Monday, September 8, 2008

Top News Story: Stay at Home Moms Devour a Woman

**note: this is not a political post, even though I'm talking about Sarah Palin!

I have been so disheartened by the blogging I have seen regarding Sarah Palin. No, not her politics, but her motherhood. Many moms, Christian moms are calling into question her ability to be a mom and a vice president at the same time. I have one friend who simply asked the question. . .more in amazement than anything else. However, most of the blogs and comments I have read have not been so pretty. Hateful is the word I'd use. Just plain Nasty. The phrase, "we eat our own" comes to mind. Here is a Christian woman who is sacrificing much to lead our country (hopefully!) in a godly direction and us women are devouring her. This is a woman who is pro-creationism in schools, pro-life and living it out, pro-large family, pro-military and attends a Bible Believing church! The fact is. . just in case you need to know this, her husband took a leave of absence the moment Trig was born. He plans on not going back to work for a while. But the truth is. . none of that is our business! I am sure that they had a LONG family discussion before choosing to run for office while having a 5 month old special needs child and a pregnant teen. I am sure that Bristol (the pregnant teen) was very much a part of this discussion. The point is, they decided as a family what God was calling them to. I see no where in scripture where we can call this decision into question! In fact, I see it as a terrible burden for our Lord. I am sure that HE would want us to get on our knees for this woman and her family and start looking at our own families and focusing on what He is calling us to do.

I have seen and heard this all too often:

From a Working Mom to a Stay at Home Mom - "I couldn't imagine just staying at home"
From a Stay at Home Mom to a Working Mom - "My children are my priority"
From a Mom to a woman without children - "My life has so much meaning"
From a woman without children to a Mom - "I want to live my life first"
From a Homeschool Mom to a Public School Mom - "I care about my kids' education"
From a Public School Mom to a Homeschool Mom - "I'm giving my children a rich experience"

In fact, I have been a part of it. I have a friend who doesn't have kids yet. We struggled with these issues for a while. She would say to me (because she LOVED me), "you need a break! Come out with just me and leave the kids with Greg". . I heard, "your life sucks! I can't imagine living like this". I said to her, "Oh, I can't wait for you to have kids" (b/c I love her and know they will make probably the cutest babies ever!). She heard, "your life doesn't mean anything yet". . .and so on and so forth. We became defensive. No, not in some big fight. . but in not appreciating each other or feeling we could share our struggles with each other. We ended up having a huge conversation and, in the end, realized that neither was hearing the other. Now, we truly appreciate one another and know that we celebrate where God has each of us.

I am a black and white person. Truth. Justice. I have a hard time with anything gray. This means, if God calls me to something. . that is RIGHT. . which means anything but that, is WRONG. . .I have a hard time adding "FOR ME" after that! But, the truth is: God calls each of us to different things. And, if it's not spelled out in scripture (obviously, I am not advocating. . whatever you feel is right theology) than we have to give others grace and freedom. I'm not so good at this, but am learning. He may call some of us to stay at home. . some to work in the workforce, some to work from home, and some to run for public office. The truth is: We are NOT the Holy Spirit for others! Whoa that's a hard one. . .But, I wonder what the church would be like if we chose to celebrate what God had for others. . and stopped defending ourselves. Heck, I even see this in the adoption world. . defending so much our choice to adopt that others are made to feel bad if they don't! What if, we stopped eating our own and starting lifting others up. What if I began to celebrate not just what God has called ME to, but what He has called others to as well? What if I stopped defending myself long enought to actually hear what others thought? Heck, What if we engaged in a PRAYING FOR PALIN campaign because maybe, just maybe She was called to such a time as this?

33 comments:

Amy Taylor said...

