15 April 2009


I do occasionally brush up against people who live in the real world, or more of the real world than I'm used to (still don't interact with many [any?] non-Lutherans often [ever?]). And when this happens, and someone nonchalantly mentions that she's going back to work this week and the baby is starting with the sitter, I get really confused. It's so normal. Not a big deal at all. And then I'm like, does this even matter? That baby is going to be fine. Their family is going to be fine. They're just doing what they do. So what the heck am I doing? I'm not that important. I don't matter that much. What am I sitting around for all day, poking at whatever interests me between occasional calls for assistance which almost any person could answer? Because the truth is, this is a pretty sweet deal. If I worked all day, and then came home and had to make supper and take care of business and cram in some parenting, there's no way I'd be posting here or puttering around with my little projects or talking to my sister on the phone whenever I feel like it. I'm a kept woman, except the poor dude happens to be married to me. All I ever do for him is feed his kids and speak English around them.

I'm a leech. Worthless.



Melrose said...

Wow, way to be a downer ;) haha

Sure, her kid may be fine, or he/she may not be at all. Don't underestimate the power of the Devil to weasel his way in when mama is not there to shepherd and guide. It took me 4 years of private Lutheran instruction in college to weed out heresies in my faith that I did not even know existed due to being raised in a very overwhelmingly Baptist public school system.

I know you know your children are priceless, children to be raised up as warriors in God's kingdom. There is no one better fit than you and your husband for such a daunting task.

I am sure your husband is the one feeling like a leech many days. He tends to the tasks of everyone else while you raise his children for him and keep his house and wash his clothes and make his meals.

"An excellent wife, who can find?" You are such and you should be commended. Good job mama.

Monique said...
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MooreMama said...

I've posted about this. Actually, it was 20 weeks and 2 days ago that I came back to work, but who's counting... I won't repeat the whole defensive post here :)

Rebekah, I envy your position as a worthless leech.

fwiw, we have a Plan in place that should have me at home (DV) by Callie's 3rd birthday, comfortably, responsibly, and able to pay the bills without DH having to work 2 and 3 jobs.

Monique said...
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Rebekah said...

I know, friends. It's the appearance of normalcy that confuses me and leaves me feeling like none of this matters. Sigh.

The reality is that I don't even want my kids to go to another kid's birthday party and have them exposed to all manner of stupidity and worse.

Reb. Mary said...


Yes, and No.

The utter normalcy of Mom going back to work throws me into confusion when I encounter it too.

Much as I like to complain, there is indeed something strangely luxurious about being the Minister of the Interior, being able to more or less determine the household schedule (such as it is) and activities (such as they are).

What I really can't figure out is how you're able to organize your children so well, to get so much done. I try ignoring mine, but they just don't go away (JK, people. Kind of.) Seems like my little projects are simply never accomplished, and even certain household tasks must wait till after kids' bedtime, and by the time the miscellanea are accomplished I'm so tired/fried that no writing gets done. Boys 1 and 2 are often fairly orchestrate-able or incorporate-able, but Boy3 in particular is cramping my would-be style nowadays :P Something about devoting his days to defeating various childproofing systems if left alone for 60 seconds, or, in the event that he fails to find sufficiently dangerous points of interest, wailing ceaselessly unless carried about.

Bottom line: when Pity Party time rolls around, I'm never sure whether I or the "working mom" should be the guest of honor ;)

Joy said...

Amen to all. I admire working moms for not being the control freak that I am. But given that I AM a control freak, I'm going to speak like one and probably ruffle a few feathers.

Yes, the babe will be fine in day care. Babies are also fine on formula. But "fine" isn't good enough for me. I had planned to go back to work after dd1 was born, but the love hormones kicked in full throttle and I just flippin' quit. The thought of leaving my Whole World in the hands of another had me physically sick, trembling and crying. So, to afford living on the man's several part-time jobs (way over the sem's 15-hour limit), we lived in a 1-bedroom apt and ate a whole lotta Ramen noodles and bananas. And you know what? I'd do it again.

Joy said...

Oh, and Rebekah, about the bad manners and stupidity.... yeah. Claire goes to a LCMS school and, at age 8 (EIGHT!) wrote that she wanted to "wear hot clothes to get a man". Talk about a pit in my stomach! Let's see here...we'll just change "wear" to "cook" and "clothes" to "food". Voila! Perfect!

Again, normalcy is overrated.

Monique said...
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MooreMama said...

