A picture is worth a thousand words. What does a stay-at-home wife & mother look like? Is she, as has recently been declared on Good Morning America's, Mommy Wars, "letting the team down"? Attorney Linda Hirshmann, quoted in the GMA series, excoriates America's stay-at-home moms:
"A good life for humans includes the classical standard of using one's
capacities for speech and reason in a prudent way, the liberal requirement of
having enough autonomy to direct one's own life, and the utilitarian test of
doing more good than harm in the world. Measured against these time-tested
standards, the expensively educated, upper-class moms will be leading lesser
Let me introduce you to a few of these "lesser lives". Meet Lucy. Leaving a career in banking, Lucy has become a stay-at-home mother of five. Currently, she not only educates her own children at home, but is also heavily involved with mentoring young, single mothers and women in crisis pregnancies. She is actively involved in local politics as a campaign volunteer and as a precinct captain. Lucy is one of the organizers of a homeschool support group and educational coop in rural Colorado. Lucy's eldest daughters are in high school, running their high school cooperative's newspaper and maintaining its website, respected members of their speech and debate team, following in their mother's footsteps.
Mother-Lode: Did you purpose to become a mother? Why or why not?
When I was working at my first “real” job out of college, as a municipal bond clearance clerk for a large bank, I listened to two women who were in positions of authority over me talking about their families. One of them was a VP of this bank, and when I heard her say that she could not stand to stay home with her children, I realized that there was something more difficult than being the VP of a bank. As an aspiring college grad, I had thought I would go for the toughest job out there, maybe Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, or something. Then I latched onto this concept that mothering was even more difficult than banking, and I wanted to go for it.
Mother-Lode: When and how did you begin to prepare yourself for this life's work?
I believe that God began preparing me for this job at a very early age. One summer when I was about eleven years old, I was asked to babysit all day every day for a single mom with two little boys. I was not a very good “substitute mommy” then; it might have helped if I had look at my responsibility that way, but I was still very young myself. After that I babysat every summer for single moms who needed help, until I turned sixteen and began working as a page at the local library. The babysitting pay wasn’t great, but I certainly learned a lot!
At about that same time, I began working on a bus route with our church, welcoming the kids onto the bus, leading the singing on the bus to help keep the kids occupied, and helping to maintain order. I certainly had no wild dreams then of becoming a mother, I was still just a little-bit-more-grown-up-kid myself, but God used the experience of dealing with small ones to equip me for the future.
God also led me to my husband of 18 years, Tom, and has been teaching me how to work under his authority, honor and serve him in my primary role as wife. God also gave Tom a real love of young people, as well as a heart for teaching and homeschooling.
Mother-Lode: In the course of your work as a mother, what kinds of things have you done?
Wow-- I might more easily answer the question what haven’t I done? At first my role was more that of physical provider for my small ones: I carried, nursed, spoon-fed, bathed, clothed, and sang to them. Then as they grew older I also taught, nurtured, discipled and disciplined them.
Besides my time with my little ones, I found it really important for me to stay connected with the adult world. I participated in a Great Books reading program with our local library, served on the Board of Directors at a local Christian day-school, played the piano accompaniment for our local church worship, served as leader of our women’s church group, and taught homeschool co-op classes. I helped two county commissioners run for office and be elected, and continue to be active in the political arena as a precinct chairman.
Recently we have started a homeschool support group for the booming area of Falcon, Colorado. Currently I teach piano lessons and serve as Kid’s Church co-ordinator for our local church. I also serve as a volunteer LifeSteps coach for our local pregnancy center, where I counsel and help equip young moms to be ready for the high calling of mothering their young ones, and help dispense material goods to enable them in that job. I have been blessed in the short period of time I have been doing this to personally guide two young girls as they accepted Jesus into their hearts as Lord of their lives. This, as well as hearing my own children profess Christ and begin to walk in His light, is truly THE most fulfilling work of my life.
Mother-Lode: How have you dealt with the feminists' view that a career is all-important for the full development of women, and with the pull of careerism in your own life?
I have observed that there is no more demanding or fulfilling job in the world than that of parenting. In what other capacity do you spend 24 hours 7 days a week impacting future generations for Christ? God has cemented in my mind the high calling, not accidental happening, of my roles as wife and mother. I have been given immense freedom by God and by my husband to exercise my God-given abilities within our home and our community, to try things, to fail sometimes and to succeed at others, but to continue to strive to please God and to glorify Him, with the promise of a “well done, thou good and faithful servant” when my work on earth is completed.
Mother-Lode: How would you advise a young woman about to graduate from high school?
God does not immediately call all young women to serve as wives and mothers, and some never receive that call. God does, however, long for the heart of each person He has created to turn to Him. His desire is for a personal relationship with each of His creatures. He has created each young lady with unique gifts that she can exercise both inside and outside the home. Seeking God’s face, listening to His heart, responding to His moving, obeying His direction--these all need to be facets of a young lady’s life, in order to be ready for whatever God has in store for the future for her. She needs to be able to say as Mary did “Be it unto me according to thy will.” Rather than pining away for a place where God has not put her, she needs to anchor herself in Her Savior and the calling He has for her now, and ready herself for the work He has for her today, resting assured that He will use today’s job for His own honor and glory in the future.
Mother-Lode: What have been the returns of your labors as a mother?
I begin to see my young people, although imperfect like me, beginning to acquire a hunger and thirst for righteousness. I watch them take up arms against Satan and his insidious designs, and do battle against sin and spiritual darkness. I begin to have other people observe to me that our kids are a delight and a joy to be with, and I rejoice in the work of God in their lives. I begin to trust them more as I see their hearts to do right and serve God.
Mother-Lode: If you had it to do over again, would you make the choice to be a professional mother?
Without a doubt I would.