“The formative period for building character for eternity is in the nursery. The mother is queen of that realm and sways a scepter more potent than that of kings or priests.” ~Author Unknown
Follow me for a moment…
A child is born.
The child’s character is formed throughout his years. He is shaped, molded and influenced by something, namely, that to which his nature is bent unless restrained, and that to which he is most daily exposed.
The child grows up to be a man or woman.
The life this man or woman lives is based largely on that character that is as much a part of him as his skin.
The life this man or woman lives–the character–influences everyone around him. The decisions he daily makes deeply, profoundly, affect his world; they deeply affect me, you, him, his children–all of us.
Going back to the quote above, we are forced to deduct that raising children–devoting one’s life to that task profoundly affects the world.
I recently heard a woman say, “all this fuss over working moms versus stay-at-home moms–it’s so silly and trivial…it doesn’t matter”.
It IS trivial indeed, if we can presume that a child’s character is not affected by the continual, daily absence or presence of his mother and/or father. If it doesn’t matter what his early influences are, if character forms all the same regardless–then, perhaps, there is an argument.
I challenge you to answer that question. Does it matter?
An honest answer faces the reality that our world will become what we make of our children. And if our children are neglected, our whole civilization is as well.
I have no desire to slight the working mom. That’s where this topic always ends up–an angry mob of women shaking finger in face, daring the audacity.
I know there are dire circumstances. But when we are convinced that “it doesn’t matter”, we will pay for a grave misunderstanding of the importance of child-rearing.
See, in the battle, in the fear of diminishing women’s rights and in the efforts to destroy stereotypes, we become cowards. Cowards more concerned with her “happiness”, her fulfillment, her feelings–denying the consequences it will have on her children, and on us. We betray our very futures for our comfortable today. We deny truth because truth can hurt. It can even make us unpopular.
It’s not about the battle, or telling women what they shouldn’t do. It’s about being sensible enough to acknowledge that the way children are raised matters immensely to our society. It’s about not being afraid to say that mothers need desperately to devote themselves to a job far more important, in the long run, than anything else they could possibly do. It’s about being honest; not keeping her from pursuing her career, but being courageous enough to tell her that she will be missing a greater opportunity in doing so.
(In my opinion, it’s even about communicating the value of raising children to the point that all else pales in comparison and we know it! Imagine a world where women are embarrassed or heart-broken to say they have to work another job. And a society who will do all it can to keep that from being her plight, helping her achieve the profession that will most benefit us all!)
It’s about not being so cowardly that we try to win friends by saying, “It doesn’t matter”.
A person’s character can change–will change the world, for better or worse. It can change the destiny of a league of generations.
And we presume to insist that the daily labor of shaping that world-changing character can just be tossed aside with no consequence?
We owe it to the world to emphasize, to support, yes, even to persuade mothers to understand her vital importance in the home as she brings up children to shape the world. This is her already full-time job.
If we love humanity (with pleading emphasis), we wouldn’t be arguing over a woman’s right to leave her children and pursue a career…we would be BEGGING her to focus all her time and energy on this task of building character into the generation that is our future.
A career is such a small thing in comparison to building the future!