All Our Little Messes

Episode 15: Proverbs 31 Unveiled: Balancing Christian Motherhood and Work Without Guilt

November 04, 2023 All Our Little Messes Season 1 Episode 15
Episode 15: Proverbs 31 Unveiled: Balancing Christian Motherhood and Work Without Guilt
All Our Little Messes
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All Our Little Messes
Episode 15: Proverbs 31 Unveiled: Balancing Christian Motherhood and Work Without Guilt
Nov 04, 2023 Season 1 Episode 15
All Our Little Messes

Do you ever find yourself wrestling with the guilt of leaving your little ones to go to work? As Christian mothers, we are often conflicted between the demands of motherhood and the necessity to earn a living. But what if I told you that you're not alone in this struggle? This episode aims to explore and debunk the harmful narratives that shame working mothers, challenging the traditional gender roles often perpetuated by social media influencers. Using Proverbs 31 as our guide, we'll focus on verses 10-31, a source of inspiration and a guidebook for Christian and Catholic women, proving that working mothers are just as virtuous.

The pressures of balancing work and motherhood are immense. But rest assured, through a deep dive into Proverbs 31, we explore the possibility of maintaining a balance between prioritizing our children and fulfilling our personal choices and necessities. Caught between the challenges of work and the joys of motherhood, how do we ensure that our children's emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are met? Together, we'll journey through the Bible, seeking the wisdom of Proverbs 31 to guide us in maintaining the correct balance between work and home life, ultimately prioritizing what truly matters. Join us as we navigate the complexities of modern motherhood and discover interpretations of traditional scriptures.

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Do you ever find yourself wrestling with the guilt of leaving your little ones to go to work? As Christian mothers, we are often conflicted between the demands of motherhood and the necessity to earn a living. But what if I told you that you're not alone in this struggle? This episode aims to explore and debunk the harmful narratives that shame working mothers, challenging the traditional gender roles often perpetuated by social media influencers. Using Proverbs 31 as our guide, we'll focus on verses 10-31, a source of inspiration and a guidebook for Christian and Catholic women, proving that working mothers are just as virtuous.

The pressures of balancing work and motherhood are immense. But rest assured, through a deep dive into Proverbs 31, we explore the possibility of maintaining a balance between prioritizing our children and fulfilling our personal choices and necessities. Caught between the challenges of work and the joys of motherhood, how do we ensure that our children's emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are met? Together, we'll journey through the Bible, seeking the wisdom of Proverbs 31 to guide us in maintaining the correct balance between work and home life, ultimately prioritizing what truly matters. Join us as we navigate the complexities of modern motherhood and discover interpretations of traditional scriptures.

Support the Show.

If you like this show and believe in its message, please consider supporting our Patreon. For as little as $3/month, get access to behind the scenes content, early access to podcast episodes and more!

Send any questions or comments to allourlittlemesses@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you guys!

Subscribe to the newsletter here to get periodic updates on blog posts and more!

Buy Me a Coffee!

If you liked this episode, consider buying me a coffee! It'll help keep me awake during late night editing sessions. Thank you!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for behind the scenes content and everyday posts about parenting and marriage.

Sounds from Zapsplat.com

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to All Our Little Messes, a podcast focused on healing through intentional conversations about parenting, relationships, religion and more. I am your host, veronica Winrod, and I'm so happy to have you here listening in on my thoughts today. I hope you enjoy this episode. Welcome back to All Our Little Messes. Today I'm going to be doing something a little different. I was recently inspired by someone to start basing episodes off of verses or chapters in the Bible that I find inspiring. So something I wanted to talk about today was Proverbs 31, which I feel like is not talked about enough within Christian and Catholic circles. Proverbs 31, starting with verse 10, is such a powerful guidebook for Christian and Catholic women and we all seem to focus on St Paul and his advice for marriage and for women and we forget about Proverbs, and there's just so much in here that it's beautiful. So I actually have my Bible out here and I wanted to just read a couple verses to you guys. I'm starting with Proverbs 31, verse 10,.

Speaker 1:

A capable wife who, confined she, is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm. All the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant and she brings her food from far away. She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it with the fruit of her hands. As she plants a vineyard, she guards herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hand to the destaff and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hands to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson. She makes herself coverings. Her clothing is fine, linen and purple. Her husband is known in the city gates, taking his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them. She supplies the merchant with sashes. Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her Pappy, her husband too, and he praises her. Many women have done excellently, but used to pass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is gain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be appraised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands and let her works praise her in the city gates.

