For Me and My House, We Choose to be Moms

There is no greater joy in this earthly life than family.

As a young wife and mother, I loved and adored my husband and children; I counted it a privilege and responsibility to be a mother. And it was a blessing beyond all measures.

During the early 1980s, right at the start of the feminist movement, I recall being timid whenever anyone asked me what I “did” for a living. I always coward to hear their response of, “Oh your just a housewife,” – the politically correct term of homemaker hadn’t caught on yet. I would avoid being asked that question at all costs, and found myself making up excuses why I was home raising my three daughters instead of letting some paid daycare worker watch them while I earned a living doing something else. I even received a bit of grief from my extended family; you see they had high hopes for me, because I was a good student and graduated in the top ten of my class.

My three beauties; Rebekah, Sarah and Micah

As I studied the scriptures, I discovered that I had nothing to be ashamed of as this profession – the oldest of all professions – was God ordained. I became proud of being a stay-at-home mom and also a bit defensive of my career of choice. When people would say to me, “Oh you don’t have a job?” I would reply with, “If motherhood is done right, it is the hardest job in the world.” And that is the truth. Dealing with children all day is exhausting and stressful. The constant worry that you are not “doing” it right, or that you might inadvertently make a mistake and scar your child for life kept me from sleeping on more than one night. But I stuck with it and did the very best that I could do.

Now, I don’t mean to demean any woman who chose or had to work to help support her family, but for me and my house, we chose to make sacrifices so I could stay home and raise my three beautiful daughters and to later homeschool them. And the fruition of my labors were three girls that barely gave me any reason to regret my choices. To say they were all perfect angels would be a lie, for all of us are human and sinners by nature; but I was never ashamed of anything they did. They were loving, talented, selfless children and teenagers, and I was always proud of them and their accomplishments.

Today, they are beautiful women whom I am extremely proud; two are now stay-at-home moms with three children of their own (a one has a fourth on the way), and my youngest, who has not yet started a family, is a registered nurse and getting her Master’s Degree in Literature. The young mothers also homeschool their young broods.

Today they are still my Three Beauties; Rebekah, Micah and Sarah

Recently, I ran across that same condescending question about working outside of the home but in reference to my daughters. I felt that same defensive shame creep up as I made excuses as to why my daughter was not working but staying home to raise her own children. Excuses like, It would cost a fortune for daycare for that many children, and she is homeschooling – all of which were true. I later chastised myself. For you see, although all my daughters are extremely intelligent and talented, I raised and taught them that when they grew up, they could be or do anything they desired. The lesson always continued with a “but.” “But, when you choose to become a mother, your most important and rewarding job would be to raise your own children,” I would admonish.

Apparently this lesson stuck, because that is exactly what they are doing. Yes, it requires great sacrifice. Our family has never been able to take a lot of vacations or have the best cars, but we always have had everything we needed. The rewards far outweigh the sacrifices – I have fantastic grandchildren with whom, like their parents, I am very proud. They are happy, well-adjusted and extremely loving. They are being raised in the Light of God’s Word and they are a joy to not only their parents but to all of their grandparents.

The only thing more joyous than being a parent is being a grandparent. Christmas 2012

Wanted to update this post: Christmas 2013

Wanted to update this post: Christmas 2013 with Chloe Willow added to our ranks!

Would they be the same if they were raised in a daycare or with a babysitter? Perhaps, but then the one who would be losing out would be the parent. Not to see the first step or hear the first word is so heartbreaking to so many working moms and my heart goes out to them.

In the end, it is a choice. Not everyone chooses the same – and that’s okay too. But as I said, “For me and my house, this was and is our choice.”

And I refuse to be ashamed of this choice ever again.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patricia Duty
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 19:33:15

    I love your article, Darla! My Dad used to quote the old saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. Such truth there, that sadly, has been forgotten. I am so honored to have been able to stay at home with our children. You’re right, though, we did without a lot of things, never have driven a brand new car and don’t live in a fancy home…but would I trade it??? Never…what a blessing it was to be a stay-at-home mom!! 🙂


  2. Michelle
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 01:10:56

    Beautiful, Darla! And who is pregnant???


  3. Darla Welchel
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 02:51:57

    Thanks Guys! @ Michelle, Sarah and Caleb are expecting their fourth child around the first of August – and yes, it was planned! 🙂


  4. stuffitellmysister
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 20:18:48

    I somehow missed this post in Feb. Beautiful words….


  5. Darla Welchel
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 23:54:40

    Thank you!


  6. Nizy
    Aug 22, 2012 @ 04:23:47

    I love the kids… they are so cute!


  7. island traveler
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 17:37:55

    Without the moms and the wives of the world, everything will be in chaos and so many lost, confused, uncared souls. Being a mother, being a housewife is the most beautiful, generous and most rewarding profession of all. I agree, “As a young wife and mother, I loved and adored my husband and children; I counted it a privilege and responsibility to be a mother. And it was a blessing beyond all measures.” Today and everyday we celebrate you and all the moms out there!


    • Darla Welchel
      Aug 25, 2012 @ 02:37:41

      Thank you. I have always felt very strongly about this subject. Just recently, I encountered some narrow-minded thinking on this subject. An acquaintance of my middle daughter (who just gave birth to her beautiful fourth child and my seventh grandchild) was heard to say – how can a woman just stay at home with her kids; doesn’t she have any ambition? Fortunately it wasn’t said directly to her, and my very wise best friend, who happens to be her mother-n-law, responded – her ambition is to raise Godly children.
      I am so very thankful for the opportunity to raise my own children, but I know that there are a lot of amazing women out there who do not get that same opportunity, and they do an amazing job of juggling family and work. My sister was one of those women.


  8. lifeofministermom
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 17:05:11

    Hi Darla,
    I’m so glad I found this post today! My incredible mother worked and did the juggling act with amazing poise and strength. Growing up I just knew I would follow in her footsteps, but on March 12 everything changed! My husband and I welcomed our first child, our daughter, home and I couldn’t imagine not being with her. To make a long story short, a few months passed, a lot of prayer went forth and we made the decision that I would stay home. I’ve yet to be questioned about my new role (I was previously a P.E. teacher), but some family members have wondered how we’ll financial survive. I love my husbands response: “By being wise stewards and givers, just as the Bible instructs.” With faith all things are possible, and while I’m at the beginning of this new adventure, I look forward to this incredible journey for us all!!

    God Bless!


    • Darla Welchel
      Aug 29, 2012 @ 03:27:40

      Congrats on your new family addition! There is nothing better than a child (unless it is seven grandchildren!); I am so glad that you have to opportunity to stay home and raise your daughter. I said we had to make sacrifices, but what we gained as a family far outweighed whatever we had to do without. And it was never anything serious; just frugal clothes shopping instead of name brand and the such. But I taught all my girls the value of being wise with what God gives us. We were frequent Wally World customers. 🙂 I never let them get into the mentality of “having” to have that name or that one on their clothes. But, they had lots of other things instead. My girls were musicians and singers. We always did what we could to get them what they needed to enhance their gifts. We also home schooled so they could spend more time on their music. My oldest played piano and sang like an angel. My middle daughter had perfect pitch and could play and sing just about anything (she specialized in keys) and could write music. My youngest, was a drummer and wrote lyrics. Together, along with a son-n-law they were an awesome praise band (and my two youngest wanted to take their own grunge band on the road). But God had other plans. Although my oldest and her husband served as music pastors in several churches, my middle daughter has put aside her music to raise (now) four children. My youngest is a full-time nurse and a literature major.
      I know that one day, they will all come together and put their music back to work. They still have all their instruments (which is the one area, we didn’t sacrifice). 🙂
      Thanks for the kind words and good luck with this job called motherhood!


  9. island traveler
    Sep 01, 2012 @ 00:33:05

    Family is everything. They are the most precious gift and blessing in this world. So right, “There is no greater joy in this earthly life than family.” Thanks for sharing your beautiful and wonderful family.


  10. tchistorygal
    Sep 05, 2012 @ 05:49:12

    You all look very happy and satisfied. Life is a gift and you have made the choices you wanted to make. All choices bring consequences, and you seem very pleased with yours. That’s a blessing in itself.


  11. tchistorygal
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 05:39:16

    I nominated you for a Lovely Blog Award! Congratulations. Enjoy the award and picking out your favorite sites. Come visit my site to pick up your award.


  12. rommel
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 04:24:47

    Urgh, to be completely honest, I know you ended it well, but the first lines irked me. 😀 Don’t ever think of society. All of these are just representations, but not reality.

