I discovered this weekend that Ann Crittendon, author of The Price of Motherhood, put a price tag on motherhood – a million dollars.
That is the amount of money a stay at home mom (SAHM) will lose after only having one child by forfeiting a salary, stocks, retirement savings, pension and other benefits.
When I grew up there was a TV show called The Bionic Woman and she was the female version of The Six Million Dollar Man.
Since I have six kids, doesn’t that make me a Six Million Dollar Woman?
I was astounded at the cost sacrificed for my career choice, Motherhood, but had I known this 23 years ago when I gave birth to child #1, I wouldn’t have made the decision any differently.
I don’t stay home for financial reasons.
Although I home school and feel strongly about my children’s education, and some statistics show children of SAHMs do better in school and in testing, I don’t stay home for educational reasons.
I am a SAHM for two reasons. (follow link to previous post)
1. The Bible
Titus 2: 3-5
The aged women… teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
I cannot reason these verses away. As a young single woman, I felt strongly about obeying the Lord and being a keeper at home when He granted me children. Since the Bible doesn’t change, neither have my convictions.
2. I love my children and want to be with them.
I didn’t read any books about the benefits of being a SAHM. I don’t need to justify myself or prove my value to others.
I can give my own statistics.
I was there when all six of my children rolled over for the first time, crawled for the first time, sat up for the first time and walked for the first time. I cheered like a maniac, never tiring of watching their accomplishments in life.
I marked their language progress with joy and great amounts of over-exaggerated lip movements as I tried to help them form their words more correctly.
I wore great amounts of baby food, milk and juice while teaching my children how to eat and eventually feed themselves. If I wear food now, it’s slopped there with my own clumsy hands.
I was the one they wanted to tuck them in at night. I was the one who heard their secrets when they finally learned how to tell one.
All the firsts, except the naughty ones they got away with at the time, I WAS THERE.
I. was. there.
Yea, SAHMs may not always get a lot of adult interaction.
Yea, SAHMs may sometimes miss their career or wonder what they could have been had they stayed working.
Yea, SAHMs may sometimes be wiping up puke or washing the same dishes over and over and wonder why they went to college.
Yea, SAHMs may sometimes feel a little awkward about not having any of their “own” money to spend and/or a little guilty about not contributing to the bank account.
Yea, SAHMs may experience the typical frustrations, disappointments, shocks, trials and stresses that may make us doubt our value or our choice.
When I look in my kids’ eyes, the windows to their precious souls, I know these light trials cannot shake me off the path of obedience.
Yes, it WAS a million dollar decision to stay at home with my kids, because you couldn’t have paid me a million dollars to be away from them all day.
I value being a keeper at home because I value my children.
So, as I begin another new week, weak and weary from a trying year, I am thankful to remind myself why I am at home, as a SIX MILLION DOLLAR MOMMA.
54 “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
55 “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:”
56 “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.”
Searching the other Gospel accounts gives us a more detailed list of the other women that were among that faithful group at the Cross.
Mark 15:40, “There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome.”
John 19:25, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.”
Luke 24:10, “It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”
There is no record of the disciples at the crucifixion, some commentators think they weren’t even there. These faithful women were there and the Lord honored them by recording their names and their examples of ministry and worship for all of eternity.
They had ministered to the Lord, one anointed the Lord and wiped His feet with her hair, the highest act of worship recorded. They even brought the news of the Lord Jesus to the apostles.
We have great examples set before us.
These women believed and followed to the point of watching the final outplaying of their Savior’s life on earth. It was a bloody, gory sight, not fit for any human eye, and these women braved it all, beholding Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.
Beholding is to view attentively, to perceive with the eyes, to enjoy the presence of one, to discern, to ascertain or find out by seeing.
How could they bear that sight?
How did they not faint in adversity?
How were they not emotionally destroyed the rest of their lives for the cruel, wicked scene they chose to behold?
