3 Reasons for Stay-at-Home Moms to be Proud of Their College Degrees
If you’re anything like me, then you dread being asked the question, “What was your major in college?” Not because you aren’t proud of the answer but because you know that responding to that question will lead to the asker’s ultimate realization that what you spent four years studying at school has absolutely nothing to do with what you’re doing now.
I attended Mount St. Mary’s University from 2012-2016. I was on the pre-occupational therapy track, and I double majored in Biopsychology and Health Sciences. I graduated summa cum laude and even got accepted to the OT program of my choice!
In May 2016, two weeks after walking across the stage at graduation, I got married to my now husband of four years, Jake. His job led us to Annapolis, MD, which was NOT close to the program I had gotten into, so we decided together to follow his job, rather than my continued education. Essentially, at only 21 years old, we chose family, rather than career for me. We both wanted me to be a stay at home mom to any children that came along, and we knew that if I attended grad school, that might not be possible. So, I gave it up. In August, I got pregnant with our first baby, who went to heaven on Mary’s birthday (Sept. 8) and quickly after got pregnant again with our son, Ezra.
If you’re anything like me, you love being a mom, and you know it’s your calling. But, again, if you’re anything like me, you fall prey to wondering, “So, WHY did I dedicate my life for four years to something I’m no longer pursuing? WHY did I work hard at my grades and my resume when my entire job now consists of cooking, cleaning, and taking care of babies??”
Here’s three reasons why:
No matter what you majored in, no matter if you attended a liberal arts college or a state school, the knowledge you gained during your academic career is invaluable. St. Bernard of Clairvaux said, “There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.” That is motherhood. Whether or not you knew at the time of your education that God was calling you to motherhood, He knew, and He was carefully preparing you to use whatever knowledge you gained through your studies to better serve your future husband and children.
When I questioned my path in college, my mom always reminded me about the importance of perspective. It’s not something that can be easily shared - most of us need to actually live through and experience the unique set of encounters, trials, and triumphs that shape our world view. So, even if you’ve forgotten the names of the philosophers you studied or you don’t use a lick of the technical knowledge from your degree, the value of the perspective gained through your time at university is great enough to make it all worth it. The people you met, the classes you took, the groups you joined…they all impacted you in such a way that made you who you are as you read this.
Motherhood always involves sacrifice. It requires an unquestioning obedience to the vocation to which God has called you, and obedience is best mastered through practice. When I was dating Jake in college, I liked to get ahead of myself and wish we were just done with school, married, and moving on with our life together. I had to constantly remind myself (or others had to) that, at the time, my vocation was to be a student. By committing to your studies, you practice the kind of submission to your state in life that is absolutely necessary to fulfill your duties as a mother. Although the sacrifices may be smaller - studying for tests you don’t want to take, working on group projects that make you crazy, or staying up late to get homework done - you are being made ready for the larger sacrifices that God will ask of you in return for the greatest gifts!
So, to the stay-at-home mom with the college diplomas hanging on the wall (or let’s be real - in the box under your bed), I hope you know this. Your degree is not useless. Your debt was not a waste. Your college experience SHAPED YOU into the wife and mother that God intended you to be. Whether you’re a bio major playing doctor with your kids, an architect building legos, a history major telling stories, or an artist doodling with crayons, the knowledge and experiences that got you to this point are the backbone of your family, and you should be PROUD. So, tell me. What was your major??