The Modern Mom: What We're Missing Out On

We are in the midst of a tumultuous week with Vacation Bible School, a 5-year-old birthday on tomorrow, and dentist/doctor appointments.   I had spoken previously about our science projects taking off.   Well, with a VBS theme of Power Lab, we’ve been “bells of the ball” this week.   My husband’s made great geysers out of diet soda and Mentos candy, and the kids have come home each night pumped about the worship and whatever craft they completed.    They’ll take the show on the road in a couple of weeks, and by the time they get back, we’re within a week of the “official” start of school.   Did time fly by, or was it just me?   I don’t think I got half of the projects done that I set out to complete this summer.  Oh, well, they’re not going anywhere and neither are we.

 

I’ve started with the annual start of school fever.   I’m finished buying curriculum, minus a book or two.   Planning gives me the same energy that shopping gives some women.  Even the kids got excited this year about getting new planners.   I guess I can say that this was one idea for ordering our day that was tremendously successful.   As for my own planner, I definitely fell for packaging in buying my new Mom’s Plan It.   This planner has tear-out grocery lists, a huge plus for me.   However, as a scrapbooker at heart, I think what I really fell for was the opportunity to use these stickers:

  

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As I got home and started to play with my new toy, I couldn’t help but look in more detail at the stickers, and about the larger implication of what is deemed important to today’s Mom:

 

Parties, birthday and otherwise (27 stickers)

Lunch dates (18 stickers)

Dinner dates (an additional 18 stickers)

Haircuts (18 stickers)

Games (school-related—18 stickers)

Phone calls (9 stickers)

Play dates (9 stickers)

Weekend getaways (9 stickers)

 

There were 54 total school-related, non-game stickers, including school events, class parties, no school and half-day stickers, open house and field trips.    However, I couldn’t help but think, what does this allocation say about the new millennium mom?  I don’t begrudge anybody a hair cut, but sadly, the message seems to be that a “busy mom” might be busy because she’s far more consumed with self interests/indulgences than with any higher callings of wife and motherhood.   This is echoed in current feminist agendas that look upon the stay-at-home mom with disdain.   I know personally I’d be a lot wealthier if I had a dollar each time someone looked at me and asked something along the lines of, “Do you work at all?”   Translation: Is staying at home with your kids all day all you do?   What’s even sadder to me is my own emotions as I answer the question.  As I continue to grow more comfortable in this relatively new skin, I find that I, somewhat proudly, respond with a detailed list regarding my work history and current income-bearing pursuits (I always state first that we homeschool—hooray for some level of redemption).   I am convinced that as a community of women, we’ve bought—hook, line, and sinker—into a lie that says that something is wrong with a woman whose primary goal in life is to minister to her family.   There is even a television show—the 1,000,000th reality show—featuring stay-at-home moms who decide that they want to “see what they’ve missed out on” for a time.   I’ve never watched it; having worked “a real job” and then coming home to the “real-est” job I ever had, even the commercial preview bothered me.  I would love to ask them, what do you think you missed?   Your interests and passions being sucked right out of you with all kinds of organizational policies and politics that have nothing to do with why you’re there in the first place?  

 

Believe it or not, I didn’t mean to go there when I sat down to write this entry!   I’m preparing for a conference with the topic, “Are You Willing to be Peculiar?”, and I guess that this must be the abundance of my heart right now.   What I meant to say, and had to remind myself of after writing all of this, is that I’m thankful that most of these stickers will land in the notebook of a soon-to-be 5-year-old.   However, the stickers I used were the ones that are most important—to me and to God.   They deal with the uplift of family, of ministry to them and to others.   Every drop of water I pour, every nutritious meal I prepare, matters to Him.   May He bless my efforts to serve Him in my own small way.

 

Well, I must run.   There is a cake to buy, and the oldest wants to develop her beauty store with some purchases from a supply store—ah, the teenage years, but that’s a story for another post.   I’ve not checked in with my college kids yet, and we are only halfway through with VBS.   Like Dawn at 4sweetums says, we’re crazy busy, but all good!

