Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Blessings as a Working Mother

Today our alarm woke our family up at 4 am in the morning. We hurried to get ready so that I could drop my two oldest daughters and their father off by 5:45 am at the airport. He is taking them to Florida for an entire week to visit his sister. My daughters were very excited because they have never been on a plane before. We decided that I would stay behind with the baby this time. What a sight to behold, my hubby trying to negotiate 2 suitcases, a stroller, a car seat, a Dora backpack filled with books and movies, a Tablet PC with a splitter and 2 headphones, a very active 6 year old, a precocious 2 year old and one very important stuffed Bulldog. He is indeed a brave man! His vacation has just begun...

...And so has mine!

After work today, I picked up the baby, made a frozen pizza and a large bowl of ice cream, and I'm sitting on my bed eating dinner, on my computer, with my baby sleeping on my lap. My house is messy and there are dishes and laundry to do, that are definitely not going to get done tonight, and probably not tomorrow either. The house is ... completely quiet ... I am completely alone with my lovely sleeping baby. Does this sound awesome, or what?!? This type of solitude is very rare (actually, non-existent) in this house. As I sit here enjoying the tranquility I feel compelled to write this blog post. I will try to explain.

I have been feeling negative about having to work for quite a while now, and I realize that my attitude is reflected in some of my blog posts. The truth of the matter is that it is difficult to have to put your kids in daycare and not be able to be there to spend time with them during the day. I sometimes feel terrible guilt over it. Also, I really love to read other Catholic mothers' blogs. Sometimes it is the only way I can really connect "mom-to-mom" and share the "Faith" side of my life... which is so important to me. I do have my husband, but he is a man, and sometimes well, it is just nice to have a girlfriend. We have a very secular network of friends and I really turn to the blogosphere to get in touch with other practicing Catholics. I often feel like such an outsider. I don't fit in the "regular" world. I don't have many friends, except for two kind women that I have met along the way and they have kept me around. I haven't told either of these two close friends about my blog, can you imagine that? I haven't told my family about it either (except my sister). I just feel more comfortable being anonymous at this stage. I know a lot of my new attitudes and behaviours will or do seem "radical" and out of place amongst my peer group and family members, many of whom do not fully embrace Church teaching. I try to quietly witness and set a good example, and not preach or judge. I definitely don't want to lose the only 2 female friendships I have in my life, or the connection I have with my family.

But I don't quite fit into the typical "good Holy Catholic Mother" world either. We stopped going to our TLM after much discerning, not because it isn't the best and most beautiful celebration of the Holy Mass that we have ever encountered, but in large part because I was the only non homeschooling mom there in a very tight knit community. We also had an unusually small family due to finally "getting with it" at such a late stage in our marriage. We stuck out. Now nobody probably even cares, no one is singling us out and saying, "Oh my gosh, you only have 3 kids" and "What a horrible parent... you send your kids to public school." But the pressure is driven from within my own heart. I am probably my own worst enemy. Anyway, I felt, and at times feel, inadequate and "less than". It is difficult to explain the dichotomy, other than "caught between two worlds". I admire homeschooling moms so much and am so drawn to want to know your world better and be your friend. To be more like you.

But back to the subject of this post...

Although I struggle at times, there are many positives I can come up with. God has led me where I am at this point in my journey, and I want to thank Him and conclude this post by reflecting on the blessings I have received as a working mom.

Here is my list:

1. 100% because of circumstances at my workplace, I have come back to the Catholic Church. This is my largest blessing.

2. Working is required for our family to make ends meet - (and it is a struggle even with me working!) I don't think our marriage could handle the stress or fighting that would ensue if we didn't have 2 incomes - we just couldn't swing it even with eliminating/cutting back every non-essential.

3. We don't have an extravagant home by any means, but we live in a very safe community. This was not always the case for us and we are thankful.

4. We can afford extra-curricular activities for the children that we would not be able to participate in if I did not work - swimming lessons and soccer.

5. I have a one hour commute to work. I say the rosary on the way in to work every morning. I don't think this would happen if I was at home - I would be way too distracted. It is sometimes the only time I have to really pray.

