Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Stay-At-Home Mom Regrets?"

I got a link to this article a couple of days ago and finally got around to reading it. It was written about a woman who chose to quit her job fourteen years ago to stay home with her 2 young boys. Her advice to mothers who may be considering doing the same... "Don't do it!"

I was completely blown away by this article. I know there is a lot of advice out there on both sides, but I guess I had never heard a woman who chose to stay home now so adamantly against it. Her reason for this opinion? Money. She is now on her own, her children almost grown and she is unable to return to the workplace and a job she once had.

My heart goes out to this woman, it really does. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be put in that situation. The worry. The fear. The uncertainty. But, I do not agree with her point of view, not even a tiny little bit!

There are two articles about this, one from the woman herself which can be found HERE and one from another woman who quotes and comments on the previous article. You can find that one HERE

I think the saddest part for me is how this woman is influencing other woman to continue working. I do understand that as a writer you hope that what you say will have an effect on those who read it so in that respect she is doing a wonderful job. It is however, the effect that concerns me. The woman who wrote the second article admitted that "Even though I’m a full-time working mom, I harbor fantasies of scaling back as my kids get older. Maybe going part-time, or just freelancing. I could still do the work I love, but also pick my kids up from school, supervise homework time, take them to swimming lessons." She goes on to say "Would this make me just like the proverbial grasshopper, whiling away the hours while the industrious ants prepare for winter? I think Read would say yes. Of course time with my girls is priceless, but maybe I should keep limiting it to before work, after work, and weekends."

The last part of that stopped me in my tracts and I haven't been able to get it off my mind since reading it. Is that what children are viewed as in this world now? Simply something to fill your left over hours? As a stay-at-home mother myself my heart is completely saddened by this article and this view of children and the importance of raising them.

I understand the pressure mothers feel to be it all and to have it all. I understand having a passion for a job and a desire to do that job. What I don't understand is having more of a passion and desire for that job than for your children. I also understand woman who financially have to work, times are hard right now and it can be very challenging to live on one income. Believe me, I do understand that! But I do not understand the view that a job and an income are more important in the long run than raising your children.

This was a hard post to write because I have very good friends that have children and have chosen work outside of their home. I do not want to offend them or anyone else in any way! I do believe that staying home to raise your children is the best choice, but I understand that this choice isn't always available for each family. I guess the point of this post is to present the other side of this argument. I believe that the absolute best thing you can do for your children as a mother is stay home to raise them. There is no doubt in my mind about this. Unless there is abuse in the home, I don't believe there is a situation that the child would be better off in a daycare rather than with their mother. I believe a great disservice has been done to both mothers and children by pushing women back into the work place. I also believe that we have seen and will continue to see the ill effects of this on the generations to come.

I feel that it's time for woman to start taking pride in their role as mother, wife and homemaker! I don't think I am missing out on anything by staying home with my children. Quite the opposite in fact, as I am blessed beyond words everyday as my children fill all of my hours, not simply after work hours. The thought of not having these precious moments day in and day out with my children breaks my heart.

As I said before, it's not always easy and it's not always possible but I encourage mothers to reevaluate their situation and see if it might be possible to stay home. I do believe it is the best choice for your children and I understand that it can and will take some major sacrifice. But after all, isn't sacrifice what parenting is all about? Just some food for thought...

This post is linked to the Raising Homemakers link up, the Women Living Well link up and the Titus 2 link up.


Steph. said...

Since I love coffee, the coffee house idea is wonderful! :)

I have worked part-time outside of the home in a professional career since my first son was born. I did have the luxury of staying home a full year with each baby before going back in part-time, though.

This is such a hard topic for me, because my heart is at home and has been since having the kids. However, my working has blessed my family financially and has been my husband's desire so I have honored that. Since I work school hours, I am home a lot and my boys are teenagers now....but if I could do it over, I would have stayed at home full-time or worked even less.

Becky Holmes said...

I just found your blog post linked up from AWWBH...and I loved that you commented on this. I am a corporate working mom, who is going to quit this year to stay home with children. We have baby #2 on the way, and I can imagine no greater joy than to be able to be the mother, wife and woman that the Lord wants me to be. He has changed my heart so much, that he is leading me through it and even though I have fears, they are nothing compared to the reward. I do still do Interior Design on the side, but AFTER the schedule of my husband and children. A great outlet, but they need me first and if there is no time left after, then the other things can just wait :)

Jamie Meyer said...

Thank you for both for stopping by, I hope y'all enjoyed it!

This really is such a hard topic to discuss because I would never want to hurt a mother over her choice to work outside the home, especially in a situation where it can not be helped. I just could not get this off my heart after reading those articles. Every situation is different and I do understand that this does not work for every family. It's just hard to see the role of "Stay-at-home mom" looked down on and discouraged so often.

Becky, I also have to say how proud I am and happy for you in your decision! It is such a wonderful opportunity to be able to stay home and i'm thrilled that you're going to get this chance. That's not to say it's not without it's challenges, but it is the most rewarding life I can imagine! Praying for you as you and your family start on this journey! :o)

Anonymous said...

I love that you told the truth in such a gracious spirit.

Kristi said...

I came over from raising Homemakers!

Most of what I have to say is amen, amen, and amen! This is a topic that has become SO close to my heart in recent months. In fact on my website I did a series on if it was in fact a sin to work outside of the home.(

The fact is, that it is not necessarily a sin issue, but it sure could be. If we take all the arguments on both sides of the issue and unpack them, when you get to the bottom, likely one side will be focused on "me" and one side will be focused on God. The enemy is a proficient liar, and we have swallowed the lie, hook line and sinker. But when we unpack the lie, we will most often realize that we make decisions based on what is best for ME-- what will fulfill ME--or what will make ME happy.

All of which put ourselves in the class of an idol. There's a lot of grey area of course, which is what makes it complicated.


Missy O'Brien said...

Great post! I too am a stay at home mom to my three babies and have been for 8 years now! I quit working when my first was born and have NO regrets whatsoever!!!! I think the largest component in choosing to stay at home and having no regrets... is the Lord. If you choose to do it without the guidance of God... I can easily see how your flesh would begin finding regrets and focusing on the sacrifices rather than the blessings and service you are doing! I was not a believer when I first quit my job and had my son... I became one 9 months after he was born and BOY did it change my heart and focus as a stay at home mom! I had the desire to stay home even before I knew the Lord... but after I built a relationship with Jesus.... my desire to serve Him through caring for my family allowed me to let go of all the selfish desires and expectations!!!

Thank you for sharing!!!!


Jamie Meyer said...

Thank you all for visiting, I love all the comments! :o)

I was very nervous about sharing this post because I did not want to offend in the least. All the comments have made me feel much better and I have to say, you each brought up some excellent points that I had left out! Thank you all very much!

cheryl said...

I found you through the Raising Homemakers link up.

Thank you for sharing! I am a SAHM of 3 and I feel that it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. And I am thankful that God has blessed us in that way.

And I agree with you, Jamie. It breaks my heart that there are the so called "mommy wars." The stay at home moms vs. the working moms. While, I do feel that choosing to raise your own children at home is the better choice, I think we have to be careful to not judge those that don't.

I am proud of my role as a homemaker and I want to pass that down to my girls. I want to teach them the things I didn't learn, like sewing, how to clean the windows, etc. While I learned a few things, I was not raised with being a homemaker in mind. I am thankful for the Lord's leading in my life, as a very young girl and have always desired to stay home and be a mom.

I am glad I found you. Feel free to stop on over at my blog:

Oh and I LOVE coffee. ;)