on why I don’t have working moms guilt

This week I asked women in our (in)couraging Working New Moms group to share pictures of their work spaces. The resulting pictures made me think that these women were proud of their spaces. Had anyone told them that it’s ok to feel that pride? Because it is. By the way, here’s my desk (where I’m sitting now):

I love my job. I never questioned that after The Boy was born, I would return to it. Honestly, my job doesn’t feel like work! My dear grandpa would be so proud and happy that I feel that way – he always said that he never ‘worked’ a day in his life, he found things he loved to do, did them, and got paid for it =)

A few reasons I love what I do:

  • I have a fantastic team of co-workers. Seriously, these people are gems. I feel like in most work places, there’s some kind of cattiness, or icky things about individuals, or bad feelings in general. Our team is comprised of the most integrity-filled, faithful, Christian people who truly care for one another and who speak well of their families (because how you speak publicly of your family matters) and of each other. They are smart, experts in their fields, and (as the youngest team member) mentor me without even knowing it.
  • They allow me a flexible, part-time, work-from-home schedule. I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mom since we began our baby journey, and my job allows me to do that. Yes, it’s difficult to get all my work done. No, I don’t sleep much (most of that work gets done after The Boy goes to bed). Yes, it’s worth it. I definitely recognize this is an enormous blessing.
  • I do work that matters. The work I do seems to be important, to make an impact on others. This is hugely important to me, and probably the single biggest factor to working after The Boy’s birth.
I know not everyone has this kind of job. I feel unusually blessed by the circumstance of mine, and try not to take it for granted. Most of us stamp a timecard because no matter how miserable, for one reason or another *coughpaycheckcough*, we simply must. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING. And neither is loving your job and taking pride in it – even if you are a Christian, a wife, a mom.
It seems like the Christian world is saturated with messages about women not working, especially if you have children. Some of these messages are coated in judgment, and some are not. But these are the messages that corroded my soul for a long time, causing me to wonder about my calling as a woman who is really good at her job, and caused guilt-aches as a woman who really likes and is proud of her work.
Am I a bad mom/wife/woman because I like my work? Are my kids going to suffer because I work? How will I balance kids/schedules/dirty floors/dinner/work/husband/allthethings? Is God disappointed in me because I like and am good at my job? These were lies I bought into. That poor Proverbs 31 woman was getting twisted and turned in all directions to make her fit a mold I didn’t, and I felt twisted along with her. I used to really resent her, the idea of a perfect Godly woman that I wasn’t.
While I still struggle with her, with all she does (because I am lazy and have never ever gotten up before the sun without an alarm angrily set) the idea of her sits better in my soul because it was thru her that God convinced me He is not upset with me for loving my work. He made me to love it! The twists & turns of my life, ordained by Him, prepared me for a career that I love. He has gifted me with the skills and passion, and brought me an amazing opportunity to work with people who see the value – my value - in it. Not only is it ok for me to be proud of things I’ve accomplished in my career, He hopes that I do! In realizing this, I’ve been able to embrace my work, love it, be proud of it.
God has truly healed a rough patch in my, smoothed it over with His love of who I am, and by doing my job well – pouring myself into it – I can bring Him glory!
And there is no guilt in that.
-anna
{girl with blog}
This post is part of an on-going series through (in)courage
Click here for more about our group, (in)couraging Working New Moms. 
anna
{girl with blog}
so glad you came to the fence.
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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05566890536970770193 Lauren H.

    I feel like the root of the Christian world’s leaning towards mothers not working is because God designed women as the nurturers of their family, however I feel like most are being too legalistic about it, if that makes sense. I think we are designed, as mothers, to find our fulfillment in our families, and put our families first, but I don’t think people appreciate that this can be done in SO many different ways. I don’t believe working moms are putting their family on the sideline, I see them working and serving their family, with the added benefit of doing beneficial service for others. I see no problem in this. All of the amazing working mothers I know are not that self-centered, super driven, career-ONLY-minded mom who schedules an hour in with their children solely for appearance purposes I think pops into the head of those who are against mothers working (I can only assume). Anyways, stepping off my soapbox now, but I think you can get my point. Even the Proverbs 31 worked for her family :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11512538110236411673 Emily

    Having worked with you before (in a very different scenario… haha), I know that while you are passionate about your “work,” you’re also a person who is completely capable of being equally passionate/loving to everything else … including that lovely family of yours. You’re an amazing woman who is blessing both God and your family by using the talents HE gave you to do so, and that’s phenomenal. You are an phenomenal woman, friend, and one who I look up to as an example of a passionate, driven, love-filled, positive mom/wife/worker/friend that I can aspire to.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07832438200919313556 Creole Wisdom

    Love how authentic this is. No shame my friend, no shame!

    Proverbs 31 is actually my life verse. I have never perceived her to be a sahm (she probably was!) but someone who was equal parts virtue and ingenuity.

    “because how you speak publicly of your family matters” Yes! I knew a woman who would get really negative about her husband on facebook, her blog and to everyone else and it made me feel uncomfortable. I have always been fiercely loyal to my blood and while we all need to vent, this says so much.

    I am so glad that you have shed the guilt and can enjoy your work. The Boy is blessed to call you mom.