As I finish my mini-series for young women preparing for homemaking and motherhood, I want to reiterate that our dreams do not always match God’s plans. One of my dearest friends is a professional nanny, babywearing instructor, and newborn care specialist who hasn’t gotten to be a mom yet, and it hard sometimes to watch her care expertly for other people’s children when I know she will be a wonderful mother to her own. I know so many women for whom motherhood is a touchy subject, and I so do not want to hurt their feelings in these posts or through this blog at all! But just because motherhood isn’t a guarantee doesn’t mean young women can’t be intentional about preparing for having children someday.
I want to leave aspiring sahms with the encouragement to be open about your ambition. Don’t be afraid to tell people (when appropriate) that you aspire to be a stay-at-home mom some day. Perhaps you don’t need to go into detail in a college application or a job interview, but in everyday life, be real about your hopes and dreams. The responses you get will probably be a good representation of the responses you get once you’re a sahm. Some will praise you, but others will question why you’d “waste your intelligence” or “limit yourself” like that. I’ll never forget visiting a friend’s church during college and sitting next to a friendly older woman who asked what I was studying in college and what I wanted to do when I graduated. When I explained that I hoped to be able to stay home and homeschool my kids one day, she asked why I was even bothering with college in the first place if I “only” wanted to be a housewife. The thought that I would train my mind and consider motherhood an intellectually challenging vocation was foreign to her. Some of my most accomplished homeschooling friends don’t have college degrees, so I don’t want to infer that my path is the only way! Rather, my parents and I had thought deeply about my hopes and dreams, and because of that, I was able to share why my English degree was certainly not an irrational waste, even though the only English literature I’m currently teaching is of the A.A. Milne variety. So own your ambition, and start preparing your responses now—you will be defending your choices for the rest of your life, to people who will question you from every side. You can be a cheerful and winsome representative for the lifestyle even before you’re an active sahm.
Seasoned moms, what are you glad that you did or wish you had done to prepare for staying home full-time with your children? If you’re not in that stage yet, do you have any other questions for myself, Anna, or our community of readers?