To the working mom at church

to the working mom at church

Dear Working Mom,

I see you waking in the early fringe hours of the morning for self care – claiming a few precious moments of solitude for bible study and prayer, or for exercising and meditation. I know how tired you feel throughout the day because of the lack of sleep, but those wee hours of the morning are the only time you feel you can spend on just you.

I see you swallow back tears when your toddler looks in your eyes over breakfast and says, “But mama, I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay home with you.” I know how hard it is to hear those words, to try to make your little one understand how you wish you could stay home with her too and why you have to work.

I see you running errands on your lunch break, so as not to consume precious evening time. I see you grabbing a quick bite to eat in your car in the midst of grocery shopping or paying bills, or munching on a snack at your desk because you used your lunch hour to get a haircut or go to the doctor.

I see you missing group bible studies and/or moms groups, because they’re all in the mornings and you have to work. Or, when there is an evening option, the guilt you feel from sacrificing more time with your kids prohibits you from feeling the freedom to join. I know you wish there was another way, because you miss the fellowship with other women, and you know you need it.

I see you talking with other moms before and after service on Sunday, feeling out of place as they talk about homeschool curriculum or play dates. I know you feel like it’s hard for you to have friends. Most of the other church women are SAHMs, which is fine but you live in an opposite world. I know it’s lonely there.

I see you downcast during Mother’s Day sermons, when your well-meaning pastor extols the virtuous wife and mother who keeps the tidy home, raises the well-mannered children and serves her family joyfully. I know you feel less than. I know you feel like your brothers and sisters around you turn their nose up at you because you choose to work, as if your decision was made without regard for your children’s well-being or the good of your marriage.

I see all of these things because I’m a working mom, too. I know how hard it is to find a kindred spirit, to feel out of place among the family of God, to wish there were more bible studies or blogs written from the working mom’s perspective or to us.

I pray you can find friendships with fellow Christian sisters who encourage you, edify you, and empower you.

I pray you can find church family who support you and love you.

I pray your husband appreciates you and strengthens you.

I pray you know that your sacrifice is not in vain. I pray that you can have confidence that, though you work outside the home, you are motivated by what’s best for your children and family at this time.

I pray you can find rest for your weariness in Jesus. I pray you can believe him when he says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

I pray you know that, no matter who cares for your child during the day, there is no replacement or substitute for you. There is no one like you in your child’s life.

I know you’re lonely, but you’re not alone. I know you’re weary, and though you can’t see it, I know you’re strong, because Jesus has you. Jesus is with you. He is with your children when you can’t be with them.

With you in Him,

Rachel

8 thoughts on “To the working mom at church

  1. I love this so much, Rachel. I don’t have kids, but I have worked with so many women who have experienced this struggle you’re writing about. I think it’s very important for there to be a voice for the Christian working mom, especially since the blogosphere and the church world are both so packed with the voices of SAHMs. Please keep writing about this, so I can keep sharing posts with friends who are struggling.

    1. Thank you, Marisa. I’ve really been challenged to be a voice for working moms in my Christian circles. I don’t want to cast stones at the other side, but just be an advocate for the working mom perspective. This is an overflow of numerous conversations I’ve had with working mom friends, so I feel like it is so needed. I’m not sure what that looks like, yet, but I hope to be able to be that voice.

  2. Thank you so much for this blog! It is super hard sometimes. I have an almost 2 year old, I work full time, and my husband works retail and is gone every night. He is also the worship leader and youth pastor at our church. I’m on the ministry team at church and lead a small group. I feel obligated to because my husband works at the church, but it is honestly too much. I was looking for some direction and I will seek guidance through prayer. I’m glad to find someone who understands! God bless you!

    1. I do understand! I’m praying for you right now, Stephanie. I know the strain it is to be a mom, work full time, and have a husband in the ministry – the expectations on the ministry wife can be so overwhelming. Believing with you that God will give you direction!

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