Leila Lawler’s Post About Working Mothers

Leila Lawler’s Post About Working Mothers January 29, 2018

Edit 1/30/2018:

Leila Lawler has edited her post to clarify, so I will too.

I should have slept on this instead of posting it right away. I let my anger and indignation get the best of me, and that wasn’t wise. Mea culpa. I apologize to Leila Lawler for being uncharitable and unkind. I have sent this to her via e-mail as well, but I am posting it here because a public error requires a public apology (I would comment on her post, but every time I have tried my comments do not appear).

That being said, let me explain a bit why I was so upset. (Not an excuse, just a reason.)

Ever since Facebook rolled out the feature where people answer questions when they request to join a group, I’ve had that in place for the Catholic Working Mothers Facebook group. I ask if they are faithful, practicing Catholics, I ask if they are working mothers, and I ask why they want to join the group.

I would say that the majority of responses to the third question go like this: “All of my Catholic friends are SAHMs so I’m looking for fellowship, because I feel inadequate because I can’t be a SAHM and I could use support.”

It is so very frustrating when we continually encounter the attitude that if we REALLY thought hard, and if we REALLY were discerning as we should, we’d realize that we should be stay-at-home-moms. The implication is that our status as moms who work outside the home is the result of a lack of discernment at best and at the worst, greed — or, as Lawler put it, someone who “prize[s] financial security, public honors, and prosperity above a happy home.”

As I said during a Facebook discussion the other day, working moms are constantly reflecting on our motives and priorities. It’s kind of like NFP, in a way — we’re constantly reevaluating and assessing, especially after a rough day at work, or when we have sick kids and our boss is giving us grief because we’ve taken so much sick time already, or when we have to go to work sick because we’re all out of sick time due to aforesaid sick kids. CONSTANTLY.

And usually we realize, well, if we don’t work we could lose our house or we couldn’t afford groceries, so we slog through another day. In the vast majority of cases, we aren’t working because we just love getting up in the morning, getting everyone ready to go, making sure everyone gets to where they need to go, going to work, working eight more hours, and then leaving work only to go home to start our second job — cleaning, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, etc. We’re working because we have to in order to pay our bills, or because we feel a genuine calling from God that we’re doing what we are being called to do.

Claiming that there is this epidemic of working moms who are working only for wealth and prestige at the expense of their families — in my CWM group of 4,000+ women, I don’t see it. It’s like the alleged epidemic of Catholics using NFP for selfish reasons. Do they exist? Maybe. Is it a pervasive problem in Catholic circles? I don’t think so, so I’m baffled as to why we need reminding of this. Especially by someone who seems to think that working moms HAVE a choice in the first place.

Like the decision to avoid pregnancy using NFP, this is a discernment that can and should only be done by the couple themselves in the sight of God. And in my experience, we are constantly undergoing that discernment — which is why it is so tiring and, yes, sometimes so infuriating when we are told (even indirectly) that we aren’t good enough, that our children and husbands are suffering because we work, that we don’t measure up to the idea of Catholic womanhood because we work (something St. Gianna Beretta Molla and St. Zelie Martin, among others, would disagree with).

Now, circling back to my original post, there is still one thing I would like clarity on, and I don’t believe Lawler ever said what she meant by this particular statement (and I’m posting the entirety of her comment via screenshot so that I am not accused of taking her words out of context):

If Lawler would be so kind as to explain what she meant by saying that my husband “must fight [my] battles” for me as well as his own, both he and I would appreciate the clarity because neither of us can figure out what she means by that.

Now, I shall return to making my home a safe and peaceful place, which, yes, I strive to do to the utmost of my ability even though I am “out there” working to earn money to pay our mortgage.

Once again, I apologize for being uncharitable and unkind. The lessons I have learned from this experience are to sleep on a contentious post instead of scheduling it to publish right away, and to write a rebuttal that isn’t focused on rebutting what someone specifically said, but rather to focus on the message I want to communicate, and in doing so write for my audience instead of at another person.

Also, one more note of clarity. There is apparently a rumor going around Facebook that I am a “leftist social justice warrior” and that is why I wrote a post criticizing Lawler’s words. That is not true. I am a registered Independent who would not join the Democrat Party if you held a gun to my head. If you have any concerns or questions about my political stances, please feel free to e-mail me.

**Original Post Starts Here**There are times when I read a blog post in the Catholic blogosphere and think, “Hold my purse. I can’t let this go unremarked.”

This is one of those times. (Sorry, Part 2 of my post about Holding the Sacraments Hostage will have to wait until Wednesday.)

Leila Lawler, a Catholic blogger over at Like Mother, Like Daughter, made a number of eyebrow-raising claims in her blog post on Jan. 27, 2018.

Among these claims (some of which are made in the post itself, others are made by her in the comments):

  • A home with a working mother “does not have the wife and mother… devoted to it;”
  • A working mother cannot “love children from day to day with a love of service;”
  • A working mother always “prize[s] financial security, public honors, and prosperity above a happy home;”
  • A working mother cannot “make the home;”
  • A working mother has a “neglected family” by default;
  • A working mother only works because she desires to “[put] her individualistic goals first;”
  • A working mother is nothing more than a “wage slave;” (does that apply to working fathers, too? How about St. Gianna Beretta Molla? St. Zelie Martin?)
  • A family with a working mother means that the husband “does not have a home to return to” or “a haven to rest in;”
  • When a woman works, “the husband must fight her battles;”
  • When a woman works, “the stress of the battles she faces don’t lessen the ones at home, and then something has to give. Too often, it’s one’s own children who seem to be the problem;” and
  • A working mom cannot have a home that is a “safe and peaceful place.”

via GIPHYAnother commenter on the blog offered this gem, which Lawler has not, as of this writing, responded to (either positively or negatively):

When they are grown I hope they will look back on their mother’s labor in the home as an image of the love of Christ. When a woman drops her child off with a care provider/school and works for a wage, children can’t see what she is doing; they ache for mother but society tells them to suck it up and get used to it, so they don’t properly attach (and sadly some don’t attach at all). Without a solid attachment to the mother, the child loses not merely his sense of security but a part of his humanity because he can not really learn what love IS.

Yes. Apparently, children who go to daycare OR SCHOOL can never really learn what love is.

via GIPHYSorry, all you SAHMs who have sent your kids to Catholic school — your kids are neglected, don’t properly attach, and can never really learn what love is. Too bad you didn’t homeschool, because apparently the only way to show your children love is to make sure you are within sight of them 24/7/365.

