Are you mom enough?
That’s what Time magazine asked this week in a controversial cover article. The article focused on a certain style of parenting called “attachment parenting,” but I’m more interested in the approach than in the subject matter. That question is the worst kind of conversation starter. It’s a direct attack. It puts you on the defensive and makes you question whether you are (or will be) inadequate as a mom. It represents a combative and judgmental attitude all too common in discussions about the “big questions” of motherhood.
We can do better.
The 4word team has been talking a lot about work and motherhood over the past few weeks, with some great conversations, perspectives , thought-provoking interviews, and reader questions.
This week I wanted to wrap up our working motherhood series by talking a little bit more about the practical and spiritual considerations that go into the blending of career and family. If you have kids (now or someday), you must choose between career, home, or some blend of the two. I don’t think there’s a “right” Christian answer for everyone. But there are some truths that can help guide your decision making.
Truth #1: You are uniquely gifted. God has given each of us special gifts, and called us to use those gifts to serve Him (Romans 12:4-8). When I first became a mom, I prayed over these verses a lot. Even though I loved motherhood, I felt directed to continue to use my gifts in the business world. Of course, I put them to use in parenting too! Problem-solving, negotiation skills, and even the occasional Excel spreadsheet all came into play in my child-rearing experience. Spend some time and effort discerning what your unique gifts are. Pray, think critically, talk to friends and family. The better you understand your gifts, the better you’ll be able to discern God’s plan for you.
Truth #2: God answers prayer, whether you like it or not. Sometimes when I’m praying over a big decision, I find myself imagining God swooping in and presenting the “perfect” step-by-step solution. In my imagination, God’s solution always seems to satisfy all of my (sometimes conflicting) desires for the situation. And it’s true that sometimes God does answer prayer by opening a new path to you. But He also answers prayer by closing – or simply not opening – them. If you feel like you have no options, and you’re still praying to God for guidance, it might be time to recognize that a lack of options is guidance. Accept where God has placed you for this season, and trust that He hears your prayers and has a plan for your benefit (Jeremiah 29:11).
Truth #3: God prepared you for this. God knows you, and He has prepared you for whatever your path may be (1 Corinthians 10:13). All mothers are “working mothers” in one form or another. And whether your work is in the home, from the home, or outside of it, you will at times feel overwhelmed. Know that even when you feel lost, God equipped you perfectly to face everything that life can throw at you.
Read more from Diane about the life of working moms in Work, Love, Pray.