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To The Working Mom: You Are Every Mom

by Emily Wierenga

honestly

June 25, 2014

To The Working Mom: You Are Every Mom

You want to know what’s great about June, darling? Well, there are lots of things. But one of the great things about June is how Jubilant it is. That’s why we’re celebrating Jubilant June, by offering a giveaway every day for the next week. (Because nothing says jubilant like a giveaway, amiright?!) We have a wide variety of things to giveaway items – from books to pacifier holders to Smuckers Fruit-Fulls! Come back daily and celebrate June with us!


 

Dear Working Mama,

You, with your hands in the soapy water barely able to keep your eyes open because you're pulling a night shift scrubbing floors for minimum wage.

You, foraging in the dumps of Guatemala trying to find anything for your eight children to eat.

You, standing in your nurse's uniform giving meds to a man who's complaining about women working outside of the home, you--fighting to keep your family out of debt because your husband lost his job and your baby is sick and the hospital bills are forcing you to take out another line of credit, YOU.

You are every woman, dear mama, because work doesn't always constitute a paycheck. Sometimes your work looks a lot like a stay at home mother but it all matters.

This caring for people, it matters--whether it's bent low over your child's fever in the middle of a night, or bent low over an ornery man in a hospital bed checking his pulse--whether it's baking bread from scratch or picking up day-old loaves from the bakery on your way home from a graveyard shift at the factory.

We waste so much time looking down on one another and not enough time lifting each other up.

We are not the ones to judge. We are the ones to love. To look in the eyes of a weary mom and say, Your work is important--whether or not it comes with a paycheck--because you are serving Jesus with every ounce of your being in the way you know how.

Whether at home or at work, you carry family in folds of your heart--you rise early to make them sandwiches, you bundle them up for school, you feed them Tylenol and cold washcloths all night long, then rise for an early morning shift, you somehow make it to your son's soccer game in spite of getting yelled at by your boss because there are some things that matter more.

"I just don't know what to do," my friend with four babies laments to me. "Some of the nurses think I shouldn't work, even on weekends when my husband's home; others think you're nothing if you don't work outside of the home--what should I do? I feel so torn, all the time."

Let's stop calling the shots for one another.  God's job is to do the convicting. Our job is to do the loving.

Let's start looking beyond the details and start seeing the person. The dear woman with the calloused hands and the bags under her eyes, the one who cries herself to sleep because she's a single mother who doesn't know how she's going to make parent-teacher interviews tomorrow, the one who is so depressed she works just to afford anti-depressants, the one who was born to be a nurse and squeezes it in to keep her license.

Ours is not to judge. Ours is to love. To nurture and care for one another, to breathe life into dark places, to bring hope to the world--THIS is the greatest work a woman can do, and it's costly yes--it will cost you time and energy and sleep when others don't understand, but the rewards are greater.

For if we live in love--whether we work outside the home or within it, whether we're a SAHM or a professor, whether we are single or married or rich or poor--this is what matters. This love is our calling.

And it wraps the world tight in a beautiful embrace.

All my heart, sisters,

Emily.


 

Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.


 

 

 

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Tell us about a time another woman encouraged you. 

Related topics: work, mom, busyness

Share your thoughts

I am encouraged a lot, especially from my mom. She always tells me, "this too shall pass" and that helps me get over the little things.

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Moms are the best!

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I was going through a dry spell of answered prayer. A friend told me I was her answer to a prayer while she was away from family by suggesting a good book to read. It helped her find a way to build a new bond with her father and find a connection to her church back home! This helped remind me my prayers are found in acts of service and day to day discussions.

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Thank you for sharing, Shannon!

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My pastor's wife has been a huge encouragement to me. Sometimes it is nice to have an outside perspective on things and she is the perfect person for that. When my husband and I were first debating if I should quit my job and stay home with our first child, I was getting mixed opinions from my parents and my in-laws. I was able to have an awesome conversation with my pastor's wife about it and she was able be a non-biased voice, as well as a provider of biblical input. Needless to say, we felt called for me to stay home. 3+years later (and one more child later), I wouldn't change a thing. :)

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Shari, sometimes our families can be too close to a situation and the outside voice is so helpful!

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My MOPS group is loaded with both SaHMs, as well as, WoTHMs & we work together to encourage each other regularly so we can work together as a team to minister to our Member Moms. It really does take a Villiage to raise our family's God's way, & we are all here to help!

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Sounds like your MOPS group has really created an environment of support and encouragement. Wonderful!

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A bible class teacher who told me how caring my boys are...made my day when I worried if I was doing things right!

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The smallest things can make the biggest impact. So glad this teacher spoke these words about your boys when you needed to hear it!

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When my mother told me I was a good mom and helped me with my first baby.

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I think hearing from your mom that you are doing a good job is so powerful!

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My friend Jenny is always telling me that I can do it, and that I'm a great mom and wife. I do my best, but I doubt myself from time to time, and so does she. We support one another as much as we can.

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We can all get caught up in our self doubt and it's so important to have those friends around who can reassure you! I'm glad you have a friend like that!

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One of my friends got a few of us together to make having coffee once a month, just us girls, a priority.

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Those girl gatherings are so important and can be so encouraging. Good job taking care of you!

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My mother-in-law encourages me regularly, telling me she loves me and believes that I'm doing a good job as a mom (even when I don't feel like it's the truth, after a hard day of mess ups). I'm so thankful for her steady support.

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Yes, it's wonderful to have women like that speaking into your life!

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A friend yesterday telling me that I was doing a good job and my kids would appreciate my staying home with them.

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It's so important to hear that sometimes!

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Standing in line to checkout, at Target, with a screaming toddler and a full cart. Another woman who I assume is a mom just looked at me and said "we've all been there. Hang in there!!" That got me through the next 7 minutes of checking out and into the car...where I then drove to Dunkin Donuts and bought myself a treat :)

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Christie, you deserved that encouragement... and more importantly, the treat! ;)

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I was encouraged by kind words shared by a mentor. I wasn't having a very good day (flat tire, kids with colds, etc) and her words were like a soothing salve for my weary soul.

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Denise, I had one of those days today. It wasn't anything major that happened, just a bunch of tiny setbacks. And a friend stopped to listen to me vent about my day and it made the hugest difference!

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Just a simple smile from another mom is enough to brighten my day and encourage me. Even as crazy as I may look making my way slowly through the grocery store with all four of my girls. Keep smiling mamas, you are encouraging other around you! ;)

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Jackqulynn, sometimes the subtle things have the biggest effect. It's amazing how much one crusty look can ruin my day, but I hadn't stopped to think about how one pleasant look can improve my day.

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