Mothers who are employed

If you are a working mother (or a husband of a working mother):
-how do you balance the work-family aspects?
-are you employed out of necessity or for your own personal fulfilment?

I want to clarify in advance that this thread is not intended to undermine stay at home mothers. I just want to hear how some Catholic families stand when the mother works. Feel free to discuss :slight_smile:

Both me and DH work full time.

I supoose we could live on his salary alone (he is a surgeon) but I have always wanted to work, would never consider not working and actually adore my job. It isn’t just a job to me though it is my career and I worked hard to get there. (I’m a police sergeant) It is what I have wanted to be since I was 14

It’s difficult. The 40-50 hour work weeks (not including the week of 24/7 on-call) make it much more difficult for things that I, personally, consider important.
Things like housework take a backseat to spending some precious time with the children. My house is a wreck, and I have to accept that sometimes, even when I hear biting comments from in-laws.
Things like learning to cook more advanced and/or nutritional meals take a backseat to spending some essential time with my husband. We tend to stick to the same ten “quick” recipes on a rotation, though I’ve been branching out a little more over the last few months.
It’s a balancing act that I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of, but I’m confident that the Lord will continue to work in me and help me learn.

It’s necessity, though on multiple fronts.
Financially, we could not support a family of four on my husband’s wages. Before I considered conversion, we made a choice to hinder any further children due to our financial circumstances.
Emotionally, it is necessary as well. I am afflicted with extremely high-anxiety. Staying home with my children would be difficult for me, though I love them and adore the time I have with them. I think they benefit from the learning center that they attend during the day as well. My son soaks up knowledge like a sponge, and I know I wouldn’t be able to give him the information he craves if I were a nervous wreck because I couldn’t figure out why they won’t just LISTEN.

In summary, I think there are pro’s and con’s to being a working Mom, just like there are pro’s and con’s to being a SAHM.

My husband and I both work. He actually has two jobs. One of them is in music ministry and we are fortunate that we are able to participate in this together, by participating in choir and bell choir, and of course attending Mass. The volunteers in our parish’s music ministry have become like family members to my daughter and she enjoyes going to church because of it.
I work as a teacher and it is a career that I do feel is fullfilling and necessary. It’s also condusive to having family time as I always have weekends and evenings free as well as long breaks around holiday and summer time. Between our schedules, my daughter is only with her nanny for six hours a day or less. (often less, as my husband often goes in late to his day job.) Two days a week, she spends with her grandparents and cousins.
We try to put aside a lot of time for family time and we have dinners together as often as possible. (even if it’s at a restaurant.) I was raised in a home with a working mother and I learned how to make the time we have together quality time.

By the way, my mother taught me the art of the crockpot/casserole meal. We always did the grocery shopping on the weekend, and half the time my mother would cut up the vegetables right then and there, before putting the in the fridge, put the meat and veggies in seperate containers, and then during the week, she would either leave the crockpot on during the day and tell us to turn it off when we got home from school or put the casserole dish into the oven . Then dinner was mostly ready when she got home and we could sit down to eat as a family.
We were also expected to wash our own clothes, clean our own rooms, find our own stuff, manage our own homework, and clean up the kitchen after meals from a fairly young age. I’m lucky because I get off work much earlier than she did and I have plenty of time to do those things myself.

I am a working mother. I do easily work 50 (and a little more sometimes) and I have to say that my salary is our primarily income. My husband works but he is self employed because of that he does not have a constant income and he has a much more flexible schedule than me. As to why I work I think is both. Necessity because I am the one with the good constant income and fullfiling because I like what I do and I enjoy my work. Balancing work -home life can be hard but to me is key that my husband is quite supportive. He takes care of a lot of household stuff so when I get home I don’t have to be worrying about cleaning or coking and then I can enjoy some good quality time with them. We also spend a lot of time together weekends and whenever I am home. To me the key is when I am home I am spending time with the family and the fact that my husband takes care of a lot of the household stuff.

I am currently a working mother. I was a working mom (out of necessity) when my first three were small, became a stay at home mom when we added three more in less than five years, then went back being a working mom last year when the youngest was eight (both out of “necessity” and for personal fulfillment.

I think the biggest difficulty has been getting the family on board with the idea that I’m not around as much as I use to be and thus not quite so much at their beck-and-call. The biggest difference between me working now and when I worked before is how much I love my job now and how much lack of guilt I feel for having it.

Having a large family spread out over several years, it’s always been a given - Mom won’t be at every one of your “x” events. I always make some - even most - but since I can’t clone myself, the only choice is to either only allow one child at a time to participate in things (not a good idea in either my opinion or their’s) or accept that there’s going to be times when one (or even both) parents won’t be there. :shrug:

Overall, I think this has greatly benefited my kids. We emphasize that they need to play / participate in their sport or activity because they love doing it - not because of who is (or isn’t) watching. They get to be proud of that goal/hit/double-double/PR/performance/badge/whatever - because they worked hard and did/earned it. And we are so proud of them when they do - we just don’t always have to be there to see it - the act stands alone.

Now as for them learning about my being at their beck-and-call - they really are great kids, but having returned to work, I’ve discovered I’ve spoiled them a bit. They’d gotten use to always being able to call home if they forgot their lunch/bookbag/homework/instrument and I’d run it over to the school for them. Well … now sometimes I’m not there and they have to do without and deal with the consequences (the school’d give them pb&j for lunch so no one’s actually going hungry) - which again is a good thing since they are being forced to learn some more responsibility.

The hardest thing for me to find time for is myself. By the time I work, give time to each child, time to hubby, and do my reasonable share of the housework, there really isn’t enough time for a full night’s sleep, proper self-care, and exercise. I’m hoping to work on that this new year and figure out how to make it happen.

I work when necessary and stay home when I’m able. Currently I’m at home but babysit after school for neighbors that work and I sew/crochet/other crafts for extra income as well. I find that delegating chores to our kids and handing over grocery shopping to my husband help with making working outside the home much more manageable. Kids as young as two can help out with small tasks such as carrying dirty clothes to the laundry room and wiping spills in the floor. Kids between 6 and 10 can clean up after dinner, wipe clean sinks, do dishes with help, and take out garbage. 10 and up kids can wash clothes, help cook dinner, scrub toilets and much more. By having my family help out it frees up a lot of time to spend with my kids.

My husband and I have a non-traditional arrangement…I work full time, and my husband works nights/weekends and stays home with the kids during the day. I work for a school so I have the same vacation days as the school-aged kids. I’m lucky that my kids have a parent home all the time, and I can still do the work I think God wants me to do (I work in an inner city school). Still, we have to prioritize what we do, and sometimes laundry and cleaning take a backseat to spending time with the kids.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.