Today I’ll share a part of my own journey towards finding more balance.
I’m not saying I’ve got it all wrapped up, by any means! As you’ll see, the path is never straight and smooth. But here’s some of my story anyway.
Shortly after our first child was born, I decreased my hours and began to practice psychiatry part time. After a year, my husband and I wanted to have more kids, and agreed (my initiative) that I would stay home full time.
Yet the question lingers in my mind: did I do that purely for the sake of mommyhood, or because I was ready to leave the field of clinical practice? Or both?
Fast forward, seemingly light years! We have three fantastic kiddos and I’ve been a full time stay at home mom for most of that time. Even now with writing and speaking, home and family life are still front and center.
I am grateful that I have this choice. But am I always glad I made this choice?
It depends on the day you ask me!
Sometimes I’ll think rather ungraciously, “Since no-one else signed up for this mom job, I guess I’m doing it.”
At other times, I’m so happy that I have the time to be with them that I just know my heart will burst, and it’s hard to imagine it any other way.
Yet, the question still lingers.
Did I do the right thing by leaving clinical medicine – a field that my family sacrificed for and that I put countless hours into – in order to be with our kids full time? Another mini-thorn in my brain is that in the Asian culture, there is a strong emphasis on achievement, education, and sense of duty. I can’t help but wonder: did I somehow “waste” the talents and gifts God gave me?
There is also so much need in the world. Is it okay that so much of my energy should be focused on just our family?
Or maybe I should have gone part time. It requires more juggling, but wouldn’t that be a good middle road? Maybe I’m better at multi-tasking than I think I am.
I’m not sure.
I guess I can only say that I’m trying to keep my heart open to God’s callings, and striving towards following Him.
And relying on the promise that when I do make those imperfect turns, He will work all things together for His good and glory.
What about you? Have you ever struggled over the decision to work or stay at home with your children? What have you learned or found?
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I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. You can share in the comment box! (just below or upper left)
Dr. Ann is a Christian M.D., wife to a fantastic husband, and mom to a lively gang of three. At The Marriage Checklist Ann blogs about marriage, motherhood, and more! She helps women build better life balance and grow great marriages. Ann blogs on Crosswalk.com, and has been featured on BlogHer.com, Fox news, and Good Morning America. She loves that every day we can choose to take our best steps forward – for God, for the people in our lives, and for ourselves.