Most Moms Care More About Families Than Careers

America's materialistic value system runs very deep within the culture. If the scale-back ever becomes a movement, however, it will portend well for the future of the family! It should result in fewer divorces and more domestic harmony. Children will regain the status they deserve, and their welfare will be enhanced on a thousand fronts. We haven't reached all those goals yet, but I pray that we will. I am convinced of this: most contemporary mothers care more about their families than they do about their careers. Marriage and parenthood still outrank everything else, especially to the generation that grew up in busy, dysfunctional, career-oriented households. They want something better for themselves and for those they love.

In closing, let me emphasize one more time that the trouble we are having with our children is linked directly to routine panic and the increasing isolation and detachment from you, their parents. Furthermore, boys typically suffer more from these conditions than do girls. Why? Because boys are more likely to get off-course when they are not guided and supervised carefully. They are inherently more volatile and less stable emotionally. They founder in chaotic, unsupervised, and undisciplined circumstances. Boys are like automobiles that need a driver at the steering wheel every moment of the journey, gently turning a half inch here and a quarter inch there. They will need this guidance for at least sixteen or eighteen years, or even longer. When left to their own devices, they tend to drift toward the center divider or into the ditch, toward misbehavior or danger. Yet 59 percent of today's kids come home to an empty house. It is an invitation to mischief or disaster for rambunctious males, and the older they get, the more opportunities they have to get into trouble. Today, when the culture is in a tug-of-war with families for control of our children, we can't afford to be casual about their care and training.

Your task as a mother, in conjunction with your husband, is to build a man out of the raw materials available in this delightful little boy, stone upon stone upon stone. Never assume for a moment that you can "do your own thing" without serious consequences for him and his sister. I believe this task must be your highest priority for a period of time. It will not always be required of you. Before you know it, that child at your feet will become a young man who will pack his bags and take his first halting steps into the adult world. Then it will be your turn. By all expectations, you should have decades of health and vigor left to invest in whatever God calls you to do. But for now, there is a higher calling. I feel obligated to tell you this, whether my words are popular or not. Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility. Besides, living by that priority when kids are small will produce the greatest rewards at maturity.

I hope you know that I am not trying to tell you how to run your life. You and your spouse can discern what is best for your family. No one can tell you which road to take. Some women are emotionally geared for careers and would not want to be stay-at-home moms even if they had the resources to do so. They resent anyone criticizing them for having a career, and I don't blame them. It is a personal decision that is no one's business but their own. I do think, however, that there should be a way to avoid living in a state of perpetual chaos. It is hard on adults but creates havoc for children. From my perspective, almost anything is better than chasing the lead caterpillar endlessly around the flowerpot.

Book: Bringing Up Boys

By Dr. James Dobson

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