I’ve worked since I was 15 years old. It’s the plan that God had for me and I knew that early on! I loved my jobs – all of them! (Minus the bank teller job – can you say snooze fest for this hyper leader that’s not great at math or sitting still.) But when I had children I expected that feeling to go away. I was shocked when Kennedi was 3 months old to find myself depressed and feeling down about everything. It was until I found a very part time job that I struggled. I realized during that season of life that I was a better wife and mommy when I was able to use my brain and tap into my love for all things business a few hours a week. Now I have a 14 and 16 year old and I can tell you without a doubt, I haven’t done it all right! But I have prayed over this one subject often, and I’ve watched God answer my prayers and teach me to be the best working mom I can be.
Here are 3 simple but powerful things I’ve learned to do to keep my girls from ever resenting my career.
1. Don’t keep your job a secret
Your kids have always wanted to know where you are when you’re not with them. The same goes for when you’re working. So tell them! They will feel better and so will you. Share things about your workplace – even if you’re workplace is at home.
When you are giving attention to your calling, you’re not being a bad mom! You’re being obedient to the plan God has for you. Whatever it is you do, talk to your children about it. You will be surprised how interested they are!
2. Make sure they know WHY you work
I have 2 teenagers and I will never forget the first time working-mom guilt really started to get the best of me. I don’t remember how old my girls were exactly, but they were young. I stopped in my driveway with both of them sitting in my car and I could feel their little eyes staring at the back of my head. They knew something was wrong with their momma. After a few extra busy weeks that ended with me showing up late to a soccer practice, I said to them, “Girls, do you know why mommy works?” It opened up an awesome conversation. One that I will never forget. I loved watching their eyes light up when I shared that this is what God called me to. Just like daddy was called to be a pastor, mommy was called to be a Christian business woman. I talked about their unique gifts and then I shared that business was my gift. I also shared that my work allowed me to financially contribute to our family and that the money that I made was the same money that helped to buy the clothes they had on and provide the supper we were getting ready to walk into the house to eat.
It was a really cool teaching moment… for ALL of us.
3. Never choose your job over your kids and make sure they know you would never choose your job over them
You probably think this goes without saying right?
But sometimes, if you’re like me, driven and a people pleaser, you can easily fall into the workaholic category. If you knew me personally, you would never doubt that I loved my family a ginormous amount more than I loved my work. However, early in my career I found myself sneaking off during family vacations to return an email or checking my phone in the bathroom while we were on a family outing. Not good. In those moments, where I chose to work (keep in mind we’re talking about working on things that were not urgent and did not require immediate attention) instead of being present with my kids, I put them 2nd.
Now… in the moments where an emergency happens and you have to respond, it’s okay. Just make sure that your children understand that even though you are having to take care of something important, you would much rather be snuggling with them on the couch. It means more than you know to that sweet kid of yours!
Somer Phoebus, Executive Director
Having a hard time “balancing it all” and keeping your family first? Somer’s next Productivity Academy might be just the thing you need to create efficient work systems so that time with your family will stay a priority. Click here to learn more!