Generation Cedar

Portrait of wondering and surprise woman face over white backgroundQuite honestly, I don’t like the term “stay-at-home mom”.  It testifies to the fact that there are moms who don’t stay at home and I wish it didn’t have to be so.

But there’s an enormous gulf now between “has to work” and “wants to work.”  The gulf was a complicated build, and now we can’t even remember the “norm”, when women stayed at home because, well, there was a household to run and  important lives who depended on her, and it didn’t matter that they couldn’t afford new socks–it was her job to darn them so they didn’t have to.

No, our generation doesn’t remember because they were told another story.  They were told that women were home because they *had* to be, (not because it best served their families) and that one little word touches a rebellious chord in us and we jump on the band wagon to “save women from oppression”.  We think “stay” is a derogatory word and though all good sense said that a healthy family needs someone devoted to nurturing it, we passed up the job.

That’s not really what the post is about, but I can never just start in the middle 😉

So now women, some of whom are entertaining the thoughts of coming back home (more and more exhausted working women are getting tired of the “have-it-all” lie and realize home comes closer to anything that offers “all”), don’t know about the art and profession of making a home and are asking, “but what do I do?”

Which strikes a veteran SAHM as comical, because she knows that tasks and opportunities alike present themselves faster than she can ever keep up.

And because readership of this blog makes up a widely-varied audience, I thought it timely to go back-to-basics for a moment and visit the question, “What does a stay-at-home mom do all day?” That is, what does a woman wishing to follow a Proverbs 31 model do?

Remember though...a list of what she “could” do is not the same as what she “should” do. Each woman is in a different season of life, some seasons allowing for greater opportunities than others.  Some are merely surviving with the basics during a busy season; others are finding time to flourish in their gifts and abilities.  But we could all study to be more efficient and become a better home-builders.

  • She studies to provide at least somewhat healthy, somewhat economical meals for her family.  This can be a time-consuming job, but there are books written solely on the art of cooking and the incredible ministry found in entertaining your family and friends through the hospitality of the kitchen.  Study it!  (Another word about the ministry of hospitality soon!)  Just in the area of health alone, America is experiencing an epidemic of illness, largely from consuming so much pre-packaged food, a choice usually necessary to maintain the over-booked lives we live.
  • If the Lord has given her children, she pours herself into their training, nurturing and developing.  Another full time job almost by itself.  If not, there are a myriad of “mothering” and ministering opportunities sorely in need of a servant-minded woman.
  • She helps her husband.  This varies widely from home to home.  But much like an administrative assistant, she can be a “crown to her husband” instead of forcing him to hire another woman for that role.  This is where “the heart of her husband safely trusts her” as she runs a household and “he has no lack of gain”.
  • She studies to keep her marriage happy.  The dearth of happy marriages–of marriages at all–is staggering.  Good marriages don’t just happen.  If they aren’t tended, they’ll wilt.
  • She studies to save money, to make her home a warm, inviting place, to treat minor illnesses, to repair things (darning socks, repairing appliances, bandaging wounds–a mother is always repairing things), to make things, to plant things, to be busy with her hands.  Books are written–there is no end to this art.
  • She engages in meaningful conversation with her children.  An often underrated, but vitally important job in their education–homeschooled or not.
  • She “reaches”.  (“She reaches her hand to the needy”. Proverbs 31)  Whether this be the meeting of a physical need for the poor, or a need of a fellow believer, needs abound.  Many needs could be met in the form of an encouraging card, phone call or visit.  It’s just a suggestion, but maybe Prozac has largely filled our lack of availability to hurting women.
  • She earns money.  Home industries are easier than ever to begin.  Saving money and making money are doable activities for the SAHM.
  • She mentors other moms.
  • She takes care of extended family members.  Nursing homes are new.

And I shall close for now, because I have lots of things to do today.  Help me, each one of you, where you are, resurrect the art of homemaking.  We need homes…they’re actually pretty rare.

