I'm going to jump into this blogging adventure by talking about where I am right now - a place where many mothers both before and after me have and will tread - namely, the question of: 'to work or not to work?' Well, OK, lame Shakespeare paraphrase aside, I have to be honest, I've already made up my mind. I submitted my resignation letter and I only have a few more days left in the office. It was a complex decision, though, and a process that leaves me feeling greater empathy for moms on all sides of the question - those who must work but don't want to, those that choose to work, those that choose to stay home, and those who stay home and wish they didn't.
In my case, for the past several weeks I have been back, post-maternity leave, at my job as a high school youth minister. I was very blessed to negotiate a situation where I returned part-time and could bring Little Man along to the office for a couple of months. It allowed me to return sooner and to be present to the teens for the end of the school year.
I know others have felt the joys and trials of working and staying home more deeply than I, yet I feel like I've experienced the good and bad of both already. Work-wise, I've had that feeling of panic the night before returning to the office, that sinking feeling as childcare that was set up during a meeting falls through, that exhaustion of having to get up early after not getting nearly enough sleep, or that concern wondering how it's going with Daddy running bedtime while I run an event. I've also felt the satisfaction of planning and running a successful event or meeting, working as a team with colleagues, and ministering to teenagers and teaching them about our faith. Then at home, I've had those days where there's nowhere to go and the day kind of drags on and I feel semi-worthless when my husband comes home and I didn't get dinner made or even manage to clean up. I've also had the sense of peace knowing exactly who is taking care of my son and how he's being raised - because I'm the one doing it! Not to mention I haven't had to miss too many of his toothless grins, and having him mostly with me has made breastfeeding much easier.
So, in addition to what I've just shared, I'll also add some of my thoughts and fears and what went into my decision. Keep in mind that I am aware that the factors are different for each woman! We each have to do what works best for ourselves and our families.
What made the decision more difficult:
What made the decision easier/my response to the points above:
What it all comes down to is that I've found the best way for me to live out my vocation as a wife and mother for this time in my life. Maybe in the future I will best live it out by working part or full time. The beauty of a decision like this is that it isn't final!
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