As my due date comes closer and closer, I've been struggling with the thought of returning to work once my maternity leave ends. I love my job, and I'm a little afraid to walk away for three months while we embark on this incredibly new chapter in life. However, the idea of leaving my little one for 8-9 hours each day is already giving me anxiety. I have never envisioned myself as a stay-at-home mom, but I'm already feeling guilt about returning to work.
What's up with that?
I recently came across two blog posts that have been so encouraging about "working mom guilt."
Grace for the working mother and her guilt by Lisa-Jo Baker. I forget how I came across this post, but it really struck a chord with me. I am not a bad mother because I'm returning to work outside of the home. I'm doing what is necessary for our family: providing an income to feed, clothe, and keep our little one secure. "Gritty, committed, and determined to do what is necessary."
Working mom guilt by The MOB Society. I had originally posted Lisa-Jo's on my personal Facebook page, which led a dear friend to direct me to this post. It is very similar in tone and encouragement, but it went a little further to speak to me. I had never thought of this perspective on being a working mom: "It is not God’s will for women to stay home with their children any more than it is God’s will for women to work outside the home — what is God’s will is that in everything, without grumbling or complaining, we do it all for Him."
At the end of the day, I want our daughter to know that Mommy and Daddy do what we do for her and our family. And if that means both of us have to work, so be it. Husband and I have discussed the potential for one of us to stay home for a bit, and while the opportunity isn't off the table, it's more than likely that we'll both continue to work. But only time and God will tell us what is best, and I will continue to lean on faith to guide us through these new waters.