Generation Cedar

Jess in Peru sent me this interesting article peppered with sadness as well as pleasant reflections. And as always, blessings often come in disguise:

“Lucas and other laid-off women like her are involuntarily experiencing the life of a stay-at-home mom, and they are getting to know a lot more about the details of their children’s daily existence. They are also discovering some of the things they have been missing.”

“…when she (Lucas) went to the pediatrician’s office, the nurses were so used to seeing the nanny that they didn’t recognize Lucas.”

“After years in which her husband was the main caregiver, she is finding the time off with her children to be an unexpected blessing.”

But unfortunately, the blessing of being home isn’t enough to most…

“I can’t say I’ve seen any mothers who see being laid off as a positive thing,” says Jessica Polsky, a career counselor at New York’s Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. “Even if it’s $10 an hour that they made, it’s something, and they really needed it. They need to get out and get new jobs.”


“She also learned something from her brief experience being laid off: Financial pressures aside, she prefers working.” (emphasis mine)

This commentary–and I hear it all the time–is sad to me because it encapsulates a common mentality…”What I WANT to do is really all that matters.” There is often no real thought about what is best for my children and family…about sacrificing my desires for the good of someone else. (Disclaimer: A general mentality, not the one of every mother.) And it’s so easy to camouflage our wants behind the facade of necessity.

In an effort to be sensitive to real financial pressures (of which I know much), there are still almost ALWAYS alternatives to the financial crunch. (The first of which is living on less.)

The real issue, I think, is that at the core, we think it doesn’t really matter either way. That if a woman wants to be home with her family, great. If she doesn’t, no harm done. (This is our hard-fought freedom, right?) In the name of choice we have come to see motherhood as a peripheral activity, children as options to raise, despite so much evidence that families thrive when Mom is home. Motherhood ceases to even be considered a profession, much less a preferred one.
Despite all the criticism I get for my stance on this issue, it’s not about my trying to exert “an old-fashioned ideal” over women; it’s about urging us to think about what is best for the family, for our children, for society. It’s about caring for women. Urging them to understand that home is not a prison, but a haven through which the world is changed. If it ever sinks in how important raising our children is, we would sacrifice almost anything to do it.
Yes, I know, there are rare instances when a mom has to work outside the home. But I’m addressing the attitude of “optional child-rearing” here.
I think of an analogy…suppose you were hired as an ICU nurse. But, you felt stifled in those tiny rooms, despite the fact your patients needed your constant care. So, after a strike, the nurses in your unit gained the freedom to take a second job in addition to their ICU position. They still had to come check in a couple times a day, but they were now free to go find a more exciting job.
Goody. The nurses have been freed. But what about their patients?
The truth hasn’t changed…when the family suffers, we all suffer. The voice of feminism says, in essence, “we don’t care about the consequences…we only care about ourselves–our rights–our freedoms.” It is cloaked in good intentions–“Fighting for the rights of women”–when all the while, the children are the ones who have suffered from our “freedom”. And that’s no small thing. Those same children are becoming who we are as a nation.
May the Lord use this difficult economic time to remind us of the most important things.

Full article New Job: Stay at Home Motherhood



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53 Responses

  1. This is great, Kelly! I love these topics. It is SO true and something that I think women need to be reminded of.

  2. I must admit – I am hoping to be laid off so I can be a homemaker. I am working out of submission to my husband but against my wishes. I long to be home. Desperately.

    If anyone wonders during days of changing diapers and never talking to an adult is better – please read this post from my blog:

    It isn’t better here on the career side. I am torn in so many pieces that I am usually exhausted.

    If you are a fulltime homemaker, please, thank God right now.

  3. What a sad commentary on our country. I really like your nurse illustration. Whatever happened to mother love and wanting what was best for the child?

  4. I thought my mother was a better mother because she worked at a job she loved – she was more engaged with me, she was happier, and I learned from her courage and empathy and ability to navigate the world. I’m not insisting that every woman should work – I’m just saying that it isn’t necessarily best for everyone if a mother is deeply unhappy – whether she “should” be or not.

    This is not “one size fits all” idea in my opinion. Women should find a path that works for them and their family.

  5. Mother of Dog: Your comment made me think about my step-mother, whom raised me, and how working outside of the home was “good for her” as well. However, I remember loving when she could be home with us (summer time for an educator) for summers, long-weekends and holidays. I always craved that my step-mom would stay home because it was best for ME as a child – not because it was best for her. I even noticed early on in life (10ish) how much better this made my life on every level. Even if “she” was happier working, I was happier having her home (and that’s a strange thing to say given the dynamics of our relationship). Anyway, This single-handedly made me decide that I would never work outside of the home when I had small children because I didn’t want them to feel that my happiness or sense of fulfilment came 1., from outside of the home or 2, was more important than them. Although staying at home had NEVER been modeled for me in any way, shape or form, my natural instinct craved this for myself and for my future children as well.

    Thanks for your comments. It just spurred my thinking.

    Jess in Peru (expecting number 5)

    GREAT blog Kelly. Thank you SO much!