I appreciate your passion Brandi. I have had a really hard time with people who say that we should not consider a candidates personal life in the election. I 100% disagree. I want to elect someone who makes sound political decisions, but is also someone I can respect as a whole person. I believe a persons character cannot be separated between professional & private. I would not choose a babysitter to watch my kids who had a history of school truancy, or defying her parents. These are not directly related to her capabilities of caring for my children, but they are an example of her character, and decision making skills. Likewise when choosing a PRESIDENT or VP, I would choose someone I admire in all aspects both public and private, because I believe their character is their character -it can't be separated.
As far as Palin goes, I think she is a very admirable person on many levels. I do not admire that she has had her kids in daycare while her husband worked and she furthered her political career. (prior to Trig). I think that mom's who argue that their children who are in daycare do not experience a loss, are underestimating the importance of their role as a mom. Underestimating the importance of spending time with their kids. To me this is a tragedy. Likewise I feel the same about the Obama family. I hold Palin to a higher standard because I would hope as a Republican woman that she would have more conservative family values.
I mentioned on another blog that she declared a week in March as an 'Appreciation for Day Care' week up in Alaska. This makes me sad. Yes, sometimes daycare is a necessity. But all too often it is seen as an alternative to making a financial sacrifice and staying home with young children. Young, impressionable children.
All that said, and it doesn't mean I will not vote for McCain/Palin. But I can understand woman being disheartened by her choices. I DO think it's great that her husband is going to stay home with the kids. I think that having a daddy home will be a very special thing for those kids.
Just wanted to share another perspective.

Danielle said...

Voting is always hard for me. I kind of feel like you only hear half truths and things are never what they seem.

I don't wonder at her capability at doing her career, but I am saddened for her family. When it comes down to it though, it's her moral values and faith that I'll be voting for. I agree that the role of being a stay at home mom has diminished in our society...hard to believe when I feel it's the most important job in the world. However, the beauty of America is that I have that choice...just as Palin has hers.

Blessings,
D.

mommy zabs said...

Great post Bran :)

Brandi said...

I just wanted to reiterate that I am a great supporter of staying at home! I am a stay at home mom. . who has been offered some VERY nicely paying jobs =) However, I have become aware of just how hurtful our defense of our passion can be to others.

Does that make sense? I GREATLY value the position of stay at home moms! I also greatly value my friends who work and know that they are following God's Call on their lives.

Bran

Melinda said...

Amen sister, love this post! So, so true. I will join you in the praying for Palin campaign. I plan to help with this month Kidslake project. I love what you are doing and plan to get involved as much as I can from this point on.
Melinda

Andrea said...

Thank you, thank you! I wrote a post a while back about how christian mothers need to quit beating each other up and this certainly holds true in this situation. I stay at home with my kids but I don't believe in any way that I am better than any other woman who does not. I also don't claim that my kids are better off than theirs. That just isn't for me to judge. Most of the moms in the Bible had servants that raised their kids.

Amy Taylor said...

in response to Andrea-
I wouldn't have an abortion because it is wrong (not "for me", it's just wrong). I don't abuse alcohol because it is wrong (not "for me", it's just wrong). I don't consider myself "better" than anyone who does or has done these things. But I can say I have made better choices. And it doesn't mean I shouldn't have an opinion about these things. When I believe something to be truth, I don't believe it is a truth "for me", I believe it is just truth. And while I don't get in people's faces telling them what they are doing is wrong, I am not going to change or water-down my truth for them.
My opinion is that mom's are valuable. That time is valuable. I will not accept societies devaluation of a mother's role in the life of her child. I will never believe that a child is better off in daycare, or that it makes no difference in a child's life whether their mom was there to raise them. If I accept that, then I must accept the statement that mother's are insignificant in the raising of their children.
As far as the claim that "most mom's in the bible had servants raising their children", I would like to see biblical references to substantiate that. Besides, a lot of men in the bible had mistresses, does that mean God ordained it?
I do not make a practice of berating working mom's. In my real life I don't bring it up to those friends that do. But I guess I felt safe expressing my opinions on a blog. Is this still a taboo place to talk about it?

Dearest Jessica said...

It appears that this is so much easier to say than actually live out.

As much as we would all love to have a black and white answer, the TRUTH is we live in a grey world.

There is no clear definition that I have seen regarding right, and wrong recorded in scripture about Daycare,working moms, stay at home moms or alcohol for that matter.

Kristen said...

AMEN "dearest Jessica" As a mom to be who has always been in the work field, this decision is easy said that done. And it is one that I firmly believe is between you, the Lord and your spouse. Alot of mom's may not even have a significant other who is in the picture, or is a part of this. Working outside the home is not always a choice, sometimes its an option. I work with alot of moms who would love to be with their kids at home. So, just want to put a plug into each person getting before the Lord on such personal issues as this.
On a side note, I may not be able to breastfeed for physical reasons...anyone want to bet on the health, mental and emotional issues my child may encounter due to this lack of love and nurturing?? Yikes! I need to save for their counseling now. I jest, but point is, there are so many issues we "criticize" each other on, instead of loving on and encouraging regardless.

