An age-old debate about stay-at-home moms verses working moms is in the news this week, and I’m surprised. I really thought we as a nation was past this pettiness. My mom was a working mom. I was both a stay-at-home mom and a working mom at different times in my life. My daughter-in-law is a stay-at-home mom. I don’t see how any of this is relevant to anything. Almost every mom makes choices based on what’s best for her, her children, and her family based on her situation and economic realities. There are no cookie cutter lives with God. He expects us to treat each other and the decisions we make with respect.
Historical Reference: This wasn’t an issue 100 years ago. Almost all moms stayed at home. Almost all dads stayed at home. The homestead farm was their family business, and everyone in the family contributed. The industrial revolution started to change that. Men began to work in factories while the women tried to keep up the family farm and raise the children. Then World War 2 came along, and women were called upon to help out in the factories because of the shortage of men. When the war was over, that’s when the debate started. Media worked at getting women back in the home so the returning veterans would have employment. The debate hit its highest point during the women’s rights era circa 1960’s through 1980’s. But in the 90’s, the debate calmed down because the issue wasn’t so cut and dry.
Many Choices: There are many choices families can make which makes the debate a mute point in most circles. Of course politics isn’t in tune with what most people debate.
Women can choice to work a full-time job and hire well-trained people or relying on family members to take care of their children while they’re at work. Moms who do this show an example to their children that gender isn’t a factor in doing a job well. They also usually are the ones who shoulder most of the parenting responsibility after working eight hours a day. Some women make this choice because they feel it’s best for them and their families. Some have no choice because of economic realities or because they are single moms and the only source of support for their children.
Some stay-at-home moms choice to pinch pennies, clip coupons, and forgo some luxuries to stay home and take care of their children instead of paying someone else to do the job. They may even choose to continue to stay at home That choice should also be respected.
But there are many other choices people make. Some stay-at-home moms do volunteer work that working moms don’t have time to do. They may be president of to PTA or children’s pastor at their local church. Others may choose to babysit working moms’ children so they can stay home with their children. Then there are the stay-at-home dads who do an excellent job raising children while the moms make a living.
The main reason the debate is no longer valid is because the lines are blurred. Moms can work out of their homes. Some moms are able to work for their companies from their homes because of computers and the Internet. Some moms have home businesses such as being 31 or Arbonne consultants, selling homemade products at trade shows and flea markets, or writing novels or magazine articles. Other moms work part-time or are stay-at-home moms until their children start school then shift to full-time working moms. Only some politicians don’t realize that the choices are endless.
Scriptural Reference: Some point to the Bible to decide whether working outside the home is valid for Christians. If you really search Scripture, you’ll find that it is vague on the issue mainly because it wasn’t an issue back then. Moms and dads worked in the home and sold their goods in the marketplace.
Many point to the Proverbs 31 woman as someone to emulate. Let’s look at a few verses in Proverbs 31.
vs. 13-14 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
vs. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
These verses imply she’s a working mom.
vs. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
No wonder she can work so hard. She has servants. This verse shows that if you work hard outside the home, there’s nothing wrong with hiring help.
vs. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
It looks like she also volunteers.
vs. 21-22 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
vs. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
These verses make it sound like she is a stay-at-home mom.
vs. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
Maybe she works out of her home to make a living.
The only thing I really get from Proverbs 31 is that if I honor God with whatever I prayerfully choose to do, then I’ll be a Proverbs 31 women.
It’s time to end the debate and accept one another’s choices. What do you think of this debate?