Hello Laibl

About 6 months ago I was changing over my mobile phone to another company and the guy there asked me what was my occupation and I told him I was a housewife, to which he replied, ’Oh a Nobody!’. At the time I just laughed it off but deep down I was deeply hurt by this comment.

I was seeing a dietician to lose weight and even though I was succeeding I felt I was a failure and started to binge-eat resulting in bulimia. I went to a therapist about this and he helped me get over this and I haven’t binged for 4 months now which is great but my life has revolved around food again and slowly the weight is coming back on. I feel really depressed and no matter how hard I try to pull myself out of it I seem to fall further and further behind. I decided that I wanted to go back to Study and do a Part Time course in Travel but we have four children and the youngest one is nearly 3 years old and my husband seems to think that I should wait until she is at school which will be another 2 years. I really think I need something else in my life other than being a housewife. I am lost and I simply don’t know what to do. I turn to food for comfort. Please don’t get me wrong I love and adore my children but I have been a housewife for 13 years now and I just feel like I am a ‘Nobody’ - maybe that guy at the shop was right.

Please help pull me out of this depression.

J. (Queensland, Australia)

Dear J,

You have been chosen to come down to earth because the gifts you possess are uniquely yours. These have been designed for you to nurture the four souls that have been entrusted to you. The four souls have descended into your care because you were given the special capacities to provide them with a pathway for life, that no other mother can provide. That's why they are yours.

You are NOT a 'house-wife'. You are not married to a house! You are a nurturer, administrator, counselor, partner in life with your husband, carer, provider, character moulder, health maintainer, a student of health foods, a teacher of life-skills to your children, and many other roles. These are far more complex and more important than any single profession. In fact you are responsible for the stability and wisdom of the next generation - in a world that challenges us constantly. Do you honestly feel comfortable about compromising your time in all of these roles because some boorish and insecure salesman doesn't understand your worthiness and value to society? Are you going to let a stupid casual remark become the shaper of your life? Are you going to abdicate the responsibility of being the central catalyst in your home, bringing an atmosphere of calm and goodness to your family? I don't believe so.

Look deeply into your heart and recognise that your wish to study further may not be at all motivated by knowledge seeking or a calling, but may well be a prop to protect yourself from such casual hurtful remarks by the very people who lack the appreciation of what makes life valuable.

I am sure I don't have to elaborate further, nor discuss with you how each cell of the body seeks your wise exercise of choice when it comes to foods and eating. You have the capacity to overcome the challenge because you recognise the problem. Realise your inner strengths and gifts and dedicate and commit yourself to the skills and art of nurturing and administrating the family that you have been blessed with. You are special. So think, speak, and behave, as a special person would.

One further item of advice: When you light your Shabbat candles (which no doubt you do as it brings light and insight into your home), after the blessing, with your eyes still closed, ask G-d to provide you with the strength to carry out your multi-tasked life successfully.

I hope to hear good news from you.

Laibl Wolf