I WON'T APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A WORKING MOTHER
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
-Psalm 46:10 NIV
My journey began in 2015 when my husband and I decided that we were ready to start a family. At the time, we had no idea that our “strategic plan” of having children would be nearly impossible. Our doctor said we were asking for a tall order, but God said ask anyway.
So, we prayed and waited. And, we prayed and waited. Then, we prayed and waited.
The courage it took to stare in the mirror of my life and acknowledge the purest intent of being married in the first place was just plain scary. We had no plan for this end.
Were we willing to sacrifice the possibility of having children to be together? Would our marriage even survive a test of this magnitude?
The question that tip toed through our minds danced with the thought of sacrificing the marriage to have children of our own and unwillingly admitting that maybe our season of purpose was over.
Hard questions, I know.
But they needed to be answered.
So we prayed…we waited…and we believed that God would give us an expected end.
Now during this season in my life, trusting the process cost more than I could’ve imagined. Here’s my testimony…
I found out I was pregnant in December of 2017.
I was told to prepare for an inevitable miscarriage in February 2018.
I was fired from my job for the third time in four years due to consistent central office leadership reorganizations in April 2018.
I was placed on hospital bedrest, told to reapply for practically the same job I had just gotten fired from, and went into labor while interviewing in my hospital bed via computer in the month of May 2018.
In May 2018, my husband and I celebrated the birth of our two beautiful boys three months prematurely at 27 weeks. Each weighing a little over 2lbs, they were immediately transferred to the NICU and I was able to hold my babies for the first time a week after their birth.
My babies lived in the NICU for two months.
In August 2018, my babies graduated from the NICU, and my husband and I were able to stay at home with them for a week, and then had to return to work. (yes, I was offered my central office job again and I accepted)
Although I had paid leave, the days I used were ones that I had to save up over the years. In total, I spent about 3 months in the hospital (in bed and visiting my babies everyday). Because I worked year round, by the time my babies came home, I had zero days left and as a result, did not receive a paycheck for the month of August 2018. Please know that my household survived on two sources of income.
THE ‘ONLY GOD’ MOMENTS
Only God would bless us with not one, but two children!
Only God would preserve the life of my babies even though the doctor’s spoke miscarriage over my pregnancy!
Only God would give me a peace that surpassed all understanding in the face of yet another attack on my livelihood!
Only God would allow me to get fired from a job that I would get back a few months later with a new title and a monetary raise!
Only God would bless my children with the best medical staff to care for their well being and release them before the time the doctor’s predicted!
Only God would bless my family to not miss a meal or bill despite not getting a paycheck in the same month I went back to work and my babies came home!
On my first day back after maternity leave, I could barely hold back my tears. I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be at home with my children. I found fulfillment in my work, but the work I returned to didn’t feel the same. I loved my career but loved my children more.
I chose not to reschedule doctor’s appointments because of meetings and campus visits. I chose not to partake in office politics just to get the promotion. I chose not to allow supervisors speak to me disrespectfully and challenge my work ethic because I set boundaries for my work hours.
After all I had been through, I refused to place my children on the sidelines…I worked too hard. How could I deny His plans for my life after all God had done for me?
I never thought that making the decision to prioritize my children as the number one thing in my life would be the beginning of the end of my twelve year professional career in the public education school system. This choice led me to resign from two public school districts in one year because I would not apologize for being a working mother.
My life has shifted in a dramatic way and God is calling me to do things differently. I must allow Him to order my steps. He blessed our sacrifices and willingness to trust His process and know that His will was nothing but perfect. So, I sit here at my kitchen table with a charge from God to share my story with anyone who will see me.