I recently read this article at Ladies Against Femininsm and it struck such a chord with me. I have heard many similar conversations from women around and about me and it simply makes me sad.
My husband and I have known many friends, relatives and aquaintences say to us; about having more children or having mama stay home to care for the children; "We can't afford any more children" or "We just can't afford for me to stay home". Having known some of these families very well, then we would be of the opinion that they certainly could! We feel that what they are really meaning to say is; "We can't do that and maintain our current lifestyle". Many of the same families, who uttered the above statements to us, have two foreign holidays every year, fashionable store-bought clothes, his and her new cars (in Ireland it is something of a humiliation, if your car isn't above a year 2000 registration!), X-boxes and nintendoes...etc! Truthfully they are not prepared to 'do without' and 'sacrifice' those things for their families sake. My heart is heavy when I think that those 'things' don't bring true joy and contentment. Not to mention that we are biblically instructed to lay our treasures up in heaven, not upon the earth!
Alot of the time I am 'justified' to stay home with my children, by 'well-meaning' ladies because our family can 'afford it'! I can assure you that we are not rich except in each other, and though we are financially stable, we must still monitor our spending carefully and we do make sacrifices to enable me to stay home full time to care for our family! Please don't misunderstand me, and think I am saying that those luxuries are bad, period! No, we just must not let them, take our primary focus off our families or allow us to misjudge what is really important!
Additionally there is another side to this story and that is the mama's who sadly do not wish to be around their children all day. This I think is the saddest issue to be raised. I feel in my humble opinion that most of these mama'a, lack biblical direction or any direction at all; also there may be scheduling or discipline issues with the children that leave mama feeling like, she alone, could not accomplish all that needs to be done to sucessfully raise her children! We, in the nature of Titus 2 must encourage these women as much as possible; and show them that it is possible to do most of what a mama needs to do for her children and that it will bring sheer joy, happiness and contentment! Though I do have one or two aquaintences who continually express their displeasure of having to stay home with little ones and that they cannot wait for school age to pack them off so they can get on with something more exciting, when trying to encourage these women I get so disheartened when they praise me as some sort of super-woman (quite far from reality!) and so that somehow excuses them because I am seemingly somehow just more capable than they! This is the part that is so frustatring to me, as I work darn hard to learn to cook for more people so we can demonstrate hospitality, discipline consistently so my children are mannerly and well behaved, I feel the responses I hear from these ladies are simply excuses for not trying.
I do not have everything under control at all times, I mess up dinner, my laundry is overflowing, my children are not perfect...I am not perfect. But ladies we were given this sacred role by the Lord and we must embrace it and strive to do our best; and if we are lacking in skills then we must try earnestly to learn all that we can from others mothers who are more experienced.
I would love to hear some of your opinions, on the article at Ladies Against Feminism, in particular what advice you yourselves give to mothers who ask you "How do you do it?" or what replies you give to ladies who will put you on pedestals and put their own abilities in mothering down?