A recent discussion confirmed the need for me to clarify my position on the popular Christian idea of the “stay at home mom”. This idea comes from the 50’s era housewife and stems on presumably Biblical ideas of womanhood based on verses calling women “keepers of the home” or Paul’s instruction for women “to manage their homes”. Proverbs 14:1 would be another verse linked to this idea saying that “a wise woman builds her house”. Some would use Proverbs 31 though this could equally be used to support more feminist ideas.
So briefly what’s my position? I’ve said before I’m not interested in a stay at home mom for a wife. I often say that emphatically and bluntly. Why? Isn’t that a good thing for the kids? Wouldn’t you love to come home to dinner on the table and a beautiful wife waiting for you after a long day’s work? These are the questions I get asked and I think they are valid.
What triggers my reaction is this: I have met several if not many young ladies who see being a stay at home mom as an escape from responsibility and work. I’ve heard story after story of married women who stay at home doing nothing while their husbands work 60+ hours a week to provide them with every luxury. I’ve literally heard girls say they want to stay at home and yet hope their husband makes enough to hire a cook so they don’t have to. Or they want to send their kids to school so they can do what they like during the day. The impression I get is that they are intimidated by the work force and yet society has made caring for a home repulsive. The new ideal is possibly summed up in the Real Housewives TV show.
If you want to be a stay at home mom so you don’t have to work, you are lazy. If you want to be home with your kids and then give them TV and video games to entertain them so you can do what you like, you are incompetent. If you really care about your kids’ education and wellbeing and want to work hard to raise an excellent family and make your house a home for hospitality, than by all means be a stay at home mom – if you can afford it.
My mom stayed home to raise nine of us kids. She worked hard to teach us how to clean. She taught us how to cook. I can do both better than a lot of girls I know. Not bragging on myself. But my mom. She raised us in the Word. Educated us so that I got my first four years of college nearly free. Walked with my brother through four years of cancer. Fed the family on a poverty line budget. And fed us well, she’s a nutritionist so she knows what’s healthy. She made sure to greet my dad at the door after a long day’s work. She read books to keep up on the latest parenting ideas. I could go on.
So find me a woman who wants to do that. That’s a woman I can respect. Just like I respect couples who decide they both want to work. But if you’re just trying to get out of making an honest living in today’s world where women aren’t oppressed and don’t normally have more than one kid, than I’m going to have to stick with my reactionary statements.
Being a stay at home mom should be a full time job. Life is too short and time too costly for it to be anything else.