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A Homemaker's Cottage (First Issue) by Sonya Haskins.
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Sonya Haskins is the full-time stay-at-home mom of Sarah, Micah and Christopher. She also writes magazine articles and is working on her first book. Sonya welcomes comments from readers and constantly seeks to meet new moms to interview for the book.

All this material is copyright protected and cannot be used without the written consent of the author.

One day last fall I had a revolt. It was a simple revolt actually. I demanded that, despite our tight budget, we were ordering pizza because I wasn't cooking! Two hours after eating the pizza, I was in the bathroom with diarrhea. Such days lead me to think about my dreams. Is this really what I wanted out of life?

As stay-at-home moms, we're cooks, cleaning ladies, couriers, postal executives, accountants, nursemaids, storytellers, sex objects (although not as glamorous as it sounds), and so on. And like other stay-at-home moms across the country, we occasionally question our decision to be homemakers. We are responsible for a tremendous amount of work, not to mention molding the little lives of the future, yet we receive little encouragement and support from our society.

For about a year now I've been tossing around ideas for various ways to encourage homemakers. One result of those ideas is this column - which is for moms who can feel right at home as someone finally addresses their needs. The column will contain information on maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse, time management, fun activities to do with your children, household tips, and more. Experts will sometimes be consulted, but a lot of the information will come from homemakers. What makes your life easier? How do you find time with your spouse?

I'm sure every stay-at-home mom reading this column has sleepless nights and days when you feel like pulling your hair out. Before you had children and began staying at home, did you ever imagine that you would leave lunch droppings under your child's highchair because you knew dinner was coming anyway? Believe me, we're all in this together! It's often difficult, though, to realize because we tend to be somewhat isolated. In this column, you will read about other homemakers all over the country and will hopefully identify with the problems and concerns as well as pride and joy involved in homemaking.

Do you remember my little revolt with the pizza? Well, at the end of that day I tearfully told my husband that I was upset because I didn't live in a hut in Africa. I am still not sure if the odd look he gave me was one of astonishment or amusement. Either way, I tried to explain to him how I felt like I had lost a part of myself. You see, when I was a little girl, I had dreamed of becoming a missionary or a writer.

Although different fields, my young mind was satisfied with the choices. I wanted to sacrifice my life for that of others by ministering to them in need or writing about the adversities and fantastic adventures of life elsewhere. I hoped to have a post in an African village where it is hot all year round, people wear very little clothing (I'm just more comfortable in shorts and a tank top), and I could live in a little hut or cottage. In my role as mother and homemaker, I was downhearted about the fact that I probably never will live in that little hut.

Not only can I not live in a hut at the present moment, I can't stay up all night and play on the computer, leave town on a whim, or eat without disruption. From the moment I wake up until I go to sleep at night, my responsibilities lie within the realm of mother and wife. I nurse, bathe, entertain, cook, clean, encourage, and, occasionally, have sex. As I was discussing this dilemma with my husband, he reminded me that, in a way, I am still achieving my dreams. I devote my time and energy ministering to children in whose lives I can make the greatest difference of all. I am making a contribution to the future, just like every stay-at-home mom who rocks the baby to sleep, bakes cookies with the toddler, and teaches the teenager how to drive. Of course working parents do these things with their children, too, but homemakers make those little investments top priority over money, career, and - often - outside relationships. I also am a prolific writer and take advantage of any opportunity (or occasionally demand an opportunity) to be creative with words. Thus, said my husband, fulfilling the writing portion of that dream.

Ruminating on what he said, and conceding that I am in fact doing the very things I had dreamed of doing one day, the tears left my eyes and I began to cheer up. Of course, I still haven't given up my dream to some day live in - or at least visit - Africa.

Please give all feedback on this column to the author Sonya Haskins.