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.
It is wonderful to be able to stay home with our children. When ours were young I honestly didn’t have enough faith to trust God would provide. If I could only turn back the clock, home school my children I wonder if it would have made a difference?
, I tried to work several times when my 2 boys were young, everything suffered. I was offered 3 different positions big money, but 2 of them I would of had to travel around the state,. The last position I was offered.. my youngest son who was in 6th grade said to me Mom who will be home when I get home from school. I said I will. It was a struggle financially, but it was worth it to turn down the jobs. Both my boys are in the ministry, my oldest is now my Pastor. . I’m very blessed and thankful.
Prayers for you dear ones in this decision.
That’s amazing that you sacrificed for your boys, to be able to stay at home with them. The part that tugged in my heart, was when you said you’re a sixth grader said to you Mom, are you going to be home when I get home. There’s so many kids, that go home to empty house because, either mom has to work or Mom wants to work, I just thank God that he gave me an opportunity to be able to be at home with my kids and know that when school’s out, mom’s going to be in the car waiting for them. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, and I was homeschooled from second grade up and when our finances got hard because, my parents had nine kids, my mother said to me and my younger sister, would you mind if I go back to work? I was 11 years old and I said sure Mom, but I knew in her eyes it hurt her because, she did not want to leave us to go to work, but having such a large family and one income was very hard and she didn’t want to see her kids not have enough to eat. So I commend you, on the decision that you made and thank you for your prayers whatever, the outcome I have faith, that God will provide for me just the right job where, I can be there for my kids and not have the sacrifice time with God or my family.
I homeschooled my boys for 18 years. Before this I taught high school. We went through some tough times, but God took care of us. I did a few odd jobs here and there through the years. I wondered if the time shoukd come for me to return to work, if anyone would hire me due to my age and huge gap in my resume. When my youngest was a junior, I started working part time at a job that allows me to use my business education degree in both aspects: as a tutor at our local college as well as a secretary.
Thank you for your insight, I’m at that Crossroad as well. I don’t have the patience to homeschool my kids, so they go to a really good public school. But, my youngest is going to be five in July and where we live at school starts in August. And with my resume having not worked in almost 9 years, some employers may not want to hire me
I think a lot of it is because, is no desperation to hire like it was in the pandemic, where people were looking for people to hire now right now, it’s not like that anymore. But, I’m also grateful for the fact that there is jobs, that I can work from home, so I’m able to get to my kids school, if one of my children gets sick, or they have a doctor’s appointment so their’s flexibility. I’m not going to just dive into a full-time job, I’m looking for something that is part time, that I can work from home and still be available to my family without compromising my time with them.