Heather was recently posting about blogging with integrity. A couple of people were offended by a statement she made about working mothers. It wasn't at all the point of the post, but seemed to hit a nerve.
Should moms work or stay at home? It seems to be a hot topic.
Since reading the comments on Heather's post, my mind hasn't been able to rest. I keep thinking about the process that got me to where our family is now...ending with me staying at home with the children.
Before having children, I was certain that I would continue to pursue my career once I became a mom. During a conversation with a stay-at-home mom on the topic, I remember being offended when she said, "Why are you going to have children if you're not even going to raise them?" My prickly and direct response was, "Many moms work. Many children go to daycare and they turn out just fine."
At that point in my life, all I could think about was the blood, sweat and tears it took to get my degree. I was not about to waste all that work on raising children!
After I had Dylan, I dabbled in some contract work. I was trying to get the best of both...working and staying with my little guy. I would work only when he was sleeping and give him my full attention when he was awake. It resulted in the housework falling behind and having to give up far more sleep than I could afford.
I was a new Christian and hadn't yet gotten a handle on the fact that when I made a committment to Jesus, I was saying that I would put my plan aside and follow His. I also didn't think about how much this new Holy Spirit within me would guide me - if only I took the time to ask and to search His desires for me.
I now have 3 children and 1 on the way. I am committed to following the Lord's direction in all facets of my life. I am prayerful about decisions - the little ones and the big ones. 'Pray without ceasing.'
He has answered me clearly on this debate. He wants me to stay home with the children He has entrusted to me. He wants us to be the main influence on our children. He wants us to say no to the money and trust Him. He wants me to look to Him for approval and validation, not to my work. He wants me to obey Him.
Does this require sacrifice?
- My 'daycare' costs us around $70k per year. This is the money that I am saying no to when I stay home.
- Some people think my job isn't as important as a 'real' job.
- Some people think I'm wasting my degree.
- I get comments asking if I'm bored. Are you freakin' kidding me?
- There are days when I long for adult conversation.
- There are days when I hear the word 'Mom' and consider replying, "She's not here. She ran away."
But in this all, He has been merciful to me. He has changed my heart - my deep inside - to desire being at home. I do not desire to be away. I do not resent staying home. I desire to be my children's mom. Full-time.
There are some things that I just don't want to ask Him because, if I do, I may have to do something I don't want to. I want to close my eyes, put my fingers in my ears, and hum LOUDLY. "Hmmm, hmmmm, hmmm...I can't hear you..."
The problem with this is that His plans for us may be so much fuller than our wildest-imagined plans. You'll be missing out and not even know it!
So before entering into this hot debate, ask yourself if whatever you're doing - staying at home or working - is your plan or His.
End of debate.