No, my wife is not a working mother...

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The heart of her husband trusts in her... Proverbs 31:11

(Tim) A commenter suggests David and I pontificate on this article about flex-time employment for married women identified as "working mothers," and the trials those women face in getting their employers to understand how difficult it is for them to balance the needs of their child with the demands of their profession. Well, I've had about enough of this. Really. Talk about stress and tensions and other people not understanding how hard it all is...

Let me tell you about my dear Mary Lee. When I was in school at UW-Madison, she sewed and sold (on State
Street) beautiful copies of old Victorian nightgowns. The year we lived
in Boulder, she continued her sewing, doing alterations and selling
more nightgowns. During seminary years on the North Shore of Boston,
she did the alterations for The Talbots in South Hamilton. She also did
some sewing in Pardeeville, Wisconsin. Then, here in Bloomington, she
spent years founding and running Lighthouse Christian Academy which,
when she finally resigned as principal, had grown to about 150 students.

Was she a working mother...

Jump to the present. Now Mary Lee is a grandmother to five; a
full-time caregiver to my ninety-three year old wheelchair bound Aunt
Elaine who's lived with us these past six years and can do nothing for
herself except eat, read and pray; a mother to three still living at
home, one of whom is a senior in high school named Elizabeth Wegener
whose parents recently returned to Ndola, Africa, where they serve
under Mission to the World; the head of women's ministries at Church of
the Good Shepherd; a listening ear and close friend to her three
daughters, two of whom are mothers themselves, now; a wise counselor
and patient comforter to the pastor of her church who is also her
husband and has had a very, very tough past few months.

Is she a working mother?

Oh yes, she also prods me, lovingly, about when I go to bed at
night; whether I'm making progress on the book; when I get up in the
morning; how much time I spend on the blog; how much I weigh; whether
I'm on time for my appointments; whether my sermons are well-prepared,
Scriptural, helpful, understood, and done on time; how many cups of
coffee I drink each day; whether I'll keep the cookies on a low enough
shelf when I teach on campus this week; whether I'm handling the wolves
of the flock conscientiously enough, protecting the precious sheep with
as much care as I should; whether I get home for dinner with the family
in between meetings; whether I'm getting enough exercise; whether we're

Is Mary Lee a working mother?

I haven't mentioned her service as a chauffer, her cooking for her own
household of (currently) six, as well as the ten to twenty guests we
have for meals each week. (Last week we had twelve sleeping in our
house for the weekend, and that was with two no-shows.) She's a friend
to a number of young women in our church, listening to their sorrows
and rejoicing with them in their joys. In the past few months, she's
attended a number of their births. Yesterday she dug out our front and
side gardens, articulating the borders more clearly, transplanting some
ivy, and replacing the ground cover mulch. When I got home at 10:30,
she made me a potato (for my dinner), and after listening to my day's
joys and trials, she shared the last third of "The Maltese Falcon" with
me as I ate.

And in these three short paragraphs, I haven't even begun to list what Mary Lee does.

Is my dear Mary Lee a working mother?

Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but this woman who is my wife
carries responsibilities that absolutely dwarf--yes, dwarf--those born
by so-called professional women who are working mothers. And I haven't even mentioned my brother, David's, wife, Cheryl...

I guarantee
it: Every single Christian mother who is committed to serving her
church as a Titus 2 woman, who has given her body to childbearing and
her heart and life to childrearing, who is faithful to the Fifth
Commandment in her parents' old age, and who fulfills her God-given
calling to help-mate her husband, would get down on her knees and BEG
to trade places with any so-called working mother. Beg. For just one
day. Or even eight hours.

But of course, when I just read this to Mary Lee, she asked me to read this last paragraph again and said, "No, I wouldn't trade places with them for even a day. Other than that, I like it (the post)." Well, do I need to explain to our good readers that my saying she'd beg to trade places was my way of making the point that the stresses and hours and demands and sweat and tension and expectations and grinding toil and emotional burdens and intellectual and spiritual leadership demanded of her every day would cause her to feel like she was on vacation if she could take eight hours to focus on researching and writing an appellate brief?

God bless Mary Lee and every other godly woman who has chosen not to be--what? A working mother?