Originally uploaded by Mainline Mom.

Last night I attended my first coffee of a group of working moms from my church. I wasn’t really sure if I qualified for this group since I only work part-time, and that time is not in a traditional office. But they made me feel welcome. I was amazed to hear that three of the women worked full-time while their husbands stayed home either full-time or part time with their kids! In a group of only seven women, this startled me, because I have heard about it but never met anyone making that arrangement work. It sounded like those husbands did a lot of the housecleaning too and the wives often managed the family finances. Yet these women all seemed to believe in the scripture that sets the man as the head of the household. Many of them believed strongly that even though their husband was not the primary breadwinner in the family, he was still the leader and the head of household. Fascinating.

The topic of the discussion and Bible study was how do we deal with the judgement of others for working outside the home. Some women had faced pretty harsh judgement from good friends and even their mothers! I think for most of us it’s more subtle than that. I clicked with a girl who is an engineer like me, telecommuting from a home office fulltime in an IT position for Intel. She has childcare in the afternoons. She is also a leader in her MOPS group, as I am. We both agreed that because we work AND spend considerable time with stay-at-home-moms, we get judged by both sides.

What the meeting did remind me of, is that some moms can’t economically afford not to keep working, even when they hate it. I could afford to stay home full time, but for other reasons I feel I have to stay in my current position indefinately. Most days I really like my job, and my work situation. Some days I’d like the freedom of not working, and some days I am selfish and wish I worked full-time. But one thing I’ve learned, happiness comes from finding contentment no matter what your situation.


7 responses to this post.

  1. >Maybe I’m not qualified to comment on this, since I’m not a mother yet, but heck, when has that ever stopped me? Hee.Seriously, if/when we have a kid, I would like to work part-time, if my current employer will allow it. I’m hoping they will. If they don’t, then I’ll have to stay full-time, for financial reasons. Well, not out of necessity, but because I would like to maintain the lifestyle we have now. We could probably squeak by on just Brian’s salary for now, but I don’t want to struggle. Plus, I think a few days out of the house in the working world will help me keep my sanity. My job is really important to me and I enjoy it. This is the first job I have really liked, and I don’t want to give it up completely. I was raised this way and I think it was beneficial for me and for my mom. She worked as an ER nurse two evenings a week from 3p-11p, and every other weekend 7a-3p. My dad worked 9-5 during the week. Also, I spent a few days a week at my grandparents’ house, which I really appreciate now as an adult, because I have so many good memories of the time spent with them.In the end, though, working or staying at home is such a personal choice. I can’t imagine judging anyone for their decisions. The whole idea of feminism is to give women the freedom to make their own choices, based on their situations and preferences. I wouldn’t want to be judged on mine, so I would never judge any other person on theirs.


  2. >I agree with Lori, I dont have any children right now but plan to someday do. I personally hope to stay home full time, maybe I will choose to work part time, but I am not sure. I like that I have a choice and like everyone else hope that I am not judged by it!I too believe it is personal and everyone has the right to do what is best for them. Interesting on the stay at home dad lifestyle I find that fascinating as well!


  3. >I grew up dirt poor (eating was a priveledge as we didn’t always have food)- so my mother had to take on a job as well to help support us. I believe in doing what you believe is right for your family.


  4. >Interesting post and perspective.


  5. >I personally don’t understand women judging other women on such a personal choice. I mean, who am I to sit and criticize anyone else when I don’t know their financial situation, their husband’s wishes, how their children are adapting to their particular situation, etc. I just wish women would start being more of champions for one another instead of constant critics. I am done ranting now. LOL


  6. >I think each person needs to be able to make the choice regarding family and career that best fits their financial and emotional needs. No one else should judge (or can even be able to judge) the others situation.I’m glad you’ve found a good group at your Church!


  7. >”finding contentment no matter what your situation.” That is JOY – a fruit of the spirit.


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