Career Grandmothers Make Young Mothers’ Lives Harder

Career Grandmothers Make Young Mothers’ Lives Harder

You are probably asking, “How in the world do career grandmothers make young mothers’ lives harder?” I will tell you. Many people will encourage older women that after their children are grown, they are free to do as they please. They can finally do something for themselves! They can go back to college, pursue careers, travel, or do whatever they want but is this God’s will for them?

In 1 Timothy 5:10, we are told what older widows (those over 60 years old) should be known for these things: “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work” (1 Timothy 5:10). I don’t see a career mentioned in this verse.

Then we see in Titus 2:3, 4 what the aged women are to be known for: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women…” In these two verses, we can see God’s clear will for older women. Their lives need to be spent helping and serving others not pursuing their own passions and pleasures.

Young women today are lonely. They are suffering because the older women in their lives are not available to help them. Young mothers in past generations had plenty of help from the older women in their lives around them. There was community. They weren’t lonely and when they needed help, they could call on one of the older women in their lives to help them. It’s not so anymore. Many of the young mothers’ mothers and mothers-in-law have careers, therefore, they aren’t available to help them when their children are sick, they are sick, or they are simply exhausted and need a break.

As an older woman, I want to spend my life making the young women’s lives in my life easier. I help them when they are sick or they need someone to shop, clean, or cook for them. I babysit for them. I do whatever I can to help them in any way that I can. They need my help. (I am not saying this to brag about myself. For many years, I lived to be served rather than to serve. I was very selfish. Ask those who are close to me. Now, I have found the joy in living to serve rather than to be served as Jesus modeled to us. It’s only Christ’s transforming power that has made me this way. I take no credit whatsoever.)

My mother was available for me. She helped me immensely and I will always appreciate her help. In fact, my children thought of her as their second mother. She was very involved in their lives and she made my life easier and better. I am so thankful that she never went out and pursued a career that kept her away from us. I believe God intended for Christian mothers of all ages to remain as keepers at home. In this way, they are available to raise children full time when they are young, show hospitality to those who need it, care for the sick and needy as they grow older, and do whatever they can to make others’ lives easier.

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:28

49 thoughts on “Career Grandmothers Make Young Mothers’ Lives Harder

  1. At first, I thought you mean “career grandmothers” meant grandmas who DO help raise the kids to help out! I’m glad we agree that an involved grandma is an awesome thing! Most women are overjoyed to help care for their children’s children and cherish grand kids! My grandma was always involved in my cousin’s and my care growing up…

      1. I can relate somewhat, Lori. When I had my children, both my parents were already retired. When I was considering going back to work part-time after my first child, my mother told me she wouldn’t help watch children on a regular basis, because she already raised her children and this was her time to relax. On one hand, I’m forever grateful she told me that, b/c it forced me to stay home with my kids and raise them myself, which is one of the greatest blessings and privileges I’ve had as a mother, and I now realize is no one’s responsibility but mine. However, the attitude is still prevalent in that even when I need help occasionally, there’s this vibe of, “don’t ask for too much”. When I had my second child, my mother offered to take the kids for a few hours every few weeks or so as needed so I could focus on the house or whatever, which I was so grateful for – but it never happened. I don’t know if she was waiting for me to ask first, but her previous comments kept me from wanting to make any requests unless it was an emergency, and she never mentioned it to me again. In order to have help, I always have to ask first, and I always feel guilty asking, so I avoid it as much as possible. The kids do get to see their grandparents, b/c it’s usually me taking them there or inviting them here. My in-laws are even less involved. I am continually amazed when other mothers I know have parents who are watching their children throughout the week, or helping out in other ways. I love my mother to death and she is a very generous person in general with a good heart, but there seems to be something ingrained in the minds of some of her generation that matches what you’ve observed in your post, and that seems to be where the problem really is. I think it’s definitely something pushed at older folks through our culture – “Retirement = Relaxation, Time to yourself!” etc. etc. I’ll surely be keeping it all in mind when it’s my turn to grandparent! I want to be involved and going out of my way to be there for them all. Thanks as always for the insights, Lori – they are always so inspiring. God Bless!

  2. Christian life is a life of self-sacrificial love and service to others. It is exemplified in the life of Jesus himself, and seen most clearly on earth in the life of wives and mothers. God has, for whatever reason, chosen mothers to be the clearest example of self-sacrifice, and selfless service and devotion. We hear people speak about “A mother’s love” almost as if it were a type of godliness that could be attained only by women, and I think God has given us wives and mothers to be exactly that example.

    Thank you for pointing that out. My day is brighter already!

