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I live in the south, and it seems that being a work-out-of-the-home mom is extremely uncommon. It just hit me that I am the *only* mother in my Sunday School class (of 50+ couples) in this category. I know that I was not called to be a stay-at-home mom, but I can't help but feeling like a black sheep at times. How do I handle the criticism? And how do I maintain relationships with these women who frown on my choice to work? I have had several discussions with various women just to try to help them understand my point of view, but I come away feeling patronized and downtrodden.I know guilt is not from God, but I can't help feeling guilty, despite knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am doing the right thing for my family.Thanks for listening!
Hi Jennie~I truly understand how you feel. I live in South Carolina. One church we attended for awhile had all stay at home Moms and homeschooling Moms. I truly felt out of place. I know how lonely you can feel.You are very correct the guilt is not from God, but if we all ready feel some guilt it doesn't take much to push us over the edge with other women's opinions. I pray you can find at least one woman at your church who is more like you. May God use you to reach out to other women who are like you.You are definitely not alone!!
I am so glad I am not the only working mother who feels this way. All of the other mothers at my church are stay at home moms, and most of them homeschool. After I get done talking to them, I often feel like I am the "bad mom", because I do not measure up to their standards. As you say, I know this is not from God, but it's often hard to deal with these emotions. I too have always known that I am called to work outside the home. I just get so tired of feeling like the other mothers at my church look at me as "that" mother.
Different topic, but what do you do when you just don't want to do ANYTHING anymore? I guess this is burn-out, though I continue to function. Here's the story, as short as I can make it:I wanted to be a SAHM, but we couldn't afford it. My child is now a preteen, so I don't dream of that anymore. I also want to be a writer, and I sort of get to do that at work, and until recently was relatively pleased with my job because it was relatively fulfilling. I've been the steady wage-earner, and sometimes (increasingly often) the primary wage-earner in our family. I also do a lot of the housework and childcare, though my husband is improving in that area.My husband tried to pursue a dream career, and I helped him in ways that I could as he tried to pursue that (I proofread applications for him, because I am good at that, and I put up with the long hours he needed to put in after work to try to change career fields). That didn't work out. He has quit jobs twice -- once, quite some time ago, I thought was a poor decision on his part, but we've discussed that and I've forgiven him, another time he was truly sick from his job. He has been laid off once. He has been fired twice. I don't blame him. He is smart, hard-working and ethical... and we recently found that he has a mental disability that probably plays into things. He has not had much success or satisfaction at work, so while he has been able to at least try to pursue his dreams (unlike me), I've been happier nonetheless.He is currently unemployed for the second time in one year. In addition, due to internal politics at work and the economy, our workplace is not as secure and happy as it was. All of a sudden, I can't take it anymore. I am tired of being responsible. I fear I will work and work until I die (we have little saved for retirement, though I have really tried). I am tired of being a care giver or a provider. I do not want to do ANYTHING. I have had it. I want to stay home and have someone nurture me for a LONG time.I am not happy with my attitude. I think I am a spoiled brat. I am trying to pursue my dream of writing outside of work, with some progress (though it is hard to fit it in, there is always so much to do). I have a decent amount of vacation time at work and sometimes travel. I am trying to take Sabbaths. I have no reason to feel like such a big baby, but I still do. I feel like it's unfair that I am the reliable person who always has the job and gets what needs to be done at home done, while my husband gets to be weak. I just don't want any responsibilities anymore. I want to be taken care of. I am still getting up in the morning and doing what needs to be do, so I haven't actually acted out my desires. Still I'm afraid when winter comes (I find winter very depressing, and where I live, winters are long and brutal), I will just crack. I won't get out of bed one day, or I will jump on a plane to Florida (not that I can afford that).What do you do when you just don't want to be a grownup anymore?
Hi Anonymous~I hear your weariness. I think all Moms (secretly) have thought of running away at some point. Sounds like you have been under a lot of stress for a long time. Just a few thoughts. I'm a therapist as well and it sounds like you might be depressed and it gets worse in the winter. Have you talked to your doctor about considering anti-depressants. Certainly, a doctor or therapist that talks with you longer than this comment could make that assessment better than I.Secondly, I commend you for taking time to write. I would imagine that is invigorating for you. So, even if you can only write for 15 minutes a day. Maybe that is something you can reserve for yourself.Thirdly, I know when I get feeling totally drained I realize I'm doing everything in my own strength and not God's strength. Pray for God to give you strength daily and wisdom in all you do.Fourthly, I don't know if there is an older, spiritually mature woman in your church who could meet with you, pray with you, and encourage you.I know you husband must me discouraged as well and that is hard for both of you. I hope there are others around him besides you to lift him up as well.You are in a difficult spot and I can imagine how tired you are. I'm praying God will give you a special blessing today that will let you know He is there and loves you extravagantly.
