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To the mom who is going back to work

By: lindsay frist

To the former stay-at-home mom (or fixing-to-be former stay-at-home mom),

I am a mom who used to stay at home, and now, I work. I know the doubts that come with going back to work all too well. 

What if I can't cut it? 
Am I running out on my kids? 
I feel so guilty. 
I don't think I can do this.

I am making it, and you can, too, 

I stayed home with my kids for years, and my husband and I prayerfully decided the Lord was leading me to start working again outside the home. Honestly, going back to work after being a stay-at-home mom brought worry, guilt, anxiety — and happiness, growth, stability, and influence. 

Starting over in anything has the potential to be scary. But in the uncertainty of starting over, you’ll also find the potential for God to move in ways you wouldn’t have seen if you hadn't stepped out on faith and returned to work. 

God always blesses obedience.

Juggling home life and work life isn’t easy. It’s going to take time to find what works for your family, but several practical steps have helped me along the way:

  • Make intentional time a priority for your family. Make a plan to spend time together. Put the phones down and enjoy each other's company. 
  • Create a family calendar. This helps everyone keep track of what your week/month looks like and visibly shows expectations for the week. 
  • Build in intentional time with your spouse. Have a meeting every week where you discuss what you have going on. Don’t neglect dating each other. And remember, 5 minutes of face-to-face time every day makes a huge difference.
  • Find ways to simplify your life. When I went back to work, my schedule started filling up fast. I had to prioritize my time and figure out what to let go of. You may have to let go of certain commitments for a season, but be patient with yourself as you are trying to find your "new normal."
  • You might be the only person praying for the people in your workplace. Be an example of Jesus. Work hard, love them, encourage them, invite them to church, and invest in their lives. 

It took a while for me to realize going back to work was not matter of loving my kids or not loving my kids. Going back to work was a step of obedience. And while obedience is never easy, God always blesses obedience. 

Noah’s story in Genesis 8 is a great example of radical obedience. God gives a righteous man named Noah a special job outside his regular work of being a husband and father. God tells Noah to build an ark when it had never rained before. 

Where God leads you, He sees you through.

Can you imagine the opposition Noah was up against? Not only from other people, but from his own inner voice. Still, Noah worked on building that ark for 120 years.

Hebrews 11:7 says "It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith" (NLT). 

Where God leads you, He sees you through. Obey and have faith, even in all the things you don't know or yet understand. 

One night, my husband, my kids and I were all in our playroom playing. My husband turned to me and said, "You seem happier and more fulfilled since you started working." And he was right. As I took next steps and figured out what our life looked like with me working, I started to really enjoy where the Lord had me.

Noah, his family, and the animals were in the ark seven days before the flood waters came. Like Noah, when you are obedient to God’s next step for your life, you might not see the results immediately. But be patient, pray, and have faith — the flood, the promise, is coming. 

Rooting for you, 
Lindsay

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