"I find it fascinating the way the ancient Chinese belief of yin and yang -- the complementary opposite female and male energies inherent in the Universe -- runs as a pattern through every aspect of our lives. Career and home, dark and light, cold and heat, sorrow and joy, intimacy and solitude, aggression and passivity, Earth and Heaven. Push or stay put."
Career: 1. A chosen pursuit; life work. 2. a path or course
After reading the definition, I thought about whether or not "career and home" are truly opposites. If "career" is my chosen pursuit and my life work, and if my pursuit is my home, then how can they be at opposite ends? Is Ms. Ban Breathnach not leaving room for the woman who chooses a career as wife, mother, homemaker? Or is "home" just a place where we land after we're done doing our career all day long? Is "home" merely the place where the laundry must be done and the dishes washed and put away? Perhaps she means that "home" is a place of rest and not work. Although it is true that home should be a place of rest and peace, I find that I am constantly working at "home" -- trying to make it more organized, more comfortable, more inviting, more peaceful, more beautiful along with creating a restful atmosphere, but that takes hard work and effort on my part. Why? Because it is my career. My rest comes in knowing that this is where God has called me.
So what does this say about the chosen careers of women today? If she must go out and spend her days at a 40 hour per week job, I don't blame her for feeling abused when she is expected to take care of all the needs of her household as well. So I ask, who tends to the children? Who washes the clothes? Who scrubs the floors? Who is making "home" a place where the family is happily thriving and growing, and who is teaching the children about their responsibility to the family unit? Who is teaching the children how to cook a simple meal or do the laundry or keep a home clean? Who is listening to the problems of Little Ones or giving advice on dating? Is there anyone waiting for me at home anymore? In my dictionary the first and second choices defining "home" are: 1. A place where one lives; residence; habitation. 2. The physical structure of portion thereof within which ones lives, as a house or apartment. But I prefer the third and fourth definitions: 3. One's close family and one's self; a person's most personal relationships and possessions. 4. An environment or haven of shelter, of happiness and love. How can a home be such if there is no one there making a life work (career) of it? Does "home" just happen, or is it created by a loving human who makes it her purpose in life to make home a haven of shelter, of happiness and love for her family?
So what do you think? Is career opposite of home in your view? I have heard of many women who say they have given up their careers to stay at home with their children, but have you ever heard anyone say that their career choice is home & family? Is it even accepted as such in our culture today? Or dare we say it for fear of being considered out-of-date and old-fashioned or worse yet, shackled and chained to a medieval institution for the slavery of women?
"The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies."
~Excerpt from "Secrets of a Happy Home Life" by J.R. Miller 1894