They experienced the miraculous transformation that takes place when we all stand before the Cross, beholding Jesus, understanding it was for OUR sin that He bore the cross.
He took the stripes we deserve. He took the suffering that we deserved. He did it because of His great love for His Father and His desire to be obedient unto death. He did it because He loved the world and desired to make a way for us all to enjoy the fellowship with the Father that He enjoyed.
They could behold the suffering, because they basked in His love.
Are you a woman beholding?
Update from Dianne’s husband Pat
This week I was searching the web for information about life after breast cancer to better understand how I could help Dianne. I found an paper from the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Hester Hill Schnipper titled Life After Breast Cancer (and yes, this is the type of reading you do once cancer enters your life). The introduction to the paper really struck me as to what is going on in Dianne’s life, and mine, at this time:
SHRUGGING OFF her mink coat, Meredith Powers settled into the comfortable chair in my office. A 40-year-old single woman, she had completed her active treatment for stage II breast cancer 3 months earlier. Through the months of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, she had maintained most of her normal life routines and insisted that breast cancer was a disruption that could be managed. To her astonishment, she now found herself overwhelmed with emotions and unable to function. She called her medical oncologist when she could barely get out of bed in the morning and found herself weeping uncontrollably. As she explained that she had never before felt so out of control and that she was “baffled” by her feelings, she began to cry.
“Am I crazy?” she asked me.
As we began to talk, it was clear that she was struggling with many problems that were new to her and that were directly related to her diagnosis and treatment. She was exhausted and very frustrated with her diminished level of energy. She was angry with many of her friends and worried about being a burden to her family. She was unhappy with her body and the changes due to her cancer; she hated waiting for her hair to grow and felt “fat and ugly.” She worried about her performance at work and her limited options considering a career move. She wanted her old life back and was starting to understand that was impossible.
Beside not having a mink coat, and being married instead of single, much of this story describes what Dianne has been feeling since the end of active cancer treatment (December 08). The paper goes on to say:
The crisis of breast cancer does not abate with the final chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Indeed, in many ways, the real crisis is just beginning. How do you learn to live with the sword of Damocles ever dangling? How do you come to terms with the changes in your body as well as the changes in your perspective? How do you manage the changed relationships and the intense emotions that continue into the future? These are questions with which the patient will have to struggle, as life is slowly reclaimed. Recognizing that there are existential issues that must be examined by each of us in our own hearts, there are predictable problems in many other areas that can be addressed by caregivers…The challenges of survivorship are many. More than anything else, it is the searing recognition of mortality that changes everything. From this moment forward, all of life will be viewed through a double lens as we appreciate the possibilities of both a long life and a greatly abbreviated one. This dual view may actually, over time, enrich our lives. We make a conscious and willing choice, each of us living with cancer, to go on, to take and to appreciate the darkness as well as the sunlight. We hold dear the night as well as the morning.
This is how Dianne is doing. This is how we are doing. If you want to learn more about life after breast cancer, you can read the full article at:
Please continue to pray for our family, the battle is not over.
I have been trying to study the two judgments and the two resurrections to try to piece together the different sequence of events that lies ahead for believers and non-believers.
John 5:28-29,”…all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”
We know from the first chapters of John that good deeds are only committed through saving faith in Jesus Christ. Those who have done evil have rejected the Way of salvation.
It was amazing to realize how the resurrection was such a part of the Gospel talk of the early church.
Martha understood the resurrection long before she saw her brother rise from the dead.
John 11:24, “Martha said to Him (Jesus), “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
I really got thinking about the bodily resurrection. So, if I am already dead, my body will rise from the grave at the time of the Rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
Of course, if I’m alive, I get to go alive.
I Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
At one point, we change these bodies in for new ones.
Philippians 3:20-21, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body…”
So, the big question is, does that mean our entire body? Or just what’s left of our body at the time of the Rapture?