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50 Responses

  1. too true! I am always amazed when i hear a mom who works fulltime outside the home tell me she just had to go back to work because she was loosing her mind because she was so bored! :)LOL I remember when there were just 2 or 3 little people there being more time to explore different things but never boredom! truly life is an adventure one that i am always in need of preparing and studying for! great post Kelly! Thanks for the shot in the arm this morning! blessings, jen in al

  2. Thank you so much for pointing out that there are seasons of survival and seasons of flourishing. My four little ones were born in four years and I would always be so discouraged because I wasn’t flourishing.

    Now, the youngest is a year old and we aren’t pregnant yet. THis a time where I can do more than survive, I can flourish. And I will no longer feel guilt for the years when I was running on fumes and prayers.


  3. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had people ask the somewhat rude and presumptuous question “what do you do all day” with emphasis on do, as if I am watching Oprah and eating bonbons on the couch. It really is so sad that so many people don’t recognize the art of homekeeping–that the home is a mission field, a refuge, and a battle ground that needs constant attention. I even find that if we spend too much time outside of the home shopping or doing various activities things start to fall apart fast. Anyways, thank you for bringing these things to light.

  4. I think another reason that it is so hard these days for women to be at home is because we have swallowed the lie that we must have “x”.

    So a lot of couples start their marriages with debt up to their eyeballs or they get into debt quickly after they are married. Then we feel like we must have all of the extra appliances, extra vehicles, extra whatever. I was that way. I had no clue either. One day I found a book (I can’t remember the title… something to do with going back to simple living) and it changed my life. This author (I wish I could remember the book title) encouraged mothers to take food with them when they ate out. She even mentioned using lanterns at night. I had never heard of such but it started me on this quest to make being a stay at home mom a financial blessing instead of a burden to my husband.

    I have a single/divorced mom friend who works full time, and she makes twice as much as my husband. However she is constantly having financial troubles and I think it is because there is no one home to “help”. She is constantly paying for services that an at home mother would do for free. Of course people reach out to her but even with that, it is still difficult. I think when there is no one home, that it sucks the finances out.

    Sorry for the long comment! :-O

  5. “tasks and opportunities alike present themselves faster than she can ever keep up.”

    Haha I just sat down for the first time this morning to read this then the baby woke up from his nap.

    Wonderful post, Kelly.
    Sometimes it’s hard to see what I’m getting done while I’m in the thick of it, but then reading this reminds me that I am accomplishing something after all.

  6. Wonderful post Kelly… as usual;)

    Kim M, you wrote:
    “I have a single/divorced mom friend who works full time, and she makes twice as much as my husband. However she is constantly having financial troubles and I think it is because there is no one home to “help”. She is constantly paying for services that an at home mother would do for free. Of course people reach out to her but even with that, it is still difficult. I think when there is no one home, that it sucks the finances out.”

    I am a single mom and I can so attest to what you are saying. I can remember one dreary evening after working hard all day and picking up the children from their daycare, realizing that we needed milk. The children had fallen asleep in their little carseats. The thought of wakening them to bring them into the grocery, drag them through the aisles just for a quart of milk was more than I could bear. So I went through the McDonald’s drive through and bought a half dozen of those tiny cartons they sell. It was a ridiculous expenditure of money, but believe me it seemed like my most sensible option at the time. It is so hard to be economical when you are exhausted and have no time. When you are all by yourself you sometimes do things that might seem foolish to outsiders… like spend $8 on a quart of milk!

    The happy part of this story is that that evening was a turning point for me. The next weekend I sat down and really crunched the numbers- I calculated all of the expenses from working: convenience foods, daycare, disposable diapers (that the daycare required,) drive through meals from when I was too exhausted or rushed to cook, lunches out, lunchmeetings, professional clothing, and all of the gifts and silly things that you have to buy when you are in an office. I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone here to hear that I was barely clearing a profit from working, even though I had a professional position that paid very well.

