Any Moms out there convicted about work/Motherhood?


#1

Well, I have just about had it. Since my child was born, I have cut back more and more and more. Now I'm down to the last few remnants of work that takes away from my family time. I still do some side jobs on weekends, but that doesn't effect the flow of our home.

Long story short - the Church teaches some WONDERFUL things in regard to Motherhood and family life.

In comes down to this: as long as we can cut the superfluous things like cable, etc I will keep cutting back work! I did not spend all these years educating myself and teaching other children to not be fully present with my own child.

Okay I just had to say that! I have a really, really hard time not letting the stress from work enter my family life.


#2

:hug1: Yeah, I grew up in a great home life where my mom was a stay at home mom and she did in home daycare. I however, thought I didn't really want children and wanted to work a great job. :p So I pursued not only my undergrad degree but also a law degree. I got married after undergrad to my wonderful dh and we got pregnant right away. I am now pregnant with my second baby in my third year of law school and realize that I was a poor lost soul when I was younger with my ideas about what I wanted to be. ;)

I have discovered my true vocation as a wife and mother. A job is not a vocation. No matter how much I like school, or the practice of law, my vocation is with my family. Now my earning potential is much higher than my dh's and the loans have really piled up from my schooling. I wonder sometimes if I made a mistake, but so far we have worked it so my dh or myself have always been home with ds. So I have gotten the best of both worlds so far. And God has always provided for us. But I wish I had been taught/maybe paid more attention to the beautiful teachings of the Church on womanhood/motherhood.


#3

I have been so blessed to be able to be home with my sons since before the oldest was born. I did finish up my undergrad degree when I was 5 mos. pregnant with the 2nd one. I wanted to quit, because I get very sick for the first 3 mos of pregnancy, and I didn't want to put our 1st son into day care AT ALL, but now I am thankful that dh pushed me to finish. I never would have finished once the 2nd one was born. Life got crazy with 2 sons 28 mos. apart!

I knew I was born to be a mom when I had my first baby...I had found my purpose in life. But I had always supported myself and I did miss certain aspects of the working world, like finishing a task without being interrupted! Getting a paycheck! Adult conversation! Eating lunch in peace and quiet! Getting praise for things I did! All of that paled in comparison to being able to put my sons down for their naps every day, knowing that they weren't sharing their day with total strangers but with me. I was there for every single doctor appointment, I kissed every boo-boo, I got to see their first steps and hear their first words. And, I honestly do not know how women can cope with having a career and a family. It took everything I had just to care for the kids and the home - if I had to also spend 8-10 hours a day at work...well, let's just say I would not be a very nice person. To say the least. Of course we had our first son when I was 32 so that is a big factor in how much energy/stamina I had (or didn't have).

It is the best job I ever had and I am SO GRATEFUL to God and to my husband that I am able to still be here even though mine are almost grown. You will have years after your kids are older to pick up a profession, if you wish to. There will be another stage of life after they grow up, if you stay healthy, and work will be waiting for you.

I am so glad that you won't have to use all your best energy at work, but can give it to your family!

:thumbsup::dancing::extrahappy:


#4

just a note
find the balance between duty to your child, your husband, your home, the rest of your family, your church, work, community etc, that works for YOU and your family. Listen politely to outside advice, especially from those who know you well, but don't be too quick to jump on it. When that input comes from your husband, drop everything and sit down to discuss and come to agreement on the issue.


#5

Wow!
This is great advice for ANY mother.
I love that a job is a job and a vocation is a vocation. Powerful, indeed.

I just feel God calling ME to be home. I'm lucky that I can play music and things on weekend when DH can watch the toddler. Otherwise, I'm home. I love it.


#6

Also, to any moms who want to be home, be prepared that if you hit any rough spots when you are having difficulties with your kids, feeling overwhelmed, and you express this to any friends you might have who work, you will get LOTS of advice to just dump your kids in daycare and go back to work. The world will tell you that the kids will be just fine without you and that you need to do something for yourself. If you listen to the popular viewpoint, you won't solve the problems, you will just trade them for other problems...

