(Note: This article is by no means intended to criticize working moms or moms who don’t homeschool. God calls families to different ways to raise their children: there is certainly more than one way to raise a godly child. My heart is to encourage moms who have chosen motherhood as a career. It is a wise investment.)
After investing diligently for twenty years, my retirement account still stands at zero. It has nothing to do with my broker or with the economy, but it is a direct result of how I invested. For more than 20 years I have been a full-time, stay-at-home mom for our four daughters. I have invested money, time, and energy into teaching, training, and mentoring these young women and it is an investment that has paid high dividends. (Of course my husband has also played a significant role in their development, but this article is not for the Daddies.)
Before our children were born, I was a public school music teacher who also taught several classes of hearing-impaired students. Most of the 750 students I saw each week knew my name and some even regularly visited my classroom for extra time together. I had a decent income, a retirement account, and summers off. My career afforded me the opportunity to make great dinner conversation as I described how I taught music to hearing-impaired children. I taught for two years and loved my job. In the eyes of our culture, I was successful.
God blessed my husband and I and three days after the last day of school, I found myself at home with a newborn baby girl who wasn’t interested in my teaching success! My ultimate career choice was to be a wife and mother, but somehow this wasn’t what I thought I had signed up for. Everything was new to both of us and it took some time for us to learn. Even more disappointing was the reaction of friends and acquaintances when I told them I was a stay-at-home mom. Some of them questioned what I did all day and others politely smiled and found someone else to talk to. It was painfully clear that society did not approve of my
No matter what the view of others, I stayed true to God’s call for me and our family. There were joyful days and there were difficult days (when wanted to quit or resign!). Most every day was full—full of laundry, cooking, cleaning, straightening, counseling, teaching, repeating, training, undoing, redoing, correcting, repeating, disciplining, discipling, and did I mention repeating? We read the Bible together, prayed together, talked together, dreamed together, and cried together. Sometimes the progress was infinitesimal and my dream of God-fearing daughters seemed elusive, but still my husband and I prayed and stayed the course.
As with any investment, there was risk. Would it be better if we had a second income so we could provide better? Would a one-income household limit what they could do? Should we send them to school so they can be taught by the “experts” instead of an inexperienced mom? What if I ruin them? The enemy of my soul tried to discourage me and cause me to doubt our choices and my value, but I held to the truth that I am a precious daughter of the Most High God.
Today, our investment continues to yield a high rate of return. We have four daughters who are lovely, inside and out. They aren’t perfect, but they know the Savior who is and they’ve been saved by grace. They know the Word, and they obey the Word. They are carriers of His presence who sow seeds of Jesus’ love everywhere they go. My time as a stay-at-home mom has been the best investment I’ve ever made.