Thank you for your response, Coach Kimberly. It does feel good to be heard and prayed for. I have been thinking about therapy, but I am having a hard time progressing on that front. We just spent over $500 on an ADD evaluation for my husband, so I am trying to go as low cost as possible. I have sent out one website request for information and made three calls related to therapy (researching options and pricing) and the website request went to an error page, one phone call got cut off, and one call went through to someone who couldn't help me and asked me to call back another day (summer hours). I am trying to decide if these roadblocks mean that God for some reason doesn't want me to get counseling right now, or if that is reading too much into the roadblocks. My doctor prescribed an SSRI for a different medical reason several years ago, and it had some side effects I'd rather not experience again, so I sort of would prefer not to go onto an antidepressant, but right now, even getting talk therapy figured out is not working easily.I will keep writing; that has really become a habit over the summer. I'm also praying for God's strength and his rest. I'm trying to join a small group at church; we used to have a Stephen's Ministry program that could have matched me up with an older woman, probably, but that has gone by the wayside.I asked my husband if he felt he was getting enough support, because he certainly seems to be happy enough right now. He is one of the low percentage of men who does not seem to identify strongly with work. He isn't against working, but if you ask him what he really wants to do, he always says he wants to be a dilettante. He does feel like he is getting enough support from his male friends, which is good, because I don't think I'm being much of a support; I'm too self-absorbed this time around.Anyhow, thanks. I do appreciate your prayers and words of support.
Hi Anonymous,You are welcome. In my area there are pastoral counseling services that have a sliding fee scale. Of course, that is not everywhere. Your pastor may know of resources as well.I do hope you can find support and be encouraged by others as well.
I have struggled with the feeling of guilt of not being there for my family. My workplace is very fmaily friendly in that I am able to pretty much come and go as long as I get 40 hours a week in and I was even allowed to bring my boys to work with me until they were 6 month old and I have great vacation time. However, I have to travel more than I would like. Each month I have overnight travel for at least one night. I also sell real esatate on the side which takes up some evenings. While the extra money has been nice, my husband and I have decided that the real estate must be cut. I have one client that I am working with right now and after that I am going to quite.Recently, my son has started to thow a fit when i leave for work. My husband mother watches them two days a week and he is even getting upset when she watches them. It is the work feeling to back out of the drive way has your son is screaming for you. I have also taken on the chair of our church board of trustees. I don't know if I should look for a different job or what.The worst part is that when I am home, there are meals to make, stuff to clean, ect...(my husband is really getting better at helping out, he is a great man.) When I get time with the kids, it is almost like I dont' know what to do with them...how to have quality time with them.....Thanks for listening! I just needed to get some of my feeling out.
Hello, I love being a mother. I have three little angels, all under 4 years old. I am also a full time working mother. As a mother, I feel like I understand a little more how much our Lord Jesus Christ loves us as we are his little children. I also have a better understanding of the sacrafices my parents made for me. Some days are more difficult than others. On those difficult days, I ask God for help and encouragement. Today is a difficult day. Nothing has really gone significantly wrong, it's just a tough day. Sometimes it's hard to juggle everything. I worry about whether or not I can keep going and I look to the hills to find my help.
I can so relate to this discussion. I would love for more churches to address some of these issues head on -- we really need to start talking about the guilt, because so many of us feel it and I do believe it is not from God. Just found your site Coach Kimberly and I wish I would have met you 10 years ago when I was first pregnant and had very little support in the church. Times have changed a bit, but we still have a long way to go. Look forward to more discussions.
Susan glad you found the CWM community. Welcome. I'm glad everyone here is able to share how they truly feel and be able to vent.To anonymous dated 8-18-10 I hope things are calming down some. I know how hard it is to leave them crying. Mary thanks for reminding us always that we need to go to God for help. He is more than sufficient and able.May all of us this week complete our tasks in His strength alone.
Hi CWMs, Encouragement for today ~ your kids love you :) I know that mine do :) Have a great day!
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