"I Want to Be a Mommy"
I Want to Be a Mommy
Andrea Schwartz » Bio
October 20, 2005
Very often when adults try to engage little girls in conversation, the questions that follow go something like this:
1. How old are you?
2. How do you like school?
3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I recall a specific time when my youngest daughter was 8 years old. We were watching her older sister compete in a golf tournament and some adult volunteers, wanting to be friendly, asked this standard litany of questions. She responded a bit shyly but with a smile, “I want to be a mommy.” The grown-ups nodded with a bit of a smirk, discounted her answer as being amusingly immature, and responded, “But what do you really want to do? You know, in this day and age you really need to prepare for something more substantial than that. Girls need something to fall back on.”
This can be a dilemma for a girl who has been raised in a covenant, homeschooling family. From her perspective, Mommy does quite a lot. She teaches; she manages; she is the one who plans meals and establishes acceptable patterns of behavior. She often acts as the family medical assistant, nutritionist, social coordinator, etc. The depth of the answer, “I want to be a mommy,” if understood properly by the questioner, encompasses a desire to be someone who is dependably there to instruct, comfort, serve, and love her family. In fact, Proverbs 31 (which my girls memorized very early on in our homeschool curriculum) gives a job description that could easily leave one out of breath. How sad that our culture relegates it to the position of what you do as a female if you can’t do anything else!
I, myself, am repeatedly amazed at the capacity of homeschool moms. The homeschool choir Coram Deo Chorus, of which I am the founder and administrator, repeatedly provides me with wonderful examples:
One mother in our group has raised a family of her own (in fact she is a grandmother) and is currently homeschooling four Russian orphans whom she and her husband adopted more than a year ago. While many women in our culture use this time to “find themselves,” this mom is once again beginning the process of stewarding young lives ages 6–16 for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.
Another mom is actively homeschooling her three children while finishing up her nursing degree and taking in other students to tutor in math. She is regularly involved in getting her children to their appropriate destinations for extracurricular activities while remaining present at many of them to ensure she knows and understands what they are involved in and with whom.
Then there is the homeschooling mom of six who held the position of music director for our choir for two years. This while managing the doctor visits and special therapy for her youngest, who has special needs. On top of having good students, she manages to have champion swimmers in her young entourage along with very capable violinists. All this while being a key member in her church’s music ministry and singing with a regional adult choir.
I could go on and on and never stray too far from the women I come in contact with on a regular basis. These women are not busy trying to fall back on anything. Rather, they are actively seeking the well-being of their household while their husbands are out providing for the financial needs of their families. True, some are more naturally gifted than others, but that is not my point. In these cases, and more I could enumerate, these women are utilizing all the education, training, and experience of their past as they pursue a calling that far surpasses a mere job.
It is fashionable today to deride the idea of preparing for being a wife and mother. However, the Biblical perspective is far different. When a woman gets her priorities in order — God, her husband, children, extended family, members of the body of Christ, and out into her community — she becomes a powerful force in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
Mothers, recognize the privilege you have of rearing your daughters in a homeschool setting. Help them see the many facets of your job, and designate them as your assistants as you manage and run your home. From a very young age, give them tasks and responsibilities that are vital to the smooth running of your family life, letting them understand that you are training them for a vital and important role. I am not advocating the abandonment of academic subjects, but rather placing them in context and alongside practical tasks that foster the ability to produce a well-rounded person and manager.
By allowing your daughters to be ready to “take over the household” in your stead (should illness or other responsibilities make it necessary), you will be doing them a world of good by preparing them to be good wives to their future husbands and mothers to their children. You can accomplish this by giving them repeated opportunities to serve their father. (I have made it a standard practice that my girls are responsible to make their father’s lunch on a regular basis, make sure his clothes are ironed, and help prepare his dinner when he arrives late from work if we’ve already eaten.) Both Dad and Mom have to be willing to “live with the mistakes” (of which we’ve had our fair share) and praise the positive results in order to make this apprenticeship viable. Finally, incorporate volunteer and ministerial opportunities in your daily schedule. Be sure you “share your thinking” with your daughters as you make household, business, or other important decisions.
Truth be told, if given the opportunity to rearrange my life in any way I’d like, I would still want to be a mommy.
“...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee