All Mom's Are Working Mom's
“All you have to do is ask for Him to guide your heart and be still enough to listen.”
To work outside the home or to work as a stay-at-home-mom? The million dollar question a lot of 21st century mother's are faced with. With childcare costs at an all time high, it is a hard decision for a lot of families. Is it worth the mother being gone all day from her children, with a sense of guilt, for half or more of her income to go to childcare? Or is it worth sacrificing a career, needs of having something for herself, and her sanity to be home with her children? Many of us mother's face these hard decisions especially when we have more than one child.
The average costs of childcare around me is $600 a month per child for full-time care. That would be $1200 for two, $1800 for three....well you get the point! For our family, after paying for two children to be in a good christian preschool full time, we were only left with me bringing home an extra $560/month. That extra amount did not make up for the fact that my children were in the care of someone else for 40-50 hours per week while I'm feeling guilty and definitely did not even come close to make up for the amount of stress it put on our family. On top of that, by the time we got home from work; it was time for dinner, a little time to play, bath time, and bed time. Neither of us were getting much time with our own kids after work and it was exhausting to say the least. There was no down time to relax much, more tension, and less time to take care of myself, so that I could give my best to everyone else. Now mind you...my job was not that flexible and some days were 12 hour days, which was just not working out.
There are instances of course, where a mother is making more than enough income to make up for all of those things and may not want to give up her passion, success or her earnings. Also, she then comes home after a long day at work and works even more to take care of her family. I think this is admirable and understand completely. There may be a day where a great full-time job gets offered to me that could make it all worth it, but that has not happened yet. There are mothers, especially single ones who (by the way I commend you for doing what you do everyday because it takes strength and courage to be in your shoes) have no choice but to work. There are some mothers who choose and love being a stay-at-home mom; which is a wonderful thing since we all know... being a mom is a full-time job in itself! Everyone's circumstances are different. There are families who have little to no childcare costs due to the help of family member's, so working part-time or full-time can make a significant difference for their family.
Personally, I would like to work part-time, even if that is volunteer work. I find that working part-time (10-15 hours/week), can offer the best of both worlds. I don't know about you, but for me, I get really lonely in my house all day. With no family here to help or interact with, it makes things more difficult. Even though I am interacting with my children, doing chores, writing, cooking, working-out (the list goes on)... I am still the only adult here during a long day and week. It is nice getting out of the house a little to have some adult interaction, and time away from my children.
More importantly, it is nice to do something you're passionate about.
Working period can fulfill needs in a person (rather its part-time or full-time). It can give them a sense of accomplishment while belonging to something more. Sometimes, it can make you a better mom by getting to actually miss your children, and know that you are able to contribute financially. Mostly, being able to do something rewarding for yourself can be healthy and beneficial to your overall self-esteem, even if it is volunteering for your church or in your community part-time (that is if you have free childcare). For me, I love writing to all of you. Writing is my escape and a passion of mine.
Now, here comes the hard part for some....if, like me, you have no family around to help with the children on top of childcare costs being so expensive, it can be very hard trying to figure out how to work part-time and still make it count. I am still trying to figure this one out WITHOUT doing direct sales for a pyramid company (no offense to those of you who make an income this way). I know it can be a fun way to interact and have parties, I'm just not interested in that type of sales.
Anyways...lets move on.
When trying to decide what is best for you my friend...my advice is to pray and listen to your heart. Take this time to invest in yourself and discover who you are or who God is calling you to be. Click here to read my post on "Discovering Yourself Through Motherhood," where you will find how monumental it is to invest in who you are in order to find a life fulfilled with true contentment and love. My heart was telling me that I needed to be home more, and thankfully my husband's income allows for that to happen or I'd have no choice at the moment. Just know...whatever you choose or have to do, the love for your family never changes. Regardless if you choose or have to work full-time, part-time, or not at all...we all have to remember that everyone of us are doing the best we can and doing what is in the very best interests of the ones we love.
Truthfully, I am still figuring it all out, but here is a little lesson I have learned lately....God will provide no matter what you decide. He will stir your heart to stay home more if that is what you are meant to do or guide your heart in other ways that will be best for your family. He guided my heart to work less hours and be home more. Working full time or even more than 15 hours per week during these younger years are just not in His plans for me right now. I have become content with that. He will provide the answers, I do know that to be true. All you have to do is ask for Him to guide your heart and be still enough to listen. He will provide financially and in so many other ways. Honoring His will for your life is an accomplishment in itself and in return you will feel so relieved by His affirmations. Let's close with a verse from Mathew 6:31-32:
"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, what shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all."