Balancing Life as a Working Mom

Posted by  | Sunday, August 24, 2008  at 7:38 PM  
I promise this will be my last post of the week! We had someone email and ask for advice on balancing life as a working Mom. I attempted to do this myself for about a year and a half. I say "attempted" because it is NOT easy. Will was born in June 2006 and I went back to teaching at the beginning of September. I worked until going on bedrest with Adeline in February of this year. I honestly do not have much else to offer and I'm hoping that a few of our readers that work will chime in.

What I can say is that it is definitely one of the hardest things I've ever done! So many things make it difficult and it is so easy to have "mommy guilt" over leaving your little one. I think I called home to check on Will every day (sometimes more than once) for his first year of life. Actually, it helped me pump more milk if I talked about him and got an update before heading to pump! That's another post though...

The only encouragement I can offer about "mommy guilt" is that if you are seeking the Lord and his will for your life and your family - then you are right where you need to be. It was my plan that I would leave teaching at the end of the 06-07 school year to stay home. In January of 2007 I had to submit a form to my school declaring my intent for the next year and after praying about it, I did NOT have a peace about staying home. I wanted to, but I just didn't feel the Lord leading me to stay home then no matter how long it had been MY plan. The following year, it came time for the same form and this time I was 100% certain that it was time for me to stay home. Pray that the Lord would give you a peace about where you are best serving your family.

I was truly blessed during my time as a working Mom to have GREAT people caring for my son. My husband stayed home one day a week to watch Will and do schoolwork. We called these "Dad days" and he was also able to do chores for me as well. My mother-in-law also watched Will one day a week and we had a sitter for the rest of the week. She and her husband are now like Will's (and Adeline's) third set of grandparents. He still sees them weekly and they love him like their own.

The only practical tip that I have to offer is to prepare everything the night before!! Pack lunches, diaper bags, school bags, my breastpump...EVERYTHING. I was not very good at this, but the days I did do it all ahead of time were SO much easier. I had time to get up, get ready, spend time with the Lord, pray with my husband and still get out the door on time.

Any other tips or advice from our working Moms?


Shannon said...

Thank you so much for this. I don't work outside the home right now, but I have friend who do. I would love to hear anyone else's experiences too.

Corrie said...

As a first time mommy, and a working mom, I was glad to see SOMEone talk about working and raising their family. I am actually the only one in my group of about 7 moms that works, so no one can fully relate to the ache in my heart when I have to leave Isaac all day. However, we are blessed beyond measure with an amazing family that watches Isaac and of course my mom is a godsend as well. My husband and I know we are blessed with incredible jobs that allow some flexibility to take care of "I" when he is sick or just needs mommy/daddy days, however as a mommy my heart longs (more some days then others) to be with my son all day, however I am at peace knowing that this is a season, and God does ultimately have a plan, and that plan is what is best for our family.
My friend Shannon :) asks how I do what I do and stay sane, well I don't sleep much. My mom had an interesting perspective, the busier I am the more I find time to get things accomplishe,does that make sense? Yes I work 8 hours and then 5-6 more when I get home (with the fam) but its so worth it and I don't really feel all that busy, yes I like to veg at the end of the day, but sleep will some eventually.
Thank you for mentioning working moms again, I appreciate knowing that not everyone gets to stay home with their kiddos and that you survived :) I also am encouraged to know that God will have His way with our family, and He knows the exact desires we have, because He placed them there.

erinboydodom said...

Thank you so much for sharing about being a working mom. It was also MY plan--as well as my husband's--to stay at home once we had kids, but at this time it is in GOD'S plan that I be working. My baby girl was born in June, and I had to go back to teach Aug. 1. It was supposed to just be temporary because my husband and I are headed towards the mission field, but our house hasn't sold, so we don't know how long it will really be. The hardest part has been leaving her, but God has given me a great job, and our family could not make ends meet without this provision. (My husband works part-time at our church and is in seminary.) I was going to not sign my contract to return, but I did after my boss talked me into it. Now, I am so glad I did!

I am able to pump at work, so my baby girl is still exclusively breastfed, and a sweet lady in our church is keeping her.

I thought I would never have the energy to work and take care of my baby, but I actually have more energy now then when I was pregnant. Part of that could be that she still isn't mobile. :)

I used to think God's plan was for every woman to stay at home. I think that is ideal, but now I realize there may be seasons where He takes us to the workplace for various reasons. I am getting to be a Light for Him there until we leave for the mission field, and it makes it easier knowing it won't be forever.

I think before I was in the situation where I had to work I was a little judgmental of working moms. Now I realize that some women really do have to work for a time--and it's not sinful to do so.

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