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I was wondering if I could get an opinion on something that has been troubling me. I have one daughter who is 17 month old. I work 40 hours a week and she goes to an in-home daycare and I only see her a couple of hours at night and on the weekends. I charish every moment I have with her. The thing is, I have not been to church in a while and I would really like to start going but I want to take her with. My church does have childcare for during the services but I don't want to bring her there. I have in the past when she was younger and it was not an issue. Now she is in the age of separation anxiety and between that and also the fact that she is in daycare all week I don't want to send her off to another one, even if it is for 1 hour. I want to spend that time, even in church, with her. I am nervous that she will be disruptive by getting ansie, singing and talking (which are all cute to me) but may be annoying to others. I am not sure if my church really supports working moms and if many would understand why I don't want to leave her in the childcare area. There is a crying room incase she got out of control. My question is, am I being silly about not wanting to put her into childcare at church and wanting to spend that time with her? My husband does not go to church (unless it is a holiday) and so I would be on my own. Others I have talked to about this say she will get used to it but I just don't feel right about it until she is old enough for Sunday school. If I was a stay at home mom then the situation would be different and I would be okay with puting her there. But, since I need to work that is not my case and I just want to be with her whenever I can. Thank you!Deb
Hi Deb,I think alot of Moms have been in your position. I don't think there is a "right" answer. I would ask you what is your purpose for going to church? I know that might be a silly question, but give it some thought. Is it for you to grown and learn about God? Would that be hard if you are trying to keep your daughter quiet? Is it to show your daughter the importance of worshipping God? I think you can definitely bring things to church to keep her entertained. On the other hand, in most churches even children as young as your daughter may have a Bible story and begin learning that Jesus loves me in a way they can understand. I do think the most important thing is getting in the habit of attending church and letting your daughter know that is important, even at a young age. My children loved Sunday school when they were that age and enjoyed the other children. Again, I'm not sure there is a right answer. Certainly pray as well and ask God for direction in your decision. Also, I think you are witnessing to your husband by your attendance whether he goes or not. Hope that was somewhat helpful and did not muddy the waters.
I loved your response coach! On a personal note. I dragged 3 children to church by myself for over 18 years. I didn't cut myself any slack with excuses because if I did my kids wouldn't have been in church. We had some trouble with my son during his teen years but right now he is 1 semester away from graduation with a degree in Pastoral Studies. My oldest daughter will graduate in 1 year with a bachelors in sacred music & bible and a minor in secretarial. My youngest daughter will start college in a couple of months and believes the Lord has called her to the mission field. I am not tooting my own horn here. I completely believe my children are to be praised for the right decisions they have made in their lives. I just wanted to make sure they knew from the beginning that everything I did then and do now encourages my children to do right with their lives. I do not regret at all pushing myself to attend church, with my children, no matter what difficulties I faced. It has become one of the shinning moments in my life. Being faithful is a good thing to desire for your life.
Tate_f,Wow! What a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness. You pointed the way to God and your children followed. Our children do need to know our commitment to Jesus is above everything else and cannot be compromised. I'm praising God for your faithfulness and how is using your children and will continue to use them. Thanks so much for sharing.
My church holds the view that the primary role of women is to take care of her children. From listening to Christian radio, I also get the impression that most Christians endorse the view of fathers being the providers and mothers being the caretakers. However, my husband does not having a paying job and I am the bread winner of the family while he takes care of our child. I feel as if I am living in sin because I am not a stay-at-home Christian mom. What do you think? Is it wrong to be a working Christian mom? If I had the luxury of choice, I'd gladly give up my job. I'm trying the best I can here but I still feel like a second-class citizen among my Christian friends. Sincerely, E
E,I typed a long comment and then lost it. If you will look at the January archives on this blog, there is a posting about being the main breadwinner in your house. Also, the archives page of www.christianworkingmom.com has an article entiled Why CWM, that might be helpful.Let me say you and many other women are why CWM was started. I wish I could give you a big hug. Many women have written me and told me they felt like second class citizens. I know it feels the church sees you that way, but believe me God does not. You and your family have to pray and decide what is best for you. If that is your husband staying home, then that is what you do. There are no scriptures that say a woman cannot work outside the home. The Proverbs 31 women was a working Mom. If we look at other cultures, women have to work in order to feed their starving children. Does that mean they should let their children starve in order to stay home? I do not believe that is Biblically accurate or a wise decision. God loves you E in your role as a CWM. He sees your heart and how hard you are working for your family. Anytime I'm at church or hear other women make blanket statements about what is right or wrong in parenting or other things I challenge them and myself to look at Scripture. The Bible is our guide and handbook. The Bible does not state a woman cannot work outside the home. The Bible does say a woman is responsible for the home. Does that mean she has to stay home? No. You can be responsible for the home and work outside the home as well. I hope I didn't come off too strong. I feel passionate about this topic and all the hurt and unnecessary guilt women have felt. Your fellows sisters in Christ have walked where you have walked. You are not alone, please know that. You are loved and supported here.
