The Big Change (A Rant About A Societal Norm)
WARNING: This is going to be a ranting blog. I just wanted to warn you. If you get easily offended, you probably shouldn’t read any further.
This is going to be a big year for our family. It’s been coming down the pike for awhile and now, finally in 2012, the Big Change will be happening. After 7 years of full-time youth ministry work, I will be “retiring” so that I can stay home with my son (and, by the end of the year, 2nd baby who is on the way).
Yes, I am 32 and I will be retiring. But, in actuality, I won’t be retiring from anything – I’m just going to be making a career change from full-time paid Church employee to Stay-At-Home-Mom.
I am not going to write about all the prayer and discernment that went into making this decision. Suffice it to say, it was a lot. In fact, this has been a decision that has been almost 2 years in the making. And, we, as a family, feel like now is the time to make the Big Change. I still love and believe 100% in the importance and value of youth ministry. But, it’s time for someone else to take it on in my stead.
I have mixed emotions about the whole thing, but mostly I am really excited about the change. But, something that’s been happening is really frosting my cookies…
Here’s where the ranting begins.
Can I please tell you what the #1 question I have received from people (mostly people of faith, but not exclusively) after they hear that I am stepping down from my position is?
“So, what ARE you going to DO?”
I’m sorry, what? What do you mean, “What am I going to do?”
Since when do I have to explain to everyone that I am going to be staying at home so that I can focus on my primary vocation which is to be a wife who takes care of her husband and his home and a mother who raises and takes care of her children?
When did being a Stay At Home Mom stop being an acceptable thing for a woman to be doing?
Why is there an assumption that taking care of the home and family is not, in fact, DOING something?
It caught me off guard the first few times it happened, especially since it came from Church people. And, people seemed genuinely surprised that I was really making this decision and that I wasn’t getting another job.
And, if assuming that I was still going to be working wasn’t enough, the most common follow up question I was asked (which straight up infuriates me) was, “Can y’all really afford to do that?”
WHAT THE H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS??
Is it really anyone else’s business if we can afford it or not? Do people really think I am going to talk about our personal family finances related to a drop in income with them just because they asked? Honestly, would we be thoughtless in making decisions that would affect our children and home?
I am ranting about this because it frustrates me to no end. I literally can count on my hands the people who told me what a wonderful decision I was making, how much I was going to love staying at home with the kids, what a great thing I was doing for my family, etc. Literally, I can name them because there were so few.
What has happened to our world? When did society cause women to feel a sense of guilt if we will no longer be bringing in a paycheck for my family, that being at home is equal to “being lazy”?
Please don’t misunderstand – I DO NOT think being a working mom is a bad thing and I understand that everyone has to make their own decisions for their family. But, I really, really wish that making the decision to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom wasn’t something that is questioned or looked down on.
It’s the oldest and maybe, most honorable job a woman can hold. I just wish more people, ESPECIALLY people of faith, would encourage women to make this type of change. I dream and long for a society that makes this decision possible for more women to make, too.
Anyways, that’s all I’ve got to say. Thank you for letting me rant. And, now, back to your regularly scheduled blogs.
Posted on April 23, 2012, in Family Life, Ranting and tagged careers, Family, income, life changes, money, motherhood, parenthood, primary vocation, ranting, society, spouses, Stay At Home Mom, taking care of children. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.