February 26, 2014

Thoughts on Becoming a Working Mom

Starting on Monday I'll be leaving my sweet boy in the hands of another woman to become a working mom.  

Last week was the first time I cried about it.  I think that knowing I would leave him to work had always been a far off idea, but now that it's closer I'm beginning to see the reality of the new lifestyle that's just around the corner. 

Leaving baby Oliver is going to be hard.  Probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. 

Lately I've been filled with so many mixed emotions.  I am so excited to be starting a job where God has called me to be.  I feel grateful that he wants to use me to share his love, but I also am filled with sadness and worry about being separated from Baby O during the day.  He has such a great caregiver, but I can't help myself from all the thoughts running through my head. 

Nobody knows him like I do.  What if she doesn't understand his cues?  What if he doesn't like her?  What if he likes her more than me? What if he thinks I've abandoned him?  What if me being gone makes him really sad? What if he thinks I don't love him?  What if he won't eat?  What if this changes his joyful disposition? How am I going to manage working and taking care of a baby with cleaning and cooking and exercising?  What if I cry at work during my first week in front of people I don't know? How am I going to manage pumping when I'm new to this workplace? Does having a job make me a bad mom?  (Okay, now I'm tearing up again just typing out those thoughts...) 

At the same time, God keeps giving me reassuring signs over and over and over again that this is exactly where He wants me to be. 

Through this quote from Pope Francis:

"If we live the faith in our daily life, then our work too becomes a chance to spread the joy of being a Christian."

Through the Gospel reading and our priest's homily about being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  Our priest's call to share our talents with the world so that at the end of our lives, we're empty salt shakers.  Some moms are called to use their talents to be stay at home moms, but God is clearly calling me to work at this point in life. 

Through this quote from Mother Teresa: 

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.

I know God has given me a unique set of talents and I have felt his guiding hand all along in leading me to occupational therapy and to this particular job.  I know he wants to work through me to share his love and to improve the quality of the lives of others.  Like Pope Francis said, working is a great way to share the joy that comes from our faith.  

Yes, I know all this to be true in my heart, but dang, it's still just so hard thinking about leaving my baby.  

To all the working moms out there, how did you cope with the transition?

17 comments:

  1. Don't worry mama, God will not let a hair fall off his head. Even though you're leaving him to a caretaker/stranger, God will really be the true caretaker of Oliver and HE is in control of it all! :-) Embrace your new role and be happy about starting your dream career/vocation! God will take care of the rest!

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  2. You'll be in my prayers. I can imagine it will be hard to leave him. But, you've also prayed about it and God will guide you :)

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  3. I am a working mom of ages 6, 3, 1 and baby on the way. It IS hard at first but it gets better. It is such a joy to pick up the kids after a hard day at work and it makes our evenings and weekends so much more precious! Hang in there!

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  4. I am a working mom of ages 6, 3, 1 and baby on the way. It IS hard at first but it gets better. It is such a joy to pick up the kids after a hard day at work and it makes our evenings and weekends so much more precious! Hang in there!

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  5. We all have our gifts that God has given us. How and when He wants us to use them will continue to be opened up to you for many, many years. For now, hold onto those quotes and keep them in your mind. Pray for peace, and He will provide. As Agnes said, God will take care of it!

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  6. It's amazing how God places us all in different circumstances and with different talents. It sounds like at this point, God is calling you to work outside the home and care for your family. For me, when I was finished with school it seemed like nothing was falling into place with jobs, but everything slowly has been falling into place when it comes to me being able to stay home to care for the children. Praying for you! Please pray for me too.

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  7. When I took my first to her Mothers Morning Out/daycare for the first time when she was 9 months old I seriously was bawling. I'm sure all the other parents who I walked past must have thought someone had died. The first day is the roughest and the first week rough. If I were you, put a piece of your favorite candy in your car so that morning you have a microscopic pick-me-up after saying 'See you in a few hours' : )

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  8. I was lucky enough to stay home with my first couple, then had to work with the rest. I didn't have to work full-time after having a baby until my last one, and it was HARD! I cried the first day whenever I thought about him. Be gentle with yourself, we should feel sad about leaving them...we love them! One trick that helped me was that my husband dropped him off in the morning (it was too hard for me to say goodbye) and I picked him up in the afternoon (that's the fun part!). Also, just knowing that St. Gianna and so many other saintly women have had careers and children, and were still saints and raised awesome families made me feel more at peace. I used to tell God "Well, you know that I have to work full time to provide for the family that you blessed me with, so I'm just doing your will"! If He wants me to stop working FT, then He's going to have work some major financial miracles!!

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  9. You will be great!! And all of these fears you are having will subside, I'm sure. All the children I have known who have been in a daycare setting are some of the best, well-adjusted, sweetest children I've ever seen. Don't worry about Oliver. He'll do great, and will still love you most of all, no matter what.
    Good luck with your new position. You said it.. we are many parts of the Body of Christ. You were meant to bring the light of Christ to those patients you will be seeing.
    Many blessings, Caitlyn.

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  10. Hi Caitlin,
    First I have to say ... what a lovely picture of you and your precious baby. I just love it!

