Rachael Marie Collins–In Defense of the Stay-at-Home-Mom

My twenties, in particular, were all about achievement: I clerked at the High Court of Australia, received scholarships to study at two Ivy League schools, completed four degrees, cofounded a think tank and, by the age of 26, had secured a tenure-track position at a law school in my country….

The year I married, I started my doctorate at Oxford University….[then] earlier this year, I gave [it] up…to be a stay-at-home mom to our adopted newborn daughter.

It’s the best decision I’ve ever made….

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Women

9 comments on “Rachael Marie Collins–In Defense of the Stay-at-Home-Mom

  1. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    God bless Rachael Marie Collins. This is the most accurate and balanced thing I’ve ever read on this subject.

    “I might have been the woman who thinks that as a stay-at-home mom I was missing out on something — that I had traded a productive life in the world for something less fulfilling, prestigious, or valuable”.

    I, too, am not “missing” a single solitary thing; certainly not anything that matters.

    I’ve also heard the “waste of your time, brains, education, and talents” speech. How can paying the most possible attention to the raising of the next generation be a “waste” of my time, talents, brains, or education? Should I ignore my kids and this next generation and see how they turn out?!!

    All women have their own opinions on this and many times people have to do what they have to do and have no choice. I don’t knock women who stay home or women who work; neither truly defines the quality of your mothering. But the FemiNazi nonsense of “you can have it all” is not true. If you stay at home, you will probably have to make career sacrifices. If you give it all to your career, someone else may end up raising your children. Both of those are facts, no matter how you slice it. And trying to strike a balance between the two can be extremely hard, although many women and children do fine with it. Sometimes that can depend on the personalities and resilience of your children.

    I consider myself deeply blessed in many ways. One of my friends, now in her early 80’s, was a master’s-prepared social worker in NYC in the 50’s. At that time, she was considered an anomaly. She married “later” for that time, in her early 30’s, but was able to have four healthy sons with her husband, all two years apart. She had at least one child in diapers for a 13-year period(obviously, not the same child :-)). I once heard someone say to her she was so sorry she had to give up her career to “raise those boys”. She replied, “Those boys were the best thing that ever happened to me. I didn’t need the career; I had already done all that”. Yup…

    I once heard a woman on a television show also say the most accurate thing about motherhood in FemiNazi times–“I find that when I’m being GREAT at my job, I’m not being so great as a mother; and when I’m being great as a mother, I’m not so great at my job”. That can have a ton of truth to it, and I hope women who want to be mothers(or are mothers) consider that very carefully as they try to meet their needs and those of their family, not necessarily in that order. “Balance” can be a challenging thing. Thoughts/prayers for all moms… 🙂

  2. Jeremy Bonner says:

    I concur that it’s excellent testimony. It would be nice to think that fathers who have the opportunity to make that choice would receive the same encouragement.

  3. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    Jeremy, I think the support for stay-at-home dads is getting better and better. And I know two of them(just off the top of my head) who do a wonderful job; one of them is my brother-in-law.

  4. Jeremy Bonner says:

    Glad to hear it 🙂

  5. Charles52 says:

    There’s more to it than just staying at home. Thirty years ago I knew a fellow who was on the fast track to an executive position in a multi-national corporation. As he told it, he looked around, saw all those men who didn’t know their children, and decided he wanted something different. So he quit and went to work in the family business in our small town where he had plenty of time for his kids. As it happens, the family business was banking, so it wasn’t that much of a sacrifice. But the point remains: man or woman, family before career. The job should serve the family’s needs, not the ego needs of either parent.

  6. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    I knew a man who did something similar. He was the Air Boss on a US aircraft carrier. He was great at his job, and was a shoe-in for major command and/or flag rank. He loved his wife and she loved him and was very supportive of his Navy career. For ~ 15 years they lived a jet-setting US military-DINK lifestyle, and she visited him in a lot of major international ports.

    Until they decided, “oh, what the heck(lovingly), let’s have kids”. From the second he held his first baby he knew the Navy life was going by the wayside. He left prior to reaching retirement benefits and took a civilian job. But, his family was happy and he set it up so he didn’t have to kiss the kids good-bye for ~ 8 months at a time. And, his civilian job was probably not as exciting as his Navy life, but, he had his wife and kids and didn’t care. Good for him…

  7. Hakkatan says:

    It used to be that the majority of parents were both working parents and stay-at-home parents, because until the 20th century, most people were running farms and small businesses. Although the economy has definitely shifted its active arenas, and that scenario is a rare one, it is good when people choose it.

  8. Kendall Harmon says:

    Its all about responsible choices, that is, careful stewardship of one’s life. My only hesitancy in posting this good piece was that she can hardly be considered a typical example of a woman who faces such challenging decisions!

  9. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    But it is true that the decisions are “challenging” regardless of socioeconomic status or education level. It’s a lot like being “equal under the pall”. Somebody(usually your doctor) hands you a baby and then you have major choices to make, regardless of who you are.

    Of course I grant that something like solid financial status can make such choices easier. But, sometimes not–taken from a book by Douglas and Deborah Bey, a psychiatrist and counselor:

    “Through the years of working with hundreds of families, we’ve seen kids who come from the worst possible homes turn out to be good citizens, and we’ve seen families where the parents seem to be stable and loving, and the kids get into all sorts of difficulties. The pastor who works with the youth in our church feels that the kids with problems he sees are about equally divided between very poor and very rich homes in town. In both cases, children are left to their own devices. Affluent children are envied because of their possessions, but their parents are frequently out at cocktail parties in the evening and are preoccupied with their work and social lives”.

    So, sadly, it goes to show that even when one is wealthy or educated, he/she is not necessarily going to make responsible choices, especially when it comes to his/her children. The bottom line is, narcissism and “validate me” should fly out the window when children come along, but unfortunately, many times they don’t.