The "Christian wife and mother"

Susan Fenimore Cooper, daughter of James and an accomplished author in her own right, whispers this bit of sanity to those who would hear:
"A word more on the subject of home life, as one in which the interests of the whole sex are most closely involved. It is clear that those interests are manifold, highly important to the welfare of the race, unceasing in their recurrence, urgent and imperative in their nature, requiring for their successful development such devotion of time, labor, strength, thought, feeling, that they must necessarily leave but little leisure to the person who faithfully discharges them. The comfort, health, peace, temper, recreation, general welfare, intellectual, moral, and religious training of a family make up, indeed, a charge of the very highest dignity, and one which must tax to the utmost every faculty of the individual to whom it is entrusted. The commander of a regiment at the head of his men, the member of Congress in his seat, the judge on his bench, scarcely holds a position so important, so truly honorable, as that of the intelligent, devoted, faithful American wife and mother, wisely governing her household. And what are the interests of the merchant, the manufacturer, the banker, the broker, the speculator, the selfish politician, when compared with those confided to the Christian wife and mother? They are too often simply contemptible--a wretched, feverish, maddening struggle to pile up lucre, which is any thing but clean. Where is the superior merit of such a life, that we should hanker after it, when placed beside that of the loving, unselfish, Christian wife and mother--the wife, standing at her husband's side, to cheer, to aid, to strengthen, to console, to counsel, amidst the trials of life; the mother, patiently, painfully, and prayerfully cultivating every higher faculty of her children for worthy action through time and eternity?"
While Miss Cooper's handling of the subject hits rather bluntly upon our modern sensibilities, her essay, Female Suffrage: A Letter to the Christian Women of America, is worth a perusal. Find it here.