Generation Cedar

Our Family Deserves the Best of Us (Avoiding a Leftoverish Generation)

None of us would say that we believe our best gifts and energies and talents are better expended to strangers than to our own families. But we do believe that, deep down, because the feminist culture in which we are immersed, has taught us to.

Here are just a few comments I’ve personally received that prove this to be true:

“As a stay at home mom, don’t you feel oppressed?” (From a radio producer who works by someone else’s schedule, time restraints and demands.)

“I could never just stay home all the time.”

“Aren’t you wasting your college degree?” (Fill in the blank with “training, skills, gifts, etc.”)

“A helper to your husband? That sounds like something from the dark ages.” (From a woman who works as a secretary, helping another man build his business.)

GK Chesterton said it clearly enough when he said:

“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone?”

I’m reading one of the most fabulous books I’ve read in a while. Lady Like, by Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle is brilliantly written, exposing truths about women’s roles in our society that are both simple and remarkably important.

Listen to what they write:

“Even secular sociologists say there is no better way to serve society than taking care of one’s own family….If you’re a gourmet chef cooking for your family every night, your family is exceedingly blessed. What is the world to you anyway, with all its vaunted diners? We all want the best for our loved ones. How sad it would be if we failed to share with them that special gift we consider the best of ourselves.”

How and why did we lose sight of the importance of our own families? When did it become “oppressive” to pour out our best on them, but emancipating to pour it out on strangers?

To be a nurse is noble, indeed. But how can it be less noble to nurture, care for and attend to my very own family? The same goes with any profession.

Somehow, somewhere, one’s own family became denigrated in the eyes of society so it follows that work devoted to family is less meaingful. The child-care professional is applauded, while the mother committed to her own is pitied. The school teacher is esteemed while the mother teaching her own children is “wasting her education.”

You might think I’m demeaning career in order to exalt motherhood and a woman’s role at home. In fact, I am not. But mathematics seems to reveal that the exaltation for the former is constantly the antagonist of the latter.

This, also from LadyLike says it clearly:

“Women are obviously able to do more than bear children, which is a comfort especially to those who do not….However this does not permit devaluing the maternal function, which is the foundation of the vaunted female form….Valuing women’s gifts disproportionately leaves her imbalanced and dysfunctional. It is no kindness to emphasize what she is undeniably best at and discourages her from receiving with trust and gratitude the only earthly gift that lasts eternally.”

What I long to see is healthy families, born from healthy perspectives about the crucial role women play at home. If our homes and the people God has given us are secondary and only worthy of our leftovers, we can expect the results of the next generation to be leftoverish.

Spread the love

12 Responses

  1. Thank you Kelly for affirming my dear wife in this note and for encouraging my daughters to do what their grandmother did and now their mother. We hope for a great legacy in the days and years ahead.

    A most grateful dad.

  2. Sadly, the only comments I get about wasting my degree or not helping my family financially are from my parents, especially my dad. I don’t engage with them on the topic but it keeps me from feeling as close to them as I used to feel.

    They are the same way about homeschooling-always holding hope that I will come to my senses and give it up.

    The “helpful” comments on both topics sometimes feel like verbal jabs. I just keep trying to graciously ignore them.

    1. Erin, I know how you feel. My mother is constantly making what I call “side handed” comments about me not working. She cannot understand why I am wasting my time “being a mother” when I have a college education, that she paid for, by the way. She will tell me that my children will grow up lazy because they never have had to do anything for themselves. She also makes comments about the weeds in our landscaping and a whole slew of other comments that deeply hurt myself, husband and now my children. I also try to graciously ignore them but it has come to the point where I feel like I need to defend myself and my husband who works hard to provide for us.

    2. Erin, when we decided to homeschool when our first was born 12 years ago, I heard similar comments from my Dad specially. My Mom thought we were extremely radical. Today after 4 kids, my parents are on board with homeschooling and moms staying home. They wished all of their children were homeschooling their kids and the moms were home taking care of their families instead of pouring out their lives into strangers’. So don’t give up home. Things change! 🙂

  3. Well, I think it’s because a person gets more appreciation and respect in the workplace. When I was teaching school, I had kids and parents tell me they enjoyed my class. I got a lot of kudos and strokes when I was in the workplace. I taught science and we had a big project (making boats out of soda bottles powered by the reaction of baking powder and vinegar) and the kids had several weeks to make their boats at home. We had races at school and it was a big deal. Lots of fun, parents came, very successful. At home…. Not so much. Now, my husband does a good job of encouraging me, he’s a wonderful man, so don’t get me wrong in that respect. But a mom doesn’t get that kind of appreciation. And homeschooling and running a household simultaneously is hard and tiring and thankless.

    1. Ah, but “whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done unto Me.” Someone IS keeping track of all we do and will reward us for it.

    2. Kristen,

      I think you’re right, but I agree with Annie–we are so earthly focused we forget about eternal rewards which will far outweigh any praise of man we receive here. We MUST keep our heavenly sight.

  4. VERY well said. I love that. What an *excellent* point! I’ve not thought of it that way in those words really. I look forward to sharing this with our readers. It is so to-the-point, and undeniable. Love you, Kelly. *squeeze hugs* from far, far away in WA. =)

  5. I was visiting out of town family and friends last weekend and I had a lady ask me if I would go back to work after the kids were all in school. I said probably not (we start homeschooling next week but I didn’t want to bring that up). She said “what a waste of a brain.” (I worked as a CPA for 10 years.) I felt like I had to defend myself and tell her that I do all the books for my husband’s business. Her words stung a little

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *