Where is a Woman’s Place?

Where is a Woman’s Place?

It was always my plan to stay home with the children.  From early in our dating relationship, I made it clear to my now-husband, Mike, that I did not want to have children until we were financially prepared for me to stay home.  After being married about five years, we had saved up enough of a bumper for me to comfortably quit working for at least a year.  After that, I hoped to find some kind of work at home income.  Our beautiful daughter was born and I was beyond thrilled to hold her, feed her, and tote her around town in my Moby. Moby After about three months, I grew restless.  I started a blog.  I opened a home day care.  I picked up more hours working as Children’s Ministry director at my church. Then, I started getting really tired.  I wondered why I was so absurdly busy and why I couldn’t be the type of homemaker I wanted to be.  Still, I was staying home, so that put me where a woman belongs, right? Then we had another baby and things got really crazy.  I resolved to get up earlier (you can read how that turned out here) and be more committed to making the house run smoothly.   I cut back on my day care hours and found myself a little more relaxed.   I had a little free time, so I decided to start making all my food from scratch and sewing my own curtains. Curtains I was excited about finally “getting things right” at home, but I found my world growing smaller and smaller.  I still had my friends at church, but beyond that, most of my conversations involved puppetting around a small plastic figure while I talked. Noah KFC (5) I picked up a book at the library entitled Bringing up Bebe.  A good friend had recommended it to me, so I was anxious to glean whatever parenting wisdom it might dispense.   Basically, the book is about the differences between American and French parenting and what we can learn from the French when it comes to raising children.

While I can’t stand behind all the ideals of French parenting (neither could Druckerman, the author), something that really struck a cord with me was the concept of cadre.  Cadre is working to establish a balance in your life and not letting any one area, even motherhood overwhelm the rest.   Druckerman says it best:

For some American moms, there’s something morally righteous about committing to motherhood at the expense of everything else, even their bodies….It seems selfish to take time away from their babies to tend to their fat or even talk to much about it (125).  French mothers aren’t just different because they are thin.  French moms get back their pre-baby identities, too.  For starters, they seem more physically separate from their children.  I’ve never seen a French mother climb a jungle gym, go down a slide with her child, or sit on a seesaw — all regular sights back in the United States.   In American homes, every room in the house is liable to be overrun with toys.  I’m also struck by the nearly universal assumption that even good mothers aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there’s no reason to feel bad about that.  I frequently hear American stay-at-home mothers say they never use babysitters because they consider all child care to be their job. In France, the dominant social messsage is that while being a parent is very importaant, it shouldn’t subsume one’s other roles.  Mothers shouldn’t become “enslaved” to their children (130).

There’s more to this thought, of course, but I think Druckerman speaks some truth when she expresses that motherhood becomes an all consuming role in America, especially for stay-at-home mothers.  Is this good?  Do children benefit from such exclusive attention or do they just grow up to be entitled and spoiled, incapable of finding their own entertainement ?

Our Kids Bored For Life?   Photo Credit: Flickr: Stephen Downes

I just wonder, where did the obsession with staying home come from? Especially among Christian circles, it seems you’re not truly a good parent unless the woman is staying home.  Is this actually biblical?  Even the Proverbs 31 woman (often heralded as the ideal woman) seems to work outside the home: she buys and manages vineyards, she makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (verses 14 and 24).  I notice that she also has servants.  I bet servants would really help my housekeeping skills. I think we lift up the the old-time mother as something to be emulated.  She stayed home with her kids.  However, she was also busy.  She made her clothes for her family, cooked and baked, and often grew her own vegetables.  She was home, but she wasn’t playing with the kids all day. Perhaps things have gotten a bit out of balance.  Today, we have so many conveniences that we don’t really need to spend much time “making a home”. So, we’ve turned the stay-at-home mom position into “run-around-town-and-provide-enriching-experiences”. Is this good? What is the primary motivation for staying home? To make sure the kids are safe and well cared for? To develop the type of character that is important to your family? To enjoy the time together?

What About You? 

What do you chose to do with your time? Do you work outside the home?  Do you stay home with the kids? What’s the motivation?  What’s the outcome? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Comments

  1. Great questions, Lindsey!! I am also a SAH mom to two, and we chose to do that so we could be the ones to train and care for our children. I definitely don’t regret making that decision! Since I also am secretary for our business, as well as have a part-time typography business, I’m not bored!! I feel like I need to invest myself into my kids, but also continue doing activities that are meaningful to me as a woman so that I can be a better mom and wife.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Ruby. I agree, I think it’s finding that balance — still using your gifts but being available to train your kids in the way that is important to your family. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I don’t work outside of the home and haven’t done so since before my son was born, but when he started school full time (age 4 here in the UK) I went back to university to study the degree I wish I’d done. Being an American Mom in England, I really struggled with guilt about not being there for him all the time anymore in the beginning. Over the last three years, I’ve come to the realization that it’s good for him to see me being a student and making education a priority because it’s something I hope he makes a priority in his life.
    Erin recently posted..not so little anymore…

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Erin. I agree with what you’re saying — sometimes I wonder what message we’re sending to the kids when we sacrifice all of our own interests in order to really “be there” for them. The French book reminded me that when a child is the mother’s only interest, it’s not healthy for either one of them. Thanks for your input and I hope your degree goes well. I loved my time in college and it’s so much fun to learn!

  5. I think we Americans tend to be–sadly–competitive parents. If we stay home, well then–we’d better be the best-read parenting expert on the block while making all of our own organic baby food–that we, of course, grew in our backyard while wearing the baby in a sling. It’s just so absurd! Yet, I know so many professional women who became SAHMs (me included) that can’t just enjoy the time with their children because they are so task-driven and in need to approval of their new identities. My children are older–one done with college, then 12 and 8, so I’m now finding time to focus on my interests and talents again while they’re in school. I wish women wouldn’t judge one another so harshly–if a woman wants to work full-time while caring for her family, more power to her! If she wants to stay home and enjoy the baby days–hooray! We’ve all got to choose the path that’s best for ourselves and our families.
    Julie @ Growing Days recently posted..Craving Summer and BBT Pie. (Bacon, Basil, and Tomato Pie, That Is.)

  6. Julie, Thanks so much for your comment. I was laughing out loud at the organic veggie garden, with the baby in the sling. That is so true! 🙂 I do agree, everyone knows what’s best for their family (or is at least trying to figure it out!) and we need to stop doing so much comparison. Thanks so much for your comment. Can’t wait to check out your blog!

  7. I am a stay at home mom to one little boy. We have chosen for me to do that so that we can have the main influence on our child’s life skills and beliefs. We are still trying to decide what we will do in the future after we have all our children (we want 2 more!). Will we homeschool or public school? I’m not sure yet. I am a nurse and would love to go back to work as a nurse navigator at a cancer center and I am currently looking into going to grad school. I have a passion for nursing and a passion for my child/future children. I think for me, it is about finding balance. I am able to be more involved in activities, groups, clubs, blogging, tot school (toddler homeschooling), and able to have time for just me and my husband as well on a daily and weekly basis. It all comes back to that word “balance” for me. Some weeks its easier than others though, that’s for sure! 😉
    Stephanie @ CrayonMarks&TigerStripes recently posted..Guest Post: Fitness Tips for New Moms

  8. Hey Stephanie — I agree, and I do think the schooling debate plays a huge role. Right now, but kids are fairly young (2 & 3), and I’ve done some teaching, but I know formal homeschool will require a lot more work. If you’re homeschooling, I know it would be really tough finding a balance with outside commitments. Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Lindsey, I can SO relate to your post!!! I, too, experienced feelings of restlessness then exhaustion then restlessness,etc. after choosing to stay at home with my kids. I am looking forward to reading Bringing up Bebe because the premise sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing so candidly!

  10. Thank you for stopping by, Arianne. I’m glad I’m not the only one! I think you’ll really enjoy the book. There were a few things I really disagreed with, but it gave so much material to think about. Very enjoyable.

  11. Wow. I just shared that on my FB wall and pinned it. I couldn’t agree more! I love my kids; I worked very hard through 3 years of infertility and prayer for them, enduring a high-risk triplet pregnancy, bed rest, premature birth, NICU, and ultimately the loss of one of them. I LOVE them. But, I am a creative and I NEED to work on outside interests to be 100% happy. My kids are my main job. My house and my work are tied for second. LOL.
    Angela Bickford recently posted..I’ve Earned This Cupcake (And Other Lies I Tell Myself)

  12. Thank you so much, Angela, for your kind words and for sharing! I love your story and the fact that you aren’t ashamed of recognizing your needs to thrive a bit outside these wonderful treasures (your kids). Can’t wait to read your blog post — I do love cupcakes. 🙂

  13. I think you nailed it on the head when you talked about emulating old-time mothers who stayed at home! She was BUSY! Life today is so different than it was then. We don’t have to sew our own clothes, cook everything from scratch, grow our own food, do laundry by hand, etc. We just aren’t as busy homemaking as they were, even those who excel at it now. We have modern conveniences that speed up much of the process.

    So, your question about how we fill up our time now running our children around to enrichment activities is spot-on. And I don’t think we know the answer to that or not.
    Katelyn recently posted..The On and Off Terrible Threes

  14. Katelyn, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I think another thing that is missing that “old-time mothers” had was a sense of community. You gathered together to sew clothes or bake pies and I think that social interaction was SO uplifting for women. Now, we have facebook, but it’s not the same at all. I just came home from a meeting the other day and my husband said, “I can tell you’ve had some social interaction!” He was trying to be funny, but there was a lot of truth to the statement!

  15. The value of a modern day stay at home parent is higher than it was back then. Not only are there safety concerns that didn’t exist previously, but with the advent of new technology the stay at home parent can expose their child to many new educational experiences. Because technology allows the parent to leave the home and not be fully consumed with “home-making”, the parent can spend more time teaching their children how to become independent and intelligent. Teaching the children to sew, to paint, to do yard work, to complete chores, etc…. will help them establish the basic skills necessary to succeed on their own. Of course there are schools doing this now (Montessori and the like), but those institutions are not as good as the bio-parent. When stay at home parenting is done intentionally and with a plan, the parent doesn’t get bored or feel useless and the child learns from their best teacher. Frankly, I shudder at the condition most schools are in (financially, morally, ethically, etc….) and prefer the opportunity to raise my children the way in which I want them raised, not only book smart, but life capable.

  16. Thanks for stopping by, Michael — it’s great to hear the opinion of a father on this topic as well! I do agree that parenting with a plan gives some focus and sense of purpose, but sometimes with little ones, it’s hard to develop a plan. Certainly by the time a child is 2 or 3, there are things to teach, but what about infants?

  17. Social interaction is a HUGE part of what is missing with today’s stay-at-home moms! When I first became a stay-at-home mom I was SO SO lonely! It was horrible. I craved adult conversation and something really meaningful to do, which felt super wrong to say, since I was “doing the most important job in the world” by raising kids (I had twins), but I was bored! I needed more outlets and stimulation, I needed other people!

    Do, you mind if I link to this post, quote a paragraph, on a future blog post? This has made me think! Love it!
    Katelyn recently posted..The On and Off Terrible Threes

  18. We stayed for an extended period in St Martin and I was struck by the French women. You could tell they made themselves, not their children a priority and it was good to see. They loved their children, same as everyone else, but they were showing good boundaries, something that we as American women, me in particular, find hard to do. Great article!
    Carla recently posted..How Will You Be Brave Today?

