Friday, April 10, 2009

WAHMs in Fashion: an Age-Old Tradition

If you are one, you know what it stands for: Work-At-Home Mom. (As if moms who stay home with their children without pursuing a career are not working??) At any rate, as Pixyworld's designer, I am one.

Now, it's interesting to me that we have a term for this now, as if being a mom pursuing a career from home were a brand new phenomenon. As far as I can see, most moms throughout the centuries have been WAHMs.

Take the biblical ideal woman, described in Proverbs 31: "She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night..... She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes." (Prov. 31:18, 24, NIV) Which brings me to fashion.

Fashion is a great career for a WAHM. My grandmother was a dressmaker out of her home; Almonzo's mother in Laura Ingalls Wilder's famous Farmer Boy actually spins, dies, and weaves her own wool before making it into warm and attractive clothing for her sons!

Besides being a fun and satisfying artistic outlet, fashion fits in well with family life. Unlike the "helping professions" early 20th century women were encouraged to pursue (ie. nursing & teaching,) fashion is not about serving people whose needs often vie for attention with the needs of a mom's own children. Rather, it is an income-earner that stays in its place and can be done in flexible hours at home.

There are, of course, down sides too. But those can wait for another blog, another day....

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