Wednesday, May 29, 2013

preparing for life as a working mom


I've been working full-time for nearly eight years. Prior to that, I was a full-time graduate student juggling a 30+ hour/week job. I've been focused on creating a career path and integrating myself into that vocation for a decade.

I am very blessed to have found a job I love and find fulfillment in. However, even before I was married, I wrestled with the idea of being a career mom. I was raised by a stay-at-home mom who volunteered in my elementary school classrooms and with my Girl Scout troop. She was always around and involved in my school and extra curricular life.

Three years into my marriage and currently 34 weeks pregnant with my first child, I find myself trying to picture what my motherhood journey will look like. All kinds of questions flood my head.


Last week, I was researching childcare options and got really overwhelmed. It's funny the things that send a pregnant woman into hysterics. I had to stop working on the list I was compiling and pray.

After the baby is born, I'll take a typical American maternity leave of three months from the job I love. I anticipate loving my time at home with this baby. But I have had several friends tell me they did not love the baby stage of motherhood. Perhaps, I will be excited to return to the office, but maybe I won't.

When I think the alternative was to delay starting a family because we couldn't afford for me to quit working, it still doesn't seem like a good enough reason to wait.

I know a good number of women in real life and the blogging world who don't work outside the home and I'm well aware stay-at-home moms are not passe. As an American woman, it seems our culture tells us women can and should are expected to do it all. Yet as a Christian woman, there seems to be a double standard. Women are to be the primary care-taker of their home and children, yet little girls are taught they can grow up to have any career they want. 

I wonder if this generation my child is about to be born into will change that. Perhaps they will see women balancing career and family in a new way, taking a step back and re-prioritizing. 

Whether I have a son or daughter, I hope to be a mom who prioritizes family. My children don't need to be signed up for every extra curricular opportunity (sports, music, dance). My husband and I have discussed how we want our family calendar to have a healthy dose of unscheduled hours as well as time away from television/internet/electronics.

I'm not claiming I have it all figured out. I know there will be surprises along the journey. 

I am reminded that life is never easy as we approach this new season of life. Walking with Christ, does not give us an easier road, rather it gives a context for living life.


As we start down the unknown road of parenthood, juggling career and family, my hope is that I will remember this promise. And perhaps, I will continue working as we raise a family or take a few years to stay at home with our kids. Either way, I will certainly have to cling to God's promises.

4 comments:

  1. oh man I know this road...I've had a career that I worked very hard for. I was 34 when I had my first baby, so I felt like I was ready to give up my career. The great thing though is that we're not all washed up after having kids...I know if i want to eventually go back to work I can (although, I have to admit, the title of Mom suits me just fine!)

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  2. Most of parenting is just figuring it out as you go along. As long as you know what's important for your family you'll be all set. Everything else will fall into place.

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  3. this definitely isn't an easy topic. I admire my friends who have jobs 2 days a week or flexible schedules. In my field working after my kiddos were born would have called for 40hours+ and I wasn't comfortable with that. My mom stayed home too. I plan to go back to work in the next few years (or open a shop) but I have no regrets taking a career break.

    We are all so diverse in our God given talents, I admire you sharing your heart!

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  4. I am so glad you shared this and I think there is a double standard for women-- trying to do it "all."

    Something that Sheryl Sandberg does share in the lean in book, is that as women, we can't do it all-- we need to ask for help-- and the biggest thing that has helped her career is being married to someone who supports her and does just as much of the child-raising, cooking, family stuff as she does!

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