I’m not sure if this is mis-placed or not… hopefully it will be moved if it is. ^^;;
I was discussing what I plan to do after I’m done university with my roommate. I feel a very strong calling to be a wife and mother, and my boyfriend and I have seriously discussed getting married, and actually have a timeline as to when everything could work out. I really have no set plan for after I graduate; I’ve left it in God’s hands.
Anyways, she knew all that… she asked if I had considered nursing, and said I would be really good at it. I said no, and kind of shrugged it off. She said something along the lines of how I can’t waste my life being a housewife and cleaning up after snotty kids, and realising some day that I’ve wasted my life.
So, I can take care of other people, as long as they’re not my own children??? What is it about mothering that causes people to take this stance??? Has any mother out there felt that they completely wasted their lives???
I’m not a mother, but I’ve struggled with the same question you’re talking about here. I’m a senior in college and I plan on getting a master’s. If I don’t get a job somewhere I know my family will think I’ve lost it and will try to talk me out of it, but my fiance and I have decided that if it’s financially possible I will stay at home with the kids (if there we are so blessed). I used to think I would be wasting my degree if I didn’t use it, but then I started talking to people.
Most people don’t actually get a job in their degree’s speciality, and even if they do, a lot of them will change jobs eventually. It was pointed out to me that by getting a degree and choosing to stay home and raise kids, you are showing the kids just how important they are to you. You are also showing them that there is more to life than money and the “rat race.” You can give the kids advice later on when they’re trying to decide if they want to go to college. You are better prepared to help with homework and help with a million other things that college taught you. Don’t think you’re wasting your degree. You’re using your degree for your kids.
The only way to keep from ever thinking that you may have wasted your life, no matter what you do, is to keep your perspective. You cannot do everything. You can only hope to be faithful in what you do. Those are the people who are joyful; that is, the people who never tried to “have it all”, but who rather hoped to do as well as they could with what they have.
Fr. Ron Rohlheiser points out that at some point in our lives, we almost all have a period where we have to “bewail our virginity”…that is, where we have this period of mourning for the roads not travelled. There are always roads not travelled.
Nevetheless, it is your duty to ready yourself for whatever God may lead you to do. It may be a very long time before you meet your husband. You must be prepared to support yourself until you meet a right one–I don’t believe there is only one right person out there–so you will not feel a need to settle for one that is clearly not. You may never marry at all. Even if you marry, you have to be ready for what you will do if you cannot have children.
I do not mean that you have to have every eventuality worked out. I mean that you do not blithely let opportunities go by because you assume you know where life will take you. Try to discern which of the many opportunities before you that you should pursue, which talents you should develop, which debts you should be willing to take on, which you shouldn’t, which commitments you should take on, and which you shouldn’t.
For most of us, cruising along without a care on the assumption that God won’t put us on a path where we’ll need a career doesn’t quite fit that. You don’t know what you may be asked to do, but try to discern which of the possiblities you may be best suited for.
Obviously, for you, being a SAHM is one of those. Get as much as you can out of the educational opportunities you have now, but don’t get yourself into debt unnecessarily. Oh, and get a thick skin. There are a lot of people who don’t know what they’re talking about who will try to talk you out of it. As a SAHM with a PhD in chemistry, I can assure you that a true education is not wasted on the primary educator of a child. Hang in there, and may God indeed bless you as a wife and mother. Wasted? The Queen of Heaven had just the One Child, along with a life of loving service to her neighbors that didn’t need a resume to trumpet it. If God saw fit to give that vocation to His Queen, be assured that you should not be ashamed to follow in her footsteps.
I know a few fathers who believe they’ve wasted their lives, and say they wouldn’t have children if they had it to do over again, but no mothers. (Of course, the average woman isn’t likely to confide such a thing to the average man.)
That said, though, someone who wants to be a parent as much as you say is very unlikely to consider it time wasted. Let your “strong calling” be your guide.
