Mothers Who Have Chosen to Be the CEO of Their Own Families

Mothers Who Have Chosen to Be the CEO of Their Own Families

Written By Elizabeth Shine

I’m not a mother, and at 48 I’m unlikely to become one. My whole professional life, I’ve been leaning in. It’s wasn’t until things went badly wrong that I realized the human-capital value of a group of women modern society tends to ignore or  dismiss, stay-at-home-moms.

As a global management professional, I’ve lived and traveled all over the world. In 2015, my life exploded. On a dark April afternoon in Dubai, a perfect storm of issues with my job, my property investments, my health and an emotional entanglement forced me to recognize that something had to give. I resigned from my job and entered a period of physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual hell.

In times like these, the sheep get separated from goats pretty quickly. Friends fell away like fall leaves off a tree – effortlessly. A sad, hard truth I had to face was that the friends who disappeared were mirror images of myself – single, professional, ambitious women.

When I picked up the phone during that dark time, the lifelines at the other end were married stay-at-home mothers. As I fought legal battles, struggled to save sinking investments, looked for work, and moved back to the U.S., my full-time mother friends saved me from sinking into financial and emotional depression. They took my calls in the middle of school runs and playdates. On different continents, three of them put a roof over my head – free. They made sure I ate regularly, got some sleep, and generally took care of myself.

Most importantly, they had – and took – time to listen. They offered shoulders to cry on, literally and figuratively, and the occasional tough-love lecture.

In short, this small group of seven full-time mothers, two of whom are grandmothers – Arab, Jewish, Kiwi, Scottish, Irish and Texan – breathed life back into me and helped me find the wherewithal to face my legal and financial challenges. It was a natural extension of what they did every day for their own families. They pour out their time and love – in an often unsung and unnoticed way that really matters and changes lives.

All these women were successful professionals before they married and had children. All chose to stay at home and, as one put it, “invest in the most important corporation – my family.” Another, said she realized she was “outsourcing my life, including my family, and I didn’t like to think where that might lead.” She gave up her role at a Fortune 50 company. Their career sacrifice gave their families solid foundations and emotional security.

They understood the first rule of any relationship, business or personal – the importance of being present. Ask executives what the most important part of their business is, and they’ll say people – human capital. Ideas and innovation can’t happen without creative minds to ignite them, and creative minds grow in tots whose mothers give them time, undivided attention, and the freedom to play and explore nature rather than being shuttled off to day care or parked in front of an iPad or television while mommy “does a conference call.”

Let’s recognize the full-time, stay-at-home mothers who have chosen to be the CEO of their own families, rather than sporadic parents and scattered employees. They are leaning in – to people, not organizations.

 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy… She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:20, 27

19 thoughts on “Mothers Who Have Chosen to Be the CEO of Their Own Families

    1. I may be understanding or reading this post wrong, but the CEO of my home is 100% without question my husband! I take care of the home, children (when they were there) and obey my husband but I am certainly NOT the leader! I am so happy for everyone on here that is working toward or recently gotten “back home.” I wish I could offer more but this little housewife has never been out there in the working world. It would scare me to death! It is very encouraging to see more of us focusing on being at home!

      1. Summer,
        I don’t believe the author is suggesting that a wife calling herself the CEO of her home is placing her role in authority over her husband. I read it as “instead of dedicating my talents, time, energy, and dedication to further the earnings and resources of a workplace environment, I’m coming home to oversee the affairs of my family.” A CEO is an executive role, and they answer to a Board of Directors and shareholders of a company, so to my understanding, they are not the final say in decision-making, but they are heavily relied on in day-to-day operations. It sounds like a coveted position, and women should be honored if they carry such a title in their homes, but only if the authoritative hierarchy is God, husband, then wife. When I read Proverbs 31, I definitely visualize a CEO of a home with the responsibilities entrusted to her by her husband.

          1. Thanks so much for clarifying for me! I certainly understand what we’re talking about now. I guess I didn’t fully understand what a CEO does. I appreciate the explanation!!

  1. I’m working on becoming the CEO of my home…it’s a tough position to ‘apply’ to though, after 16 years of working in corporate America. I’m slowly learning what God desires for our family. If it’s His will that I stay home, I know He will open those doors.

    1. It is tough…then when you do start being able to stay home you may go through kind of a “lost” period of transition. It’s not immediately all roses for every woman, but you can work through it to the other side. Just be aware that it happens for some women so it doesn’t put you off.

  2. I love being the CEO of my home. It is wonderful being with people you truly love and who love you too all day. I have a low drama peaceful workplace. If squabbles break out amongst my children they are soon squashed because they aren’t just siblings, they are schoolmates and playmates and it is a lot more fun for them to get along. Therefore they are very close and I often hear them giggling together despite being 3 years apart and different sexes. Implementing my husband’s directives are never a burden compared to getting up at dark thirty every morning, getting up the kids and dropping everybody off somewhere and being under another man’s command all day because let’s be honest, most companies are owned by men. If the feminists weren’t so deceived they’d see that and realize that women have so much more freedom running their own homes than subjecting themselves to a series of men in the form of the corporate world. If women are truly creative or talented or smart, they can do so much from their homes. They can be as successful as the Proverbs 31 woman or as valuable as Tabitha. Instead the majority of them spend most of their time away from their families where they can make the biggest impact on the world now and eternity and instead choose to have a low level job that anyone can do and they can be replaced in a week’s time. They dream that they can be just as powerful/influential as Hilary Clinton but have exchanged their real value for a disposable life.

  3. Where to begin on how important this post is! I was in the workforce for about 28 years. I was always felt like a square peg in a round hole and simply thought that I just hadn’t found my “calling”. Ironically I loved all things domestic and loved my home. In fact I was made fun of at the office for taking a lot of my vacation days just to be at home. I said to myself often that I should have been born 100 years ago.

