Friday, November 7, 2008

Things to Consider about Work

If you are a married Mom that is trying to decide whether or not you should work or stay home, these are some things that must be taken into consideration before making that decision.

First figure out how and if it is possible for your family to be a one income family, if not - decide if it could be in the future by finding expenses you could cut back on or eliminate altogether. The reason I encourage you married women to find a way to stay home is because I believe it is the most rewarding job a woman can ever have. It is such an incredible blessing to be constantly available to my daughter.

By working 40 hours a week for approximately 50 weeks a year (that includes approx 2 weeks off from work for vacation), you are away from your children for nearly 3 months out of the year. Not a big deal, right? Now, Multiply that by 18 years and it becomes 4 years of your life away from your child(ren). That is time that you do not get to spend with your child.

Granted, 13 of those years they will be in school for a large portion of your work hours, and if you work only during their school hours it will only mean that 2 years have been taken away due to the amount of schooling the public system has them do. However, if you work 9-5 you loose an additional 9 months. Over a period of 13 years those 2 extra hrs become 270 full 24 hr periods (9 full months).

If you work full time, 9-5pm: That is 420 days in the first 5 years of their life (over a year of their life) and plus the additional 270 days throughout the next 13 years. That is 690 days ( nearly 2 years) that you could spend with your children should you choose to not work full-time. The reason I have added up all of these days is because many of us don't realize exactly how much time is taken away by us working all the time.

Education is not an option. Therefore if your child is in the public school system, 2 of the 4 years you are unable to spend with your children they are being educated. Every child must attend some form of school: whether it be in a public school, private school, home school, or even unschooling. A child cannot go through life without some form of education. Day care programs, summer long camps, and after school programs may offer some education, but their main purpose is to serve as forms of childcare. The only reason they exist is because of working parents and their need for childcare while they are working during the days.

The point is we only have roughly 18 years to encourage, teach, love on, and guide our children until they become adults, and from then on - they are on their own. Yes, Lord willing you will still be around for them but they will essentially be on their own. 18 years is not long in regards to a lifetime, it is time that should be well cherished. I believe many Mothers in our culture do not take enough time to cherish their children. When you take into account all of the hours used by working full time, you literally have only have 14 years to spend with your children.

The thing to consider is this: Is all of that time spent away from your children worth it? Is your decision to work based on a personal fulfillment desire? Will your children truly benefit from your work? As for me and my family, the answer is no. We are living on a single part-time income and there are often times where I wish I could go work for a paycheck to contribute to our family, but the fact of the matter is - we are not on the streets. God is providing. I have no true need to work outside of the home. For some people it might be worth it, but in my case I view no job is more worthy of my time than my family. No job can even come close to the level of importance of Motherhood.

As for working while the children are in school (granted of course that you are not homeschooling), I believe the answer is entirely up to you and your husband. The answer to that question should be based on what you know you are capable of, what your goals are, and what your convictions are (Romans 14). I believe women should be the keepers in their home (Titus 2), but I also believe a woman can work outside of the home (as the Proverbs 31 woman did) and still be the keeper of the home - as long as your motives are Biblical and you are not neglecting your duties as a Mother.

My Mom stayed home with me and my 2 siblings. She was home with me every day of my life until I was about 5 years old (which I believe is a very critical time for motherhood and childhood). After that, during my 13 years of school I went to a public school for many of those years and home schooled for a few of them - but I was never home alone day after day or had to be put into any after school day care due to my Mom working past my school time. Let me tell you - I was and still am SO grateful for that because through her example, I learned just how precious time with your children is and how every moment of the day should be cherished. I was also able to spend more time with my Mom than many kids ever get the chance to. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for blessing us with that time because she died when I was just 20. God used her impact on my life to shape me into the person that I am now, and I need to thank him every day for it. If I die when Zoe is 20, I want to know that I have taught her everything she needs to know and I want to be there with her every step of the way, every single day. Absolutely no time wasted.

My Mother's dedication to motherhood is one of the most important things I ever learned from her. I remember when I was very young and I asked my Mom why she didn't have a job (meaning a job outside the home) and she replied with, "So that I can always be here for you." She dedicated her life to taking care of us children to the best of her ability. I hardly ever saw her do anything for herself, she spent all of her time doing things for the good of her family. And she always was there for me and available to me always, until the day she died. In that sense, she was the epitome of what I believe every Mother should be.

Within a Family this is what the Biblical order is: God is our Father and we must submit to him first and foremost. Second, as a wife you are to be your husband's helper and submit to him as the leader of the family. Third, your children, and then yourself. God is glorified through this order, which is why he designed it this way. Your children come before you and all of your personal goals in life. Your decision about work needs to be based upon the needs of your children, not yourself. Many women choose to work for reasons that are nothing less than selfish. They want to be accepted by the culture as an important member of society - they base their importance on their job. A job that is going to take time away from family is not a privilege, it does not determine your level of importance, it is a duty and that is all. If you decide you must work it should be for the good of your family, not yourself.

If you are working because you need to and your family would be on the streets if you did not work, then work! You are honoring the Lord by doing your duty to your family. However, if you are working just for the sake of having extra money or if you feel you need a job or else you'd be bored - you need to examine your motives and priorities because your children need you. I may also point out that a lot of what women make at their jobs goes to day care, in some cases it is nearly all of the money goes to it.

Children need their Moms. If you are working all the time and they are in day care all day or after school programs, and the majority of their time is spent with other people, not with you: you are allowing other people (many that you do not know) to teach and influence your children and do the work for you. Your children belong to you and they are your responsibility, not theirs.

Our Father in Heaven is always there for us, and we are his children. We need to do the same for our children. Always consider their needs before your own I can guarantee the Lord will bless you for it.

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2 comments:

  1. ♥i truly believe that the most important help we have the privilege of giving our husbands is helping to train and guide the children which God gives to them (and us, of course). as the head of the home, our husbands will ultimately give account for the way the children were raised. we are the greatest help--or hindrance, as the case may be--to accomplishing this most important responsibility.

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  2. Dear Shaina,I am sorry to hear that you lost your mother so young!How delightful that you have a heart to encourage mothers to stay home with their children.I began my blog with the same desire, to lift up motherhood and celebrate the absolute pure joy of being at home.I pray that I am only an encouragement to others, and not to offend.Psalm 19:14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.I just want to add a note of encouragement that if any of you desire to stay at home, do not give up; it can be done. Seven of my very own sisters have large families of 10, 8, 7, 15, 10, 9, and 10 children (one on the way for that last with 10), and all of them have one income families.Psalm 37:25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.Ernestine :)

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