    Now I stay home and live on what is considered to be poverty level income, but we live better than we ever did when I was working. The amount I used to spend on a “simple” lunch out can feed the whole family for an entire day because I have the time and emotional energy to cook from scratch. We don’t need as many clothes because I can keep up with the laundry. I can mend the children’s things or make them new things very inexpensively. We are happier and more at peace. ANd our home is actually neat enough for me to invite folks over without dying from embarrassment. That would have never happened when I was working, lol.

  7. So this means I am the only one with weekly pedis and manis and a separate freezer full of BonBons? It is so annoying to lift my feet for the maid! LOL I love staying home. If someone offered me 1million a year to go outside and work leaving my family, I’d decline without a second thought. Nothing has more reward and value than following God’s directions. Nothing can. Obedience brings more fruit.

  8. Diane, I would love to talk to you more about this… I would love to somehow offer my friend some advice. She is a nurse so I am sure it would take some really good something to convince her that staying home would be the best. Could you email me?

  9. True, true! There is so much to staying at home. Love the cookbook idea. I hate to cook, but do it because I love my family. You are right there are a lot of different cook books out there, might need to see if I can find one to get excited about. Thanks for this uplifting post.

  10. Love this post Kelly, and thanks for mentioning that there are different ‘stages’. As someone has similarly commented, my three blessings came in three years so I can often feel very “unflurishing” since there is little spare time. Yet, it has been so neat for me to see how the older two (girls…mothering instinct?) are such a help even though they are so young. Sometimes I wander how I could do it without them. 🙂
    Kelly L, I too would turn down millions to be home. I love feeling needed by my husband and children. It does so much good for my self-worth. I wish every SAHM could feel that way and not buy the whole “your ‘job’ is not as important as a career woman’s” lie.

  11. This post reminds me of something. A few years ago, the wife of a friend of my husband had a baby, they already had a 2 year old. She worked outside the home and made a lot more money than her husband, maybe as much as twice more. Very successful businesswoman type. We went to visit when the baby was about 2 weeks old and I remember her telling how she couldn’t wait to get back to work, she was so bored at home and didn’t want to be around her kids all day. I felt very sad at that comment and little bit taken aback. I couldn’t understand that kind of thinking.

    They lived in a fairly modest home, but I remember my husband telling me how she and her husband would fight over the type of car she wanted to buy. (he says they fight over a lot of things)She wanted a really expensive, higher status vehicle, but he wanted something less expensive. I think she won.

    She now has three kids (the baby is about a year old) and all three are in daycare, as far as I know. Or maybe the oldest is in school.

    I don’t understand how a mom can not want to stay home with her little ones. I feel for those that want to stay home but can’t. I was raised with semi-feminist ideals but had a complete change of heart when my oldest was born. I wouldn’t have it any other way now.

  12. As another note, when we were 1st married and our little one came along within 15 months, I always felt awkward when people asked me what I did, so I replied “I’m just a stay at home mom.” My husband really got on me about that. He pointed out I am not JUST anything, but do something of real value. I had to be told that and I wanted nothing else than TO stay home. How invaluable this post is to those who are on the fence and to those who love staying home but have no idea of their worth!

  13. Kelly L, your husband much be such a blessing to you. 🙂

    I am desperate to be at home, but my children are schoolage and dh doesn’t believe in homeschooling (even though I am a teacher during the day-the irony is not lost on me). My oldest is physically impaired and I have a chronic disease, and it has become really exhausting to work all day out of the home, and then still have the home waiting for me in the afternoon. DH wants my extra income yet at the same time wants the benefits of a wife at home: shuttling kids to therapies and appointments, play activities for the kids with their friends, weekends filled with time for fun family activities. It is not realistic at all.

    Our culture has been spoon-fed the lie that women can do it all and look good too. It is a lie! Something will always suffer, too often the children! I have made sure to place my children above my job, but my housekeeping is my area where it all falls apart. And my appearance.

