Monday, January 9, 2012

Guess Blogger: Chris Conrad

I am super excited to host my first guest blogger today! Chris, one of my friends from college (she and I led a small group together one year....good times!), is a great mom and blogger in Alabama. She and her husband, Mike, are wonderful parents to their sweet daughter. I am happy to share with you a recent post she wrote about being a mom. Here she is......

I'm a better Mom than you!
The other night I was waiting for my favorite weeknight show to come on: Modern Family. It truly is one of the highlights of my week. So while I waited, I flipped through the numerous channels, all of which had nothing really on that I would watch. Before I knew it I found myself watching Up All Night. I had seen this show before, but never really got into it. That night's episode proved to be much funnier than the previous ones. As I continued to watch, I learned more about the show itself.

Reagan Brinkley (Christina Applegate) is a working mom while her husband, Chris Brinkley (Will Arnett) stays at home with their baby girl. The show is about their lives as parents and how they have changed since they were newly married and without a child. 

In this particular episode, Reagan was trying to juggle her schedule so she could attend baby classes with her husband and little girl. Things were pretty funny.......... until...............

In the baby class, there was a stay at home mom with her baby. The show immediately turned this character into some wacko! She started telling Reagan how her baby is crawling because she stays at home and works with her. She then lifts her baby in the air and talks about how her baby is her entire world. Basically she was making Reagan feel like a terrible mother for having a job.

This just infuriated me! Why did they have to make the stay-at-home-mom out to be some nut! Why I kept watching I have no earthly idea. But by the end of the show, the two women somehow made up and talked about getting a drink sometime. 

As I went to bed that night, I kept mulling what happened over and over in my mind. As much as I loathe what the show portrayed, it is very true to life when it comes to mothers. I picture a boxing ring with the two fighters. Except instead of physical punches, they spew criticism.  And it's truly sad. 

Through observation, I have found the following: 

With the working mother there is guilt - they feel guilty for not being able to stay at home with their child. They want to be able to spend more time doing things with them and for them.

The stay-at-home-moms feel stuck. They miss dressing up and having some place to be, deadlines to meet, and adult conversation. 

Because women have these feelings, they try to cope with them by reassuring themselves that they are doing what's best. But instead of seeking reassurance from Christ, they put themselves in the boxing ring. And who is orchestrating the fight? The Enemy. The one who thrives in division. The one created those feelings of inadequacy to being with. 
  • Well she just works so much she never has time for her kids.
  • I would have a clean house too if I stayed at home all day.
  • She has all those kids and works? How do they get any attention?
  • She stays at home, she should be able to volunteer.
I would be lying if I told you I have never had these thoughts. When I was working before Madeline and now staying at home with Madeline. They creep into our minds without warning. And these thoughts soon turn into judgements. Before we know it, we've gone into separate camps. 

BOTTOM LINE: As women, we need to be the kind of mother Christ has called us to be. 

  • Some women are called to a career. That doesn't mean they choose that career over their family.
  • Some women are called to work at home. That doesn't mean they are any better of a mother. 

The key word is CALLED. 

If God has called you to a particular career or job, then He has made a way for you to work and take care of your family. It may seem hard to juggle everything and you may look at the stay-at-home-mom and wish you had her life - DON'T! You are right where you need to be! Don't feel guilty! Instead ask yourself What is God calling me to with my career and family? How can I glorify God with what He's called me to do? I know so many gifted librarians, teachers, doctors, NASA education specialists, interior designers, graphic designers, secretaries...the list goes on and on. What you do is important. Your children will see that, too! 

Some of you may be working and HATE your job. And want to be home. You feel called to be at home. You feel like you're in limbo. Your job is important. You are on mission. You are helping to provide for your family. 

If God has called you to stay at home with your children, then He has made a way for you physically be with your child/ren during the day. Your job is important. It may seem hard to catch the crawling child, watch Disney all day, and have little adult communication. You may wish you could head off to a job. DON'T! You are right where you need to be! Don't feel trapped! Instead ask yourself What is God calling me to while staying at home? How am I glorifying God with what He's called me to do? 

The Enemy doesn't want us to ask ourselves these questions. He doesn't want us to be on mission. He wants us to be so distracted with the grass being greener on the other side, that we forget to tend to our own lawn. 

Don't do what you feel you should do; do what you have been called to do. As seasons in your life change, so may your calling. If you're working, God may call you to stay at home for a period. If you are staying at home, He may call you to go back to work for a time. Don't shut yourself off from what God may be saying to you.

I think once we have more confidence in what God has called us to do and what He's called us to be, then we will be less likely to judge others and instead work together for what we're all called to do: live out the gospel together in community. 

See, isn't she great! Her honesty is why I love her. If you want to follow her, head on over to her blog.... 

Have a great night friends! Thanks, Chris, for sharing your heart. 

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