  19. Hey Carla, I’m so excited to hear some “first hand” report of the French women in action. I think you really nailed it with boundaries. They loved their children but knew where the limits were. I do agree, it’s much easier for me to see where boundaries are needed with OTHER people’s children than with my own. Yikes! Thanks for stopping by!!

  20. I stayed at home with my girls and I did miss adult conversations. I got restless and went to college (extremely young when I got married) which turned out to be the best thing for me. I did become consumed with being a mother but I don’t regret that time with them at all.

  21. Tiki, I’m so glad you were able to go to college! I do think that really helps give some creative or intellectual stimulation, which is so often lacking when home with the kids. I don’t regret being home either, but I do love to be creative when I can! Thanks so much for stopping in.

  22. I have a toddler and have chosen to stay at home also. I don’t regret any minute of it, but sometimes I do have that overwhelmed feeling. My husband just finished seminary, and this last year has been one of our hardest. I was so focused on creating a home that my husband wants to come home to and that my son loves to be in. On the surface, neither of these desires is wrong. But I became consumed with them. I stopped taking care of myself, and no matter how hard I tried the house never met my expectations. Now that he’s finished with school, we’ve taken a step back to reevaluate the “rhythms” of our life. We are now taking steps to get the balance back into our life, and make sure that our actions and desires are glorifying God.
    Michelle recently posted..Free Notepad Printable

  23. I agree, Michelle, sometimes our “good things” become a bit of an idol. I’m thinking a lot about rhythms too lately and being able to fit in priorities without stressing about them. Thanks for stopping by!

  24. Wow, your quote about SAHM run around town and provide enriching experiences is spot on. I am a SAHM, but this is absolutely true. I do think if moms want to sah, a great tip is to befriend other SAHMs. They become a support group and provide the much needed adult interaction. And I’m totally going to read that book. Thanks!

  25. Liz, Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting. I agree — I have found myself in such better spirits when I have another mom friend to “do life with”. Even if it’s just sitting on the porch and watching the kids play in the backyard, it’s nice when there’s a friend. I think we’re often searching for those connections through the activities, but when we do make an connection — we’re too busy to really nurture it! 🙂 A bit self-defeating. Have you found a good way to make lasting connections?

  26. I became a sahm/wahm 10 yrs ago. It is what works for our family. I work from home and home school 3 of our 4 kids. I fully support others doing what works for their family.
    Dawn recently posted..Living Social Additional 13% savings

  27. Thanks for sharing, Dawn. I agree, I think every family has to decide for themselves. What kind of work do you do from home?

  28. I enjoyed the excerpt from the book. I have a friend that read that book and her whole life changed. Her kids are SO well behaved now… it’s amazing the change.
    Proverbs does talk about the ideal woman, but Titus also speaks to young mothers.
    Titus 2:4-5
    (KJV)
    4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
    5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
    There is no greater work than raising a Christian family.

  29. Vee — Thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad about the transformation — does your friend have a blog or email address. I would love to hear about the process. I understand the theory, but how does it pan out in real life. What kind of discipline do they use? What happens when the kid throws a fit?

    Excellent point about Titus 2 — I can’t believe I forgot about that passage. Thanks for the reminder!

  30. I am really bad at balance. I always feel guilty when I tell munchkin to go play by herself so I can have a few minutes of quiet. Not even quiet so much as just not having her climb all over me. She is much more demanding and needy than her older siblings ever were and it’s not easy to manage.
    Sarah recently posted..Exit strategy

  31. I would like to work from home wich probably automaticaly makes me a SAHM (I don’t have kids yet). I hope I’ll learn to achieve some balance. I had problems with balance when I was taking care of my little brother – which inspired my post for this event. 🙂 BTW, I love that you try to make food from scratch – I do that too. 🙂
    masha recently posted..How to Stop Sacrificing Yourself for Others?

