Adventures of a Stay-at Home/Working Mom, Part II: Finding Balance

23 Feb

Being a stay at home mom isn’t easy.  Neither is being a working mom.  We have discussed the pro’s and cons of each, and established that the important thing is being in God’s will.  Does God’s will mean that you have to be a mom who stays at home?  That’s a great option, but if the best thing for the family is for mom to work part time while Grandma watches the kids a few hours each morning, (like I do,) then that’s fine too.  The important thing is that moms happy, the kids are happy and well taken care of, and that the family is thriving.

I used to work days and nights, but it got to be too much.  I worked during the morning, graded and lesson planned all afternoon, and only had time to say a quick “hello” to my husband before leaving for the night.  Sure, the money was great, but who cares?  I didn’t even have time take my kids to the park on a beautiful sunny day, much less take a nap if I was exhausted.  If you are finding yourself in a similar situation, ask yourself is it really worth it.  Now maybe you are a single mom, or your husband lost his job and you have to work a lot.  I’m not speaking to you.  But if you have two incomes, and you’re finding yourself overworked and too tired to even enjoy your family, then what’s the point?  Downsize to a smaller house, stop eating out so much, as find find a way to live off of less so that you can be there for your family.

Maybe you’re a stay at home mom and you love it.  You get to be with your kids, take naps with them during the day while everyone else is hard at work, (one of my favorite parts,) and go to the park and beach while everyone else is drinking burnt coffee trying to make it till 5 p.m. in their cubicle.  This isn’t to knock full time workers – some people love their jobs, and working is honorable.  But to each their own.  If you are a stay at home mom, there’s nothing wrong with loving your season of being at home.  But be careful that you don’t get so caught up in having fun and being social that you forget your time with God.  I knew of one stay-at-home mom who spoke of attending a playdate everyday.  Although your childs socialization important, (as is having close relationshps with your girlfriends,) I am wary of someone who is always on the go.  Balance is key.  If you’re always running around, when are you spending time with God?  When are you praying, or even just spending quiet time thinking your own thoughts?  It is often during peaceful times of solitude when God speaks what He wants you to do with your life.  When I slow down and pray, God tells me all kinds of amazing things.  He brings ideas to my mind.  He causes me to think up ways to make more money.  He confirms the plans that He has for me.  But when I become too focused on being Mrs. Social Butterfly, I can’t hear his voice as well.  Then, when problems arise, I’m running around like a crazy person because I am not grounded in God’s peace.  Being social is great, but remember to include God in your social time.

God is a God of order. Is your home in order?  Do you have time to sit down and eat with your kids and spouse?  Studies show that children with emotional disturbances rarely ever sat down and ate dinner as a family.  Your husband may not tell you this, but he enjoys coming home to a home cooked meal.  Yes, I am well aware that it is not the 50’s, 🙂 but let’s not get so caught up in women’s rights that we refuse to do anything for our man.  After all, if you don’t, someone else might.  Your family should come first.

Balance also means that it’s ok to ask your husband to help you out aroure and the house.  Even if you stay at home full time with the kids, don’t feel bad asking the hubby to help with the dishes or change a diaper every now and then.  You will have a better relationship b/c you won’t resent him for coming home after work, putting his feet up, and watching TV all night while you watch the kids 9 pm. or whenever they go to bed.  If you are loving your man, feeding his belly, affirming and encouraging him, and sleeping with him on a regular basis, I promise you that he will not mind doing the dishes every now and then.  🙂

Also remember that balance means that you are still allowed to have friends.  Being a good mom isn’t about being home 24/7 with your kids.  It’s ok to leave the kids with grandma for the weekend and take a romantic trip to Wiliamsburg with the hubby and not feel guilty.  It’s ok to leave your kids with a babysitter and have a date night.  It’s allright to leave the kids with the husband every now and then, and have a girls night where you eat at Cheesecake Factory, see a movie, or do whatever else you like.

I recently took a girls trip to Williamsburg and left the kids with the hubby.  What a refreshing time!  We shopped at the antique stores and outlets, (actually I did more,) visited the two Story yankee candle, ate Thai food and Cracker barrel, and lounged around B&N drinking $4 coffee’s and reading magazines.  We stayed in a 5 star hotel, soaked in the jacuzzi and pool for hours every night, and talked and laughed till 4 a.m. like schoolgirls at a sleepover.  We even went to the sports bar at midnight for loaded nachos and Shirley Temples, (a non-alchoholic for all those who are wondering.)  🙂  It’s ok to have fun with your friends.  You’re still young.  Having kids means more responsponsibility, yes, but it doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to having fun.

One mom that I spoke to had fallen into depression.  She felt like she had to be around the house all the time to be a good mom.  She couldn’t remember the last time she’d hung out with friends.  She had lost herself.  Remember that balance is key.  God’s word tells us that there is a time for everything.  Take today for instance, I worked this morning, took the kids to Wal-mart, am writing a blog, and plan on cooking dinner,  doing some grading, taking the kids to the park b/c it’s 70 degrees today..yaayy..and plan on spending time tonight with the hubby relaxing, watching TV, and doing whatever else after the kids go to bed.  🙂  My house may not be perfectly clean all the time, my kids clothes may not be perfectly matched all the time, and I may not cook perfect meals.  But guess what?  I’m happy, and so is my family.  I may not work full time, but I enjoy the extra time during the day that I can spend tickling my kids, reading to them, blogging and working on my book, and being around good friends who make me smile.  I am blessed.  I may not live in the biggest house, but I’d rather work part time in a less expensive house that I can actually enjoy living in because I’m not having to work 60 hrs/wk to afford the mortgage.

There are exceptions to every rule.  I know that.  Some people have to work 60 hrs/week just to survive.  But if you have a choice, choose family first.  Choose happiness.  Choose a situation that allows you to have time with the Lord.  Even if it means waking up earlier, do it.  I was so mad when God told me to get up even earlier to spend time with Him.  But if getting up at 5 am. is what I have to do everyday, then I’m going to be obedient and do it.  If I get to sleep at a reasonable hour, take a hot shower in the morning, and take my protein shake, I am actually pretty awake and talkative even before the sun is up.  🙂  Put God first in everything.  He will bless you for your faithfulness.  It’s not about stay at home moms being better than working moms, or vice versa.  It’s about being in God’s perfect plan for your life.  When you are living out God’s plan, your mere existence will bless others.  And for that, God will bless you. 🙂

***Be blessed.  Book will be done editing by the end of Feb. 🙂


4 Responses to “Adventures of a Stay-at Home/Working Mom, Part II: Finding Balance”

  1. Kathy May 27, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    I totally agree with you. Balance is key. Put God first and the rest will fall as it should. I would love to have you link this up to Titus 2 Tuesday next week on Cornerstone Confessions.

    Hopping over from Women Living Well.


    • lholmes79 May 27, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      I am still working on finding balance – recently I have had to switch to teaching more online classes than ground classes to make time for family. 🙂 By cutting back in small ways financially, I don’t even notice that I’m making a little bit less. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words! I would love to link this up Tues, and I’ll have to check you out too! 🙂

  2. Denise May 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Very true.

    • lholmes79 May 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      Yes – I am still working on finding balance. It’s funny b/c it is a never ending journey. When circumstances change, sometimes we have to re-assess our priorities and activities, and find a good balance all over again. God is so good b/c He will show us how we can balance family, life, homeschool, career etc. all for His Glory!

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