I can only assume that this person also opposes mothers showering, grocery shopping, doing volunteer work, or doing any other action that would take her out of visual range of her children at any time. Letting children have their own bedrooms is out — they must co-sleep with you until the age of 18, presumably, lest you fail to form attachments with them.

This comment thoroughly ignores the valuable lessons children can learn from working mothers; to wit: sometimes, you need to put your own desires aside and sacrifice for the good of your family.

There are many, many of us who are working not by our free choice, but because we need to earn income so that our family members have food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over our heads. That is a sacrifice. We are sacrificing time with our children for their greater good, not to mention sleep (because we spend many nights doing housework and other chores) and free time of our own (because we spend the bulk of our “free time” outside of work doing household chores, running errands, taking children to doctor appointments, etc.).

Lawler also says in her post, “I will always maintain that the family is God’s plan for life in this world of ours, and that any sacrifice we make to fulfill His plan is worth it.” WELL. What do we need the Catholic Church for, since we have Leila Lawler to tell us exactly how to fulfill God’s plan for life in this world? Apparently, that plan involves no working mothers whatsoever.

There are many mothers who work because they have discerned that it is their vocation — part of God’s plan — to do so: as doctors, as nurses, as therapists for the developmentally disabled, as educators, as counselors, as social workers, as directors of religious education at parishes, as crisis pregnancy center directors, or even as writers and speakers (ahem).

via GIPHYIs it really part of God’s plan for a mother to stay at home no matter what her family’s circumstances are — even if “home” means a homeless shelter, a car, or a cardboard box under a bridge, and even if that means her children would be be starving, cold, and homeless? That scenario is preferable to a family whose members are fed, comfortable, and protected due to a mother who earns a wage?

Leila Lawler apparently thinks so.

She is also apparently afraid of opposing viewpoints; as of this writing, she has refused to publish any of my comments. (She has, inexplicably, allowed comments from others that oppose her view, but for some reason she refuses to publish mine.)

As a result, I am publishing them here. My rebuttals are as follows:

Comment #1:

Why do you assume that women who work outside the home neglect their family? Do fathers who work outside the home neglect their family, too?

As for who will take care of the children and make the home if not the wife — well, that is something that husbands and wives do together, as equal partners in marriage, regardless of who is working outside the home, inside the home, or whatever the situation may be.

I know this comes across as a politically correct buzzword, but sometimes even buzzwords are accurate. You need to check your privilege. Not all families are able to make it work on one income alone, especially if the father is under-educated, under-paid, sick, disabled, etc. Some families have gone over and over their budget, and there is simply nothing else to cut, yet their expenses still exceed their income — especially couples with medical debt or student loan debt, and/or those who live in a high COL area. If this has never been your situation, then praise be to God. You have been very fortunate. But your situation is not everyone’s.

You are not helping women by telling them that they are failing as wives and mothers when they work to provide their family with food, clothing, shelter, and stability.

It’s not really pro-life for example, to tell single mothers that they are neglecting their home and children if they work outside the home. I’m sure the children would feel the sting of neglect much more keenly if they didn’t have food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over their heads.

I would advise you to follow the advice of Jesus and examine the plank in your own eye before you go after the alleged speck in someone else’s.

Comment #2 (in response to her comment here):

Wait — so because I work, my husband does not have a home to return to? Um, I’m pretty sure our house is still standing every day when he comes home. In fact, it’s BECAUSE I work that he has a home to go to. My income pays the mortgage. His income right now is not sufficient to pay our mortgage and all of our other bills.

And we have six children on earth ranging in age from 13 to 1 (plus four in heaven), so it’s not at all that our marriage is “new.” We’ve been married over sixteen years.

“But as the decades go by, the husband is the one who has to do battle with the world. If he doesn’t have a haven to rest in, a person to be grateful to, he will be defeated.”

Why do you assume my husband’s home is not a haven, and that he must stop being grateful to me simply because I work? My husband is actually extremely grateful that I work and thus allow us to pay our mortgage so he has a home to return to.

Let me tell you this: it isn’t necessarily a sparkling clean home with freshly scrubbed, immaculate children and a home-cooked meal waiting on the table that makes a house into a home or a haven. You know what makes a house into a haven? Love. The love of spouses for each other, the love of parents for their children, the love of children for their parents. And love is a commodity that everyone has no matter where, when, or how they work.

“When the woman works, the husband must fight her battles (because that’s his nature to do so) and his own.”

Where on earth are you getting this? My husband and I fight OUR battles TOGETHER as equal partners in marriage, and that is true of any spouse no matter where, when, or how they work.

“When the woman works, the stress of the battles she faces don’t lessen the ones at home, and then something has to give. Too often, it’s one’s own children who seem to be the problem.”

What, wait? Are you saying that when a woman works outside the home, her husband needs to deal with her HR department and annoying co-workers and similar? Are you saying that a woman is incapable of dealing with work-related issues on her own? I am really asking for clarity here because I have no idea what you mean by this.

Do working women face a challenge when it comes to balancing competing priorities? Absolutely. But so do SAHMs. So do working fathers. So do priests.

“But if everyone is out there, then who is making that safe and peaceful place?”

First, I’d love to know where all the SAHMs are that are routinely and regularly welcoming the homeless. I had no idea that was a thing.

Secondly, why do you assume that we can’t make our homes a safe and peaceful place AND work outside the home? Do you think that women who work are required to be at their workplaces 24/7/365…?

One final note: the Vatican says this in their official biography of St. Gianna Beretta Molla: “With simplicity and equilibrium she harmonized the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life.”

NOT “St. Gianna was a horrible example of a wife and mother because she worked outside the home and did not make her house a safe and peaceful place.”

Also, I must include two of the comments left by Missy (which were allowed to be published, unlike mine), because they provide an excellent counterpoint:

I respectfully ask that you consider your personal experience may not be reflective of others’, nor should it be the standard by which the rest of our situations are to be judged.

For instance, I AM thinking of my husband when I work. In fact, I work partially at his specific request. Not because he is materialistic and desires luxury, but because he works in a volatile field where a job can vanish in a moment, so he has told me that being the sole provider is too much stress for him. When I have been out of work, he has been depressed, irritable, and generally less emotionally available for the family, even though I was working hard to ‘make a home’ for us. When I work and share the burden, he is happy, secure, and generous with his time and energy. Every day, he expresses his appreciation for my efforts as a mother and wife, so I would say he is far from ‘defeated.’ On the contrary, he feels supported by my work, and our home is a haven for him because he knows it can’t be ripped away from us if he were to lose his job (as has happened twice before).

