Can You Manage Career and Family?

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Let me say right off the bat that this is not an article to bash Mamas who work outside of the home.  I understand there are circumstances that require such.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I am pro-life, pro-homeschooling, and pro-STAHMs (Stay At Home Moms), but my intent is not to hurt anyone.
 Now that we got that out of the way, let me begin. :)

I hear you trying to convince me God has placed a calling on your life outside of your home. Other than mothering your children.  A calling that requires much schooling and many hours away from home.

I hear you complain about your current schedule and how you miss out on certain events in your kids' lives.

I hear your Mama's heart as you tell me of the problems your child is having at school.  How you long to get the help he requires.  How you are scared of the label they are trying to pin on him.

I hear how it saddens you because the other children are already pinning labels on him due to his struggles with their level of performance.

You know what I am going to say because you know what I stand for.  Yet you ask anyway.

You are a good mama!  Your heart is in the right place.  It is just torn between two views:

- Secular vs. Scriptural -

Can you have your cake and eat it, too?  

Can you submerge your teenager into the public school scene, follow its popularity track, and expect to have a respectful, Godly young lady that honors her parents, refrains from premarital relations, and has a ministry mindset?  Is this possible?  Yes.  In very few circumstances, but it is not the norm.

  • Someone else teaches her academics in public school.

  • Someone else teaches her Bible stories in Sunday School.

  • Someone else mentors her in the youth group.

  • Her free time is spent talking, texting, and facebook-ing peers.

  • She shares the ride to and from school and church with siblings.

  • She might chat with you at the dinner table.

  • She might holler out a "Good night" at the end of the day.

Then you ask why she doesn't come to you for answers.  
Why she doesn't confide in you.  
Why she acts just like all the other teenagers you know.

She needs YOU!

I want to suggest that most of your son's "problems" could be corrected with diet and discipline.  I want you to know that he needs YOU.  He needs YOU to research and determine his "problems".  He needs YOU to invest as much time in him as you can while he is young.  Shuffling him into a "special" class is not the answer. A pill to calm him down is not the answer.  YOU are, and of course, lots of prayer.

I want to tell you that God called you to be a Mama first.  He gave you the desires you have to mother and nurse your own children.  To raise them in a Godly home where Mommy and Daddy are the teachers, the mentors, and the nourish-ers.

I know this goes against what you have come to accept as the normal Christian way to live in today's society.  It goes against what some family members would tell you.  I know you want to do things on your own.  I know you have a lot to prove.

But in the end, is it worth it?  If you save many lives, but lose your own children, will you be glad you made the decision to follow what you think is God's call?

I love that you want to help others.  I am sorry for what you had to go through to consider this desire.


Mark 8:36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (NLT)  You might can make it through this and do a lot of good to many others.  But can your marriage survive?  Can your children turn out the way you want them to?

Just thought I would ask.  I hear the mama inside of you crying out to help your children thrive.  I also hear that echo in your voice of today's society that wants to keep up with the rat race of the world.

Managing a career and family.

Can you have your cake and eat it, too?

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Jills Home Remedies said...

Very good post, Niki!

Anonymous said...

I don't want to sound like someone who is against your words. I like the insight you have in this post. I thought it was good. This post though has me wanting to write something back. My mom was a business woman. She and my dad both worked together to open up their family business and still continue to work together. I felt that i was not deprived of my parent's love and i would consider my mother my best friend. I think that you can come out of this situation as respectful young women. I think it is about having the right balance in life. My mom always made time for all my siblings and continues to do so. i am blessed to have my mom as an example of a god-fearing woman. I think that in today's society, it is difficult for many families to remain close (due to technology and work overpowering family togetherness), but i believe that if people could balance their lives and what they deem most valuable to them that people can do both.

What if you feel called by God serve in the medical field/ mission field? what if you that desire is greater than being a mother?

please don't take this as being critical. i just wanted to maybe show a different perspective on this topic.

Niki French said...

Thanks, Jill!

And to Anonymous: I find it amusing when others want to share an opposing view they don't want to share their name, but I appreciate your input! I would like to draw your attention to the paragraph that I wrote stating that your situation is not the norm.

"Can you submerge your teenager into the public school scene, follow its popularity track, and expect to have a respectful, Godly young lady that honors her parents, refrains from premarital relations, and has a ministry mindset? Is this possible? Yes. In very few circumstances, but it is not the norm."

