The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, 1998 · Page 58
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 58

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, March 30, 1998
Page 58
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6 THE PALM BEACH POST MARCH 30, 1998 OCCUPATIOL HAZARDS Homemaker' a great career with the right attitude rxf hf I Dale Dauten see Cindy Crawford on television and start dreaming. For me, it's Martha Stewart. I watch her and sigh, "Would you look at those appetizers? And oh, oh what a centerpiece!" And that's when I remind myself that there are some things we mustn't let ourselves dwell upon. Dale Dauten is a Tempe, Ariz., businessman and author. Write to him in care of King Features Syndicate, 235 E. 45th St., New York, N. Y. 1001 7, or visit his Web site at in order to e-mail him. grand work and knows it. And so, Christine, somewhere in there are my suggestions on how to evaluate your decision. If you stay at home as a way to avoid work, you will be doubly duped and end up bitter and resentful. If you stay home out of guilt, you'll be a third-rate saint, demanding gratitude that will never suffice. It's better for you and your family for you to be a great role model than a reluctant home-maker. But, if you yearn to run a home the way a born entrepreneur yearns to run a company, then Godspeed to you. I hope you have a husband who will support you and appreciate you, but I doubt it. Don't be too harsh on him, for he too will be tempted to wonder about your path not taken. Remind yourself often (and him too) that it would be just as true if you choose instead to return to industry. My wife works and is good at what she does. I appreciate her. But here's a secret don't tell her: Most men Who will teach the teacher? Who will help the helper? And that's all before we get down to the issue of money. There's a company in Maine called Rent-A-Husband, a home-repair business. The owner says that women sometimes ask him what the "husbands" look like. He gives his standard answer: "They're every woman's dream man tall, dark and handy." Seeing that interview made me wonder what it would be like if a great homemaker got paid a big salary. There would be master's programs springing up in our universities and people clamoring to enroll. And how would those graduates approach their jobs? I suspect that they would keep up on the latest research and compete to introduce new services. They wouldn't just work as homemak-ers, they would work at being homemakers. They would want to exceed expectations, to delight and amaze their clients. I've known a few women, and one man. who treated the job of homemaker in that way. No pay. D'ear Christine: From what you tell me, I can see that whichever path you choose will be the wrong one. You describe your unwelcome decision to devote yourself to being a wife and mother, or to return to your career solely in contemplation of what you are giving up. That means you are destined to be haunted by possibilities lost. Refuse that indulgence. Add it to the list of those things you shouldn't let yourself dwell upon: the person you might have married, the investments you almost made, how they make hot dogs. Instead, truly consider "the homemaker." That expression seems old-fashioned, doesn't it? Quaint. Still, it has its value, suggesting as it does a calling. It isn't "taking some time off while the kids are young"; it's a career. That doesn't mean it's permanent one can always change careers but it suggests that the work be considered on its own merits, not an interruption in some other life. Say the word "home" slowly and hear how it echoes, its "om," which has been called the very sound of creation, the vibration of the universe. Home: It's a reverie, not an address. To be given the opportunity to make a home is a high calling, far more noble than building a house. So why is it that we revere the architect and slight the homemaker? You know how you always see those lists of What Employees Really Want? Isn't it odd how the authors are always startled by the finding that "money" isn't first? Didn't they look at the 10,000 previous studies? Probably not, or they wouldn't have wasted their time doing yet another study of What Employees Really Want. Anyway, the point is that we get a lot from work besides money: recognition, praise, camaraderie, mentoring, intellectual challenge, frequent flier miles, T-shirts. But consider the homemaker: Who will encourage the encour-ager? Who will praise the praiser? Going On Vacation? Call Us. We'll interrupt your service, or save the newspapers for you. Call 820-4663 or 1-800-654-1231. little recognition and yet each had the twinkling eye and the jote de vtvre of someone who's doing QESankllnitcd Travel to Rooney's For CsYo A Taste of Ireland Luncheon Now Available From Warn lor "On Te Go" Business Peopfe Unjoy fine Irisn food ryft fere in Sontn Fforiou. 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