I have no clue what you mean by the husband ‘fighting his wife’s battles in addition to his own’ unless you mean that you subscribe to the archaic idea of ‘woman’s work,’ that some tasks should only be performed by women. This is not at all theologically supported. In our case, we split the cleaning, childcare, and cooking, although he might take the lion’s share of food prep because he enjoys it more and is a much better cook. We have also learned not to keep track of who does what, but instead do what needs to be done with a generous spirit, as an act of love.

We have chosen our children’s caregivers with extreme care and made it clear to our employers that family comes first, always. As a result, our children are thriving by every measure, and we are always available to them when needed. My children are not a ‘problem’ for me or my work, but the reason and inspiration for everything else in my life.

And finally, as for the others outside the home, you’re quite right that they are best served when my home is a place of peace. As I said above, my working is a big factor in making my home peaceful. Please stop insisting that a working mother is at odds with a peaceful and stable home.”

Comment #2 by Missy:

“Must be so nice to be able to ‘decide’ to stay home, then pat yourself on the back for your ‘sacrifice.’ Some of us find that our families are healthier when mom works outside the home, and don’t appreciate being told we’re lesser wives or mothers for it. And some don’t have a choice at all due to economic reality, but I’m sure the extra helping of guilt is exactly what they need.

This is an incredibly self-serving and narrow-minded post. I strongly recommend speaking more with faithful mothers who work outside the home, with an open heart to their perspectives. And when you offer much-needed encouragement to SAHMs as I believe you intended to do here, try to do it without belittling those who care for their families through different means. This manufactured us/them conflict helps no one.”

Agreed. I think I’ll listen to the actual teaching of the Catholic Church as opposed to someone who uses her blog to promote her own books and who earns speaking fees, but yet who claims to not have a career so she can devote every single nanosecond of her time to “making a home”).

And although it’s apparent that the Lawler family abhors Pope Francis, perhaps Lawler herself might take heed of the words of Pope John Paul II (unless, of course, she has gone full-blown sedevacantist):

Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of “mystery”, to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.

In the meantime, I would welcome Leila Lawler’s clarification on anything she has said above in my comment box — and I’ll even publish her comments, too.



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  • Lindsey

    Thank you JoAnna.

  • Jaime’s mom

    This is a petty response. Why call her out so blatantly. Why not write an absolutely lovely uplifting post about being a working mother complete with data and statistics? I have a inkling that her words touched a nerve of discernment. If you are secure in your decision to work, I’m confused about your response.

  • “This is a petty…”

    Did you mean to write that over on LL’s post?

    “Why call her out so blatantly.” Because sometimes a public post deserves a public response. She publicly addressed working mothers. This post does the same.

    “Why not write an absolutely lovely uplifting post about being a working mother complete with data and statistics?” There’s a time and a place and this was the time and place to address what was said on LMLD. It wasn’t a beautiful post, so unfortunately the response probably wasn’t going to be gorgeous either. Well reasoned, yes.

    “I have a inkling that her words touched a nerve of discernment. If you are secure in your decision to work, I’m confused about your response.”

    I don’t know what’s confusing about it. I’m a stay at home mom with five kids. I’ve followed LMLD for years and have mostly enjoyed it. I was extremely disappointed by last nights post and was torn between sharing it with friends and hoping its ugliness didn’t gain traction.

    There isn’t just one way to be a Catholic woman or a Catholic mother. It’s unfortunate when we act like there is. Maybe you should head over to LMLD and ask her to uplift all the Catholic women reading her posts and not “call out’ working women so wrongly.

  • Because her words are dangerous and need to be rebutted.

    If Leila Lawler is so secure in her decision to SAHM, why did she feel the need to viciously attack working moms? Why not just write a beautiful, uplifting post supporting them?

    It is my duty as a Catholic to speak up when I see false beliefs being misrepresented as authentic Catholic teaching.

    Would you prefer that I let her falsehoods about Catholic teaching stand unchallenged?

  • Lizzy R-E

    Why publicly? Maybe if LL had approved JoAnna’s comments on the OP she wouldn’t have hopped over here.

  • “Who will love children from day to day with a love of service, if not their mother? Who will make the home if not the wife? Who would prize financial security, public honors, and prosperity above a happy home? Even the most highly educated and smartest women have realized that all the honor in the world doesn’t make up for a neglected family.”

    Forgive me, but I don’t see this as a universal denunciation of every woman who draws a paycheck. It is possible to have a family-centered home (that is, making family your highest priority) and still work to provide for it, whether you are a single mom or simply struggling to make ends meet. Given that Leila herself writes books and does all the other things she does, she is by definition a working mom. And there are some things that, after fifteen years as a wife and mother, working both at home and in an office, I’ve come to agree with Leila about: That no one can create a home for my family like I can, and that when I neglect this part of my vocation, they suffer — and when I invest in it, they thrive. Can my husband do some of the housekeeping tasks? Of course — but he’s no substitute for mom. Sadly, some days.

    I’ve learned something else, too — something Leila doesn’t articulate, which might be at the heart of the problem. We all work, and work hard, hopefully for our families. We sacrifice, each of us a bit differently, because that is the nature of motherhood. And (here’s the important part) we need to do what we need to do to stay healthy, strong, and connected — spiritually, to God, and emotionally, to our families. If we do that, it doesn’t matter if we fit someone else’s definition of “success.”

    I don’t know Leila, and I know JoAnna only casually. But I know that both of you are passionate about helping Catholic wives and mothers in the trenches, and work hard to encourage them. If I could, I’d take you both to lunch. I suspect you would discover that you have a lot in common.

    One of the down sides of social media is this tendency to square off and talk past each other, rather than engage to understand. But we are sisters in Christ, and we don’t have to fight each other. We can just take what is valuable, and prayerfully leave the rest for someone else. As someone else pointed out, we don’t all have to live out our vocations precisely the same way — what doesn’t fit me, might be gold to someone else.

  • Becca

    Thank you! I’ve run into this idea too often, and it overlooks so many situations. Even my grandmother had to work outside the home sometimes, and my mother-in-law spent her married life working the fields with my father-in-law (being a migrant farm worker doesn’t really give someone the security of staying home).

  • Tammy Ruiz Ziegler

    I’m with you, JoAnna. One of the most damaging and stupid things Christian moms can do is to assume that because the are sure that God lead them to do ____ that God must mean for every Christian mom to do ____.