    I don’t know what else to do. At this point all I can do is pray. When I see your list, Kelly, I know there are so many things I could, and should, be doing if I were at home.

  14. Thank you Diane for your comment! I am a full-time working mother about to deliver #3 within the week. My wonderful mid-wife is gracious enough to sign my FMLA paperwork ahead of my due date so that I get about 1 week at home before the baby is born. What a CHANGE it brings in my home, in my children and in ME! (So I may be the only woman who prays for the baby NOT to come before his/her due date!)

    My husband and I are convinced I need to be at home, but he is not yet able to provide. It was encouraging to hear that a single mom stays at home – because it looks like I’m going to have to stay at home now. After jumping off this cliff, I hope to find that “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

  15. Liz,

    My heart aches for you. I do encourage you to pray, because His arm is not too short to reach. I’m sure you probably have, but have you spoken to your husband about your desire to be home? I’ve heard of women making a list of all the expenses they incur from working outside, and the list of areas they believe they could save if they were at home, and sometimes that’s all it takes to get a husband to see that an extra salary may not be as much as he thinks.

    Just a thought…praying that the Lord will grant it to you.

  16. Well…I was raised by a woman who wanted to do anything EXCEPT be home as a wife and mom. I remember stories of how “boring” being a SAHM was for her early marriage. Now, as a former executive, I don’t understand how anyone has time to be bored when being a wife and mom at home!

    Unfortunately, there is still the stigma of the lazy woman at home who does watch soaps/Oprah – not accomplishing anything during the day. I know God would chastise me if I ever contemplated living that way – thankfully!

    Good post, Kelly.

  17. Thanks for this post; it was exactly what I needed to read today! As a SAHM, I, too, am sick of the “what do you do all day” comments. Recently my aunt asked me this, and while I was at first offended (great, now *she’s* bugging me, too!), I realized she was honestly confused and really had no idea what I did do all day. I didn’t even know where to begin.

  18. “It’s just a suggestion, but maybe Prozac has largely filled our lack of availability to hurting women”

    Oh, you are touching on my soap box! I think this is so true. And I know counselors are a wonderful blessing when really needed, but too often I feel they are just used as “rent a friends”. If we all knew what the Word says and were available to listen and mentor, pharmaceudical companies would be hurting and their would be a few more counselors out of a job.

    Wonderful post. Thank you.

  19. I actually do all of these things and I work full time. I don’t think that its a matter of trying to have it all Its about finding a balance that you and your husband are comofortable with in your home. I take offense to the fact that you are saying that a working woman cannot be a P31 woman.

    For the record I think that stay at home mom’s are very hard working and I would never take away from the work that they are doing.

    1. K. I stay at home, but I do agree with your post. In P31 she is a SAHM, wife, and a worker outside the home. I think as women we have to be aware of our priorities. God 1st, spouse 2nd, children 3rd, church, then career. As long as our priorites stay in order and none of the 1st three are suffering, we can ‘have it all’ just as P31!! Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. I am thankful I stay at home with my children and love that I get to. To each his{her} own, but keep God you number one! Just a word of advice: make sure you are the one raising your children, not outsiders! It’s convenient to send them off to daycare, school, babysitter, etc and forget the lessons that should come from a parent! God is so good, and I am so thankful he has allowed me’ to raise 2 of his precious children!

      1. Nae,

        One little “correction” or at least thought to add to your comment…Prov 31 woman didn’t exactly “work outside the home” and certainly didn’t have what we think of as “career”. She was a seamstress and she sold her products to merchants; the merchants are the ones who actually spent time out in the marketplace all day selling her items. She was more of a wholesaler. So I think it’s important as we discuss her to see that yes, she provides and excellent example of earning extra income. But she didn’t do it to the detriment of her other priorities and she didn’t become “enslaved” to a full time job elsewhere.

