Letter to Christian Working Mothers

Yet, another article that is beautifully written has been marred by comments by the followers of God. The beginning of this article really spoke to me as a working mom and if you are one, you should read it. Here’s the perfect example of having agreements with those who are in the church about other things besides religion. 

However, there comes a side effect of the religious undertones of articles written like this. Marred in the comments are ‘well meaning’ Christian women who think they know what it’s like to be inside someone’s life. They use “God’s words” to make their veiled guilt-ridden comments and they use “God’s words” to throw a little judgement and a pinch of righteousness into an already guilt-ridden and emotional mother’s mind.

My heart goes out to those women who are shackled to the fear that their decision for their family is somehow inferior to those around them. This post is for you.

Dear Christian Working Mother,

I have known that guilt you feel. People tell you the guilt you feel is God’s way of telling you that you may be doing something wrong. Other Christian women are coming forward to tell you how your decision to work outside the home, may not be a good fit – and you shouldn’t ignore that guilty feeling in your gut.

Let me tell you something, ladies, working mothers feel guilt. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian or Atheist. It doesn’t matter if your child is newborn or young adult. A mother’s instinct is to care and nurture her child with her own two hands. To foster and delight in your child’s learning and teach your child the ways of your beliefs or non-beliefs.

We aren’t that different, you and I. The guilt a working mother feels, has nothing to do with religion. At the end of the day, the guilt you feel in your heart, those achy pangs of sadness come Monday morning has to do with being a mother. Carrying a child for 9 months gives you a special bond with that child – it’s a natural psychological response to want to be close to that child and have a hand in their daily lives.

Don’t let people use God to guilt you into doubting your decision to work outside the home. There are some, most likely just like you, who have no other choice.

Think for a moment, what happens if you give in to your guilt and you quit your job.

Will God put food in your child’s belly? Will He clothe your child and keep her warm from the coming winter fast approaching? Now you can hold your child in your arms all day long, but at what expense? Will you have a roof over your head? Will you have a car to drive him to all the playdates you so desperately want to attend?

I’m calling all Christian Mamas out there who work outside the home. I’m telling you that  you don’t have to feel guilty. This world is based in money. That’s an unfortunate fact and no matter how much you try, at the end of the day, your working puts food on the table and a roof over your child’s head.

It doesn’t mean you love your child any less. It doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong. It doesn’t speak to your greed or your priorities as a mother or a woman, it simply speaks to the necessity to do what is right for your family.

The harsh reality of this world is that it doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not. The bill collectors are still calling. The house payment is still due. The medical bills are still calling out to you from when little Johnny broke his arm last year. Those things are going away, it’s not by some miracle of God going to disappear.

I commend the writer of the original article. She has beautiful words for the working mother. All working mothers can relate to the feelings she describes. Her words are written more eloquently than mine are, because now, I’m more interested in giving you a real good shake.

Don’t let people guilt you. Don’t let people doubt you. Don’t let people tear you down.

And to those women who think they are helping by adding more stress and worry onto women who are only doing what’s necessary for their children and their family. Shame on you. You don’t walk in their shoes, don’t presume to know who they are. Just because you have been stirred with what you call the duty to spread God’s message, doesn’t mean you have to put it on the heart of a fellow woman already struggling.

At the end of the day, what does the Bible say Jesus preached? Love and compassion. Not guilt and judgement. Seek to find the same level of belief and standards you hold these women to. Seek to walk in the way that Jesus walked, or don’t say anything at all.

Working moms, of all beliefs and family dynamics. You are struggling. You are doubting. You are heartbroken. But remember this above all. You are important. You are loved. You are appreciated. Your struggles don’t go unnoticed. Your doubting has no foundation. Your heart will mend each time with the happy smile of your child when you walk through the door. Your heart can withstand, your child is learning valuable lessons from you. Teach your child the idea of standing on your own two feet, doing what is necessary, and caring for the lives you have brought into this world and keeping them safe, warm, and happy!

Let’s all give a little more compassion to our fellow mothers. Regardless of our beliefs. Regardless of our decisions. Regardless of how we raise our families. Regardless of how we got here, we are all mothers. Let’s stop this war against each other. Let’s stop the judgement and start appreciating one another. Let’s stop the guilt and start learning from one another. Let’s stop the advice and start listening to one another.

Let’s just be women. Caring for our children. Doing what is in our heart and our soul to do on pure instinct.

Love one another.

5 thoughts on “Letter to Christian Working Mothers

  1. Hey Rachel,

    People are way too hard on mothers. The funny thing is, it’s other mothers who are the worst! I have heard women talk angrily about stay at homes, and vice versa.

    I stay at home because I can and because my husband’s job is a good ways away. I thought I would have more free time once both my kids got into school, but between medical, music, sports and sicknesses, I haven’t seen too much of it.

    I feel that as long as a mom is trying her best to be a good mom and taking the steps to better improve herself and her family, people need to seriously STFU!

    I am surrounded by moms who think I’m horrible because I put down boundaries with them and a set schedule with my kids on school days. Something they don’t consider is that they all have aunts, grandmas and grandpas that help them out, I don’t. My closest relatives are 500 miles away and as you know, they’re not the kind of people I want near my family.

    Mothers around me would probably lose it if they knew I was an atheist because this is a little God fearing town in southern suburbia. They couldn’t believe that I had never sent my kids to VBS, even when I was a Christian for reasons you already know about.

    I think we need to have it in our minds that we sincerely need to help moms and if not, then we need to STFU!

    • I think the real problem is the ingrained desire to “help”. Except sometimes, most times, helping isn’t actually helping. It’s hurtful and it’s presumptuous.

      I’m absolutely sure you are a brilliant mom and kids need rules and boundaries.

      • Yeah, Rachael, I understand what you’re saying about the whole “help” thing, good point! I don’t get that around here though. I get “Southern Belles” calling me names in front of my children and behind my back with other moms. I haven’t ran into this personally in over a year and a half, right before my deconversion. That doesn’t mean it still doesn’t go on, I just wouldn’t know because I stay to myself. I think the other neighborhood moms finally left me alone after I made it clear about boundaries I actually had to make with them regarding my kids and our property. They didn’t like that, especially the most gossipy mom of them all who was once a good friend. Things did get much more tolerable once she moved half a year ago.

        I don’t guilt women into staying home because I know it’s not for everyone, I also know that some parents don’t have a choice. Who knows? That can be me in a couple of years, maybe sooner. No mom knows if or when she may be in the same position as the other mom, That’s why we need to be so careful because fitting a foot in the mouth is quite an unpleasant experience.

  2. You should look up “sanctimommy” on FB. It’s a facetious page where the author posts all kinds of sanctimonious commentary that moms give about parenting. Women are the worst to each other. Bottom Line. And if there is any group that is more sanctimonious than others, it’s moms. This frustrates me endlessly because the truth is that we really can’t afford the in-fighting.

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