    God clearly lead me to continue my nursing career after I had kids. I worked in Neonatal ICU (don’t y’all want Christian moms caring for your preemies?) and later developed a perinatal palliative care program to care for dying newborns. If I had quit work, I would have never made the progress I have made.

    I was also widowed before the kids were all raised and I used my work savvy to help manage all the things I needed when I suddenly and unexpectedly became the leader of my family.

    I’m fine with some moms working and some staying home with each of us discerning Gods will carefully, but that article of her was harsh, insulting and inaccurate. She needed to be fully called out, not some fluffy play-nice response. I will be sure to mention this foolishness to my mom-friend the neonatologist when we go to the State House this week to influence state law. We will be making care for moms and babies better… I hope that none of them respond by writing articles about how much we suck as moms.

  • Lizzy R-E

    Popping this over here because it’s not likely it will be approved.

    Me: First off, I find it somewhat hysterical you cite Frank Gilbreth because his wife Lillian was in fact a working mother herself, earned her two PhDs while she had small children and made pretty big contributions to her fields of engineering and psychology.

    Citation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillian_Moller_Gilbreth

    LL: Yes indeed, Lizzy, Lillian Gilbreth was an accomplished and educated women with many gifts who certainly did not seek honors — she put her family first and when she was a widow, she picked up where she left off.

    Me (not likely to be approved):
    Her children were born in: 1905, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920and 1922

    She earned her PhDs in 1911 and 1915 – note she also gave birth those two years. She also
    “sought to provide women with shorter, simpler, and easier ways of doing housework to enable them to seek paid employment outside the home.”…?

    This is what happens when you cherrypick what a historical figure does. Lillian Gibreth also taught ALONG SIDE her husband, so between the PhDs and that I’m pretty sure she was a working mom BEFORE her husband died.

  • One small caveat: Looking more closely at her blog, Leila rejects the idea that because of her writing etc. she is a “working mom.” So she likely would take issue with that part of my comment … but I think the rest holds true. I’m thankful that both of you are writing for Catholic women — we need each other.

  • Fascinating!

  • Lizzy R-E

    Right? How can she claim Lillian was NOT a working mother? Lillian was amazing if she got not one, but two PhDs with tiny children!

  • Lizzy R-E

    But of course she won’t approve that comment, nor any others I’ve made pointing the cherry-picking out.

    Momming is hard. SAHMs expect us to recognize that they work hard and give them some slack. Why can’t they do that for us too?

  • Kate

    “I have a inkling that her words touched a nerve of discernment. If you are secure in your decision to work, I’m confused about your response.”

    Just FYI, this is a classic spiritual abuse tactic. You have suggested that the only reason to be upset about an opinion which blatantly insults your station in life is that it has “touched a nerve of discernment”–in other words, you are deliberately attempting to spiritualize both Leila’s post and Joanna’s response to it in order to plant doubt in Joanna’s mind or in the minds of those reading.

    This is presumptuous, assumes a spiritual authority which neither you nor Ms. Lawler have, and is a very poor substitute for actually engaging Joanna’s or even Ms. Lawler’s ideas on their own merits.

    It’s alsi hypocritical. I notice you didn’t respond to Joanna by writing an “absolutely lovely uplifting” comment about motherhood or anything else.

    Mostly, though, I wanted to call out the presumption of authority and false framing of your comment, as an illustration of a certain kind of spiritual manipulation that flourishes in the least-healthy nooks and crannies of religious culture. The suggestion that any strong response against a strongly-stated, privately-held moral or spiritual idea is evidence in favor of that idea is a strategy frequently used by charlatans, cult leaders, and religious bullys and busybodys to prop up dangerous teaching against well-founded objections.

  • Ellen

    I always wonder if she says these things to her daughter-in-law who is a working mother, and seemingly not one who works out of necessity.

  • A

    I didn’t read the original post, but yours reminds me that there is no “best.” There is only “what God is asking of ME.” It’s heroic virtue to say yes when what God is asking is not something that you personally want.

  • A

    I should add that there are lots of moms who do feel called to work outside the home and like it. Not judging that. Just respecting that the individual discernment of each situation is something no one else can see inside.

  • JoAnna,
    Your reading of my mother’s post is very simplistic and uncharitable. You are taking her words out of context, manipulating what she says, and generalizing dangerously. She has written extensively about all the nuances of these matters on the blog and in her ebook. For example, the “wage slaves” line is not about *all mothers who work,* nor is it my mother’s line — it’s from the encyclical Casti Connubii by Pius XI and it was a prediction about what would happen if the mother’s place was usurped in society.
    She and my dad made sacrifices to raise my siblings and me the way that they did because that is their understanding of the teaching of Scripture and Tradition, and since she knows it’s a tough row to hoe, she chooses to affirm that belief in order to encourage others…
    … but I’m not going to respond to all of the above except just to say that I think it would have been sufficient for you to disagree with her, privately or publicly, without being nasty, inflammatory, and contemptuous (e.g., implying that my mom wants to see children starve in cardboard boxes…. really? Was that necessary?).

  • Funny how your mother blocked all of my comments thus far and has not bothered as of this writing to reach out TO ME to clarify what I have allegedly misconstrued about her post.

    I quoted her exact words, and provided a link to the full post so people could read her post and words in context.

    Yes, it was necessary to point out that some mothers have the choice between working or being homeless, because it seems your mother is unaware of that fact.

    I am contemptuous of the position that no mother has to work by necessity. It is a position that deserves contempt.

  • E E


    Perhaps JoAnna posted here because your own mother chooses instead to allow the comment section of her blog be an echo chamber instead of realizing that perhaps her ideal is NOT what is best for every family. And not only that, but instead of facilitating a conversation she chooses to cherry pick quotes and facts. As another commenter posted, Lucille Gilbreth was actually a working mother while her kids were small. Did your mother approve that comment or simply delete it because it didn’t fit inter her narrative and idealization? It seems she did the latter. Which is a shame because Dr. Gilbreth was an amazing woman in all aspects.

    The idea of the SAHM is a pretty new concept. And there is a ridiculously high chance that the Bleased Virgin herself was a working mother and economically supported her family, because you know what? That’s what the working class did. Only the royal or ridiculously rich women didn’t work in some economic capasity through most of human history. SO in fact those of us who work ARE being mothers in the traditonal sense.