What about my thyroid that was removed because of cancer? It that little thingy going to fly through the air and meet up with the rest of the body for the big Trade-in?
Does my thyroid know which body to join?
Is there like a homing device?
It looks like a butterfly, maybe it can fly.
Or, do all those removed and incinerated body parts just stay in the trash heaps of the world while our fragmented bodies join in the heavenly festivities?
I got the giggles imaging all these different removed organs and limbs flying through the air, in a twinkling of an eye, matching up with the bodies they were removed due to severe illnesses, cancers and accidents.
Wow, to be whole again, even if only for a bajillionth of a second, then get to trade-in on a new, sinless, heavenly body. Amazing!
But, regardless of whether we meet up with missing body parts on the way to the heavenly glories, this much is true and doesn’t need to be laughed about-
-we born-again believers will see Jesus,
and when we see Him,
we shall all be changed.
1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God…but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
It won’t matter if I am missing a major organ.
In that second, because of His grace, I will be completely whole, completely His and completely fit to be in the presence of the One whose hands bear the marks of His dying love for me.
Praise the Lord!
I have a dream that one day, I will go to my scissors drawer, pull out a pair of scissors, and create some fabulous paper creations that will astound my bloggy friends.
That one day, I will go to my medicine cabinet to grab my fingernail clippers, and I will be able to trim my natural salon-looking nails that received a light snag while decorating my home with Martha Stewart.
That one day, I will go use my stapler from my school supply cabinet, and I will be able to staple together the pages of the final draft to my children’s book called, “Don’t Touch Your Mother’s Stuff.”
That one day, I will reach for a tissue, and the box will be where I put it, and I will be able to hand one to a friend who is weeping with joy over my wonderful and successful children.
That one day, I will go to the tape drawer, find my scotch tape and be able to actually use it to wrap presents so elegantly the recipients will not want to open them.
That one day, I will go to the tape drawer, my clear packing tape will be there, and I will be able to use it to tape up boxes of hand knitted, crocheted and quilted items to mail to all my family living across America.
That one day, I will go to the tape drawer, and my blue painting tape will be there, and I will be able to tape the room neatly before I repaint all the walls and trim so deliciously, my house will be featured in a glossy woman’s magazine.
That one day, I will go to use my car, and my keys will be hanging on the hook on the fridge and there will be gas in the tank. There will be NO candy wrappers, tennis shoes, water bottles, half-eaten sandwiches or slime-encrusted library books in the van. It will smell nice. I will run all my errands without fighting with myself and buy myself a treat for being so good.
That one day, I will sit at my sewing table, turn on the lamp, because it will be there, and so will the light bulb inside the lamp. The sewing machine will have the color of thread I need (the color I threaded it with the last time I used it), my pins will be on the pincushion, the sewing scissors will be on their hook and every notion will be cheerily lined up, awaiting my industrious use.
That one day, when I reach for the flashlight beside my bed, my fingers will caress the cold metal, flick the little button and bring light to my weary soul.
I have a dream that one day, I will live in this perfect world, where all my belongings are at my fingertips, just waiting to be lovingly used and to be put back into their designated habitats.
I have a dream.
But to waken from my current nightmare of reality Mommy life, to the dream world I have created in hazy hallucinations when I have five free seconds all in a row, probably means that all my scissor/tape stealing kids will have to grow up and move out.
That’s more depressing than missing scissors.
I would love to work out a compromise.
I want my kids live with me, but put my stuff back after they use it.
That would be a dream come true.
But, until the nightmare becomes the dream I am dreaming, I will count each missing or misplaced item as a reminder that those little offenders running around my house,
call me Mommy.
That’s the real dream come true.
Now, can He just help me find my scissors?
Sometimes their functionality doesn’t work.)
The Lord lays a beautiful path for us in Proverbs 16.
We were sitting on the cold, metal bleachers. The sun, not remembering its job to bring May flowers, had been darting in and out of the clouds, while we were gently splashed with rain. We were cold, we were shivering, but we parents continued to cheer.
