My niece posted a blog (www.mainegirll.blogspot.com) in which she quoted C.S. Lewis as saying that a homemaker has the ultimate career and all other careers go to support that. In reading her comments and the comments others left on her blog I realized that my feelings on this require more space.
Many of the comments assumed homemaking had to do with mothers as the homemakers. My great-grandmother died in childbirth, leaving behind her husband and 9 children, which included my grandmother who was 3 years old at the time. Although he never remarried, with the help of all of the children, he made a home. His "outside" work, of course, supported that home. Throughout the rest of her life, my grandmother praised and honored her "Papa" for keeping their family together and organizing the children to create their home.
It's true (thank goodness!) that being a homemaker is more than performing a list of cleaning chores and doing crafts. Interestingly enough, when I think of the homes that stand out in my mind, they weren't all that clean! But there was a feeling there--an acceptance, an understanding of priorities, a quiet, firm feeling that was above the hubbub of everyday activities.
I've also noticed that homes don't seem to depend on how many people are in them. Don't single people create a home for themselves? Don't childless couples make a home? Empty-nesters still have nests! For some, at least temporarily, home may be just a place to sleep, but it still provides the opportunity to close the door on the world and have a little refuge--make it what they will.
Victor Frankl, in his book Man's Search for Meaning, writes that there are three things that bring meaning to our lives--love, suffering, and creating. We position ourselves and promote ourselves throughout life in order to create for ourselves, in whatever our circumstances, a place we can call "home."
What I'm feeling is that C.S. Lewis was simply stating a truth as his observations led him to understand it. What was in his head we can only speculate, but it does seem that all the things we do support our homemaking--an innate need to belong somewhere, wherever and with whomever that may be.