I'm sorry to be snarky. I know I'm defensive about it. (and having a much more heated discussion on a parenting board the last couple of days about this very topic) I'm hoping that having Callie in an in-home "grandparent's house" environment daycare and being able to be home with her very very soon, I can minimize my guilt. Meantime, my salary is paying the medical debt, car payments, part of the mortgage, and building up savings.

Joy - Control freak that you're not? I'm just squishing it down. ;)

Other Sisters - I hate the normalcy of it, too. And the dumbfounded reactions when we turn down a "night out" in favor of staying home to eat spaghetti and play with the baby. But then, I'm apparently very odd for choosing to breastfeed for as long as I can and making her food instead of buying the handy dandy jars. Maybe I overcompensate.

Anonymous said...

Pastor's wives: you can stay home with the kids because you don't have to contribute to the family's expenses of :medical debt, car payments, part of the mortgage, and building up savings.

And don't tell that those expenses are because of materialistic greed. It's because we don't have the tax exempt status of "minister of the gospel".

Rebekah said...

Anon, you're the only one who said anything about materialistic greed. Pick bones where you find them. I didn't leave any lying around.

Joy said...

Ummm...we're not tax exempt. In fact, we pay dearly every stinkin' quarter and have at times had to borrow against the credit card. There are some who choose to follow the letter of the law and loophole out of taxes, but not most.

I could easily put my kid in day care and go to work, claiming that I need to pay basic bills like mortgage. Or I can redefine "necessity" and live in an apartment until we can afford a house on one salary. We also had one car for a while. Once people attain a certain standard of living, it's hard to see the luxuries, but usually they're there.

Dakotapam said...

I work to pay the Pastor taxes, and the Lutheran School tuition, go figure. Oh, and also part of the mortgage. But my kids are also post daycare age. I had the so called luxury of being home for 12 years. Sadly, most days it is easier to work a 12 hour shift on my feet in the hospital.

Anonymous pastor's wife said...

FWIW, my husband supports our family of almost 6 on $24,000. Yes, we live in a parsonage and have health insurance. But we still have to pay some upkeep and medical costs. And no, we don't pay taxes--only because we owe no taxes. And at the end of the day, we don't own any part of our own home. And savings?!? But the Lord does provide in so many ways!

It's amazing to me that before we were married, my job paid more than $30,000, and as a single woman, I barely lived on it. Yet our entire family is able to exist on far less now. How? I've cut out so many of the luxuries I once thought were necessities.

And I'm much happier.

MooreMama said...

Anonymous - Please don't use my words against these lovely women. I never said that my choices were any better than theirs, nor do I think for one second that their struggles are any less than mine.

The debt that we're paying off (with the exception of the mortgage) is debt that, if I could go back, we wouldn't have. If anything, the most frustrating part for ME is seeing the poor choices that WE made, that we are now obligated to pay for. THAT is why I work. To use my salary to dig ourselves out of debt so that I can stay home with the babies while we live off of DH's salary, which, incidently, is much less than our very own pastor's.

Jane said...

I was a daycare kid and just assumed I would work, too. And I did for a few years. Every time I dropped Bethany off at day care she stood at the door crying. And every time I left her it broke my heart. After #4 I figured out that I wanted to be home with my kids. I have gone through bouts of feeling like a useless leech, and I have made varying amounts of money over the years via home business, but even those can take over and have to be set aside sometimes.

Now, as I see my kids-at-home years drawing to a close (five years), I wonder what I will do next, but I am never sorry I chose to stay home.

I'm not a pastor's wife, in fact, I am fortunate to be the wife of a well-compensated engineer. I cannot fathom how anyone could think that a pastor's wife can stay home easily because her income isn't needed. Many pastors are vastly underpaid, and some don't always get paid.

I have tremendous respect for those of you who live on a pastor's salary and stay home. I can only hope that I would be strong enough to try to get by on what I know some of you do.

Monique said...
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Anonymous said...


Sarah D said...

I think any mother staying home, working or whatever, deserves a big ol' hug. Lord knows I need one. Anon, can have one two.

Rebekah said...

Hugs all around. From somebody else, though; I'm not huggy. :D

MooreMama said...

Monique - our annual report is broken out. ;) I would hazard a guess that our Pastor does make much less than the majority of our congregation, and waaay less thansomeone with his level of education should. I don't begrudge him one dime of it. I was just sayin'.

Hugs to all! (rebekah, I'll throw yours from here.)