Did you know that we are war? No, I’m not talking about Iraq. I’m talking about the “Mommy Wars”: an ongoing cultural debate over stay-at-home moms. There was another skirmish last week, between those pushing for women to take their place in the workforce, and those who’ve opted to be stay-at-home moms.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, feminist author Linda Hirshman expressed her concern at statistics showing that many women with college degrees were choosing to stay home with their children: “I think it’s a mistake for these highly educated and capable women to make that choice. I’m saying an educated, competent adult’s place is in the office.”
Brazen words. Fighting words. An indication of just how extreme feminism has become. While some feminists have championed the right for women to have a choice about whether or not to work or stay at home, people like Ms. Hirshman are now insisting that women are wrong to choose to stay at home with their children.
How should we as Christian women respond to the latest attack on stay-at-home moms? As usual, Dr. Al Mohler suggests a wise strategy:
“The Christian response…must be a combination of refutation, amazement, and affirmation of motherhood. Hirshman’s article and media appearances can serve to remind us all of the unspeakably high calling of motherhood and to the sacrifices that so many women make, day in and day out, to the raising of children, the nurture of the home, and the shaping of civilization itself.
I respond to Hirshman’s arguments from a highly privileged position—as the son, husband, and son-in-law of women who gave and give themselves to the calling of motherhood without reservation. They, like so many millions of other dedicated mothers, are the ones who demonstrate a wisdom and dedication that goes beyond anything a man can offer in terms of motherly intuition, loving devotion, and management challenges that would daunt the boldest Fortune 500 CEO.
Nevertheless, the best refutation of Hirshman’s awful argument is the happiness experienced by so many mothers and the evidence of motherly love and attention in the lives of their children.
These women are not “letting down the team.” To the contrary, they are holding civilization together where civilization begins—in the home.”
Did you notice what Dr. Mohler said is our best defense—and offense—in the “Mommy Wars”? It is, “the happiness experienced by so many mothers and the evidence of motherly love and attention in the lives of their children” (emphasis mine). It’s happy moms and happy kids!
Most of us won’t be called on to write articles or make TV appearances in response to feminists like Ms. Hirshman. But as foot soldiers in this cultural war, we have a critical role to play. All of us who are children of dedicated mothers should be boldly, shamelessly happy, and we should enthusiastically thank our mothers! And for all of us who are currently raising children at home, we should joyfully set about our noble task. Let’s cheerfully wipe noses and change diapers and drive carpools and counsel little souls. By simple acts of joyful defiance against a rebellious world, we can gain precious ground in the “Mommy Wars.”