Jenny’s Mom Blog:
Her kids left her out of the family picture.
She was once a mom, who did what millions of moms do every day:
She went to work at a job outside the home.
She worked very hard.
She used her talents in the marketplace.
She became very successful in her career.
And, she brought home a hefty paycheck.
But, then, something changed.
This mom, who lived in planes, trains and automobiles, drove up to her home after a long week on the road. She drove into her driveway and noticed a colorful chalk drawing on the sidewalk — hand-crafted by her young daughters. She stopped the car and got out; she wanted to survey her children’s work since she’d missed their week. As she peered at the crude drawings, her delight turned to despair. Her daughters had drawn a daddy holding the hands of his two, little girls. No mommy in sight. This mom fell to her knees… on the sidewalk… and cried.
Within days, a second event brought this same mom to her knees again. She’d had another week on planes and in meetings. She arrived home dead tired. She wanted to please her little girls, so quickly committed to reading them a book. As the girls sat next to their mom, listening to her read, mommy fell asleep mid-story. She awoke when her youngest tapped her gently on the shoulder, asking her to finish reading. When this bleary-eyed mom looked up to finish the book, she caught a glimpse of her husband. He was sitting on the chair across the room. Tears streaming down his face. Watching his desperate girls literally beg for their mom’s attention.
It was then that this mommy realized her family missed her more than she’d been willing to acknowledge. They needed her. Her mothering was required. And, something had to change.
Kimberly Alexander, a bestselling author, tells this honest story about her life in the corporate world as a mom. She admits she’d let her dreams of corporate-ladder-climbing and career success overwhelm her mothering role. She wanted her motherhood back.
And, now for a brief disclaimer: I am not bashing women who have careers or who work outside of the home. But, I am saying: there is such a thing as allowing your career to demean your motherhood. And, you know what? Most women aren’t happy when that happens.
Years ago, I read a survey that suggested almost 90% of mothers would like to stay home either full-time or part-time in order to have more moments with their kids. But, these women often feel they can’t afford the luxury of being stay-at-home-moms. Perhaps, they’re single and the sole provider. Or, maybe they’ve got a large college debt or medical bills to pay off. Or, they could be feeling the pressure to help with the household income in an unpredictable economy. Some simply believe they’d go crazy without an outside career, in which to apply their gifts and talents.
The one thing I hope these moms are not feeling is that making money is more important than mothering. It’s not.
Consider the money and motherhood balance. Consider the precious time you have with your kids, which is limited. Consider their lives and yours. Moms who work outside the home and moms who work inside the home… please think of Kimberly Alexander and her moment of profound discovery. She discovered her girls needed their mom’s loving attention, instruction and time. Their dad needed it too. Research proves that kids do better when parents are able to spend more time with them… whether it’s at the dinner table or at a basketball game.
So, assess your career commitment and discover whether you need you to fall to your knees and commit a few more hours to your children. You won’t regret it. And, your kids might even thank you one day. Scripture confirms the wisdom behind the idea:
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for He grants sleep to those He loves.
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127: 2-3a
If you feel a need to improve your work/life balance, you can get some free advice by listening to more of Kimberly’s story and what she did to revamp her work life to allow her mothering life to thrive. She was a past guest on ChannelMom Radio and you can find the show on ChannelMom Podcasts
By Jenny Dean Schmidt
Wife of Mike
Mother of two teenagers, Otis and Georgia
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Executive Director, ChannelMom Media & Outreach and Host of ChannelMom Radio on 94.7 KRKS FM in Denver and also at channelmom.com
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