The truth is, I don't think every mom should be a stay-at-home mom (nor every woman should be a mom for that matter). I've met women who are wonderful moms, but staying home with their child is either not feasible or not ideal for their family. Some families need the financial help, others have worked hard toward their career and placing it on hold would be detrimental to their professional life, others are single moms, while others have different reasons just as valid.
These women are very involved in their children's rearing, fretting over who should take care of their children, what their education should look like, who their friends are, what will the kids eat, what milestones have they hit, and the list goes on and on. Just because a woman chooses one path over another, does not make her inferior.
Regardless of what we choose, why do we have to judge our fellow sisters? We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. We should be encouraging one another, not chastising, criticizing, condemning. Why is there a sense of one way is the right way, therefore, all other ways must be the wrong way? Some people blame old-fashioned expectations, others blame the Bible and their archaic expectations. I say nonsense!
In my quest to see what the Bible truly says about whether women should work in the home or outside to prove my point, I found that Proverbs 31 supports both views. For those who are unfamiliar, Proverbs 31 is often labeled "The Ideal Woman" You won't find its words archaic at all. It supports the working woman and also supports the stay-at-home mom who supports her family by truly taking care of the home. So feel free to read. Note: my commentary is in parentheses.
10 wife of noble character who can find" She is worth far more than rubies. (Somebody you can respect and who is valued.)
11 Her husband" has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. (He can trust her, she doesn't fool around.)
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Respects her husband.)
13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. (Hard-working)
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. (Her husband is NOT the only one providing, I'm not saying this is supporting either side, but this could include working outside the home or taking care of the home)
15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. (She makes her own money, and uses it to profit the family.)
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (She is hardworking)
18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. (See, we are SUPPOSED to shop and look for sales!)
19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. (distaff has something to do with spinning, which is referring to making clothes... But I guess now it could say, holding the debit card in her fingers and stands in line.... ;).)
20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. (Involved in non-profits and helping others)
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. (Except maybe the ten year old who is convinced they can wear shorts and a sweatshirt in 30 degree weather, in which she will chase after them, without fear, but intense frustration and disbelief.)
22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. (See, God likes when we want to look cute!)
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. (She doesn't bad talk her husband behind his back.)
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. (This DOES point out a woman who works outside the home, although most likely her children were either with her or older children at home with the children.)
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (He wants us to have a sense of humor.)
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (He wants us to be smart and use our common sense.)
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (Bread of idleness??? Cookies??? Ben and Jerry's??? I think this is figurative bread, so could be translated to Facebook or Downtown Abbey. You're feeling guilty right now, aren't ya?)
28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (Her family appreciates her, whether they realize it or not.)
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (We will age, get over it)
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
A long time ago, I got hurt over something my husband said. Once we discussed it, I realized I misunderstood him. He then said to me, "If I say something, and it can be interpreted two ways, please assume, I meant it the good way." I've tried to live my life with that motto. If a friend doesn't return my call, I choose to assume they are busy, not that they are trying to ignore me. If a friend says, "I like to eat healthy," while I am eating a Krispy Kreme, I assume they are trying to convince themselves that they don't want what I have. Maybe I'm wrong some of the time, but a lot of the time I'm right. Rarely, have I ever been hurt for assuming they meant something good, when they've meant harm. What I will say though is that I have been spared many tears, assuming they didn't mean to offend.
So please, let's stop the mommy wars. When someone says something possibly offensive, choose to ignore. There are as many ways to live life as there are people on this earth. We all have our own experiences, our own values, our own beliefs. More importantly, we-women need one another. We need validation, encouragement, and love. We all are going to make mistakes, but it's much easier to correct them, when we have support. Who knows, maybe when we stop comparing each other, we may just learn from one another.