  6. I meant to say I will not work outside of the home while I have children in the home (not just when they are small). 🙂


  7. “And it’s so easy to camouflage our wants behind the facade of necessity.
    .. there are still almost ALWAYS alternatives to the financial crunch. (The first of which is living on less.)”

    I tracked my savings last year since I began couponing and living more frugally. I saved over $10,000! That’s the cost of one years groceries for all of us. I consider it my job.

    By the time you tack on child care expenses, business wardrobes, not from scratch meals, a second vehicle, etc…. for most people you’re paying to go to work and get away from your home.

  8. Excellent post – very well said. Loved your analogy to the ICU nurses .
    I always look forward to your posts. You speak the truth very boldly and clearly.
    Thank you.
    In His love,

  9. Again, while this might look true, its always the motivation that gets judged. The intent.

    I have talked to many moms who work outside the home, and many of them do not want to do it. Neither do I think feminists say,” The voice of feminism says, in essence, “we don’t care about the consequences…we only care about ourselves–our rights–our freedoms.” The spirit of extreme feminism (illustrated here)isnt really about feminism anyway. People who ‘really dont care’ are all over th eplace, not just feminists. Many feminists DO care. I am out and about everyday and rarely do I find that the women I meet are submerged in entitlement and feminism. Paradoxically, many homeschoolers/conservatives ive met view their children and family as a project, of which to strive for perfection. No different than feminism.

    That being said, YES it has been beneficial for me to be home and YES I do love it. I do know working moms too however that manage to do a good job of nurturing their children in spite of the hours they work. Not as many moms are really working 40+ hours either, least not the ones I conversate with. I think its important that while I recognize their once was an ideal, the world is revolving and things change. And I dont mean that in the way it will probably be taken…but oh well.

    I am going to school part time this summer. I do not think this is a bad or evil thing. I am not doing it with motive that i must work, or have a career. I dont know if i will ever work! BUT I desire to go to school, it is a burning passion, I dont feel I dont care or that im signing up to ignore my kids. I spent a lot of time in life doing nothing at all…NOTHING, except caring for people. Now while caring for people is not bad, a person was designed also at some point in life, to have hobbies, talents, etc. No matter what I end up doing, it will always be to help people, encourage them, etc. The fact that I am going to school to further that purpose, isnt the point, to me. I just spent my night last night helping 3 moms by taking in 5 extra children. I DONT MIND, I loved having them here. I gave them all showers/baths too. I love helping. I even finished 2 art projects and had a nice conversation with my oldest and her friend. Never have I felt that, “all i do is stay home with kids….” I LOVE it.

    I dont know what part of the country everyone lives, but as the world turns….it changes…or people change….or the ‘culture’. Nonetheless…I know a few families who are in danger of losing their 1500 square foot homes….no work for dad, so mom is trying to take a part time job. I know a few families who have 4 and 5 kids and are down to one vehicle, so I trust they are doing the best they can.

    There are so many scenarios as to why a woman works outside the home. I think the way God works in peoples lives is complex, and we cant begin to know for certain that these people just dont care.

  10. “Neither do I think feminists say,” The voice of feminism says, in essence, “we don’t care about the consequences…we only care about ourselves–our rights–our freedoms.” The spirit of extreme feminism (illustrated here)isnt really about feminism anyway.”

    Well said, Authenticallyme. I’m not going to say any more except that there are some odd ideas out there about what feminism is…anyway. Phamiallyofsix, I appreciate that that was YOUR experience. But it wasn’t mine. I didn’t miss my mother when she was working, I knew she was there for me. I was happier because she was happier – and I loved what she brought back from the world to the house.

    Hey, I’m not a big fan of giving kids to nannies to raise. But having a life outside the home -whether because one needs to support the family or one needs to feel purposeful in a different way does not – in my opinion – equal bad mothering or tragic results. I had the very best mother in the world, but she was more than that. She was a person in her own right, with her own needs, and I loved her for it.

  11. I really like how you put this, Kelly. The ICU nurse analogy makes a lot of sense to me. Children really ARE better off with their mothers at home. Our society needs to be honest about that.

  12. Kelly,
    Sure enjoy your blog. Hope you’re doing well.

    Dealing with the nuts and bolts of everyday living and running a household uses a multitude of god-given talents that we are to cultivate in our homes. We become an executive of this establishment.

    If women remained in their homes to be full time homemakers, keepers of the home, wives and mothers with husbands that brought home the bacon (sort of speak)would this stimulate an atmosphere of Blessings from God’s Point of View?

    I believe that it does.

    (I am fully aware that there are situations where women must be the ones to bring home the bacon and to those I am not addressing.)

    Just as some women don’t want to be keepers of the home…there are a multitude of men that want to be taken care of by their wives and be rebellious against their role as spiritual leader to their family, come against being a husband to their wife and against being a father to their children.

    They’d rather be worse than a infidel.

  13. I noticed something else in the article that runs parallel to the selfish mentality I pointed out.

    In the “blessing of being home” as described by these moms, they all spoke about how it had affected THEM. How they liked it or disliked it, how much fun THEY had, or how THEY were glad to be a part of this or that.

    Not a word about the benefits they felt it was to their children.