    Not to mention, do you know just how insulting something like this is to the husband of a working mother? By putting theae things out there you are basically telling my husband, JoAnna’s husband, and many others that they fail as Catholic men because their wives work, many times out of nessessity.

    SAHMs are great. Society at large doesn’t appreciate you. Lots of working moms give you huge props – so why belittle those who work? Are you so insecure in your place in society that you can’t just say “good job”?

    Additonally, if you or your mom can’t take criticism you really should stay off the internet. News flash, when you act like a jerk or publish something like this people are going to disagree.

    A working mom who got 4.5 hours of broken sleep because she literally does everything in her life for her family.

  • Ann


    Do you have evidence in Scripture or Tradition that the Blessed Virgin Mary worked outside the home for a wage? I don’t think you will find it. Of course, she worked. All mothers do, all sahm work but we work in and arojnd the home for no wage. I am curious as to how St. Gianna Molla managed, assuming she practiced medicine after having children. Another commenter mentioned Zelie Martin who did run a lace making business. Zelie ran the business from her home. She had domestic staff to help and Louis Martin took over the business side after a time so she could devote herself to making more lace. They were indeed exceptional and maintained their peaceful, holy home because of their deep prayer life. I have been on both sides of the work and sahm divide. I have rarely if ever seen a double income home that came anywhere close to the Martin’s. I am not even sure anyone tries which is at the heart of the matter. If you do strive for holiness, good for you. If we are not striving for holiness no matter of work situation then our priorities are messed up. I don’t follow Leila Lawler. I don’t disagree with all of her post nor do I agree with all of it.

  • St. Gianna did practice medicine during and after having children. In fact, her husband suggested she stop and she objected so vehemently that he dropped the subject. She had actually made the decision to stop on her own after the birth of Gianna Emanuela, but as we all know she died shortly after the birth.

  • Ann Roth

    I did find that information about St. Gianna. Thanks. It is interesting that St. Gianna was beatified for giving up her life for her child and not for being a physician or “working” mother. In other words, her heroic virtue came from sacrificing herself for her child. To the degree any mother does that, no matter her “work” situation, is the degree of holiness she will attain. Seems to me much of the discussion here leaves out the connection between our mothering, work and the pursuit of holiness.
    What I read is that her response to her husbands request was a withering look and then she agreed to give up her practice if they had a 4th child. God decided for her then. And I have to say the account I read of this struck me as odd in that it did not impress me as the reaction of a holy soul but the Church has spoken.
    One reason I don’t follow Leila Lawler is, for lack of a better way to say it, is that I don’t like the way she exresses herself. I agree with much of her overall point but it strikes me as Catholic Duggar. She is not all wrong but it is too narrow. I am a sahm and I don’t see myself when I read her blog but I would have loved more support and encouragement over the years. Being at home can be hard and lonely. The judgement from working moms is crushing so appreciate what she is trying to do.

  • E E

    Ann — simply look at how society was structured in first century Jeruselum.

    Also, my point was being a mom is hard. You pointed out the Martins — if you read the comments on Leila Lawler’s post the mentions them. To quote a reply she made to a comment:
    “Suzanne, I think your familiarity with the Martin family does not quite cover the facts. “Turning out ok” is not the criterion

  • The thing is, the church will not canonize somebody who was a persistent and unrepentant sinner just because they performed one out of heroic virtue, except maybe martyrs, and it’s pretty clear Saint Gianna was not considered a martyr.

  • Ann Roth

    Many of us do. I do all the time. As a matter of fact some of that slack was all the volunteering at school, church and scouts when you couldn’t be there. I was happy to do it but the working moms often didn’t really appreciate it cuz ya know I had so much time on my hands. It’s all good. I was where I was supposed to be and so glad I was.

  • EE

    Aaand thank you nursing baby for knocking my hand and hitting send too soon… <3

    Her comment reads:
    "Suzanne, I think your familiarity with the Martin family does not quite cover the facts. “Turning out ok” is not the criterion for one’s own choices in life, and we are to imitate the saints’ virtue, not their particular circumstances or decisions. You are underestimating the stresses of their lives and the actual mental illness many of them suffered from.
    Can God bring good out of our mistakes? Yes! Does that give us permission to rationalize those mistakes, or make them on purpose? No."

    Um… The Martin's are both saints… their youngest daughter is not only a saint, but a Doctor of the Church, and isn't at least one other daughter being considered for sainthood? If that's the mark of my children "turning out ok" because I work, then I'm pretty sure I'll be a happy woman. I WANT my children to become saints, and I strive to have a happy Catholic home so that is a possibility.

    That said, the baby just dozed off. Time for prayers with a toddler.

  • Lizzy R-E

    THANK YOU ANN! Really from the bottom of my heart I do thank you.

    Like I said, momming is tough no matter what. Leila Lawler contributed to the mommy wars by posting this, and then questions WHY the heckles of someone like myself are raised.

  • Ann Roth

    True but she was not canonized for being a doctor or working mother. Of course, a life of heroic virue is more than one act but it was that sacrifice that seems to have set her apart.

  • Right. But if she had lived a life of persistent and unrepentant sin, up until the moment of death, the church would not have canonized her for that heroic act *alone.* Sainthood is for those who have lived *a life of heroic virtue* which is often borne out in heroic acts. St. Gianna could not have lived a life of heroic virtue while simultaneously being an unrepentant and persistent sinner. It is impossible.

  • If you consider it, I think you’ll understand why my mom wouldn’t want to reach out to you about this post; it’s hurtful to her and she probably can’t see how it would be helpful for her to get involved. I choose to do it because I want to defend my mom’s good name.

    OK, so you did try to confront her directly before writing here on your blog. Fair enough. It’s not entirely clear from our end why your comments didn’t publish. It’s possible that you wrote enough in quick enough succession that the filter identified them as trolling.

    In any case, I think it’s fair game for you to write a disagreeing post here on your page, but again, it just doesn’t have to be so inflammatory. And having “contempt” for ideas doesn’t mean that it’s necessary or good to rip someone down on a personal level.

    The fact that you read her as saying “no mother has to work by necessity” is, quite simply, your issue and not hers… because she never said that. It is *not* her position. You can claim that she said it, but that claim would be false. I promise you that you will not find those words on our blog, because – again – she never said them and neither did my sisters nor I. (As a matter of fact, I earn wages. She supports me in my business efforts! Obviously my mom doesn’t condemn me nor is that her philosophy.)

