Today's chapter focused on a lie that many women believe... in fact, many women I know personally have fallen into this trap: believing that the title, "Wife" or "Mother" is somehow less important than career and looking down on those women that choose make the wife/mother role a priority.
I work in an HR office and as part of my job I process requests from women (usually several a year) who wish to reduce their work hours or resign altogether in order to spend more time with their families. I frequently hear comments along the lines of, "She wants to stay home with her newborn all day? Is she crazy? She'll be so bored! All babies do is sleep!" Or, "We have a good day care here, what's the big deal? The kids will be well taken care of, she might as well make some money." Or, sarcastic comments like, "Why does she only want to work part time? It's not like she has kids. Oh, I see... she wants to be June Cleaver and make sure she's at Hubby's beck and call."
Yep, I've pretty much heard it all...
Let me be clear and say that I'm not against married women working outside the home. I believe that depending on the job, the woman and the circumstances, marriage and career can find a balance. It is possible, but not for everyone. When your work priorities conflict with your home and family priorities, it's time to reexamine things and make some changes...
God's purpose in creating woman was for her to be a "helpmeet" for man. Woman was designed to meet man's needs and to "bear and nurture life" (as Nancy notes). While single women focus on serving God in the church and vocation He's called her to, when she gets married, her priorities change. Her main purpose now is to serve her husband.
Here's where priorities come into play for me. This year, it's become increasingly difficult to juggle work and home responsibilities. With my promotion came a lot of extra stress, which has exacerbated some health problems which in turn leaves me exhausted at night to the point where I find myself with no motivation or energy to do anything, let alone make dinner, exercise, do dishes, laundry... the list could go on. As a result, when I'm at work, I stress about being a failure as a wife and housekeeper and at home I stress about all the things I didn't get done or screwed up at work. It's a vicious cycle and I'm done with it.
I'm rearranging my priorities because my career and my achievements are not the most important things. I'm rearranging my priorities because I want to please God by fulfilling His purpose in my life instead of stressing about pleasing my boss at work. My home and my family should be the #1 priority right now in my life... if there is a way to supplement our income in order to save for the future, I am open to that, but not if that job conflicts with the #1 priority.
So where does this leave me? Prayerfully seeking direction. M and I have discussed this at length and have decided to make some changes for the good of my health (mental and physical) and the good of our family. Please pray with us.