  20. Wow, such a great post! 🙂

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, but I have been reading it for a while, and I just wanted to say what a blessing it is! I so appreciate your stand on the truth and the encouragement that you share and the example you are of what it means to be a Christian wife and mother for the glory of God! Even though I don’t have a husband and children yet of my own, I am encouraged by the things you share. In the last few years the Lord has been showing me the beauty and importance of a woman’s place in the home, and Lord willing, I hope to one day be able to fulfill that role.

    I know my sister would love to stay at home with their little boy, but she doesn’t know how they would manage without both her and her husband’s income. And it upsets me because I know there are families out there who are making it on one income–there is a way!–but it does take sacrifices. (Diane–thank you for the comment you posted. I wish my sister would realize this!)

    And yes, there are so many things to do at home (even as a single daughter, helping at home) that it’s hard to believe that some people can’t understand what there is to do!

    Anyway, thanks again for the great post!

  21. Liz,
    I already prayed for you and your family and will continue to do so. My husband really is such a blessing to me. I would encourage you to find the ways your husband is a blessing to you and praise him for it alone and in front of the children. I am not saying you are not grateful for him, but I can tell you are hurt by and upset with your husband’s demands on you. And those thoughts are totally understandable. But this may be a way to hold every thought captive to Christ AND turn the situation around. Please know I don’t mean a judging tone, but only a loving one, as a sister in Christ. My heart hurts with yours. While I do have a pretty cush life, adversity is not foreign to me, and this is how I have overcome them. Blessings, Kelly

  22. I haven’t experienced that particular comment yet, being blessed enough to come from a long line of SAHMs. I think I’d laugh if someone asked me that. Even though I’m a FTM and have a small place, it’s incredible how much there is to do every day. Always something that needs attention, and with a little guy getting more active every day, I’m busier than ever. When I’m tempted to think that this is all rather repetitious I think back to when I was a working girl. Those jobs were just as much so. In fact there are probably very few jobs where you don’t wash rinse and repeat day in, day out.
    And I truly know how wonderful being a SAHM is. I worked in a daycare for a couple years, and even while pregnant. It made me so sad to see babies left all day, every day by their moms who breezed in and out. The worst was a little guy who was always last to get picked up. All the other moms would come and get their babies. He’d watch the door and his face was so sad.
    So yeah I may not be a huge fan of washing dishes (yay for dishwashers!) and such, but this is my job. I’m the one who prepares yummy food, picks up all the baby toys, loves on my hubby, gets to snuggle and rock my little guy to sleep and see his smile when he wakes up from a nap. And I love it!

    I’m not merely a SAHM, I’m CEO of the house!

    P.S. This blog is wonderful. It’s been so encouraging to me. Kudos to all you moms out there!

  23. I,too, don’t like the phrase Stay-at-home-mom but what would be a better thing to say? I get people asking me, Do you work or stay at home? all the time….My reply is I am a full time wife and a mother….very good post…Heidi

  24. I agree, Kelly, I’ve always disliked the term SAHM because it sounds so….inactive maybe? I don’t just stay at home…some days I move very fast to get it all done! A wise pastor’s wife said, “If you’re a tired SAHM at the end of the day it means you’re doing something right!”

    I have to say, though, that I was one of those ladies who wanted to be home and my hubby wanted me home but I was pretty bored with only a couple of children. We moved a lot and I didn’t have a car so I got my housework done in the morning and then put the little ones in a stroller and walked all over town. I didn’t have a computer but I am a fast reader so I could easily (and did) read lots of homemaking books quickly. I also waited around every day for Focus on the Family to come on the radio-I needed encouragement all alone in my little hom!

    Now I have eight children and a self-employed hubby and lots of folks seeking me out for advice and help so I have to carve out time to stay in my house with my family and putter around. I love it!

    I look back and realize that those lonely years with small children and long hours alone in my house were learning years. I learned to lean on Christ and I did educate myself quie a bit.

