As mothers there are many decisions we wrestle with daily. For me, none compares to the decision to be a working mom. I wrestle with this decision late at night, when I'm alone, when I'm quiet and able to spend time asking God if what I'm doing with my life is pleasing to Him.
Am I taking the easy way out? Am I the weaker version of a mother because I choose to work? Am I a BAD mother because I am not a stay-at-home mother? Am I neglecting my children's needs?
And honestly, sometimes I really have to fight to untangle the answers. It's really damn hard not finding your answers to these questions on the internet. The sweet, perfect blogs I love are full of stay-at-home moms, toiling in the vineyard of raising children and doing it so beautifully. And even in my lovely group of friends, which includes some kick-ass stay-at-home-moms. I see them taking their motherly duties in stride. And when I compare myself to them, I never measure up. Most of the time I feel less than. I feel like in the mom department, I'm not everything I need to be. And mostly, it's because I work.
On the days I am home with my kids (I work 4 days a week), I wake up with a smile on my face. Eager and excited for the joy and fun the day will bring. Then reality sets in. Most days with my
perfect children are well, less than perfect! There is blessing in it all. But those days, when I go to bed, I am drained. I am temperamental. My fuse is short. Some days, I can literally feel them chipping away at my strength. All mothers know this feeling. But stay-at-home-mothers, they really know this feeling! They live it day in and day out, with little to no breaks. They have a strength, I don't know, that I am envious of. On those days I go to work, it's hard, but really, somedays it seems the easier of choices (or so I tell myself).
The truth is, I enjoy being both a wife, a mother AND working outside the home. I thrive off of it. This is not to say it has not come without sacrifices, or frustration, or even sleepless nights. But it suits me. It even levels me. And most importantly, it allows me to give of myself to my family and to others with the gifts I have been given. It's miraculously how filled up I feel by giving of myself. In my home life and my professional life.
I have thought about quitting my job. Staying home. Being that vision of a mom that I idealize as being better than the kind I am. Especially on those days where my daughter misses her class field trip because I can't take her. Or when I miss that fun school activity that all the other moms are at, or even that day my little one takes her first steps and I'm not there to see it. It's really hard not being there for every moment and every memory.
But then I remember that I am allowed to have more than one passion, more than one goal, more than one gift. Without the chance to give of my gifts, and simultaneously get miraculously filled up, I do not feel myself. I was created by a Divine Hand that knew every desire of my heart before I ever breathed my first breath. So why fight what I have been called to do?
Simply put, in this season of my life, I am not called to be a stay-at-home-mom. Some are, and that is GREAT! But so is being a working-mom! One is not better than the other, they are simply unique and beautiful differences in each of us.
I love every minute with my kids, even when I want to crawl into the corner and die, I love it! Because love is a choice. I am their mother! I LOVE them when I feel it and when I don't. I also love my job and love working outside the home. As a counselor, I have the joy of helping someone gain clarity into their ability to overcome an obstacle in their life; being the aid to a new, life changing insight, or even just being along for the ride to a healthy and beautiful life. It's a gift! And God wouldn't want me to trade in one gift to receive another, would He? No! He would want me to be open to all the gifts he has to give. And sometimes the gifts he gives me are different than those he gives to the mom next door, but they are gifts none-the-less.
So fellow working mamas, here is a post for you, who like me, are juggling family life and professional life. Who somehow find extra hours of the day to make up for missed story times and snuggles, laundry and dishes, homework and date nights. Because whether you are working because you have to, need to, or want to, trust me, you are no less. Every mother proudly wears her supermom cape. We just get to take ours to work. Cheers!