It was bound to happen. When the last baby turned five, she would start kindergarten, and I would need to decide to stay home or return to the workforce.
It isn’t an easy decision. I haven’t worked since I was thirty-seven weeks pregnant with our twins, almost nine years ago. I felt like I needed to give my children 100 percent of me, and when they are all in school, I’ll be able to get a job.
It sounded simple enough, but reentering the workplace brings some challenges. First, I am stepping into a new environment where the workforce has dramatically changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, who would hire somebody who hasn’t worked in almost a decade?
One night, while making dinner, I asked my husband, “What will I do when our youngest goes to kindergarten next year?”
My husband said, “You could return to work.” I replied, “What would I put on my resume?” My husband asked, “Do you want to return to work?” I said, “I think so because if I’m home all day, I’ll drive myself crazy, miss the kids, and be lonely.”
We briefly thought about having another baby, but that ship has sailed! I’m approaching my forty-fifth birthday, so expanding our family is not an option.
My husband finished the conversation with, “I’ll support whatever you decide.” I was happy that my husband supported me, but I was still unsure about the right choice.
Honestly, I was scared to return to the work world. A lot has changed since I worked, and I had no idea how to navigate it.
How would I answer a future employer who asked, “What have you done in the last decade?” Am I supposed to say I raised four children—twin daughters, a son, and another daughter, and participated in my church harvest festival?
Then I remembered that I serve the God of the impossible. He can do anything. He can even give a soon-to-be-working mom a job that will allow her to still be there for her husband and kids and keep God as the priority in her home.
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
Proverbs 31:27-28, KJV
The decision is weighing heavy on my mind.
Mothers make a house a home. I want our kids to come home knowing that mom will be there and that they won’t have to worry if mom has to work late or is too distracted by all the demands that a new job or career can put on her.
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:4-5, KJV
I’ve tried being a working mom before.
When my twins were two-years-old, I decided to find a job where I was working nights to help with the household income.
However, as I prayed and applied for jobs, I sensed God telling me, “Not now.” God saw my heart and knew I wanted to be with my kids. He saw that my family needed me at home and cared for us.
There were times when money was so low that we couldn’t buy new clothes or diapers for the children or go to dinner as a family. But I wouldn’t trade my time with my family for anything in the world. God provided everything we needed.
If I had taken a job working nights, I would not be at home with my kids and would miss my family terribly, all for the sake of extra income.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 KJV
God knew my heart’s desire. My heart desired to serve Him, be a good wife and be at home with my kids. I didn’t regret the decision to stay home. When they started school, I missed them, and I will miss my youngest one, too, when she goes to kindergarten in August.
I know the sacrifice was well worth it. When school was out, my children knew I would be there waiting with open arms.
I understand many women must work, and my heart feels for you. Some of you are the sole providers for your family. Your children are blessed because they know they have a hard-working mother who does everything she can to care for them.
“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”
Psalm 46:5 KJV
God knows what we need, and His timing is always perfect. While I’m waiting, I trust Him. If God provides me with a job, I know it will be right for me, and I won’t have to sacrifice my relationship with God or time with my family to work and help my family out financially.
Tips for reentering the workplace:
- Pray and ask God for direction. God will give you a job that will fit your family’s needs.
- Look for jobs that allow you to work from home, offer flexible hours when your kids are in school, or maybe even a job in your children’s school.
- If you don’t feel uncomfortable returning to work, look for places to volunteer during school hours, either at your kids’ school or in the community.
- Attend a resume and job workshop. They will help you build the right kind of resume and help you look for work that suits you.
- Don’t be discouraged if you face rejection. If you left your career to be a mom, it may take time to find the right job.
Deciding when to return to work or continue as a stay-at-home mom while your kids are in school can be very stressful and challenging. Take it to God first and ensure it’s the right decision for your family.
With the cost of living and everything increasing, the luxury of having a one-income family may no longer be an option. Unfortunately, many women have to go out into the workforce when some would rather stay home with their children.
Whatever the reason for your return to work, know that God is for you. He knows where your heart is and will provide what you need in every season.
Even if I am still on the fence about returning to work when my youngest enters school this fall, I have complete faith in God.