  25. Oh my goodness. I am so blessed by this post! I am a SAHM of 4 (soon to be more) and there is always something to do around here. Only recently have I realized that I am not the only one to have to do it though 🙂 I have started teaching my children to work. I know that sounds strange, but I cannot tell you what a revelation this has been for me! It took about a month of doing all the “chores” AND teaching the kids to do them along side me (instead of waiting till nap time and doing them by myself or letting them watch a movie while I finish up) But now there is free time. We have been learning to embroider. We have had more time for homeschooling. I have had time to prepare things that just fell by the wayside before. Each of my children, from 8 down to 3 has work to do in the house. And each one of them gets to see how they effect the rest of the home. If the three year old does not do his chores, the other kids cannot do theirs (he sorts laundry the others fold it and put it away) and if the 8 yo does not do hers than mommy cannot make dinner… It has been SO wonderful seeing them learn to be responsible for themselves (and each other) And I am able to do so many more stay at home mama things that I never had the time to before.

    Thank you so much for this post! I am going to repost 🙂

  26. What term do you like? I would think “Homemaker” would suit just fine, although maybe it is too old-fashion for some. I have heard people say they are a “Domestic Engineer”. I don’t like that. Sounds like they are trying to hard to sound prestigious or something.

  27. What term do you like? I would think “Homemaker” would suit just fine, although maybe it is too old-fashion for some. I have heard people say they are a “Domestic Engineer”. I don’t like that. Sounds like they are trying too hard to sound prestigious or something.

  28. Kelly,

    I appreciated as well as needed to read this post today.

    Unlike most of the women here who have children, I do not, but I am a full-time homemaker, who “came home” 9 months ago to better serve my Lord and husband. I’m sure that most people would think that this decision was foolish. However, my husband and I, with the Lord’s help, know that is best for our family.

    Since my contact with others is minimal, fortunately, I don’t get the silly, “what do you do all day” question. However, my extended family members are adjusting to my “new life style” and seem to be accepting of this choice.

    My days may not be as full as a woman who has little ones under her skirts, but I do keep busy with various projects, and I can honestly say that I don’t become bored. I used to work outside the home in the past, and I was quite bored with my outside jobs. The best part of the day was leaving them to come home!

    Of course, being home full-time requires you to “think outside the box,” which I am still learning to do, but it’s worth it because my marriage is less stressful, and my husband is quite happier with me taking care of things on the home front.

    At any rate, I’d like to thank you again Kelly for sharing this blessed post with your fellow blog readers.

    ~Mrs. Lady Sofia~

  29. I would like to say, thank you for this post! It is very much timely for my life right now. In fact, it leads me to a question that I need to ask another mother who is farther ahead in the road than me, I have a 4 year old son and a 14 month old daughter. How do I get control? Everything I do is a joke. I know this sounds rather ridiculous, however, it is the truth. I would love to make healthy meals, my son refuses to eat them. I would love to have routine, it would be a fight every step of the way. I have prayed, I have read books, I have read blogs, I have cried. I have tried. But, I am failing. Perhaps, I as a person am out of control and it is reflecting on my home and children. I would love some advice. I know, it is so easy to say, a 4 your old is controling my life. And, there is such a huge back story to all of this as well, but it would only lead to excuses. The facts are laid out, I have to change it, now. I would very much love any advice you might give… Stephanie

  30. I just came across your website this morning because I was feeling the doubts of a SAHM 🙂 “What am I accomplishing.” “Would my time be better spent out helping my husband earn money.” “Would my children learn more in the structure of a daycare.” Reaching out for some instant answers I went to Google and typed “what do at home mothers do during the day?” I came to your article here about the “SAHM” and it’s beautiful. I am a religious person and have faith in my role as a mother as the most important work I’ll do on earth. But the pull of the world sometimes drags me down and I wonder “What am I doing here?” Your article was a reminder of all the beautiful things a mother can do and should do, of the beauty of “home” and how we are to actually create a home and that it doesn’t happen because we simple move into it. Thank-you so much. I feel motivated and grateful.