I never had to send either of my sons to school or daycare when they were sick. DH never had to take off work to stay with them because I was always there for them. And I really mean NEVER, not once in 18 years of our older son's life did dad have to stay home with him. Imagine how miserable these little mites must be, wanting to be at home in their own bed but having to go to school because there is no one who can stay at home with them! Or having a parent who is at home, but resentful because he or she has to stay home and may not be paid by the employer.

These are things that spouses need to be reminded of. We at-home moms (I run around more than most people, so I don't like that label) may not get a paycheck, but we make the paycheck possible by sacrificing to be at home with our kids. If I had been paid for every job I did when the kids were younger, I'd have been making easily $250K.


#7

Great thread! I am convicted about work/Motherhood in that I am confident being a working mom is my vocation. I love that I can show my daughter that it is possible to be able to be a good mother and a good teacher (or doctor, or nurse, or accountant, or lawyer, or whatever she chooses to be). I also love that I am able to have something that is completely my own (my job) so that I can not depend on my children as my sole daily fulfillment. (This caused a problem for one of my sahm friends who was lost when the youngest moved out.) I also love that I am contributing to my family's income while also contributing to the work involved in taking care of my home. It may not be perfectly manicured, but it works for us. :)

That said, When I was a sahm I could have made a list nearly as long as being both a wm and sahm both have wonderful advantages. I have learned that there is no"right" or "wrong" for any family. Each family needs to find what it needs to be nourished.


#8

I think it's definitely a balance, and each family probably has a different way of figuring out that balance.

In a few months I'll be finished nursing school, and after that I'll work part time (nights/weekends). For us, it means that we are able to have a little more financial flexibility and takes some of the pressure of my husband to solely provide in such a high cost of living area, while also having me home with the kids during the day. Also, I really enjoy the few hours I get out of the house for school. I think it makes me a better wife and mother.


#9

[quote="sharmin, post:7, topic:218695"]
Great thread! I am convicted about work/Motherhood in that I am confident being a working mom is my vocation. I love that I can show my daughter that it is possible to be able to be a good mother and a good teacher (or doctor, or nurse, or accountant, or lawyer, or whatever she chooses to be). I also love that I am able to have something that is completely my own (my job) so that I can not depend on my children as my sole daily fulfillment. (**This caused a problem for one of my sahm friends who was lost when the youngest moved out.) **I also love that I am contributing to my family's income while also contributing to the work involved in taking care of my home. It may not be perfectly manicured, but it works for us. :)

That said, When I was a sahm I could have made a list nearly as long as being both a wm and sahm both have wonderful advantages. I have learned that there is no"right" or "wrong" for any family. Each family needs to find what it needs to be nourished.

[/quote]

Yes, this can be a problem for us "just a mom" types. The empty nest is kind of a shock, and I have found it difficult to think about another career after already experiencing the best job I've ever wanted. I feel a bit lost already since our 1st son is in college. Hubby wants me to work with him but I need to keep some independence since I already work for him at home. I do wish I'd kept up some employment, even if very part-time, but at certain points in our lives, it was nearly impossible to have that kind of commitment since hubby works so much and now is traveling a lot again.

You're right that every individual and family needs to work it out for themselves. I do wish that women who want to be home with their kids didn't have to feel that they are somehow less than working moms. There just isn't a right way and some days, neither choice seems perfect.


#10

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:9, topic:218695"]
I do wish that women who want to be home with their kids didn't have to feel that they are somehow less than working moms. There just isn't a right way and some days, neither choice seems perfect.

[/quote]

It's so funny you say that. When I was a sahm I felt that I was made to be less than a working mom. Now that I work full time, I'm also made to feel less than a sahm. I always hear "MY children are my first priority." or "I choose to be a full time mom" (like wms are only part time moms...lol). ANyway, I don't necessarily hear it on this board, just in general. We moms can be so mean to each other and I think it reflects an insecurity in the decisions we have made.


#11

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:6, topic:218695"]
Also, to any moms who want to be home, be prepared that if you hit any rough spots when you are having difficulties with your kids, feeling overwhelmed, and you express this to any friends you might have who work, you will get LOTS of advice to just dump your kids in daycare and go back to work. The world will tell you that the kids will be just fine without you and that you need to do something for yourself. If you listen to the popular viewpoint, you won't solve the problems, you will just trade them for other problems...
.