Speaker 1:

And that those verses there, that's Proverbs 10 through 31, have honestly been so powerful to me and inspiring to me the last, especially the last couple of weeks, because I've noticed this huge uptick, especially on Twitter and Instagram, on certain influencer pages. They're always through the Christian influencers, talking about submission and marriage and how you know a woman shouldn't work. So you've got it's. It's the people that are retired, their husbands are retired, they're living on, you know, pension, their house is paid off and they're driving a $60,000 vehicle. And they're telling young women who are married freshly married, maybe they have one kid, two kids. They're shaming them for working and telling them that, basically, they they need to give up more necessities of life in order to stay home with their kids, otherwise they're not following the law of God and I find that infuriating because these, these older women are speaking from one such a place of privilege, you know, having a paid-off house and a paid-off vehicle, with a husband who, you know, is living off of a pension, and they're not struggling. And yet they're demanding that these young mothers struggle, and twisting scripture or completely forgetting about certain verses of scripture in order to shame them and just staying home with their, with their kids, which don't get me wrong, staying home with your kids is a very like, desirable and honorable thing to do, like in it. You know, in an ideal situation, a mother should stay home with her kids and, you know, raise them. We are responsible for the next generation.

Speaker 1:

So, but in a lot of cases, especially, like you know, today's economy, that is just not. That's not feasible. That's not feasible. You've got record inflation, I mean. We've got housing prices through the roof. We've got vehicle prices, gas prices, you know, just it's food, just food. I mean, just a couple years ago, a gallon of milk was half of what it is now.

Speaker 1:

So a lot of families are finding it impossible to live off of one, one income and these mothers are feeling, you know, forced into a corner, like. You know, what was my alternative? Either I go to work and I help my husband, and you know, we, we support this family together while we have to, or my children, starve. And that's that's literally the thought process and like and I can speak from experience, you know, having gone through some financial struggles myself in the past like that was my, that was my thought process was, you know, either I stay home and I worry extensively about whether or not I'm gonna have money to feed my kids, or I, you know, help my husband with the burden of supporting the household for six months to a year to help alleviate some of the financial stress, and we don't worry about food for our kids. So that's like that's a struggle that a lot of modern Christian mothers are facing.

Speaker 1:

And you have these influencers on, you know, instagram and Twitter and TikTok shaming them for making this, this sacrifice. Like it's not enjoyable. It's not enjoyable to leave our kids at home and, you know, go off to work making only five dollars over minimum wage. Like it's not fun. We don't enjoy it. We're not doing it because, you know, we're rebellious women and we just want our careers and we'd rather submit to a boss and submit to our husbands. We do it out of necessity, they do it because they have to, they do it because they love their children and so shaming them by quoting, you know, certain verses in the Bible that that talk about.

Speaker 1:

I believe it was. Let me pull it up here. It was in the book of Titus, I am pulling it up now. So it was Titus 2, verses 3 through 5. The likewise tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanders or slaves to drink. They are to teach what is good so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chased, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. And a lot of these influencers are taking that that, those verses there, to mean that, when it says good managers of the household and loving their children, to mean that they must stay at home and you must not work. You are not allowed to work, when in fact it says, you know, in Proverbs 31 it talks about the capable wife seeking wool and flax, working with willing hands, managing her household and tasks for her servant girls.

Speaker 1:

She considers a field. This, the one, this part is, is really the stickler for me, like this part is just. It's amazing. She considers a field and buys it. With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. That is just. That is amazing. That is amazing. Here you've got, you know, solomon talking about a woman building a business. She's running a business. She considers a field and she buys it. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. That is amazing.

Speaker 1:

That completely goes against the messaging that a lot of these women are forcing onto young mothers and working women these days is that they have to stay home with their kids. They have no other choice. If they don't stay home with their kids, then they're sinning, they're a bad mom, they're not a good Christian, they're not a good Catholic. It's anti-biblical, when, in fact, you've got it right here in the Bible that you know you've got a woman who has children and she's running a business. Now it also does talk about in the book of Proverbs that her children rise up and call her blessed.

Speaker 1:

She does not abandon her children, and that is extremely, extremely important to note there, because I don't think it is biblically justified for a mother to leave her children to go to work to the judgment of their mental, physical or spiritual welfare, like that is our children are. You know, once we make that decision to have children and God gives us that responsibility, it is, they are our number one job, to the exclusion of all else. Like our marriage, so it's God, and like in my mind, at least in my life it's God, my marriage, then my kids, and then everything else is below that. So if anything in life stands between me and those three things, I don't even, I don't even consider it like it's just no, no. And so if it is a necessity for you to go to work, if going to work is going to be at the judgment of your children or your marriage, then you, you can't do it because those responsibilities and those, those covenants with your husband and with God are their number one. They come before everything else.

Speaker 1:

And you know they do talk about that here in the Bible, even if you know, even if they're talking about the proverb of 31 woman, you know considering a field and you know proceeding, that her merchandise is profitable. They also note that the heart of her husband trusts in her and she does him good and not harm. She rises before while it is still night, it is still, it's still dark outside, and she provides food for her household. So she, she tends to the needs of her household, her husband and her children, before she tends to the needs of her business. And so that that is something that I feel is very important to remember, because we so often, you know, when we, when we go get it, when we have a job or something like that we so often let it come between us and and our children and come between us and our husbands and like we have to remember that it's just a job and you know, the job's end is to feed us and to close us and that is it. And just the way these verses are ordered can show us how we're supposed to, as women, how we're supposed to order that in our own lives. She takes, she tends to the needs of her household before she tends to the needs of her boss or tends to the needs of her business, and so, like that is again, that that's just something that we have to remember and we have to be careful of, because it's so easy to fall into the trap of the career woman, and that's where I feel like a lot of these influencers get their ammunition is. You know, they see these Christian career women working and they perceive it as to the detriment of of their children, of these women's children. And so we have to be, we have to be very careful to to find the balance of our responsibilities and to be able to to manage them and be very clearheaded about this. To be very clearheaded about working while you have a family and a husband and I mean, I've seen it, I've seen it work myself personally, like I've actually I've done it myself.

Speaker 1:

So I worked for a year after I had my son. I worked for a year and after that year it was starting to become a struggle. My husband and I were having more marital problems, the relationship with my son was starting to suffer and, like, my mental health was suffering because I couldn't juggle, I couldn't successfully balance work and home life. I just I couldn't do it. And so I was starting to, I was starting to prioritize work over my home life, and I just remember feeling so ashamed because when I had that work interview, one thing I told my future boss at the time was that my kids will always have priority over this job, 100% of the time. If I get a phone call in the middle of the day saying my kid needs me, I'm leaving and I don't care how you feel about it, I have to go. No job is more important than my kids. And I remember that interview.

Speaker 1:

And you know, later that year I ran into some problems, and you know, at home and at work, and I prioritized the problems at work over my problems at home and I put my problems at home on the back burner, to be dealt with later and, like I said, my relationships with my husband and my kids suffered for it. And so it was at the end of that year I was just like I can't. I can't juggle both Like I'm not. I'm not one of those people that can successfully juggle both. So we well, I made the decision to come home and to stay home and we made it work. We made it work. We, you know, we just changed some things with my husband's work and we changed some things within our budget, paid off some debt, and we made it work. Like I just made the decision to stay home, no matter what Like, no matter how bad our finances got, no matter how bad. You know, we struggled.

Speaker 1:

I was not going to go back to work because I don't personally feel like I'm one of those people that can successfully juggle both like a full time job and having kids and a husband, like one of them, is going to suffer and the job needs to suffer. But jobs don't like it. When they suffer they tend to lay you off or fire you. So, yeah, I stay home. I stay home now. But for those women that can successfully juggle you know, work and home life it's important to remember, especially if we're Christians or Catholics, that we have to, we have to maintain the correct balance of Of our work and home life.

Speaker 1:

Like our kids are number one. We cannot allow them to suffer for our personal choices. So if we Choose personally to go back to work, they cannot suffer for that decision. We have to make sure that their needs are met and Before we go back to work and when I say needs, I'm not just talking about they have a roof over their head and they have food in their belly and shoes and clothes on their backs, I'm talking about their emotional and their mental and spiritual needs as well. Like, those needs must 100% be met Before we go back to work, because we are we are mothers first and foremost.

Speaker 1:

Like I Hate, I mean, it might be hard for some women to hear that you know their identity is motherhood. But until your child turns 18 and Leaves you know your guidance and your protection, your identity is being a mother. That is our number one job. That is our first shot. We are in charge of raising the next generation and if we cannot successfully do that in all the ways, then we need to let go of the things that are stopping us from doing that. And if you know our jobs are stopping us from doing that, then we need to change that job. We need to let go of that job is something we have to protect our kids. So, yeah, proverbs 31 is very it's very clear about that. We, we can work. We can work in my mind.