“Good job, Jon, nice hit.”
“Great throw, Spencer!”
“It wasn’t your pitch.”
“C’mon, don’t swing at junk.”
“Nice pitch, Anthony.”
“Base hit, ball four.”
“Way to go, buddy!”
The chatter is almost constant, while the parents encourage the failures and cheer the successes of our boys. The drone of love, support, and sometimes disappointment is like the post office, never hindered by rain nor sleet. This year our dedication has really been tested with unusually cold and rainy spring weather.
Tonight, while shivering in his woolen winter coat and his daughter’s pink striped stocking hat, my husband turned to me and joked, “Ya’ know what? Kids never cheer on their parents.” He talked about how we, as parents, through their entire lives, cheer them on with their accomplishments.
“But, nobody yells, ‘Yea, Dad! Thanks for going to work today!’ when I come home from work. Nobody yells, ‘Mom, you’re awesome, thanks for doing dishes!'”
I thought about it. Part of that is because we don’t do anything outside of parenting. This is what we do right now. We parent. We don’t have time for sports, or hobbies, or anything that encourages spectator participation.
In fact, when I am finally doing something on my own, like writing or sewing or reading, I’m really not desiring someone to lean over my shoulder and chant, “Good job Mom, nice straight seam!” or “Way to go mom, just read two more chapters and you’re done with your book!”
Parents may not get or need the chanting and cheering, but they do need the love, support and appreciation.
But, I thought about his statement and challenged myself to review how I’m teaching my kids to support their Daddy. While the kids aren’t as loud as we baseball parents are, I do teach my kids a few “cheers” for their Daddy.
“Thanks for the new __________, Daddy!”
I need my kids to understand that Daddy works very hard for the family’s money. He’s usually working when we are shopping. I even like to joke that “it’s his job to make the money and it’s my job to spend it.” But, I appreciate his hard work and I have taught the kids to thank him for every purchase.
“Yea, Daddy’s home!”
When the kids were younger, I always made a big deal about Daddy coming home from work. We greeted him joyously and let him know how glad we were glad to see him. The greeting was usually followed by a few minutes of peace for Daddy so he could unwind before dinner. He needed to recharge his batteries before taking on the day’s events and issues for all seven of us.
“How did your day go, Daddy?”
Daddy is good to ask about everyone else and keep tabs of their school, their friends, their trials and their sports. We need to give Daddy that same attention and the opportunity to share the wins and losses of the day.
“Does your foot hurt, Daddy?”
Because of a fall years back, Scott has nerve damage on the right side of his body. When he is tired and has been standing a lot, his foot tingles and hurts. The kids have learned to watch his body language for when he is achy and give him a foot massage.
“I’m praying for you, Daddy.”
We pray for Daddy to be wise at work, church and home. He impacts a lot of people and needs wisdom in the Word and in his work. We pray for his safety in the commute. We pray for his testimony. We pray for the decisions he needs to make. We pray for his preaching the Word of God and for his service as an elder.
“Did you know you have a wonderful Daddy!?!”
I personally try to cheer on Daddy by not speaking poorly of him in front of the kids or anybody else. Our goal is to be a united front, supporting one another in front of the kids, and talking out our differences respectfully and away from the kids. I try to build him up and not let Satan deceive the kids about their Dad. If satan can get a tiny wedge of doubt about the spiritual head of the household, he can do a disastrous work in the life of a child. They need to be reassured that Daddy does know and understand, Daddy does care and his decisions are from the Lord. If Daddy says no, the Lord is saying no, and that needs to be taken with love and respect.
Scott’s teasing comment tonight renewed my desire to teach my kids to love and honor him in the home.
If these things don’t fulfill that desire to be cheered for, I could always go out and buy the kids matching pom-poms for their Yea! Daddy’s Home From Work! greeting.