Confessions of a Work at Home Mom of Teens
- Thursday, February 19, 2004
Women work at home for different reasons. Some choose to work at home because of the flexibility it gives them. Some choose to work at home because they want to be their own boss. And some, feeling God's call to raise their families, choose to work at home because a job outside the home takes them away from this awesome responsibility. Those in this last category often call themselves WAHMs.
Since I've been a stay-at-home mom, I've always had lots of jobs to help pay for the "extras" in our family. Nothing was ever really long term, just some freelance work here and there, usually where the kids could help me out. My children were always the priority. God did not call me to be the breadwinner of our family, but the heart of it.
As my kids continued to grow and become more independent, however, I found that I had more free time to pursue a career of sorts. I didn't want to work outside the home, because I am a firm believer that God's call on a mother's life does not when the kids reach Middle School. It is essential that a mom be available for her kids - even, no ESPECIALLY, when they are teens. So I found my niche and started working toward establishing myself in the field of writing, working from the computer in my parlor.
But I found that while I pursue this new career, I need to be careful that I don't neglect my primary job - being a wife and mother. Many days I have found myself at the computer until late at night while my husband and kids were off taking care of themselves. It really was an easy trap to fall into. I no longer had a toddler to pull at my pant leg or try to climb up into my lap while I was working. And they were really good about it, so it was easy to go back to the computer after supper and work into the night. One day I realized that this was becoming a habit and they were living there lives around me, not with me.
Many times we forget that our teenagers need us to be available for them. Our being constantly busy sends a message to our them that other things are more important to us than they are. If we are too absorbed in our work, even while we are home, we will miss valuable opportunities for communication.
Children need their mom no matter what the age. Even if they seem all grown up on the outside, they still need their parents to show an interest in and be a part of their lives. God still give us this precious opportunity to mold and shape their lives. If you are like me, a stay-at-home mom who has taken on a new career as a work-at-home mom, let's not forget our true vision for being a WAHM - putting our families first.
Patricia Chadwick is a freelance writer and has been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. She is currently a columnist in several online publications as well as editor of two newsletters. Parents & Teens is a twice-monthly newsletter geared to help parents connect with their teens. Subscribe at www.parentsandteens.com. History's Women is weekly online magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women. Subscribe at www.historyswomen.com/subscribe.html.
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