Friday, August 27, 2010

Thoughts on Being a Working Mom

So, I wrote that I have been taking a break from blogging....from writing blogs and from reading blogs. I also wrote that I may one day blog about why this break has been good for me. So, I think today's a good day! I'm not sure if I'm "back" but here are some of my latest thoughts.

Many of the blogs I have read, are those of stay-at-home, homeschooling moms. I don't know why that is or what brought me to those blogs. But I do read quite a few blogs of working moms, as well. Over the past few months, I have become increasingly discouraged about certain things in my life. Namely, the fact that I work outside the home, that I don't homeschool my kids.

One thing that I know about myself is that I'm brutally judgemental of myself. And I, way too often, compare myself to other people, thinking that they do ____(fill in the blank) better than I do. I was looking to these blogs, more importantly, to the women who write these blogs, and thinking that I don't measure up. That I'm doing this "mom thing" all wrong...that my children are getting short-changed. That I'm out of God's will for my life, because these Christian women say that if I am not at home, homeschooling my children, then I'm not fulfilling God's plan, I'm not doing what God intended a wife and mother to do.

This was a big deal. It sent me into a bit of a tailspin, affected my relationship with my husband, and made me doubt who I was as a mother.

So I quit. I quit reading their blogs, the ones that told me I was likely sinning against God by holding a teaching job. And I started reading God's word. And do you know what, when I am in God's Word, not other people's blog business, I get clearer answers of what I am supposed to be doing for my family. I now have such a peace about our situation, there has been virtually no stress over the past few weeks, compared to what I felt over this summer, when I wasn't working.

I do firmly believe that God puts godly people in our lives to speak to us, give us insight, affirm our choices, etc. And have had clear evidence of that recently, when dealing with other important decisions. However, I also know that the one true place to find answers in the choices that you have to make is in the Word of God, and that is what I have been doing and it's great.

Now I see that the uncertainty that I was feeling in whether or not I was doing the right thing working outside the home was not a God issue, so much as it was an issue of me feeling judged, judged by people who are Christians, people whose belief systems, for the most part, line up with mine. And that's hard, no matter who you are. There was a time, that I believed that the feeling that I got reading their stong, opinionated, almost-condescending words was the Holy Spirit convicting me and leading me in the way that I should go. But now I realize that if I'm immersed in studying the Word and am not feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit, then that was not what it was.

Please do not read this and think that I am speaking against SAHMs or homeschooling in any way. Hear me loud and clear when I say that I have great friends and an awesome sister who are at home with their children teaching them. And if that's what God called us to do, we would do it. However, that is not the ONLY way to raise healthy, happy, God-loving, people-respecting children. What I am speaking out against is the condescending, unloving, judgemental attitude that some working moms get from other moms. There are some things in life that are black-and-white, universally wrong for every person...murder, adultery etc. This is NOT one of those issues.

We are all mommas, and working mommas love our babies just as much as SAHMs love theirs (believe it or not, I've seen it argued that we do not). I'm not sure why there is even a "division" between the two, but there is. Wouldn't it be great if we could all be "just moms".

Over the past few weeks, I've settled into the realization that there is but one standard that I have to strive to live up to and that is the one of my God, not that of any "mommy blogger".

9 Sweet Comments:

  1. Chasity, I read your blog on a reader so I usually don't hop over to comment (even though I find myself nodding in agreement to so many of your posts!). I love your transparency and thoughts in this post.

    It makes me sad, too, when moms make others feel as if their way is the only godly way to mother. Growing up in a very legalistic environment, I was on both the giving and receiving end of this kind of judgmental spirit for a long time. That grieves me now. I'm grateful that God taught me about grace years ago, but I still regret the years I spent criticizing others.

    I have had to step back from certain kinds of blogs at different times as well, because they made me feel so inadequate. You are so right, God is the only one we have to answer to for how we raise our children, and he leads each of us differently. I so admire you and it's obvious by being around your kids that you are an amazing mom. Keep up the good work, my friend! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love this post! As a mom with a full-time job on a part-time I schedule I somewhat get to see both sides. I know though that I could never just be a stay-at-home mom. I love my career and I love what I do. I also have no problems sending my child to daycare 3 days a week. She is thriving in the environment, she learns from her teachers and other children. I am so blessed that God has allowed me the opportunity to do both. Work and Stay home.

    But, I despise talking to other stay-at-home moms who like to tell me that they would never consider working after having their children. Like you, I often wonder what gives them the right to judge those of us who choose to work.

    I hope one day my little one have learned that there are many different ways to be raised. There isn't a right or wrong way, there is just the best way for us.

  3. Wow. I had to stop and read twice, thinking I was reading my own blog. I struggle with this almost everyday. The fact that I don't want to SAH, or that I don't want to homeschool. Other Christian ladies I am friends with say that it's okay, but then their blog posts say otherwise. I am so glad that I stumbled on this blog post today. It reminded me that, at least for this season, working is what I am being called to do.

  4. Whew! I was a little nervous when I saw that I had comments to moderate. Thanks guys, for the affirmation.

    Stephanie, I too, admire you and the wonderful job you are doing with your kiddos...your kind words mean a lot to me.

  5. I am sorry that you felt this way when going to other blogs. I too am a full time working mom dividing my time between work, kids, husband and activities. The blogging is kind of like a retreat. Except when I find it taking over.

    I am your newest follower and I love your blog. I am awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award and would love for you to stop by and get it when you get a chance. I will never make you feel unwelcome!

    Have a great Monday.


  6. I happened upon your blog from another blog...and was intrigued to read your post and the comments left by others. I was immediately saddened that "Christian" women would have made you feel bad and judged you about choices you had made for your family. I'm new to reading and following blogs and thankfully haven't come across any "judgemental" ones. I'm glad that you immersed yourself in God's Word and found clarity about your decisions. Everyone needs to make their own choices about what is best for their families. Surround yourself with people that build you up, not tear you down! ~ Blessings

  7. There is a lot of "static" between moms that work outside the home and SAHM. I don't understand it...
    I wanted to stay home with my daughter, but wasn't able to at the time. Now that she is in 2nd grade I am at home and hoping for another one! For the first time I have time to work on scrapbooks, write, crafts, bake, etc, but I hear lots of comments by women who work outside the home. I guess there is always going to be negativity no matter what we do :)
    I agree wtih you...listen to His words, not the others. Although, there are tons of positive encouraging bloggy moms out there.
    Glad to find you!

  8. Don't worry about what other people say or think... the only opinion that matters is God's! We are not all carbon copies of each other - God made you with specific gifts and talents and while I feel called to stay home, my best friend feels she has been called out to the workplace. It is sad that people are judging others who are not doing what they are doing, but keep you head up and know that God has you in the exact place you are supposed to be!

  9. As a husband with a wife dealing with the exact same thing, I applaud this post.

    On the husband end of things, I find it crazy that people think I should get a second job so my wife can stay home, thus becoming a non-existent dad as well.

    Hosea 6:6 - For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.

    Our faith isn't one made up of people following rules to the detriment of their family for a framework that we've set up to resemble "God's Plan". I think God would be merciful to a family where both parents work to make ends meet so that they can both be active parents.