The rebellion we women feel seems to go hand in hand with a lot of discontent and unfulfillment amongst us. I am part of a mommy group on face book. One day a mom shared her struggles with feeling unfulfilled at home. She shared how she would like to finish her schooling and do something extra besides being a mom and wondered what others would advise? Another time a woman expecting her first child asked advice on whether to keep a cleaning job or two after her baby was born?
In both instances I took note of the outpouring of understanding from a lot of women. There was a lot of encouragement to do classes from home for the first mom and to try to keep a cleaning job or two for the second one. A common thread was the idea that you need a break from motherhood; it will actually make you a better mother to do some other things on the side. There was also quite a bit of encouragement that there is no higher calling than motherhood and that you will never regret the time spent with your children but nearly every mother who commented gave assurance that they could identify with those feelings of discontent and unfulfillment.
I pondered this for a long while. I wondered if Ma Ingalls would have identified with those feelings? I wondered about my own grandmother? Somehow I couldn't imagine them entertaining those sentiments. But I knew if I was honest that I could identify! What was the deal anyway? What about this whole idea that we will actually be better mothers if we have some outside interests to give us a break from our mothering duties? That seems a little strange in some ways. Like a friend of mine wrote once, “That would be the greatest irony: to neglect my children so that I can write about motherhood!”
Is this ‘need’ of outside interests tied into our rebellion against the woman God created? Don't we tend to look at Ma Ingalls with a condescending look that says, "Well, that was then..."? The world around us has definitely lowered the position of a stay at home mom, have we as Christians lowered it too? I think it’s safe to say we’ve swung pretty far towards discouraging marriage in our little girl’s minds, rather than encouraging it. I heard someone suggest recently that even in our Christian circles, if a young girl were asked in a school assignment to write about what she wanted to be when she grew up and she wrote that she wanted to be a mother, it would probably be looked at as amusing rather than praiseworthy. Is it some of this idea that is affecting Christian women and causing the feelings of discontent and unfulfillment? What would happen if the words of Felicity’s mother would become engraved on every young lady’s heart - "Caring for a family is a responsibility and a pleasure. It will be your most important task, and one that you must learn to do well. I want you to be a notable housewife when you are grown."?