Absent Motherhood?

I’ve been exchanging emails with a friend who is about to move to another state with her husband. She’s an attorney and has been trying to decide what to do career-wise once they move. They’ll no doubt be very financially stable due to her husband’s career and the job waiting for him, but she is challenged with desiring to contribute to the household income and her fear of becoming an “absent mom.” In response to her comment the text below is part of my email. It’s a brief summary of the things I’ve been dealing with lately and taking before the Throne.

I totally understand your comment about not wanting to be an absent mom. God’s really been working with me about that lately. Over the pass 5 years He’s tossed all my expectations on their heads and I’m now coming around to the idea of working… some… while having kids. We just keep waiting for the “right” time and I feel like if we’d just start and figure it out as we go along then we’d find that it wasn’t that big of a deal all along.

And I think pride is one of the reasons I’ve been so convinced I need to stay home… but really, who cares? There are BAD moms who work full time and there are also BAD moms who stay home full time! The difference is the caliber of the mom herself and her ability to balance things and place her children in the proper priority position. We’re not going to start trying to have kids right now, but I’m getting to the point that I don’t have to have everything precisely planned out in order to think about it.

Actually, a lot of this came about from a pregnancy scare we had a few weeks ago. In the midst of it I started realizing it wouldn’t be that big of an issue if it had been true! It just so goes back to expectations and whether I’m willing to be CONTENT or always looking for the next bigger/better thing.

Speaking of that whole concept… our small group was amazing last night. We started in on the scripture passage we’ve been studying and took this wildly huge detour to talk of the economy and trusting that God’s in control and deciding about contentment. Some of the things shared…

  • one member of our SG got great advice that BEFORE kids you and your spouse should decide how big of a house you want to raise your kids in. And that’s IT. Never get bigger than that just because you can – use any other moneys God blesses you with to turn around and bless His kingdom.
  • another person talked about Rick Warren (author: Purpose Driven Life) and how he and his wife realized they were going to be financially sound after starting Saddleback church… each year they challenge themselves to give away a bigger percentage of their income. They are currently giving away 95% of their income. 95%!!!
  • John Piper and his wife decided early on what amt of money they needed to live on to be financially secure. Only accounting for inflation they have never gone above that figure and now that he sells millions of books they’re still living on the amount they originally settled on.

These and so many other things challenge me that in this desperate time we’re living the Lord is NOT off the throne and He will see us through. My only problem with everything is ME, not the world around me. I’ve been so blessed!!! But am I content to live within those means? And truly that’s where I find fault. I can blame it on the world for tempting me with all these fabulous “wants,” but ultimately it’s ME and my desire for more that is the problem.
Just some thoughts. I’d love to hear your take on these issues!

Ironically, I found out about a week later that this same friend is pregnant. It shines a whole new light on our conversation to know that she was actually struggling with this in the context of expecting a child. I’m so excited for her!

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