    Anywho, I think you should just let them make their decisions. Have you asked them whether or not their work makes them content or happy or fulfilled doing it? I know it should outweigh to the attention of children, but I think it should be part of the considerations.

    You write very very well. Intelligent and stimulating discussion here. Will sure check your blog often.


    • Darla Welchel
      Sep 22, 2012 @ 23:14:12

      Sorry you were irked, but to be totally honest, this post was about me and not society. Well, actually I guess it was about what society thought of people like me. And it wasn’t a blast at those who choose to work outside the home, so no I don’t ask them if their work makes them happy as I wasn’t the one putting them down. But, thanks for your honesty. Thank you for your kind words on my writing; After being a photojournalist and writer for 10 years, it would be disturbing if you said it wasn’t well written. 🙂
      And as for the first line – the title of the blog was As For ME and MY House . . . By the way, I have a sister who has worked her tale off all her life and did a super job raising three kids, mostly on her own. I am happy to say that she has finally been able to retire – a much needed and well-deserved retirement!
      Have a great day!


  13. The Guat
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 18:32:33

    What a great post. This is the constant struggle that every woman faces, although some don’t struggle with it at all. You do what you think it is best and if you have good friends, they wouldn’t make you feel bad, awkward, or uncomfortable about your choices. And you’re right being a mom is easy, BUT being a good mom is really hard. Hardest job on earth and you’re usually underpaid. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by 🙂


  14. Cher
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 23:13:18

    I nominated your blog for the new Reality Blog and Lovely Blog Awards! Congratulations! This is a “no rules Award” and you can find the details here at Decide what you would like to do based on time and other considerations as there are no rules.


    • Darla Welchel
      Oct 13, 2012 @ 06:06:14

      Cher, thank you so much! It is such an honor to be noticed and appreciated! I am very new to the blogging life and am hoping to improve both my writing and photography skills along the way. I am still learning what it means to be a good blogger.


  15. lingeringvisions
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 13:31:02

    How fortunate that you had a family dynamic to support your decision to stay home; fortunate for you and most obviously for your beautiful girls.


  16. louslabyrinth
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 14:19:51

    So lovely! Family is definitely the most important thing 🙂 xoxox


  17. Ray's Mom
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 13:23:53

    The lesson always continued with a “but.” “But, when you choose to become a mother, your most important and rewarding job would be to raise your own children,”

    Oh, how I love these words!

    It is so disillusioning to see unmarried and uncommitted young people attempting to raise a children without family values as a basis for the new generation.


    • Darla Welchel
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 15:45:27

      Thank you for your comment; I do know that circumstances often find many a young parent raising a child on their own (like divorce or a death) and to these brave parents, I commend them for doing their very best. But when you live in a two parent home, do whatever you can or sacrifice whatever you have to to stay home an raise your children. It is so worth it!


      • Ray's Mom
        Jul 02, 2013 @ 22:51:39

        I agree with it is so worth it and your children will have a much better foundation for their lives. God bless you and your beautiful family.

      • Darla Welchel
        Jul 06, 2013 @ 15:36:12

        thank you. My girl’s (the two with children) have continued the tradition and both homeschool their children (seven between them).
        My youngest is not married and is a registered nurse. She gets to travel and do fun stuff, but I think she would trade it all in for a good husband and a family!

      • Ray's Mom
        Jul 06, 2013 @ 16:19:57

        Oh! That good husband bit may be the most difficult these days. God bless. I enjoyed reading about your family.

      • Darla Welchel
        Jul 13, 2013 @ 15:34:07

        thank you

  18. Lunar Euphoria
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 03:23:02

    What a beautiful family. Kudos to you for owning motherhood as one of the highest callings.


  19. Naomi Baltuck
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 09:09:55

    Hi Darla,
    I was fortunate to have flexibility in my work, and both storytelling and writing took a hit when I became a parent, because I stopped touring to be at home with the kids. Being a mom was the hardest most exciting most awesome most exhausting most important most rewarding thing I have ever done. Thank you for sharing a great post. Loved the photos of your family!


    • Darla Welchel
      Jan 22, 2014 @ 16:05:49

      Thanks Naomi, I wrote this one quite a while back, but it has made itself my main page story. I don’t mind because this is who I am/was. Now I’m a work at home grandma!


  20. apronheadlilly
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 01:17:44

    Right there with you, and I don’t regret it.


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