Friday, August 15, 2014

To the mom deciding between full-time work, part-time work and staying home… (or will make this decision one day)

When I say "to the mom"… I have come to realize every mom has to make this decision, whether they feel the need to pour over it or not.  And maybe it is not a hard decision for you… 
*maybe you are a single mom and have no choice but to work to care for your family.
*maybe you work, love your job, make tons of money and can't imagine doing anything else.
*maybe all you have ever wanted to do was be a stay-at-home mom.
*maybe you have a sweet part-time gig all lined up and already have the balance.
But y'all, for me the struggle is real… and I would venture to say I think it is real for a lot of you moms, soon-to-be-moms and maybe-be-moms out there.  You see for me I am, by nature a work-a-holic.  I also struggle with getting my worth from what I do instead of Christ.  So I have always said, "I want to work and I enjoy it."  Then my next sentence would be, "I am willing to sacrifice to be a stay-at-home-mom."  Does anybody else see how these two statements don't really go together? 
 
What else doesn't help.  Is judgement from other mama's out there… or even perceived judgement (sometimes I think we moms think other moms are judging us, but we are really just all trying to figure out this mom thing out!)
When we moved two months after BD was born, I thought, maybe I would find a part-time preschool job, make a little money to help ends meet, and be at home with Bailey Drew part of the time.  I thought I wanted something that was a few hours a day, 2-3 days a week, but God provided a 5-day part-time job,  and I decided to try it.  Bailey Drew loved going to school, I enjoyed teaching working, ends were met.  It was the balance and I called myself a part-time stay at home mom.  I am honestly only realizing now how incredibly thankful I am for the position God provided and how perfect it was for our life at that point.
Then, a couple weeks ago we moved.  And I had to make these decisions all over again.  
We have moved twice since BD was born, so I have had to make this decision twice so far.  Each time hard, and each time has caused me to pour over our priorities, budget, and my heart in the matter.
You see, this time, I decided to put my name out there for some full-time teaching gigs.  After a week or two of looking, I ended up taking a similar 5, 1/2 day preschool job.  As soon as I signed my contract for that job (we are talking an hour later), I got a text message and email from a principal to interview for a full-time position.  Two days later another principal contacts me.  These seem like amazing opportunities!  I was torn, bothered.  Did we jump the gun in taking this job?  Or did I jump the gun in assuming I should apply for full-time positions?
Well… after evaluating and reevaluating my heart, I feel like the only reason I wanted a full time job was for the money.  Not a good enough reason, right?  I decided for me personally it was not worth the sacrifice at this point in my life.  Will it be different next year? In five years? In ten years? Probably.. and that is okay! :)
Maybe you are making this decision today or you will have to make it one day.  Here are some things that helped me.

1.  Prayer… lots and lots of prayer.

Lifting this up to the Lord with my husband and by myself.  Sharing with with my closest friends and asking for their prayer!

2.  Time in the Word and Journalling 

Spending time with the Lord and in His Word is always a necessity… it guides our attitude and decision making everyday!

3. Wise Council 

We talked to our parents and close friends.  One thing that Andrew's dad said to me was, "Stasia, you always said you did not want to work full time when y'all have small children, what has made that change now?"  Whew… what a question, really made me revaluate our situation!

4. Good-old Pro and Cons lists

When I made a pro and con list for this decision, the only things on the pro list for working were 1) money and 2) adding to my retirement years.  Not enough to take the leap.

5.  Trusting that no matter the final decision-God is Faithful

Whether making the decision to stay home full time, work full time, or something in between- trust God He always provides in His time!

Have you had to make this decision?  Was is easy or hard?  How have you seen God be faithful through it?

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26 comments:

  1. I worked part time (3 1/2 days) after my first & second then my baby sitter went off to college (their Auntie) and I stayed at home till number 3 started nursery aged 3. I've worked part time since then gradually doing more hours and now work 4 days (and blog the other 3!) You do what works for you and your family. I know I have loved having at least some time at home with them and cutting out treats is easy enough, the difficulty comes if you need to work full time to pay the bills. I feel blessed that I was able to do what I did.

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    1. That sounds like you guys had a great situation! :)

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  2. Stasia, I love that you truly consider all of the consequences of the decision you'll end up making. So many people don't truly consider this huge decision. For me, it was easy. I knew early on that I wanted to be home. I knew nobody could love my child(ren) like I could and nobody could instill values like I could. We are blessed that my husband has a good job where I don't feel pressured to work full or part time, even though we do sacrifice to make this lifestyle work as well. These days are fleeting, and I know the sacrifice will be worth it in the end. Nobody can make the decision for you, but I would recommend staying home, at least part time, to anyone. Also, I love the question your father in law asked, and I love that you and your husband are humble enough to seek counsel. So many times we think we have it all figured out and write off any advice from people who have already been through what we're going through. I hope you find peace in your decision! (And sorry for the book of a comment.)

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    1. That is awesome that it was an easy decision for you! I agree with you about the instillation of values and the time for loving on them. I just could not wrap my brain around only really seeing her 2 hours a day!
      I really have found peace in the decision! BD LOVES school and a couple hours a day is perfect! I still feel like I get tons of time with her and that I am the one raising her, while also getting a chance to do a little work, which I enjoy too!
      And I always love a book comment :)

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  3. We are debating about all that stuff right now in our family too! Thanks for the wonderful advice!

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    1. No problem! Hope it is helpful… and remember that whatever decision y'all make, don't let anyone make you feel guilty for either choice!

