One of the toughest decisions that a new mother can ever make is to choose whether she will be a stay at home or be a working mom. Like you, I’ve been through that decision.
Four years ago, I was having the best week of my life. My husband and I found out that we were expecting. It wasn’t a big surprise because we felt that we are at the right age since we are already in our 30’s. And God has blessed us with a baby boy!
Since my husband and I were both working abroad, I did not think of leaving my job mainly because of the career and financial opportunity was given to be able to give our son a bright future.
I delivered my baby in our country back in the Philippines, and after 2 months of maternity leave, I went back to Singapore to work and left my son in the care of my mother. Days had passed and I terribly missed my son. As a new mother, I didn’t realize that this decision of continuing my work abroad will cause me so much pain, even if there’s free video call nowadays. My husband and I decided to keep going back to the Philippines at least every month to visit our son. Each time that I have to pack my things because the next day will be our flight back to Singapore, my heart is melting as if I don’t want to go, but I have to.
Fast forward, before my son turned two, we decided to move to New Zealand so we can be with him. Initially, I didn’t have a plan of putting my career on hold so I still insisted on sending applications. I perceived myself as a very career-oriented person. While my heart tells me to stay at home so I can take care of my son, my mind is telling me to pursue my career and be a working mom or else, I will be left behind. In the end, my husband and I have decided that I will take some time off from pursuing my career. Now I have experienced it that when you become a mom, your priorities in life changes.
I love my son so much and want the best for him, but I can’t take off my mind thinking about the future of my career. My life has to lead to a point where my career became my identity and source of self-esteem. I lived in the realm of “what if”. What if I’m too old already when I am ready to return to work? What if it’s too late for me to restart my career again?
A mom’s work that lasts a lifetime
When I decided to put off my career on hold, God has made me realize what is more important in life. What are the things in life that have real value and which are those that will soon be forgotten? Is it my personal sense of accomplishment as a working mom, or the priceless rewards of allowing God to be in control of my life while I nurture and lead my son to be grounded in his faith in Christ?
This is one of those situations in my life where I know and I have to believe that God of all grace has a good and perfect plan. Plans that will not harm us even our loved ones.
I experienced good days and bad days as a mom just like everyone else. God never promised us heaven on earth, but God can bring us comfort and strength when we abide and lean on Him alone.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
To stay at home or be a working mom?
This is a question that is hard to give a definite answer. The main reason is that God has his will for other women.
You may be a mom who’s considering to stay at home with your child. Or you have actually decided to stay at home with your child but in doubt, if you’ve made the right decision because you feel insignificant after all those years of pursuing your college degree or honing your professional skills.
You are not alone in what you are feeling. You are not alone in your situation.
Like you, I miss all the perks that come with the job. But I encourage you to spend your time with your child during his or her formative years because this will greatly impact his life as he grows. God has given us this precious opportunity to nurture, train our children and most importantly, lead them to know Jesus in their life.
Like you, I also don’t know what will be the future of my career, but one thing I know is for sure. If we surrender to God our deepest desires and if we allow Him to be in control of our life, He will take care of everything. He will make everything beautiful and perfect in His time. God’s timing is not late, it is always perfect.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11
You may be a working mom who wants to stay home to be with your child but life circumstances keep you in the workplace.
If this is you, know that God knows what you are going through and that he will bless you with health, strength and necessary finances to support your family. As God has called you to the work he gave you, know that God will help you to sustain your children’s needs with love and guidance throughout their lives.
Our value & identity in Christ
Whether you work or at home, don’t let your life’s purpose and identity be focused on your title, your role or abilities to perform as a stay at home or a career-oriented working mom. God loves you and chose you. Your real identity and value are centered on what Jesus has done for you on the cross. Jesus is your source whether you stay at home or drive to work each day.
Romans 5:8 says, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Psalm 139:13-16 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives.
Ephesians 1:4 says God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed
Ephesians 1:13-14 we’re told we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.
Everything above was written in love and from a heart that wants every mom to experience the joy that comes from humbly obeying God in this motherhood journey.
I would love to hear your thoughts.