    1. You’re welcome! Yes, pregnancy, childbirth, and raising one’s children calls for a sacrificial life that few are choosing these days and it is devastating on culture but it’s what we, as Christian women, are called to do. In doing so, there is GREAT reward!

  3. The full circle of all this is that grandmothers get to also experience the joy of being around children who love them. They can be around the wonderful energy and youthfulness of little children, and as the grand kids grow they will have developed a strong relationship and can support each other. Grandmas providing wisdom and grand kids help stave off loneliness.

    1. I will have ten grandchildren by September, Lord willing, Ginger, and for me, having grandchildren is almost like having children again! It is such a huge blessing in my life and I will never understand grandmothers who don’t want much to do with their grandchildren. They are all missing out on something wonderful.

      1. Lori, what you say is true. Children are a blessing! This is coming from the girl who used to say that she never wanted children. However, the Lord changed my heart and I’m so glad that He did! My children are all very young, but I look forward to being a grandmother one day. What a delight it must be to see the child of your child.

        Sadly, both sets of grandparents show little to no interest in the lives of my three children. Thankfully though, I have a wonderful, older Christian friend and her husband who have “adopted” my three children as their own grandchildren. Even though we live 900 miles apart, they take such an interest in me, my husband, and children. They know us well (better than our relatives) because they have taken the time to develop a relationship with us. They are truly a blessing from God and have been such an encouragement to my marriage, me being a homemaker, and homeschooling my children.

        Unfortunately, my parents have chosen to have nothing to do with me, my husband, and children. They went so far as to slander us to my extended family, causing further loss of relationships. My in-laws show little interest in their grandchildren and seem to value their careers and the attainment of money more than relationships. It’s sad, really, and my husband and I feel that they will all one day look back and regret their choices.

        The situation with my parents and extended family is admittedly difficult on my emotions at times. To be maliciously lied about by your own parents and to be told that you are no longer their daughter is a tough thing to go through. However, God is good and has used this situation to develop me into the woman He wants me to be. (I’m a continual work in progress!) I’m thankful for my husband, children, and the godly wisdom and counsel of my older, Christian friend. My parents and in-laws are missing out on the joys of being grandparents due to their own choices, but I’m thankful for the adoptive grandparents that God placed in the lives of my children.

        1. They are absolutely missing out on the greatest joys in life and I have heard stories like yours way too often. Keep loving them as we are commanded. As you live your life for the Lord, you are being salt and light to all those around you. You will be blessed and a blessing to many!

  4. Thank you for pointing that out. The Scripture says “Keepers at home” and there is no expiration date on that. I believe that we (older women) are just as valuable to our growing family as when the children were small. I feel very privileged to be able to stay home and bless my family with a helping hand. It is a very fulfilling and rewarding ministry.

    1. It’s the best, Debbie! Women have been deceived by the great deceiver and are missing out on God’s best for them. Culture has suffered since women left their homes in droves.

  5. I have seen older women go back to college and obtain jobs because their husbands urge them to because the husband feels the two of them need the extra income to save for retirement. I think this is lack of faith on the husband’s part to depend on God to supply the retirement needs through his income. I also think this is another way the devil works to deceive both husband and wife get women out of the home.

  6. Yes. Both my mother and mother-in-law are career women. They love their grandchildren so much but aren’t always available. If I truly needed them for an exceptional case they would drop everything and help but they both have career obligations and can’t help on a regular basis. I’m just thankful to God He has helped me and I’m thankful to you for the Godly teaching of an older woman. Every day I look forward to your post. I don’t even know how many years you’ve been writing (if you do I’d love to know) but I think I’ve been reading your blogs daily for about 6 years.

    My kids are still young but I look forward to being a grandmother. It would be lovely to live near my children but even if I don’t I plan to help cook and clean whenever I can and hopefully babysit a lot too!

    1. Thank you, M. My first blog post was written in February of 2011, so I have been writing for eight years!

      I live by four almost five of my grandchildren and the others I see as much as possible. After my far away daughter has her babies, I go live with them for several weeks taking care of her, her husband, her children, and her home. My mom did this for all of us when we had our babies. It’s such a blessing to be able to help whenever there is a need!

  7. Absolutely love this post, Lori! I’m not yet a grandma but definitely old enough and have all the softly rounded curves that I remember my grandma having😊. I would dearly love to be one, but more importantly is that my children find godly mates rather than rush into a bad marriage just to provide me with grandchildren. My kids often accuse me of only wanting grandkids and that’s the reason I want them to marry. That’s just not true though. I see what a blessing marriage can be and caring for your children adds such joy to life.

