This weekend I feel like I was banging my head up against the wall. Between the biting, spitting, kicking, sassy talk, willful disobedience and other tumultuous behavior that went on between my 5, 3, and 1 year old, it was enough to make any parent ask, “what am I doing wrong?” My husband and I have always prided ourselves on applying consistent discipline in our home. We were on the same page the entire week. We unsuccessfully tried all the tactics that have worked in the past. It was like one week ago our sweet little darlings turned into little rabid birds that wanted to peck our heads off. So, naturally, I started asking the question, “would they act this way if I stayed home with them and gave them more attention all week?” The conclusion God revealed to me yesterday honestly surprised me.
Let me start by saying, I have no intentions of becoming a stay-at-home mom. It’s not that I don’t think my kids would benefit from having their mom by their side on a full-time basis. Instead, it’s more about the fact I believe I’m a better parent because I work. I realize this isn’t true for everyone. In my case, I firmly believe that God called me to a career of helping people outside of the home and I’ve been able to use this talent to teach my kids lessons that they wouldn’t otherwise learn. I know it will continue to be a challenge trying to juggle both, but I am resolved to use my career to help Americans live financially healthy and productive lives while simultaneously teaching my kids the same lessons.
In America today, 68% of mothers are working outside the home and statistics tell us that the number one emotion working moms struggle with is guilt. I think guilt often comes from our own agenda. We want to accomplish something, we envision our family lives looking a certain way, we see our friends or family doing things differently and we are envious, we lack forgiveness of ourselves for our past mistakes, we say to ourselves, “if I can just do x,y, and z then things would be different.” As mommas who want the best lives for our families, we have to stop this nonsense. There IS an easier way!
So what does God wants for me as a Mom? The only way I can know for certain is by asking Him and seeking His truth. I was reminded yesterday that God started making promises to those who choose His path way back in Genesis. He fulfilled His promises when he sent His Son to pay the price of our imperfections. He gave us an advocate in the form of His Holy Spirit who is filled with His very own power to live within us and give us wisdom. So many times we rely on our own strength, our own ideas, or our own pride to get through the day. In my life, He’s teaching me that I need to simply rest in Him. He is enough. My parenting efforts can only be done through His strength. Thankfully, His truth frees me from dwelling on the failures of my day and my own self-pity and allows me to focus on the blessings that come through being a mom and wife.
So to you other working moms out there, don’t add any more stress to your life by beating yourself up. You are not alone. Parenting is a process and as long as we hold tight to God’s promises, we will succeed!
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Characteristics of Families Summary, 4/22/16