If a woman is blessed to become a mother, my opinion is that motherhood is her first calling. God's Word never tells us that we can place any other calling above that. I feel it is not God's plan for a woman to put another desire or "calling" ahead of motherhood if she has been given that opportunity.

You were very gracious in your comment and I hope you will feel this is safe place to share your feelings. :)

Ashley D. said...

Hi Niki. The decision to be a stay at home mom or a working mom was something I struggled with the first year of my son's life. I was blessed enough to be able to stay home with him the first 9 months and have since recently returned to work. It was an extremely difficult decision, but after MUCH prayer and conversation with my husband, we felt it was God's calling for our family. For me it came down to the personal belief that God has not called every mother to be a stay at home mother. I used to struggle with the guilt of feeling like a child that was with their mother throughout the day would of course "turn out" better than my own. However, what I ultimately came to realize is that God is the God of everything. He is big and He is good. He can provide for my son in ways I never thought possible during the day when I am away. I know there are many opinions that feel different, and that's okay. I don't feel I have chosen my career over my son, but rather I believe I have chosen God's plan for my life over what I thought was the expected life for myself (being a stay at home mom). While we have different opinions on this subject, I'm sure we can agree that God is so, so good. Therefore, my belief is that if God has called me to work outside the home and I am intentional with the time I have with my children, my God will provide for me, my children and my family as a whole in ways my human mind could never fathom. I liked the way you asked the question - "Can you have your cake and eat it too?" - because I believe that with God and his provision, you must certainly can. Again, I do genuinely appreciate your heart and your beliefs. Just wanted to provide another perspective.

Anonymous said...

First of all, your "scriptural view" on this topic contains one verse. This verse out of Mark is talking about the world versus God. He wasn't talking about the world versus your marriage or your children. These things ARE of the world.

Your lack of faith in God to take care of you and your family is staggering. You hold your children back from the world thinking it will help them but do you know what happens when they leave the home? I am in college and I can tell you first hand that the homeschooled kids are the easiest to convert to evils of the world. They haven't had the experience dealing with the brokenness of the world. Instead of shielding me from a bad world, MY mother taught me how to get into the middle of the mess and help the hurting and broken.

Also, SHOW me in the bible where it says God called women to be mothers first. From what I'm reading in Colossians 3:2, Paul says "set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." In Luke 14:26, Jesus says "if anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and CHILD, brothers and sisters - even their own life - such a person cannot be my desciple." Jesus is telling us to love Him first not your children or your family.

Additionally, when you say "If you save many lives, but lose your own children, will you be glad you made the decision to follow what you think is God's call?" Why would it be better to not save many lives? If we are to be like God, didn't God do just that when he sent Jesus?

In my experience, my parents sent me to public school. It was difficult being in a secular setting every day yet here I am. Through my family's prayers, support, and leadership by example, I was able to form my own relationship with God separate from my parent's faith. You say that most kids lose their faith when thrown into public school but I say the best christians come out of public school. Jesus himself didn't hang around the saved but the Sinners and and worse... the tax collectors. As a public schooler, I can relate to the lost and broken better than any bible knowing homeschool kid. Not to say that I don't know my bible...

I had a professor recently tell me that after years of struggling with the question of calling, he concluded that your calling and your occupation are completely separate. In Colossians 3:17 Paul says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." He does not say "in whatever you think you are supposed to do" or "in what you feel like you have to do" In WHATEVER you do, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Sure, God calls people very apparently sometimes, but for a lot of people, especially kids in school, there is no clear path defined by God. The anonymous poster above simply wished to give a different perspective on how God uses women. You simply wrote it off by calling it a rare case by your own ambiguous statistic. The cause of a child's choice to become a Christian or turn away is deeper than the involvement of his or her parents.

I am not the anonymous poster above, yet I choose to stay anonymous. I find it similarly humorous when people choose not to approve comments that will threaten them too much.

Carie said...

Mmmmm....the only scripture given does not relate to parenting.

Niki French said...

Though I greatly appreciate your comments, I do not feel I need defend my position on this subject at this time. I think some of what I wrote was misinterpreted and I understand how this can happen easily. I will clarify that this post is not an exegesis or commentary on the Scripture verses to back up my opinion and what God has laid on my heart regarding this subject. It is merely a small window to hopefully encourage my readers. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts with us all! I am honored you did.

Whew! Enough of that heavy stuff. Ya'll come back now, ya hear?! :)