    If you could take a fresh read of LMLD, keeping what I’ve just said in mind, looking through the various posts she has on this topic, you will see how she often talks about the widow and the mom who has to work because of circumstances, etc. etc. Obviously she is aware of the women who have to work to keep food on the table or roof overhead, and she cares deeply about them. Perhaps it would help you to know that she is personally in touch with a LOT of women who talk to her about those very circumstances that they’re in, because they know that she cares and they want her counsel. She does understand.

    Was what she said controversial? Yes. I very much understand that it’s going to be a point of major contention with lots of different opinions. All I ask is that you handle the subject matter without being nasty towards her — and also that you stop saying that you’re quoting her directly when you’re just taking snippets and making claims about them. Yes, people can click through the link, but it’s unfair when you’ve already set them up with false expectations… and maybe people *won’t* click through to read the original; they’ll just come away with a false impression of what she’s saying.

  • …Furthermore, the wise usually don’t enter into discussion with people who are simply smearing their name. If you had written in good will, that would have been different. Again, it wouldn’t make sense for her to respond to calumny.

  • I wrote two comments 20 minutes apart (the two on my blog).

    I replied to a few more, then realized my comments were not being published.

    However, other comments from friends of mine were being published. I have no idea why mine were specially singled out. They did not contain links and I used my WP credentials in the appropriate fields.

    Claiming Working Moms neglect their kids was very inflammatory. I don’t know why she was shocked and surprised by an inflammatory response.

    As a blogger, you can’t assume that everybody has read every other single post of yours. It was irresponsible of her not to clarify that she was of course only talking about the (apparently numerous in her mind) Catholic Working Mothers who work to earn filthy lucre and don’t care about their kids. I really doubt those women – if they exist – are reading her blog so I don’t know why she was writing to them.

    Listen, I run a group on Facebook for Catholic working mothers that has over 4000 members. I have yet to meet a single woman who is working purely for gain. All the mothers I have met are working because they have no choice and cannot make ends meet on two incomes, or because they feel called to do so by God.

    If you would like to join my group and see for yourself, you are welcome to do so. You can find us on Facebook by searching for “Catholic working mothers.”

  • I was not smearing her name. She did that herself when she made the outrageous comments that all Working moms neglect their children, cannot make a peaceful home, need their husbands to fight their battles for them, etc.

  • Please retract your accusation of calumny. I did no such thing. I directly quoted her and provided a link to her post so her words could be seen in context. The fact that she apparently did not mean what she actually said means she wrote poorly, not that I was committing calumny.

  • Ann

    Why do you keep saying ” lived a life of persisent and unrepentant sin”? Just because someone isn’t canonized doesn’t mean they lived a life of persistent and unrepentant sin. I do not live such a life but I am not sure I will be recognized for a life of heroic virtue either.

  • Ann

    I read Leila’s comment. Her point was that “turning out ok” is not good enough. The more important point is to not judge circumstances but to imitate their virtues which is what I was trying to say. The Martin children were not holy because Zelie worked. Zelie was not holy because she ran a business. She was holy because she followed God’s will and pursued virtue and holiness and raised her children to do the same. Zelie and Louis Martin made God and family their priority. And THAT is Leila’s point: get your priorities right. No matter your situation put God and family first. In 21st century America that is very hard to do when both parents work away from home.

  • Because the claim by Lawler et al is that a mother sins by working outside the home — doing so causes her to neglect her family and etc.

  • And Saint Gianna worked outside the home out of desire, not necessity, something that Lawler et al consider atrocious.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m open to the idea that good mothers work outside the home and inside it, but your”rebuttal” lacks charity and mercy. It’s a whiney tantrum when it could have been an a thought-provoking article. Like I tell my kids, we can talk when you’ve calmed down.

  • “Turning out ok” was sarcasm.

  • But telling working mothers that they neglect their children and that they are incapable of making a peaceful home does not lack charity and mercy? I see.

  • Elizabeth

    You’re upset that she was so unjust in her representation of working mothers, so you justify it by also misrepresenting her comments. Take ownership of your words. You threw a verbal hisssyfit online. It doesn’t further your message.

  • Elizabeth

    You think it is ok to suggest that she’s not prolife, that she’s a sedevacantist etc. because you disagree with her ideas? I could go on, but I’m off to bed, and I’m going to let this go. I’ll be praying for all involved.

  • I did not misrepresent her comments in any way, shape, or form. I quoted her exact words — words that were, indeed, unjust.

  • Elizabeth

    And then you suggested a bunch of nasty things not based on anything she said. It’s very juvenile.

  • I said her *attitude* was not pro-life, because it was not.

    I did not say she was a sedevacantist, but that her husband wrote a book maligning the Holy Father so I was not certain if her family only opposed him, or if their disgust with the papacy went further back. If she is not, then thanks be to God! I still think it is wrong to malign the Holy Father, per the words of St. Pope Pius X.

  • Ann

    I agree that we shouldn’t genralize as to whether groups of mothers, those working outside the home in this case, are all neglecting their children. But she did specify something to the effect of making career or honors your priority means you will negelect your children husband, etc. She would be right about that. And she is right that Mom is better than daycare. Women don’t like to hear it but it is true. You can have it all but you can’t have it all all at the same time. You do the best you can with the circumstances. Again, the point is having priorities in order. God, family, work. I have to assume that St. Gianna Molla had hers in proper order to have lived a life of heroic virtue. To suggest that she put work first seems incorrect. The Church does not teach that women shouldn’t earn a wage but it is clear what our priorities should be and wages and honors come last. It is a hard balance for sure. And trust me, I know that families with Mom at home make mistakes too. If we keep God first and center, it all works out.

  • Thank you for your prayers! They are appreciated.

  • Ann

    Feel better now, JoAnna?

  • I did not. Why are you lying when anyone can look at the posts for themselves and see that your words are untrue?

  • Wages don’t come last if they are necessary to feed your family.

    I run a Facebook group of over 4000 Catholic working mothers. I have never met one that is in it solely for the prestige. Have you?

  • Elizabeth

    To misrepresent the truth is lying. If you’re unclear about that, I can’t help you. You make huge generalizations about Mrs. Lawler and now het husband apparently (unless you’ve read his book?). You’re looking for any little thing to distort about this family. It’s ugly and totally un-Christlike. Have your opinions about working moms, fine, but really, consider how low you’re willing to go. Would you stand up to the same scrutiny? I mean this rhetorically because none of us could. Your passion for your beliefs is great, but if that leads you to tear apart a person who disagrees with you, you lose credibility. Since you can’t seem to separate the two, I’m totally done with this blog.

