Late last year I spoke at a conference which focused on marriage, family and the home. What was surprising to me was that the number of men attending equaled those of women. Traditionally one would think that when it comes to these areas of interest that women would out number men. This was another clear indication that times have changed and what once was viewed as strictly a woman’s territory of concern is now shared.
Being the founder of HomeAdvantage Plus, my focus at the conference was on the physical environment of the home and its importance for the overall happiness of family members. Throughout the day I had an opportunity to interact with a number of the participants and in particular with men. It was an experience that some would say was a real eye opener.
A case in point was a gentleman who asked me if I had ever come across women who were snobs about carrying for their homes. I was taken back by the question and replied that I had met many women and had never really considered such a description associated to any of them although I had to admit that it could exist. I asked him to explain since it was apparent that he had a real concern.
He shared that his granddaughter was about to be married. She was raised in a home in which her mother felt that carrying for the home was, as he put it, below her ‘pay grade’. As a result his granddaughter did not have a clue about home management. It was clear that he was concerned about this young bride’s future happiness with her husband. From his own experience he understood the value for women in knowing how to create an environment that would be conducive to that happiness.
That conversation touched me and reinforced my conviction that despite the many changes that have occurred in the last fifty years with the various responsibilities that women have in and out of the home, men still look to us to pave the way in creating that special environment in the home. Despite the fact that women have proven their capabilities in all fields of endeavor I like to think they have not yet abandoned their abilities as homemakers or to think it is below their ‘pay grade’.
I often talk about and encourage the idea of sharing the care of the home with the other members of the family. No one person is meant to do it all. With that being said, it is also refreshing to realize that embracing matters concerned with the upkeep of the home is still viewed by men as a special talent that is primarily hidden in the depths of women. That idea of being taken care of in our most personal environment, the home, by a woman is still very appealing to men.
There are many things that have changed when it comes to the various roles that both men and women have embraced and are capable of achieving but there will always remain those home matters that, in a real way, belong to the heart of a woman. These conversations at the conference reminded me that even though women are the CEO’s of their homes they are first to be considered the hearts that keep it alive and beating. I find it very reassuring to know that most men appreciate a woman’s equality but at the same time are eager to embrace her different capabilities; particularly of turning a house into a home. The importance of the old adage “behind every successful man is a woman” came alive during the conference and I believe its foundation may be found primarily in the home matters. The nice meal and an orderly atmosphere may seem rather simple in their concepts but it is only in the heart of the feminine genius that they become an on going reality. May I suggest that we as women never let go of or underestimate the power and influence of that genius, particularly when it comes to the home environment. May I further be so daring as to say our men are counting on us!