Being a working mama means dishing out a whole lot of grace. All. Day. Long. To my family. To my friends. To my coworkers. And especially to myself.
Truth be known, I’m better at frying up guilt than doling out grace.
You see, over the years I’ve built up these fabulous fantasies in my mind of how I would like things to be, and how I think things should go. I have a certain ideal floating around in my head about what life as a working mom should look like. I want my days and nights to mirror all those amazing hard-working moms I follow on Instagram – with their chic coordinating outfits and perfectly clean popsicle-holding cuties.
Of course, most of the time life doesn’t work like that and things don’t go according to my master plan. Dishes pile up. Laundry begins to multiply. And my good intentions go by the wayside, thrown into the valley of long lost hopes (along with my dreams of being a concert pianist and world famous fashion designer).
This is usually where my good friend Guilt likes to butt in and take a seat. Like an unwelcome guest settling into the comfiest chair in the house, Guilt likes to get all cozy, camping out in my heart and my mind like he belongs there.
He likes to fuel those erroneous bits of belief that have seasoned my sensibilities through the years, encouraging them to thrive and flourish, birthing frustration and breeding shame.
But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Guilt may pretend he is your friend, but he is not!
The thing is, I’m a much better mom when I’m working. Yes, I just said that out loud, whispering it softly so as not to disturb the interwebs. Or start a riot. It’s kinda hard to admit, but it’s true. There’s a part of me that comes alive when I’m using my mind to conquer purchase orders and anticipating customer’s needs. Bits of creativity that lay dormant in those years of changing diapers and wiping noses now suddenly burst forth when I’m at work.
And after a few hours of utilizing those sparks of inspiration, I am much more willing and excited to switch gears back to Mommy Land. Helping with homework. Prepping dinner. Overseeing chores. Giving bedtime snuggles and hearing bedtime prayers.
I’m not saying that work and motherhood should look one specific way. Because it doesn’t. And it won’t. And I don’t think it ever will. Because we serve a creative God who has wired us in vast and variously unique ways. We were not meant to be cookie cutter versions of each other! Motherhood will probably look differently on you than it does on me. And vise versa.
What if we gave each other a little grace in this area of work? What if instead of pushing our choices or preferences onto other people we simply stood back and cheered them on. Regardless of their take on the topic.
What if we were to dish out grace as generously and as carefully as we do a hot bowl of soup? With a side dish of benevolence, kindness, compassion, and understanding. Because being a mom is hard work. Valuable work. Blessed work. But still … work.
And we’re all working in one way or another. So let’s gather around the table of fellowship. Let’s cultivate those glorious friendships and encourage one another in community.
As women of faith and women of the promise, let’s join together in saying “Goodbye guilt. And hello grace.”
a guest post by Anne-Renee Gumley