I always just assumed I would be a mom who worked outside the home, probably because I grew up with a mom who worked outside the home. It’s fun, isn’t it, how the plans we make for ourselves can be so rooted in the legacy our parents leave for us? For the first 30 years of my life, my dreams and goals were all centered around my career. Very much like Lisa-Jo shares about her own story in “Surprised by Motherhood,” motherhood, for me, wasn’t even a consideration. I focused on not needing to rely on anyone, working hard to do what it took to get a business card with a fancy title and everything that came with it I thought equaled success.
You know what happened?
I did it.
I earned a masters degree from Villanova University. I married my high school sweetheart. We even had a gorgeous daughter after God softened our hearts toward parenthood in an unexpected and drastic way. I became an Assistant Vice President, worked on important projects and – from the outside? It looked like all we were missing was the white picket fence. But I was miserable.
And so, last year, God began to close doors and prepare my heart to receive a blessing I never knew I wanted. I was fired from the only career I’d ever known. Suddenly life was chaotic and fearful. I didn’t know why I was being asked to walk this road.
But God had a better plan.
Over the last year every idol I’d had in my life that dealt with my identity as a working mom has been stripped away. When I first became a mother, I grieved deeply the transition from my old life to the new. I tried desperately to keep one foot in the life we had before and one foot in this new motherhood territory, and it was exhausting and impossible. For the first time in my life I was doing something I wasn’t any good at – and I was learning that in the trial and error of motherhood, I was more likely to end up on the side of “error.” The identity I had wrapped up in my career was the final piece that needed stripped away to push me into embracing life as the mother of a daughter.
And when God called me to continue working, I questioned Him about the challenges and emotional parts of having our little girl in daycare. But He gave our hearts peace, a Christian daycare that we love, and a vision that THIS – this working 8-5 and providing for our family – is what God has called me to in this season of our family, and He would redeem it.
My little girl would learn how to work hard by watching her mama, and I was able to release the guilt that I felt. I wasn’t being selfish – I was obeying God.
So I work full-time from home as the Editorial & Marketing Manager for (in)courage while my husband works full-time as a third grade teacher and our daughter goes to daycare.
- We make sacrifices of time together to provide for our family, we have hard days and weekends where I have more tantrums than my toddler.
- We say grace before dinner because Madison learned how to do it at school, not around our table, and I’m never the mom who sends cute little shamrock shaped rice krispie treats to school on St. Patrick’s Day.
- I struggle to stop working when my family comes home, and I’ve developed a bit of a territorial issue with my small corner of the kitchen where I currently work.
But in doing a job that I love, I’m praying that my little girl will learn to chase her own dreams, work hard, and obey God, wherever He calls her. And whether your arrangements look similar, or God – in His infinite creativity – has provided other opportunities for your family – here’s what I need you to hear:
You do valuable work – and motherhood is hard.
In all the surprises that come with motherhood, from the messes, chaos and noise to the fact that I’m sure I’ll never again sleep through the night, the one that continues to sneak up on me is how much I love being a mother. It’s the blessing I never knew I wanted, the answer to prayer I never knew I needed.