“Whenever the Bible expressly talks about the marks of an excellent woman, the stress is always on feminine virtue. The most significant women in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character.” – John MacArthur, Twelve Extraordinary Women.
As I mentioned yesterday, my desire has always been to be a wife and mother. More specifically, a stay-at-home wife and mother. Now please do not take offense if this is not your desire. This is not a post bashing women who choose to be in the workplace, but rather an encouragement for those women who desire to stay home, but can’t.
Although I’ve always wanted to stay home, in the four years that I have been a mother, this dream of mine has never been fulfilled. For whatever reason, the Lord has never allowed for this door to be open to me. I originally went into teaching thinking that given the time off, it would be the next best thing to staying at home, and it was. However, in the past few years, even this door has been closed, and I have taken a job in the public workforce. My schedule is great for during the week, but includes a lot of Saturdays. This means a lot of missed quality family time.
From now until the end of the year, I have to work 9 weekends. Just thinking about it almost gives me a panic attack. That’s 9 Saturdays where my precious children and husband will be out enjoying the Fall weather and participating in fun holiday activities without me.
In my previous marriage, this became a source of contention, and I am determined to not let that be the case in my new marriage. Before, I had to work because I was the one with the steady job and I made more money than my spouse. More importantly, I think, it was not an important goal for my ex-husband. Things could not be more different this time around. Andy has a good, steady, well-paying job, and more importantly, he greatly desires for me to be home taking care of the house and the children. Unfortunately, I acquired the majority of the debt from my previous marriage, and it’s going to take a little bit of time working and applying my paycheck to that in order for it to be paid off. I am fully on board with our plan, and I believe that I should work to help get it paid off, but I still like to lament about my circumstances sometimes.
I was doing just this thing the other day (with tears and all), and Andy shared that he was carrying guilt about me having to work. Well, talk about guilt…the Lord greatly convicted me about my attitude. It was not lifting up my husband at all, but actually tearing him down. I resolved to stick it out, and keep any complaints to myself. I am focusing on one weekend at a time, not the 9 ahead of me, and we are figuring out how to make regular week nights family fun nights (not an easy task with elementary aged triplets and their massive amounts of homework).
What have I decided to focus on? What I can do when I am home. For me this week, that has meant sprucing up small areas of the house with fall decorations. As the quote above states, I will not be known for my job in the public sector or as a stay-at-home mom, but for my virtue. I don’t want to have the character of a complainer, and more importantly, I don’t want my husband to see me as a complainer. So I challenge you moms who work outside of the home: don’t focus on everything you miss, but be determined to be purposeful in the time you do have in your home, and make every moment there as peaceful and as joyful as you can for yourself, your children, and your spouse. You will be remembered for it.
(Originally Written in 2012)