The article (written by a dad) addressed and defended the importance of the 'stay-at-home-mom' - and it's gone viral! Comments ranged anywhere from, "Amen, brotha - SAHMs do a lot all day everyday, and get no respect!" to, "Whaaaaat? Working Moms do everything that SAHMs do, and more in less time!" Someone commented that working moms out-sourced childcare in order to work other jobs, and working mom said, "My kids are in school all day! I still get them after school! 'Out-sourcing' childcare - the nerve!" I'm paraphrasing a lot of these quotes, by the way.
Okay, so let's take a step back from immediate, gut-instinct emotions and acknowledge something right off; we women tend to wear ourselves out with guilt all. the. time. I don't think it's exactly part of our natures, but it certainly does seem to be a highly prevalent tendency. We feel guilty that by staying home we don't have enough money to give our kids everything they could want. We feel guilty if we're working because we wonder if we're neglecting our children by not staying at home. Basically, we feel guilty because we're not sure if we're doing enough for our families! It's definitely in our nature to nurture, and we have a deep-seated desire to do it, and do enough of it. So when we're reacting to these kinds of articles a lot of us are operating from a place of guilt and feel the need to defend our choices.
Briefly, I'll address what Prophets and apostles of God have stated regarding SAHMs and Working Moms:
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “I recognize … that there are some women (it has become very many, in fact) who have to work to provide for the needs of their families. To you I say, do the very best you can. I hope that if you are employed full-time you are doing it to ensure that basic needs are met and not simply to indulge a taste for an elaborate home, fancy cars, and other luxuries.”
Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “You in these unusual circumstances qualify for additional inspiration and strength from the Lord. Those who leave the home for lesser reasons will not.”For us LDS folks, counsel from our leadership has pretty clearly been that if at all possible, the mothers should be staying at home with their children. But it's also clearly recognized that circumstances don't always allow it, and we are not to stand in judgement of those who do not stay at home with their children. For me that's pretty easy to avoid. There are a lot of people whose individual circumstances I am not intimately familiar with - most people, in fact - and I'm very aware of that. But something that I feel pretty safe in assuming about almost everyone is that we're all doing the best that we can, the best that we know how. And it is for that reason that I choose to support my sisters (we're all children of God, therefore all of the women are my sisters) in whatever they're choosing.
Whatever you're choosing, just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons. President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled, “In terms of your happiness, in terms of the matters that make you proud or sad, nothing—I repeat, nothing—will have so profound an effect on you as the way your children turn out.” If you're confident in the choices you've made for you and your family, then you'll have no reason to defend - or possibly later regret - your choices. Heavenly Father will help you. You are mothering His children, too after all. You can count on His help. And on no judgement from this stay-at-home-mom.