A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was struggling with the decision of whether or not to return to work. Like I said in that post, by “return to work” I mean start up my part-time, work from home bookkeeping job. It was a decision I wrestled with for quite a long time – really from the time I found out I was having twins. I enjoyed working for many reasons: it was a fun a job that provided interaction with adults outside the mom-world, I found the work interesting and was constantly learning new aspects of business and finance, and it fit perfectly into my lifestyle. Where else can you get a job working from home with no set hours? It was truly a blessing.
The downside was that at times the job put extra stress on me. The work itself was neither difficult nor stressful, but the to-do list cycling through my mind sometimes weighed me down. It wasn’t the work – it was the anticipation of the work. When will I have time to finish entering those receipts? What if payroll isn’t done on time? I generally only worked when my kids were asleep or in Independent Playtime, but the to-do list infiltrated my thoughts at other times and I found myself inexplicably snappy or short with Vera and Abel. I wouldn’t say it happened frequently, but when it did, I felt horrible.
Since going on maternity leave at the end of April, I have been much calmer and self-controlled. Obviously I’m human and I sometimes still lose it when my kids are being their particular brand of irritating, but it has been happening far less frequently. I am more patient lately. I am gentler and have more self-control. I am a better mother. I am more like the mother God wants me to be.
The difficult part is that we really need the money. Southern California is a tough place to live on one income. It feels financially irresponsible to stop working. What if we can’t pay the bills? What if our car dies? What if that disgusting mold in the shower turns out to be BLACK MOLD and we have to re-do our entire bathroom? The list of what ifs goes on.
But still, my first priority is motherhood. If I choose to work at the expense of my family, I am no longer putting motherhood first. Other women may be able to work and run their households with neither area suffering, but I was not built that way. I must sacrifice work outside the home for more peace within the home. One can never be absolutely certain, but I do feel this is what God is asking of me.
So, we took the plunge. I quit my job and am for the first time simply a stay at home mom (which is actually a phrase I hate. Can’t we bring back Homemaker?). We are trusting God to continue leading us in the direction we should go, which hopefully involves a promotion and a pay raise for Eddie, but of course could mean a move or a rough couple of years, financially (hamburger helper, anyone?). In the meantime, I am trying to push the worries out of my mind and focus on the duties at hand: to be a good wife, a patient mother, and a steadfast follower of Christ.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.