Google the phrase “mommy wars” and you’ll find a long list of blogs and articles defending working mothers, others advocating for women to stay in the home, and many calling us all to “just get along!”. Whether there is much truth to the “mommy wars” hype at all, there is certainly no place for them in the Church.
Yes, we should ask the hard questions and even admonish one another when needed, but we should be known for how we love, encourage, and spur one another on. Mothers portrayed in the Bible don’t ascribe to a “one size fits all” model and thank God the Proverbs 31 woman is not the gold standard to which we should all try to attain (whew!).
We do know that children are a blessing from God, and we as moms and dads have been entrusted with the noble task of nurturing, teaching, and guiding them to become people of integrity and committed disciples of Christ. Every Christian is given the command to lay down our lives for each other, and that too is essentially the call of parenthood—to love our children like Christ has loved us.
I know so many great moms—full-time working moms, some who travel, part-time working moms, stay-at-home moms, and some who have had seasons in several of these categories. The majority of my parenting experience has been as a working mom, and over the years I have often been asked how I find a good “balance” between working outside the home and parenting my kids.
What I am certain of is that there is no perfect balance, and our various circumstances will mean that finding that “balance” will look different for each parent. (I say “parent” instead of “mom” because both parents have shared responsibility in raising their kids and all parents must navigate these waters.)
Despite our different circumstances, these are some principles that can apply to us ALL as we navigate life as a working parent:
Prioritize your family.
There are many reasons why moms work—some out of necessity to provide for the physical needs of their family, others trying to follow a calling, to serve, etc. Sometimes our good motives can be corrupted by idols—desires for success, power, more money, etc. We should always examine our own hearts and put aside our selfish idols, putting the needs of our family first. A good heart check: If you felt convicted/God calling you out of the workforce or your current position, would you be willing to give it up?
Be wise and discerning about who cares for your children in your absence.
We are our children's’ advocates; if you are not confident you are leaving your child in a safe, nurturing, healthy environment, then don’t! Protect your children first, seek wisdom and trust God to provide for your needs as you discern what to do.
Make every moment count.
Working outside the home has made me cherish the time I do spend with my kids all the more. As parents, we are our children’s most important teachers, instructing and modeling how to love and follow God. Try and make the most of even small opportunities to train up your children.
Give yourself grace.
As much as I want to make every moment count, there have been some evenings I’ve come home from working a long day and fallen asleep at the dinner table! I’ve been impatient and easily annoyed. Moms are superheroes, but even superheroes have bad days. Forgive yourself and ask forgiveness from your family when you fall short.
Champion other women.
Cheer on other moms—working moms, stay-at-home moms. Lend a hand when you can, give them an encouraging word, love and see the best in their kids. We also can’t forget that our children are learning how to be a friend and encourager by listening to our words and watching our actions! Be a friend that speaks truth in love to other moms, and invite others to speak into your life in the same way.
Motherhood is hard enough without us warring with each other. Let’s be women who fight to find our own balance instead.
Meet the Author!
Taylor is the wife of Council Road's Groups Pastor, Micah White, and mother to Navy and Foster. She works as a PA in Oklahoma City, and is also passionate about serving and edifying the local Church. She most enjoys time with her family, but can also be found reading, teaching, making music, hand-lettering, and hosting gatherings. She loves a friendly debate and a good laugh.