We will probably be talking a lot about guilt and hopefully being guilt-free. I know moms that stay at home put plenty of guilt on themselves as well, but I think we need to extend a special grace to each other to balance work/family life. This is something I have honestly struggled with for years now. I will talk more about my personal struggle with this later, particularly post-partum depression. It took me over a year to find peace with being a “working mom.” I had a much easier transition back to work after my second maternity leave. It took a lot longer for it to hit me that I felt like I was missing out on staying at home. Eventually I got back on track again…and then it all came crashing down…again…
We have been attending a new church. I absolutely love the sermons, which has not always been my favorite part of the church service, but I really look forward to these. I am actually planning on listening to the podcast since I have to work this Sunday, and I have NEVER listened or even anticipated listening a podcast sermon ;)) This is coming from a PK (pastor’s kid) and I know how much work is put into sermons.
The current sermon series has been on building a home, not a house. We talked about being Christ-centered mothers. I was really curious to see this went, know what I mean? The sermons points were great! First, you HAVE to have a Christ-centered relationship with CHRIST. You have to set aside dedicated time alone, in my opinion, with the Lord. This affects every other relationship and whether it is Christ-centered. Next, you HAVE to have a Christ-centered relationship with your husband. Yes, this comes before your children! More about that later, but your children depend on your relationship with your husband to be Christ-centered and strong. They love it! Next, your relationship with your children needs to be Christ-centered. Forget activities and playgroups…they need to see Christ in you and be taught how to have a Christ-centered relationship. We often forget to prioritize this over our other busy-ness. The last point was that we as moms should be praised above all others!!! More to come on that, too!
So, why am I back to square one? Well, we had a chance to text our questions during the sermon. Yes, we were encouraged to text in church! At the end of the sermon, there was a question and answer session with the pastor and his wife. Guess what the first question was??
“Do you believe Christian mothers should stay at home with their children, especially during the early years?”
Wow. I figured it would come up but I was a little unprepared for the intensity of the question. It brought back allllll of those memories, all of that effort to be at peace with working outside of the home. Honestly, I felt inadequate, conflicted, and guilty. I am going to write another post about how the question was answered, because I did appreciate and agree with most of the answer. It took a little bit for me to gather my thoughts and emotions. I don’t think it was intended to be hurtful but I really felt like I took 4 steps backward.
Does it still hurt? Do I still feel conflicted sometimes? Sure! Am I a great mom? Do my kids benefit in some ways from me working? Absolutely. I can still show them Christ and strive to keep my life and relationships Christ-centered…whether I am with my kids all day or gone for several hours.
The point I want to get across is that it is normal to struggle. It is normal to go through cycles. Yes, I do think it gets easier, in some senses, to work. I think it also gets harder in some ways. This is a place to offer inspiration to each other, but it is also going to be a place to be honest. Some days stink! Some days our hearts break. Please know that you are welcome to share your struggles and feelings. We will listen and then lift each other up. My prayer is that even though we feel like we may be back to sqaure one some days…tomorrow we will take 3 steps forward.