Perhaps you heard the recent comment by Hilary Rosen in reference to Ann Romney implying that as a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom), Anne "she has never worked a day in her life."
I'm not sure what thoughts first went through your mind when you heard that. I can certainly understand anger, but for me it was more irritation, as well as a reminder that the world does not value the family.
As a result of her inaccurate comment, it did get me thinking about that statement and these are some of my thoughts.
The trouble with Hilary Rosen's comment is that she has fallen into the lie that says a paycheck is a person's measure of success. Others might even feel how large that paycheck is determines whether or not you are "successful".
A person may make $100K and yet have a life that is falling apart, while another person has devoted his life to his family but only brings home $40K. Who is the successful one?
Sadly, as women we tend to be really good at judging others. Especially when we feel confident that the mom next to us isn't doing as good a job as we are.
We're all guilty of this at one time or another and I can't help but think about how this has divided us rather than joined us.
As Christian women we're all in this together. Some of us may work from home, some out of the home and some at home. But, imagine with me for a minute if there were not any Christian women in the workforce.
Who would be the light of Christ to the struggling non-Christian mom or the single mom? Who would come along side her and say, "I know the struggles of being a mom. Can I show you the One who gives me strength to make it through each day?"
Ultimately, staying home or working outside the home is a decision that you and your husband need to make based on what God is calling you to do.
Although there was a transition period for me coming from the workforce to staying home and raising children, I never gave one thought to choosing a different path.
Sure, there were times I contemplated getting a part time job, but repeatedly God impressed upon my heart that He wanted me to rely on Him and my husband to meet our needs.
However, staying home may not be an option for everyone. Some moms are single, some have a job while their husband is laid off, some have the insurance through their job. Our stories are all different and unique, but when we surrender our lives to the King's service, we all fit together to fulfill the purpose of furthering His kingdom.
So while I think Hilary was way out of line, I think it caused me to stop and consider some things.
For one, I hope we will look to help bear the burdens of other moms around us whether they "work" or not. I also hope that we will evaluate our motives. If we work outside the home, why do we? Is it necessary? Have I neglected my first calling which is ministering to my family? If so, can I reduce my hours or do I need to quit altogether? If I'm a SAHM am I judging those that aren't?
Whether I stay home or go to work, I do not want to be so caught up in this world that I gain it and lose my child's soul. My first calling is to live a life of service and devotion to my Savior in front of my children so that they too would desire Him above all else.
Will I look back on my life someday and feel I was successful even though I didn't contribute a paycheck to the family? By God's grace, I hope so if I continue to be faithful to the tasks He's called me to do.
For now though, my tasks happen to be changing diapers, potty training, making healthy meals, living within our means on an average one-income family, paying bills, blogging, teaching our children and more. I wouldn't trade it for anything because I know our children will be grown and gone in the blink of an eye.