m sorry, friends, but I would call that preposterously narrow-minded.