where the writers are
A Mother First

"And you were always aware to make sure your children and their grandchildren, and your grandchildren would be grounded."



A Different Time

When Natalie was young, not many mothers worked outside the home, and my parents had raised their daughters to accept the responsibility of motherhood as their first priority. It wasn’t a choice we were given; it was considered a sacred duty from God. We were taught to live by those rules, so when I became the sole provider for my daughter, I was guilt-ridden over doing things differently from how I’d been raised. I was ever mindful of my priorities and responsibilities to be a mother first, but I had no choice but to work. While I knew that there was nothing wrong with my parents’ old school priorities, the world had dramatically changed for me and I did what I had to do for myself and for Natalie.  

Today, when both parents work, they share parenting and other responsibilities. But in the past, mothers traditionally took care of the children and the home. Any mother who needed or wanted to work still had to shoulder all of her usual responsibilities at home. This meant that, by the old way of thinking, everyone lost out when the mother worked outside the home, especially because working mothers at that time didn’t have the support or help of a partner, nor did they have the luxury of daycare, especially not at work. Even though things may be somewhat easier for today’s mothers, I still believe that my parents’ ideas were far better for the family in the long run.

My mom always said that if we felt the strain of separation from our children while we were at work, then our children felt it even more, being so vulnerable in their early, formative years. How did she have such insight to know such things? I now believe that our discomfort and guilt about working while raising young children is God’s way of reminding us of our most sacred duties.


Catherine Nagle

 Imprinted Wisdom