So far, by God's grace

Monday, February 13, 2012

Being a Working Mom

I really appreciate Stay at home moms and their dedication. I do not mean to say that one is easier or better than the other. Please understand that in this post I am only talking about my situation, and not anyone else's.
It's funny that almost all the "Mommy Blogs" I follow daily are of Stay-at-home moms. (SAHM). Making the decision to continue working after Nanma was born was not easy. And for a long time I swayed back and forth between guilt and confidence in my decision to work.

To understand my story, we need to back track a bit. Motherhood was something I wanted to experience right from childhood. Somewhere along the line between a kindergartner and a college student, the desire to become a teacher crept in and took a firm hold. My grandfathers on both sides were living examples for me of people who answered their 'calling' and lived by faith.

People outside my family expected me to follow in my family's footsteps and become a doctor. But very soon it was apparent to me that being a teacher was my calling. I've mentioned countless times before on this blog that I love my job as an elementary teacher. So when I got pregnant, the question of quitting and becoming a SAHM came about. (The recession was in full swing and my husband's job security was at an all time low.)I felt myself being torn in two directions. After much prayer and with the support of my excellent family, most of all my awesome mother in law, I decided to continue working.

Funnily enough, Christians I admired turned around and began criticizing me for my decision. This hurt. . . .very badly. They told me I was neglecting my duty by working. I was ridden with guilt every time I had to leave home early and Nanma cried out for me. The first few months back to work were torturous in some ways.

Slowly I began realising that this is indeed what God had called me to be. A wife, mother and teacher. I have fixed working hours. I am back home by 4:30 latest. We have scheduled Nanma's naptimes so that she gets enough sleep during the day and is awake and waiting for me when i reach home. God blessed us with Susheela Akka - our Nanny/maid who lives with us. I spend all my time right from when I reach home till Nanma goes to bed, with her. I am happy, Nanma is happy and so is Ashwin!

I used to worry about missing major milestones. But by God's grace, I didn't miss a single one! I managed weaning, teething, walking, pacifier weaning, bottle weaning, potty training all of it over weekends and school holidays. I can't really say "I" managed it, cos I believe God had a major part to play in it as well.

My fears of having a child that loved her Nanny more than her mother turned out to be just that - fears. One of my favorite verses is this : For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. - 2 Timothy 1 :7. Being a working mom has meant teaching myself to be more disciplined. I might not be able to get my mani-pedi-facials done as often as I could earlier, and I might not be able to sleep in or take an afternoon nap with Nanma. For me, work has not come ahead of my child and I hope that will always be the case. I have had some wonderful times with my daughter and am confident that the fun times will continue.
Many Christians are often quick to judge working mothers. I cannot speak for all mothers everywhere, but I do know this. God has called me to be a mother and a teacher. And I for one am happy to follow my calling.

Like I said in my last post, I don't know what the future holds. I might not always be a working mom. But I do know this - Satan tries his hardest to convince women that others around us are right in their criticism. But I'm wiser than him in knowing with all my heart that God knows best! Being a working mom isn't easy. But then I have the support of a God who gives me daily grace and strength.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. - 1 tim 1:12


  1. Lovely post Deepa. I am a SAHM and am desperately trying to get back to work. I bet it needs every ounce of strength and grace from God to be in a working mum's role and I'm going to mark these verses you mentioned for when I would need them.
    Lovely pictures too! May God prosper you in all the roles you have been blessed with.

  2. Oh Deepa, it takes more faith to let go and trust God to take care of your child! Fears should not keep us home either ! Like u said,I have also come to realize, God has a calling for each of us...and his approval is all that matters !! God does not condemn or demean the SAHM or the working mom !

  3. Pls add "I commend your faith" after the first line.

  4. Love the post, and the pictures! All of us make decisions that work best for us. So I don't think anyone should criticize anyone for making these decisions. I've been criticized for being a SATM, but I feel it was the best decision for me. So if you're comfortable with your decision, and you know it was right, that is all that should matter. Looking at Nanma's pictures, you can see that she is growing into a secure, beautiful, intelligent child. So you've done good!:)

  5. u echoed my feelings exactly!!!! Many many people always criticize me and continue to judge me as a bad mom just because I'm working!!!! Including elders in the church... and they hardly know about the effort we put in to make sure that we are with our kids as soon as we get home for the full time... i used to get irritated with them... but now I know that they are just being judgemental .. every person's situation is different and hence there is no universal law that says that only working moms are bad! Also this reminds me to not give unasked-for to advice to people in similar situations...

  6. Hey deepa...

    Criticisms are just people trying to pull other people down..if you were to quit and stay at home with Nanma today they would just turn around and criticise for that... i know some wonderful moms who are SAHMs and some others who in my personal opinion are not so great moms inspite of being SAHMs... the way i see it what you do as a mom is what matters not whether you choose to stay at home with your kids or whether you decide to work outside the home... both options have some pretty strong arguments for and against.i guess its easy to say pay no heed to criticisms... i know from experience that it becomes really tough when politeness and upbringing stops us from arguing our case, but all you need to do is watch for whether the number of smiles on your familys faces (inclusive of yours) stay the same or increase. that should be your strongest argument!!!

  7. Here from SUYL. I am a SAHM. No judgements here. :) Nice to "meet" you.

  8. trust the "Christians" to make you feel guilty.... lol.. haa.. had to say that :P