articles / Family life

Answering God’s call without fighting the mom wars

There’s been a lot of stuff posted lately about the “mommy wars” or maybe I’m just seeing it more…but it got me thinking about my situation.

I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing and a minor in journalism. Over the summer of 2012 I’d had a hard time finding a job that used my degree so I ended up waitressing at Cracker Barrel. Don’t get me wrong — it was good money (most of the time) and I didn’t mind the work. I also enjoyed it because I stayed at home with Josiah during the day and did his preschooling at home. At night I went to work and he spent the evenings with his Dad.

It was a great set up, but to be honest I was exhausted all the time. I felt like I was working 24/7 and in a sense I was. I really was torn because I wanted to stay at home, but at the time financially we just couldn’t do it. March of 2013 I got my job at the newspaper — a job that went along with what I went to school for. The downside was that Josiah had to go to preschool and I couldn’t be home with him.

After getting pregnant with Samuel, Jimmi and I did a lot of praying about what God was calling our family to do. In the end, we felt like I needed to stay at home with the kids and homeschool.

When someone makes the decision to make a job change or major career change, especially if it is a woman deciding to quit and stay home there is a lot of opinion and speculation.

Let me share a story with you:

“18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-20

Peter and Andrew had been fishermen all their lives — that’s all they knew how to do. Jesus walked up to them and said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What does it say they did? They left everything they’d ever know — left the only career they were trained for and followed Jesus.

Jesus called them and they didn’t ask questions — they went. It says nothing about them grumbling about all the hours it took them to learn how to fish or the time it took them to make their nets, etc…They were fishermen, but Jesus came to them and gave them a new calling — a new purpose in life. It didn’t matter what they were before, Jesus called them to something different.

I love this story because I feel this demonstrates the fact that sometimes when Jesus calls us to do something it doesn’t necessarily make sense to people at the time, but it will eventually. It doesn’t say so I’m only speculating, but can you imagine some of the comments the nay-sayers might have said about the fact that they’d left their lifetime career to follow Jesus? It probably sounded something like, “They’ve spent their whole life as fishermen and now they’re going to go and preach?” Like I said, pure speculation, but I could see it happening.

What does this have to do with the mom wars?

Well, here’s the thing. I feel like God has called me to stay home with my family. A mom’s “job” is taking care of her family. As a stay-at-home mom, my job description (as me and my husband have agreed to) is to take care of my family by cooking healthy meals (gluten-free and unprocessed), doing the majority of the cleaning, homeschooling, taking care of my kids and saving money for my family by doing things like canning, thrifting, using cloth diapers, breastfeeding (there are other reasons I do that, but saving money is one of them) and learning how to sew things so I don’t have to buy them.

Not all stay-at-home mom’s have that job description — each one has their own special tasks. The things above are what I can do and what I choose to do for my family because I believe that’s the way that God wants my family to live.

A mom who works outside of the home still has the task of taking care of her family. She works outside of the home to help provide financially — that is one way she helps take care of her family. All moms feed their family dinner. For a working mom it may be 100% cooked at home or it could be 50% take-out, 25% Hamburger helper, and 25% home-cooked food. Either way, they’re eating. She’s taking care of her family. The work-outside-the-home mom may split the housework 50/50 with her husband. Either way the house gets clean — she’s taking care of her family.

Is an elementary teacher better than a junior high school teacher? Both are teachers. Both are in the classroom to educate students. One of them spends all day with the same students teaching all subjects. The other gets their students for an hour and teaches one subject. They’re basic job is the same: To teach. The specifics of their jobs though are totally different. One teacher is not better than the other simply because their specific job description is different.

Same way with moms. If some mom’s were not called to work outside the home, we wouldn’t have teachers or nurses or 24 hour Walmarts.

Some moms feel that they are better than others because they stay at home and do things like homeschool or breastfeed or whatever…STOP. You can be proud of what you do and confident that you’re doing what you’re called to do without thinking you’re better than anyone.

Some moms feel bad because they can’t or chose not to stay home, homeschool or breastfeed…STOP. You have to be confident in the decision you’ve made for your family. If you’re working outside of the home, do so because you feel that is what you are called to do. It may not be what you prefer to do, but you were called to take care of your family. If working is the primary way for you to take care of your family, then that’s what you do.

Some moms look down on other moms because they didn’t breastfeed…STOP. I’m a huge advocate of breastfeeding. Yes, it annoys me when I see women not even try, BUT that doesn’t make me better and that doesn’t mean they are any less of a mother because their baby takes a bottle.

Some moms look down on other moms because they are still breastfeeding their 18 month old…IT SHOULDN’T MATTER TO YOU. That is normal in many many countries.

Some moms look down on other moms because they homeschool (because you know homeschool kid’s are weird)…IT SHOULDN’T MATTER TO YOU.

Some moms look down on other moms because their kids go to public school or private school…IT SHOULDN’T MATTER TO YOU.

Some moms think it’s disgusting to use cloth diapers…IT SHOULDN’T MATTER TO YOU.

Some moms think it’s wasteful and gross to use disposable diapers…IT SHOULDN’T MATTER TO YOU.

Fill in the blank:

Some moms look down on other moms because ____________…STOP. IT SHOULDN’T MATTER TO YOU.

You do what you are called to do in this life. I will do what I’m called to do in this life. Your job is to do what is best for YOUR family. My job is to do what is best for MY family. Our basic job descriptions are the same, but the specifics of our jobs may be totally different.

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