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Amy,

I think you are transferring absolute truth principles (abortion, abusing alcohol) over to something that has no basis in Scripture. While I believe my job at home is very important, I was never commanded in Scripture to stay home with my kids. It was a personal decision between myself, my husband and God.
There are some things that we are ALL called to(spreading the gospel, following the 10 commandments, loving others above ourselves). There are also some things that God puts on my heart that He does not put on another woman's. If He called us all to the exact same thing, how would we ever reach all people on this earth with THE truth?

Marla Taviano said...

Hi, Brandi. I'm Marla. I saw your comment on Does Mommy Love It? and clicked on your name to see if you were a friend of mine, another Brandi.

You aren't that Brandi, obviously, but I'm sooo glad I found your site. WOW. I'm planning on blogging soon about Sarah Palin, pro-life, SAHMs and all that. I'll definitely link to this post.

If you don't win a copy of my book, I'll send you one. :)

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Wow Hard for me to believe that being a stay at home mom is a biblical truth. If so I need to see that in scripture as an expectant mom with a career I love i struggle with that deeply. This is the trap we fall into when we are surronded with everyone who thinks the same the TRUTH becomes what truely is someones decision. These comments grieve me and make my heart sad.

Jackie Sue said...

Well, this post certainly pushes some buttons. At first glance as I read the comments I find myself in agreement with Amy(I'm not sure that should offer you any comfort though...)then I read Cassie's comment and I go, "oh yeah, that's right(shocking, huh cass?)." I definitely have the tendancy of making all truth for me absolute truth for everyone. Just ask my teenagers. In general I don't enjoy politics and that is an understatement. There is nothing less real than trying to present yourself as a person who has it all together and can handle life and all that it throws at you without missing a beat. If Sarah Palin were being honest she would have to say that her heart is broken for her daughter. Seriously. We can try to repaint the picture into a positive one, but that could not have been easy. Heartbraking. I'm not saying it had anything to do with her parenting at all. Just that it is heartbraking when our children make choices that will affect them for the rest of their lives. I think politics makes it impossible to be real. Like everyone else I was impressed with Sarah Palin. She was beautiful and well spoken and as a society those are qualities we are drawn to. I'm not sure I would have been as drawn to her if she were an overweight middleaged woman who said the same things with a really twangy accent. I'm just saying. I do agree with Brandi on the way we devour our own. And that is sad. As a stay at home mom I wondered about her ability to be a mom...I did. Valuing my calling as a mom is the heart of who I am. That calling has affected how we have lived our lives. We planned for me to stay at home and sacrificed to make it so. That value then somehow transforms into an absolute truth in my mind when in reality it is not....but man it is hard to separate the very fiber of my being and figure out what is absolute truth and what is my opinion or personal calling. I don't know if all this will make sense, but I have learned to value my opinion less and less and ask God to temper my passion so that I will be more loving than I am right. Being right does not make for a happy family or a joyful Christian...being LOVING does...as believers we have a really really hard time with that absolute truth.

Matthew 22:36-39 (New King James Version)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

Brandi said...

Anonymous - Congrats on your upcoming little one! I am sad that your heart is grieved. My purpose in this post was exactly the opposite, I hope you hear my heart. You and your God have to make that decision together about whether or not to continue to work (or how much you work, where you work. . what you do with your child and the other 100 decisions that come with it!). While I love staying at home, I encourage you to simply ask the Lord and you follow whatever HE tells you to do! He knows you best, knows your skill sets and passions and knows the heart of your little one.

I hope you are encouraged that other moms WILL support you as you follow the Lord's lead in your life.

Brandi
PS Feel free to email me privately is you want to talk more! Brandi@kidslake.org

Amy Taylor said...

Don't have time to respond to everyone, trying to get kids out the door.
I just wanted to clarify that I was not saying staying at home is a biblical truth. I just believe it is a truth. I do believe that there are choices in life better than others, biblical or not.
more later......

Amy Taylor said...

Okay, real quick. I genuinely want to apologize for not being as loving in my words as I should have been. Jackie Sue, I appreciate all that you had to say and it was a great reminder of compassion to me. I am reminded it is important to "be more loving than right". Thank you.
I wish I had said something more like this instead.

When there is a choice, it breaks my heart that mom's (or dad's) don't choose to stay home with their children. Even if it means making huge sacrifices, because nobody can replace the love and care a parent gives.

Jaime said...

I am with you Brandi - we do need to give each other grace. I am also not very good at this and hope to continue to grow in this area. For years I have pushed my convictions on others (especially my family).

I also forget the "FOR ME" part. God has called me to stay home (for now). That truth, "FOR ME," could change tomorrow if the Lord called me to become a working mother. If HE did so, I hope I would be quick to move to obey his calling. So, yes our Heavenly Father does call each of us to different things. And that is exactly why we should obey his greatest commandment to LOVE (great reminder Jackie Sue)!

Excellent Post Brandi. Great respectful discussion girls!

Jaime

Jackie Sue said...

Can I please correct my spelling errors??? I am a frustrated perfectionist and it bugs me to no end when I find a mispelled word in my posts....heartbreaking....thankyou very much...not just once, but twice I did it wrong...I think it has been a good discussion all in all, like Jaime said...always good to challenge our little boxes to expand a little...thanks Bran!

Lindsey said...

Brandi, thanks for sharing your heart and reminding women to be better, more loving, and more sincere. As Christians, we should remember that our opinions are often so hurtful - and do we really feel the Lord pushing us to stand so strongly? Or do we say most of what we do to feed our own pride? I am going to mirror back some conversations with my friends and see what we're REALLY saying to each other. :-) Love your heart!!

Amber S. said...

Were you just trying to see how many comments you could get with this post Brandi? ;-) Seriously though, it is such a hard subject because it addresses such a deep part of who we are as women and mothers. To have kids or not to have kids, to work or stay home, homeschool, public, private...all of these choices we have to decide to believe in passionately and then usually, defend passionately as well; thus making it so hard to truly understand or identify with alternate decisions. At all costs, we really must avoid "eating our own" and support each other in Christ with open and truthful dialogue about the choices we make as mothers. Whether they are biblically mandated or not, I do agree that some choices have better results for our children, but I have come to those decisions based on a myriad of life experiences and situational circumstances. And it is most likely presumptious to project my life's decisions onto others. I treasure and deeply value my role as a stay at home mom and am so thankful for that opporunity. However, I pray for understanding and wisdom when speaking with or about those that do not share my passion. Great post Brandi!

The Albertsons said...

Brandi, you hit the nail on the head. If we all looked the same, raised our kids the same, made the same decisions, then we wouldn't have anything to learn from one another... we wouldn't have that amazing variety of life that God blesses us with. Great post... great reminders to respect the lives that others live, and to hold one another up.
Amen, sister!
love
becca

His Hands His Feet Today said...

GREAT POST Brandi!!!!!

Scott and Erin said...

hey Bran, awesome post. To be honest, reading these comments has left me feeling grieved, NOT edified... somehow this fingerpointing, however subtle, does not feel like it has anything to do with being One in Christ.

I work 8 hours a week, and my kids stay with their grandma. It is a bummer that there are some people who think that I don't know "the truth," absolute or otherwise, because I do this. You know what, though? I bet if I stayed home with my kids for those 8 hours, they would really miss the food that that money puts on the table.

It makes me sad when judgement replaces compassion.... God has been teaching me lately that just because people don't do what I think they should do, doesn't mean they're not doing the best they can, and doesn't mean they're not doing what's ABSOLUTELY right for their family.

I am proud of you posting this, and to sticking to your guns in this crazy comment situation :)

L Grace said...

Amen!
I totally hear where you are coming from. I dont know you but somehow stumbled upon your blog one day and check in now and again. I am preparing to leave for South Africa in two weeks with Acres of Love (an organization that rescues orphaned and abandoned children). I know that God has led me to make this trip. I know that others may judge this harshly as I will be leaving my husband and two boys aged 8 and 5 at home. I am putting myself out of my comfort zone and in harm's way. This may not be a decision that everyone would make or agree with. I must be obedient now, in this moment, to what I know God is calling me to do. Amen to everyone praying more for our Christian brothers and sisters and less effort spent analyzing their decisions.

Misi said...

