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A Letter to “Working Moms”

Dear Moms-Who-Work-Outside-of-the-Home,

My mother taught me to always write thank you notes, and I still write handwritten notes for gifts to this day.  It might take me awhile to actually drop them in the mailbox, but I grew up with this discipline and it stuck.

Last week, I flew across the country for a meeting conducted by an organization for which I volunteer.  While riding the “Plane Train” at the Atlanta airport, someone asked me if I was flying for business.  I felt this sense of pride that I could be mistaken for a business traveler, me, a stay-at-home mom who usually has peanut butter smeared somewhere on my person.

I noticed this pride feeling tickling the corners of my mouth and I realized that I owe you ladies a huge thank you.  Thank you for working.  Thank you for working hard at your careers so that someone at an airport would mistake me for a business traveler, because it’s possible.  You make it possible for women to have awesome jobs that make the world a better place.

Thank you to my kids’ pediatricians.

Thank you to my physician’s assistant.

Thank you to my OBGYN.

Thank you to my hair stylist, who I look forward to seeing those two times a year when I actually cut this long hair.

Thank you to the women at important offices who help me with adoption paperwork and know what gets stamped where.

Thank you to my kids’ teachers.

Thank you to the doctors, nurses, and medical researchers.

Thank you to the lawyers who are representing people who need your help.

Thank you to the women who make my city safe, our country safe.

Thank you to the women at the grocery store who help me buy food and give stickers to my kids.

Thank you to our accountant.

Thank you to our health insurance agent.

Thank you to the lobbyists who are running a good race, fighting a good fight, for lots of things that matter so much.

Thank you to the women running companies, and to the ones climbing ladders and slogging it out and earning respect.

It’s important.  What you do.  You’re all so important – to me, to our country, to everyone.

And I can’t imagine what it’s like leaving your kids every day.  As a stay-at-home mom, if I get a few hours away from the home where I stay, I feel like I’m gulping in oxygen.  But I can’t know what it’s like for you, to spend hours and hours away.  If it’s hard for you, then all I can say, again, is thank you.  Or maybe leaving your kids isn’t the hard part, and that’s okay, too.

There are so many reasons why and where people work, and I’m not here to oversimplify any of it.  I’m just here to thank you.  Thank you for making it possible for our daughters to be anything they want to be.  Thank you for making our world go ’round.  I bet your kids are awesome and I bet they love you so very much.  I bet they’re proud of you.

I want to pray for you.  Can I, and any other SAHMs reading this, pray for you?  As I ask my kids so often, what do you need prayer for?  How can I lift you up to our Father?  As a stay-at-home mom, I struggle with feeling unimportant and without value.  I spend my days trying to be consistent with boundaries and discipline for my kids, and they gripe at me because I cut the peanut butter sandwich the wrong way…which leads to lessons on respect, and around we go.  So, anyway, I could use prayer that I would find my value completely in God and what He thinks about me and who He says I am.  What about you?  How can I pray for you, Mom-Who-Works-Outside-of-the-Home?  You deal with so much of the stuff of mothering, just like me, and you also have another set of prayer needs about which I don’t know.

Sometimes people like to try to pit us against each other, like one way is better or more noble or something.  If there’s a line, then I’m erasing it, because I’m on your side.  There are no sides.  We are sideless.  We are moms.  I stand shoulder to shoulder with you.  I don’t know everything about your life, but I’m for you.  If a SAHM has ever made you feel less-than, can we hug it out, just you and me?  And for my part, for the times I’ve had those “You’re just a mom?  What do you do with your day?” questions plunged into my heart, I’m laying them down.  I’m choosing grace.  I might not have the right words.  I might not hear the right words.  But I choose grace.

I’m so proud to be a woman with you.  I’m so proud to be a mother with you.  I’m so thankful for what you do.  It can’t be easy, but you make it look that way.