“I just wish you could stay home like I did”, my mom said while I was on a short maternity leave. And she wasn’t wishing alone. I wished I could too. It was a heartbreaking understanding that I accepted quickly in motherhood. I was going to be a working mom. But not just a working mom, a have-to-work mom. A woman whose husband had a humble paying career and a schedule, in which I high five my husband when he walked in, because it was his turn to parent alone. Fellow have-to-work moms know what that means without even an explanation.
To my fellow have-to-work moms, the ones that feel the pressure to provide. Who go without so her kids can have. Maybe your husband is a teacher or is in law enforcement like mine. Maybe you are a single mom who’s worked hard alone. Maybe your spouse is sick and cannot work. Or maybe there was a major job loss or financial hit. Whatever the case is, your household survives on your income.
You’ve heard the, “if you trust in God, He’ll provide a way to be a stay-at-home mom.” 9 years in, I’m still here waiting. And maybe you’re waiting too. Or maybe you love your outside job and have no plans to stop.
To my fellow have-to-work moms. To the ones that would love to stay home but can’t budget that one in. Or the ones that would still choose to work, even if finances were different. To the ones that just want the option. To the ones that say, “my husband works hard so I can too”.
To the ones that have missed school parties, Easter egg hunts, or bedtimes. To the ones explaining to their kids that mommy has to work. To the ones that are there when they can and still takes care of her family’s needs.
To the have-to-work moms, want-to-work moms, and stay-at-home moms.
You’re doing a beautiful job. You are refining under pressure. You are loving your kids. You are upholding promises. You are what your children need.
Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Don’t forget to love yourself. Don’t forget to forgive yourself. Don’t forget to find someone to talk to. Don’t forget to pray about it. It’s a lot of pressure that you shouldn’t muster it alone.
God will provide for you. He’ll provide you the grace to get through, the forgiveness when you mess up, the comfort when you’re hurting, the companionship when you feel alone, and the strength when you need it. He is faithful to help you do what you have to do, because He’s the want-to kind of Father.