When I grew up in the 50's and 60's the majority of mothers stayed home with their children and didn't baulk at being there. We grew up with Mother always being home when we got home from school, offering us milk and cookies, supervising play and homework, cooking dinner and folding up the laundry. If she wasn't home when we got home it felt as if the world had turned on its axis! Mum was our world and we pitied the few kids at school whose mums worked outside the home! Mum being there was our anchor of security and it is one of the memories of childhood I have where I felt happy and secure.
Gradually I noticed that more and more of my friend's mums were working outside the home and I remember one friend in particular who would go home from school, set the dinner table, feed the dogs, and play with me until her mother came home, which was my sign to make tracks home because my dinner would just about be ready. I would skip home glad to know Mum was there bustling around the kitchen or putting her day's laundry over the airer in front of the fire. It was a routine that was as predictable as the setting of the sun.
How sad I felt for my friend coming home to an empty house. She may have her gold bracelets and an Osmond's fountain pen that we couldn't afford- but young as I was, I knew which side my bread was buttered on- and as far as I was concerned, I would rather have my Mum home than the pink and white bedroom suite and carpeted bedroom my friend had all to herself. I would gladly share mine with my sister and have Mum where she was. I still feel sad for her today- to my mind she had everything except the most important- a stay at home mother.
Today's world has changed so much. Often mothers have to work to provide for their children- and they do a wonderful of job of balancing motherhood and career. But an awful lot of women who could stay home with their children have been hood-winked into believing that they don't contribute to society by staying home with their children! They do not see the value in teaching and training of their children, and they are blind to the infinite blessing of nurturing to the spirit of their babies by just being there- at home!
Never before has motherhood taken such a pounding by feminists, employers, TV commercials urging us to consume more and more whilst leaving the most precious of things- our children, under the care of daycare centres and people who give good care but no real love to their children. How I long for those mothers to catch a glimpse of their children's spirits as they are left day after day in the care of people who only see nurturing these children as a job, not a privilege. They are being deprived of the security of knowing that Mom is with them all day, in their own home. They don't care that the house may not be the biggest, they are just as warm in K-mart clothes as designer labels, but they do care that they are deprived of their Mum's time- they just can't express it yet!
How do you know they care that their Mum isn't there you say?- I know because I have seen children woken up at early hours from warm beds or cots to be bundled hurriedly into cars to be taken to daycare! I have seen their looks of bewilderment and seen how long it takes for them to settle- granted initially at first- fortunately for them, children are amazingly resilient. And I have seen the look of delight when they see Mum come to pick them up, and I have seen too the little head nuzzling into Mummy's neck soaking up the scent of Mum and her body warmth! Heaven in a child's world!
I have seen little ones clinging to carers who are forbidden to attach to one child for too long in case they bond- thus making it difficult to cope with said child if that carer isn't available on any given day! I have seen misery inside those gaily painted daycare centres where all care is taken- but no bonding is allowed. What a stage setting for bonding problems in the adult kids!
If a mother could just see inside her child's heart for a moment she would reconsider her position as a working mother. She would stay at home with her children and cut her cloth accordingly. Her education would not be wasted for there is a great challenge in balancing finances on one wage, being a wise mother, cook, nutritionist, nurse, play supervisor, educator and above all else, companion and guide to little ones eager to emulate her. She would find true happiness in herself as she is less pressured for time, and she would have the enjoyment of knowing that she has made the most of the few precious years we have with our children.
Our young children want their Mummies, and our older children are looking for something that is lacking- something in their spirit that is empty- the joy of being wanted- and nurtured and loved. Before the car, the house, the clothes, the toys. Before the holidays, the big Christmas presents, the expensive lap-tops.
They are hungry for love and bonding. Don't let that be with strangers who offer them acceptance and belonging as they ply them with drugs! You be the one! You are the one they long for! Take back the house keys and stop them being latch-key kids before it's too late. Just be there, Mum. Make a decision in faith that God will provide for your needs- this is His Will for all mothers- it is part of His great plan! If you ever needed to be needed, it's now! Don't think your boss can't get by without you- he can, but your kids can't. Not if they are going to be godly, loving, confident adults and parents, they can't. But it starts with you. Will you be a part of God's plan in motherhood? Will you trust Him to meet your needs? But most importantly, will you just be there for them?
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19