    This is the mentality I’m addressing. And yes, it’s the VOICE of feminism, not any particular woman, but the underlying attitude we’ve all been affected by. Some aren’t even aware.

    It’s not saying these women are mean, hostile or uncaring…but they have been told that raising the children to whom they gave birth is an option with little consequence.

    I believe that to be a lie and I don’t wish to demean individual women, rather, the deceptive attitude that has infected them.

  14. The only reason *I* said how it affected *me* was because *I* and *women like me* AND *our* motives are then ones being addressed*, at least in spirit.

    It goes without saying that I am there because of my children. That is the *whole* reason. Thinking im caught in my own words….means nothing. I simply was answering on a defensive.

    One could easily ask my children if they think mom cares for them and their utmost well being. Lucky for me, God gets to decide, and know my heart. Words on a message board cant read the depths of a heart.

    I am aware of the underlying mentality running around, but I do not fear it. I already feel solid in where I stand (for once) and will not let fear of this that and everything else move me or have me questioning myself incessantly.

  15. I love how the book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God addresses “the Me-ism” (Chapter 2 -You Mean It’s Not All About Me?) in motherhood and womanhood. Are we dying to self or living for self? Once we have children it’s not about “us” anymore. It’s about them. I truly believe this and I think my children will be better off for it. I have a BURNING PASSION to run marathons. Forunately, I have ran 3 in the past 5 years, but would LOVE to be constantly training for one, running them whenever I can and setting Personal Records for myself. However, it is ALL consuming to train for a marathon. This is my passion. But it is a passion that I must let die right now because the needs of my children far outweigh, my desires and passions. The time it takes away from training them, loving them, guiding them, schooling them, spending time with them and not to mention car-pooling them around, does not allow me to chase, continually, my marathon dreams. But in another season of life I will be able to do so. But for now, my focus and heart is not on “ME” it is on them. And by no means do we have a child-centered home. We have an available mom who is “socializing” her children instead of letting others do it. And God knows I fail often. I was just thinking today how much I fail. But then God reminded me, “Yes, but you are available and you are shaping their hearts simply by being available.”
    I think if we can get rid of the “me-ism” our society would be better off in general. If you get a chance, check out Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. It is convicting, inspiring and encouraging ALL IN ONE!!!

  16. phamilyof6,

    Heartily agreed.

    I think what weighs so heavy on my heart about this issue is the fear we have about saying A is better than B, or vice versa.

    If one only needed physical, statistical proof that it is indeed BETTER for Mom to be at home if at all possible with her children, it abounds. And yet we sill tip toe around that fact, afraid of hurting people’s feelings.

    Like Bethany said, we need to be honest about reality! In reality, mothers work. In the same reality, it is best if she doesn’t. Why can’t we just say it? If she has to work, we should rally behind her and help her figure out a way to come home.

    In reality, I’m warmer with a coat on. I don’t avoid saying that to keep the coatless people from having their feelings hurt??? I just try to find them coats!

    Sensitivity is important, and so is just saying the plain truth out loud.

    Sorry for the rant.

  17. I would like to bring up a point from a little different spin. Not to win any arguments or anything but just to see if anyone experienced what I did as a child.

    When your mother works full time, obviously you are either in daycare or school (or some other care-giver).
    I remember feeling quite a bit of emptiness & loneliness when

    #1 someone else always took me to school
    #2 no one was ever available for mommy things (room mother, birthday parties, etc) like the other moms were
    #3 my mom wasn't home when I got home from school
    #4 when I was sick, I either just had to stay at school or some relative had to come and get me
    #5 not much help with homework, bc she came home after 6 and had to do supper

    I was a lonely child. 🙁

    In the end, it was my normal care-giver I drew close to…

    Today my mother and I talk but I still feel a sort of, well, wall. I hold my emotions back from her, but to this day I feel more open with my caregiver (a relative).

    Today I am full time stay at home, homeschooling mom and we have very little in the way of "stuff" but we are rich beyond measure when it comes to family. We sacrifice a LOT of "things" for this but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

  18. I don’t think that this post is referring to mothers who wish they could stay home as feminist. Those women are non-feminist at heart. Let us not get twisted, it IS a fact that what true feminism teaches is destructive to the home.

    If a mother is a happier when she works outside of the home, we have to question why. What message does this send to her children? I think it is safe to say that one who was raised in a home without a full-time mom has never experienced the benefit of a home where the mother focuses her love and desires full-time. When I say “home” this means those who live with in the family, husband included. The full-time mom is also a full-time wife which is a compounded blessing for the children. They are encouraged when they see a mother who is wholly devoted to, and works only for their Dad.

  19. When I was a little girl, my dad had to travel a long way for work; it was too far to commute, and he was usually away for most of the week. Then later, when we moved to be closer to work, he’d still work strange hours, coming home after my brother and I were in bed, and sleeping in until after we had left for school.

    I would have loved for my dad to have stayed at home. I was as selfish as any child – all I wanted was for my parents to be with me, attentive to me, all the time. It might even have been better for me: the evidence suggests that kids do well when they’re surrounded by people who love them. But not everything in childhood is or can be optimal; parents have to do their best to reach the ideal and sometimes they have to come at it sideways – if mother stays at home and is bored, resentful, lonely and miserable, is that still better than a mother who works and is better able to fulfil her children’s needs when she gets home?

