Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Who Needs A Stay-At-Home Mom?

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on May 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm

He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 113:9)

The mother is the hub of the home, holding all the spokes in place.  Without her being at her post, the family spins out of control and falls apart.  When her husband hears the predawn alarm clock, she knows he is emotionally emboldened by her tenderly squeezing his arm in appreciation.

From then on, she is the nucleus of the day’s family activity.  She needs to nurse feed one, rouse out of bed another, review a spelling list with yet another, change a diaper, prepare a breakfast, pray God’s blessing on the day, tie shoes, write out a check for a class trip, pack a lunch, check on progress regarding an upcoming book report, read and comment on a verse from Proverbs, discuss a peer conflict while chauffeuring to school, pick up Dad’s suit at the dry cleaners, shop for groceries and household items at the store, sign up for soccer at the Recreational Department, read a story before putting one down for a nap, teach one phonics sounds and letters, make beds and clean up the kitchen, show how to sweep properly, search the internet for good pictures of frogs, deal with a lying problem by spanking, talking, and praying, and prepare lunch.

That’s just the morning.

Then in the afternoon, she’s called to teach lyrics of a song about a pirate named Patch, take a field trip to the park down the street, talk about sharing apple slices with others, explain to her child why he’s not permitted to throw tantrums like others in the park, catch and analyze a grasshopper’s physiological structure and functions, return home for a naptime preceded by a storybook, sit down for personal devotions and prayer, call an appliance repairman about a strange-sounding washing machine, drive to school and talk with a teacher about a child’s performance in math class, talk about the day on the drive home, purchase a well-fitting pair of soccer cleats, assign and supervise the weeding of the flower garden, give out popsicles to the handful of neighborhood children playing in the yard, prepare dinner, embrace her husband and briefly share mutual experiences of the day, enjoy a nutritional supper and discussion together as a family, sit and listen to her husband lead in family worship, direct the clean-up after dinner, help with math homework, bake a batch of sweet-smelling chocolate chip cookies, wash bodies in the bathtub while singing about a pirate and a Savior, rock a little one in a chair, rub a back in bed while giving advice about an argument that took place during recess, pay bills on the internet, wash, fold, and iron shirts, counsel her husband about a relational conflict at work, and enjoy her husband rubbing her arm in bed.

With this, I have just skimmed the surface of her day.  Remove the hub of her tireless labors, and her family flies apart, her husband is a frazzled wreck, and her children are greatly diminished individuals.

“Oh,” but one might say, “This is the case only with mothers of young children.  When they’re older and all off to school, the mother’s role in the home is no longer all that crucial.”  Such a notion is sorely mistaken.  I contend that a mother’s most intense and demanding efforts are required during the teen years.  Frog and grasshopper preoccupations have graduated into boy and girl infatuations.  Rocking a little one in a chair early in the night has advanced to counseling a big one in the master bedroom well past midnight.

During the summer of 2006, we had everybody home for the last time.  Twenty-two-year-old Jared was home from architectural school and working for a design firm.  Twenty-year-old Calvin was doing an internship with a local brokerage firm and working a second job in the evenings.  Eighteen-year-old Austin was working almost full time delivering truck tires.  Fourteen-year-old Abigail and twelve-year-old Nathan were busy with swarming summer activities.  An ignorant onlooker might have suggested, “Surely there’s no need here for a stay-at-home mother.”  Oh so wrong!

These were my bride, Dianne’s, most demanding hours, as each child was passing through a crucial season of life involving a new girlfriend, or a complicated situation with an old girlfriend, or a vocational selection crisis, or an academic preparation issue, or a health problem like a broken leg and an emergency appendectomy with its related recovery time, or a peculiar spiritual/emotional trial.  Dianne would make sure to rise early in the morning in order to be in the kitchen when each one ate breakfast and gathered their things to head out into the world.  She’d ask them questions about where they were last night and with whom, and to whom they talked on their cell phones, and what their plans were during the day, all the while taking their spiritual pulses and administering words of wisdom in season.

She’d inform me of the development of each, seeking my counsel.  Then, she’d often have follow-up contact with them during lunch, or later in the afternoon when they’d return from work and be off to some other social or work activity.  She was a maternal air traffic controller, directing and nurturing the lives of her offspring who were now making crucial decisions that would determine the courses of the rest of their lives.  Both the stakes and the stress levels were higher than they’d ever been.

She would talk to me in the evenings.  I’d follow up sometimes with long late-night walks and talks with them about themes on which I’d been briefed by my helpmeet informant.  Without her maternal perceptions and observations, I’d have been clueless.  With them, our parenting labors were on the stretch as never before.  We spent many nights crying out to God in prayer for their long-term prosperity.  It was my wife’s finest hour as a mother.

Mark Chanski
excerpt from Womanly Dominion; More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit, pp. 110-112
  1. The author is a very fortunate and blessed man!

    Indeed the call of a stay-home wife/mum has been altogether lost in most places.

    Yet blessed is he who finds such as a godly woman!

  2. I am thankful to God for my wife…who engages our three boys as a mother everyday. What an amazing blessing she is.

  3. My wife loves to stay at home and hold it together. And I would do whatever it took to ensure it remains that way. In a day when a woman’s career is meant to fulfill her in a way that Motherhood can’t and children are often left to develop apart from the nurturing of a godly Mother, I feel doubly blessed that God gave me a wife who was immunised to the brainwashing. I know that economics sometimes necessitates a women leaving the family for a period, and church history would support this, e.g. Spurgeon’s poor servant members, but it should often be considered one of the burdens of living in a fallen world (mercy work excepted), and a wrench – rather, among many Christian circles staying at home is considered the less desirable option and economics are not considered. Keep teaching this stuff Mark, even when you think you are a lone voice!

  4. Thank you for this. I am a stay at home mum with a teenager and younger kids. It is only now over the past few years that I realize how important the teenage years are to have a stay at home mum. They need us so much and they need those late night talks and knowing there is someone there for them. Mums need to be Praying for each other.

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