I'm not going to bother reading all of the comments b-cuz I just want to say this" Who are WE to judge"?
Period. I would love to stay at home w/ my son but guess what?
I can't!
I'm a single mom w/ no support from the father.
I love my son more than myself but would it make me a bad mom if I re-married and decided to sty working so that I could maintain financial security for my son and I.
I don't think so and Yes to the first commenter I understand completely how important it is for children to have Mommy w/ them but how cool is it that the Palin kid's get Daddy?
Most Dads are so busy working they need an instruction list just to take care of their own kids alone for a day. and MOST OF THEM REFER TO IT AS "babysitting"-(not slamming you-Greg:))
I MEAN COME ON!
I think it's wonderful when the Father has the opportunity to bond like that with the children.
We will always be Mommy to them.
OK done ranting.
It's just so annoying when people stereotype each other, Brandi.
This post was right on track!

Amy Taylor said...

Are we at point A again Misi?
I wish you had read through all the comments because you might have responded differently. But I still want to point out, that I acknowledged both the fact that sometimes daycare is a necessity, and that Palin's husband staying home is great and special.
Are people not really reading my words? I think they think they know what I'm trying to say, or what kind of stand I'm trying to make, and are missing my actual points.
I'll say it AGAIN.
When there is a choice, an option, my heart cries out for people to choose their children.

Andrea said...

Amy,
I think your point is clear, and it isn't that people aren't understanding. I think it is hard for people to hear because they want you to say that even if it is their "choice" to have a paying job that you would support it. This is just an argument that has SO many emotions wrapped around it that it is very difficult to discuss online. I am sure most people reading this would agree with you that staying at home with your children benefits everyone and is a wonderful thing. It is when you take that last step where you lose many of us. I think the conclusion is that we all have to agree to disagree and find it in ourselves to still show sisterly love and grace toward one another.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't comment on people's blogs-and I am not even sure how I happened upon yours. First, let me state that I was a stay at home mom and am now a working mom, so I know the best (and worst) of both worlds. I have to say that it is really no one's business (Christian or not...and I am a Christian!!) if a mother is working or staying home. I am sure ALL mom's would love to stay home! But, who are we to JUDGE. Christians are VERY good at that....and often times I am disappointed in the attitude and condescending manner of Christians. We also do not know anyone's circumstances, therefore, making it twice as wrong to jugde. Please think twice about making comments about other people's personal life! Working mom's life's are chaotic and hard, it would be best to keep them in your prayers and lift them before the throne of grace!

Amy Taylor said...

The "judging" thing keeps coming up. We have all been judging her. Everyone who has expressed their approval that she lived out her pro-life stance by having son Trig with Downs Syndrome - judgement. Good judgement, but judgement - on her personal life at that. I don't see why one is acceptable judgement and the other is not. I am not commentating whether she is a good parent or not. I am simply looking at the decisions and choices she makes, and tallying the scorecard for who I will vote for. Palin: Pro-life and lives it....+. Works FT with small kids....-. McCain: Adopted 2 kids...+. Obama: I don't even want to list all the -'s . (There are many more qualifying factors to be weighed, I'm just listing some as an example). I don't know how we can choose a president without critiquing who they are. I am not a Palin basher, or a working mom basher. But because she is in the spotlight and being discussed, I am allowed to have opinions on what she does and what she stands for. And even if she IS someone I am going to vote for, I am allowed to not agree with EVERYTHING she does.
I have said before and will say again - I can't separate professional from personal lives. I highly doubt many mom's posting here didn't have a thought or two (or a comment or two) about Clinton's personal life during his term. When someone runs for office, they are opening that up for the nation to see to some degree. I am appalled at what the media is doing to this poor woman. The tabloids have been ruthless. Still I don't think it is wrong to disagree with something she does or stands for.

This all sounded much more eloquent and thought out in my head. It never comes out quite like I hope!

julie said...

brandi,
what a discussion you have started here...i am constantly praying that God would open my eyes to the things he wants to show me personally and that by fixing anything we need to fix ourselves. my heart is deceitful....show me Lord how to love others as you love them...no matter what issue comes up. i don't pray for my kids to be president and change the world but i pray they would let Jesus change them and use them to how he created them. I say, Let God be your guide and do what he is calling you to do.

Anonymous said...

ladies, ladies..life is too short for this kind of business..who cares if you stay home with your kids and who cares if you work and don't stay home with your kids..can't we all just get along? Vote for Obama, raise your kids with food stamps and just enjoy life. God would want it that way. This post is ridiculous, Brandi---whoever you are--I wish you the best...your friends are crazy and your kids may be even crazier with you as a mom.

xoxo
gossip girl

Leah said...

Amen.

Angel said...

Wonderful post! Got everybody all RILED up didn't you??? ;0) Angel