Kiss Guilt Goodbye

Mary Whelchel, an expert on working moms, helps you be the parent God wants you to be

That sounds good on paper, but working moms can still feel like they're missing out on big chunks of their kids' lives.

You will miss out on things an at-home mom might not, but it doesn't have to mean disaster. If you're where God wants you, you must trust God to fill in the gaps.
It's costly to give of yourself, your time and energy. Time you spend playing a game with your children when you'd rather be taking a quiet bubble bath or time when you really don't feel like going to a school function after working all day. These are very real sacrifices parents must make.
But God has given each of us gifts and talents (1 Cor. 12:4-6). He expects us to exercise these abilities, both in the home and the workplace. Career women can make a very real impact on this world. The Bible says "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). As a working mom, you can extend the light that shines in your own home into the world around you.

Working moms often worry they're shortchanging their families. What are some practical tips to keep the household running smoothly?

First, divvy up the chores. A lot of working moms try to alleviate their guilt by becoming "super mom." They try to compensate by not asking of their children and husbands what would normally be expected of them.
Listen, you're not doing your kids any favors if you do it all for them. They need to have their own tasks, making their beds, washing the dishes, walking the dog. They need to be taught that the family is a team that works together, with everyone doing his fair share. So sit down as a family and put in writing exactly what you expect from your children.
Second, let Dad take over some responsibilities. This way, kids get twice the nurturing and at the same time see that parenting is a team effort.

Looking back, what have you learned in your life as a working mother?

A working mother can be the mom God wants her to be and her children can have all the attention and nurturing they need. God doesn't expect perfect parents, but he does expect to be No. 1 in our lives.
The most important thing any parent can do is pray. Prayer is essential whether you work outside your home or not. When your kids see you praying, reading the Bible and seeking God's guidance for your life, they'll take these values for themselves. If you demonstrate your commitment to Christ, your children will learn to live for Jesus, too. And that's what really matters when it's all said and done.

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May 25

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