Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Being a Working Mom

A blog I read, Chocolate on My Cranium, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". As part of that celebration, she has asked us to write about our families, using the proclamation as a guide.

The proclamation states: "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."

This is the part that means the most to me and is the part I struggle with every day. You see, I've been blessed with a wonderful career. I have got a great job, that pays handsomely, and has pretty good benefits. I've also been blessed with a wonderful husband -- it just happens that he has little education and less earning power than myself.

The deepest desire of my heart is to stay at home and raise my children. I want my primary responsibility to be nurturing my children. And I know it pains my husband to not be able to provide for our family and make all my dreams come true.

I struggle a lot because I know the Lord wants me to stay at home and raise my children. I often don't feel like I have enough faith because I can't just up and quit my job and depend on the Lord to take care of us. But I also know that the Lord expects us to be self reliant.

President Gordon B. Hinkley cautioned women, at several times, using several different words to be very careful about working outside the home. He said, "I hope that if you are employed full-time you are doing it to ensure that basic needs are met and not simply to indulge a taste for an elaborate home, fancy cars, and other luxuries."

My husband and I have spent a lot of time and energy this year refocusing our priorities. We've set financial goals. We've paid off all of our non-mortgage debt and started saving an emergency fund. We've analyzed our budget and decided to try and live more simply. We are trying to curtail our spending, and trying to learn to live on less money. We can't currently survive on my husbands salary, but we are trying to learn how. We are setting aside the extra money we have now while I am working so that we can ensure our financial security should the opportunity for me to stay home arise.

And in the mean time, I try to be the best mother that I can be. That means that I've given up some of my ideals about the perfect house and the perfect meal plan. I'm learning to accept that dirty dishes in the sink are okay, and breakfast cereal for dinner every now and again is fine. It means that I have more time for hugs and kisses after work and time for one more story before tucking my boys into bed.

I have to work really hard to not be to tired and too stressed to be loving at the end of the day. Everyone is tired and hungry when we get home, and we are all at our worst. It's been even harder since my husband has been working afternoon and evenings. It's just me and the boys and there is a lot of yelling and crying on every one's part.

I'm making an effort to yell less and love more. When Moose is yelling at Monkey, and Monkey is crying and hitting Moose, I try to remember that yelling isn't going to help anything. Our children deserve to be taught with love and respect.

These are some of the things I do to nurture my children when I am at home with them:

  1. Snuggle a little bit every morning, no matter how late we slept.

  2. Pray everyday for guidance in the things I need to teach them.
  3. .
  4. Pray with them every night.

  5. Pray for patience and a tempered spirit.

I pray a lot. Motherhood has helped me to realize how much help I need. I can't do it on my own. I need my husbands strength and support, and more importantly, I'm learning to rely on my Heavenly Father. Through motherhood, I'm becoming closer to my Heavenly Father. I know that will make me a better wife and mother and person.

Are you a working mom? What are some of the things you struggle with? How do you deal with your struggles?


JRoberts said...

I am always in awe with a working mom...there is so much to ballence and if it is done well, what a wonderful person you are.

Beautifully written post.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

What an insightful and wise mother you are. I am so impressed by your diligence in trying to obey the Prophet's request to stay home, and your earnest attempts to become what He wants you to be. Every mother, working outside the home or not, should pray the way that you do and I for one know that I need to rely on Him more to not yell, etc. You are a great example to me. Thanks for this post and thanks for joining in the celebration! - Jocelyn

Heather said...

Hey Jodi
For quite awhile I was a part-time working mom and I was pretty happy about it. I had my career and I had my family. Then my husband went back to school. I wanted to stay PT, but after some thought and prayer we decided me working full-time is best for us now. Working PT I was stressed about money all of the time. Going from 2 to 3 days a week makes an enormous change in my income. It's worth it to me to not stress about debt. And this isn't a long-term plan.

The biggest struggle I have is keeping the house clean. I decided that now that I am FT I'm hiring a cleaning service to do the deep cleaning once a month, because when I'm not at work I'd rather spend time with my family than scrubbing bathrooms. I feel a small twinge of guilt spending money to have someone else clean my home, but I'm sure I'll get over it. Being with my family is more important.

Yes, I would love to be home more, but I'm also grateful to have a fulfilling job that I love. And even if money were not an issue I would never stop working entirely. I feel that the Lord helped me to gain the skills I have so I could bless the lives of others.

And don't feel too guilty about working, you have to do what is best for you and your family. That's between you, your husband and the Lord. Just pray for the strength to do His will.

I wrote a post awhile ago on a book I read regarding this topic. Perhaps it may offer some insight.

I admire you for making the prophet's council a priority and for turning to the Lord in prayer. It is something I should do more. The very best to you and your family! -Heather

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I think you are living the part "In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners" beautifully.

Have you seen this new Mormon Ad? I think you would enjoy it. They both work!

Jodi said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words.

Heather -- I too struggle with keeping the house clean, and have contemplated hiring someone as well. I think even once a month would be a huge help for us. I'll be picking up your recommended book at our next trip to the library. Thanks!