  32. Great quote from what looks like a very knowledgeable book. I’m not a SAHM just yet but I do think it’s something I would like to do one day. I can see where it can be difficult to find a balance and it takes an extraordinary amount of courage to come out and talk about it let alone do something about it! Thanks for some great insight!
    Kate recently posted..Memories Series: The Plan

  33. We were married and I worked for 10 years before having my kids (now I’m a stay at home mom). I am so glad I had the opportunity to work, because I found that I’m definitely in the right place at home. I’m a huge community volunteer, work very hard to make my neighborhood the kind where we all help each other, and help at my kids’ schools whenever I can. I don’t really see those things as my “job” since I happen to be home, those are things that are so important to me and create the kind of place I want to live in and raise my kids in. I’m friends with many work-out-of-the-house moms, and we talk about this a lot–those same values are important to them, too, they just happen to work.
    Gina recently posted..Menu Plan Mind Mapping

  34. I am a stay-at-home mom after many long years of praying for both – and being a nanny for several. My husband and I both watched as the role of motherhood seemed to overtake so many and hurt marriages in the process. We determined that this is not what we wanted in our marriage – and we’ve worked very hard to not only to take care of our precious daughter, but also continue in the roles we both had before. In fact, God has been expanding our roles – me in blogging and Women’s ministry. As a book I read while pregnant said – we don’t stop becoming daughters, wife, friend, sister/etc. when we take on the title of mommy – and we need to remember it and act like it more – for our children’t welfare as much as our sanity!
    Crystal @ WisdomSeekingMommy.com recently posted..Grace {Sunday Rewind}

  35. My mother was a stay at home mom, and while she devoted a lot of her time and effort on us, she also had her own life. When I look back, at my childhood, I am immensely thankful for all that she did for my sister and me, but I sometimes wished she worked – because I always thought that my friends who had working mothers were much more independent than I was at that age.

    Personally, I don’t want children – but if I ever did, I know that I would want to balance my work and home life. If I had to stay home, it would drive me nuts, primarily because I am the kind of person who needs a lot of space to function well.
    Modern Gypsy recently posted..Why book editors should NOT be a dying breed

  36. I was a single mom for my oldest child, I had no choice but to work and send him to babysitters. He resents me now for it (he is 30 with a child on the way – I expect a phone call in the next 2 years apologizing LOL) – but I would have given up all the money in the world to be able to stay home, and slide down a slide with him when he was little.
    Angel Burch recently posted..Change Your Life – Become an Entrepreneur!

  37. I returned to work when my son was four months old because we thought that we needed the money that I was making. It turns out, that after child-care expenses it wasn’t all that much AND I was miserable away from him. We cut back on our bills and saved for a few months as I planned to leaved my job to stay at home. Not too long after that, I was laid off and haven’t looked back.
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  38. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 11 years to 2 beautiful girls! I decided to quit my job and stay home when I found out how expensive (and scary) daycare can be. I just couldn’t trust anyone else with my babies! I believe now that it’s important for children to be with their mothers besides just before and after work. I feel like I have a much closer bond with my girls, than if someone else had watched them all day when they were younger. Plus I got to enjoy all the “cute” years!
    Renee@Addicted2saving.com recently posted..JCPenney Swim Clearance!

  39. I used to be a working mom but when I had my youngest I wanted to be a stay at home mom again and take care of him. My belief is that the first 5 years is an important time to establish the foundation of every child. After 5 years old they have become used to their ways and bring with them what they’ve learned in this time. I was a SAHM with my 2 older children and see the difference. I don’t agree with the French way of motherhood (though it makes for an interesting read). Of course, you have to give time for yourself but I believe that a mother will always choose her children over herself.
    Louisa recently posted..My First Winning Contest Experience (and hopefully not my last!)

  40. I do not have children, but I found this post extremely interesting to read.

    I just think that there is no right or wrong way to go about it, but placing pressure to fit into a preconceived notion of what a mother should and shouldn’t do (or be) isn’t good for anyone. I believe if you don’t take time for yourself and other personal relationships, everyone suffers in the end. I believe if your children consume every aspect of your life, it’s not good for yourself or them.