6. At work, I have encountered many strong and faithful Catholic co-workers. This has been a significant blessing.

7.  Knowing my weaknesses, I don't think I would be a very good stay at home mom or homeschooling mom.

8. I am able to have paid maternity leaves.

9. My job helps us to save for our retirement/future.

10. If the children have to be in daycare, at least it is very nice child care. They really do enjoy it. They have many friends at school and enjoy sign language classes, dance, field trips, all kinds of interesting things that I probably wouldn't get a chance to expose them to.

11. I really appreciate coming home every day and having dinner with my family.

12. Because of my job, I have been able to come to terms with many issues from long ago and I think it has forced me to deal with certain people and grow into a better and more accepting person.

13. Because of past jobs I have met the two friends that I am thankful for.

14. Who knows, maybe I have made an impact on somebody's life at work for the better or have somehow brought them closer to God? I hope so.

15. My job can be very mentally challenging and there is rarely a day when I am bored.

Thanks for reading this post! God Bless...


  1. I definitely know where you're coming from on many fronts. If you search my blog from Aug-Sep last year (can't remember exactly) I wrote a series on how we ended up with our kids at our Catholic school. I went through many feelings of inadequacy that were really of my own making. I don't think any of the homeschooling families ever judged us for the fact that we had a different arrangement, but I wanted to be like them so badly, that I figured they probably didn't approve of us or something. It is silly now that I look at it. Also, I have some other WOTHM posts I have written about not really fitting in with people in my work life and not really feeling like I fit in with people at church and even at school. But I think one thing I have learned through the last 12 years is that God calls us to these vocations not so that we can all be the same, but that we can all learn to love through our circumstances. I actually had a SAHM of 6 who I really really admire sit there and say something about how incredible I was that my husband and I accomplished so much with our jobs and our children and our faith life and SHE looked up to ME and I was so floored! Because I really look up to her. So you see...we all have something to teach each other and God works through all of us in so many ways.

    This is a great post and I have found that being thankful for what my role brings to our family has been a great way to grow in my faith and serve my husband and children and the world through my vocation of wife and mother.

    1. Thank you again for your comment. It is such great advice... "not so that we can all be the same, but that we can learn to love through our circumstances..." It really helps to put things in perspective. I am glad you put your WOTHM posts out there (to easily find) and the Educational Journey posts. Do you mind if I link to some of these in the future?

  2. My blog is fairly open and out there (I often link to it on my Facebook\) so I don't mind if you link to me at all!

  3. Thank you! I have been searching far and wide for Catholic working moms with lots of kids and there are not too many. You are smart, unique, kind, and your blog is very encouraging and well written.

    1. Read the Bible's description of the "working mom" of Proverbs 31:10-31. "Far beyond jewels is her value."

    2. Hello Again Waywardson,
      Thank you for drawing Proverbs 31:10-31 to my attention. At first I was thinking that this passage would apply to a mom working "in the home" only, but clearly there is industry, negotiation, and commerce going on here in addition to her domestic duties. I Love it! Thanks for making my day!

  4. Hello from another Catholic working mom. My guess is that I'm quite a bit older than you are and I first got online about 15 years ago, at which time the computer that I was only able to get because we had room in our budget for toys, told me for the first time that I wasn't a good mom because I work (who'd a thunk it, since almost every mom I knew either worked when her kids were infants or went back to work when her youngest entered school). Then I realized that, at least from what I could tell by reading their emails (this was in the heyday of email lists) there were some I wouldn't trust to watch my kids who had large families and homeschooled. I shuddered, and decided that I was happy, my kids were happy and I really didn't think God was unhappy.

    Welcome to the Catholic Blog Directory. I'd like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival, which is a weekly gathering of Catholic bloggers who share posts with each other. This week's host post is at

    1. Greetings RAnn, I am glad you stopped by my blog. I appreciate the invite to -A Catholic Carnival. I'm pretty new to blogging, so not quite sure how the whole host post thing works, but I will definately check it out. It's so great to be connecting to other Catholic moms out there, both older and younger, and from all different walks of Catholic life.

