“Women who work outside the home show little regard for their children or their husbands.” Comments like this one make me want to pull my hair out.
What do you think of when you hear that? Do you agree? Do you think that a woman with this mindset runs her life like this:
She's up at 6 am.
On the phone and out the door by 7:30, just before the kids are up.
Around 7 pm she rolls in, phone attached to her ear with 2 hours of work to get done in the office. Work makes money and it takes money to run a house.
By the time she's done the kids are getting ready for bed.
A quick kiss goodnight on their foreheads but there's no time to linger, money must be made and they'll be fine on their own, they school and the daycare get good money to see to that.
What if there's a different working mom? What does their day look like? Some people never stop to consider the other side of the coin. They lump every working woman into the above scenario. Let me give you a glimpse of another working mom:
4:15am – alarm rings and it's time to get up.
Make baby food.
Pack husband's lunch and fix his coffee.
Bake some sourdough bread and starts the crockpot for dinner.
Devotions, coffee, and breakfast.
Cuddles or at least gentle touches if the baby is still asleep.
Out the door by 6:30 am
After quitting time it's home to cuddle and play, clean and organize.
Put the baby to bed, prep for the morning and call it a night with The Hubs by 8:30.
That was my life for 2 years. Shortly after our son turned one I had to return to the office. I had been working for home for eight month but restructuring of the organization where I worked led me back to the office full time. I was devastated. No, I wasn't the only one who had to go back to the office in the change but I was the only one leaving my child behind.
Shortly after our son turned one I had to return to the office. I had been working for home for eight months but restructuring of the organization where I worked led me back to the office full time. I was devastated. No, I wasn't the only one who had to go back to the office in the change, but I was the only one leaving my child behind.
With that change, my life took on a whole new dynamic of early mornings and little down time as worked to maintain the lifestyle I was building for our family. I had just begun learning about the traditional food lifestyle and we made all our baby food.
My life wasn't about working for the next promotion, gaining status or bringing home money to support a lavish lifestyle. My life was about my family and our goals. We were working our way to being debt free so I could reduce how much I had to work but leaving was not an option at that time.
Reasons Moms Go To Work
Not every woman who works wants to. According to this poll, 54% of women with children under age 18 would prefer to stay home.
Some working moms work outside the home because they must. Like me, they need the income to support the family. Yes, we could point the finger at them and say they didn't' plan well, were too frivolous or unwise stewards. Or, maybe we could just understand that they need to work. We don't need to tell them all the ways they could cut their budget so they can stay home. If their heart' desire is to stay home, they probably know those things. Maybe they're going through financial coaching like we did. Maybe they're working on eliminating credit card debt and living within a budget.
How about we pray for them to be able to endure the season they are in. To learn from it and to be surrounded by God's grace to build a strong family even while they work.
Some working moms never planned to have children. They didn't think it was their calling and didn't have a desire so they built a life around not having children and so they never considered a day when they would. This too was me. I didn't even really like kids if I'm honest. I never thought we'd have children so working was the only logical thing for me to do. The Lord totally changed my heart to not only like kids but to have my own. It was a slow but radical heart transformation for me. Our life had to change, which was slow but radical too.
Some working mom work because they feel called to a ministry that takes them out of the home. This is not me, I was not called to the office, in fact, I cried for 6 months to and from work asking God to please remove me. But some women are called to careers that life-changing for people around them. They minister to those who no one else would ever be able to minister to.
Working Moms Are People Too
Working mothers are not horrible people. They can and do manage their homes, make meals from scratch and spend time cuddling with their children. It isn't easy, it isn't always ideal but it can and does happen. Far from society's perception of the working woman who can't really stand her children, is the woman like me who sacrifices girl time, hobby time sleep to see that her family was well cared for while she worked.