On Sunday a new couple joined our small group. Before we began discussing the night’s topic, we all told them a little bit about ourselves. Each of the women – including me – made sure to clarify our employment status as part of our brief introduction: “just” a stay-at-home mom, working from home, working outside the home.
Yesterday morning as I sat with a small group of women at a MOPS meeting, we talked about how hard it is to work part-time. Or full-time. Or from home. Or at all. Or not at all.
Then as I ate lunch with a friend, I talked about how guilty I feel right now. I said, “For a stay-at-home mom, my baby sure is in childcare a lot.” That’s when my friend pointed out that I’m not a stay-at-home mom, not really. I’m a working mom with several part-time jobs I happen to do at home.
It’s confusing. And complicated.
Then I watched Monday’s episode of Jane the Virgin, where Jane has to decide whether or not to pursue grad school (which, due to a course requirement issue, means she has to begin a course when her baby is just three weeks old). She goes back and forth and cries and worries and finally makes a decision – only to turn around and make the opposite decision a day later.
The issues of working and of career can be difficult ones, no matter your life stage or parental status. Married or not, parent or not, finding work that works for your life can sometimes feel like a job itself. But in my current season, I know in particular the pain of work choices as a mother.
When I asked you all what you are not sorry for on Monday, I wasn’t sure what you’d say. I’ve been excited to get comments (here and on Facebook) that, for the most part, duplicated ideas I’d already jotted down for myself. We have a lot in common, you and me!
My friend Kristin commented on Facebook that she’s tired of apologizing for her choice to return to work. She said that she feels peace about the direction God is leading her, and she’s not sorry to change her course and follow Him on a new adventure.
To my friend Kristin, I say, GOOD FOR YOU. You are wise and brave, and I am cheering you on! I can’t wait to see how God uses you and blesses you in the work He’s chosen for this season of your life.
And to anyone else who…
…is tired of apologizing for working from home, or at home, or in the office
…is tired of apologizing for choosing that job
…is tired of apologizing for turning down that job
…doesn’t want to say sorry anymore for staying home
…doesn’t want to say sorry anymore for working in an office
…doesn’t want to say sorry anymore for working odd hours or having an unusual job
…likes her job
…likes staying home
…likes doing a little bit of both
…hates her job but needs it
…wishes she could find a job
…doesn’t know what she wants to be if and when she grows up
…I say, GOOD FOR YOU. Do NOT apologize for doing what’s best for your family, what’s best for you! Don’t say you’re sorry for being the best version of you that you can, for following the Lord’s leading for your life, for doing what works in this season.
Let’s stop apologizing for our work, friends. Because, HELLO, we ALL work. I repeat, WE ALL WORK. Some of that work results in a paycheck and some of it doesn’t. Some of it requires us to put on pants that zip and some of it doesn’t. Some of it feeds our spirits and fills our hearts and some of it bores us to tears and drives us up the wall.
But for the love of whoever came up with the phrase, “mommy wars,” QUIT BEING SORRY FOR YOUR WORK. You are NOT your job (paid or not), but it IS a part of you. And you are valued and valuable. You are important and worthwhile, and so is your time.
I’m not really a stay-at-home mom, although I haven’t had more than a TV tray to call an office for a couple years. I’m a working mom, and I cobble together part-time jobs that I can mostly do from my corner
office of the couch to pursue the calling that God has given me, to keep my sanity, and to pay my bills.
And I’m not sorry about that at all.
Do you ever find yourself apologizing for your work?
This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge. To read all the posts in this series, click here. And to learn more about this challenge or to find more series to read, visit Write31Days.com. Apple photos courtesy of my brother, James.
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