    Here’s the thing. The ICU nurses aren’t allowed to leave the ICU. Their patients need care all the time. But the ICU doctors already come and go between this job and their real job. The nurses have to keep things running smoothly – keep the patients quiet when the doctor is tired, keep the wards looking tidy so the doctor doesn’t have to worry about that when he comes back from his real job. No real reason for it – the nurses are just as qualified, capable, intelligent and hardworking as the doctors, sometimes even more so. But if the ICU nurses decide they’d like to do what the doctors have been doing all along, they get accused of selfishly putting their wishes before the patients’ needs.

    Meanwhile, the doctors are never asked to choose between the ICU and their real jobs. This is the way it’s always been done. As long as they pop in from time to time, do the occasional surgery, no one thinks they’re failing their patients. No one seems to wonder how the patients can build a good relationship with a doctor they hardly see, whose real job often makes him too tired to deal with them when he is there, and who considers the ICU to be someone else’s problem. Still, he gets to see the fun side of the patients – their welcoming, appreciative smiles when he pokes his head round the door, their gratifying progress from sick to healthy. He doesn’t have to empty the bedpans. When the patients do well, everyone congratulates him. When the patients do badly, everyone wonders where the nurses were.

    Seems to me, this is more about keeping the doctor happy than looking after the patients.

    In serious danger of overextending the analogy here, but can you see my point?

  20. “But not everything in childhood is or can be optimal; parents have to do their best to reach the ideal and sometimes they have to come at it sideways – if mother stays at home and is bored, resentful, lonely and miserable, is that still better than a mother who works and is better able to fulfil her children’s needs when she gets home?”

    So well put, Elizabeth. Exactly my point. What about that doctor, anyway? 😉 I also think the whole “you should feel this way because this is what God wants” is a deeply twisted message and is particularly harmful to everyone.

    Misty, I appreciate that you disagree – but you cannot change my experience to suit your opinion. I DID experience both: my mother was at times a full time homemaker. However, I once again submit that we were ALL happier when she was not.

    That is simply fact. So you cannot conclude that what is good for some is good for all. People are complicated. Lives are not quite that simple.

  21. Elizabeth,

    I think your comment confirms several points I was trying to make in the post…

    You asked,

    ***if mother stays at home and is bored, resentful, lonely and miserable, is that still better than a mother who works and is better able to fulfil her children’s needs when she gets home?***

    I submit that a mother who feels this way mostly does so because of her feminist indoctrination (though it may not be recognized as that) and is, again thinking of HER happiness and not her children’s. From a Christian standpoint, it has nothing to do with how I *feel*, but what I perceive God has called me to do for the good of my family.

    It’s similar to saying, “I know I should feed my children, but I hate to cook, so they’ll be OK.” When I embrace the importance of doing what is best for those around me, I am consequently fulfilled.

    It’s all in the state of mind and heart. Again, this is the base line for how Christians should operate. I can’t really speak for those outside the faith, though many have found that the principle holds true for them too.

    Then, you drew the analogy of nurse/doctor to wife/husband.

    Again, from my (Christian) perspective, the ICU unit works well because there are clearly defined, equally important roles, just as there should be in marriage.

    As long as the nurse sees the importance of her job, she shouldn’t be comparing her fulfillment or level of praise to the doctors.

    Ideally, I do lean toward more of a family business situation where Dad gets to be home more, but all that aside, mother was assigned (by her Creator) the role of caretaker.

    I can throw a fit at this arrangement, rebel and do things the way I think they should be done, or I can acknowledge that the Creator knows the best design for the best outcome and joyfully follow that design.

    Husbands and wives are not to compete–for anything. They assist each other, with their distinct roles, and it’s a beautiful thing when that is understood and lived out.

    We (I mean collectively) have got to come to the place where we stop hating the word “roles”.

  22. “I submit that a mother who feels this way mostly does so because of her feminist indoctrination (though it may not be recognized as that) and is, again thinking of HER happiness and not her children’s.”

    Again Kelly – not true across the board. My mother had no “Feminist Indoctrination” as you put it. She was European and not subject to the winds of American temperament. And she was a fantastic mother that put US first at all times. However, she was also a person. She wasn’t a machine, feeling the way she was supposed to feel at all times. It was possible for her to find personal happiness and so become a better mother. I realize you find it difficult to believe this, but it’s true. I adored her. So did my sister. I didn’t feel ignored or neglected in any way whatsoever. (In fact she was on my case quite a bit – but that’s another story.)

    Not every child has the exact same feelings and demands. And roles is not a bad word at all – however I fail to see how gender assignment covers all of them! 😉

  23. I believe it is a good thing for both mothers and children when Mom works outside the home, trains for marathons, or otherwise pursues her own interests outside the needs for her children.

