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I was attending a Baptist church where several of the women were very demeaning to those of us who choose to work. Rather than accepting our choice, they constantly criticized us. Now I go to a church that has more working moms who are more supportive of each other. It helps when a church has kid events and women's events at times that are convenient for working moms. I think the attitude of the church as a whole makes the biggest difference.
I have struggled with this also, as a CWM who has no choice but to be working as my husband is a full-time college student and my paltry salary is our only income with 3 children. I find that I am many times left out of activities at church because I am a CWM, many of the ladies activities at our church are during the day when there is no way for me to attend. I hope in the years that I was not working I never treated anyone who had to work unfairly. I think churches need to be more sensitive to this issue and support their CWM's with more creative women's minstries, not all of us are willingly working.
I agree that churches need to be more sensitive.... Sometimes it is best to create something. I know it sounds overwhelming, but there are resources out there where it doesnt' have to be overwhelming. I wanted to be in a couple's small group to grow spiritually.... My husband and I called some of our friends and asked if they wanted to do one. We have been meeting now for over 2 years - once a month, kids come too - we rotate houses and the host home leads the study and provides a small snack/beverage. It is pretty low-key and we have chosen a curriculum that does not take a lot of extra planning - just make a pan of bars and you are done. We have also all agreed we don't care if the house is clean - HUGE blessing to me as a mom of a newborn.Shanda
Shanda,I love the fact that you started the group and especially loved the part about not having a clean house. I think most of us don't entertain due to the clean house rule, but that is not necessarily a part of hospitality. I also agree with the other two comments that the church has to be intentional about including CWM's. Meetings at night or on a Saturday. I do think most CWM's would not want to meet every week, but maybe every three weeks, etc.
My church is so incredible, it reminds me of the early church when Christians supported one another with all they had. I was working for a company in Las Vegas, from home. Making excellent money. I sent out a couple of checks to pay my bills on time and low and behold no money came. I was instantly BROKE-no cash or access to it, and the bank covered my checks so I am in the whole at the bank. So...I am doing TEMP work while I scramble to find a real job, trying to get help from my mortgage company so I don't lose my house, and you can't imagine all of the other things that can happen when you have nothing by way of cash. Especially trying to get my son ready for school.My church paid my utility bill, my car payment, and a few other things to keep me going. I am in such AWE of how God is working in my life. Without Him and my church, we would be on the street. It's a place I NEVER expected to be, but I KNOW God will bring me through it.MariannePS-keep us in your prayers!! We can really use them.
Marianne,Just wanted to let you know I prayed for you. I'm so thankful for how your church has reached out to you. You are so right that they are like the early church. What a blessing to you. I hope you can find the perfect job soon.
working in the church I am shocked that we do not offer classes or programs specially designed for working moms...I have found another local church that has started a MOPS program at nigth desinged for CWM....but still I am surroudned by SAH moms and just dont; have the support that I feel like is important to me
Beth,I'm sorry to hear you don't have support and I hope you can find it here. I really don't think we are on most churches radar. I think churches need to be creative to meet the needs of CWM. Thanks for sharing.
I am the only wage-earner, and my husband is a full time SAHD. (Except for once or twice a month when he does a contract computer job.) Our kids are 9 (4th grade), 4 (1/2 day preschool--afternoons), and 2.One thing my current church does (that was lacking at my last church) to support me as a CWM is anytime there is an activity, class or meeting, there is child care available, as long as I let them know I'm coming. This is a huge blessing!At my old church, if we wanted to do an activity in the evening, the other girls (all SAHMs) said, "Can't your husband watch the kids?" They couldn't understand that he was with the kids ALL day EVERY day!At our home fellowship group (we just joined a new one after trying out a couple of others) we feel quite comfortable, but I noticed during introductions that I am the only one of 7 wives that works. (One helps out in her husband's office half days, but she brings the baby with her.)Our local MOPs (which is an outreach of many churches together) only offers a daytime program. I need fellowship with other moms.At least 2 or 3 of our pastor's wives work full time. We do have a lot of public school teachers in our congregation, maybe that's why they work hard for us.Sorry...I didn't mean to write a book! :)
Julie,No need to apologize. I think it is so great that your church provides childcare. Very forward thinking. I have often heard of MOPS groups only meeting during the day. That can be very frustrating. Also, you make a good point about staff wives working. That can make all the difference in the world. Thanks for sharing.
After the birth of my first and only child, I found the need to be around other mom's with children. I was surprised to find out that my church had no such groups. All that was offered was a seminar on bringing up boys that was months away and didn't fit into my new hectic schedule. Luckily there is a parenting course being offered, but I am 2 years into this thing now and don't need it. We do have a women's group, but still there is the childcare situation / challenge inwhich childcare is not offered. I think it would be nice to have a MOPS group in my church, but I am not sure how to go about it, because my church is rather large. By the way, the Women are bringing in Darlene Bishop to speak to us Sept. 28th and I am so excited. Jennifer
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