This is the battle, who is right and who is better? There is a range of emotion that follows this topic and it is no wonder why. Is there a more tender place in the heart of a woman then that space reserved for her own baby? I’ve known some pretty selfish people in my life and even they were moved to tears at the first time of having to leave their baby behind to return to work. I have had the privilege of living both situations, and because this is such an unrelenting topic, I would really like to address it for young mothers. Most young mothers are single moms because we know that 76% of teen pregnancy is unplanned. Since these teen moms are not married, a lot of the time they carry the financial burden of their child alone. It was like this for me. The father of my son was never involved, even during the pregnancy. I did have my parent’s support, but I felt obligated right away to earn some kind of money for myself and my son. I got a retail job at sixteen when my 1st was only a few months old. I went back to high school full-time 5 weeks after giving birth and on top of that I was working a part-time job at the mall. I woke up at 6 am 5 days a week and my son went with me to school. The majority of people have enough sense to agree that at this stage of my mothering experience, it was no good for me to be a stay- at-home mom. I never read the negative stats on teen moms, but I knew it would only make things worse on my son for his mother to be a drop out. NO WAY was I taking that crap from a society that had already betrayed me. I stayed in school and I kept working. My son was in daycare, a lot. I had my parents to help out with childcare in the evenings and weekends, but they both worked full-time and had lives of their own. It didn’t last long, they became fed up and insisted my son and I move out. There I was, 18, single, with a 2-year-old. Not too many would be confused why I was a working mother for those early years. Like many, I had no choice.
I did go on with my education and graduate college in five years. I worked as a waitress for consistent cash in my pocket and lived off of loans to get by with my books and bills. I got a good job right after graduating and within two years I was married and ready to focus on starting my family. Finally, I would get to be a stay-at-home mom! That is what I did and I dived into it with all my being! Those first years of getting pregnant with my next few children were precious, but there was a new element of hard, no money. No money of my own that is. I was to be submissive and embrace humility and service, all with a willing heart. I began to take on this attitude of feeling bad that I hadn’t been home with my oldest as a teen mom. Maybe, I thought, I was wrong to stay in school and focus on my education at the cost of those invaluable years with him? This was an emotional time filled with many unanswered questions about the role of mothers in modern society. I remember reading Titus chapter 2 for the first time and being enraged. THIS had never been taught to me as a young female. Today, when I question so-called experts in the church on woman’s issues, not one will answer me, all run for cover (cowards). Read it for yourself:
Titus 2:3-5 KJV
The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Throughout bible, blaspheming the Word of God is only mentioned this one time. That if Christian women are not discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, the word of God can be blasphemed.
Why don’t they talk about this in church? I mean, seems like some strong words being used here and NO ONE, not one person in the church or in my family or community can explain this to me? Why? What does this mean?
This verse became the spark of an unquenchable fire. The emotions of money and babies and my own mother leaving me at daycare to pursue her financial stability were all-consuming. What would I do with my life? Like most mothers that are madly in love with their babies and husband, I really wanted to get this right. I read the verses over and over. I looked into the past. In my grandmother’s day most women lived the Titus 2 life. I studied feminism and I thought I had found my answer. Angry bitter women must have been to blame. It was them that stole the housewives of America and pushed women to abandon their God ordained position! Now I was angry. Angry for being lied to by my teachers who had brainwashed my mind from my earliest of memories,
“What are you going to be when you grow up?” and “A woman can do ANY job a man can do.”
Their voices stern with authority standing over my 5-year-old mind. Career day was serious and expectations were laid out. “Keeper at home” was never an option for myself or the millions of other girls in my time. Had I ever said stay-at-home mom for what I wanted to be, that would have been unacceptable and I knew it.
So there I was. Privileged with the ability to not serve another master apart for my lord and husband. Safe, blooming in motherhood, and confused as can be. After all I did complete my education. I had been conditioned my whole life to compete with my male peers as an equal, but now in my christian married life the rules were much different. My life completely changed. I had baby after baby. I shopped the clearance racks and clipped coupons. I gave up so much of the life I had been used to and I did it willingly. I was reduced to it and it was not easy to transition out of who I was made to be, but I did it because I believed in it. I took the scorning looks and words from family and friends. I took the sleepless nights and the never getting a break. The more babies I had the worse the criticism and isolation became. Now the mom support I use to receive turned into bitter jealousy from peers. My family, friends, community and society, all looked down on me and the respect I once held as an educated working woman just disappeared. I was now not myself. I was defined by my choice, Stay-At-Home Mom. Not worthy of a break or a friend or help. People I needed just mocked my choice to have children and they wanted me to pay. Eventually it was too much and I wanted out. Now you can think I am exaggerating, but walk a mile in my shoes. Go through 8 pregnancies & care for babies with no income (earned for your labor) for over ten years and then we will talk.
I can only relate what my experience has been and while I will never regret staying home to invest in my husband and children, I can also tell you trying to raise a family in poverty is a nightmare. With the recession our country has recently faced, making enough money is a challenge for most Americans. The best part of my struggle is my journey has eliminated my anger and hate towards other moms. I no longer blame feminism or my government education and brainwashing that molded my “I can do any job a man can do” core programming.
I have made peace with who I am.
I currently work from home as a writer. I juggle the childcare and homeschooling with my husband. We are making plans to hire help to come into our home so I can work more hours and make more money. My husband and I have battled it out and we are finding what works for us, to care for our large family. I do not want to think about what life would be had I dropped out all those years ago. I am so glad I followed my gut! Otherwise, I’d really be in trouble.
Titus chapter 2 is still my pillar. It is still that grounding I need to remind me the importance God places on the woman’s role in the home. Ultimately, my God and my man come first. My first place of concern has to be my husband and children. If that is not right, the money won’t create the full life I deserve. I have learned to trust my heart. I have learned that people are cruel and are not going to carry your responsibilities for you, even when you really need that support, so why listen to them? Everyone told me not to have more babies, EVERYONE. But guess what, my children love me more than anyone ever has. My children bless me non-stop! They have educated and enlightened my life and soul!
What’s right for you won’t be right for another mom, so what’s this war between us moms really about? Competition? Our own past hurts? Jealousy? Time to drop it ladies. Let’s just love our God and men and children like crazy. Let us just be so driven to love our own families. And if your eye happens to catch a glimpse of another mom’s life, and you feel that awkward cringe of judgment for be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, smile inside and think of me! I give you permission to be you! #TEENMOMSUCCESS