[/quote]

AMEN!

After my son was born, all my ideas of working turned upside down. I even went to traditional therapy and was told that I could "have it all" and "daycare was good for him" and "I needed my downtime," etc. etc. After a year and a half of crying, stress, and anti-depressants, I did it the way my heart was telling me to and I have not looked back. It blew my mind that trained social workers would even admit "If you can stay home with him that great!" but then seem to run out of ways to help me do it. Well, we ARE doing it. It is a sacrifice, but I am no longer a crazy basket case trying to juggle it all.

I do have interests and things that nurture my own soul, but not at the expense of my child.


#12

[quote="atara, post:11, topic:218695"]
AMEN!

...After a year and a half of crying, stress, and anti-depressants, I did it the way my heart was telling me to and I have not looked back.

[/quote]

The title of this thread is fitting! I am definitely convicted about my vocation as a wife and mother. By contrast, when I went back to work for one year when my second child was 4 months old, I was definitely in constant anxiety and conflict. Looking back, I see the opportunity God gave me to be able to stay at home then, but I refused to trust Him for that year. One of my greatest regrets is that year when I wasn't home with him. Now I am home with my kids and wouldn't have it any other way. Our budget is a constant challenge. We don't have cable TV, and our grocery list is more often a wish list than a plan. But we have a nice roof over our heads and never go hungry. God's plan is indeed great!


#13

I can't say I'm really convicted one way or the other, because I have the best of both worlds, but I do know that DH and I refuse to ever put the kids in daycare if anything should ever change. At that point, I would be a full time SAHM.

For the past 6.5 years, we've been flip flopping. I work 2 days a week out of the house so I get my "adult career" time while DH stays home with the kids, then DH works 2 (sometimes 3) days a week out of the house while I am home with the kids.

The other 3 days (sometimes 2) we are home together all day.

If we didn't have our lives set up this way I doubt we'd have as many kids as we do, both for financial reasons and mom-going-insane reasons! :D


#14

[quote="atara, post:11, topic:218695"]
AMEN!

After my son was born, all my ideas of working turned upside down. I even went to traditional therapy and was told that I could "have it all" and "daycare was good for him" and "I needed my downtime," etc. etc. After a year and a half of crying, stress, and anti-depressants, I did it the way my heart was telling me to and I have not looked back. It blew my mind that trained social workers would even admit "If you can stay home with him that great!" but then seem to run out of ways to help me do it. Well, we ARE doing it. It is a sacrifice, but I am no longer a crazy basket case trying to juggle it all.

I do have interests and things that nurture my own soul, but not at the expense of my child.

[/quote]

I got a lot of pressure from the school, because I did let both my sons go to pre-school starting at age 3, but only a couple of days a week, half-days until kindergarten (I thought it was insane to pay someone to watch them take a nap!). The teachers would tell me that my son would learn so much more if I'd just let him come full-time. I even knew several moms who didn't work but their kids were in "school" full-time from age 3 all the way through! Other moms would start getting restless when summer would be coming on; I used to celebrate the start of summer because it meant I could have my kids to myself for 3 mos.!! I used to cry when they went back in the fall!! I loved being home with them. I never felt one moment of regret or boredom. We did all kinds of fun things and I am so fortunate that I got to live all the memories. It used to break my heart when a kid would go through a milestone at school, and then the teacher had to tell the parent about it instead of the parent seeing it first-hand.

I realized that for the school, of course it was money for them if I increased my sons' time there...and I just ignored them. It was a little harder when my 2nd son wanted to go full-time and even after-school, because that is what his friends did (usually working single mothers). He actually felt deprived because he got to come home after school! :eek:


#15

To be fair, this isn’t exactly true. I am a preschool teacher who encourages the parents to send them full time if it seems like they could use it. NOT becuase of the money. I don’t make any more money by suggesting that to parents. I do it because I believe it’s in the best interest of my students.