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  4. I have a couple of posts about this over at my blog somuchathome.blogspot.com. One is Blessed to be a Homemaker and the other is A Great Work at Home. I believe with all my heart that a mother and father need to find a way for the mother to be home with the kids. Instead of wondering if you should work full-time or part- time, ask yyourself if you want to mother part-time or full-time. I know there are unique situations for every family, but with prayer it can be possible. God bless.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I don't think that just because you are working part-time or even full-time, you become a part-time mother. You are still the primary one to make decisions, care for, raise and disciple your child, if you choose to.
      Personally, I think we have found a great balance for our family! :)

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  5. Love this.. I too did the part time work out of the home, followed up full time staying at home, and now am part time work mostly from home... it's all got it's ups and downs...

    if you don't mind I'm sharing this with Salt & Light, a link up to share other's post that have encouraged the reader. I'd love for you to join us...

    Marissa
    http://raysofgraceandjoy.blogspot.com

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    1. Love that you have done a little bit of everything too! I think that God takes us through different seasons!

      And share away! I hope it is encouraging for others! :)

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  6. Stasia, I don't say this to criticize at all, but I always feel these kind of posts bring out the "this type of mom is better than this type of mom" discussion. And honestly, before I started blogging, I didn't even know that this was such a heated area of discussion both in the body of Christ and in the secular world. And some people are downright mean about it too ! Ha !!

    Every family situation is different. I work full time. My husband is with our son when I am gone because he currently cannot really work outside the home. I get home and I cook, clean, wash dishes, do laundry and still spend quality time with both my son and husband. This arrangement has worked and my son hasn't had to spend a day of his life in day-care. It's saved us a lot of $$ , runny noses and ear infections.

    My conclusion (which I am at complete peace with) is that it is important to find out what works for YOUR family as you pray (just like you did) and receive wisdom from God and stick with it.

    Gertrude
    www.workingchristianmommy.com

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    1. Maybe it did not come out right in the post, but that was what I was trying to say.
      Pray about it, seek wise council and make the best decision for your family. That will look different from family to family and from from season to season.

      I think the key is for moms, dads, everyone to stop judging other peoples decisions!
      I have mom friends that don't work, work part-time and work full time. And they are all GREAT moms, doing what God has called them to do!

      I also think this needs to be talked about, because of the judgment! Just with this post I have heard from moms on all ends of the spectrum share how they needed to here this discussion!

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  7. Stasia, This could not have come at a better time for me! I currently chose to return to a full time job and give up my part time job just this week. Having a family so young I had to make certain sacrifices with my career. Most young people out of college have the world in their hand...but for me that was not the case. I had a wonderful job the last four years and made pretty good money...the downfall to my PT work was all weekends! I would be gone 35 hours between Friday through Monday and never had time to be a family of four. My husband and I would switich our "shifts" and I had enough. For multiple reasons I chose to take my new job..1 being it is a 9-5 Monday-Friday, Closer Commute, and room to grow. Weirdly it is a pay cut since I will now be making salary verses commission...I know 3 days to 5 days and less money? but I know it is better for our over all family lifestyle and future. Sad to not be with my little ones...but my big guy starts Kindergarten this year which helped make this possible. Prayed very hard about this and left it all in God's hands. Grateful that he provided this opportunity for me and believe all will work out if it is his will. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Deb

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    1. Deb, Thank you for sharing, and I am so glad that this came at a good time. It will probably be hard sometimes, but don't let others doubt the decision y'all have prayerfully come up with! Good luck! :)

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  8. Every family is so different, and different seasons sometimes call for different things. We are also called to do different things, so it's important to not compare ourselves. I'm so thankful that we can trust the Lord to lead us in the right direction for our family. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to be home, but I wasn't sure how it would happen. I had a great job before kiddos that I enjoyed. I also didn't see how I could not work when we looked at the $ on paper. I just didn't add up. I took my maternity leave not knowing if I would come back or not. At the very last moment, I knew that it was time to just step out in faith and know that God would provide for us, even though it didn't make sense on paper. I am so glad that we took that step of faith. God has provided over and over again in ways that I could not have imagined. He has also provided ways for me to earn some income from home here and there at times when needed. He is always faithful.

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    1. Nikki, that is so great! I love hearing how God has provided for people around me, and look back and see how God has provided for our family! He is so good! :)

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  9. I like the prayer & seeking good council. All of it is good :) God gives us wisdom when we seek Him for it, for sure!
    Thanks for linking up at Share Your Stuff Tuesdays! Hope you come again soon (Rachael @ http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com)

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  10. I am in the middle of making this decision too. I love what you have shared! Great advice. I think I will be going back to work. I'd rather not, but it seems like the best option for our family right now.

    Thanks for sharing with me and my lovely co-hosts at #TurnItUpTuesday!

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    1. Thank you for hosting! I love sharing!

      Glad the post helps… just make the best decision for your family and don't let people make you feel guilty or wrong about it!

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  11. This is a tough decision. I think that no matter which decision we end up making, we always feel that we have to justify and defend it. This is sad to me. I also believe that we're led to think that once we make a decision, we can't change our mind. The decision doesn't have to be as difficult as society sometimes make it. Nothing is permanent in this world. As long as you seek and listen to God, your life will continue to be blessed in unique ways.

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    1. Agreed! I love this perspective! :)

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  12. I recently remarried and we have been struggling with this decision for awhile now. I used to be a stay at home mom and loved it, but he was raised in a community where all of the women work no matter what. When I actively started looking for work though, we found that childcare would eat away over 2/3 of my checks. We have compromised now to me babysitting from home for now, but we'll see what the future brings! Great post!

    Thank you for linking up with the SHINE Blog Hop this week :)

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  13. I love this! So glad you shared it and going to share in my monthly favorites tomorrow! It really does vary with each person on what they are called to do. Love your advice and perspective! Thanks!

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  14. These are great tips and thoughts for those trying to decide between these options! Thanks for sharing them with us :)

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