    I’ve also been accused by other women of making life too easy and comfortable for my children and that’s why they haven’t married. I disagree. My job as a mom isn’t finished yet, and I take that responsibility seriously. Another woman asked what I’ll do after my last is graduated from homeschool. Get a job? Go to school? Take some ‘me’ time? (Those things sound so boring!)

    How about continuing to care for my home and husband? How about visiting the elderly? How about adopting a young mom so that she’s comfortable to ask me for help? I don’t have a plan, but the Lord will open those doors for me when He knows I’m ready. That’s my prayer anyway🤗❤

    1. He sure will, R, and yes, it’s best for your children to wait to marry a spouse that they are sure loves the Lord deeply since they will be the ones who help raise your future grandchildren! His timing is perfect.

      I am so thankful I don’t have to work outside of the home and can be in the comfort of my own home most of the time. It truly is a blessing!

  8. I love this post today, Lori! Although, I wish my own mother had a career as an excuse to not be available to her grandchildren…she simply was never interested in helping in any way. We also had the same situation with the other 2 grandmothers “in” our lives. All three retired very young but never helped us with our children at all. I was very much alone when it came to advice, sickness, or just a day to have a break. To those that do have an older, wiser woman to help with your family, consider yourself very blessed!!

    1. This is just unbelievable to me! I am so sadden by it because these older women have forsaken helping the younger women and miss out on so much joy from grandchildren and serving others.

  9. I frequently read Suzanne Venker and although I agree with almost everything she says, this is were we diverge in our opinions. She promotes something called ‘sequencing’ — family first career afterwards. This seems to be a good fit for seculars. Although, to me it seems that these grandmothers (secular or not) would be filling some jobs that would work great as entry level positions for young men, either while they are attending school or supporting a family. That doesn’t bode well for the next generation.

    However, I believe there is a completely different call on wives that identify themselves as believers through Christ. We are to BE different than the world.

    1. We truly are, Robyn. Our life is not our own. We have been brought by the blood of Christ. The least we can do is to live for Him by loving others deeply and serving them. Families and marriages were much stronger when women were in their homes.

  10. I’m so grateful my Grandma was a traditional housewife with a strong belief in God. I lived with my grandparents for several years and they were wonderful role models. It’s scary to imagine my life if they hadn’t been available to me. I remember a time when I was living with my parents (mom & step dad). My mom was miserable and began drinking heavily. She’d go into a rage and wake me out of a sound sleep breaking things. Fortunately, I’ve forgotten the in betweens, but I clearly remember leaving in my grandpa’s arms and waking in the quiet peace of their home, where I eventually stayed about a year after my mom remarried.

  11. This article brought back memories of my mom! She was a tremendous help to me while raising my children! She made herself available as much as I needed her. She was available for grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, when I was sick, and for fun outings like coffee or my birthday! My mom was the most giving and unselfish woman I have ever known! She taught me everything I know today about being a housewife, mother and grandmother! I find her shoes hard to fill! I’m still learning and remembering! I will always miss her!

    Now, I’m doing for my daughter just like my mom taught me! Now I know what a blessing to my heart it is to be of some help to my daughter and grandchildren! Women who are not involved with their adult children and grandchildren are missing out on a lifetime of blessings!

  12. Do you believe that the Scriptures support the idea of a married woman’s role changing based on whether or not there are young children at home?

    Something has happened in the last forty years that you never saw in the previous 6,000 years of history. In our worldly wisdom, we (the church) have developed a scheme where you divide the life of a woman into stages: Maidenhood, Newly Married, Rocking Babies, Raising Children, Sending Children Away, Empty Nest, Aged Woman. Doing what seems wise in our own eyes, we give lip service to the idea of women being busy and industrious at home when a woman is in the Rocking Babies and Raising Children stages of her life, but during the rest of her life she can be busy in careers, just like men.

    We cannot find this sort of paradigm anywhere in the Scriptures. Whatever the Scriptures teach about the role of a woman is true throughout her life. So for the church to look favorably at women who are maidens or whose nest is empty to go off to work in the market place like men do; while they frown upon women who do the same thing who should be at home rocking their babies and raising their children – This is not taught in the Scriptures.

    Just to clarify what I have just said: I do believe that a young maiden or older woman, whose children have left the nest, can reach out to help others in times of need if she isn’t neglecting her primary focus of her home. These brief moments of helping those in need is different to a season of five, ten, or twenty years of pursuing a career independent of her husband’s covering.

    What are your thoughts?

