... a sweet friend sent me a link to a John Piper clip about whether or not mothers should work "outside the home". She had posted it on Facebook and got quite a few comments. I am always amazed at how emotionally charged any issue regarding parenting can be. That being said, I do have a few personal comments to make.
I am a stay-at-home mom. I've always wanted to be a SAHM. It's my dream, and I'm living it now. I considered my days working full time to be filling the gap until I had kids. I've never had aspirations to be anything other than a great mom. I'm guessing I'm one of the lucky ones. Friends have told me so. While I certainly do have bad days, and some seasons have seemed to hold more bad days than good, that was also true when I was working. I don't mind the mundane aspects of motherhood. I feel a lot of pride when I tell people how I spend my days. My only regret is that there isn't another adult in the house to enjoy these kiddos with me. Joy multiplied and all that.
Now, do I believe that just because someone works outside the home or doesn't love motherhood as much as I do, is wrong? Not really. My only opinion is that if you have been blessed with children, they do need to be your primary calling. I do believe that if you are working (and by "working" I mean a 40-hour work week) because you can't stand your kids, or being "cooped up" all day, and it is not a financial need, then something is wrong and you need a priority shift. If you have a 20-hour/week job to earn fun money or explore a creative outlet and you can do it without stringing your kids out -go for it! A lot of my friends do this. I've done this.
I want us to remember that it is not the staying at home part that is required by God. It is raising your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord that is required by Scripture. I do think working full-time makes this harder, but I also think it can be done. I also think a mom can stay-at-home with her kids and not come remotely close to fulfilling her calling. If she spends all day on the computer, gabbing on the phone, or watching TV while ignoring the crying baby and the fighting siblings, she is no better than the mom who schelps who kids off to day-care because she "doesn't do kids". And, yes, I've had mamas verbalize those thoughts to me when I was a teacher in a daycare. Mothers who thanked me for taking care of their kids because they didn't want to do it. I can't think of a single working mother that I know and call a friend who fits into this category. Any working moms I know have exhausted other avenues before returning to work.
So, my point is. Be gracious to those mothers who are working (especially those within the Body). You may not have the whole story. And, don't just assume any SAHM is doing her duty. She could be abdicating behind closed doors. Simply put, don't judge a book by it's cover.