    I experienced the negatives of being raised by a stay-at-home mom. There was a lot of pressure in being the center of mother’s universe. There was also the worry that I would have to follow in her footsteps when I got older, and never have the opportunity to do other things. My mother staying-at-home also meant that she had less power in her relationship with my father — which led to an oppressive home environment where my father called the shots.

    While I certainly loved having my mother around, ultimately, I would certainly have been happier and better off if she had her own job, if she had modelled the potential ways women can serve the larger community and wield power, if she had had more leverage in her relationship with my father, and if she had other outlets besides her caretaking role.

    I think working mothers are to be admired. They work VERY hard. They do important work that has value. They teach their children about the value of hard work and engagement with the world. They provide for their families. They show their daughters all the options there in life. And they do it all in the face of constant questioning of their motives and supposed “selfishness.”

  24. Kelly, can I gently point out that you tend to say this sort of thing a lot:

    “Again, this is the base line for how Christians should operate.”

    You say this about homosexuality and women being home and on and on. But I note that there are many Biblical mandates you ignore. Among them:

    “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.” (Leviticus 25:44-45)

    or how about this:

    “For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.” (Leviticus 20:9)

    Yes, I’ve heard it said that some Christians only feel you should obey the New Testament. Does that mean that God made some mistakes in the Old Testament?

    Yes, very puzzling how you see fit to impart the “rules!” 😉

    I also admire working mothers for all those reasons.

  25. I have often wondered what it is about truth that upsets people. I have a blog of my own and have been critized for things I have written on it and I think to myself “Is what I said just an absolute lie?”. Then I think “No, I wrote the truth and the truth hurts sometimes because we want to believe the “I’m o.k. you’re o.k.” rule of Humanism.
    The way I see it, Adam was given a curse to work the land and Eve was give a curse to bear children laboriously. Why do women tend to want to take on both curses? I’m not talking about the ones who don’t want to work and do it out of submission to their husbands, but the ones that say, like my cousin once told me, “I’m a better mother when I’m not home with my kid all day”. I think Why? Because it is easier for her, that’s why. Bottom line.
    It is almost a slap in God’s face to say “I need to go fulfill myself with another role, because the one He has given me just isn’t good enough.” I know that seems harsh, but it is just the way I see things.
    When are we going to stop looking like the world and return to the Bible for our foundation?

  26. A few years back my husband was listening to a young married man with children fret over how much it was going to cost to have both of his children in day care. Most of his wife’s paycheck was for daycare expenses.

    My husband told him he knew a way to save money and pay no childcare…have your wife take care of the children herself in your own home.

    The man looked at my husband as if he had three heads. Huh? You mean you can actually do that?

    I can see where a “New Job for Laid-off Moms: Stay at Home Motherhood” could be a welcomed relief by being forced to make a huge change of pace by becoming a stay at home mom and managing their estate.

    The financial challenges are before them, even possibly no insurance, but creativity can bloom and used in full force. Basic Health Insurance policies can be bought outside of work, there’s Medi-Share and other forms of help that can be used.
    Living well below our means can be a way to achieve victory on the home front.
    Clothing swaps.
    Sewing own clothes.
    Library visits.
    Thrift Stores.
    Church Ministries in use.
    Food and clothing pantries.
    Cable off.
    Books read.
    Crafts created.
    Yardwork done.
    Toilets scrubbed.
    Stories told.
    Songs sung.
    Drawings created.
    Instruments learned.
    Paint your own nails.
    Visit shut-ins.
    Eat a salad.
    Wash the dishes.
    God can reveal to couples a new plan that will work for good.

    Feminism is one of the global movements that people sometimes embrace as a mind set to live by that has swirled around the planet. It has effected both genders and crept into places of employment, businesses, schools, churches, political places and homes.

    Dave Breese’s book ‘Seven Men That Rule the World from the Grave’ is good reading for Christians as well as non.

    We like sheep have gone astray?

  27. Ohh Kelly,
    I heard this story about a man who stood up in a congregation while eating an apple. Smacking his lips, not saying a word until the apple was ate.

    Finally he said, it’s not enough to just hold the apple and talk about it. You’ve gotta actually taste it and enjoy the fruit.

    Don’t you just love it when people who don’t have a personal relationship with the author of the Bible think they’re being cute quoting scriptures out of content?

    Do we call this a teachable moment or going on a field trip?

  28. Don’t you just love it when people who don’t have a personal relationship with the author of the Bible think they’re being cute quoting scriptures out of content?

    I just love it when you’re nasty, Deanna. It makes me go all warm and fuzzy inside. Could you do it some more? I just know that’s how Jesus would behave. 🙂 And I’m not sure you can show me “content” for slavery. Lol! Let’s face it, you all pick and choose what scripture is appropriate for you. Does your husband shave his beard? That isn’t right by God, is it? And yet you can’t bear it when different choices are made.

    And Amber, I’m not in the least upset by your “truth.” I’m just asking you to see that we aren’t talking truth, we’re talking about your belief system. It’s a fine one for you, and I respect it. It simply isn’t mine and it isn’t THE TRUTH. Life is so complex – I commend you for trying so very hard to simplify it.

  29. “Do we call this a teachable moment or going on a field trip?”