  13. I loved these thoughts today, Lori! I’ve been talking about this topic to my husband a lot lately. It’s often something I turn around in my mind. At 33 with six children I desperately need a “grandma”….my own mom is on the other side of the world. But even when I lived ten minutes from her she was not the helping/serving type.
    Now, my mother in law is very old, and unable to help, though she would be happy to. She is very unselfish.

    Yet, God has blessed us with what I call an “adoptive grandma” in our life. She brought chicken soup over just tonight as we all have the flu, (it’s Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere). She sews for my girls, comes over to iron now and then (while I home school) and to just listen to me chatter as it can be very lonely as a full time wife and mom in this part of the world! She is there in so many emergencies and there to share in our joy. I appreciate her so very much. She only had two children. She would have loved more. Interestingly, she had a stillborn baby girl the same year I was born. So she always tells me that God is so good, and that His ways are beautiful and I’m perhaps like the little girl she lost! We fill a missing spot in one another’s lives!

    Older ladies with no grandbabies yet, or, with no children living nearby: I guarantee there is a mama who could use your chicken soup and love! Your offer to watch the children while she shops or relaxes now and again. Even just sharing a cup of tea and telling her what a wonderful job she is doing! We mamas with little ones in the thick of it NEED women like you! We need you so much! Please don’t let the world tell you that now you need a “real job” : you’ve lived this long in love and service, now your receiver is just a bit older! We younger moms still need mothers whether they be related by blood or not! God bless you unselfish ladies!

    1. What a blessing this older women brings into your life, SM! You said that your mother is “not the helping/serving type.” Most of us are not until we decide to become that way since God commands it. Most of us are selfish and want to live our lives the way we want but thankfully, there are some who are not this way. They are a blessing to many!

      1. 6 children by 33!? Homeschooling!?

        What an absolute blessing to your husband, what a role model for the Christian women in the world. Well done, S.M.! You are truly ‘worth far above jewels’.

  14. Well, in an ideal world yes, but the world has absolutely changed as society has become more secular and people have turned their eyes to money as a primary driving force.

    I mean this to say that the unfortunate reality for a lot of people is that the prices of every has increased, but wages have not kept up in every sector. So, unfortunately, sometimes people have to work, and I don’t think it’s fair to judge them for that. Maybe the family is best served if they are able to put food on the table, if they are able to keep mom at home by grandma working a few hours a week, or vice versa.

    If the desire is truly for women to be able to be at home, the cost of living must decrease so parents, grandparents, can live, raise a family, and retire. God will provide, but people also have to do what He provides for them, go where He calls us. And maybe that is a part-time job – as the constructs of the world change by those who have power, who may or may not follow a Christian god, our God-given role, ways of living while following Him, will also need to change as we are guided to the right place by HIm.

    1. I love what Nancy Campbell wrote about thinking one can’t be home full time:

      Stuff doesn’t satisfy! Some mothers think that they could never manage on one income. Yet they will never know until they take that scary step of faith and see what God can do. God waits to show His faithfulness to us, but often we don’t give Him a chance.

      It’s amazing how much cheaper you can live when you are home. When you only shop once a week, or maybe once every two weeks, you save hundreds of dollars. Have you found that the less you go to shops, the less you spend?

      When you are home you cook from scratch, using wholesome, non-packaged foods. You can grow a garden and eat fresh, non-sprayed vegetables. You save loads of dollars on prepared foods and eat healthier.

      You save on gas and clothes.

      But best of all, you are with your precious children. You are not handing them over to someone you don’t even know! You are investing in their lives. You are teaching them in the ways of God. You are “little by little, and precept by precept” training them to grow up in the character of God.

      You still think you can’t do it? No, you can’t in your own strength. But when you take a step of faith and simply obey God’s ultimate plan for you, you will find He is with you all the way. You’ll be amazed at the miracles that take place! You’ll be amazed at how you survive!

      Love to you from Nancy Campbell

      1. I am very, very blessed to be a stay at home mom and my mother-in-law does not work either. My husband works VERY hard to support both of us and she is very involved in her grandchildren lives. It is a true blessing to have her support, love and help when needed. She tells everyone that her grandchildren are her true joy.

  15. Dear Lori,

    Thank you for this article! I would like your advice, please…

    I very much enjoy my husband and taking care of my home. I am a very happy grandma who loves to help out whenever the children need our help. It’s what my grandmother did when I was young and it was a huge blessing!

    However, I feel compelled to go work because we have a lot of debt from a failed business and no old age savings, yet. My husband says he can make a whole lot more money than I ever could (which is true) and to not worry because he’ll take care of it. He is also 60 and I am 55. I am guilt ridden from the debt. We have never been spendthrifts, and I have always been a penny pincher.
    My question is, should I go get a job to help pay off debt? Or is it ok to let go of the worry and trust the Lord to continue to provide through my husband?
    You’d think I’d know by now. : P

    1. It sounds like your husband wants you to stay at home. You make his life a lot easier by doing this and taking care of everything related to the home. Then continue to live frugally (The Tightwad Gazette is great) and trust the Lord!

