Bright Maidens: On Motherhood

We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We’re here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion on Facebook and Twitter!

Elizabeth & Julie

The Bright Maidens: Stay-at-Home Mother vs. Working-Out-of-the-Home Mother
Bellinzona, Switzerland
I will be forever grateful to my parents for supporting me during the two years I studied at Franklin College Switzerland and the two years I grew at The Catholic University of America.  Despite occasional hardships, it was a wonderful time.  I traveled, I studied, I wondered, and I grew well beyond the person I was when I started.
Baptism day for my cousin/godson

But, sometimes throughout the school year and every summer, I yearned for a different lifestyle.  I often felt so disconnected from community – not the college community, but the real world.  Where were the kids?  

My aunt and uncle live nearby with my four cousins, and during college, the kids were ages 6 to newborn.  I felt so much joy in helping them out during the summer months.  My days revolved around taking the kids to local park, letting my aunt rest after a surgery, reading stories and singing the Alphabet song, and I couldn’t have been happier.  Of course, I sometimes missed socializing with friends and peers, but overall, it was a very joyous fit.  [Now, if you are wondering, “Why didn’t you get into education?” my answer is, I cannot handle seeing kids be teased or not fit in.  I’d wind up crying in the classroom.]

So when we talk about Stay-at-Home Mother vs. Working-Out-of-the-Home Mother, I will easily admit that since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of the first.  My inspiration for this flows from my own temperament and the wonderful witness of my own mother:

Amazing woman in center; little Trista on right

And of course, I have to thank my dad for putting in so many long hours of work in order to support our family and allow my mom to stay at home!


10 thoughts on “Bright Maidens: On Motherhood

  1. Allow??? Maybe its because my hubby and I see each others as equals, he the CFO = Chief Fathering Officer, me the CMO = Chief Mothering Officer, that I rankle at the word allow. I wonder how the post would read and felt if it said and I thank my mom for allowing my dad to work so…..

    We, as a couple, must answer God's call and I no longer care for the WM/SAHM debate it is not what is important. What is important is that we are doing what we feel lead to do as CMO; as we were baptized into Christ's mission and body: Priest, Prophet and Queen!

  2. vercfamily says:

    I dreamed of staying home with my babies when I was a child, too…and now I am living the dream :). THE hardest job in the world–and the most rewarding. 🙂

  3. Lynsey says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Lynsey says:

    Patricia, I think you can still see each other as equals and thank each other for your respective contributions. Trista mentioned the amazing witness of her mother and thanked her dad for putting in the extra effort that made it possible for her mom to stay home…at least that is how I read it. 🙂

  5. Libby says:

    Lovely post! My mom was stay at home as well, and I sincerely believe that I'm the person I am today because of her involvement and influence in my childhood. I really hope I can do the same for my children someday as well. 🙂

  6. I left a career two years ago, to stay home with my two daughters. I was the best decision I ave made. However, it was also a tough decision in this economy. Our income was reduced by 65% and we lost company-sponsered benefits such as health insuarance, life insurance, 401K and stock options. The rewards have outweighed the downfalls. We have grown closer as a family. God the Loving Father has been there for us. Jesus, I trust in you.

  7. I'm sorry that “allow” seems to have rankled you. I don't mean it as my dad-the-boss but as my-parents-the-team, not swayed from what they feel is the best path for their family and not letting outside pressures get to them.

    I do not want to minimize the effort that my dad has put forth to provide for my family. He works very hard so that we can live in one of the top towns in our area, near my grandparents, in a good school district, able to go to Catholic high school, and then great colleges. We live in an area where it is nearly impossible to live on one income and that has taken many sacrifices and hard work on my dad's part, as it has for my mom.

  8. Isn't it beautiful, really, that as women we share the genius of motherhood, but for some it's in the mission field of babies and homework, for others the mission field of work ” in the world”? Perhaps this is why JP II thanked all women in their respective environments in his Letter to Women.. A reminder to us all that there are different members, but one body. (-and our baptism pronounces us priest, prophet and king… The Church in her wisdom has not altered these words)

  9. You are such an inspiration Mary!!!!!

  10. Maria says:

    Your mother looks so beautiful and so happy. Being a stay at home mother does involve a lot of sacrifices, but it is so worth it!

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