I’ve been reading a blog posted on ivillage: Celebvillage by Katherine Heigl titled “It’s Difficult to Have It All.” This blog is about the challenges and rewards of being a working mother. I loved her fresh and honest perspective. She is not doubt a beautiful and inspiring actress but in my book, she must be an amazing mom!
After reading her story, I thought I would take a minute to share my experience and thoughts on being a working mom and I would love to hear your feedback as well whether you are a stay at home mom, working mom, dad or single female whom anticipates this being an issue you may have to tackle some day!
I will never forget when my oldest daughter Brooklyn was born. She was the best surprise we ever had! I remember the early weeks of her life, snuggling her sweet soft little face right up next to mine and the sad revelation that I wasn’t going to be able to catch everyone of these precious moments. Why? I was a working mom. The first day that I dropped her off at my mother in-laws and headed to the office, I felt like a piece of my heart was breaking. I agonized that I was not giving my daughter all that I had to offer and worried that I was going to miss the most important moments of her life if I continued to work. In that season of my life, working was not an option…it was a necessity so I did what had to be done. Maybe you can relate?
Not only was I working part-time, being a mother part-time, and a wife part-time; I was also serving with my husband as a youth pastor to a lot of amazing teenagers and striving to fulfill part of the purpose that God had for my life. Try adding up those part-time jobs though and the math just doesn’t work! The pressure to give everyone my best was eating me up inside because I felt like a failure in every area.
Part of my problem was that I played the comparison game. I compared myself to other amazing stay at home moms who did crafts with their kids and played at the park everyday. I compared myself to other wives who had a homemade meal on the table and a clean house for their husband every night. I compared myself to other employee’s who were constantly going over and above on the job and I compared myself to other pastor’s who could spend countless hours with their teenagers counseling and hanging out! I failed to listen to my own teaching advice: “Comparison is the Root of ALL Inferiority!”
Fast forward about 5 years, Brooklyn was entering Kindergarten and I now had a brand new bundle of joy; my little Avery Lane. I had finally entered a season in my life where I was able to work from home with my husband in ministry within the church. This is my passion. In her article Katherine Heigl shared that one of her passions is acting. This is where she feels fulfilled. I could relate entirely! I am passionate about the church. I love preaching and teaching and working with people. I’m fulfilled when I’m working in ministry! You would think that my worlds had finally collided and I could finally “Have it All!” That just wasn’t case. I still found myself struggling with comparison and failing to “Do it All” well!
I talked to a handful of leaders, all who had walked in these same shoes and I struggled to find balance in my life. In 2009 I finally picked up a book by a brilliant leader and mother Christine Caine. The title of her book is Can I have and do it all Please? The title of this book ensured me that this inspiring leader had the answers I was looking for! I didn’t find any simple steps 1, 2, 3. However; I was reminded of what I had known all along.
God created me unique. He graced me with gifts and talents and blessed me with the privilege of raising two beautiful girls and being a wife to an incredible husband. There really is no such thing as Balance if you are looking for a world where every part of your life get’s equal attention! It’s just not a reality! However, you can choose every day to be led by God through the simple voice of the Holy Spirit (usually the feeling inside your gut) and I believe that He helps us focus our attention where it is most needed that day and that moment. Sometimes Avery and Brooklyn might need me to set everything else aside to play a game, color a picture or cuddle on the couch. Someday’s my husband may need my undivided attention or the comfort of a home cooked meal! 🙂 Other times, the church and the people that God has called me to reach might require my focus. My main job is simply to listen and respond! Some day’s I fail and I miss a crucial moment but I pick myself up and start over again giving it the best I can.
My Brooklyn is an amazing girl. She is beautiful, talented and adaptable. I honestly believe that all of the time away from me made her moments with me all the sweeter and helped her to become very flexible with schedule and with people. It was all part of God’s plan for her little life. When we moved to California she went to a new school and has been forced to make new friends and adapt to a new community. She has done it with grace and style!
Currently I am still working from home. It is a joy and a challenge. Even in writing this blog I’ve stopped for cuddles, an art project and lunch! Avery is happy just to be in the same room with me! I look forward to sending her to school because I know it will be so good for her inquiring little mind but until then, she get’s to watch me be a loving and involved mom while at the same time a hard worker who is striving to fulfill my purpose and make a difference in the world!
Whether you are a stay at home mom, a working mom, a dad or a single adult. I would challenge you not to find your identity in the rolls that you play but rather find your identity in the God who created you. Embrace the you that He made you to be and live your life with purpose. Be a great mom, a hard-working employee or fabulous wife or all of the above. Be patient with life’s different seasons but never forget to live your life with purpose and use the gifts and talents God has given you to make a difference in the lives of the people in your world!
If you are a working mom, I love Katherine Hiegl’s perspective. She tells her daughter that working makes her a better woman and a better mom because it fulfills a passion in her heart and she said “Then I pray to God that she will understand one day and that my example will encourage her to find and follow her bliss as well.” I agree. I honestly believe that when you as a mother follow your passion and live life with purpose, it set’s the greatest example for your children!
What are your thoughts?