Speaker 1:

Like reading through this and I've actually talked to, I actually talked to a priest about this, about Proverbs 31 too, and he actually agreed on me on this one like it does say that we can work, we can run businesses, but he also agreed that it seems to imply that we cannot do it at the To the detriment of our children. Just in the way that these verses are ordered, it talks about how we care. You know we're a capable wife Caring for our husband and our children, our household and our servant girls. Then it talks about how we run a successful business. Then it talks about how, how Productively are. Then it talks about, you know, our, our care for the poor and the needy and how prepared we are to take care of our household for times of distress you know, future distress, things like that. And Then it talks about how the people around us, after following these guidelines in Proverbs because Proverbs is, you know, the Proverbs is a rulebook. So these, this, this rulebook for being a righteous woman and a capable wife, it it talks about how, after following these rules and Applying them to to our lives and to her life, this woman was, her husband was known in the city gates and she Praised her. Her children rose up and called her blessed, so that that priority of of life and and these rules are are there for a reason like it's.

Speaker 1:

It's very important for us to properly read scripture and not just pick and choose little tidbits out of the Bible that will make the best clickbait on your next tiktok video and, no, not pull out little tidbits that will make the best clickbait on your next tweet on Twitter, and I'm specifically thinking of a certain number of influencers when I talk about this. Yesterday I went down the rabbit hole of a particular Twitter account and I was just I could not believe it. It was so full of absolute hate, vitriol and shame shaming towards mothers who choose to work or, you know, maybe they're having a very difficult postpartum period and they can't have sexual relations with their husbands when their husbands absolutely claim that they need it. The the hate and shaming that this, this woman, was doing on these poor young mothers was just absolutely horrible. And so I got up my Bible last night and I started like reading these verses that she was quoting, and then I just started reading other verses that I've heard other people quoting and I was just like you know, this doesn't say at all what you think it says, like this doesn't make sense.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I wanted to talk about that today because you know there is there is a lot of shame in traditional culture on women who who's used to go to work, and we carry that shame with us. We feel ashamed about, about working, like somehow we're we're bad mothers, even though the whole reason why we go to work in the first place is out of love and care for our children, like we're not doing it out of some selfish need to feel fulfilled, like it has nothing to do with that. It's it 100% makes our lives harder to go to work because now we have three jobs. We have to be a good employee, we have to be a good wife and a good mother. We have three full-time jobs. Now why would any woman choose that? On purpose, like why would we choose that? It's so much easier not to. So you know, when a woman makes the choice to go to work, she's, she's doing it because she feels the necessity of it, and so I would.

Speaker 1:

I would really urge those who who think this way, who think that mothers shouldn't work, I would really urge them to think about one, think about all the reasons why you think women should work, and think about where those opinions came from, and and then you know, check and see if your opinions are actually, you know, biblically based and you know based on Christian and Catholic doctrine, because I can guarantee you, 95% of the time, they're not going to be, and they're just going to be based on personal bias and what you think women should do. So, yeah, I would actually also like to encourage any woman reading this to go read Proverbs 31, chapter. Proverbs 31, verses 10 through 31. I believe it is. Let me double check here, flipping through pages yes, proverbs 31, verses 10 through 31. It's absolutely beautiful to read. I I am actually reading it out. What Bible is this I have? I have several different versions of the Bible and I believe this one is the NRSB Catholic edition. So it's it's been edited a little bit just to make it easier to read, make it easier for our modern minds to read. So I would encourage anyone to that is listening to go and read, read this. It's a beautiful read and then, just, you know, just do a brief reflection on it and how we can apply it to our daily lives.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for turning into all of our little messes. This has been a very interesting podcast episode for me. To record. It's because it was. It was kind of a new topic for me. I never really thought about Proverbs 31 before that way.

Speaker 1:

So it was interesting and very awesome to spend the last week just kind of diving into the Proverbs and, you know, trying to figure out what what it meant. There was a couple phone calls and emails I sent to my parish priest with questions. I'm sure he got annoyed. So but yes, thank you for tuning in this week and don't forget to hit that follow button and download every week so you can catch up on last week's and future episodes. Thank you very much for listening. I'll see you guys next week. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of all our little messes. Please let us know how much you enjoyed it below and add any questions you have about this episode. Also, don't forget to follow us on patreon for amazing exclusive perks, including early access to podcast episodes and bonus episodes every month. We've also recently added a support group for all of our paid patrons. You could check us out on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates and insights that mirror podcast topics. Thank you for listening and we'll see you next week.

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