In today’s world, balancing financial needs with a child’s emotional well-being is complex and may require tough choices. I have no right to tell you whether you should stay at home or leave for work. I can only encourage you to find something to do. This is a decision for you and your husband to make and as a choice it can make a woman to feel very guilty. Each woman needs to ask the Lord what is best for her and her family. And if you are a single mother, staying at home with the children is not a likely option, and my heart aches because you are likely the sole provider for the family.
However, in homes where the husband is able to provide for the family and the children are pre-schoolers, the wife should stay at home to nurture the children. While doing this, she can engage in a side business that would not hinder her child-nurturing responsibilities. As a result, the family will reap tremendous benefits in later years.
I have a hard time when I see mothers who don’t need to work, but do so for extra material comforts. As unpopular as this perspective may be, I feel compelled to say it – “mothers should put their children’s best interests before their own.” If that means a career has to be put on hold or the old car needs to be driven another four years, so be it. Children are not acquisitions. They are precious human beings who need parents guiding them every day. A Day-Care Centre used daily will never offer them the care, instructions, security and love that a parent can. Even a good house maid cannot be as good as you are to your children. If you are struggling with this, sit down and review exactly how much money you have left after deducting Day-Care, After-School, dry-cleaning and housemaid bills.
I have talked to a lot of women who realized that they were making only a small income after all these deductions. These mothers also noted that they would save money from fewer hospital visits if their pre-schoolers were at home more, spend less on takeout food and stress relieving activities.
What can we learn from the Proverbs Woman?
“She considers a field and buys it from her earnings, she plants a vineyard” (Proverbs 31:16).
This “Total Woman” is also an entrepreneur.
A “Working Woman” who wants to increase her family’s wealth and is always on the lookout for things to do. She first thinks through her purchases, then buys from her own earnings because her husband doesn’t give her money. She has learned how to save. But what type of “job” is this? She is working to help her family and this work is probably next to her house, so she really has a “house-based” job. She buys a vineyard because grape raisins are important products for a Hebrew family. During the months of September and October, the fresh ripe grapes are eaten along with bread as one of the principal foods while other grapes are dried in a corner of the vineyard, sprinkled with olive oil and stored for winter use. Raisins were widely used as well. The Hebrew people would take the juice of grapes, boil it and eat it with bread.