I am a wife and a mother of a soon to be 3 years old boy. I am also a Christian, and I work outside the home, as a secretary to my sister. My husband and I both work full time, while my mother cares for our son, Ian. It is not what we wanted. Our intention was for me to be a stay at home mom. Our heart was in it, completely in it. Our finances, on the other hand, did not catch up to our hearts on time, and they still haven't, so I have to work. We do not spend what we don't have, we are not given to luxuries or buying things on a whim. My husband simply does not make enough money on his own to pay for our basic needs like mortgage, food, water, electricity, phone. When we had our son, we went through our fiances carefully and studied the possibility of him having a second job because we felt certain that I had to be at home. As it turned out, a second job would mean that my husband had to be outside our home from 5am to 9pm, with no time in between to be with me and our son. We vetoed that, and chose to keep things as they are.
And this is what happens: the more books, articles, blogs and videos I read and watch, the more I am being bombarded with the idea that, as a Christian wife and mom, I should be at home because we are called to be keepers of the house. There was a video where the lady even said that I could be blaspheming the Bible because I am working outside the home. There are a lot, and I mean A LOT, of blogs out there from wives and mothers who insist that we should take that leap of faith because if we do as God says, He will provide. Although the women that say these things think they are encouraging women like me, I've got to say I have never felt more inadequate in my life.
In the eyes of the world (which I actually do not care about at all), I am not living up to my full potential. I am a college graduate who has never worked on her field of study, an underachiever. Yes, to the world, I am insignificant; sometimes, even our clients treat me that way. But that is the world, this comes from people from whom I expect nothing more. Their work is their life, and they measure their worth through their income and job success. That is not me.
However, I have come to realize that in the eyes of many Christians (mostly women), my brethren, my people, I am not living up to my full potential; I am an underachiever. Even women who have been in my shoes treat me that way. To them, I am a blasphemer, I live contrary to the Bible, I don't care enough for my husband or my son, I am not being a good helper, I am not being the mom I need to be, and I am not being the homemaker, the keeper of the house God has called me to be. Yep, definitely inadequate.
So, aside from crying, feeling overwhelmed by this, being sad or depressed, what should I do? Should I quit my job and take that leap of faith? Should my husband take a second job? I'll tell you what I most definitely am not doing: I am NOT reading anymore blog posts about this. I am NOT watching anymore homemaking videos like the ones I have watched. I will NOT read another article on the wonders of being a stay at home mom, and how much more wonderful their kids are because their mom is with them, and how they have never missed a milestone or a kids-say-the-darnest-thing moment because they are always there. Enough of all that. I have realized that I have a much better way to deal with this.
I see myself through the eyes of the Lord. I know God loves me, and has blessed me with a wonderful husband, an amazing son, and a great house. And I am a keeper of my home, even if I am not in my home all day. I take good care of it, clean it, organize it, play with my son in it, enjoy our time together in it. I am a helper to my husband, I cater to his needs, as he does with me. We help each other around the house, and we care for our boy together. We parent our son fully, completely and around the clock. Even if we are not there, Ian fully knows and understands what God and we expect of him and his behavior. We are, in fact, always present in him.
No, I am not the perfect wife, mother and homemaker, but I strive to be great. Do I wish I could stay home? You bet. Would I take "that leap of faith"? Don't think so. What God has given us, we are responsible for. If I were to leave my job, half the things would be left unpaid. Do I trust that God will provide? Oh, yes! Right now, He is very graciously providing through both of our jobs, and it is our hope that one day He will provide only through my husband's job, and I will be able to stay at home. And when that happens, I promise to extend grace and kindness to those who will be facing the very feeling of inadequacy that I have felt in the past few weeks. Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy.