A friend wrote:
I was doing research for play-groups...and I came across Mocha Moms...I wanted you to view their website and possibly do a post on secular play-groups that have christian based values. After visiting the website I found that they have stay at home mothers who work from home, mompreneurs and moms who home-school; but all of them have decided to focus on the building of their home. They have educated women and women of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. I definitely saw a lot of the attributes of the virtuous woman. As you can see I am excited about it but I wanted you to look at it and tell me what you think.Mocha Moms, Inc. is a support group for mothers of color who have chosen not to work full-time outside of the home in order to devote more time to their families and communities. Mocha Moms serves as an advocate for those mothers and encourages the spirit of community activism within its membership.
Although I am not a member of this group, I have considered joining it and/or others like it since I stopped working full-time in order to be the primary caretaker of my children and to devote more time to my family in general.
I think that the question above in very interesting, in that it raises the issue of being apart of a group that might not profess to be "Christian" but obviously supports ideas that are in alignment with Christian values, such Mocha Moms.
There are many things to consider in this situation. My mush brain caused a delay in my posting this, but here's my 2 cents:
Isolation Can Drive You Nuts!
Its no secret that having a shared-experience can help individuals create a bond with one another. In the workplace, even employees usually have an opportunity to talk, share ideas, and to bond around their work with the their co-workers. These types of interactions and bonds are the things that help "work" seem a little less like "work."
However, the STAHM is usually the sole adult at home working during the day. This level of isolation and can be very difficult to cope with day after day. Nevertheless, having time to connect ith other moms who are in the "thick" of motherhood can break up the monotony of diapers, dishes, and dusting!
Thus, being apart of a support system like Mocha Moms and/or other organizations like it, can serve as an outlet and an opportunity to combat some common downsides of isolated work: burnout, depression, and loneliness.
Being able to get out of the house and just go to the park, the library, or for a walk for a hour or so with another like--minded mom or group of moms can be rejuvenating!
Life is a Classroom...
...and it helps when classrooms have teachers!
I remember waking up about 3 months after resigning from my full-time employment in order to stay home with my newborn and having an "identity crises." "Who am I? What in the world am I doing here? Why would I ever quit my job? How can we afford to live on one income? What about all the blood, sweat, and tears I put into getting an education? Did I just throw that away? What should I be doing with my time?
Many of us desire to devote more of ourselves to our family, but don't have a real sense of what that looks like on the day-to-day. Moreover, for moms who have recently decided to take the plunge and quit their full-time employment to stay home, work seasonally, part-time, or from home, may be in a very uncomfortable and scary place!
However, not only does becoming a member of Mocha Moms and/or other organizations that open you up to a network of other women who are in the same place, but some of them may be "old pros" who have learned valuable skills related to finances, scheduling, health, cooking, hospitality that can empower you to be a better helper to your husband and mother to your children.
Also, being apart of a network like this can open up you mind to the endless possibilities of being a STAHM such as, starting home-based businesses, part-time work, homeschool, volunteer work, and other ideas that you may have never even thought about.
Eat the Meat and Spit Out Bones
Obviously, while Mocha Moms and many other groups like it do not profess to be "Christian" in their values, their values seem to be alignment with the biblical priorities for godly women that are described in the bible such as, Titus 2 and Proverbs 31. How do we navigate through a situation like this?
Personally, if I were to join a group like this for the support, I would still be prayerful and cautious and keep in mind my purpose for being there.
Although I may agree with most of the women there that staying home with my children is the best decision for my family, I may not agree with them on why it is best.
As a christian mom, I see my not working full-time as one decision I have made in efforts to fulfill God's calling on my life as a wife and mother. I believe that decision is supported by scripture (Titus 2, Proverbs 31). Nevertheless, I have to be aware that women stay home for other reasons that may be related to religious beliefs, upbringing, cultural norms, race, political views, and socio-economic status.
As a result, while we may agree on some priorities, we may completely disagree on other areas such as, child-rearing, media, politics, marriage etc. I think its unrealistic to think that those beliefs and values may not also be expressed and/or promoted in the conversation, speakers, and/or activities that the group may offer.
As a christian, I have to ask "Are there ungodly messages that may be influencing me(ex: another wife's disrespect toward her husband) and/or my children (ex: another child's disobedient spirit) in a negative way?
Remember that Seasons Change
It is important to find out the financial and the time commitment that joining a group like this calls for. There are usually membership dues and outings and activities may mean planning and/or committee work for you in the future. Keep in mind that seasons of life change, and that the level of involvement you are comfortable with at one point, may completely change somewhere down the line.
I have done both unpaid and paid work and have volunteered in different capacities since leaving my full-time employment to be a STAHM. Nevertheless, what seemed like a good idea and went very smoothly when I wasn't pregnant, became quite challenging for me to maintain during the times I was pregnant.
That is mainly because when I'm pregnant, even taking a shower seems like a daunting task. So you can imagine about how much enthusiasm I have for paid, unpaid, or any kind of work at all, during that time!
One should consider these kinds of life changes as well before making a commitment to being apart of a group like this.
Finally, whether or not someone joins a formal STAHM support group or not, having the encouragement, empathy, understanding, and insight of other women who are on the same path is an invaluable component to our success as homemakers!