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8 comments on “The Modern Mom: What We're Missing Out On

  1. 4sweetums says:

    Hey!
    What a great post! I thought my husband was crazy when we were discussing marriage and he put his foot down that I had to ba a stay at home wife! I thought he was a caveman! LOL… Anyhoo, I agreed and he couldn't get me out of this house and into the workforce even if he wanted to now. LOL! What a blessing it has been to be a stay at home mom all of this time. I don't think I am missing anything. I follow my passions, serve the Lord, my family and my community, and two weeks ago I got to eat a sample bon bon while shopping at SAMS! LOL!!!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  2. ThreeLittleLadies says:

    As another mom who worked full-time outside the home for several years before coming home full-time, I can totally relate to you. People just have it wrong these days, and they can't understand us who know what is important. Anyway, I'm glad you found a good use for all of those stickers!

    Carol

  3. FruitfulFamily says:

    Yeah, you went there, but its all GOOD!!!!!!!

  4. Karen says:

    Oh Belinda – once again, you've posted something true to my heart. It amazes me how much alike we are…even down to the "Power Lab" VBS theme this summer. 🙂

    I can relate to everything you said in your post. I, too, fight hard to resist the urge to defend my choice to be at home with my children. I remember several years ago, when I graduated from graduate school, a "friend" asked me if I was going to get a real job now. Needless to say, she is no longer a "friend" – for various reasons. At that time, I was not yet homeschooling, but taught part time at a college – while Rachel and Sarah were at school. What gets me though is how many women tell me that they wish they could have more time with their children and how they wish they could stay home but "can't afford not to work". That's a whole 'nother post, but c'mon… sacrifices can be made when you have a working husband. Sorry for the rambling, but I just had some Benadryl. LOL

    I also can relate to your need to plan. I love planning for trips, school year, chore charts, bible class, you name it! It gives me a charge I can't describe. I know I must drive my family batty though.

    Okay, I'm gonna go to bed now. Again, sorry for the rambling. I hope I made some sense. -K

  5. sahmto4orMore says:

    Have you read Passionate Housewives Desperate for God yet? I am in the process of reading it now, but i think it would resonate with much of what you just shared here about feminism and the culture.

  6. Karen says:

    There's a reason I've been on your mind this weekend. I just posted a lengthy blog entry. Thanks for checking on me. -Karen

  7. gnjlopez says:

    I quit my job in Nov/2006 after working since I was 17 and became pregnant with my first baby. I now look back at all those years as lost years. If you want to discuss missing out on my passions, that is where I missed out. I gave the workforce 15 yrs of my life and have nothing to show for it. Not to mention I was always depressed. I have given my family only 2 yrs (I mean full time) and have so much to show for it. This is also to people who really appreciate it and appreciate me. Not to mention the feeling of happiness and fulfillment I have that can only come from being in line with what the Lord had planned for me from the beginning.

    Thank you for posting this. I know it is not what you planned when you sat down, but it was what the Lord planned. This touched a soft spot in my heart.

  8. Abbyigale says:

    Now I am kicking myself for not checking in on your blog any sooner! This gave me goosebumps. Its so dear to my heart. Thank you for speaking from your heart and saying what needs to be said.

    I have not shared this with you, but I decided to home school because I stumbled (the Lord led me) to a home schooling blog. I had never thought of home schooling, and as a young 'modern' mother, was always looking to the future. MY future. "What am I going to do when these kids finally go to school?" I am ashamed to admit I even thought that! I found my self embarrassed when people asked me what I did for a living, and I would say I JUST stay at home. Like it was something to be ashamed of! So I thank God everyday for leading me to that wonderful home schooling mother's website and helping me find my true calling as a mother and wife.

    Keep them coming! You never know what unsuspecting, young, clueless mother may (or have already) 'stumble' upon your wonderful blog!

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