    I think we call this exactly what Gandhi meant when he said he’d be a Christian but for the Christians. 😉


  30. Way to go Mother of Dog,
    Field trip for sure!
    Lucky you, you won’t need a coat
    since you’re so warm and fuzzy on the inside. Thanks to me for being so nasteeeee. Are you sure you aren’t perimenopausal?

    What do you suppose Gandhi meant after he was asked whether he was Hindu and he replied: Yes I am.
    I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.
    Wikipedia him.
    In my opinion, I don’t think he knew what he was.

    Not sure which scripture you’re talking about concerning beards? Are you talking about Levitical Priest? My hubby isn’t one.

    Jesus wasn’t always quiet, meek and mild. Neither am I. It won’t be the Christians that send you to hell.

    Kelly, no more comments from me concerning this post.
    Respectfully yours,

  31. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 1 Timothy 3:11

    Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

    I’ve been sitting here grieving over the dialogue that I am reading. I feel that a sharp rebuke is in order for the participants of this post — at least those of you who are calling yourselves Christians. Those of you who are a part of this thread who are not Believers, may I extend a sincere apology for my sisters who have ignored Biblical truth with regards to their speech and language. Please do not be confused into thinking that this kind of discussion represents the truth of the Christian faith, as evidenced by the above Scriptrue. While we are called to be “light” to a “dark and dying” world as Christians, it is not through divisive, malicious, hateful interaction through posts such as these that any such light shows through. Nothing has been accomplished here except to tread on the person of Jesus Christ and all that He lived and died for. While I see that there is no issue with the topic of the post — nor would there have been issue with wholesome discussion about it — what came from this is truly shameful. To those of you who are Believers who have participated in the malicious slander here, search your hearts and cry out to God. THIS IS NOT what brings honor to our Lord Jesus!

    Sincerely, a concerned Sister.

  32. I am sorry that I found this post late, but I will comment anyway.

    Although I am not a mother, I have been laid off from my job as an Instructional Assistant with the elementary school that I am currently working for. My positions ends June 11, 2009, and my husband and I are so thankful that our prayer of me becoming a full-time homemaker is going to “come true,” soon (smiles). Who knows, maybe God will bless me with children in my “old age,” but either way, it’s far better to take care of your home and family first.

    Of course, my mother doesn’t share this view. She is determined for me to find another job so that I can “replace” the one I am loosing. It’s very sad and heart-wrenching, especially coming from my own mother. I just pray that she will understand how my husband and I feel about this important decision.

  33. MOD,

    Your question is a fair one..that is, why does it appear that we adhere to certain biblical principles and not others?

    A simplified version (and there is much that could be discussed from a theological standpoint), we take the whole counsel of Scripture and derive principles from that. If the Bible consistently teaches a principle that is not revoked, we take that principle to be one we are still instructed to live by.

    Conversely, many mandates were given under the law of Moses (such as the stoning of children that you mentioned.)

    When the new covenant took effect, the one of Christ and His redemptive work, we were no longer under the law of Moses. God didn’t “mess up”; He provided final sacrifice and did away with the old law that was necessary before the death of Christ. (There are still teachings/principles from the OT that we observe, but the ceremonial laws were done away with.)

    Slavery has been an area of interest for many. Obviously, we unanimously agree that slavery is not a good human institution. Interestingly, I heard a very intelligent African young lady expound her thoughts on this which she concluded: “The Bible doesn’t condemn slavery, only the mistreatment of slaves”.

    And lest I am misunderstood, I certainly don’t mean by that that I think slavery should still be practiced! But then again, using it as a comparison as to why we “obey some Scripture and not others” is a bad one. The ownership of slaves was permissible in Scripture, but not given as a command.

    So, a careful study of Scripture, what Scripture teaches as a whole and an understanding of what is given to us as directives for living is a must to understanding where the Christian is coming from.

    Hope that makes sense.

  34. If you’ve ever met a parent who deeply regrets not being there when her children were little you would RUN home to be with your children. Life is too short. I was there all the time with my oldest two children and they are both grown and gone. I have six beautiful children left in the nest and I have a great relationship with my grown children BUT I still have a pang in my heart that those years flew by so fast..BE THERE!

  35. I’ll pray for you, Deanna. 🙂

    Thanks, Kelly. I have to read that over a few times as my sense is that there is some waffling involved – but I appreciate your response.

  36. Anonymous,

    Nicely put about the arguing going on among those of us who claim Christ. I know God made women to be verbally inclined so I think it is hard for us to control ourselves sometimes, especially when our consciences have been violated. I apologize to anyone, I may have hurt with my words.

  37. “if mother stays at home and is bored, resentful, lonely…”

    Again, I respectfully ask, why do mothers feel this way?

    Let me bring is home, why did your mother feel this when with you?

    Kelly has already answered this, but would like to challenge those who are critical of her to give us understanding her.

  38. To my Sisters in Christ:

    With my question, I do not mean to be harsh. I have been wanting to ask it for some time now.

    If I am out of line, please… I invite rebuke.

    Thanks for the stimulating post. You truly are a word warrior so I suspect battles here are to be expected.

    Blessings to all!!

