Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Mommy Loves You"

The alarm clock rings and your heart sinks. Never did you think you’d dread this day as much as you do. The thought to lay in bed an extra few runs through your mind, but this morning is unlike the others you’ve experienced in the past…for today is the first day back from maternity leave. You must get up NOW for there is much to do!

You begin getting ready, trying to ignore that sick pit in your stomach. It’s not like the sick pit you felt about a year ago when you were rejoicing after peeing on that stick…6 times just to be sure! At that time, the sick pit was ignorant to the turmoil you’d feel when the reality of being a working mother came true.

The moment has arrived to leave your baby, your eyes well up as you kiss that precious cheek and whisper, “Mommy loves you.” I cry as I write this now. I still kiss my daughter every morning about a million times and repeat over and over, “Mommy loves you.” It’s like I want her to know that my leaving her has nothing to do with my love for her. I have to say, however, I am blessed because I am a teacher and have a schedule that is ideal for a working mom. It doesn’t make going to work easier, but it eases my aching heart. To those who work all day and all year…I salute you.

Whether you’re a teacher or in another profession, the return to work is bittersweet. Of course we enjoy the mental stimulation and challenges we face at work, but we long to be the one whose face our sweet baby sees when they wake from a nap to eat. Some may experience guilt, whether self-inflicted or brought on by other well-meaning mothers who consistently talk about the rewards of being a “stay-at-home mommy.” I swear I’m going to flip if I hear one more time, “Being a stay at home mom is the hardest but most rewarding job on earth.” What about just being a mom in general?? Each path, whether stay-at-home or stay-at-work (a term taken from the book “How She Does It: Secrets of Successful Stay-at-Work Moms”) has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. We, as mothers, do ourselves a great dis-service when we choose to judge and critique the paths of those who are simply trying to be the best mommy they can be. Whether one chooses to work or not work, breast-feed or not breast-feed, schedule or not-schedule…who cares? It is about supporting one another and lifting each other up in the face of a difficult, but rewarding job….raising kids in today’s world.

But this blog is specifically meant to speak to working moms because this is what I am. I invite, however, stay-at-home moms to read and comment. I value your input as well. I’ve been contemplating writing a blog for a while now, but was inspired to start today when a colleague of mine brought in a book called, “Milk Memos” to put in my school’s pumping room for the new nursing mommies. This is a must read for any new working/nursing mother. So, I write this blog as an outlet…a place to hear encouragement from other working mommies and to give encouragement where I can. I acknowledge my fellow working’s a hard thing to work and balance motherhood. Whether you work because you have to or because you choose to, it doesn’t matter…we all whisper, “Mommy loves you.”


  1. I think some forget that it is not always a choice--staying home or working, especially in this economy. I have always given 110% at work and have always been proud and happy to do my job, which has never felt as much like work as it does now. I have always had respect for mothers--all mothers, but now I have an even deeper respect for working mothers because as you say walking away from that angelic little cheek each morning weighs heavier on my heart each day. People keep telling me it will get easier. I hope they're wrong.

  2. I love you!! you inspire me!

  3. Being able to stay at home with my children is truly a gift from the Lord. I can't imagine what you working moms go through...I did it for a short while with my son and it was so hard. As a follower of Christ and as I strive to be more like Him (failing daily!), the challenge for me is not the daily routine of taking care of my children (which is a privilege), but at the end of the day asking myself what did I do to teach them about Him? Did they see Christ in me today or did I point them in another direction, which often happens because of my sin!

  4. Joy, what a great first post! For all of us moms that do work, I think it is an encouragement to know that yes, our first mission field lies within the sweet souls of our children, but this does not warrant a reason to discontinue sharing the love of Christ elsewhere (not saying that any mom I know actually would think so)... and in reality the job that pulls us from our precious child(ren) is a mission opportunity God has placed us in. I often fight the sin of envy when I am surrounded with stay-at-home moms, but I must remind myself that God has me in this job outside of the home ... to his glory, and that is beautiful.

  5. Being a stay-at-home mom has it struggles, too! You are right, mothers need not to judge other's choices. Depending on what circles I am in, I often get a pity look or comment about staying home and not working to support our family. Because I don't work, we struggle financially... I struggle with being lonely--most couples around me don't have 3 kids under the age of 2... they are out traveling, achieving successes-promotions-raises, buying new clothes every week (I miss that)... etc. Most days I don't even accomplish one thing! With all that said, I do have to say that I love being home with my kids. In all, the sacrifices mothers make--on both sides, ultimately are a great call for us to lean on the LORD for His strength and glory.

  6. Joy, thank you for sharing so candidly about your experiences. I know all too well the feelings you're having, on many levels...with work (Special Education is no joke), with baby and with home. I think for me, managing it all is the biggest challenge of all. Wanting to do everything and do it well...leaving nothing left undone. Of course, we all know that is nearly impossible. For me, it's taken a lot to just surrender the day-to-day things to God--the laundry, the cleaning, the dinner planning, the dog!!! :) What's important is that my husband feels loved and that I'm giving him attention, that my son feels loved and secure, and that I am fulfilled, HEALTHY and able to do the things that God gives me to do each day. If I'm not healthy and well-rested, NOTHING will get done! :) God knows how the seasons of our lives will play out and He even knows our desires. Thank you again!