The Ultimate Career — a guest post
According to God’s Word, older women are told to encourage young women to “…love their husbands, love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home…” (Titus 2:3-5) Mom, as an older woman, I want to encourage you by telling you that motherhood is a career, not a fall-back plan when other things don’t work out or something simply to be endured until you can resume your true career by going back to work. Obviously, there are situations where a mother must work outside the home to provide for her family; however, motherhood is a career option that is vital to the sustenance of our society and to the wellbeing of our children. Even for mothers who are employed, viewing motherhood in this light can impact how you carry out this very important task.
To give you some background, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. After considering job offers in that field, I also completed my training to be certified to teach high school science. And I did teach in an engineering magnet high school for four years before the Lord blessed us with children. So, when I say that motherhood is viable career option, I say it because I CHOSE to stay home with my children as a career, not because I did not have other options. I do not say this to sound the least bit arrogant. I say it to elevate the noble position of motherhood.
Full-time motherhood is by far one of the most demanding careers a woman could choose. There are no vacation days, sick days, lunch hours, or break times. There are no salaries, overtime pay, raises, bonuses, incentive compensation, or stock options. The hours are grueling. The job never stops.
And the job can be very frustrating when you’ve said the same thing for the tenth time…or cleaned the spilled milk up off the floor AGAIN…or changed the soiled sheets in the middle of the night for the third time in a week…or sung the alphabet song until you can’t get it out of your head.
But the rewards are priceless! You get to hear the first word…you get to see the first step…you get to help them hide God’s Word in their hearts. You get to watch them grow and develop and blossom daily and hourly into the people God designed them to be! You get to watch the Holy Spirit work in their lives. You get to direct them to the Savior. And then you get to watch them fly and soar into chapters of their lives where you will not be with them on a daily basis. There is no going back to “re-do” yesterday and there are no second chances to be there for your children as they navigate through life. Choosing to be a full-time mother is the best career choice you can make!
Those who would say that staying at home with children is “copping out” or “a waste of your potential” probably have never done it and probably have not considered the phenomenal importance of motherhood. In what other career do you have the opportunity to singlehandedly be God’s instrument to help shape the life and future of another human being so profoundly? As the old saying goes, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Full-time motherhood done well will use every ounce of God-given intelligence and ability that you have. None of it will be wasted.
I approach motherhood as I would have a career outside the home. I am always thinking…how can I do my job better? More efficiently? More effectively? With better results? I would have approached a career outside the home that way, so why wouldn’t I do it for a job that I consider far more important with more far-reaching impact…and for the Lord for whom I do everything and who is my “Boss” (Colossians 3:17, 23) ? For me, this means simple things like putting peanut butter on my grocery list when I open the new jar so that we won’t run out of peanut butter at the most inopportune time…or toilet paper…or milk. Or browning two pounds of meat instead of one so that I can use one for tonight’s supper and freeze one for another day. Or using all those minutes in the car wisely – to teach the books of the Bible, the alphabet, the days of the week, the months of the year…to recite Bible stories over and over and over until even the youngest child knows them by heart…to sing songs of praise and Scripture instead of turning on the radio or the iPod to listen to something that only I would enjoy. It also means the more profound things like studying and learning about your children so you know what makes them “tick”. It means listening well to hear their hearts. It means being intentional about every part of your job as a mother.
So, in spite of all of the difficulties and challenges and societal pressures to do otherwise, I encourage you by saying from experience that choosing full-time motherhood as a career is SO worth it! After 19 years, I would not trade one minute for an outside career. Even as I approach the “empty nest” and wonder what the Lord has for me next, I would not sacrifice the years at home for the security of knowing what might fill my time when our last child leaves for college. Motherhood is a noble calling. Answer God’s call to be a full-time mother. You will not regret it.
This is part of the series 31 Days of Encouragement for Mama that is running through the month of October. Check out all the posts in the series here.