Friday, January 15, 2010

It has been on my heart

What I'm about to tell has been on my heart for a while, and I have put off sharing with you because whenever I sat down to write, the words that poured out were so gloomy that I decided it's better to wait a bit more, until perhaps, things get better. But eventually I gathered my thoughts.

Some of you may remember that some time ago, I told that my husband is looking for work. The circumstances are not easy for us and have not been easy for some time now. I will not go into details; it will suffice that I tell you I was forced, with a very heavy heart, to accept a part-time job outside the home. I know all my regular readers can imagine what the situation must be like, for me to accept that job, when my husband and I both know and appreciate the place of a wife and mother in her home.

I only work two days a week, which may not seem much, but it casts our entire weekly rhythm askew. My work requires me to be on my feet throughout the entire day, with hardly any breaks, so when I come home I'm utterly exhausted and only just able to do the bare essentials (eat, do the dishes, bathe and tuck in the baby) before I collapse into my (unmade) bed.

Just to say, my wonderful husband has been a great big help to me, always generous when it comes to lending a hand around the house, but he obviously cannot be focused on housework the way I can, because it's not his domain and he has other priorities (such as for example studying things that will be important for his future advancement, in every spare moment he has).

All around me, I see wives and mothers in the same situation. Harassed, hurried, torn apart between work and home.

On the first day after work is done and I'm staying home, my heart rejoices but I feel physically ill, almost as though I'm recovering from the flu. My head is abuzz and I move as though in a dream.

I normally don't like to complain here, but it's so difficult for me, mainly because I miss being with my daughter on my days away. I also can't help but think that in the weird way our world is running, I spend many hours away from home doing something that ultimately, does no one any real good, while I could have been doing good, worthwhile and necessary work at home.

I don't forget, of course, to count my blessings. My daughter is in the care of her father, with whom she shares the tenderest, most loving and close relationship from the day she was born. She remains at home, and her routine is largely unchanged. Another blessing is that I work right here in the village. I don't waste any time or money on commute; I only have to walk ten minutes to get there and back. The majority of people who work with me are local, and it's a blessing to get to know them and tie strings within the community.

That said, there are now two types of days in my week, strikingly different. One is when I rush out of the home in the early morning, come back in the afternoon and try to create some semblance of order in the few short hours that are left to me before bedtime. The other is when I'm home, relaxed, doing what needs to be done in a gentle and quiet rhythm that leaves my heart contented and peaceful. I don't have to tell you which type of day I prefer, and which is better for us all. The urge to take care of my nest is so strong, so right and powerful. I am needed at home, and I need to be home.

I may be tired at the end of a day at home, but there is the kind of tiredness that comes after good hard work and seeing it complete, and there is dull exhaustion that leaves you barely able to drag your feet. That is what I feel after a day at work.

The work I'm doing is so low-paying that there's no way it would have been profitable if I had to pay for daycare and/or commute. Nevertheless, you could practically hear the collective sigh of relief from nearly everyone who knows me, because I'm "finally doing something." People actually believe I should hold on to this job at all costs, even when it is no longer necessary. Others think that I should go and get my MSc, and do something "more ambitious" – but to me, really, there is no ambition and no deeper desire than to be a good wife and mother, to have a lovely and orderly home, and many children to raise and love. How short-sighted it would be right now, for me as a mother of a young family, to invest much time and effort in anything but my primary vision of wifehood and motherhood.

We see the current situation as a temporary emergency, which will hopefully be resolved soon enough, and then I can again be home full-time with no distractions, as we have always wished.

93 comments:

MrsKassandra said...

Oh Anna, I just want to tell you how this struck a chord with me today. I'm sitting here with an aching back and feet, attempting to finish work around the house that has to be done. Today was one of MY 'two kinds of days' you speak of..where I rise ridiculously early to pump, get cleaned up, get dressed/ready, pack baby's clothes/milk/whatever else she needs, before waking husband up, running around in a flurry of activity, and dropping her at my MIL's. Then we rush off to our respective jobs...I spend a hectic and tiring day ( for not much pay) to then go pick up baby, come home and collapse.

I hear you..and I'm right there with you. Necessity requires me to work part time, but it tears me up to be away from my daughter for that length of time. My heart always desires to be at home...

Deborah said...

Oh, Anna, I'm so sorry it's come to this for you! I'm glad that you've been able to find a job since you need the money, but I hope that it becomes possible soon for you to come back home full-time.

Rosemary said...

My heart goes out to you, Anna. I am praying that your financial situation changes soon, and you can be home full-time again.

Jamie said...

Oh Anna! What a situation for you.
All I can say is for you to try to view this as a learning experience. You are learning first hand how life is for so many women. I think this can only help you in your writing.
I also believe that this situation can only strengthen your already strong feelings on how right it is for you to be at home.
I send you strength to get through this difficult period.

Di said...

Hi Anna,

Thank you for sharing, it must have been difficult for you to do so, but I appreciate your honesty and it has also made me appreciate all the more the blessing that comes from not having to go out to work myself.

I just wanted to share a couple of things with you that I hope will encourage you. Firstly, I have learnt during this last 15 months of motherhood that sometimes we have to let go of ideals and what we'd really like to be doing in order to survive and just get through the day in the best way possible. Yes, it is not perhaps the best way all the time, but if it makes for an easier life for a while, it is worth doing. For example, we were initially very anti dummies (pacifiers, sucky things for babies!), but in order for Ruth to settle or bring up wind, she needed to suck on something. It was a blessing at the time, and it was for a season and she has not used a dummy since she was five months old.

