Being a mother is an amazing thing. It is an absolute blessing to be a mother. In today’s society mothers have a lot of pressure on them. Some is external, but some is internal too. Being a mother is an extremely important job, but our current culture tells women that “just being a mother” really isn’t good enough.
We who are called and blessed with the responsibility of being a mother need not take this important responsibility for granted. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t seem to support the idea of motherhood as a blessing; instead, it implies it is a bit of an inconvenience and gets in the way of a woman’s ability to climb the corporate ladder and ‘make something of herself’.
Over the last several decades there has been a major shift in the opportunities available to women, which has also caused a shift in the societal expectations of women. Women are told as young girls they ‘can be anything they want to be’ and ‘do anything they want to do’. While both of these are positive statements for young girls, society has taken it to the extreme and now tries to make men and women completely equal, which is a fallacy. Men and women were designed differently for a reason. Women now are expected to achieve what men achieve and are expected to go out and earn money for the family too. Our lifestyles as Americans has played a factor in these expectations as well. I understand that many women choose to work outside of the home and that is their choice. I am not judging them. I was there and I felt I was doing what God had called me to do. I also know that there are many mamas who do not have a choice and my heart breaks that they have no choice. This post is not to impart guilt on them either. This post is to point out the cultural status quo from my perspective and to encourage mamas who have a choice and might be struggling with a divided heart between working outside of the home or choosing to stay home with her children.
Men and women were designed differently to compliment each other, but our culture has been pushing out this fact for many years and we are seeing the grave results of it now. I believe the current decline in our society has a lot to do with the cultural changes of a mother’s role. As a woman in her early thirties, I grew up hearing those inspiring statements about ‘doing anything I wanted to do’. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for those statements and believe they played a part in my educational and professional success. I have a mechanical engineering degree and owned a successful prosthetic practice for 6 years. But since selling my practice, embracing my calling as a mother and choosing to stay at home with my children I have thought a lot about my younger years. I do not remember hearing many statements about how important the role of a mother is to her family, nor any inspirational talks about how it will be a joy to be a mother someday. In fact, the only real time I remember “mothers” being recognized was one day of the year...Mother’s Day. This is so disappointing. Mothers should be celebrated every day.
Being a mother is hard work and it is a big responsibility. I have heard mothers joke about how going to work is actually easier than raising their children. While this may be true, there is sadness in this statement. Mothers today miss out on so much of their child’s growth and development because they are not present for a good portion of these years. It has become our culture to have other people raise our children so moms can go off to work. Children prefer to be with their mothers though, especially at a young age. I believe a large majority of a child’s raising must be done by the parents and the mother will take the lead on this because of her natural, nurturing instincts.
As I said at the beginning of this blog, being a mother is something we can’t take for granted. I do not believe mothers were meant to raise children alone though. Fathers play an important role in the family unit as well and should be contributing to raising the children too. To you single moms out there, please hear me when I say “you are amazing and I am not downplaying what you do, nor bashing it!” I have so much respect for single mothers. I believe our society has let single mothers down too.
Our society demands a woman’s worth be measured by what we do professionally. I see nothing wrong with a woman working. I myself enjoy work. Working is a good thing, but what I am concerned with is when a mother’s work becomes a priority over children. Most mothers do not intend for this to happen, but unfortunately it often does. Between projects, deadlines, meetings and more, how do moms fit in teacher conferences, school plays, sports games, spelling bees, and just being around? Something has to give...and odds are it won’t be to the person who signs your paycheck. Moms in these situations often try to do it all and at 110%, which is not humanly possible. This results in a serious problem of over-stressed, over-worked, burned-out moms who suffer serious personal consequences. Which ultimately causes the whole family to crumble.
Please hear me out...I am not pointing fingers or talking about a subject I don’t know anything about. I was there. I owned my own business, had a newborn, and married. It was extremely difficult. When I was working I felt guilty that I wasn’t with my son and when I was with my son, I felt guilty because I wasn’t at the office. It was so stressful. It was more than I could handle. I always felt I was neglecting my husband in some way or another. And as a result I was suffering in all aspects of my life; I was depressed and I was burned-out! God knew I was struggling and so earlier this year, he took the business away. I was able to sell my business and I no longer work there. God has now given me the opportunity to be at home. I am continuing to work, but on a much smaller time scale. I am now helping my husband with his construction business. I have a much more flexible schedule and I get to spend a lot more time with my family and I am very thankful.
I do believe the current decline in our society has a lot to do with this shift in a mothers expectations. ATTENTION MOMS...Let us take motherhood back! I have never heard a mother say, “Wow, I wish my kids would have grown up faster!” Time is the one thing we can’t get more of. Once it is gone, we can never get it back. I want to encourage you to take a look at where your time goes. Are you working? How much time is dedicated to work and how much to your family? Are you reaching burn-out? I think if we all took an honest look at our schedules we would see that our family time is actually pretty limited. Don’t take the time with your family for granted. Your work is important; but NOT as important as your family.
Hi! My name is Mandy Jo.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Being a mom in this modern age is a blessing, but no cake walk. So many expectations are imposed on us and it can be overwhelming and often discouraging.