“Let’s color for a minute,” Rory asks sweetly. It is early morning and Ryder has already declared the day “the best ever!” No doubt the Krispy Kreme doughnuts left over from my birthday influenced that declaration. I pause to color a three by three sheet of paper. Satisfied, Rory skips off with her crayons. I look back to the screen to complete my request for an exit interview at the end of the month. My time at my job of eight years is coming to an end. The emotions are running high and mixed. This decision was mine. After much thought and prayer, it is time to go. In a sentence – the kids need me.
The saying “When a door closes another door opens” isn’t how this feels. I feel more like “When all are doors open, shut a few”. No doubt this scenario has more positives than negatives – options breed creativity. Options are an opportunity. Options are exciting. Realistically speaking, however, options can bring waves of emotion.
I was talking to a friend at church the other day and she commented on how big Cody is getting. He is crawling, a big step towards independence. I told her how odd it is, that he can zoom from one room to another and yet he can’t let go of the crib after he has made it to his feet. Screaming, he will stand there waiting for someone to let him down, never realizing if he just let go he’d fall to the soft crib mattress. My friend says, “I am sure there is some lesson in that…”
As usual, that friend was on target. What she didn’t know is that the lesson was for me as well. I have asked for this opportunity to leave my job and to focus more on a few areas of life rather than juggling many, yet I am faced with waves of emotions and I need to let go. Surprisingly no areas of concern are financial, it is more about relationships and capability. Who will I let down in this decision? Will Chris think I am just hanging with the kids and could be contributing more professionally like I have in the past?
But first be concerned about God’s kingdom, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33
Ultimately the answer is no. I will need others to help in ways I am even unaware of. We will still have stressful days. I will need to give myself grace that although I am not a “working mother” to the capacity I have been for so many years, I will be a part of a “job” equally, if not more, important than ever before. Question: When did society get to this place? That I feel the need to apologize for being more at home? Why does it make me feel better to say “well I will still have a ‘real’ job …for 15 hours a week” and hope that I am not judged that it is part-time and from home. As if the only justification for a do-it-all mom is one who works a 40-hour office job and does everything else on top of that.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34
For some who work outside of the home because of financial need and/or their kids are at school, I am sure there are just as many challenges socially; ironically, justifying that they aren’t at home with their kids is probably top on their list. Why is this? I think ultimately it comes to society asking the wrong questions. It is not “what do you do?” and hope a professional answer will justify, but it should be “how have you furthered the Kingdom today?” Obviously, this isn’t something you can ask most people, even those that profess to be a Christian. It makes us all sweaty and breaks us out in hives – “Um, you mean like for God? That’s rather personal don’t you think?” Well no, I don’t.
Being in an environment of children, it is no secret life changes constantly. Heck, they change shoe sizes within a month. Point being, raising children, working in an office, and all the “jobs” in-between are important. Without good kids being raised well we won’t have great leaders in the future. Without office workers, etc. we won’t have other opportunities for our kids to learn, grow, and become so many things from people like you. So it is not “What do you do?” and your professional answer makes or breaks the acceptance. It is “Tell me the great ways you are a piece of this collaborative puzzle we call life.” “What are you doing to further the Kingdom?”
“The beauty of collaboration between older and younger generations is that we combine strength with wisdom—a surefire way to accomplish more for the glory of God.”
― Brett Harris