Working Moms: Tips for Surviving and Thriving
If you clicked on over to this post looking for tools and tips for moms who are working outside the home, then thanks for stopping by! You’re simply the best. But now I have an apology and, ultimately, a request.
You see, I do not actually have any tools and tips to share. The title was simply a ruse to get you here with all your wealth of knowledge and experience of how to survive (and thrive!) in this vocation. Which reminds me, my request: can you share all your wealth of knowledge and experience with me and all the others who found themselves here looking for answers that I don’t have to give? We’re desperate for help and counting on you!
I’m sorry for the ruse, please forgive me. I am eight months pregnant and life has been making me a little crazy these days and I’m looking for some encouragement. And if there’s one thing we all know first time moms need, it’s encouragement.
A little over a month ago I left a full-time job that I’d had since I graduated college and accepted a part-time job in ministry at a local parish. At first, the transition was heart wrenching; I loved my co-workers; I loved how varied and exciting and challenging the work was; and I loved how comfortable it had become. But the Lord was calling me to something new, something that would give me more flexibility so I could be home with my baby. And yet even though it was for all the right reasons, the transition was uncomfortable, even downright painful. I had to leave something I loved for a completely new life.
It’s amazing how a few months of pregnancy can change things. Now, instead of longing to return to the comfort and familiarity of my old, full-time job, I find myself worrying how I’m going to be successful even as a part-time working mom, even in this new job with it’s flexible schedule and family-friendly environment. How am I ever going to manage to take care of my newborn, grow in friendship and intimacy with my husband, keep up with the cooking, cleaning and laundry, make and keep new friends, successfully build up a youth ministry program at a very large parish, AND become holy…all while nursing and being sleep-deprived.
My insides scream, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! HOW DO THESE MOMS DO IT?! I know that it is indeed possible because my own mother did it. And she did it gracefully and became a holy woman in the process. And there are many other women I know who balance work and home and are becoming saints. But they are superheroes and have special powers. What about someone like me? How can I do it?
My gentle and wise husband reminds me daily that God has called our family to this and has provided for us in every way. We have many blessings and advantages with our jobs than many other families don’t. I do trust that my husband will help me make it work, he always does. And I trust in God’s goodness and providence. But I also know that I must cooperate with God’s grace and work to overcome the things in me (ahem…concupiscence) that will make life as a working mom challenging.
I need a plan, some good habits to start making right now so that when our baby comes next month and I ease into being a working mom in the Fall, I can do it with more confidence, grace and gratitude.
So, I ask you – no I BEG you – what have you found most helpful in balancing home and work as a wife and a mom? What did you learn along the way that helped you to make good priorities, manage time well, stay organized and do it joyfully and with a smile?
Thank you in advance, fellow working moms, you are superheroes – every single one of you – and I’m grateful for the wisdom you’ll leave below (wink).
Copyright 2013 Megan Swaim