The last six months have taught me a lot about a world that, before Dan lost his job, I knew very little of personally. You see, I have been blessed to be able to stay at home and raise my little ones. Sure, I worked a couple months after Philip was born, but it wasn’t the same. When I entered the workforce six months ago, I had four kids close in age and no end in sight when I would be home again. I was officially a working mom.
Here are some things I learned while living in the world of the working mother:
1) It’s hard! You feel this pull inside of you: you want to be home with your children but you also know that what you are doing helps your family stay afloat during financial hard times. I didn’t meet one working mom who didn’t wish she could be home with her kids.
2) Balance. You have to learn to balance work, family, and husband. You learn to put aside anything that takes away from those because you simply do not have the time to do anything else. It was during those months that I finally and completely gave my writing over to God. I was willing to walk away from my dream in order to help my family. However, in the fullness of time, God had other plans.
3) Most women work because they have to. I found in this depressed economy, whichever spouse could find a job, that was the one who worked. I want to bring this up because a misconception I ran into was most women who work do it to have the second car or nicer house or more spending money. Not true. Almost every woman I worked with did it because she had to.
4) If a woman is working, her husband is a bum. Another misconception out there. Yes, there are bums for husbands, but most are either going back to school because they could not find a job in their current field, or the wife was able to find a good paying job faster than the husband could. Is it ideal? Perhaps. I have seen families work quite well with the husband home.
5) We need to support working mothers. They need encouragement. They already feel bad about leaving their families without the added pressure from their peers. Instead, take a working mother out for lunch. Give her a note or a hug. Watch her kids so she can have a date with her husband. Remind her God loves her and through Him, she can get through this time.
I love being home again. But I am also glad I worked. I was able to help my family out during a difficult time. I realized how many missed opportunities I had with my children before I went back to work. I met some amazing women. I learned what their world is like. And I learned to rely on God for strength to make it each day.