After my first baby I dutifully returned to paid work when my baby was just under 1 year old. I returned to my desk job for 3 days a week (the minimum they would allow).
I really wasn’t looking forward to returning to work and leaving my baby in childcare, but I did it because we needed the money and because I felt that is what was expected of me. Everyone else I knew at that time seemed to return to paid work after having a baby.
After my second baby I was given the option of a redundancy which I was thrilled about and I took it. Around the same time I had a passion bubbling away inside of me to work from home so I could spend more time with the kids.
The dreaded question
But then I started getting the dreaded question from friends and acquaintances:
“So, when are you going back to work?”
And since when is having kids not work?!
I hated this question so much because I really didn’t want to return to paid work outside the home when I had young kids, but I felt like I was expected to (some people asked the question purely out of interest and some couldn’t believe that I would leave a high paying job and not want to return to it and earn more money).
I felt like I wasn’t really contributing to our family unless I contributed financially. It ate away at me and I felt like I wasn’t doing my part.
But this is such a lie!
Raising children is such an important contribution to our family and to society. Raising kids is work, but it is a long, long time until you see the fruits of your labour.
Most important job ever
Being a mum is such an honour and a huge responsibility, but is often downplayed by society.
I need to remember that money is temporary, but kids are eternal beings who have souls.
I have only a few years in their most crucial stage of life to help form my children into kind, helpful, thoughtful humans who know their worth and know that they are loved.
I get to lead their young hearts by my example and show them love and forgiveness… certainly easier said than done though!!
Being a mum is such an important job!
Choosing time with kids over money
We made the decision to downgrade our house and mortgage so I could stay home with our kids. At the time it felt a little as though I was giving up my identity when we sold our newly built home for an older style home that needed a reno.
We might not have a lot of money, but I honestly think it’s good for kids to see parents working toward their goals, and for kids not to have everything handed to them. Having not much money helps to keep them humble and helps them to be compassionate to others.
Amazingly 10 years on and I haven’t returned to paid work outside the home (I do work from home in our start up business), but we’ve always had everything we need. Sometimes things got tight but then at the last minute God always came through and made sure we had enough.
He’ll do the same for you when you step out in faith and follow his whisperings in your heart.
If you want to learn how to do this then check out this book/prayer, it changed my life!