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Rachel Scott on the solution to Working Moms vs. Stay-at-home Moms

May 21, 2012

I get so tired of the working mom vs. stay-at-home mom war that seems to emerge several times in every decade. It just reared its ugly head several months back when a comment was made in the media about Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife staying home to raise their five boys. This comment from a working mother herself, got women everywhere up in arms over the choice to stay home or the choice to go to work. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s Oprah Winfrey would devote entire shows to this subject. At the time, I was a full time stay-at-home mother and I wished I could have been her guest because in one statement I could END this war permanently!

I finally had figured it out, there is not a right or wrong answer for women. According to the Bible a woman can choose either route with her life, a woman is allowed to work. The Proverbs 31 woman who many portray as the perfect stay-at-home mother also owned a vineyard and went away on trips to buy things for her household. The Bible portrays her as savvy.  I know some argue that a woman should not work when her children are small and I do firmly believe this too, but with the internet and the rise of Mommy Bloggers and with all the women who run businesses from their homes now, a mother could still be at home and be ignoring her children. Being home is not the answer if she is working at home and not emotionally or physically present with her children.

Yet the difference between the working mother and the stay at home mother is simply one thing….it’s the memories. What will she remember about her children when she is old and what will her children remember about her when they are grown?

Was she there to remember their first step, their first words, their first temper tantrums, the first time they pointed at a bird or discovered a dandelion blowing in the wind? Or was she in a board meeting working and a sitter captured these moments?

When her children are older, will they have these incredible memories of mom and stories to tell about  about all the things she had them do and about all the places she took them and all of their experiences together or will they talk about these things knowing she was absent from most of their lives?

When she is old will she remember the day she became Vice President of her company and when she got the prestigious corner office because her merchandising sales tripled in one year after she nearly worked herself to death or will the things she accomplished in business, not matter as much to her as her family?

When she dies, who will have the great stories of life with Momma, will it be her co-workers or her children or will the family stand by her grave knowing that mother made a lot of money but scarcely knew them!

Ladies you can do anything you want with your life but when you are old is when it will matter to you which path you chose.

There is no war between working mothers or stay at home mothers…ONLY MEMORIES.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2014 11:20 pm

    Wow…I came upon this article when looking online for christian encouragement for working mothers who want desperately to stay at home. Instead, it fed into my “mommy guilt…” Yes, you are right…I hate that I miss out on so much of my children’s lives…I hate that I recently discovered my 2 year old can ride a tricycle very well…but I had no idea, because she learned it at daycare. The only reason I discovered that she could is because I am on maternity leave and she is with me all day. I do miss out on so many memories, and I hate it…but I CAN”T be a stay at home mom right now, and this article reminded me of how much I hate that. You write that according to the bible, we can choose to work or stay at home…but then, you make it seem as if working moms are making a selfish decision and that we are selfishly robbing out children of memories. In a sense you are correct, but these are not the words we need to read…if anything, it fuels the war. I try to cherish every hug from my children, every moment i get a few minutes to play dolls or puzzles. There aren’t enough of these moments between working 40 hours a week, preparing meals and cleaning out….but its just where my husband and I are at the moment, and we have to make the best of it.

  2. Dinah123 permalink
    May 23, 2012 2:53 pm

    This post about whether or not kids can remember who their dead working mother was got me to thinking about our memories. When I had kids, I thought the memories I’d have would be the dewy eye’d mama moments, but that turns out not to be the case at all. I don’t remember when my son, now almost 13, learned to walk which I think was well past 14 months of age, but I remember him vomiting in my hair the first 6 months of his life. That’s when I cut my hair short. Actually, I do remember his first smile, only because it was so early and my older daughter never smiled as a baby, she was too miffed at being a baby it seems.

    What I treasure are the memories that we already have that bind us closer together now and they’re never ever those magical moments, the ones that we thought we were building family memories with. Our best memories are the very minor things, or the little screw ups, the things that didn’t go according to plan, but because they’re shared, they bind us together and are really special.

    Yesterday my daughter reminded me that she used to think that my husband and I were brother and sister. I said “yes! You always asked me what Daddy was like when he was little and I was like ‘how should I know?’ And then you’d get so upset and say ‘I have to marry my brother, but I don’t WANT to marry him!'” I had forgotten all about that, but it was a theme that came up occasionally when she was little and it did perplex me. She said she thought that because I call my in-laws Mom and Dad we were siblings. Well, now those questions make sense!

    Once my brother and I took them to the Natural History museum. We got tickets to an IMAX film on life at the bottom of the sea. I was so excited, I was looking forward to seeing the bizarre critters they found down there, in IMAX. Well, in THIS movie, they plunged so far down under the ocean that basically there was no supportable life AT ALL. The entire movie was about NOTHING but SAND and the theater was packed and the entire audience fell asleep, in one giant mass nap. We’ve seen and done many things since, but somehow it was this movie that got filed into the archive of special memories that we take out and look at and laugh at together. Memories are so powerful that way.

  3. Dinah123 permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:22 pm

    “Back in the 1980′s and 1990′s Oprah Winfrey would devote entire shows to this subject. At the time, I was a full time stay-at-home mother and I wished I could have been her guest because in one statement I could END this war permanently!”

    It’s the media’s job to gin up controversy. The only “war” between working mom’s and stay at home mom’s is in the media, because it sells books and magazines and draws viewers to the tee vee. Just follow the money. I didn’t know Oprah had entire shows on the subject because I don’t watch much television, certainly not during the day. If you just shut off the television, and ignore the magazine racks at the grocery store, then voila, no more “war” on this or that. The media’s job isn’t to educate, it’s to deliver eyeballs to their advertisers.

    “When she dies, who will have the great stories of life with Momma, will it be her co-workers or her children or will the family stand by her grave knowing that mother made a lot of money but scarcely knew them!”

    Rachel, it isn’t an either/or situation. Just because a mother makes a choice, or by circumstances, has to work outside the home doesn’t make them an absent, neglectful mother. Would you ask the same rhetorical questions about working dads? Same deal, coworkers, vice president, dandelions, lots of money, corner office, barely knew ya?

    I know one mother who works in a hospital all week. She’s in no way absent from her children’s lives, she’s quite involved, and her children are bright, and lovely people. She is a loving, devoted mother, sister, wife and a good, dear friend, beloved by all. No regrets.

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