    Okay, so a few thoughts for you. I know you wanted them from other working moms but maybe I can encourage just a little even though I'm a stay at home.

    1. Your attitude is fantastic. You know that God has you in this place at this time for His purpose. That's clear to you. (it doesn't make it any easier) But if you're in His will, everything and I mean everything will "work together for good for those that love the Lord".
    2. We all have to learn new roles and change our perspectives when we welcome children into our lives. And you can do it. I know you can. I was SUPPOSED to take one full school year off of teaching first grade after Anna came home from China in August of 2004. It was all worked out in my head. But little by little as the year unfolded and her needs (very significant attachment disorder/post traumatic stress disorder needs) became more and more clear to us we didn't hesitate to follow God's scary plan to have me not return to teaching at the end of that year. Scott was a teacher then and so our salary was cut exactly in half. Scary to leave that job. But we followed what He had planned for us and never looked back. Yes, He's pulling at my heart to return one day soon but my point is that working mom ~ stay at home mom... just following God's call and what is best for your family is what is best for all of you. My situation changed. I didn't like taking my moms cleaning supplies when I first stayed home for worrying if there was enough money for milk but just like you I had to adjust to His call. You're adjusting to your call in this perfect new job He has for you. You can do it. I know you can.
    3. Only you. Only you. Only you are his mother. Only you. Only you. Only you will have that special bond with him. Nothing will change that. Nothing. She will learn to read his cues. He will be fine. But only you will bring that sparkle to his eyes. Don't worry. He'll save that for you. Promise!
    4. When you're sad at your new job God will place someone special in your path that you'll be able to share your heart with. There will be other working moms that will understand what you're going through. Promise. I'm praying specifically for that for you. Promise.
    5. Having time for it all... well, I think that no one has time for it all. You'll just learn to prioritize. When you're not at work you'll do what you want to do (cuddle your precious baby) and then the rest will fall into place. Sure, there will be some days you'll feel overwhelmed. But everyone does. It'll be okay. Promise.
    6. Never, never, never, never ever put that thought into your head again that you could ever be a bad mom and have a job.
    7. Deep breaths Caitlin. I'm praying for you. It'll all be okay!
    xoxoxoxo ~tara

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  11. Caitlin,

    First, I have been reading your blog for a long time and I love your writing. From the perspective of an older mom who has worked full-time, stayed at home and worked part-time, I think that what you are doing is exactly right because you are praying and listening. My kids are now 21, 17 and 15 and honestly, I think if there is ever a time to work, it is when they are very young. (I know some people will not agree with this - just offering my perspective.) It is amazing how things have a way of working themselves out when you trust and pray. As hard as it is not to worry, do your best to plan, prepare and then leave the rest up to God.

    You seem to have wisdom beyond your years. Best of luck to you.

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  12. Caitlin, I don't even have kids yet and I am already worried about this! I so appreciate your honesty in writing about it. I can already tell that you are a great mom, and I know that your example as a working mom who serves others and sees her job as a vocation will be an incredible example to Oliver. Probably more than you will even realize!

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  13. It was definitely hard, Caitlin. I cried a lot. I was on-call for 30 hours my first day away from my firstborn. I did not believe all those other moms saying: it will get better. Slowly, ever-so slowly it did get better.

    I called 3x a day to the daycare. It helped receiving frequent updates and photos. (this eased out a bit with my subsequent children.... I was able to "let go" but it took a couple of years!)

    I needed a lot of reminders -- from the Scripture and from my husband that besides being a mother, my vocation also entails helping sick children. That the Lord gave me the opportunity to serve him, not just through my children, but through the ones I see in clinic or the hospital.

    I am praying for you. (baby Oliver is very precious, indeed!!!)

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  14. Your picture is beautiful~
    I feel for you. I can't imagine what that is like. We just adopted our first she is 3 mths and I am staying home with her . Its hard (in the sense we are doing without a lot of things material mostly) but, it is so worth it for our family. You have a fantastic attitude. keep listening to God let him always guide you. Ask our blessed mother to pray for you.
    God bless your family.

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  15. A good blog to read is Michelle at Endless Strength. http://michelle-endlessstrength.blogspot.com/p/life-as-wothm.html
    She is a Catholic WOTHM (Work Outside the Home Mom) and has some really great posts about how she has made it work. Such an inspiration!

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  16. You are gonna be just find, mama! Not saying it won't be hard…that you won't breakdown in front of these new co-workers…that you won't be exhausted pumping/working/barely sleeping those first few weeks and months back, but you can do this! Like, Maureen…I have worked full-time with a new baby…part-time with a new baby…and didn't work with a new baby! Now, I've recently rejoined the work-force and it's working for our family. Do I still question myself…"he's too young (only 3) for me to have gone back" OR "I wish I would have stayed home with my first", but I push them aside b/c I feel that I have always been answering God's call in different situations and am doing so again. I will be thinking and praying for you…it won't be an easy transition at first, but give yourself grace and give it all to God…he's strong enough to handle it for you!!! Hugs

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  17. The most important of the Lord's work you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.

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