To Anonymous and 17 month old going to Church:I never left my 3 children in church day care for the same reason you discussed. I didn't want to deal with their separation anxiety (or my separation anxiety). I felt like we were "forced" to be apart for most of the week already. I did bring them into "big church" and amazingly still got a lot out of the service. Sure, I was distracted but I would've been more distracted had I been pining for them while they were in the nursery. My youngest is 4 now and my oldest is 12. I do not regret bringing them into church with me. For me anything I did or can do to foster connection between us is something I'll never regret. I know most moms at my church take their babies into the nursery and they feel good about it. Yes, most of them are stay at home moms which I do think makes a difference. We all have to examine our personal priorities for ourselves and our children and then go on that. She will only be a baby for a short, short, short time!Cheryl
Thank you all for your comments and support. I belong to a large church and I would say the majority of people with young children seem use the nursery. I would not only feel like I am missing more time with my child by puting her in there, but also I feared being judged because I didn't. It sounds stupid but with that tug of war going on in my head I stopped going to church. I have decided what is best for me and my child at this time and I am going to start going again and bring her with me. I may be distracted some but that is okay. I look forward to worshiping along side my daughter. At least until she is old enough for Sunday school. I want to cherish every moment I can with her because like you said Cheryl, we only have them for a very short time. I also want to be a witness for my husband. If he sees us getting up and going every Sunday he might feel like he is missing something and start to go with. I would like to say to E. You have my prayers. Be comforted knowing God loves and cares for you. He knows your situation and I believe that if he wanted to change it He would. You may very well be right where he wants you. I don't know if you work in a Christian environment or not but maybe there is someone there who needs to hear about Jesus. I do not work in a Christian environment and I believe I am here for a reason. I too would LOVE to be at home raising my daughter but that is not what I am able to do at this time. If this is where he wants me at this time then I have to trust in God to get me through and He does. I know it can be hard but trust in Him. He knows. This is a Psalm I found that is a nice prayer to start the day. I hope you don't mind me sharing: Psalm 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Blessings to you!Deb
I am the breadwinner of our family, a manager working 40+ hrs/wk, and the mother of a 16-month old. Two thoughts for the woman with a 17 month old:1. God gave us women instincts for a good reason. I find it usually pays to use this God-given gift. 2. It's amazing to me how much "fear of man" can enter into the very sanctuary of church. I think this is very different from a godly conviction. Don't let fear of what others will think prevent you from doing what's best for your family.For what it's worth, I've just played each week by ear. Some weeks I do bring my son in with me (especially where I've had to work a lot of late nights). For others, I leave him in the nursery. After an initial cry, he's usually fine and enjoys the opportunity to play with other kids (he's with his dad during the week, not daycare).Where I struggle is in balancing time to myself for rejuvenating vs time with my son. There never seems to be enough for both.
I brought my youngest (now 7) into church and sunday school with me until he just could not sit still any more. ( I do not blame you for not wanting to leave him in another daycare setting. I found that at a certain point, I needed to have some undistracted worship time more than I needed him with me. Having him with me added more stress. Stay in the nursery with him a time or two and see what they do.