  5. Thanks for writing. Your blog entry is an answer to my prayer! I feel the exact same way.

    1. I'm glad you stopped by and thanks for leaving a comment. God Bless you and your family!

  6. Wow! I can't believe how much i feel the same way. I work 5-6 days a week from noon til 6 or 7. I really want to homeschool but am not sure it would work well for us, we dont have Catholic schools here so the kids are in public. They did go to Catholic school at first in our old town. So i constantly compare the two. I sincerely wish they could attend Catholic. But also feel we're meant to live where we do now.
    I never had any idea that motherhood was such an emotional roller coaster!!
    Our oldest is 9, our youngest is 5 months. We have 5 lil blessings. Ive started having anxiety issues since our last child was born last August. I turn to these wonderful Catholic mom blogs, since i dont have many Catholic friends, and get consolation that their are others going through similar circumstances. Thanking God for you!

    1. Sara, Thank God for you also. I understand. Good luck with your anxiety, and in fact I strugle with this also. You have even more to handle than I do! (I always wonder how much of the stress is Post Partum... but for me it seems to last months on end...) The problem with the blogs are that too many of the Catholic Moms are "too perfect" and it can sometimes get me down. If I complain too much, than I feel that I am not being very Christian and tend to just not post anything though.. hmmm, personally I was very close to deleting this entire blog right before I got your thank you. Take care.

  7. Wow! Really??
    Its truly amazing how God works in our lives!

    I've been a very happy-go-lucky kind of person until recently. I've been battling fear/anxiety. I've never dealt with anything like this on such a chronic level. t has definitely given me empathy to anyone living life with this emotional roller coaster! My husband doesn't understand it and doesn't know how to react in a positive way. I find myself hiding it from him so he doesn't get upset.
    It seems like if I just hear, read or see something a little scary or sad, the fear/anxiousness starts to rise.
    I was in the f5 tornado in joplin, mo in may 2011. I was working in the hospital when it tore through town. I think i was in a sort of shell shock and it has finally broke. I pray for this type of grief to end. It's a very scary place to be at times. I feel somewhat alone and desperate to reach out to others who may feel similar especially with a similar point in life with kids and all...

    1. Sara, I have meant to reply again to this, but you have DEFINITELY been through a lot.. gosh, no wonder you have some anxiety! ANYONE WOULD after what you saw! Have you been able to talk to a doctor about it? Have you been able to go to adoration to pray for some peace of mind? I will be praying for you on my way to work w/ my daily rosary.

  8. Hi Sara & Sharon,

    My name is Jamie and I live in Norman, OK... so not too far from you Sara. I am Catholic and have been married 5.5 years. My husband and I don't have kids... I really want kids, to do homeschooling too... all that. I am also a little older, I am 36. I think I read Catholic Mommy blogs to torture myself lol. I always feel like I will never fit in with any Catholic women because we don't have kids yet... in part because my husband has been in school. This is his last year and he was afraid because of finances/time to have kids while he has been in school. Anyhow... I also work and sometimes feel so down because I am older, with no kids and working... it's like I will never get that club pass to be able to be friends with any Catholic women... we also moved around so much for my husbands school... he started at a community college in WA where we are from, and then we went to a school in MT and now we are in OK which is where he wanted to ultimately get his degree from. Moving so much has made it really hard to make friends too and sometimes I feel like why even try because when he is done with school we will likely move again, plus the feeling of not fitting in... If either of you want to email me you can email me at Sara- if you are ever in the Oklahoma City area, I don't know if you would want to meet up but maybe we could.... just a thought.... Sharon- Even though my circumstances are a bit different from your, I still really appreciated reading what you wrote :)

    Thanks for listening!

    1. Jamie, oh my, if you ever figure out how to get that CATHOLIC CLUB PASS (lmao) you better let me know! I have never fit in, and doubt I ever will. Anyway, start praying to our Blessed Mother to have her Son send some Christian friends your way. I did this and looking back, I am amazed at the crazy (in a good way) people that I have been meeting all over the place. 36 is a great age to have children. Do not let money or time concerns stop you from the most exciting thing that might ever happen to you.... (Once you have kids you will have neither money nor time, but I promise you will not care!)


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