Continued from: Is The Grass Always Greener Part I
As of today, we’ve lived in four states in the last 15 years due to corporate relocations with my husband’s company. That alone has made it difficult to work and find my groove. Overall, I don’t mind change so I’ve been okay with moving. My husband is a hard worker and a great provider. We evaluate each opportunity and its impact on the family before making the decision to relocate. So far so good. Thankfully, my children have adjusted to each place with no issues or concerns. Now that they are older, we plan to slow the moving down as much as we can to get them through high school.
Honestly, it took me a good year or so to feel comfortable being at home. I struggled with feeling vulnerable because I was not contributing to the financial pot. I’m so over that now. Money is not the only way to contribute to a family, right? Let’s just say, we moms do EVERYTHING else. I’d say that’s contributing.
Keeping myself busy over the years has not been a problem. I’m sure you can relate. The house, the kids and everything in between requires attention. Now that my kids are older and in school all day, I’ve gotten more involved in the community. As a result, I’ve done some contract work, taught graduate classes part-time, served on boards, volunteered and served as a part-time administrator all on my own terms. God has really blessed me with opportunities to work and be involved outside of the home that have allowed me to fulfill my needs and be present for my family. My current position as a part-time Program Director allows me to be home before my children get out of school.
Being an at home mom full-time is not for everyone. I totally understand that and have the greatest respect for women and their unique situations. For some women working outside of the home is a preference, others a choice and many a necessity. You do what you have to do to take care of your children. I get that. We all have different circumstances. If you work, I’m sure your goal like mine was to leave your children in the best possible care and environment for learning. That’s what parents do (single or married).
Having the time at home with my children has been a blessing and an investment in my family. We’ve all made choices in one way or another, so I tend to stay away from using the word sacrifice. I have not given anything up, but have consciously made some adjustments over time to meet the needs of my family. Raising children is such a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly. It most definitely is a selfless act. The challenge is to avoid losing yourself completely along the way.
My kids are still growing and developing as they should. I want to be with them every step of the way, knowing there will be a time when they go their own way. I’m sure I’ll have mixed emotions (happy and sad) when that time comes. For now, I see the fruits of our labor in their personalities, self-expression, compassion for others and their work ethic.
I also believe my children would be just as well-adjusted, active, and intelligent if I worked outside of the home. At home moms have the benefit of making time to teach or take part in meaningful experiences with their younger children during the day which is a plus. Working moms have to go the extra mile to stay on top of their children’s progress. It takes quite a bit of juggling, but it can be done. My point is, working moms are no less concerned about their children’s development and education.
Hats off to all Moms regardless of your work affiliation! Our society has conditioned us to define our worth based on our job title and employment status outside of the home. We are so much more than that!
As you can see from my scattered thoughts here, working outside of the home or in the home is not easy for women. Regardless of what you do or where you do it, it’s all work. Through God’s divine plan women were uniquely created to manage multiple roles. No one ever said it would be easy, just reach out and ask for help when you need it. Parenting by far is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have, but also the most rewarding.
Developing, educating, and taking care of children while managing multiple responsibilities is nothing short of a labor of LOVE. Remember this……
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Peace and Blessings,