A movement is growing across America. It involves hundreds, if not thousands, of women, and the numbers appear to be burgeoning. Most of these women are educated, some highly educated; many are employed in the work force, are entrepreneurs, or have prepared to be dynamic leaders in the corporate and political worlds and are making their way up. In their continuing thirst for knowledge, these women have come to a dramatic conclusion.
From their research and growing experience, women have found that they can take the same rigor they have applied to their educational and corporate goals and apply it to raising their children, especially during the first six years of life, not in the likeness of a cold, regimented, corporate, or authoritarian style, but lovingly, intentionally, with knowledge and tender care. These mothers are becoming aware of the vital necessity for the appropriate atmosphere and environment their young children must have in order to grow and develop. They are seeking to understand their children’s brain development and the nurturing, training, and planning that are required to give each child an optimal chance to develop to his fullest potential.
Neural connections, motor and sensory development and integration, training in habits appropriate for building health, social development, physical strength, character formation, and later academic learning, are some of the areas of knowledge these mothers pursue. They understand that nurturing is vital to healthy brain development, and that “ maternal love is the first agent”1 in a young child’s education.
Exposing the Myths
Mothers are coming to grips with the societal trends of the last few decades and are exposing the myths that 1) anyone in the village can raise their children well, and that 2) the years spent raising young children are wasted mental effort for gifted mothers who should use their talents toward more worthy pursuits. These women are recognizing that fine intellect, punctuality, dedication, and sacrifice are required to fulfill the vocation of intentional motherhood. They are discovering that the almighty dollar, and recognition and respect in the professional world are not the highest goals. And these mothers are coming home, coming home to raise their children, because the early education of their children is vitally important and best overseen by the one who loves them most.
This dramatic decision does not come without sacrifice, but the cost has been counted, and the choice is clear. Some of these mothers are single, and yet they are bravely using their creative genius to work from home in order to be the ones to raise their young children. Their lives will not be easy, but self-sacrificing, noble, and courageous living is never synonymous with ease.
Looking to the Future
The mundane routine that often accompanies life with small children will not destroy the potential for these women! They are informed, intelligent, dedicated, and determined, and they are looking to the future for their families, their communities, and their nation. This league of women will continue to hone their skills and increase their knowledge, growing in wisdom and character. They will apply what they learn to the context of life at home with children, because they know and believe that “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” They understand that the days at home with their children may seem long, but the years will be short.
We welcome the renaissance of informed, intentional, inspired motherhood!
1Charlotte Mason, The Original Home Schooling Series Vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1989) 2