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Here is an interview with the founder of Hearts at Home, Jill Savage. For some reason, I cannot get her picture to upload! I'm sure there is a good one on their website. When you attend a conference, you see her in person and honestly, she seems like a mom! I mean that as a compliment. 🙂
1. Your organization’s purpose is to help mothers love their lives. Why is motherhood often looked down upon in today’s society?
I think we associate money with value. When a mother contributes to the family in a non-monetary way, we have wrongly assumed that the contribution isn’t as valuable as a monetary contribution.
2. Should a bright, intelligent, educated and professional young woman shy away from being a wife and mother if, in her heart, she desires to be?
We have the most educated generation of mothers we’ve ever had. We have more mothers with college degrees than any other preceding generation. That makes the decision to solely be a wife and mother an even harder decision to make. I believe however, that full-time motherhood is a valid career choice. A woman who desires to be at home for a season of time is not throwing her education away. As the founders of the former Mothers at Home group used to say, “She is simply applying her good mind and exceptional skills to the nurturing of her family.” And that is valuable!
3. What does it mean to professionalize motherhood?
Most moms answer the “what do you do” question with “Oh, I’m just a mom.” That answer alone speaks volumes about the lack of value she feels about what she does everyday. However, when a woman thinks of motherhood as a valid profession, she carries herself differently. A professional sets goals, seeks out continuing education, and sees her contribution to society in a positive way. When this woman answers the “what do you do” question, she responds with “I’m a wife and a mom and I love my job. I’m a woman committed to the profession of motherhood.”
4. How do you run an international ministry and still be the mother you’re instructing others to be?
15 years ago when Hearts at Home had our first mothering conference, we were expecting about 500 moms to attend. When 1100 mothers from 10 states showed up we realized that what we meant for a one-time event, God meant for the birth of a ministry. One of my early prayers was, “Lord, if this is going to be bigger than my vision, you have to send me many moms to make the work light.” God has answered that prayer over and over again. We have over 150 moms and about a dozen dads that serve the Hearts at Home ministry year-round. They each take one little piece of the puzzle and do their job well. I may be the most visible voice and face of the ministry, but home is still my priority.
5. What is the meaning of the name “Hearts at Home?”
There are so many good things that a mom can do—not just in the workplace, but also in the volunteer arenas. Before we know it, our heart is tugged in so many different directions. We encourage women to keep their heart at home—making their family their first priority—because we only have one chance to raise our kids.
6. Why must mothers make sure that their hearts are at home?
Most of us don’t realize just how fast our kids grow up. In the blink of an eye your kid moves from a Happy Meal to Value Meal #9! When you keep your heart at home, you make the most of this unique season of motherhood.
7. Does this mean you discourage mothers from working outside the home? How do you respond to those who do?
Hearts at Home makes no judgment call on those who work outside the home. We do, however, know that women who consider motherhood their profession need a cheerleader and that’s what we’re able to be for them. They also need quality resources that help them be the best wife and mother they can be. Honestly, though, most of the resources available through Hearts at Home would encourage any mom and we have a lot of working moms that attend our conference events and tap into our resources.
8. What’s the foundation for being a successful mother?
I believe it’s understanding our value in Jesus Christ. If a mom is trying to find her value in how her children look or behave, she’ll always come up short. Children change all the time. And that’s like building your life on sinking sand. However, if a mom understands that her value is determined by the God who created her and loves her more than she can imagine, she has a firm foundation. God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And that’s like building your life on a solid rock.
9. How do you become the “intentional” mom that your family needs? What exactly does it mean to be intentional about motherhood?
Being intentional is about deliberately using the moments we are given with our children. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive. An intentional mom has a vision for her family and home environment and she pursues that with purpose and goals.
10. What universal, unchanging piece of advice would you give to all mothers?
In the words of my dear friend Charlene Baumbich, “Don’t miss your kids…they’ll be gone before you know it!”
We can’t go back and raise our kids again. We’re presented the opportunity just once. Use this season to the fullest and keep your heart at home.