I still receive emails from CWMs who feel guilt about working or
their churches’ do not support them working outside the home.
I’m saddened that this continues despite our efforts to support
CWMs. One of the many things CWMs have said is they enjoy hearing
from other CWMs, so I always enjoy the CWM interview each month.
If you ever want to read past issues of Pearls of Encouragement
or interviews go to:
Can I encourage you to find another CWM and both of you support
one another in your decision?
Let’s meet Greta a 32 year old married CWM who has two daughters
ages 2 and 5. She is a licensed clinical social worker.
Greta shares the following joys of being a Christian Working Mom:
My husband has to be more involved and helpful with our daughters'
routines. He has move quality 1:1 time without me there, he does
school and daycare pick-ups, he cooks dinner, he cleans the home—I
think we work more of a team of equal parents and homemakers than
most couples as a result of my working outside the home. My time
with my kids is precious to me; I try to make the most of it. I
enjoy my work, I find providing therapy very meaningful. I get to
go to the bathroom and eat my lunch in peace on my workdays. We
have money to afford a house cleaner which gives me even more ability
to focus on my kids. My kid's childcare providers are my in-laws,
my daughters are so close to them, and I love to see them loving
their grandparents. My work is an easy and exciting mission field
between my clients and my co-workers we are always making new friends.
Greta struggles as a Christian Working Mom in the following areas:
I feel judged by my fellow Christians. I miss out on moments I cannot
get back with my kids. I have to let go of my pride and allow others
to care for them differently than I would. I have to trust God can
take care of them better than I can. I am busy. It is hard to juggle
school pick-ups and drop-offs, extracurricular activities and working
outside the home. It is hard to go from getting barfed on by your
kids to providing therapy to a suicidal person...there is such a
dramatic shift in the hats I have to wear.
Favorite Bible Verse:
1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech
but in actions and truth”.
What is God teaching you right now?
To trust Him. To trust that His plan is best. To accept, not fight,
the challenges, inconveniences, delays, problems and hurdles I encounter
all day long. To look for opportunities to honor Him rather than
react. In this world we will have hard times, this is normal, why
is it so hard to accept that He can work all things for good? Even
a red light when I am already late to pick up my daughter from preschool!
Words of Encouragement for other Christian Working Moms
Find others who are in our same position and be honest with them
about your struggles, chances are they have felt some of what you
feel. Be bold and be the first to bridge the gap at church between
those moms that work and those who don't. Reach out in love. Work
on any anger and unforgiveness you may have if working is not what
you had wanted. I was angry for 4 years—at my husband for
not making more money, my in-laws for raising a man who wanted me
to work, God for not providing me a way to stay home, the economy
for the housing market crash, other moms who didn't have to work
(especially those who seemed to take that precious time they had
with their children for granted!) etc. I opened scripture, read
a book called “Total Forgiveness” and finally came to
a place of acceptance that I work really hard to stay in.
Anything else you would like to share:
Despite my busy schedule, I try to find time to work out, read and
take care of myself. I find this helps with any resentment I am
feeling for being overworked at times. God asks us to help carry
each other's burdens, but we are each responsible for our own loads.
In the Greek, burdens refer to a weight much too heavy for one person
and a load is something one person would carry. If I am not carrying
my own load (i.e. taking care of my emotional, spiritual, physical
and psychological health) who will? And how helpful will I be to
others if I neglect my own load while trying to help with their
burdens? I also see a therapist when I need it. She helps speed
up the process of growth and healing so I don't flounder on my own
Greta, I appreciate all the wisdom you had to share. Often, when
we don’t get what we want we can become bitter. God is sovereign
even in our darkest times and has things to teach us. Thanks for
sharing how God has worked in your life.
The Bible is clear in so many verses to “give thanks in all
things!” That is not always easy. May we all learn to give
thanks in the hard times as well as the good times.