It was a bit of a struggle for me to title this article given that, in this era, women can literally have it all. We can now have great careers and businesses while working from home, so my original title did not work. So, here it goes…
Recently, I saw a post on the streets of social media about children raised by stay-at-home mums versus children raised by working mums. See a screenshot of the post below:
First, I prefer the title ‘stay-at-home-mum’ to ‘housewife’. While the former succinctly captures the purpose of staying at home – to raise a child(ren), the latter does not truly reflect it.
It wasn’t surprising that emotions ran wild in the comment section. Career mums vs Stay-at home mums… Words kept flying.
First of all, the writer equated being in the same space with a child to nurturing. This, of course, is a distraction. Most times, in our bid to sound intelligent, correct or to fit in, we lose sight of what is important.
Let’s take a look at the Bible…
“Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” (Daniel 1:4 KJV)
These were some of the criteria set by the King of Babylon for recruiting the young people that would serve in his palace. One of the times I read this passage from a parent’s perspective, it occurred to me that someone or some people raised this boy, Daniel. It must have taken a lot of INTENTIONALITY to raise such a child. Being a great parent is the GOAL.
Spending 24 hours with your children daily is no guarantee that you’ll raise them well. At least, not when they spend most of their free time staring at a screen, watching endless loops of cartoon; not when we are so distracted; and certainly not when we are so frustrated by staying at home in the first place. Spending time with your children is NOT the same as being in the same space with them. Some children never get to connect with their parents, stay-at-home or not!
Being intentional means investing into raising your children. You should draw up a timetable of activities you do with them, have consistent conversations with them, feed them healthy meals, teach them the word of God, filter the information they receive, and pray incessantly with and for them.
Be PRESENT when you are with them. I have also been guilty of letting my devices and other things get in the way of spending quality time with my boys. It’s wrong! The advent of technology and social media has infused our world with a lot of distraction and we need EXTRA discipline to focus on the important things. Make every minute you spend with your children count by constantly pouring into them.
Eziaha, a.k.a CoachE who was a guest on my podcast in December 2020 (Click here to listen) said something that we should all pay attention to. WE PARENT FROM WHO WE ARE. If you have dream of intentionally raising your children in a certain way, you have to first become that person.
As important as it is to spend time with your children, the interaction won’t have much impact unless you mirror the qualities you want to see in them first. If idle gossip is your thing, better believe you are handing your children a template.
To raise productive children, you have to be an example of what it means to ‘redeem the time’. How do you spend your day? Putting a structure to your day is something your children will observe and go on to apply for the rest of their lives.
If you want to raise children that enjoy reading, get into the habit of reading. This applies to EVERYTHING. It’s not just about the amount of time you spend with your children but about the quality of the time you spend with them.
Society puts a lot of pressure on us, and many women feel guilty about their choices and realities. For this reason, most women are resentful, cranky and unable to give their best. Refuse the labels, make the right investments in raising your children and ABBA will be proud of you, stay-at-home or otherwise.
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PS: I recently wrote a book on Crafting the Ideal Confession for Children. Please look out for it.
Thank you for reading this piece.