  31. Wow, this is good too hear. So trying to get past the “just surviving” phase at this point. In fact some days not even sure we’re doing that well. This list is somewhat overwhelming, honestly, but good none the less. 🙂

  32. I am a much older 1st time mom, I was always told by doctors throughout my life that I would never be able to have children. I have my little miracle now and am frustrated that I cannot be home with her to raise her. Our bills that were created by my husband and I before we knew we were going to be parents are taking up most of our double income. There is a little light at the end of the tunnel for me to be able to stay at home and be a full time mother, I keep praying that this would happen soon for our family, it is difficult and sometimes heartbreaking to have to leave her with a sitter for 9 plus hours a day. I am excited to be able to join you all someday being the mommy I know that I can be, making home cooked meals instead of grabbing the quickest thing out of the freezer when I work late. I will keep the prayers going that we can eventually get our debt snowball in control before I lose the opportunity to enjoy and raise my only baby that I will ever get the chance to raise. God Bless all of you who can be with your babies and raise them the way they should be raised.

    1. Vickie,

      You have echoed the heart I long to hear from women…not getting caught up in the “are mothers allowed to work” debate, but recognizing that it is best for children to have their mothers, husbands to have their wives, giving their best to the first job they were given. I appreciate that you able to know this, even as you work outside the home. I pray too, that you would find a way to come home.

  33. Your blog is so uplifting. I’m trying to so hard to keep up with daily tasks of being a stay at home but also dealing with the anxieties of planning our wedding and teaching my two fast growing children, etc. We are just trying to do things RIGHT! I fell into this “stress coma” where I felt like I wasn’t able to do anything… just wanted to send you a big thank you for your messages in my inbox 🙂

  34. Hello all, I am a working mother of 3 children and I’m expecting my fourth child at Age 44. My husband and I consider this latest pregnancy to be an unexpected blessing from The Lord. All our children are girls, our third little girl was brought to us unexpectedly via social services having been removed from her mother, she is also such a blessing. Our oldest daughter is 17 and has done extremely well at school is hoping to study vetenary medicine. What I am saying is this, I hope I raise all my children to be strong in The Lord but also to use the gifts He has bestowed upon them. I expect them to be hard workers and not time wasters. I am not raising them to be married off at 18 and be subservient to a man. I hope they do amazing things for The Lord. I am a nurse and work in Intensive care, I look after your relatives when they are at their most vulnerable, I believe God wants me there. My husband works too, we share everything, the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping, the child care, my children spend fabulous quality time with their Dad and have a great relationship with him. My husband and I are a great team. My house is clean, the laundry also done, excellent school reports for all my children and our house is well run and full of love. My girls already at 4 and 5 have dreams, one wants to be a nurse, the other a farmer, they are also well read in the scriptures. Here’s a point, I think it’s wrong of christian women to place all the financial stress on their husbands, no wonder christian churches are full of widowed older christian women. I get fed up with constant comments made to me in churches because I am a working mother. I can work a 12 hour night shift and still attend church, last week a judgemental stay at home mum was dozing off during the sermon. I thank God for my amazing girls and for my amazing job in nursing and for our family life and my amazing husband . however, if anything ever happened to my husband I know that I could provide for my children in every way, I wouldn’t have to sell the family home, I could comfortably feed and clothe them and would!’t need to claim benefits ( which I don’t agree with ). That is the job job of the wife, the mother, the proverbs women , thank you and God bless you x

    1. Joanna,

      It’s wonderful that you are raising your children to be strong in the Lord and to be hard workers. There are a few problems that might conflict with your plans, however.

      The first is that you are teaching your children that to be married is “to be subservient to a man.” That’s not what the Bible teaches. It DOES teach that God’s plan is for a man to have a helper, and that women get the incredible privilege of coming along side him and the two of them being heirs together in the grace of life. Marriage is a good thing and God said “whoever finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”

      So, if you want your children to be strong in the Lord, you must, without fail, teach them His Word.