    On a side note, one thing that makes my skin crawl a bit is seeing (and hearing) an obnoxious child completely disrespect their parent in public, and the parent almost pleading for the child to listen or do whatever was asked of them. I usually feel that all the parent wanted to do was make their child happy and give them whatever they wanted, but somewhere along the way, they got lost in setting limits.
    Yona recently posted..Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Everywhere – Fall’s Favorite Flavor

  41. Hi Yona,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad that you found it interesting, and I’m with you — I hate seeing children disrespecting their parents. I do see that struggle a lot, even in myself. I remember really buying into the “attachment parenting” philosophy and not letting your kids cry it out (for sleeping), but somewhere along the lines it turned into “never let the child get upset” which actually only produces a brat. I’m glad we saw the light before it was too late!

  42. This topic always brings up so much interest. I think it’s different for everyone. I am lucky enough to work from home – do I wish I didn’t work at all? Yes, but my job allows us a lot of family experiences and a financial comfort level that we don’t want to give up. It’s a choice. Now that the kids are in school it’s much easier – I try to work while they are gone. That being said, I think everyone should do what feels right for them and for their family and lay off the guilt trips!
    Pam recently posted..Tuesday Challenge – Add beans to your diet!

  43. Pam, I’m with you on this one. I am so glad that I get to work from home, but sometimes I do wish I didn’t have to work at all. Of course, that would mean no more eating out and being really careful about the budget. I’m just not willing to live that strictly. And you’re right — I do think everyone is generally trying to do what is best for their family. Thanks for your comment!

  44. I have experienced both… I’ve been a stay-at-home mom to my 2 oldest daughters until the 2nd started school… Then got a good work and had my 3rd daughter. I have been on maternity leave for a year then went back to work… ahhhhh it’s so very challenging to put your kid to daycare, go to work, take back the kid from daycare, come back home, prepare supper, help the olders with their homeworks, etc…. I, at the moment, stay at home… and I can say that, to me, it is the right thing to do! 🙂
    Isabelle Goyer recently posted..The kids are (soon) back to school? Maybe this is THE Opportunity You have been waiting for…

  45. Isabelle, Thanks for stopping by. I do think that’s the most challenging part about working is the rush, rush, rush of everything. I know I would lose my head if I had to get up and rush around every morning. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

    Lindsey

  46. My Mom worked as we were growing up and to be honest I am glad she did. We had her love and devotion when she was there but we also grew up to be independent. My Mom also has said she wishes she was able to stay home with us but she had to work and didn’t really have a choice. We were always home together on weekends and went to church on Sundays’ together. The weekends were made for us doing stuff together. It worked.
    Liss Lovejoy recently posted..Andrea Buginsky Releases New Book

  47. Hey Liss, That’s basically the premise of the French book too. A french mom said, “When I’m with them, I’m 100%, but when I’m off, I’m off”. She didn’t feel guilty about it because she knew she was leaving her little ones in capable hands. I do think it’s good for our kids to see mothers attending to their own interests as well — whether that’s through work or hobbies. Thanks for stopping by!

  48. I’ve struggled with this for so long but I think I’ve finally come to terms with this. Some women are just better at motherly things than others. I work well but the tasks of handmade mothering like canning, grinding my own wheat, homeschooling, etc.. are just not my thing. Trying to do these things made my boys and me miserable.
    I do think moms need to spend time with their children but YES, I think we over do it in America almost to a fault creating highly dependent children who think that being entertained is the goal in life instead of a nice addition to a full life.
    sara recently posted..Helping the World by Providing Darn Good Yarn

  49. Hey Sara, Grinding your own wheat? That does sound like a tough job! 🙂 I hear you though — I like doing things around the house, but not everyone does. The art of canning completely eludes me as does gardening, but I am learning to sew!! As for homeschooling, the jury is still out on that one! Thanks for stopping by!

  50. I’m a stay-at-home mom and love it! It works for our family of 5. My husband works outside our home, my 2 older children go to school, and Miss 3 and I stay home. While Miss 3 plays by herself, I maintain our household from cooking, cleaning, organizing, paying bills, shopping, and decorating. We work throughout the week to accomplish these tasks to have time on the weekends to spend time together as a family. This system works for us.

  51. Hey Tracy, It sounds like a wonderful system. To be honest, I do kind of wish for that type of arrangement, but our budget isn’t quite there yet (darn school loans!) Maybe someday soon!

  52. “I bet servants would really help my housekeeping skills.” Haha! Mine too!!! I really liked that! I’m a stay-at-home mom. My motivation originally was just wanting to be the one to care for my baby and to train him up, so to speak. As my firstborn child grew, my motivation became my calling to homeschool. We now have 2 boys and I have a full-time job teaching 8th grade AND 1st grade! Crazy. Ultimately, each and every family has to decide what’s best for their family and their situation. But as long as the kids are loved and well-cared for, I for one will not criticize another mom’s choice whether she wants (or needs) to work outside the home or work from home or be a stay at home mommy! 🙂
    Stephanie recently posted..Reasons a non-knitter should NOT take up knitting

  53. Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie. We have really struggled with the homeschool thing. Part of the reason I’m working at home right now is so that we can pay off all the school loans and I can be totally available if we DO decide to homeschool. As it stands now, I’m thinking I’m going to do Kindergarten and 1st grade, but send them to school after that. We’ve also considered cyber school. Sometimes I think it would be nice for them to navigate the world a bit by themselves, but then I think about the things the “world” is teaching and I’m not so sure. It’s a struggle! I’m glad things are working out for you guys!

  54. Being a stay at home mom can be hard in the beginning, but I honestly cannot express how much i love and enjoy it. I feel good knowing I am the caretaker of my kids and they will grow up under my shadow and my teachings. Off course, i work as a Part time Baker and my husband supports me. Without a balance nothing is possible. 🙂
    Tamanna recently posted..10 Natural Home Remedies for Common Cold & Flu !

  55. Tamanna,
    I agree, I really enjoy my time home with the kids. Especially when they are outside, running through the sprinkler or completely engaged in pretend play. There’s something so picturesque about it all. I have thought about doing some baking as a business. My maiden name was “Baker”, so I always joke that I have baking in my blood. I do enjoy it though. How is your business doing?

    Thanks for stopping by!

  56. I am a SAHM of 3 boys. My mother stayed home with me and did the bookkeeping for my dad’s business. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer and a stay-at-home mom. Then in my college public speaking course, I focused on the topic of working mothers. In the research I did, it was proved time and time again that the income a mom makes (the 2nd income) while paying for childcare is extremely minimal, especially with more than one child. Plus, I have always felt there is just “something different” about kids who have a parent staying home with them.

    So now that I have been a mom for almost 5 years, I would have to say that for me, the importance of staying home with my boys is to grow their character and instill the morals we deem valuable in our children. That being said, though, I very much agree that motherhood should not rule one’s life. I just wrote a similar post “Finding Balance: a juggling act” that talks about the importance of balancing being a wife, a mother, and an individual.

    Great post, great research, great insight! Very thought provoking!
    Makeovers & Motherhood recently posted..choosing a good book

  57. Thanks so much for stopping by! I agree with you — the income I would make would be so minimum once child care expenses (and wardrobe) were factor in. And I really do enjoy “making a home” by cooking, cleaning, and decorating. I just hope I’m also doing a good job instilling the morals and values that we hold important. Sometimes it seems like that aspect is so hard to measure. I will check out your post and thank yo ufor stopping by!

