Wednesday, June 25, 2014
From the time I had my first son, I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Whether that meant I was working from home or staying at home to exclusively care for him didn't matter to me. I just wanted my boy to be at home. Unfortunately that was not financially possible for Andrew and I at the time so once our son turned 3 months old, off he went to daycare.
Everyday that I dropped him off and went to work was utter torture. I imagined him crying and not being tended to. I had nightmares about him being accidentally sent home with the wrong person and to be honest the frustration of having to put him in daycare put a strain on me personally and our marriage. I was constantly scouring the Internet for ways to make money staying at home often coming up with one hand full of scams and the other full of things I could not do with a newborn or wasn't qualified to do. Throughout my search I came across so many forums where women were bashing one another for their decisions to stay at home with their kids or for choosing to work outside the home.
All of this conversation got me thinking first about how people are much meaner when they can throw dirt from behind the curtain of a computer screen and secondly I wondered what God's initial intent for women was and how he intended for us to care for our families. So of course this thought process brought me to the mother of all mothers. The wife of all wives. This amazing proverbial women in the Bible that we all as Christian women look to for a Godly example of what a woman should be. This perfect example we know as the Proverbs 31 women.
From the 31st passage of Proverbs we learn that a we should be hard working and productive and caring for her family is a high priority. It doesn't seem that her diligent efforts in or outside the home are ever at the expense of her ability to love and care for her husband and children.
"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." Proverbs 31:28
We also see in the book of Titus that older women are to teach younger women to love their husbands and children. So there is a theme here that we should care for our husbands and children but does that mean that we cannot work outside of the home? Well I try not to make a habit of speaking for God but I don't believe that to be true. I don't believe God wants us all to be stay at home moms or moms who work outside the home. He wants us to be good moms. Moms who love their family enough to put them first and putting your family first looks different in different homes.
Let me offer you this. Don't let anyone put you down or make you feel like less of a contribution to society because your a stay at home mom. Caring for your children full time is a high calling. You are teaching and nurturing the next generation twenty four hours a day and in turn shaping the future in a way that only you can, because you children have a role to play in this world that only they can.
Likewise, do not allow anyone to tell you that because you work outside of the home you are not caring for your family. Perhaps you have a God given talent or skill set that takes you outside of your home to work. Or maybe your family needs the income of two salaries, or maybe you are simply a better mom when you work because you come home to your children refreshed and eager to spend time with them at the end of each day. Whatever the reason, know that you can still be a loving, caring, involved mom and work outside of the home.
I wasn't able to find anywhere in scripture a place where women are forbidden to work outside of the home (feel free to let me know if you do) therefore I can only believe that God's plan for us is simply for us to be great moms who love our kids and put our families first. You are the only mother you children have and they should be your first priority but I believe that can be done different ways. For some moms making their kids first priority means being at home from sun up to sun down and for others it means making sure there is food on the table.
Fortunately now (2 1/2 years later) I work exclusively from home and my boys are with me all day so the anxieties about daycare have subsided and God has given me the deepest desire of my heart. My prayer for you is that you never find condemnation within this decision but only the contentment that comes with using wisdom to make the best choices possible for your family.
What about you? Are you a stay at home mom, work at home mom, or a mom who works outside of the home? I would love to hear from you in the comments!