To the woman with the 17 month-old. I come at this from a different view point...that of a Sunday school teacher. My husband and I have taught Sunday school for the past 5 years. I used to teach the 18 - 24 month-olds, but we have been teaching the 3 year-olds now for the past 3 years. We attend a large church with two services. And although my kids are with a babysitter during the week, I never hesitate to send them to the nursery during both services. I don't hesitate for a couple of reasons: 1.)Since I have my own kids, and since I teach other kids every other Sunday, when I'm in church I want to be completely absorbed in the message without any distractions (I think it's the only time I get all week with no distractions :) ). In our church our pastor has made it pretty well-known that he does not want any children in the sanctuary, and I'm honestly very grateful for that. If I hear a baby jabbering, I immediately look for the baby, think about how cute it is, start missing my own kids, etc. instead of focusing on God, which is why I'm there.2.) No kid is too young to be in a Christian environment geared towards their age. Our church has curriculum-based learning beginning in our 18-24 month-old classes and I can talk to my son about what he learned in Sunday school (he's now almost 2). In the class my husband and I teach we have had 3 kids (including my daughter) accept Jesus into their hearts. Even though they might be playing with toys, they are hearing Christian music and are around other Christian adults.3.) My kids are making Christian friends. This is so important to me! I know they will have friends from school, but there are so many girls that my daughter has been with in church since they were in the newborn nursery together. And if this continues to youth group, I'll know that she has a great network of Christian friends when she needs it.I know it's hard for you, but I truly believe (but it really depends on how good your church preschool program is) that your child will truly benefit from going to the nursery. And the crying and separation anxiety? Good teachers know how to deal with it! Our church uses pagers, so if your child is not having a good time or is crying too much we page the parents to come and get them. In all my years of teaching I have only paged a parent once, and that was only because we had about 25 kids in our room and one child that wouldn't stop crying and had to be held the whole time (but we didn't have enough helpers to do this).It's completely your choice, but I thought I might throw this out there since it's from the view point of a dedicated Sunday school teacher.
Lots of good advice everyone. I'm glad we can all join together in supporting and caring about one another. Wish I could give you all hugs. I guess a virtual one will have to do.
Hi,I live in Tasmania and Island of the south coast of Australia and have just come accross your web site. It's great. I am a social worker working fulll time in a acute residential psychiatric facility. I know without a doubt that Jesus wants me there. My kids are awesome, my husband is supportive. The thing is, my Church brothers and sisters don't know what to do with me, what to say, how to treat me. I would love to talk to other mums who are working in a field that is considered "shocking" and unsuitable for a christian mother. How do you break down the walls? I must confess, I'm not that inclined to continue trying.Best wishes. :) Kathryn
Hi Kathryn,Wow! It is so cool to find Christian sisters in Australia. Welcome. I am a therapist as well and have often found when I tell people what I do it is a conversation stopper. I also understand it is hard to continue breaking down the walls. One thing I liked about what you said is you are where Jesus wants you and your husband is supportive. First, of all we are subject to Christ and not others. It is still hurtful when people don't understand why we are working. One thing I think we all could do is to agree to pray for one another's children. As Moms we all love our children. So, maybe you could ask those Moms how you could pray for them and their children. Hopefully, they would recirprocate with you. You will only find support and encouragement here.
Hi Coach Kimberly, thank you so much for your response. I was quite thrilled that you had responded. I wish all of your members all the best. Its a great site and I shall check in every weekend to see what's going on.
Hello, i am very new at this. I just had a son three months ago and am starting to look into going back to work. Before I had Logan, i was very comfortable with the idea and am now to an extent. I have doubts due to other Christian friends saying that a Christian mom should stay at home, raise the children and support the husband. My husband is in the military and our finances aren't the greatest. We have tried budgeting many different ways and due to school loans (mine) and other loans we are always in debt. Is there any scripture that supports a Christian working mom? What should I do about my guilt?New mom-
Hi Elissa,Welcome to CWM. We have all been in your shoes. You asked if there is any scripture that supports a CWM. If you read Proverbs 31 very closely this woman was definitely a working mom. She had her own field, she sold merchandise, etc. There are no scriptures that say a Mom cannot work outside the home. Unfortunately, alot of CWM's feel guilt placed by others onto them. I would ask any of your stay at home Moms to back up what they say with Scripture. The Bible is to be our guide not others. Also, you talked about the financial burden you had. You can help your family alot by supporting them financially. Not everyone has the financial ability to stay home. Lastly,you and your husband should pray over the matter and if you are in agreement then working is fine. You are supporting your husband by contributing to the family and he may want you to work. If we look at the Bible God worked differently in each person's life. So, I don't think we can say God wants all Moms to stay home or for all Moms to work. Any family has to make the decision that is best for their family and one size does not fit all. Hope that helps some. Also, remember as a new Mom your hormones can be all over the place and that can definitely affect our emotions. You are most welcome here and will find a lot of support.
Coach Kimberly~ I really appreciate your message and advice. After I wrote yesterday I kept looking online and read the archives on this website and saw the proverbs 31 passage and also had another friend remind me of that. I got more confirmation as I had an interview yesterday and being the first time leaving Logan with someone other than family, he did well. It is definitely hard to leave your children, but I have to remember that God helped me through school to be a nurse, I can be a witness through that, and by helping financially it will better Logan in the long run. Thank you again for your response!!!Elissa
Elissa you are very welcome. I hope the interview went well. Believe me all of us here have walked in your shoes.
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