  39. I just have to respond to the issue of slavery. As another poster pointed out, slavery was not commanded, but allowed. Mistreatment of slaves was stictly forbidden.

    Many scholars believe “slavery” of the bible was similar to what we would call “employment” today. People voluntarily offered to work for others because they had no land, or means of supporting themselves. They would often work for and eventual “earn” their freedom. Now I’m sure all slavery at this time was not this way, but many believe that this is the type of “slavery” God was addressing with the Isrealites.

  40. “if mother stays at home and is bored, resentful, lonely…”

    Again, I respectfully ask, why do mothers feel this way?

    Let me bring is home, why did your mother feel this when with you?

    I think mothers feel this way because we were not designed to be home alone all day with young children. The isolated nuclear family is a relatively new phenomenon in human history. In the past, and in many other cultures today, there were extended communities involved in raising children, and Dad was closer at hand than in most families today.

    Your question seems to imply that we should feel bad at the thought of our mothers having these feelings when we were young. My mother was very loving, but she was quite about the fact that she missed working and she missed adult company during the day. As a kid, this made perfect sense to me. Kids are capable of understanding that their mothers are human beings with their own needs. And for the kids can’t understand this — maybe it would be good to learn it soon.

  41. King James Bible – regarding stoning…

    1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

  42. Yes Rachel and no one has outlawed Visa or Mastercard today either.
    Slavery still exists but it is regulated. We have a choice in the matter.

  43. Thanks for the answer. It exposes that your worldview is VERY different from mine which certainly explains our differences. Also, your vision for home is very gloomy compared to mine as well.

    Resentful? No, I am thankful.
    Bored? I am learning knew things everyday and my ability to be resourceful and creative is challenged daily too.
    Lonely? Especially, not in this day and age when transportation is at our disposal and they is sooo much to do and see.
    Isolated? You gotta be kidding me! I would feel isolated and trapped if I were required to live in the confinement of a j-o-b and I didn’t have the freedom to be available for my family on demand.

    I am not sure that I understand what the history of family dynamics has to do with leaving your children with a minimum wage worker for up to 40 hours per week, so you won’t be “bored, resentful of lonely”. As far as the Dad being home more, yes, this was true in some historical family situations, and is a real possibility in this day thanks for internet. A family business is a great solution for the family while it keeps everyone together and interacting with one another. We are currently working toward that.

    Thanks for your response, but I am still unsure that I follow you.

    I don’t mean to make anyone feel bad, but rather expose the truth of what adopting your children out for large quantities of time while you are trying to fulfill your “needs” does to the emotional well being of children.

    The truth is the feminism has left its mark on all of us to varying degrees. I am slowly revealed how its influence has misguided me.

    Again, thanks for your willingness and attempt at answering my question.

  44. Misty Smith,

    I like responding to questions like that.

    Based on my own experience, when my mother finally went back into the workforce, I was really proud of her. It never crossed my mind that my feelings should be hurt. I felt like it was something she was doing for me, as well as for herself.

    I think I will call my Elizabeth now, so I don’t get confused with other anonymous commenters.

  45. Eh, as long as everyone is throwing out personal stories as if they prove one way is right, my parents both worked full-time, I never spent a minute in daycare or after-school programs, and my father was probably home more than my mother (teacher in a public school – summers off, you know).

    It’s hard to read some of these comments because I feel it is being implied that if my mother had loved me more, she would have stayed home. I feel offended on behalf of my mother, who is an incredible, loving woman with a huge heart.

    I know no one said that outright, but it is hard to keep myself from taking it personally sometimes.

  46. Oh, Anon…

    I don’t know why your mom worked outside of the home. I am only addressing the one who said hers did because she wass resentful and bored.

    However, your being offended at the thought that I was implying your mom didn’t love you helps me make the point that it is degrading to children when you resent being with them and find them boring. Your a good daughter to stand up and claim that your mom loved you. I am sure that she did and if so, there was NO way she could have harbored resentment or boredom toward you!

    I am sorry if I offended you, I didn’t mean to, and I hope you will forgive me.

  47. “However, your being offended at the thought that I was implying your mom didn’t love you helps me make the point that it is degrading to children when you resent being with them and find them boring. Your a good daughter to stand up and claim that your mom loved you. I am sure that she did and if so, there was NO way she could have harbored resentment or boredom toward you!”

    Misty, I’m not sure I understand this. I love my dog. I chose to adopt her, and I love her to pieces. But sometimes I resent her. I want to go someplace, and I have to worry about my dog, what she’s going to do, if I can take her, bladda bladda. How is this any different from having kids? Sometimes, kids are boring, and admitting that doesn’t mean you love them any less or they are “degraded”. I found this article and the discussion incredibly interesting- I’ve been out of the workforce for several months, and I’m miserable. I don’t have kids, and being a full-time homemaker was never something I’ve wanted for myself. I’ve tried to find ways to make this time better for myself, but I’ve decided to take a position I KNOW I will hate, just because a boring job sounds profoundly better than being a homemaker. If you love being a homemaker, good for you. It just isn’t in me. Since I’ve been at home full-time, I’ve had many discussions with my mom, and one of the interesting things I found out was how unhappy she was the year she stayed home with us…not because she didn’t love us, but because she just wasn’t meant to be a SAHM. I can’t imagine the kind of mother she would have been if she had tried to force herself into that role- I’m pretty sure I would have detected her unhappiness and felt responsible on some level. That seems pretty “degrading” to a child. Instead, she went back to work, and we had a loving, wonderful, engaged, happy mom. It was a win/win 🙂 (Made possible by an equally involved Dad, and close family willing to pitch in) And her sharing with me that she hated being a SAHM did nothing but make me feel BETTER about myself…it made me feel closer to her that she would share that with me as an adult. I certainly didn’t feel degraded. Every woman is different, as is every child. Trying to force us all into a box doesn’t improve the lot of children, which seems to be what you claim women abandoning the workforce will do.

