Before I became a mummy I loved my career, I loved my job and the satisfaction that came from completing massive projects, or the sense of achievement from getting that promotion. I had worked hard to get to the place. Yet I left. This was not because I have no ambition when it comes to career. Not because it was an easy option. Not because I just didn’t have to work financially. But because we decided for our family, the best thing was to raise my son myself. To be the one there with him all the time. This has involved massive sacrifice financially for us; it has involved sacrificing my career for now, and has meant we share our home with two lodgers to enable me to do this.
Now before I go on, please don’t think I believe leaving ones career to raise children full-time is always right, I couldn’t possibly say what’s the best thing for your family, with your circumstances and your families’ needs, but for us, it was right.
And as I am a stay at home mum, I can only write from this perspective and in my opinion, it’s not always easy! It’s wonderful, and a massive privilege, but still not always easy. It can be hard to stay focused on what we are trying to achieve. It can be hard to feel that sense of satisfaction when the day has been full of nappy changes, weaning, playing and little else. But for those women who decided to do it anyway, not because it’s easy, or because you’re just weren’t that into your career, stay focused! Remember this time is a season. A precious season, but still a season when it can feel like you’re not achieving much, but you are! You have given up a lot to raise your child, you have sacrificed yourself for them, and when they grow up, they’ll thank you. They’ll remember these times. The times you spent hours playing with them. The times you sang with them. The times you took them to groups. Just like I look back with great memories of my mum playing with me, of always having time for me, and being at every school meeting. And I thank her, because she sacrificed a lot for me, and that upbringing has made me who I am today.
For all those mums that work, who’ve decided that’s the best thing for your family, based on your needs, circumstances, or perhaps personal experience of being raised by working parents, then that’s good. There is no right or wrong, no best! But we all need a strong sense of conviction as to why we do what we do, because when a working mum comes home from the office and feels like she wanted more time with her child, or when the stay at home mum has been at home all day and is feeling bored of playing with toys, changing nappies and no adult conversation, we all need to remain focused on why we do what we do. Because ultimately, we believe, this is the best thing for our family!
I was reading Ephesians yesterday and two verses really struck me:
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do.
So whatever you do. Whatever you feel is right for you and your family, do it as if to God. Work as if working for Him. He will reward you for all that you do in this season. And maybe the working mum may not appreciate how hard it can be to be a stay at home mum, or maybe the stay at home mum may not comprehend all the struggles and challenges of working and raising children, but it doesn’t matter, because we do what we do before God. We work for Him, and one day, He will reward us.
Because ultimately whether we are working mums or stay at home mums, we all work for our families! We all work hard to provide something that we believe is of true value for our family and our children. Whether this is financial security, or stability, or emotional security, if we do it for our family this is good. We all work hard and if we are doing it before God, we will all be rewarded! Don’t worry what your neighbour does, or your friend does, do what you feel is important and do it with conviction. Because if you believe it is right, it will reap reward for you and your child.