I wouldn’t automatically expect that you would be able to have children. My husband and I expected to have one, maybe two kids at this point. We’ve been married 3.5 years, have been trying (or at least not avoiding) for the last 2.5 years, and humbly accept that it is likely not in God’s plan for us to raise children that are biologically ours. If I didn’t have a career that I enjoyed to get me out of the house every day, I probably would have to be medicated for depression over our infertility.
I think it’s great that you feel called to be a SAHM. I sincerely hope that you will have that opportunity, as I am sure that you will raise wonderful children. But I don’t think it’s wise to barge ahead with no definite plans, especially after spending all that time and money in school. If I were you I would plan to pursue a career or at least some sort of job, get married, and if you get pregnant, then take the necessary steps to become a SAHM. This way you will keep your time occupied, if it takes several months or years to get pregnant you won’t drive yourself crazy sitting at home mourning your lost fertility, and if you are blessed with children, you will have work experience to fall back on if God forbid something happens to your husband.
I would say your friend just has the typical mindset of today. However, upon graduation, I might look for a job doing something you love and are good at doing and of course you could do with the degree you earn.
When I was in college, I was struggling with this too, considering all I really wanted to do (and still do) is be a wife and mother. However, the education was expected by my parents (and myself) and I honestly am so happy I did it! I got my degree in accounting and am an accountant now, while waiting for our little one to arrive. It helps since my husband and I both have plenty of loans to pay off. Plus, I’d be bored at home all day if I didn’t have a job. Right now, it’s tiring to do work and be pregnant, but worth it. Even when I was single, I felt that becoming an accountant was not my primary goal, just a secondary one, while the first one came into place. I wasn’t going to wait around, but do as much as I could with my life. Plus, before you have children, you have much more time to go out there and do good in other ways! So, in that respect your friend is right to a point. You shouldn’t just limit it to your husband and children, esp. before these two come into place. We’re to go out and preach the Gospel and what better way than through our talents and jobs!
This is what I plan to do, no worries! ^^ I’m just not sure what that job will be… I’m working on a B.Sc. in Biology, with a minor in Philosophy. Hopefully, the way things seem to be working out, if my boyfriend and I got married after we graduated, we wouldn’t have much debt to pay off… even if I can’t find a good job whever we settle, I’ll do volunteer work… I’m just not sure what God is pointing me towards in the immediate future after graduation, so I’ll wait and see, and keep praying.
I’m still confused as to how someone could look at nursing, which is similar to motherhood, and say that one would make an good life, and the other would make a wasted life… x.x
I’m not really sure either. Both are wonderful - but one is a job and one is a vocation! Maybe your friend just sees motherhood and being a wife the same as most in society today, merely another choice in “jobs” and less fulfilling b/c you’re only “helping” a couple people instead of a world of them. (which of course is a lie )
The reason your roomate feel this way is because that is what society has taught us to believe. Education is wasted on women who are just going to sit around and have babies. This is the biggest lie you will ever see! You will never regret putting a career on hold for children but I know plenty of women who waited too long, and never ended up with kids…and they really regret that decision. Motherhood is so important, don’t ever let anyone tell you it is less than having a career… Trust me…you can always resume a career… you can’t always have babies. I have 4 kids…they are older (high school and college) it may have slowed my career advancement down…but I would rather have my kids than my career anyway. I have a decent career… but I also have my precious kids (yeah you should see how precious teenage boys can be when they want their mommy)
I hear a couple of issues in your post. The issue of what your roommate thinks of stay at home moms is the least of it.
You say you and your boyfriend are discussing marriage, but have put it on a timeline. What are the issues that are holding you back? Please prayerfully consider your priorities here. You do not need to be totally done with school, have a good paying job, etc before you can get married. You do not want to put yourselves into a situation where temptation could be a problem simply because you are waiting on a wordly timeline of when it is “appropriate” to be married. Perhaps you two can discuss this with your priest.