  • I did not do either. If you cannot recognize that, then I cannot help you either.

    Is her husband’s book not maligning the pope? It is titled “Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock.” Accusing the Pope of misleading the Catholic Church is a pretty serious charge. What evidence do you have that he says the opposite in its pages?

    If you want to take issue with any of my claims, please feel free.

  • Ann

    Actually, I probably have. Oh, they don’t always say it out loud, and theres a lot of “oh it’s for my family” but I see their facebook posts. “Look at me, I am living the dream! Etc”. Do you have any friends involved in network level marketing like Arbonne? How about all those “insprational” blogs about empowerment and getting what you deserve. Sadly, many women do not enjoy being mothers, do not feel fulfilled being mothers and feel being a mother isn’t valued by our society so they work outside the home. Needing the $ for food is often an excuse. If all those 4000 followers don’t want to be working then I feel sorry for them. They are slaves to their wages. Which proves Leila’s point.

  • Ann

    This was supposed to be under JoAnna’s question about knowing anyone who works for prestige.

  • Um… the vast majority of Working moms in my group are not MLM sellers. Yes, there are some. But there is no marketing allowed except on one specific post every week.

    Leila’s point is that mothers do have a choice but choose to work. And yes,
    it is sad that so many families can’t make it on one income. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Leila wanted to work to change that instead of just offering criticism to those for whom it is a sad reality?

  • For example, I work full-time as a copy editor for a conservative Christian media company. I do not sell anything.

  • About what, Ann…?

  • E E

    Ann — so my working outside the home in order to provide my family with money for the basics is selfish and my priorities are screwwy? Good to know.

  • E E

    So why are working moms “slaves to their wages”, but working dads are not?

  • Today’s SAHM is nothing but a luxurious historical abnormality. http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-take-on-attachment-parenting.html

    I’ve wondered different times over the years why this topic brings out the claws in so many of us and I’ve decided that it is because, with the exception of women who have no desire to have a career, who are married to wealthy men, both working moms and SAHMs have to sacrifice–and all of like to think our sacrifices are worth it–and if a working mom is as good for her kids as a SAHM then is it worth the sacrifices a SAhm has to make? If her family can make it on one income, and I know her husband doesn’t have a really high paying job, is it worth the sacrifices I have to make as a working mom? Can either one of justify our sacrifices without suggesting that her sacrifices aren’t worth it?

    I will say that Leila’s rant is somewhat worse than others I’ve seen recently.

  • Collin Wahlund

    As the husband of a certain Catholic working mother, I thought my input may be of some value. My wife doesn’t need me to “fight her battles for her” so I shall be brief.

    I read Leila’s post and also saw it dripping with condescension and self-aggrandizement.

    Stay at home moms are a blessing and are often belittled in their vocation. However, you have no idea of how fortunate you really are to even have that option. A man who cannot make the income it takes to keep his family fully provided for alone may be made to feel inadequate by your generalizations.

    Denigrating the working mother is not just a disservice to their sacrifices, but to their husbands as well.

    That attitude is not one that endears people to even consider the Catholic Church when their situations are not of your ideal. Congratulations on putting heavy burdens on others in retaliation for the poor treatment SAHMs receive.

  • Collin Wahlund

    Hey kettle? This is pot. You’re black.

  • C.

    Fascinating. I never thought of it this way. Your articulation of what is behind a comment like that is very interesting and a different way of thinking of it that I never considered before. I feel like cutting and pasting this somewhere so I can refer to it in the future!

  • Ann

    The issue isn’t about selling or not selling. Apparently, you forgot your own question was if I knew anyone who worked for prestige. Yes, I do know women who work at least in part for prestige, for recognition or because they don’t view mothering as being prestigious enough. I find it hard to believe that none of those 4000 women who follow you are motivated by prestige.

    I understood the phrase “slave to wages” pretty literally-you have to have that paychceck, no choice but to work, dependent on it. So yes, men can be slaves to wages. I guess you are a slave to the extent that the choice is not yours. That is the difference between a job and career, I guess. One you have, the other you want.

    Side note-this idea that a mother staying home with children is a modern thing is bs.
    Women have always worked but not until the industrial revolution did they leave home in significant numbers to do so. Work for wages (or not) was done in and around the home. Mom or relatives were the caregivers. Mom leaving home to work and children being cared for by non family (strangers) is the new development.

    I think I am done here. Spent too much time on this yesterday. I am a stay at home mom who is at peace with my life. It is not perfect, I am not perfect but I am not threatened by paycheck Moms. I think that Leila Lawler’s post hit some nerves . She hit on things that are legitimate concerns that you worry about. If you have figured out a system that works for you, be at peace. But I am not seeing a lot of peace in this post or comments just defensiveness, anger and maybe bitterness. And no, I don’t get defensive and angry when my choice is criticized.

  • Ann


    When did I say that? I never did. That is your interpretation. That’s your problem.

  • EE

    If you’re at peace with your life, then WHY bother commenting?

    I work, I’m at peace with what I do, but sadly have run into this attitude about me working AT my parish. Things have been said to my face and my husband’s face. He was outright accused of not being a Catholic enough or godly enough man because I happen to be the primary earner at this point in our marriage. SO, that’s why I took offence — not so much the sting against me, I can take it believe it or not, but that which was direct towards my husband who moonlights as a part time stay at home dad. See Colin’s comments on this blog post — Leila was extremely disrespectful towards the spouses of working moms in her comments.

  • EE

    You know what I’m sick to death of? People who think disagreement means that you’re being uncharitable. That ain’t how it works.

  • Ann, you realize that most MLM sellers use the incessant FB posts as a marketing tool, right?

    At any rate, MLMers who stay at home don’t go into an office so it’s hardly the type of job that Leila was referring to — the ones where we dump our kids into daycare and are unable to make the home. MLMs are targeted to Catholic moms because they don’t require them to leave the home and use daycare.

    I asked if you knew women who were working SOLELY for the prestige — not working for money but also trying to be successful. Do you know any faithful, practicing Catholic Working moms who don’t need to work outside the home but do so solely for ambition (and at the expense of their family)?

