How to be a mom (who works) // 6 totally easy steps

how to be a mom who works

I was a stay at home mom for just over a year when we realized: we’re broke. It wasn’t really a surprise, but we knew we’d have to find something. Either my husband was going to have to start working on the weekends, or I’d have to go back to work. When a friend called and offered me a job I could do from home, without finding (or paying for) childcare, it was a no brainer. Voila! I joined the ranks of women staying home with their kids and earning income (or doing ministry) on the side.


Four years--and a pregnancy, a third child, countless diapers, work calls, deadlines, and frantic crying sessions to my husband--later, I’m sharing what I’ve learned as a work at home mom. Consider these the nuggets of gold I’ve mined from lots (and lots) of mistakes!


1. Get used to failing everyone.


Like, really used to it. Make yourself a little bed there because this is your seat for the duration of this flight.


If you're a people pleaser, this is going to be a watershed moment for you. You'll either crack through the middle trying to meet everyone's needs, or you'll have this Divine Moment where you'll realize a) it's not actually your responsibility to do more than you can do for these people and b) other people’s approval doesn't really feel that great anyways.


2. Learn to see failure for what it is…


an incredible teacher.


You’re probably tired of learning, because it’s hard work, and definitely a knock on your pride, right? Girl, I hear you. Here’s the thing: we can stay there in failure-adverse land and absolutely petrify, or we can embrace the hard work of learning and start to produce something that’s really worth the effort. The seed that dies in the earth produces brand new life. Failure teaches like success can’t. So, embrace it. Get downright giddy over it. Smile a secret smile, and say, "I going to be soooo good when this is all over!"


3. Stop playing the short-game.


I can't even sit through a slow-moving classic novel anymore, because I'm so hopped up on instant Facebook status updates. Stop feeding the instant in your life--turn your phone off (for the LOVE, take your email off your phone!!!)--and start making space for the things that take time to build. The lesson about failure above? I have to caution you: you'll look for lessons immediately, and you might find some, but the real lessons come after you put some time in between you and the failure. It's a process like grieving: you can't rush it. You have to let patience and perseverance work itself out in you, at the deepest heart level. Quick fixes and instant success just don’t have the same effect.


4. Rest, for crying out loud.


God rested. Are you better than God?


Rest means two things: a cessation of work, and a cessation of striving. If you can't jump off the striving treadmill, you're a dead duck. You will run out of inspiration, energy, and hope. Do you work hard? Yes. Do you preserve? Yes. But you must make sure your soul knows the difference between "I'm in charge here!" and "I am embracing my mission!" Rest is what keeps you from erring here. Rest reminds your soul that somebody else is in charge. THANK GOD.


5. Don't make excuses about what you do.


People will line up in droves to point out why you can't/shouldn't/better not be a mom who works or does ministry. They'll tell you what you're missing, what your children are missing, and what your spouse is missing. I mean, really, you can turn any direction and somebody is chunking a stone at your head. Here’s the thing: the world needs more women who are brave enough to blaze the new path! God is infinitely creative, and so is his plan for your life. What’s really phenomenal is that your calling as a working person and your calling as a mother will not compete. They will complement and strengthen each other in ways you might not be able to imagine just yet. It doesn't mean it will be easy or a cake walk or the terrain won't dip into a pretty dark valley, but if this is your mission, do it, and rely on grace to cover it all.


6. Embrace the stunning creativity of it.


I mean really, only a God who writes individual stories for every single human (see Psalm 139) and who breathes stars into existence and created peacocks and duck billed platypuses could fathom a job where mothers are tending to their babies and caring for their family by selling things on screens and touching lives on social media, or doing any one of the amazing jobs moms who work do. The beautiful collage of diverse stories, backgrounds, talents, and lives is incredible! It feels messy and uncomfortable, but everything good is on the other side of hard, so just lean into it, relax down into it, and watch what he births in you. I can’t wait to see your story.

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