The other issue is that you have no plans for after school. You do not plan to be married right away, but you also have no plans for further schooling or work. I do think that being open to God’s plans is wonderful, but I also think making some reasonable plans isn’t against that.
Nursing is a great career–especially for a woman who plans to be a stay at home mom. It can be very flexible in terms of hours worked and certainly you can come back to it (like you can to almost any job) after a time away for child rearing. Also, even if you are married right away, you may not have children immediately.
The attitude toward stay at home moms (or wives!) is very well known and shouldn’t really suprise you. You can certainly defend your position gently to your roommate, but I also think you need to take her questions about your immediate future into consideration as well.
The issues that are holding us back is mainly that I could get pregnant, as we will be open to life if we get married, and then what would I do with the child? I could not get married, know I could get pregnant, and expect to, say, give the baby to someone else to take care of while I pursue my education. I haven’t looked into it, but I don’t think there are great childcare facilities on my campus. My boyfriend and I go to different universities(3-hour-drive apart), so he would not be there to help me very often… We have not had any issues with temptation yet, and we’ve been together for almost a year and a half… not very long, in the grand scheme of things, but long enough. When his soul, and mine, are on the line, I could NOT consider risking them. It is simply not worth it. I cannot even contemplate succumbing to temptation. I refuse. We have set ourselves a few simple rules that seem to be working perfectly. We have private time, but always in places where others could happen along. I’ve encouraged my friends to knock on the door sometimes and yell things like “Don’t be naked!”
Our timeline sets the earliest possible marriage between us about 2 months after I graduate, which isn’t too bad. That’s 3 and a half years from now… Even then I don’t think that would be a worldly ‘accepted’ time to get married.
There is no priest we could talk to… our relationship has always been long distance, and there is no priest that knows both of us well enough to advise us, I think…
You could practice NFP if you and your boyfriend were to get married before you get out of school. If you feel that this is a grave enough reason, then it’s perfectly acceptable and will help in your marriage anyway (NFP really strengthens marriages, from what I’ve heard…and when we took the classes, it made my husband really appreciate my fertility).
Should you two get married before school is finished, I wouldn’t do it long distance. That is too much - why risk it? He should transfer or you should. Then you could arrange classes so that should you have a baby, one of you could always be with him/her. Will one of you be graduating before the other?
Also, temptation will always be there, but marriage isn’t necessarily the answer. You say that it hasn’t been a problem yet (impurity), so don’t go with the attitude that if you don’t get married soon that it will be. I know many couples who’ve gone 4-5 yrs before getting married and they had very chaste and holy relationships. If your relationship has basically been long distance, I would be together in one place for a while before deciding to get married with school on top of it. You are right for having friends hold you accountable and making sure you don’t put yourselves in positions that are too great a temptation. I think you both have good heads on your shoulders.
Also, just another thought, but if you do think about it - you date for another year, are engaged for 8-12 months, and who knows when you’ll get pregnant. You could potentially not have children until after you’re finished :). My husband and I got pregnant on our honeymoon, but I knew a couple who were married halfway through college and they are still trying. My bestfriend got married when she was halfway done as well, and they JUST had their first baby three months after she graduated. You just never know when God will bless you with children!
He will gradute half a year or a year after me; he is in the engineering program, and plans to apply for a co-op program, which will enable him to gain work experience between terms of school, and earn quite a bit of money, probably enough for a couple to live on at least a year, if not two. We would technically gradute at the same time, otherwise. We’re only a few months apart in age.
I would like to see if anyone else has anymore thoughts on this before I post my own… You’ve got me thinking now. :o
Lol, our situations are more similar than I thought in my last post. I am a biology major with chemistry and bioinformatics minors. My fiance is a mechanical engineer and we will graduate at the same time (next December). We’ve been dating for almost five years now and we’re getting married even though I’m going to continue my schooling and he’s probably going to get a job.