  • Before the industrial revolution, men didn’t work outside the home either. According to this article http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/20/us/farm-population-lowest-since-1850-s.html in 1910 30% of the population lived on farms–and while dad may have been the “farmer” and mom the “farmer’s wife”, both were economic producers and both helped raise the kids. How many of the non-farm workers at that time lived behind the store so to speak, and both Mom and Dad worked in that Mom & Pop business? The poor have always needed two incomes to make ends meet. You are right about non-family paid caregivers being a relatively new phenomenon for the middle class (the upper class has hired help for centuries and I’m not about to guess how much time which moms spent with kids when they have governessess and maid and tutors to deal with them) but we are also living in a society where Grandma is older, more independent and possibly far away. Small families mean that big sister isn’t there to watch the little ones and economic independence for women means that the maiden aunt isn’t living with her big brother and helping care for his kids.

  • Collin Wahlund

    It seems to be a very popular trend these days.

  • Ann… you actually did say that.

  • Marianne

    Just as a note, my response has still yet to be allowed to post, so another person chiming in to say that I had a charitable dissonant response yet was not allowed to participate in the discussion.

  • Yes, others have told me that they have submitted comments that have not been posted. None of mine have appeared, to my knowledge.

  • Marianne

    I can still see mine as pending if I go back….

  • Interesting. Mine never showed up as pending at all.

  • Amanda

    You do you, Boo. Even if you don’t consider yourself a leftist SJW you’re using their tactics here to silence people from having an opinion which differs from your own. Get over yourself.

  • Hi Amanda, can you please explain how I am attempting to silence anybody? I don’t understand what you mean.

  • Colette

    “Even if you don’t consider yourself a leftist SJW…”

    Get over yourself, Amanda. Don’t use the “leftist SJW” concept to box in and discredit people when it’s convenient for you to do so.

    As for tactics used to silence people having an opinion that differs from their own, I think Leila’s own policing of her combox and her “Aw shucks, this is isn’t any different than what I’ve been saying all along” response are really what’s telling about this whole kerfuffle. It’s true that her post on Saturday has pretty much been her message all along, but her usually subtle tone shifted and it struck a nerve that plenty of people found uncharitable.

    The issue at hand is Leila’s writing opinion and presenting it as fact.

  • Collin Wahlund

    Funny, I thought using convenient labels rather than logically debating the merits was the “SJW” thing to do. It would appear to be sickly common on the right as well, who theoretically should know better.

    You sure have a big mouth for someone who has been “silenced”. “Get over yourself”? Back at you lady.

  • Lisa

    The thing is, the person who made this whole thing about working moms was YOU, not Leila. I skimmed her post initially, then saw the whole blow up and a bunch of comments about it, including your “direct quotes,” then I went back and actually read what she wrote. I know many, many people have told you that your took her words out of context. Nowhere have I seen you acknowledge that, so there’s probably no sense in my trying, but here goes anyway: You added “A working mother…” before all her quotes. She did not say these things about working moms. You misinterpreted it as that, and so quoted her as saying it. Again, YOU were the one who made this a fight between SAHM and working moms. Even in the comments, when people tried to goad her, she refused to make it about moms who work.
    How many people read your rebuttal first, and then went to her blog ready for a fight, reading things that weren’t there, because you put the thought in their heads that this was what the post was about? Even worse, how many people refused to read what Leila ACTUALLY said, not wanting to give her additional clicks, and so now believe her to have said things SHE NEVER SAID because you so horribly misrepresented her?
    I’m glad you apologized publically for responding to her post in anger. But what about inventing a fight, then accusing someone else for starting it?

  • Um… I really disagree. Her post was filled with passive-aggressive jabs at working moms, and I only saw the article in the first place because it was posted in my CWM FB group, and a LOT of members were upset by it.

    I did not invent a fight. Leila thought she needed to build SAHMs up by tearing working moms down.

    Also, I would not have written the post at all if she would have published my comments to her post in the first place. I was willing to hash it out there and get clarity on what she meant. But she wouldn’t (and still hasn’t), *and* she doubled down in the comments when other people objected and said they were hurt by her words.

  • For example, here is the perspective of another group member: https://itsageeklife.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/this-is-not-ok-lmld-drama/

  • Melissa

    We all know Leila didn’t “viciously attack working mothers”. Are you kidding? I have never seen Leila write or say anything that is against Catholic teaching. How do you see her post as falsehoods against Church teaching? How could you be so offensive and inflammatory and expect to gain respect? How do you see this as fulfilling your “duty as a Catholic”? Far from it, Joanne.

  • My name is not Joanne.

    Please tell me were Catholic teaching says that all working mothers neglect their children.

    Please tell me where Catholic teaching says that a working mom is incapable of making a peaceful home.

    Please tell me where Catholic teaching says that society is worse off with working mothers in the workforce.

    Please tell me where Catholic teaching says I woman who works must have her husband fight her battles for her.


  • Melissa

    We all know Leila didn’t say any of these things.

  • She did. I quoted the instances where she did so. Also, I am not the only one who said so: https://itsageeklife.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/this-is-not-ok-lmld-drama/

  • Sarah

    Your apology is very charitable and measured, but I think you’re letting her off the hook a bit too easily 🙂 Could you have sat on your blog post for a day and cooled off before posting? Maybe. But Leila’s words (from your screencap) say it all. She HEAVILY implied that children are at a disadvantage when women work outside the home, and that being outside the home is not the “natural” place for women. She can argue all she wants about “Oh heavens no, gracious, those are not my LITERAL WORDS!” but there’s a thing called subtext, and hundreds of people read it loud and clear. She deserves to be challenged on this and I’m glad you did it.

  • Thank you for your kind words, Sarah.

  • Jennifer

    I am so saddened by the comments I am reading here. Leila Lawler in no way deserves this harsh treatment. JoAnna, I’ve never seen your blog before and I have no idea how many children you have or how old your children are. But, apparently, in addition to working outside the home, you spend significant amounts of time involved in contentious blog discussions. How sad. The spirit of your blog is un-Christlike and discouraging.

  • Jennifer

    One more thought. Leila has something that you do not have JoAnna— perspective. I’ve just read your “about” page. You have been married for 14 years. Leila, I’m guessing, has been married for about 40. She just might have a much broader, more mature, wiser perspective than you do. She is seeing more of the end of the road of her choices. You are not, yet.

  • I have six, ages 13 to 1, plus four in heaven. And I usually blog at night after they are asleep. Is that allowed?

  • I wonder how much time Leila’s blog takes away from her husband, children, and grandchildren?

  • I’m doing what I believe God has called me to do. That’s all any of us can do, isn’t it?

  • givelifeachance2

    I have great sympathy for working mothers except when they reject sympathy. To days economy makes sole providership hard but the payoff for homeschooling is indeed remarkable.