      Secondly, you’re teaching them that “to do amazing things for the Lord” does not include walking humbly and doing *whatever* they do for Him. The Bible never called us to do amazing things; it calls us to be amazing where ever we are, and Jesus said that the most exalted work was the humblest–like washing feet and giving cups of cold water.

      You girls will be disillusioned under the current ideologies you are teaching them. They will only feel fulfilled if they are “doing amazing things” and will never come to the fullness of joy and satisfaction of walking in the humility of our Savior, always needing to look outside of themselves for approval, instead of finding the life that comes with sharing in the cross of Christ and denying ourselves and our own desires.

      I feel for your girls.

      And lastly, I appreciate the work you do taking care of the elderly who can’t be cared for by the their family who is too busy “doing something amazing.” I pray your girls find truth before you are the one who needs cared for.

      (Also, ironically, I wrote about this a few days ago…Parenting Completely: Where the Little Stuff Becomes Big)

    2. Joanna,

      Congratulations on expecting your fourth child. I also was pregnant at the age of 44, and delivered my daughter (my youngest child) a little after my 45th birthday. And, yes, she is very much a blessing from the Lord, as is your expectant child and the other children with whom the Lord has blessed our families.

      That part of your post was a real blessing to read. The rest of it…well…

      You paint a very glowing picture of your home and family life and your career. Let’s just say I’m skeptical that it’s all so wonderful all the time, like you imply. You never get tired? Short with your family when you’ve worked a 12-hour, overnight shift and couldn’t sleep well because the daylight affected the quality of your sleep, or because there was noise in the house since your family (I would guess) was not on the same schedule you were? Nothing like that? They never get sad or lonely when you’re off where you believe God wants you? Everything is all rosy all the time with everybody in your whole family as it regards your career and everything else?

      You can paint any picture you want of your life on the internet to put forth the image you want to project and advance the agenda you promote. Doesn’t mean that’s the reality. You can say all these wonderful things about people doing amazing things for the Lord, and use the word “I” (or “I’m”) 23 times to illustrate all the amazing things you do (yes, I counted them, out of curiosity, since I noticed an abundance of that pronoun reading your post).

      Your post is lacking in humility, which is obvious not just because of all the “I” statements, but especially because you dare to point out the “judgemental stay at home mum [who] was dozing off during the sermon.” You don’t know why that mom was so tired. There could be any number of reasons about which you would have no clue. Maybe she didn’t sleep well the night before because she was worried sick about a loved one who (gasp!) may be hospitalized in an intensive care unit just like the one where you work!

      Would you judge any of the loved ones of the patients in your care if they were so troubled about their sick or injured relative or friend that they couldn’t sleep, but went to church anyway and fell asleep there out of sheer exhaustion?

      On another note, you may not be interested in reading this book I read, which happens to be free for Kindle today at Amazon (and is only 99 cents regularly, I believe), but if you do possess the slightest bit of humility, you may want to check out this book, entitled God’s Worn Our Servants. (BTW, you don’t need a Kindle to read it — you can use any number of free apps available at Amazon.) The book serves as a good warning about the (sometimes irreversible) physical and spiritual consequences we and our families can experience, and the damage that can be done to relationships, especially with the Lord, when we women focus too heavily on what we call “doing things for the Lord”.

      I wish you well with your family and your impending birth, and hope that you will consider the importance of walking in humility and grace toward other people whose lives you are not living, just as you want the same from others toward you.

  35. I truly appreciate your article on being a stay at home mom. It is much better then the one I put together on my blog. it is so true how it depends on where a person is in life how well they do and what they do. It is also true how very lost an art being a MOM and maintaining a Home is. I have always had a heart to help and encourage a mother to take on the full time job of “House manager” as I put it

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