#16

[quote="sharmin, post:15, topic:218695"]
To be fair, this isn't exactly true. I am a preschool teacher who encourages the parents to send them full time if it seems like they could use it. NOT becuase of the money. I don't make any more money by suggesting that to parents. I do it because I believe it's in the best interest of my students.

[/quote]

Oh I know the teachers don't make any more money, but this was a very small school and if they didn't keep their enrollment up, some of them might have lost their jobs. It wasn't a hard sell, but I did hear the comment on a regular basis, and there was no need for it, since my sons were both very well-adjusted and did just fine. And, I was not working and we honestly didn't need to spend that much money for no good reason. In addition to the fact that I loved my sons and wanted to be with them as much as possible, and I believe I was the best person for that job since God loaned them to me, not the school.

I loved subbing in the preschool and pre-K classes though. What fun ages. I just felt bad when the very little ones missed their mommies and cried.

:(


#17

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:16, topic:218695"]
Oh I know the teachers don't make any more money, but this was a very small school and if they didn't keep their enrollment up, some of them might have lost their jobs. It wasn't a hard sell, but I did hear the comment on a regular basis, and there was no need for it, since my sons were both very well-adjusted and did just fine.

[/quote]

I guess you're right that it does help the school with enrollment, but I think it's sad that you assume that's why they said it. I know I've never recommended full time preschool with enrollment in mind. It's like assuming the worst in people. I hope my parents would never think that. Like I said, I suggest it because I believe it's in the best interest of that particular child.

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:16, topic:218695"]
I loved subbing in the preschool and pre-K classes though. What fun ages. I just felt bad when the very little ones missed their mommies and cried.

:(

[/quote]

Wow....I've seen little ones cry because they missed their parents the first weeks of school, but if they are crying after that, there is a serious problem. Either at home or at school. I understand why you were disturbed by that. I would be too.


#18

I was a SAHM when my girls were little, but still sent them to preschool. We lived in the boonies, and it was their only opportunity to socialize with other children (they didn't--and still don't--get along with each other).

They had a fantastic teacher who taught them a few words of Hindi (she's Indian) and exposed them to different cultures, foods, music, etc. Quite a rarity in rural Appalachia! My girls were well-adjusted and ready for kindergarten when the time came.

Funny, now that I've started a new job this week where I work from home, they're very excited! Go figure...

Miz


#19

I have a professional degree and left a solid career to be home with my children. I am glad that I did so. Financial stress can be tough…BUT the stress of juggling work, missing my children’s activities, having a house is chaos was greater stress.

My only concern about my choice is that I do not have a good retirement. But I have a strong marriage and well adjusted happy kids…and one ‘challenging child’ whom I am home to guide and disciple. I’ll take those things instead!

Finally, I have a cousin who works full time and needs to for her sanity. She was home for a time but snappy and unhappy. She is a better mom, truly a MUCH better mom, when she is working outside of the home. She makes enough to have a nanny of sorts for her 3 teenage kids. When my cousin is home, she is happy…and she loves getting up and going to work!

Taben


#20

I suffered severe conviction after the birth of my second child. I had been working full time and my son had been in day care and preschool and it was horrible. My husband's career was really taking off and he was traveling internationally alot and I was left at home with two children and a responsible position at work... it was a lose-lose situation for all of us. However, when I did quit, I could justify the cut in the salary: no more daycare, no more professional wardrobe for me, cut back on food costs, transportation, etc. However, while I knew what I was doing was the best decision for my children and me (the reduction of stress alone made a huge impact!), I did not receive full support from my husband. He was very resentful and felt like I wasn't making a contribution (even though they were now eating home cooked food, napping at home, with their mother, with each other, a much more balanced routine). Long story short, I was able to transport our kids to private school for many years, volunteer in the classrooms, get the kids back and forth to their activities, and spend time with my children. That cannot be replaced. I am now looking 10 years backwards. All of that is over. I do not regret one minute of being home with my children. I was there to wipe their tears, kiss their boo-boos, make their snacks, read and sing and dance, take them to the park, keep them on a schedule in those formative years that go by so incredibly fast. I wouldn't trade a career, travel, or any amount of money for those years.


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