When I was raising two daughters and was labeled a “stay at home” mom, a phenomenon called the new women’s liberation movement was in full swing. News magazines, TV, and radio touted the wrong-headedness of being, well, what I was.
Years later, a neighbor mentioned to me the challenges she faced as a stay at home mom. We began comparing notes, and she blurted out something about that women’s liberation movement revival. Most of the moms in our neighborhood worked, and I thought I was the only one, frankly, at home.
My neighbor lived only a few blocks away and yet we had not known each other until we met through prayer. I learned that she was a Christian and invited her to be my first prayer partner. I learned a lot from her about how to pray. As we became friends, I also began to learn that she had experienced the same criticism and impressions I had as a mom. She too had heard both the direct and subtle but powerful messages of disapproval for people like us, stay at home moms. It was a prevailing and unquestioned form of prejudice. She too had heard repetitions of how her role as a mom at home undervalued her, wasted her abilities, insulted her intelligence. All untrue yet powerful attacks upon women like us hurt. Yet, somehow, they could not stop us from continuing to be at home when school opened and when school was out.
Nothing has changed. Many people are eager to shoot down moms that stay at home. Sometimes social research lends a hand: A recent "study" showed that most stay at home moms are "uneducated" and/or "poor." It does not matter what studies say. Children of every age need their moms whatever their educational or social status. Those do not matter to a child, thank God. Whether moms work outside and/or at home, they are vitally important to their children all the time. A child knows if mom is full of love or full of only words of love. It has to do with far more important matters than money or education or career. It has to do with love that comes from the heart. Love that aches when the child aches and will do anything to help the child. It has to do with sacrificial and intense love whose beauty cannot be measured or fully understood from the outside.
In another article, I wrote "Marriage is worth the investment of time, friendship, and faith." The same is true of parenthood. I cannot speak for fathers, but to me they are as important as mothers, in different ways, giving time, love, and faith to their children.
I am a mom and now a grandmom of three grandsons. I know that this is not Mother’s Day, yet in a way it is. If you are a mom, your love for your child or children is essential, a thing of beauty. If you are a stay at home mom, it matters that you are there although it is hard and often isolating. If you work outside the home, it matters that you will do anything to work hard to help provide for your child or children's needs. If you love your child, your child knows it, without question, regardless of words or your being there all the time if you must work.
You and your children's dad, if he is there, are equally important to a big undertaking, the development and love of a child. There. I feel better. I hope moms do, too.
Recommend: Moms and dads recommend Exhausted Rapunzel: Tales of Modern Castle Life for parenting humor.