    Then one day I was in Titus 2 and keepers at home jumped off the page at me! I remember thinking could my desire to be home all these years actually be scriptural? And how had I missed that one all these years that I had been reading the Bible? I am not blaming the church, but that was never taught, (Titus 2), where I attended and in fact most of the women worked. I thought the few that were at home were simply fortunate…. So after the Word on this came alive I started to pray.

    The Lord was gracious and the company I worked for pulled out of my state. I tried to start two small businesses from my home, neither took off. Thankfully I had not invested much money in either, and used no credit. I brought in a third of our income so I prayed, prayed, prayed for the Lord to provide.

    I have been home for 4 years now and the Lord has provided! I would like to point out that coming across blogs like this one helped me tremendously as I went through horrible guilt for about the first three years of bringing in no income, ( the process for the two small business took about two years for me to realize they were not going to take off). I almost went back to work, but thank the Lord I emailed Lydia Sherman from the Home Living blog and she actually called me! That dear lady talked me through reminding me of scripture being my standard, and not to fold in the face of guilt. Now I have been praying that women all over the United States would see the importance of their calling and come home…

    Blessings on you Lori

    1. Thank you, Robin, and thank you for sharing about your way back home. Sadly, few teach women to be keepers at home. It’s not an easy task that God has called us to do but it is of vital importance. Our country was a much better place when mothers were home raising their own children and of course, this is true since God’s ways are perfect!

  4. I hesitate to say it, since more comments may be added, but so far, it is refreshing to read today’s comments from women! There’s a spirit of encouragement as struggles are shared by some and God’s faithfulness is celebrated by others! No need for bitterness and accusation-a lovely environment that enhances today’s instruction. Thank you, Lori!

    1. I hope you don’t think my comment to be negative… I am working on an exit plan from work so I can be at home more often (I was at home for a short time but my husband became ill and was unable to work for 2 years. We have been digging out of debt si CE then) This article is lovely and supportive of stay at home women but I have to say I don’t like that it implies that working women are not as kind. I have friends who work and friends who stay home and they are all equally kind and have all helped out each other in times of need. I know Lori didn’t write this, I hope she will clarify that it was meant to bolster stay at home moms without tearing g down other women in different situations.

      1. Mothers who are home full time live a life of love and service to their families. They also have the time needed to care for others since they don’t live by a time clock. I know that people call upon me to help because I am home full time and available. Yes, I know there are some working women who are kind but they simply don’t have the time to help others as full-time homemakers do and many of the career women tend to be more selfish since they have chosen to leave their children in the care of others to pursue their “dreams.” All of this woman’s career friends dropped her when she was in need. They were too busy with their own lives.

      2. Hi Charity,
        Your comment is not negative at all. It sounds to me that you are blessed by kind working women and SAHM’s that are a supportive friendship community for you. 🙂
        My comment regarding refreshing comments, whether women are admitting struggles or celebrating God’s faithfulness, was actually in response to comment threads of recent blog posts that were not encouraging.
        I hope that your husband is experiencing good health and that your desires to return home can be fulfilled.

  5. I totally agree with this website and this ladies post. Where I disagree is the justification for wives staying at home seems to hyper focus on the ability to have children. I am not saying this is the position of anyone here but it can be an extension of feminist philosophy that monetizes a wife based on staying home or working to pay day care expenses. A husband’s responsibility to provide for his dependent wife equally applies to infertile couples due to medical conditions or old age. The provider dependent relationship of marriage is how a man and a woman where created to express their love and affection towards each other sexually. A women’s feminine contribution to her household, extended family and community is empowered by the husbands male masculinity. I cannot overstate the appreciation me and my girlfriends feel for our two infertile married friends who come to our rescue to care for us and our growing families when we are sick or just gave birth.

    1. I’m a stay at home wife with no children. When I was in California, I was constantly questioned about why I wasn’t working and what I did all day. Thankfully, in Kansas, it’s much more common for women to be at home, mothers or not.

      I’ve learned that we SAHW’s are on call to everyone, it seems! I’ve gotten calls from SAHM friends to run over and watch their kids due to an emergency trip to the doctor. Church has called for help with a daytime project or needing a dish for a funeral. Gosh, I could go on. It’s nothing different than what my Grandma did when she was a housewife. One of my SAHW friends back in Cali happened to be looking out the window when she saw a moving van back into her neighbor’s driveway. She called the Sheriff and it turned out to be a burglary ring. See, since upper middle class enclaves in Cali tend to be dual working couples, many neighborhoods are virtually abandoned during the day. My neighbor here calls us the eyes and ears of our neighborhood because one of us always seems to be watching what goes on. Even the local police know it because they’ve made stops at our homes to ask us questions about whether we’ve seen anything.

      However, my primary job is to be keeper of the home, a job I love. Not always glamorous, but always important. My husband loves “the magic drawers that produce clean undies” lol, and his working clothes all lined up in matched sets, ready to go.

      1. Hi Debby,
        I understand what you are going through. I have never worked but my youngest son (of 3 boys) is 21 now and all are out on their own. I have been a stay at home wife now for about 3 years, and I have been questioned and teased my entire adult life (mostly by other women) about why I’ve never had a job, what I do all day, aren’t you bored. etc.. I tell people I have never had a desire to work, I take care of my home and my family. And what do I do all day? – Whatever I feel like when I wake up in the morning! People already have their ideas in their heads that you are spoiled, lazy, or whatever, before they even ask you so just brush their words off, you don’t owe them any explanation. Taking care of our home and family, obeying and serving our husbands and our Lord is exactly what God’s plan for us has always been.

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