And secondly, you said that 'I spend many hours away from home doing something that ultimately, does no one any real good, while I could have been doing good, worthwhile and necessary work at home.' I know that working a job feels like this, but during this season of your life, it is doing a real good for your family to enable you to still pay your bills and put food on the table. It is a worthwhile thing to be doing with your time as a stopgap, just be kind to yourself on the days when you are at home. We are not made to be superwomen, although that temptation is always there!!!

There is a scripture in Isaiah where it talks about God gently leading those with young. I believe that he will bless you during this season, and that your heart will not be too heavy.

Love Di x

Suze said...

This is a place I know is not where you would like to be but I share your joy that your precious girl is still at home and in the care of her father. I pray that there is a solution that comes your way soon.

Yours hopefully thriving said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles Anna. I have long admired your blog and wondered if you have ever considered using it to bring in some income for example by showing ads for companies you would endorse as many other blogs do. You have such a readership that would surely not begrudge your efforts in this manner.
I too feel the call of home so in my need to work I care for the children of others (I have not yet children of my own) and this allows me to be home at least part-time. I wish you and yours well in this difficult time. Your words have helped guide me so many days, I can only pray mine are a help to you. Remember whilst they may pay you little for your time, your worth is far above rubies to your husband, daughter and Lord.
Grainne

Carrie said...

I am so sorry to hear this. It must incredibly difficult. I will be praying for you and your family for a job for your husband. In America, it is difficult to find jobs, too. Blessings.

Tracy said...

I admire you, Anna. Our lives change constantly, and so do the needs of our family. I, too, believe that a mother best serves at home, BUT sometimes we are called to feed our families, etc. in a different way.

Thank you for having the courage to tell the truth, for having the courage to do what must be done to help your family.

I'm thankful that Shira can remain at home with your husband where she feels secure.

Thia said...

I hope and pray that soon you can return to the place where your heart is. Until then, I am thankful for His provision for your family.

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

I can only imagine how this must feel to you Anna, as well as the number of comments you will have to delete after posting such an honest and transparent revelation of your current struggle.

Please try to stay encouraged. I pray that this season passes as soon as possible so that you can be at home where your heart desires to be.

Anonymous said...

Times are very hard right now all over the world and you are doing what is best for your family. You should not feel bad for that. You are an excellent mother! It is a wonderful thing that you got to stay home for your daughter's infancy and you have had a chance to develop your homemaking skills. Someday, you will be back home, I am certain of that. I have seen many couples who truly needed the wife to go back to work for awhile, but who were later able to have her return home when the situation improved. If you are determined to get back home then, you will be able to.

Sarah said...

I am totally with you in this Anna. A year ago, my husband lost his job in the mortgage business due to the downturn in the housing industry here in the US. We were blessed that he quickly found a job at the wastewater plant. We were so thankful for the job but it was a drastic drop in income because he had to start at the very bottom. Due the loss of the income, I accepted a part-time job at the local YMCA to work in their Child Care room. I mainly took this job because I am able to bring my son with me without a problem. Ultimately, I want to go back to being home full-time but I know this is just a season. I am taking this job for a short time while my husband builds his career. I sure do love and enjoy the days I am able to stay home all day. So wonderful!

Heather said...

Hello Anna,

I am praying for you and that your situation soon is resolved.

Anna said...

I know this must be a very difficult time for you. But I also know that you are making the best decision possible for your family (and you and your husband only know what that decision is) using the tools that you have. That's just the kind of person you are! And my estimation of you goes up knowing that in a pinch you are willing to do what it takes to keep your little home intact.
Hang in there!
Love,

Anna

Melissa G. said...

Hi Anna,
I want to wish your precious little girl a happy birthday today!

Ways of Zion said...

OH Anna

My heart aches for you! May G-d Bless you in this time of trial.

onedayinmyworld said...

Anna,

Your post made me cry. I will definitely be praying for you. I am in a similar situation and know that it can be heartbreaking.

Hold your little one close to you when you are home and pray continually to be there with her everyday soon...

Ree

Lea said...

I'm so sorry you have been placed in this position! I will continue to pray for your family, that your husband finds work soon and that you can return home.

I work outside of my home and feel that is where God has called me to be in spite of having young children, a husband and a home. I have not experienced the bone weariness you speak of though I am often tired at the end of the day. I think that weariness comes more from being some place you are not meant to be than working. (In my humble opinion anyway.)

I know that others are called to positions in life different than mine and part of what I appreciate so much about your blog is that you are so content and so passionate about your life at as an at home wife and mother.

God Bless you and we'll keep praying for your family!
Lea

Leah Burks said...

If anyone knows you at ALL through your blog, they can see how heartbreaking this situation is, not only for you of course, but all of us who've grown to care so much about you and your family! I'll pray that this situation is very short-lived, and you can very quickly get back home where your heart is!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

My heart goes out to you, knowing how much this situation must have pained you. In this time of recession, everyone is struggling and struggling really hard. I hope this situation will get better and meanwhile, keep positive thoughts! :) Everything happens for a reason, I am sure.

Prayers,
W

Persuaded said...

Precious Anna... oh my dear, I do know exactly how you are feeling. I also had to work outside of the home for a period of time. I used to go over and over in my head all of the reasons for gratitude about my job (it was part-time, professional, close-by, blah, blah, blah) but nothing could remedy that constant heart ache I had. That longing to be home. That sense that my world was out of order, and that my resources were being drained off like water leaking from an irrigation hose before it could reach the parched field where it was so sorely needed. Gloomy words? Oh yes, I know...

But sweetheart, this is only for a season. I know you know that, but hang onto it. He will bring you back home, and when you do return to your quiet little home and your small little life, your joy will know no bounds. My own joy at being home, never dims. Waking up and moving through my homey little day never gets old. I always loved being home, but I never truly realized what a magnificent precious gift being a homemaker was until I had to go out of the home.

Praying that your time of employment is brief indeed♥

Nancy Helen said...

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16


You, your beloved husband, and precious Shira WILL get through this!! Be confident in God's protection.

Inca said...

(((Anna))
My heart goes out to you and your family. Life is full of trials; this is one. May you pass through it quickly and with flying colors.

You remind me of a time that my mother had to go out to work for a very short period in my life. It was so sad. Not for me or my siblings per se, mind you. We were not babies anymore. I was the youngest and already in high school. It was not like we were not old enough to take care of our own physical needs or the needs of the household. That is not what made it sad. Nor was it that my mother made anyone feel guilty about having to go out to work; she would NEVER have done that. She was the truest 'aishes chayil' I have ever encountered.

It was sad because my mother's place was always in her home. Her 'job' was always to take care of her husband, their children, our home. She still did that when she went to work, of course. But it was like watching her being thrown into a foreign land suddenly and it pained us all to see it. (Never mind, how we felt for our father and knowing how he must be feeling...we couldn't tell how he felt about it, but we 'knew' without a shadow of a doubt.)

TG, it lasted only for a very short time. It was a lesson to us all. My aunt (my mother's younger sister) had worked all through the years and we had always looked at her as more worldly and more 'with it'. Suddenly, we were harshly made to realize how right we were. Yes, she was more 'with it' and more 'worldly' and we realized how sad that really is and how lucky we really were that we were at how my mother never allowed the world 'out there' to become a distraction in any way to how much of her life we were.

(((Anna)), this too shall pass and, as we all know, Gam zu l'tovah.

With blessings from my heart,
Inca

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
I hope you find the strength to cope with work and family life during this hopefully temporary situation.
I think there will be those who will be saying "I told you so" but please remember that you have inspired even non-traditional women like myself to think about life's priorities and make small changes. I appreciate your honesty and dont think any less of you. I believe that a woman should have all choices available to her (part time, full time employment, being a SAHM, working from home etc..) - everyone has different situations to deal with. I sincerely hope that your husband will find a permanent job soon and you can go back to doing what your heart desires.
Through reading your blog, I have started to read a lot more, I went back to my love of sewing and practised living a more frugal and fulfilled life. Im a university educated woman who will most likely go back to work at some point after the birth of my baby (due to financial constraints). Inspired by your writings, I am more focused, even though I dont have a traditional stay-at home life.
I no longer yearn for silly things in magazines, fashion doesnt dictate my wardrobe, I am no longer swayed by trends, watch useless tv and engage in activities that dont stimulate me intellectually.. there is a yearning to refine my life. So thank you Mrs T! You are an inspiration to women whether they chose the traditional route or not.

cottonclippings said...

I am praying that your husband soon finds a job so you may stay home.

Jasmine said...

Anna, my heart aches with yours, as I understand your heaviness. I encourage you to stay strong. It is a great relief to me, as it is to you, that your daugther is still at home. Amen!!

God is good, and He hears the cries of His people. Cry out to Him - He knows and understands.

Blessings my friend.

Jasmine
Far Above Rubies.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
My heart broke when I read this. I know you would not be doing this unless you absolutely had to. I've been praying for your husband to get a job (the prayer for livelihood). I will continue to do that. Our rabbi says about everything, "This too is Hashem." Here is a post about bitachon that has encouraged me http://www.kesser.org/essays/bitachon.html esp. the part about what we perceive as good. I know you didn't call what is happening bad, but it saddens all of us.
Ahava, Good Shabbos
Mrs. G

Heather said...

I'm sorry that you are having to work at a job that takes you away from what you love. I will be praying that your husband finds a job quickly.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

So sorry to hear of your predicament as I know your heart is to be home with your daughter. There are times that no matter what our best intentions and desires may be, it does become necessary to be a helpmate in a different way than is custamarily thought of. Right now, for hopefully a short season, you are being a helpmate to your husband until he is able to find employment. God sees your heart and true desire. Trust Him to make a way for you.

Blessings to you, Lori

Claudia said...

I'm really sorry to hear that, and I'll be keeping you in my prayers, hoping that you will be able to return home fulltime soon!
In the meantime, do try to make the best of it, and regard it as a temporary inconvenience that will be all for the good if it allows your husband to improve his education and this way find a more secure/hígher paying job in the future, that will in turn allow you to stay home with your daughter and future little blessings. God's ways can be hard for us to understand, but He knows best, and something that seems hard at the time may turn out to have been a blessing in disguise after some time.

Claudia

messy bessy said...

Heartwrenching. My husband too is out of work, having just completed law school in May and losing his other job in August. However, I can't work, although he is home, because if I do we will lose the unemployment benefit that he gets, which is about 1/2 of his previous income. There's no way I could earn even that much.

I will pray for your family; please pray for mine. We have six children.

Lanita said...

Anna,
I am praying that this will be a short-lived time in your lives and that soon you will be back at home where your heart desires to be. You are a blessing to your husband for your willingness to do whatever it is that needs to be done for your family. It is wonderful that your little Shira can have this one on one time with her Daddy and that your job is so close. Don't let your heart be troubled, G-d will bless you for your sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I share your sentiments. Unfortunately, I too work outside of the home, at a full-time job. I *desperately* want to be home. Are there any telecommuting jobs you could do? For example, freelance writing or editing? I do that now, in addition to full-time work, so that when I finally am able to be at home, I'll have a modest income to contribute to my family and still be at home.

I pray that your situation will change and that God will give you the strength you need.

Cherish said...

I'm sorry that you have to work at this time. However, it's a blessing that you are able to help provide during this financially difficult time. Imagine if you already worked full-time. There would be nothing extra you could to do help provide. Instead, you are able to assist. It's certainly not easy, but just remember it is temporary and you will appreciate your at-home time that much more, now that you've had to work and care for a family at the same time. I hope it will not be much longer for you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
I'm sure this is difficult for both you and your husband. Keep on being thankful for everything you have, including this opportunity to help. Anytime a person starts a new job - whether it is mostly physical labor or any other kind, there is a period of extreme exhaustion at first. In a while you will feel more strength. I have read numbers of books regarding what people went through and suffered under wicked rulers, particularly under Hitler and his kind and it was pitiful indeed. By their standards we haven't seen anything yet. It must be a great comfort that you are helping your little family to remain in your peaceful surroundings. I'm sure your husband appreciates your willingness to help at this time. I'll be praying that he finds a job soon. Keep being thankful and remember the Proverbs 31 woman who "gathered her food from afar" and even went out from home to sell her merchandise, etc. It appears that she did some things outside the home that helped with their livlihood. Try to keep your blood sugar up while you are working - a handful of almonds in the middle of the morning or afternoon, etc. You are a dear lady. Keep a thankful heart and be a blessing as you always are.
May the Lord God bless you and your dear family abundantly.
Mrs. L.

Civilla said...

I've been there, too, and like you, counted my blessings (my children were in school and I worked across the street from their school so they could come to see me during lunch hour, and I was there to eat breakfast with them and home before they came home from school, so I didn't miss out on my children), but still, it does leave you tired.

It was only temporary for me, and hopefully will be for you, too. I understand, too, the family members who rejoiced because I was "finally doing something." You have to avoid people like that as much as you can. Wanting to be a fulltime housewife these days seems strange to people.

But, even a parttime job can leave you feeling worn out. There is plenty to do at home. I am hoping for better days for you in the future. I'm sure your husband really appreciates your help.

Anonymous said...

Anna,
Thanks for sharing with us about this. I have often wondered if your husband ever found work...I am glad you have found a way to help make ends meet, and especially that Shira is home with her father. I'll be praying that he finds work soon!

In the meantime, I encourage you to make this time of hardship into a prayer that you offer to God. That way, even if the work seems to do no good to anyone, you have the comfort of knowing that you did it as an offering to Him. And that makes the work of inestimable value. Hugs and blessings to you, Anna! ~Beth

Ashley M. said...

Anna,

I've been reading for some time now and feel as if you're a good friend. I should have commented before now. I read your post today and felt every single word. I am living almost this exact situation. Initially I stayed home with our son and found it necessary to go to work after some time. My friends and family have the same reaction. "Well at least she is finally working," and "It's only two days, it's a dream situation!" I work hard and long hours and feel just as you do when I come home. Completely exhausted and totally out of routine, I spend my days home readjusting and preparing for work again. We have two wonderful babies now and my heart aches for them when I am away.

I recently read your post "The price is too high" and shared it with my husband because I felt it was directed at me. We have really been considering our God given roles and are striving toward me coming home where I know I must be. I can understand why you needed to share this and just wanted you to know someone else knows very well how you feel.

I try to remind myself to constantly give thanks because the Lord is good even in this less than ideal circumstance. Thank you for your transparency and willingness to share!

Ashley

Anonymous said...

I am sorry about that and hope that soon your husband will get a job - it will be fabulous when you come back!!!! Imagine! (When my daughter was small, I had to do that too and I know how tough it is but life changes and oh so quickly). Judy

Kacie said...

I'm sorry your life circumstances are making it so you have to work outside the home right now. I know this is a stressful time for you and your family! Hopefully this is a temporary season.

In the meantime, for extra money, have you considered monetizing your blog? I think having ads on it would be a fantastic way to generate a little bit of income. As a reader, I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it.

Also, perhaps you can sell some of your handmade goods on a site like Etsy. I'd buy something! :)

MacKenzie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I pray that God will give you the strength to do what you need to do, both at home and at your job, and that your situation will change and you can return to being home full time very soon.

Literature Goddess said...

Oh Anna,
My heart goes out to you! I know how hard it must be to leave your little one. Thank God that she is in the care of her father--the best possible case. I hope that things will change soon for you and that you will be back at home full time.

Sending hugs,
Lara

Jenna said...

Anna,

Thank you for honestly sharing about your current situation. I don't know if it is even possible, but perhaps you will be even more appreciative of your role at home once your husband is provided with work that will be able to fully support your family? Hope that time comes soon! In the meantime, may you be blessed with the energy to make it through.

Thinking of you,
Jenna

becka said...

Dear Anna,
Most of the other comments were far more eloquent than any I can add, but I just wanted to encourage you to not despair. Hopefully this will just be temporary and your husband will find more work soon. In the meantime try to streamline your household chores and simplify things as much as possible. (Cook larger batches of things that you can eat for several meals, make a list of simple meals that go together quickly, etc.) I, too had to work part time when my children were small. It does create a conflict for those who long to be at home, but you can with God's help make it through.
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your situation has led you to working out of the home when you don't want to.

I choose to work full time and on occassion it can be rough. So I can imagine it's even harder when you prefer to be at home.

Take the good that you can from it and I bet it will help you get through until you can go home. It sounds like a nice blessing that you're meeting people in your community through your job.

Stefanie said...

Anna,

While this situation saddens me to hear because I know where your heart remains, I believe that you have been sent out for a little while to help others. I am a homemaker, and this has happened to me periodically. I did not find out until much later the impact that I had on those around me. I am sure knowing you, that there is someone you will meet through work outside the home whom you will help and or be able to help you in the future. This is a temporary thing for you, and your sweet one is safe and lucky to be with her father. Be open, though it is often hard when God's will/timing is different from our own.
I feel for you, and your in my prayers.

Australia said...

That's how I feel after a day of work and school put together many times. 0_0

Shalom!

Anonymous said...

Anna, my heart goes out, as do my prayers. I am sure that you will make the very most of this difficult situation, and good will surely come out of it. I will pray God will strengthen you and yours.

With love, Rosemary

clamorousvoice said...

I am really, really sorry for what you're having to go through right now. I pray your husband finds a job soon.

With your daughter in your husband's care, it'll be a really beautiful experience for them both. The knowledge that her dad was her primary carer for part of her childhood will be a beautiful thing for her - it might even, you never know, play into the kind of man she looks for in a husband! Someone who's capable of being as nurturing as her dad is being right now.

You're doing a very selfless thing by going out to work. You are still 100% Shira's mum and nobody could doubt that.

I agree with Jamie wholeheartedly; God has a particular plan for you that means He needs you to be out of the house at this time. You know you're not going out of the house for selfish or worldly reasons -- big circumstances have put you there for a while. And I believe it'll be temporary. And I believe so so much that it's going to make you a better writer. You will know, really and truly, what it's like to be a working(-outside-the-home) mother. There is nothing that can help you reach out more powerfully, lovingly or sympathetically to working mothers than being and having been one. You understand what they're going through, the ups and downs of their weeks, better than theorists or politicians or neighbours or friends who don't share that experience.

Lots of writers are strengthened by adversity. I know it's no compensation for having to leave your baby (I know my mother would have been as heartbroken as you), right now, but some good can come from this. That doesn't make it all right or good or even bearable (without God's help). But you'll bear it, I think, because you have faith.

I'll pray for your husband to find a job that can take your family back to how you want it to be.

S

Kelley Folsom said...

Hi Anna,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I've been following your blog for quite some time, and I know how much it means to you to be home with your daughter. I'm a single mother and I work full time outside of my home, and it is really hard being away from my home and my children. I hope this period of your working will be short and you can be back home where your heart longs to be soon. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I'm so very sorry to learn of the change you've had to make in your household. I can feel, through your words, your exhaustion at this disruption to your home life.

And, given that I have been there myself, in like circumstances, I certainly do empathize. It's no fun. My situation was a wee bit different, in that my children were all older. But the fatigue is unbelievable sometimes.

I pray things will be turned around for the right very soon.

((hugs))
Brenda

Kat said...

Anna, I must tell you that I truly do know how you feel. All through history women have worked inside and outside the home. Many women who worked "at home" certainly did not have the time to devote to their children that we do because of modern conveniences. My great grandmother had to tie her toddlers to the bed post when it was time to take lunch to her husband in the fields because she could not carry them and they could not walk that far! Despite my knowledge of these things, I still very much wrestled with working full time away from home. I was depressed...and I am sad to say I made those around me feel the same way. My husband has been without work for over a year, and life has taken on a new normalcy. He cooks and takes care of the baby while I teach. I come home to both of them...and what a warm welcome it is! My little girl is very bonded to me despite my earlier fears. I have realized that God has placed me where I am...and He makes no mistakes. I am blessed in this season. My greatest joy is, and always will be, my family. I pray that you will find comfort in your circumstances. Blessings on you and your family!

Becky said...

My heart goes out to you! I will pray that you are able to come home soon!
Have you ever thought of monetizing your blog? You write so beautifully, it would be great if you could help your family while you write (and stay home).

Elizabeth in NC said...

Dear Miss Anna,

So many of us have had to do what you're doing! I worked outside the home from when my oldest was 8 months until my fourth child was born... only part time, but it still was so hard sometimes... on the other hand, when you have decided with your husband that what you're doing is the right thing for your family, God gives you the strength to do what you must. Hang in there!!!

Leiani said...

Anna, I understand how you feel. I work part time (30 hrs week) but am lucky enough to work from home. But that work each day takes me from fulfilling all the little and big household tasks that my heart yearns to do. I comfort myself that at least I'm able to be at home with my children.
I view this work as a means to an end, and try not to be resentful that it intrudes on my duties as a wife, mother and homemaker. For now, it is necessary. I work to benefit my family in a necessary way, all the time hoping that soon it will no longer be necessary and I can be when I belong - focused on my home and family.
Blessings.

Rose said...

Mrs. T,
You have such an ability to find a blessing in each day that I hesitate to offer this comment, believing as I do that you will, on your own, find a blessing in this period of life that is both emotionally and physically draining.

I know (and understand) that longing to be home with your dear Shira, making a wonderful home for your little family. This opportunity, though it feels as if your job benefits no one, is confirming for both of you that your desire to be home is true, even when you have the chance to try another path. That can be one blessing, the confirmation of your true calling (even if it is partially on hold at present).

You are truly a "Proverbs 31 woman." You have developed a noble character that is worth more than rubies.

The ideal woman in Proverbs 31 "sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." Also, "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family.."

During this time, you certainly will appreciate how it feels to come home exhausted at the end of the day. Your husband will understand that the delights and distractions of a young child sometimes limit what gets done from the "to-do" list at home. As you revert to your preferred roles, I hope that understanding will help you to appreciate each other all the more.

sarah said...

Anna,

I read this and could completely understand. I married my husband when we were both freshmen in college. Our first son was born a year later. We had two choices, my husband could stop pursuing his education (something that is an integral part of his life vision) in order to get a full time job at a factory or something like it....or.....I could go back to work to help make ends meet until he finished college. We were lucky because I was able to stay home for our child's first year. Then, I went back to work 32 hours a week, and grandma baby sat for us. It was painful hard....I would even call it unnatural for a mother to leave her young child. I hated every minute of it! I longed to be home caring for my family....but our situation didn't provide for that. My husband wasn't lazy. He worked full time at a jewelry store, served in the Army National Guard, and went to college full time. He was doing everything he could to provide a long term future for me and his child.
It was hard. I look back on that time and feel so glad that it is over. I "came home" last year! My husband is finished with school, and our situation has changed. Life changes. I learned that supporting my husband's vision was the important thing. Being his helper was the important thing. Now, after two years of working outside the home I am a full time wife, mother....homemaker. And I always will be. :)

This has to be a hard time for you. I remember what it was like for me. But if you guys plan and work toward a better future this will only be a temporary thing.

God's blessings,
Sarah

courtney said...

anna - please know that there is no shame in this, like you said a temporary emergency.. and if it you must do it for the good of your family, then I think that is a very honorable cause.

Luci said...

Oh, Anna, I'm so sorry to read this. But what a blessing to have your daughter in the care of her loving father, and it's so good that the situation is temporary. You sound like you're in tremendous pain ~ but that your heart is still very much "at home."
I can't believe that people would be so rude as to comment that you should do "more" or "something" outside the home. What you're doing at home is blessed work indeed ~ and, perhaps more importantly, it's what you and your husband have decided to do!!
You are a very inspiring woman and I'll be anxious to read your writings in this season. I was recently married (11/28) and am working ~ although I would love to stay at home, it's not feasible financially for another 5 months. So there is an "expiration date" but until then, it's so difficult to slog through the day. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to do so with a child at home! You're very brave to step out and protect your family during this time, and I know that the Lord will bless your faithfulness many times over.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Anna, I'm a 41 yr old wife in the USA - as we have no children, I have always worked but DH has been out of work almost a year, the economy is bad here.

My heart goes out to you completely, I understand how hard it is to live these dual roles. To keep a home, be a wife, (and for me, a daughter with elderly parents who need care as well) is often overwhelming and frustrating. I know so well the frustration and exhaustion you are facing. The other ladies here have given some great advice! Be kind to yourself and make sure that rest is a priority.

What helps me more than anything in keeping the home up during the week is that I separate my homemaking into two categories. I have a maintenance routine that I do about 2X a week - it includes vacuuming, washing the linoleum floors with a wet paper towel, wiping down the bathroom, dishes, straightening up , etc. Even if I am tempted to do other larger cleaning projects (such as cleaning a cabinet) I jot all these "to do" items down on a list and address them at another time. Each evening or AM I clean catboxes, sweep, spot clean, and so forth. This takes about 1/2 hour to an hour each day. It's not ideal but it keeps the basics done. As for the other projects I do these on the weekend or even in 1/2 hour increments as I can.

The other big thing I have learned is to cook several meals ahead on the weekends - soup, casseroles, etc. Then we eat that during the week and I just warm them up when I get home.

These routines allow me to keep the home pretty well, and frees my husband for free lance work and job hunting.

God bless you Anna, you are a blessing to all of us out here. You encourage us and teach us! I will keep you in prayer, dear sister; I know your heart is at home , as are the hearts of so many of us.

Take care and keep us posted!

Mrs. M

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry, Anna! I hope you can go back to keeping house full time soon.

Mrs. B said...

Anna,

I started reading your blog recently in my quest to find inspiration for my life as a housewife. I was working as a teacher when my husband and I were first married, and we moved last year in order to further his career. I have been unable to find work, and have not found a way to be content at home (we do not yet have children). A part of me feels as though G-d is challenging me, that He will not allow me to find work while I still approach homemaking with such a lack of enthusiasm and enjoyment.

:sigh: Enough about me and my struggles...

I don't know what legal restrictions there may be where you live, would it be possible for you to take in other children to watch a few days a week as an alternative source of income? I am going to work on taking the classes necessary to be a licensed daycare provider so that if we run into a money crunch once I am at home with children it will be an option for us.

I don't know what the appropriate salutation is within Judaism, but from my experience with Sabbath-keeping Christians, I wish you a happy Sabbath.

~B

Anne Kennedy said...

I had to go to work briefly when my last baby was only 6 weeks old. It was very difficult and upsetting but necessary. I felt abandoned at the time by God and wondered why I was having to do this when it wasn't ideal. But it was, at that time, the obedient and right thing to do to get our finances in order and God honored that work and worked miraculously to bring us the money we needed in a very short time. And the days away from my baby were restored tenfold. She is the one who sticks with me during my days now, and helps and plays wherever and whatever I am doing. As I went to work, I read the verses about God "restoring the years that the locusts had eaten" and I was given strength and comfort. I know that mind numbing exhaustion and I will add you to my prayers.

ROSIE said...

Anna,

I can only imagine how difficult for you is this temporary situation! What a blessing, though, that your daughter can be at home with your father...and that such an emergency measure doesn't change the balance of your relationship or your role, because you and your husband are of the same mind and spirit on the matter! Praying that all will be resolved soon, and that all your needs will be met by His almighty hand and provision,

Rosie

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this trial and I hope things turn around for your family soon! Have you considered offering child care for a few young children in your home as an alternative to working elsewhere?

Beth

Nea said...

If you were close enough, I'd give you a hug. That sure is a hard situation, but as you said there's a lot to be thankfull for. My thoughts are with you.

Jennifer said...

I am sorry that circumstances are such that you have to work outside the home at this time. I know the Lord will bless you and strengthen you. It's good that you can see there is some good from it as well. Making connections in the community will be a blessing to you. Thank you for sharing your struggle.

Veronica Boulden said...

There is no shame in this. You are working to bless your family. You are being a blessing to them and teaching your daughter what it (sometimes) means to be a helpmate. Others may think this or that, think your reasons for working are the same as theirs... but do not fear what they think. It doesn't matter. Working outside the home is not something you relish or hold tightly to, I know. I had to work for a time when I didn't want to, when I just wanted to make a home, in order to make money we needed. I did it for my husband, not to be free from him, but to serve him... and he loved me for it. Just consider, in older times, women weren't even allowed to work and their families may have suffered from a lack of their income, all while they were powerless to do anything about it. And if they could get a job while their husbands couldn't, those women would have relished the chance to "go" to work in order to bless their families. Working is a right we modern women usually have to forsake to do what is right for our families, but sometimes, it can be right to work, when it is for them. ...Thinking of you.

Dirtdartwife said...

You have many blessings and while having to work part time outside the home may not feel as if it is, there is a blessing involved in it.

I truly understand the feelings of a bit of wounded pride when you mention the "collective sigh of relief from others". You don't want to appear as if you are doing something that is approved by others just because they believe it to be right. You want to do what YOU believe is right for your family. I've learned that situations like this cause me to learn to be even more humble and realize that I'm truly not seeking others opinions, but rather honestly working to do what's right for my family.

I hope you will only have to do this for however long is necessary and until then, may you and your family be blessed abundantly.

Thursday's Child said...

It may not feel like it, but your job does someone good. Even if you're not aware of it. Someone is being blessed by coming into contact with you during their day. Don't forget that.

Like you said, you're strengthening ties in your community. That could come in very handy some day.

God knows your heart. He knows where you want to be. But He has His reasons for everything, even if we can't see them.

Keep your chin up!

Rebecca said...

Oh, Anna, I feel so terrible on your behalf. No matter what choices I make in my life that divurge from yours, I've always admired you so for choosing and blossoming in the life you wanted. When you write about home and family there is such sincerity and such contentment. You've actually been an inspiration to me many times over the last two years I've read your blog. I applaud you for doing whatever you need to do to help care for your family but I know this particular choice was not one of your heart. I don't pray but I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and look forward to the day where your blog reads "Home Again!" Take care.

Mia said...

Thank you for having the courage to share this with us, dear Anna :) I could tell it was hard for you to type, as you are a devoted stay at home Mother. I'll be praying for your situation!

A faithful reader,
Mia

Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear ladies,

Thank you so much for being so supportive and kind. I'm working on another post, which expands on this situation, and will be publishing it when time allows.

I wanted to address the questions about an alternative source of income. We have explored some venues of me making money from home, such as providing daycare and/or giving private lessons, and other options as well. So far, it has not worked out.

There are more long-term venues, such as monetizing the blog, as some of you suggested. I might be doing it, with the guidance of my husband. I'm also working on a book, and there are several options for a home business. But that's long-term, and we really need money NOW.

Thank you, again, for being so supportive, loving and kind.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

You and your family are in my prayers.

Many Blessings :)
Ace

Sarah Brodsky said...

Anna-I'm sorry about your situation and hope it improves very soon. I'm glad you're working on a book. I'd love to buy it when it's published!

Front Porch Society said...

Sorry to hear your husband is out of work. The economy everywhere is very depressing and causing problems for a lot of people.

I, too, lost my fulltime job back in September due to State budget cuts. And made the decision to go back to school after not getting a job anywhere! A month into college, I was able to finally pick up a part-time job. It is only every other weekend but something is better than nothing! :)

I know working outside the home is not your ideal situation but I will pray that God gives you the patience and the strength to do what must be done for your family.

Sheri said...

My dear friend, I just read your post tonight and prayed for you. Thank you for sharing your heart and I will continue to pray for you, your husband, and precious little Shira. What a blessing you are to so many Anna!

CappuccinoLife said...

{{{Anna}}} I'm sorry you are having to do this. I can *totally* understand while "just two days" can throw everything off and upset the household.

I'll be praying for you! Hopefully soon you will be blessed to be able to be full-time at home again.

Anonymous said...

Really sorry to hear this. I hope it all works out asap b'h and your husband finds a great job.

It is just this kind of 'necessity' which makes the feminist movement a good thing, though. First, due to the feminist movement, you have more options to work, help your family, and avoid starving or begging, God forbid. Second, in families where this arrangement unfortunately becomes long-term, feminism has made it acceptable - even required - for the husband/father to pull his fair share of the load. I'm sure in a temporary situation you can be forgiving of your spouse if he doesn't take control of the housework when you're gone, but for women for whom this is a way of life --- well, compromises must be made, housework is renegotiated. There is absolutely no reason why a woman should work a double shift, one inside the house and one out, especially when her husband is unemployed.

Feminism made society more aware of this imbalance. I remember when I grew up my father was unemployed for a period. My mother worked full time and still did most of the housework (OK, my father washed the dishes daily, and did the grocery shopping, but that was it). Everything else was 'women's work' - and it didn't matter that this particular woman was overworked to the bone.
That kind of thing wouldn't fly over today.
Tammy

Lillian the Ponderer said...

Oh Dear Anna,

I feel for you I could barely keep up with things in the home while I worked BEFORE the little one was born, I can hardly immagine how tiering both mentally as well as physically it must be to need to work while your precious little daughter is at home even though it may "only" be for two days per week. I do hope that the others in your life that do not yet understand will see how much more worthy it is for you to be home again once this period is over. For the time being take solace that there are those who understands how torn you feel and that know you would not be doing this unless you had to.

Mrs Glenys Hicks said...

Shalom Anna, I too join with the other ladies in praying for a quick return to financial health and to the hearth and home! I know how you will be missing Shirah as I missed my children too when I had to work occasionally when they were small. Even though they were with my mother, I still wanted to be there with them looking after them myself. Blessings! Glenys

Rachele said...

Dear Anna,

I'm so sorry to hear you husband is not able to find work. I am very sorry to hear that you are needing to work. However, I know many women (my mother included) who have at various times needed to take part time jobs or sell some homemade goods, clean houses etc. I have no doubt that this is a real hardship for you but I think it is a common circumstance for young couples. I love that you are both the champion of the woman at home and at once eminently practical when there is need. I am sure that God will not allow you to endure this hardship forever. I hope things start looking up soon!

Smoochagator said...

Anna, I know that this season has to be hard on you, and that you are eagerly looking forward to the time when you won't have to work outside of the home any more. However, I hope I can encourage you on one point. You say that you "spend many hours away from home doing something that ultimately, does no one any real good," but I believe you are doing some very real good. Your presence in your workplace may be a ray of light to someone (or several someones) who desperately need a kind word or a challenging perspective that only you can give. You may be surprised at the long-lasting effects you have on people in the most unlikely of circumstances! Also, by sacrificing your time at home to help with your household budget, you are selflessly caring for your family when they need it the most. It's not an ideal circumstance, but you're rising to the challenge. Be proud of yourself, and rest assured that all you do in that spirit of selflessness and love for your husband and child is worthwhile.

Charis said...

It's all been said. But I will add that my prayers will be with your family.
Love and blessings,
Charis

Anonymous said...

Peace to you and your family, Anna.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

***Hug!***

Love,
Judith

Analytical Adam said...

Mrs. Anna:

One of the problems is the religious world doesn't help the men have enough skills to be competitive in the work world. A lot of men think it is easy. It is not. I was brainwashed as well.

Too many of the women undermine the men by the way. I understand you don't Mrs. Anna but many of the women I have little compassion because they want to take the man's primary role and I am at single event after single event and most of the women that is all they care about is a job.

If they want to undermine men Mrs. Anna I don't think they deserve compassion and it is their behavior that creates the situation in the first place and to then cry that you are a victim when you are the one undermining men is just plain wrong Mrs. Anna. I don't even know if I could get married and have a family Mrs. Anna because of feminism and the women deserve some of the blame for this.

Buffy said...

Anna, I think you are just doing what is right for your family at the moment. Who knows, maybe the time your husband and daughter are spending together will draw them closer together in a way children with full-time working fathers somtimes miss out. Everything has a purpose....

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

Is there any way for your DH to work independently? Could he work as a consultant to different companies and businesses? Many computer guys here in the USA do that, so I thought it might be something he could try too...

MarkyMark

Mrs. Anna T said...

Mark, yes, we are thinking about that option as well. He just needs to find the right niche, and perhaps, the right partners.

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

I'm glad to hear that. He could get in with different client companies this way; show what he can do; and if all works out, turn it into a permanent thing. What's really great about this is that your DH can get a good, up close look at a place before deciding to join them full time. He also gets the opportunity to build his experience and contacts-while being PAID for it! It's also good, because both employer and employee can get a better look at one another than any interview(s) could provide.

Here in America, we have temporary employment agencies to help people with this sort of thing. One can also do this independently, though it's harder that way; one doesn't have the contacts that an agency has. I've gotten a couple of jobs this way. Even in situations where I wasn't offered a job, I had been able to build my experience while getting paid.

MarkyMark

Rhonda Jean said...

Dear Anna

I'm sorry you're both finding it difficult financially right now. One thing I know from my many years of marriage is that sometimes you just have to do things that you'd rather not do, sometimes it's the only way. I also know that it is during these times of hardship that you learn the best lessons. You grow together as a couple because you're experiencing tough times together and see each other being prepared to work for the good of the family.

I think it would be wonderful gift from your husband to you to have the bed made each day. It is such a small thing but I know it would made a real difference to you.

Hang in there, love. Things will improve and when they do I am sure you'll see this time as a period of growth as well as hard work.