Do you plan on being a Stay-At-Home Mom someday? Note that my question was “Do you plan“, not “Do you want” to be a Stay-At-Home mom (SAHM)? Why do I ask it that way? Because desire for something isn’t always enough. Some things come easily. But many things take time and energy and good decisions to make happen. This is one of those things.
Now, you may be thinking: “Jayme, I don’t even know that I’ll get married. MUCH less have kids. MUCH less be able to stay home with them.” But I’ll tell you that staying home with kids doesn’t happen accidentally and there are a lot of things you can do in your single days to help that dream turn into desire.
Today, I’ll start a multi-part series on the topic of SAHMs. Disclaimer: I’m not one. I don’t stay-at-home. I don’t mother. I had one growing up – my mother stayed at home with us until my father passed away, when she went back to school and then worked. By then all of us kiddos were in school all day.
Because I’m not a SAHM, my advice is theoretical. Because of that, I’ll lay out the theology of moms as stay-at-home moms, but I’ll rely on others for the benefits of making that happen.
Today’s topic: Biblical foundations
I won’t say that mothers must be stay-at-home moms. I’ll never say that it’s unbiblical for them to work – whether full-time or part-time. I won’t say that because I don’t believe that! Women are not sinning by earning an income. Women are not sinning by working outside of the home. That said…
We have roles
Women are called to manage their homes.
If you can do that and work, yay! Consider that a blessing! Often women can, especially when they’re newly married and children aren’t part of the picture. They don’t have to work, but they have the freedom to work and usually the ability to do so.
Men are called to be providers for their families.
God’s command to men is to provide all kinds of things for their family – spiritual leadership, protection, and yes, financial provision.
Parents are called to raise their children.
Not Suzy Q at the day care center. Or Teacher Sally at the school. Or Pastor Bobby at the church. Parents are. There are all kinds of people (teachers and families and friends of all kinds) that can help the parents raise kids, but the responsibility is theirs.
All kinds of ways
Women have all kinds of ways that they can carry out their role as home managers. As different as one woman is from another is as different as the way she’ll manage her home. Some will do all the jobs themselves. Others will employ housekeepers and cooks. Some will sew their own clothes. Others will visit Kohl’s.
Men have all kinds of ways of carrying out their role as well. Each man is different in the way he’ll carry out his duties. Some men will work 8-to-5 Monday-Friday. Some will work at night. Some will work from home. Some will work construction. Some will work at a desk. Some will make $40K/year. Others will make $1 million/year.
Parents have all kinds of ways that they’ll carry out their responsibilities as parents. Some will home school. Some will public school. Some will private school. Some will home church. Some won’t. Some will have their kids with them in church service every week. Some will use Sunday School and Youth Groups. Some will do all the watching of their kids, every single minute. Others will use Grandma & Grandpa for date nights. Some will hire a babysitter a couple of afternoons a week.
What’s the best way to accomplish these things?
It’s often easiest for a couple to carry out these three obligations (home management, provision, and parenting) by having the husband works and the wife stays at home, especially once kids come into the family. It’s not required, but it’s often easiest that way. Their thought: Let wives be home managers and moms. Let husbands be providers and fathers. Both helping each other, to be sure, but both having distinct roles, clearly defined.
Most moms already know this. So even if you don’t believe this today, give yourself permission to think that your opinion could change in the future. Some stats for you*:
- Only 16% of stay-at-home moms think that working full-time is best for kids.
- Only 21% of working moms think that working full-time is best for kids.
That’s 84% of stay-at-home moms and 79% of working moms who don’t think working full time is best for their children. I’m excited for the rest of the series – are you? I promise it will be full of biblical truth, but also filled with practical ways to help you get there.
For more resources/inspiration:
- God’s Pattern for Husbands by John MacArthur
- God’s Pattern for Wives by John MacArthur
- Heather Koerner’s Why I’m At Home
- Crown Financial Ministries: Working Wives