I have a college degree and I can’t wait to be a wife + mother.
There, I said it.
I haven’t ever wanted to be anything else. God’s written it upon my heart since I was a little girl. Most of the people in my life already know this and have no issue with it. Not that they’re really allowed to have an issue with it, anyway. But for some reason, the rest of the world seems to be completely shocked when I share my career goals with them.
Very recently, as in yesterday recently, in his general audience address, Pope Francis said, “to be a mother is a great treasure. Mothers, in their unconditional and sacrificial love for their children, are the antidote to individualism; they are the greatest enemies against war.” I think Pope Francis and I have a very similar thought process when it comes to motherhood, and actually everything else, but specifically motherhood. He went on to say that being a mother is a gift and that through their sacrificing, mothers help society overcome self-centered tendencies. I want nothing more than to experience the gift of motherhood.
As a college student, I had professors and employers tell me to “pick something else” when discussing future jobs. On the first day of a new course, most of the class period was spent having each student share a little about him/herself. We would share the basics like: name, year in school, major, ideal career, and something interesting about yourself. As you can imagine, my ideal career was always wife + mother. And as if that didn’t get enough funny looks, I would always follow it up with, “and something interesting about me is that I was at least 5 kids!” Most of the time the professor would laugh uncomfortably and ask what I wanted as a job, as if I didn’t understand the question. I made sure to restate exactly what I said, “I want to be a wife + mother and raise a family.” After it was clear that I wasn’t confused by the question, the professor would smile and move on to the next student. On one specific assignment, I was asked to find ways to apply things I had learned in my management class to my career of choice. I obviously wrote all about how to effectively use these techniques to manage a home & family and when I received the assignment back, the professors had left a note (along with the A) that read, “Aim higher, young lady!” Had I written that I wanted to be a nurse, would he have told me to aim to be a doctor? Or if I wanted to be a teacher, would he have told me to aim to be the principal? Who was he to tell me that my career path wasn’t high enough?
I’m pretty sure that if we went around the world and asked every mom with a college degree if she’s ever used it while raising her children, the answer would be a yes. Every. Single. Time. And that’s not saying you need a degree to be a wife + mother, but why can’t I apply what I’ve learned in college to raising a family? For a culture that is all about women’s rights and women having it all, we sure are quick to knock a woman wanting her “all” to be a family. I don’t think that every woman is called to motherhood, or that we should shame those who choose a career over family, but I just don’t understand why so many people are still so shocked at the idea of motherhood as a desire and choice. For a society full of pro-choicers, you think they’d accept that my choice is LIFE + family.
I’m not a naive tween waiting around for my prince charming to show up at any moment. I’m not counting down the literal minutes until I get married and start having babies. However, I AM looking forward to the day when God brings the man I will marry into my life. And I AM hoping & praying He blesses that marriage with lots of children. I am trusting in His plan to fulfill the desires He has placed on my heart.
If you want to read a more eloquently written post on the subject of women actually wanting to be mothers and stay-at-home-moms at that, check out Katrina of Cedars and Tiny Flowers. She wrote a beautiful post all about it here.
xx, Melanie Elizabeth