  16. I have a genuine question. I do not want you to think I am attacking you or that I am a troll. I would like to state upfront that I do not believe in the bible as anything more than life lessons, I.E. not to be taken literally, nor do I believe in a physical god or Jesus Christ as the one true savior. I do however respect your beliefs. Now the question, in this post you quote Timothy 5:10 “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work”.

    And then you say there is no mention of a career anywhere. Couldn’t this piece of scripture be interpreted just as that? I see four careers there, including childrearing.

    1. The term career means working for a paycheck. All of the activities of an other women listed here weren’t for a paycheck but are ways of loving and serving others. Raising children is a sacrificial life of serving one’s children. Bringing strangers into one’s home and caring for them is showing hospitality. Helping those in need is what we are all called to do without expecting anything back, no, not even a paycheck, and following every good work is doing good wherever one is and obeying the Lord. Again, not for a paycheck but in obedience to the Lord. Men are the ones with the responsibility to make money to support their families.

  17. This is a great post, I am a young Mom of many and career grandmothers are the norm in my family. I was told once that I need to call more, by one of them, but when I did call to come by, they were busy and I was told they had a busy schedule. Also, I thought how can I call when I am the one homeschooling, homemaking and raising 5 young children? I wish it were different. I pay I wil become the “older women,” and grandma I desire for my children one day.

    1. I am sure you will! Too many grandmothers today have fallen for the feminist lie that there’s life outside of the home and family relationships. On their deathbed, they will see that they have been deceived. Hopefully, they will figure this out before it’s too late.

  18. Love this post Lori! My mom and I pride ourselves in being a part of over “100 years of happy housewives!” Myself, my mom, my grandmother and great-grandmother never had careers or furthered education. We all stayed home having babies and taking care of our families. My sweet grandma passed away when I was 20 and pregnant with our second baby, but my mom has always been a second mother to our three boys (my youngest just turned 21). We have always lived next door to my parents and she has not only is a fantastic grandma that helped me raise and take care of our kids, but since my husband got me pregnant on our honeymoon at 19 and kept me pregnant for the next few years, my mom taught me at a young age how to be a good little barefoot mama, a loving and obedient housewife and a good keeper of our home! We don’t have grandkids yet but I’m hoping that will change soon! Things would have been much more challenging had my mom been a career woman and was not able to be a full time grandma!

  19. A million times YES, Lori. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for bringing this up. It is so true. I have experienced this so many times – being desperate for help, as a young mom, but seeing the older women around me diving back into the work force as soon as their children are out of school. It’s so incredibly sad.

  20. I’m only 28 and a long way off from being a grandmother but this is really something that’s been on my heart lately. My mom retired when I was pregnant with my third and was a huge blessing to me. And then after I had my fourth, she went back to work. I have five kids now (plus we homeschool) and pretty much have no help from her. We do go over once a week but she’s always so exhausted and stressed from her job and I always just feel like we’re intruding. And I don’t dare to ask for any help. I know that if there’s an emergency, she would drop everything to help but she just isn’t available otherwise. My MIL on the other hand is such a blessing! She’s never worked a day in her life but chose to stay home and raise her 13 kids, all of which were homeschooled. She is always available to help out. She knows exactly how hard it is to be a young mother with a lot of kids so she is more than willing to help relieve my load.

    It is now my desire to remain a homemaker and to be a blessing to my children and grandchildren (and to any other young women). Years ago, my husband and I had agreed that I would stay home and homeschool the kids and then get a part time job when the kids were grown. We had never talked about it since so I wasn’t sure what his view was anymore. So I brought it up just a few weeks ago. He looked at me like I was crazy and said “Why do you think that I work my butt off? Its so that you will never have to work and you can stay home and take care of the kids and the house and eventually help out our kids and grandkids. That’s what a Christian woman is supposed to do!” I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that his view had changed! I can look at the future much more relaxed knowing that we are doing things God’s way and intend to keep doing things God’s way!

  21. Interesting point. My mom is a helper grandma for sure. I can see how wanting to maintain a flexible, family first schedule in old age would be a good idea. We have some long term family goals that I would like to bring in a bit of cash towards in the future, but we only want to do it at a level that doesn’t disrupt the needs of the family. Our kids are way too small for that now…so this is interesting for that next phase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *