We humans have a grass-is-greener mind about many things. This played out in my head early in my mothering years when I assumed that my daily life at home with the kids was worse than the daily life of working moms. My thoughts went something like this:
- They get to dress up while I wear denim and sneakers every day
- They get to use their education and talents while I play with legos and wipe butts
- They get to have adult conversation while I listen to crying and annoying questions
- They get to make money while I have nothing to show for my work
- They are appreciated for what they do while my family takes me for granted
- I’ll never be employable without a better education and solid job experience. Staying at home is hurting my future.
Ever thought like this?
Well let me just say that once I became a working mom, I realized how utterly miserable I made myself with those erroneous thoughts. Here’s why:
- Most women who dress up for work have aching feet by noon. We can’t wait to throw on the spandex and sneakers you’ve been wearing all day.
- I was using my education and talents with my children. I taught them to read, to mind their manners, to cook, to sing, and to love Jesus. Why is pushing papers in an office more important than caring for the children I love with all my heart? And how insulting to my children for me to say some random people in the great wide world deserve my intelligence more than they do. Was caring for my own children beneath me?
- “Adult conversation” at work is often little more than gossip and complaints about the boss and the weather. In fact, one of my concerns about going to work full time was the fear that I would be working with adults who act like children. Yup. Makes infant crying seem like music.
- Making money is satisfying, but making a difference satisfies more. I understand now that those years of financial sacrifice were worth it, and left me with an equal number of years to make money now. I was investing back then and I’m being compensated now with children who love God and their neighbors. Can’t put a price on that.
- People at work do not always appreciate the good job we do. I venture to guess that more than half of American workers feel unappreciated at work.
Many working women are miserable for these and tons of other reasons. We are jealous of stay at home moms. We are miserable when we can’t take time off to tend to sick kids or relatives; when we have to miss a child’s performance or game or awards ceremony; when we don’t have the freedom to adapt our schedule to suit vacation time, alone time, girl time, or date night. We’re miserable when people judge us because we don’t fit someone’s definition of “keeper at home.”
This blog could go on forever.
My point is this: Whether or not our grass is green depends upon whether God put us in the pasture we’re now grazing. Misery can be tied to being out of God’s will or being ungrateful in it. It saddens me to think of the emotional energy I wasted wishing my daily life was different.
To be continued….
View from the top: Ironically, my children are sometimes involved in my full-time job. Carrie and Sara helped me last year during the school auction.