When I was in sixth grade, I remember the teacher going around the room asking all the students what they wanted to be when they grew up. When it came my turn, I stood up and proudly said I wanted to be a mom and rear my children. I do not remember exactly what the teacher said. All I remember is the impression I got from her that I should "aim a little higher."
But who is it that makes being a mom sound like a small achievement? It is our mortal enemy, Satan the devil. He is the one who wants to make women feel like they have underachieved if they are “only moms”—as if they have somehow aimed too low if they desire to wipe noses and kiss booboos. But God paints a different picture. In Psalm 113:9, the psalmist says it is God who makes the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children.
In today’s society, women who have forsaken the “corporate life” to stay at home and be full-time moms often sacrifice additional salary their family could have had, not to mention the “worldly” prestige and acclaim that come with such positions. Even harder, they often sacrifice adult conversation! But it is worth the sacrifice.
In our Western society, families and communities are too often fractured. The unity and values that were once associated with strong families have withered away, and a big part of that is the lack of mothers willing to be the best mothers they can be. Many stay-at-home moms have no other stay-at-home moms in their neighborhoods. At one time, women might have gathered for a quilting bee, spent time with neighbors or served other extended family members while the young ones played. This was an additional contribution to the strength of society’s fabric, and it is missed today.
In today’s society, many families may not even have the option of keeping a mom at home. And, as the Wall Street Journal argued several years ago (“The Unchained Woman”, March 8, 2012), the “Women’s Lib” movement has ironically helped create an economic environment that makes the choice to be a stay-at-home mom increasingly difficult for those who are not financially “well off.” Some have even made the shocking assertion (against some very strongly worded and compelling resistance) that being a stay-at-home mother should be "illegal" or disallowed in some way. Yet, if a mom works away from home, especially when the children are young, it makes it that much harder for even the best mom to be everything her children need her to be.
This is a decision every family has to make on its own. But the families that are able to manage a stay-at-home mom should not think of her as “just a mom.” Think of her as a COO—the Chief Operating Officer of her own small business—who reports to her husband, the Chief Executive Officer. The daily operations of a home can be just as complicated as those of a Fortune 500 company! Mom has to wear many hats, and has a difficult job—one in which her job description is constantly changing and her project is not completed for 18 to 20 years or more. She may even be blessed with a promotion to “Grandmother,” giving her the pleasure of helping the next generation’s moms.
Titus 2:4–5 tells older women to teach the younger women to love their children and be keepers at home. Women with grown children can help women with younger children by relating to them: listening to them, recalling their own challenges, encouraging them and helping them.
Being a mom is a difficult job—one that should not be undervalued by anyone, male or female. As it is often said, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. If you would like more information on how to be a better mom—or dad—read our free booklet, Successful Parenting: God’s Way.