  48. Dear Sara,

    There is so much I could say, but we have differing worldviews so it would be pointless. Plus I have overspent my time on this topic. Together, let us delve into His Word allowing God to lift us to higher ground so we may view this from His perspective that He may show us how to love and care for our husbands and children.

    Thanks for your thoughts even though you disagree, and I pray that God will rain blessings over you!! 🙂

    Misty Smith

  49. All of the above arguments for and against stay at home mothers, has made me feel so guilty and so confused.

    I live in South Africa. I’ve only ever seen/heard of stay at home mothers on television. i know not one friend, or friend of a friend, or colleague – not ONE stay at home mother. Everyone I know/ know of, has had to return to their job within a year of having a baby.

    Those that were fortunate enough to be able to stay at home for two years before having to work again, have all noticed the difference in their little ones’ attitudes/temprament , compared to the ones that had to go to some form of childcare since an earlier age.

    it seems to me, that yes, as difficult as it is to send your very very young baby to a caretaker, they get used to this so quickly, and because they interact with other babies/children from this early on, the turn out to be so sociable, and develop a sense of humor, they learn to share, they learn to fight and make-up, they learn that sometimes they need to wait a few minutes for many things, they learn that the world does not revolve around them etc etc etc etc…….the list can go on……

    and i say this from speaking to mothers who were able to stay at home for at least the first year or two – their ex[erience has been, that they regret it now,

    eg. we attended a birthday party for one of our friends’ baby’s second birhtday. most of our friends have children, most of them around the same age. only one of these children, a little girl, two years old – did not have fun at this party, she would take every toy or sweet out of another baby’s hands,she would grab it, she would shout at them because “its mine!” – and she could not once understand why she would get into trouble for this by her own and other parents. she simply could not understand/grasp that everything wasn’t hers now. all the other little ones were sharing their sweets, swapped their party hats out, played together, sat on another chair if someone sat on the one they had sat on at the beginning of the party, etc etc etc…..
    needless to say, all the other children, were the ones that had been in the care of someone other than just mommy, from as early as 4 and 5 and 6 months, in groups or childcare classes/baby classes with a handful of other babies.

    so I can only believe out of what they learn and how early they learn this, that I’m doing the best thing for my child, sending him to ‘school’ from early on……

    I’m not looking for arguing or someone to try and tell me i’m right or wrong, I’m just saying, that children who grow up around other children act more sociable, they’re happy, they’re laughing playing sharing, and I would rather have that kind of child , than one that gets everything when and where he wants, and doesn’t know how to share and interact……

    Like I say, we never hear of a stay at home mom here where I come from, only the very very very rich – but even those moms, they start fashion lines or buy businesses or still do something, none really stay at home.

    I simply cannot. we live down to every cent, and living costs have just gone sky high throug the roof, electricity went up last week by 33%. and we budget every cent exactly. not a cent goes to a new pair of shoes or a night out or any luxury, not even a llittle snack.

    so its simply an unknown thing here, and just plain impossible to get by, should we have to cut my salary.

    does this make me a bad mother?

    1. Chantel,

      The example you give of the unhappy girl who didn’t share, etc. at the birthday party sounds just like a niece of mine, except her mom has always worked outside the home. The selfishness of the girl in your example was not due to her having a stay-at-home mom, as you seem to imply, since you contrast her behavior with that of the other children who had multiple caregivers. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child (every child), and it is parents’ responsibility to train their children properly. It takes attentive parenting both inside and outside the home to nip this kind of behavior in the bud.

      Stay-at-home moms have a decided advantage in this arena because they have so much more time to train up their children in the way they should go, without the problems of 1)encountering caregivers who may have very different values than their own, and 2)having their children spend so much time during their formative years in the presence of children from various backgrounds whose hearts are also bound up in foolishness, and whose influence on other children is unknown and frequently unobserved by the parents.

      And about your statement in paragraph four on kids in childcare who “learn to fight and make up…” That’s an advantage??? Fighting reflects a heart centered on self, rather than one that esteems others higher than ourselves. Fighting is sinful, and we do not need to first engage in sin in order to learn the proper response to sin. Diligent child training, done proactively, goes a long ways toward teaching children proper social behavior.

      Read the book of Proverbs in the Holy Scriptures. One does not have to be immersed in a sinful environment in order to learn correct responses after a sin has occurred.

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