Sunday, July 17, 2011

Take My Hand {Working Mommy Post}

Take My Hand

Hi! My name is Stephanie from Take My Hand and I am the mother to my beautiful daughter Evy Lynn and wife to my wonderful and supportive hubby, Chad. I am so excited to be joining these other working moms as part of this amazing Working Mom series Melissa is hosting.

I have to begin by saying how humbled I am that God has blessed our life in regards to my job and care for our daughter. As I read about other working moms and think about friends I have that are working moms, I am in awe that God knew my heart when it came to the perfect job and childcare situation for our family and has met our needs all along. I am the Director of a small, Christian adoption agency outside of Dallas. This job has allowed me to live a flexible life, working at home when I need to, leaving the office early or coming in late, and even having weeks off at a time. The pay is not great but the fact that I pretty much have my own schedule makes up for the lack in pay.

Being a mom was not something I always dreamed of and so being a working mom versus stay at home mom was never something I thought about…until I was preparing to go on maternity leave. While I was pregnant people kept asking me if I was returning to work or staying at home. Unfortunately our financial state is not where I can stay at home. But, my heart also wasn’t in being a full time stay at home mom. I love my job and feel God called me into adoption ministry. I couldn’t just abandon this calling, nor did I feel God was telling me to do so. Chad and I spent many nights praying about what to do with Evy once I returned to work. I had a wonderful boss who told me I could bring Evy to work with me at the beginning, especially while I was nursing. Well, this was difficult, but I did take Evy with me a couple of days each week. And, my boss allowed me to only work 2-3 days at the beginning, until I learned to balance work and a child. I was fortunate that my mom would come to our house and keep Evy while I went to the office. Then I only took Evy with me one day and worked at home 1-2 days each week. This worked great for a while…until Evy began being more alert and awake and needing to be on a consistent schedule. And, I needed more time in the office to focus on getting work done. There were days I’d be so frustrated because I would take Evy to the office, try to manage nursing her, getting her to sleep {we were still rocking her to sleep}, and being quiet while she slept, that I wasn’t able to get any work done.

I had a mommy friend from our small group at that time offer to keep Evy 2 days a week. This worked well for a while and she eventually was taking Evy 3 days a week, I would take Evy to the office 1 day a week, and work at home on Friday. When Evy was almost a year old my friend was at a place where she could no longer watch Evy and I really needed someone to watch her 4 days a week. Chad and I prayed and began our search for a nanny. God has truly blessed us by providing us a wonderful nanny. She comes to our home 4 days a week with her young son and keeps Evy from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. This has worked great for me!

Evy and I wake up about 7:00 am {sometimes earlier} and we have snuggle time while Evy drinks her milk bottle. Then I turn on Evy’s favorite show “Yo Gabba Gabba” and she watches two episodes of this while I get ready for work. I bathe in the evenings so my getting ready time in the morning is much shorter now. When our nanny arrives Evy knows it’s play time and is off to her play room. I get home between 4:30-5:00 most days and Evy is usually waking up from her afternoon nap. I feed Evy while I make Chad and I dinner. Chad usually gets home around 6:00 and we eat then have play time with Evy. At 7:30 Chad give Evy a bath, feeds her a snack, and I give Evy her bottle and put her to bed. Then I usually bathe, relax some, watch a show or movie with Chad, do a little work, or work on cleaning the house until I go to bed. I am still working at home on Fridays and this continues to work great. I do whatever work is needed to be done while Evy naps so when she is awake 100% of my attention is on her.

Having a nanny in our home, and sacrificing other things so we can afford this, is totally worth it. And, having a nanny come to our home is one of the many things I do that helps make my life easier. Now, my job is not always a 9-5 job and I do have to work weekends and evenings at time. My hubby or another family member will take Evy during that time and it breaks my heart when I miss that time with her. Chad and I take full advantage of our time with Evy when we have her in the evenings and on weekends. This is so important to us and Evy is always in such a fun mood when both of us are spending time with her.

Being a working mom is hard for me. I struggle with guilt almost daily when I think about missing time with Evy while I’m at the office. While I know God wants me to continue this ministry, I miss out on so much with her. I can’t take Evy on play dates during the week. I can’t go to MOPs. I miss certain things that Evy does during the day. But I am blessed that my job is willing to be so flexible with me. And, I am able to find peace in knowing this is how God desires my life to be right now.

What I struggle with the most in balancing time with Evy, time with Chad, time devoted to work, cleaning house, and time devoted to church is that I don’t spend enough time in the Word. I know having daily devotions would help my life and give me more balance and clarity. I really struggle with making this a priority and will continue to work on this. It is important for me that Evy not only know her parents are Christians but to see us be that example to her. I know that it is only by God’s grace and mercy that I am able to make it each day as a working mom!

Melissa, thank you for allowing me to share my life as a working mom on your blog! It has been a pleasure following your family over the past couple of years.

Thanks Stephanie it is a true blessing to have you share your story with me and all that are reading!  You have a sweet family!  Thank you for all your HONEST words.  If you have any questions for Stephanie please stop by her blog and leave her a comment. 
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