  58. While my husband and I haven’t planned for kids, I think IF we somehow became parents, I would want to stay home with them. I guess it’s probably a trust thing. If needed, mom could babysit but I’d want to make sure I had a big part of their development.
    Toia B. recently posted..Hair Tip Tuesday: Scalp Massages to Promote Healthy Hair Growth

  59. Hey Toia,
    Thanks for stopping by! I agree, it’s a trust issue with me too. I used to work in a day care facility, and even though there were some really sweet people there, not all of them were nice. Plus, I do find that it’s so rewarding being part of the growing process.

  60. This is a teachable moment. I didn’t know that French mothers had that type of philosophy. I don’t make enough time for myself. I wear makeup less and less. I used to wonder what yoga pants were when people talked about them. Then I realized I was wearing them all the time already. Thank for sharing this.
    Kimberly H. Smith recently posted..Ooh! That’s My (Traffic) Jam

  61. Thanks so much for your comment, Kimberly. It was a really fascinating book and made me really wrestle with some of my parenting practices. I checked out your website — I’m hoping to be a full time freelance writer someday soon too, but I still have little ones in the house, so right now, I’m embracing “the in-between” (as Jeff Goins calls it). Thanks for stopping by!

  62. My wife stayed at home for many years with our four children (ages: 24, 18. 17, 14). There are many scriptures that encourage this, but I think what is lacking might be found in Titus 2: Older women… train the young women to love their husbands and children. Many stay at home moms are pioneers! They are figuring this out, on their own. I’m confident they would appreciate a mentor, but many of them don’t have experienced stay at home moms to help.

    A few ideas…
    Try to meet with other stay at home moms and team up. Sometimes the best “babysitters” are getting your kids involved with other kids.
    Go out with your spouse, regularly without the kids. Walking around the neighborhood is free.
    Spend time alone, away from the kids, house, spouse, and electronics. Sitting on a park bench is free.
    Exercise! It creates energy, burns off stress, and counters the blues.

  63. Thanks so much for stopping in, Jim, and sharing your thoughts. I do think you’re right, it’s the Titus 2 that is missing. Even in my own family, I know my older sister and mother would be happy to lend their wisdom, but our schedules never seem to line up — it seems everyone is too busy to really mentor in the Titus 2 way. we don’t really “do life together” anymore.

    Thanks for the tips — I am trying to soak up as much outdoor time as I can before the winter sets in!

  64. Thanks for the thoughts! My primary motivation is to spend as much time with and enjoy my kids as much as I can – very few things matter in the end, but family relationships is at the top of the list.
    Bethany recently posted..Best Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

  65. I think there are pros and cons to this situation. Children probably DO benefit from the exclusive attention. However, I have also seen the bad side – where kids grow up having that entitled, spoiled attitude.
    To the best of my knowledge, the “stay at home” mother comes from when the females would be closer to home, picking fruit and such, while the males would tend the fields and livestock all day. In terms of Christian beliefs, I would imagine this shows up in the Bible. But so much of the Bible has been misconstrued and exaggerated, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s why you get the feeling that they hold such beliefs.
    I know that personally, my primary motivation for staying home (once I have kids) will be due to my natural instincts of WANTING to do so. I feel that I can only fully trust myself and my husband when it comes to ensuring that my kids will be safe, well cared for, and brought up right. I also want to enjoy the time with my future kids, and watch them grow. Obviously, I don’t know what the future holds. But I would be happy to care for my kids at home – or to allow my husband to do so. I think it is all dependent on each family’s personal situation.

    ♥emma
    itsemmaelise.com

  66. Thanks so much for stopping in, Emma and weighing in on the issue. I have to admit, I am still up in the air about the whole thing, but I agree with you — I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone else watching and caring for my kids all day everyday.. there’s just something about being with your parents. I do love to be home, and I sometimes wonder if my desire to do more is more financially motivated… to pay off school loans and be in a “better place”… whatever that means! Anyway, thanks for your comment!

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