Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, a full-time working mom, a part-time working mom or any other kind of mom; please remember that being a mother (or a parent in general) is very serious business. We are quite literally forming the future as we are raising our babies, toddlers, children, teenagers and young adults. Being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding “job” on the planet and is a “job” that I wish received the recognition as it deserves.
What Do You Do For Work
I am a work-from-home mom and have been since my son was born. When I am asked if I will “go back to work one-day” by those that know me, I usually have the same response: “I have no idea, maybe, probably, I hope so.” Really, my focus is on the now and trying to keep my son from climbing the furniture like he’s Spiderman scaling a tall building, among other things. I enjoy working and that is why I am so thankful that I can have the “best of both worlds” in which I can stay home with my little love while still working each day.
Sometimes, I am asked by others who don’t know me, “what do you do for work?” and I respond that I am a mother and I also work from home. With that I received various responses. While I truly do not care what people think of the decision my husband and I made that I will work from home and take care of our son, I don’t want other mothers to face these questions that really have no place being asked in the first place.
Unless you are taking care of the child and unless you are responsible for paying the bills of that family, you have no place in asking unless you are intending to show support regardless of the answer.
What if I instead said that I work 50+ hours a week and my child is in daycare or we have a nanny? Would the people who have silently scorned me for choosing to stay home with my son then suddenly feel that I was of more value?
What about the moms that do work 50+ hours a week? Would they be better moms if they stayed home instead?
What about the fathers who stay at home with the children or work from home with the children while the mother goes to work? Are they not fit to raise the children?
The answer to all of these questions is NO.
A mother is a good mother because she is a good mother.
A mother is not automatically a good mother because she stays at home, works from home, works full-time or works part time or anything else. The same is true for fathers or any other guardian of a child.
What makes a good parent is quality of time spent with a child, not quantity time spent with a child.
The battle between who is a better mother: the SAHM, the WAHM and the working mom, needs to end. All mothers, fathers, and/or caregivers are important and, I will say it again, have the most important jobs on the planet.
My heart has been filled with sorrow as I have read countless of my family members, friends and others whom I have connected with on the internet share their “Me Too” posts. Many have silently said “Me Too,” myself included, and my heart also breaks for you (us). The “Me Too” movement, which actually began decades ago by Tarana Burke to help young women of color who had survived sexual abuse, assault and exploitation, has recently gone viral on the Internet. This movement has recently inspired millions of all ages, backgrounds and races to post the hashtag #MeToo or the phrase Me Too to indicate that they too had suffered from some form of sexual abuse, assault or other exploitation.
The one thing that keeps coming to my mind and lifting the sorrow in my heart is: hope. The hope that we can change the future so that no women, man, girl or boy ever has to speak or silently say “Me Too.”
Raising the Future
“It is not so much what we say or do that educates; what really educates is who we are.” ~Mother Janet Erskine Stuart
I can raise my son (and my future children) by example and will pray each day that they will use their God-given free will to respect and treat everyone with the dignity that they deserve. If we all did this, we could change the future.
For me, this starts as early as possible. When we were on the playground and a little girl went to use the slide, instead of allowing my son to charge in front of her (like he was trying to do), instead I pulled him back and said, “Ladies first,” allowing the little girl to go down the slide instead. Of course, I don’t allow my son to charge in front of little boys either and I always encourage him to wait his turn and be charitable.
I have also stopped saying things like “look how cute” or “how pretty” when we see little girls. Sure, they are beautiful as all children are, but I want him to first see other more important qualities. Instead, I will say to him “Do you see how she is helping her brother with his bottle,” or “Look how strong she is picking up that ball.” These instances may seem small but I pray that they will be beneficial to him so that he can see beyond the superficial.
I hope that other parents realize the potential in themselves to also raise their children to be humble, have respect and treat everyone with dignity.
Mothers Need Faith, Hope and Love.
Making the decision to have a child is momentous and raising that child or children is frightening. Of course, we can look to Scripture for comfort as God loves us, somehow, more than we love our children.
“So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:31
Moms, whether you are at home, at work or a combination, you are wonderful and important beyond measure. Dads, you’re awesome as well. Remember, motherhood and fatherhood is hard work and when you are not feeling so wonderful, important or awesome, take the advice of Padre Pio:
"Abandon yourself into the hands of Mary. She will take care of you."
Catholic Mom Rhode Island’s mission is to bring together Catholic mothers who are seeking a community of friendship and support and to also share valuable resources that will empower each other to strengthen our faith and family. Let us look to support each other, our partners, family members and friends as we continue to raise the future: our children. Start by connecting on Facebook and invite others to also share and connect.
As always, thank you for reading and May the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.