The kids and I were leaving the grocery store one morning when my 4 year old asked “Mommy, what’s an engineer?”
I gave a brief definition and told her about what her daddy does at work before adding one more thing. I never like to pass up the opportunity to build up her daddy, so I added
“you have to be really smart to be an engineer.”
“Mommy, I’m really smart.”
“Yep, you are.”
“Maybe I can be an engineer one day.”
And that’s when I realized my mistake. In my desire to build up her daddy, what had I done to my own profession as a full-time stay-at-home mom? I’d completely undercut it and neglected it, potentially leaving her with no desire to use her intelligence to own that all-important, all-encompassing title, mother.
“Mommy is really smart too, honey. I always did well in school, and now I get to use the things I learned to be your mommy,” I interjected, hoping there wasn’t too much damage done yet.
I’m perfectly secure in those old academic achievements, so I really had no need to toot my own horn. But I couldn’t let the conversation end with her thinking that the all of the really intelligent people in the world hold jobs outside of the home. To me, it’s the equivalent of saying “those who can’t, teach.” As we all know, good teachers are true gems. They’d have to be if they can control a room full of 30 kids and teach them calculus. But the same is true for moms. And you know what? We need smart moms. The world needs smart moms.
We need moms who can take their children’s temperatures, analyze their symptoms, and decide that a trip to the doctor would be frivolous for this virus. And we need moms who can look at the baby’s rapid breathing and say yep, this deserves an ER trip.
We need moms who are smart enough to sort through all the various parenting advice on vaccinations, sleep schedules, and school methods to make wise choices on what is best for their families. Or sometimes say “I was wrong” and choose a different path.
We need moms who know how to find bargains, make thrifty choices, and still feed their families healthy meals on one income.
We need moms who are problem solvers with bedtime battles and temper tantrums. And we need moms who can have the courage to ask older, wiser moms for help when nothing seems to work.
We need moms who see their struggling marriage and learn how to pray for their husbands, being graceful and humble so that God can speak to both of their hearts.
We need moms who can recognize bad theology when they hear it, women who can recognize unBiblical thought patterns in their own lives and in those around them, not
“weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” -2 Timothy 3:6-7
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be that woman.
I don’t want my daughter to be her either.
Whatever intelligence God gives to my kids, I want them to use it as He has called them to. Maybe my daughter and her husband will learn another language so they can share Christ with unreached people groups. Maybe my daughter will be a missionary, sharing the Gospel in a remote village in Africa. Maybe she’ll share the Gospel with her coworkers at an engineering firm. Or maybe she’ll be at home, sharing and living out the Gospel with her children, her husband, and her neighbors.
But one thing I do know. It all starts with her mom.
It starts with me. I have to honor God with my choices if I ever expect her to do it too. I have to seek God’s wisdom and not my own or I will fail every time.
How do you encourage your daughter(s) to love learning while still developing a heart for homemaking?