This is a tough area for many women. After spending years in college and thousands of dollars earning a degree, it is hard to walk away from it and become a full time mother and wife.
There are several reasons why a female high school graduate heads off to college.
1. She has a dream of a particular career.
2. She feels that is what is expected of her by society and her parents.
3. She receives a scholarship and feels it would be wasteful to not use it.
4. She prepares a career in order to have something to “fall back on“.
5. She hopes to find “Mr. Right” while in college.
Very often though little thought is given to what the Lord would have us do in relation to a career. So often we think that if we have a desire for something or a gift in a particular area that it means that the Lord wants us to follow through with a career in that field. But even if the Lord does desire for a young lady to pursue a college degree He would not negate His other principles for it.
That means that even having a “valuable” career doesn’t mean the Lord would desire for His principles of discouraging debt to be ignored. Nor does an “important” career mean that the Lord would want a mother to ignore or neglect her most important responsibility of raising the children He has provided.
We can expect society to push young women into college careers, that is to be expected with the public school systems and with the way society thinks. Not only will they push for young women to get college careers they will also push the higher money making careers, as if that is the only reason for a person to work, in order to make the most money possible. Because being a mother is not valued by society in general, young women will be discouraged from becoming a wife and mother as a goal for her future.
Not only will young women be encouraged to pursue college degrees they are also encouraged to accept debt as the way to accomplish it. College loans are pushed almost as if counselors received a commission on each one. The reasoning for college loans is that once you are out of college your salary will make it easy to pay back all those loans. But what often happens during college or shortly thereafter? Marriage, home buying, and then children typically follow in short succession. This ends up causing two young adults to be stuck with college loans, trying to find jobs in their fields, new home mortgage, and then the expenses of children. Is it any wonder why young families are struggling?
There are many ways that women can still utilize their career while being home with their family. I know a veterinarian that works on Saturdays, but yet is home to raise and homeschool her children. I also know a doctor that works occasionally on weekends yet is homeschooling her children. Both of these work just enough to fulfill their yearly licensing requirements. There are beauticians that cut hair part time in their family’s converted garage. Pet groomers that groom pets for neighbors for extra money. Writers who write articles from home for magazines. There are so many opportunities that women can look into if bringing in more money is necessary and yet still be home with her children.
While it is hard to leave a career that you spent years earning and thousands of dollars to get, is not raising your children more important than any career? While no normal, loving mother would say that her career is more important than her children, we don’t always behave in ways that evidence what we believe. Think of the times a mom has had to leave a sick child in order to be at work all while knowing she should be with her child. Or the mom who has loaded her child up with medicine in order to take him to the daycare just hoping that they won’t call her to come and get him. The doctor’s visits hoping for antibiotics so that you can say, “He’s not contagious anymore, he’s on antibiotics.” Larger cities now even have special childcares that are designed for sick children. If little “Timmy” is too sick to go to regular daycare, then they can go to the sick daycare. The one in Birmingham is called “Hugs and Kisses” as if that will make up for the absence of the parent.
Or the scramble to get someone to pick up your child from daycare or school because mom must work late. Do friends and family cringe when you call near the end of the day because they know you need someone to pick up your child? When I worked in a daycare, we closed at 6 PM. For every minute after six that a parent was late, there was a $5 charge. But still I remember many times sitting around waiting on parents to pick up their children. This was before the time of everyone having a cell phone and so a traffic jam could cause a parent to be late and the daycare would never know.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Mostly because we bought the lie that a career was important for us as women while having children was something to work around our career. Sometimes we have a hard time giving up our careers because our career becomes a source of encouragement and pride. Being a mom does not provide the outside encouragement that a thriving career can. Very few will get excited about hearing that you are SAH mom. Yet that job in high finance or in the medical field will be an instant source of conversation. The payback for being a mom may often occur much later.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. ESV