Faith Moore is a proud mom-of-two and a talented writer. A sharp observer of culture and a passionate advocate for motherhood, Faith has published numerous books that challenge the feminist status quo. In her book Saving Cinderella: What Feminists Get Wrong About Disney Princesses and How to Set It Right, Faith explores the world of iconic Disney princesses while challenging the criticisms imposed upon their characteristics and femininity. Faith stands up against the "princess critics" by defending the essence of being a woman and motherhood.
Faith's articles have also been featured in several publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, and The Federalist. But beyond being a gifted writer, the author's greatest joy is in her family. She's a stay-at-home mom dedicated to raising her two boys. "Realistically, my day is very much spent lugging things up and down the stairs, pushing the stroller, school pick up and play dates, and that kind of thing," she tells me, sharing a glimpse of her daily life. "I would say I spend most of my time taking care of my kids and trying to spend a little bit of time with my husband, too."
Faith's deep convictions, creativity, and ability to spark meaningful conversations have been immortalized through her latest book, Christmas Karol. It's a modern retelling of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, in which the classic Ebenezer Scrooge is reimagined as a workaholic mom whose miserliness is not about money, but her inability to give precious time to her children. She's forced to journey through her past, present, and future, where she is awakened to the significance of her family.
Nicole Dominique: The whole idea of evaluating your priorities and values seems to be the central theme of your book. Would you say this theme is something that you have gone through and experienced yourself?
Faith Moore: "The book kind of looks at what would happen if a workaholic mom was given the opportunity to see what she’s missing back at home. It asks the question, what would happen if you could see what had led you to become a workaholic mom like this? Would you then make any changes to your life?
To your question, I always knew that I wanted to stay home with my kids. I was a teacher for many years, and I loved being a teacher. But when I got pregnant with my first child, which was about nine years ago, I thought, 'Great, perfect. I'm done now.' So I quit, and I have never looked back. I have two kids now; I have an almost 9-year-old and an almost three-year-old, and being home with them is the greatest joy of my life, and I would never ever change it. So, it actually wasn't me exploring something within myself. It was just a story that was on my heart that I think is relevant to our culture, in the sense that I think a lot of women are sold the narrative that they have to go out to work. And if my book helps them to take a step back and reevaluate what's important, I think that that would be great."
ND: Would you say that seeing unhappy women and the result of the modern lifestyle is more of what inspired "Christmas Karol?"
FM: "I got the idea right around the tail end of the pandemic. What had happened during the pandemic, of course, was that the working parents had to come home, and everyone was at home with their kids, trying to work full-time and parent full-time. So I was hearing a lot of other moms talk about how hard it was to suddenly be thrust into this role of full-time parent and full-time work.
I was surprised when I was hearing people say how wonderful it was to be with their kids all of a sudden and to witness all of the things that their kids do in their day that weren't seen before because their kids were at daycare or with the nanny or wherever their childcare was. Then, the pandemic ended, and everybody went back to work. Maybe some people did, but in my experience, people weren't taking that realization of how much they'd been missing and doing anything with it.
Christmas Karol is obviously based on Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. The wonderful thing about that story is that Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character that Karol is very loosely based on, goes through this whole experience of witnessing his past and his presence and his future; he has this whole supernatural experience, but in the end, he comes back, and nothing has changed for him. He's still an old man, his fiance is still long gone, his nephew that he was supposed to raise has grown up without him. The only thing that's different is his perspective on life. So I thought of that experience of home in the pandemic. Like that perspective shift where you realize, 'Hey, wait a minute, there's something different going on here, I'm missing something.' I started to wonder what it would be like if a workaholic mom could have that Ebenezer Scrooge moment and see what she was missing at home. Why she had become the way she had become. Would it change anything for her? That's what inspired the story."
ND: In the book, it quotes how “there is no later,” and how it's important to focus on the now and seize this moment. How do we remind ourselves to use this concept?
FM: "I think for women, what's important to think about is this concept of 'there is no later', which is really, really true with children. It starts with the fact that there's only a certain number of years in which we can have children. So, if you want to have kids – and I'm not saying that everyone should – but if you want to have kids, then you do need to organize your life. When your kids are born, there is a very small and finite number of years in which they're at home with you. My almost three-year-old has just started a couple of mornings of preschool. The time when he was exclusively with me is over. And my almost 9-year-old is at school every day of the week until 2:30, sometimes later.
There's only a certain number of years in which we can have children.
You know that the time your kids are with you diminishes, and it happens quickly, so if you decide to stay home, you've got probably two years when you're full-time with your kids, and then it gradually gets less and less. Then they graduate high school and go into the world, and that's what you want for them. If you think about it that way, you have a whole bunch of life afterwards that isn't about raising your kids.
When we think about our careers and our ambitions and all of the things that we want outside of the home and outside of our kids, I think we've been sold this narrative that we have to go out and we have to become girl bosses, and we've got to have a full-time job. If we're not doing that, then we're somehow not valuable, and we're not successful. First of all, you are valuable and successful. By raising children, I think probably even more than you might be going off to a day job, but that's just me. In the story, the whole concept of 'there is no later' is that she's been off at work and she's missed her kids’ first words. She doesn't know who her kids' friends are, and she doesn't know where they go to the playground or the words to the songs that they love; she doesn't know any of that. And then, it doesn't come again. Your kids are gone and grown, and that's it.