If we get pregnant, so what? That’s the purpose of marriage, right? I can take a lighter class load and take a little longer to graduate and have somebody else watch the baby for part of the day. Lots of people, especially in the biology department at my school, are married and have kids. I know one girl with three kids that babysits another one on a regular basis. They are all elementary age or younger. Another three girls I know have young babies. Quite a few others are married with no kids yet, and they all do just fine. Professors are understanding when kids are sick and you have to miss class or a test moreso than when you are sick and have to miss in my experience.
If you two love eachother and want to spend the rest of your lives together, unless there is an honest reason to stay apart (unable to remedy the long distance thing for example), there is no reason you shouldn’t get married and start your family. No one will ever be financially able to get married or have kids, and once the planning starts, nobody is mentally stable either
Pray lots, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, and talk to a good spiritual advisor that knows you, but don’t wait for marriage and a family just because everything has to be perfect before those things can happen. We’d all be old maids if that was the case! Oh, and I’d like to add that if you have not had temptation issues up til now, good job for avoiding them, but (not intended to offend) eventually they will show up and you will have to deal with them. I would hazard a guess and say that the reason they have not come up yet is because of the long distance thing. I know from experience the worst times of temptation are when there’s nothing to do and you’re just sitting around alone. Sometimes you just have to get up and leave for a little bit. The more you’re together, the more tempation there will be, especially if you’re planning a wedding… be careful and continue watch yourself
IMO, a couple should not consider marriage until thay can support themselves - rent, food, insurance, etc. I’m talking the basics, not 2 new cars and a house. If the couple is in school, it’s not likely that they have jobs they can live on plus pay tuition. —KCT
To think that properly raising children is now thought of as nothing more than a way to waste one’s life really saddens me. This is a perfect example of our “me first” culture. To sacrifice for others, even our own offspring, is looked down upon by so many today. Thankfully, I only need to worry about what God thinks…not what people like your roommate think.
For me it wasn’t so much the thought that raising children properly was a waste of time as it was the thought that spending thousands of dollars and many years of my life in school without using the knowledge gained in the expected way that was a waste. I didn’t consider the life lessons I learned or the fact I could teach what I learned to my kids to be beneficial, hence I thought of it as a waste. Sometimes I still think I’m wasting my time getting a master’s degree that I’m not going to use… then I mentally slap myself and say it will be used, just not in the way I intended, but in the way that God intended it.
My wife has two degrees, Psychology & Business Admin… I’m a card-carrying Electrician, who squeaked through High School, and has taken supplemental Ed.
She isn’t involved with either of her degreed skills in her professional career. She writes curriculum & training manuals (both text & on-line) for a major corporation.
This career track evolved due to the ease of being able to work from home, or having very flexible hours… because of her desire to get pregnant and be able to be a “Mom” when the time came…She wanted a professional career, and also wanted to be a SAHM… she was fortunate enough to find something she enjoys doing, makes good $$$, and allowed her to be a SAHM 2-3 days a week. Now that the kids are 12 & 14 she likes it even more. The flexibility of being at home or in the office works well for us.
You do not want to put yourselves into a situation where temptation could be a problem simply because you are waiting on a worldly time line of when it is “appropriate” to be married.
Maybe this should be changed to “When it is appropriate to have children”…
Appropriate meaning when you are both reasonably stable in your 1st jobs, reasonably stable in your new marriage, and have a handle on your financial situation together.
We waited nearly 5 years before trying to conceive. My employment was shaky, our finances were tight, and we “just wanted some time to figure eachother out” before throwing the variables of parenthood into the mix.
Quite honestly we were NOT ready to be parents - both of us (23 & 24 at the time) were still very much “kids” ourselves, and wanted to grow up a bit, and enjoy the freedom & fun of newlyweds for a time.
Why not be a wife for awhile, then think about the mom part. It worked for us.