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Women: Balancing careers with motherhood

Armstrong Williams | 2/27/2014, 4:42 p.m.
Armstrong Williams

We need, as a society, to get back to celebrating mothers who sacrifice their careers to care for our most vulnerable: our children. And yes, we can have our cake and eat it, too.

We have emerged from the former mindset that women are inferior to men, but we also must emerge from and reject the mindset that full-time mothers are inferior to working women or single mothers. I’m not longing for the pre-1960s era of shoeless, apron-donning women. I’m longing for an era in which fully realized women recognize the nobility and beauty of a mother who makes the personal decision to forgo a career and raise her children. Let the women who choose to be professionals do so, but let the mothers shine as well.

Today, becoming a mother is seen as a career-stopper. In reality, it should be an opportunity for a woman to become a part-time entrepreneur with a greater earning potential than her husband most likely has. With the financial security and rewards of her husband’s earned income, she can work on building a business from home. If it gets to a point where it can bring in more money than her husband is making, there’s always the possibility that they can eventually join forces and work in tandem from home together full- time. Can you imagine what an incredibly creative and productive society we’d have if our young women were compelled to think and advocate in this way?

Proverbs 31:10-31 provides a great description of what such a woman would be—an ideal wife and businesswoman. Who would have ever thought that the Bible promoted entrepreneurship in women? Take a look for yourself.

The biggest tragedy is when women choose to value their careers over families and relationships. This is a misguided prioritization. The proper order of priorities for a home is faith, family and friends, then education and vocation. Notice that the job actually comes last after making sure that family, friends and self all have had their needs met.

In some circumstances, it may be more logical for the man to stay home, and there are examples of this in society. But such a husband will require much support from his wife to endure the ridicule he will face on a daily basis from ignorant men and even some of the women he might meet while taking care of his children. Not to say that those women shouldn’t always support and encourage their husbands, but it’s particularly important when they are acting in a non-traditional role. Conversely, it should go without saying that men should support and encourage their wives when they are gracious enough to sacrifice their careers in support of their family. This decision should never be taken for granted, and as the man would endure ridicule, so would the woman.

Of course, there are examples of men who have raised children without having the support of a woman, and the opposite is true too. However, this is a significantly less-than-ideal situation. Women need to understand that just because their bodies are capable of bearing children doesn’t mean they should be using that ability to receive a welfare check or alimony. Bearing a child should be a very sacred thing, and that which leads up to childbearing should be guarded and reserved for the man who will take care of you and help you to take care of your children as well. Anything less degrades and undermines your important role in this world and, by extension, women in general.