Attack of the Homemaker Demon Mother Goddess

I unlock the front door and my children and I fall into the house. We had a busy morning and it is already 12:30. The baby is cranky because he should have eaten at 11:30 and gone down for a nap at 12. The others are squabbling over who gets to sit on the left part of the bottom stair while they take their shoes off. I get the baby into the high chair and start nuking some baby food. I open a can of Princess Pasta (now made with real princesses!) and dump it into a pot.

*Splorp*

And then She sneers in my ear:

“If you’d planned better, you would have packed a lunch. Also, that Princess Pasta is basically dog food for children.”

No, I don’t have some jerk living in my house that stands around waiting for me when I get home. What I do have, is an idol.

Meet the Homemaker Demon Mother Goddess (or, for the sake of brevity, the HDMG).

Beware the wrath of the HDMG

artwork by Emily Armstrong

She takes no pity on me, and offers no help in time of need. She exists in a state of eternal displeasure. She is not impressed with my home-keeping, and thinks I need to dust more often. She tells me my children would comply if I’d done a better job with them as infants, and practiced more of what I was supposed to learn from those Christian parenting videos.

The HDMG thinks counselling is for weaklings and epidurals are for wusses. She demands my supplication and obedience, so I read parenting and home-keeping books, articles, blogs to try to do better. But she accuses me from there as well; I don’t move the furniture when I vacuum. I use formula and jarred baby food. I feed our family white flour. I can’t train my kids to pick up after themselves in “3 easy steps!”

I don’t homeschool.

I’m happy with “only” three kids.

I don’t want to adopt.

The Homemaker Demon Mother Goddess scorns my failings and condemns me for them.

Praise be to God that the Homemaker Demon Mother Goddess is nothing but a stone idol. When I forget this, my spirit shrinks and I feel so wretchedly inadequate. But when I cower before her cold marble stare, I am facing away from my precious Savior. Jesus neither condemns me, nor gives me a list of cultural (or countercultural) mandates to follow. Jesus has, by His blood shed for my dead and idolatrous soul, freed me to live for Him, and only Him.

So what does this mean? It means I can keep my house as clean, or as messy as I want to, so long as I bring glory to Him. I can raise my kids using whatever parenting methods I want, so long as I raise them in a way that glorifies Him. And I am free to never, EVER vacuum under the sofa, because it’s who sits ON the sofa when we practice hospitality that matters.

Seven years ago, I prayed desperately for God to tell me what His plan for me was, and I heard a name: Harriet. I had no idea what this meant so I looked up the meaning of the name. Turns out it means “Home ruler.”

That is who I am. And when I get caught up in false guilt, thinking of how I “should” be, I am living out of fear of the Homemaker Demon Mother Goddess, not in the freedom that God has given me to run this house for His glory.

The baby is asleep upstairs, and the older kids are (gasp!) watching TV. The tornado of lunchtime has blown over, and nobody died or got scurvy from Princess Pasta. We all have days when we feel like everything we do is wrong, and I’m sure I have many more ahead of me.

But Jesus knows I am trying to raise my kids and run my home for His glory. I will not do it perfectly, and I will hear the insidious voice of the Homemaker Demon Mother Goddess from time to time.

But Christ is for me, and I can trust that He is pleased.

  • Michelle Dacus Lesley

    Thanks, Emily. I’ll bet all of us moms feel that way from time to time if not more frequently.

    I think it can be even worse if you DO home school (like I do), because there is a whole subset of what I call “Little House on the Prairie” home schooling moms, who have 14 kids, sew all of their family’s clothes, bake everything from scratch (I even have friends who grind grain to make their own flour), would never feed their kids anything with sugar or preservatives, have immaculate homes, accompany their kids to every single activity, and on and on and on. And when you home school, these are the people you’re constantly associating with.

    Nothing wrong with all that, of course, and if it works for their family, more power to them. But if I start comparing myself to them, it’s very demoralizing. I constantly have to redirect my eyes to the cross and to the things God has put in front of ME to do.

  • Mary Roberts

    Part of the human condition is we all fear that we’re not good enough. Perhaps this blog entry is empirical proof that you Emily, are quite good enough and then some! You’re not only a great stay-at-home Mom who sails through all the little crises of every day with a sense of humour, but you also happen to be a gifted writer and illustrator. Pucker up your lips everybody and let’s all give a giant RASPBERRY to the Homemaker Demon Mother Goddess “P-f-f-f-t!” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowing_a_raspberry

  • Ben Thorp

    Wonderful. I particularly like the artwork :)