A blogger once blew up the internet with a rant he posted in reply to his wife’s position as a stay-at-home-mom. Re-tweets, re-posts, likes and shares began to trickle in as his story went viral.
A little background: I was raised by a devoted and wonderful stay-at-home mom. I am grateful for her constant presence in my life and will never forget how hard she worked to keep our house in order. She cooked, she cleaned, and she did a whole lot more than that (stuff I don’t even know about yet cause I’m not a mother — like cleaning up vomit and teaching me to blow my nose).
The article was sent to me by a friend who noticed it turning up on her social media news feed. I got off social media a year or so earlier to avoid some particularly challenging pitfalls for someone with my tendency towards sarcasm, so I wasn’t aware of the blog’s adoration by many of our stay-at-home-mom friends.
As I read this article, I felt a lot of emotions all at once. (What else is new?) A part of me was cheering inside to see such a beautiful ode to this man’s wife and all the stay-at-home moms out there, while another part of me was saddened and defeated. I see his frustration; I see his point. However, I was disappointed at the execution of such a delicate matter.
These are rough times we live in, y’all. Guns, abortion, crime, abuse, sex trafficking, kidnappings, addiction, illness, drugs, divorce … You name it, we’ve seen it, or are going to see it in our lifetime. With all this hate being kicked up around us, it is our responsibility as Christians to find and cultivate love, hope and support for one another.
With articles like this one — comments like the one he mentioned about working moms shunning the stay-at-home moms and pressures we put on ourselves already as women — we can’t possibly come up for air long enough to see the big picture. We are trapped by our own expectations, society’s opinions, and now, the pressures of our Christian brothers and sisters. Plainly, we are called to raise our kids well and raise them to love the Lord above all else. This may look different to different folks.
Guess what? That is up to them and God.
I have witnessed my dear friends agonize over the decision to go back to work, work part time, or stay at home. None of those choices, regardless of the outcome, have been easy. In fact, they’ve been painful, emotional and heart-breaking. The solution is often complicated. I support them all, either choice they select, and love them the same. They are no less a mother, no less caring, and they are no less ambitious based off of their choices. The fact that they struggle with their choice alone shows me where their hearts lie and reminds me how much I adore and support their choice in becoming a mother at all.
Do you see where I’m headed here?
I have female friends who stay at home with their kiddos. They tirelessly home school, play outside, and work to love their children, support their families, and get dinner on the table each night. They are truly heroes — snot-wiping, diaper-cream-applying, storybook-reading champions!
I also have many female friends who work. They, too, tirelessly help with homework, ride bikes outside, and busily love their kids, support their families, and get dinner on the table each night. They, too, are heroes — boo-boo-kissing, monster-under-the-bed-checking, toddler-snuggling champions!
You see what I did there?
These women, all of them, are cultivating the next generation and doing it so elegantly and beautifully it makes me feel confident that no matter where God has me when I become a mother, I’ll be able to raise my kids in His guidance — whatever that may be. At the end of each day full of work — laundry, soccer games, presentations, briefings, cooking, potty training, teething, flat tires, bad grades, spilled milk — each of these ladies is still called, as fabulously and flat-out as possible, “Mom!”
So today, readers, I challenge you. Let’s not re-tweet and re-post the heck out of this somewhat divisive blog. Let’s take that time and replace it. Check up on a new mom you know is struggling, encouraging a dear friend who kids are going through a rebellious phase by popping in on her at work, or reach out to a mama who could use some company while the kids are napping. Let’s put an end to the competitive nature and start to cultivate love, hope, and support among our fellow mothers and future mothers.
God has given us a great task in raising up a generation for Him — we cannot answer this call alone. And, as I’m learning, that call often sounds like “Mom!” bouncing off the walls of your kiddo’s bedroom as they ask for one more story before telling you goodnight.