Let me say this clear. Homemakers – women and men, are an essential and significant part of who we are as a society. Whether there is recognition to attest to that fact or not, they are the glue that holds us all together. Yes, we need commercial enterprise and entrepreneurs to keep our nations moving forward and commercially viable. We need big business to provide some of the products we use. We need to maintain our civic responsibilities, support our law enforcement and armed services organisations, we need to elect honest politicians. But unless we form stable families on which to build those civic institutions, we won’t amount to much. Families are the foundation of our nations.
It is tough, no one is denying that, but we can make it better by supporting other homemakers. Be proactive. Invite a new neighbour in for coffee. Take a magazine and flowers to your sick neighbour. Encourage other homemakers in their work. Share recipes and tactics. Take the washing off your neighbour’s line if it starts to rain while they’re out. Show younger homemakers that while this job is difficult, never-ending and unpaid, it is also incredibly satisfying, enriching and wonderful. Lead by example, guide others with your strengths and accept assistance when you need it. Be the friend you want to find.
Make your mark, stand tall and know that your contribution is important. Providing comfortable and secure homes for ourselves and our families places our children and working people on solid ground. We are the ones sending them out willing and capable of making the most of their work and school; we are the ones setting the tone for what they will become. I am not stupid enough to believe that our children grow up to be our mirror image, but we can have a significant input into the type of people they become. Model the behaviour you want to see in them – teaching kindness, generosity, tenderness and humility help build character and form a stable foundation on which to build a life. Show your children that you enjoy life and that your family makes you happy. That will be your greatest gift to them. Show them the benefits of hard work. Be proud of your work and show it. Not everyone is cut out to be a homemaker, so for those of us who do this important job it’s essential that we understand that it’s not inferior to any other job. It is nation building.
I hope there will be many things of which you will be proud when you’re my age. If you can say you launched your children into the world as decent people; if you can say, that most of the time, you did your best; if you know that you supported and encouraged other men and women in their tasks; if you know that you helped build a strong and supportive community, you will have done a fine job, not only for yourself and your family, but for your country as well.