I had the wonderful privilege to stay home with my children for 11 1/2 years. during that time span I had 4 beautiful children.
I found myself in the throws of laundry, cooking, cleaning, nursing, and homeschooling. I had the opportunity to teach 3 out of the 4 to read, take many lazy days at the beach, show them around the kitchen and snuggle in the middle day if the situation called for it.
There were times that I wanted to be rescued from my little world because the task of raising mighty warriors seemed too daunting. Then other days I basked in the glow of happy smiles on their faces.
I knew I was an incredible mother. I didn't need anyone to tell me that I was. I saw it in my children's eyes. I heard it in the compliments every where we went. I knew that I was graced with the gift of patience and I was confident in my ability to manage my four. If it sounds arrogant, its probably because at times I was.
As challenging as my job was, my pride filled heart "knew" that those poor working mothers didn't work harder than me and loved their children less. I mean c'mon, they got a break everyday. They dropped their kiddos off to daycare and enjoyed adult interaction and when they came home they heated up some ultra processed meal that they called dinner, tucked their kids in bed and got up the next day and did it all over again.
I thought 'what a disservice these women were doing to their children by stuffing them into day care so that they can chase they almighty dollar so that they could live in houses that that they couldn't afford and drive a car with a payment beyond their budget and buy clothes with plastic that they would spend years paying off. And at the close of the day because they gave their lives to an employer instead of their children they would turn to the likes of McDonald's and Betty Crocker instead of giving their babies a home cooked meal. What a hard life right?'
After returning to the work force after 11 1/2 years as a mother with children, and now a single mother, there are a few things that I have learned about myself and others..
- There will always be a sect of mothers who work so that they can have all of the comforts of the American
-Not every working mom wants to put their children in childcare or daycare.
-There will always be mothers who cant wait to put their children in daycare.
-Working mothers work hard...just as stay at home moms do.
-At the end of this life it doesn't matter if I cooked dinner from scratch or if I scratched my head and let Betty Crocker do it. What matters is that my children's bellies are full.
As a working mother I find it idiotic that my stay at home counterparts of whom I once was, often dub us as part time mothers. We are not part time mothers. We are full time mothers with either full time or part time jobs.
We still juggle, still make sure we have coverage for our little ones, still drive them to and from activities.
We have not stopped being mothers because we work outside the home. We don't love our children less because we put them in day care. And we certainly arent damaging their health because every meal isnt home made.
Today I thank God for convenience foods. I don't swear by them but, when I need them they are there. Giving them to my kids doesn't make me less than a mom. It makes me a mom who is making sure her kids are fed.
As a now single parent who is a full time working mother, my love for my children has grown deeper over the last year that I have been working outside of my home. I have a deeper appreciation for them, a deeper level of patience with them all because I no longer have the privilege of being with them 24 hours a day.
There are days when my heart longs to be with them. Longs to read to them in the middle of the day. Longs to teach them. Longs to play with them. Longs to snuggle with them.
There are days when I know that the time we spend apart will afford them the opportunity to have other godly adults and caring adults pour into their lives. Our time apart will cause them to make choices good and bad, that I can't make for them. But eventually, they would have to make.
More importantly our time apart will make the time we spend together more meaningful in countless ways.
So who works harder, the stay at home mom or the work out of the home mom? Truthfully, they both work hard. And at the end of the day, they will always be Mom.
***Lord teach us not to judge or begrudge those who stay home or work out side of the home. Remind us Lord that all of us love our children and we are doing what works best for the season of life that we are in. Thank you Lord for convicting us of the pride in our hearts that says we are better than the next mom because of the choices we have made as mothers who care for our families. Help us to know that you are our source and our strength, today and always. Amen *