Whatever you're doing, whether it's parenting or working an office job, the time spent doesn't come again."
ND: Femininity is something that your book addresses as well. Can you talk a little bit about that?
FM: "Do you remember seeing that viral video where a woman puts her finger in the ring, and she sees herself scrubbing the dishes and vacuuming the floor and holding the baby? Then she takes her finger out of the ring and she's like, 'Thank you.' The idea was, if you get married, you'll just become this household drudge who has to scrub and clean, pop babies out, and all of that stuff. There's that side, which is sort of like, 'Kids are a total kind of ball and chain around my ankle that I just cannot abide.'
But then somebody made another video that was the same concept where they put their finger in the ring, and then it was a beautiful baby and the father walking with the baby, and how wonderful that was, the smiles and the beautiful home. It had the whole concept of, 'Why would you give up this life?'
I obviously fell much more into that camp, but I also think that there's something slightly harmful about that narrative as well – parenting actually is hard. There are these little people, and they're completely dependent on you, and there's a lot of diaper changes. There are a lot of bodily fluids. There's a lot of 'why' questions and temper tantrums that happen. So to make that lifestyle into this wonderful, blissful, and perfect kind of idea also sells women short. Because it sends them into the first camp, it sends them into the camp of 'No, it can't possibly be as blissful as that. You're lying to me.'
I think it's not so much like how much bliss you're going to be in forever, but it's how much joy – and joy is really different than bliss. It's how much the fullness of your life is not realized if you don't go after these kinds of basic things like family and kids. I'm not saying everyone has to have kids, and everyone has to get married. That's not true. But if you're giving it up because you think your quiet cup of coffee is more important than maybe being woken up a little early on the weekend, then you're mistaken. Social media is giving you these pictures, and all of them are wrong. The truth is much more subtle and much more unique to you. I think that what we need is to acknowledge that motherhood is hard and that marriage can be hard for some people. But it's also so worthwhile because it brings you into a whole other level.
The truth is much more subtle and much more unique to you.
Parenthood is kind of like unlocking the bonus level of a video game. You don't know that it's there. You can't possibly know what it's like until you get there. You can't tell someone what it's like to become a mother. You have to either do it or not do it, and that's totally your choice. But I don't think you should buy into all of these different memes and things that want to tell you what to do. I think you should make your own choices."
ND: What do you think about pursuing motherhood while also wanting to pursue a career?
FM: "Karol keeps saying in the story, 'I'm gonna quit.' She goes to work because she's trying to provide for her family, but once she has made enough money, she keeps saying, 'I'll quit when my kid’s five, I'll quit when they're in elementary school, I'll quit later.' She's forgotten that part of her life is finite and that all the things her kids are doing will never come again. Once she realizes that, she's able to reorganize her life so that her kids take priority. It’s not like she will never be a lawyer again. It's that she realizes that she needs to be here for herself; she needs to be here for this chunk of time because this chunk of time will not come again. And I think that's a way that people might be able to rethink the whole career/life/home balance.
You physically cannot work full-time and parent full-time. That's just not an option. The people who told you that were lying. If you want to figure out how to have a balance, you need to rethink what it means to have a family and to go to work. The first thing to say is that there are plenty of things that you can do that are not parenting while you are still parenting. I am a full-time, stay-at-home mom. I have very, very little healthcare, and I have no family living near me. And yet, I wrote a book, and here it is. I was able to do that because my kid takes a nap in the middle of the day for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, and I write during that time. Even when your kid is very small, there are little chunks of time that you can take.
You physically cannot work full-time and parent full-time.
Now, parenthood is not a complete amputation of everything else that makes you. It's just a reorganization of your priorities for a chunk of time in your life. I think it's not so much about 'How do I balance my full-time career with my kids?' It's kind of, like, you can't, so either you decide that you want to have a full-time career, and then you put your kids in daycare or whatever, and that's your choice, or you recalibrate what it means to have a career at this particular moment in your life when you also have kids that depend on you. I think that that's what we need to do. We need to step out of the narrative completely."
ND: There are a lot of women who still want to pursue a career but also find love. Do you think that’s possible? And if so, how do they do it?
FM: "First of all, I will preface all of this by saying that I was very lucky not to have to think about this. I met my husband on the first day of college just because we were in the same class together, so I never really had to date or be out in the world thinking about how to find a husband. I do recognize how difficult that is and how isolating, lonely, and depressing it can be though.
I think that one thing that is probably true for everyone is that if you are single and you don't have kids, pursuing a career path and the passions that light you up is probably the best way to attract a husband. I think that if you are feeling happy and fulfilled and good about yourself, and if you are doing the things that bring you joy, you’re going out into the world in ways that feel successful and productive to you, then you are going to attract the kind of people that you're looking for. In the book, there's a character whose life's goal is literally to find a husband and settle down and have children, and the Karol character can't understand this at all. But I love that character. If your goal is to find a husband and have as many children as you possibly can, and if that hasn't happened for you yet, you probably shouldn't be spending all of your time looking for a husband. I think that's going to give off a vibe that you probably don't want to be giving off.
It is more about being fulfilled as much as possible in your life and doing the things that bring you joy. It’s also a good idea to join the groups and places where you might find a husband. You shouldn't just follow the cultural norms of where you should be going to meet your husband. Join a church volunteer, maybe travel with some kind of humanitarian organization, or do the things that you love in the world. Then, hopefully, you will meet the people that you want to be meeting."
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