Going from being a Stay at Home Mom to a Working Mom {My Motherhood Story}

Today we continue the Motherhood series, and I am honored to share with you my story, for this season of my motherhood journey.  Thank you for stopping by, I pray this can encourage someone walking through this too!

I recently wrote about my very busy day and how at this time in my life, whether I want to or not, I am called to be a help-meet to my husband, surrendering to God and sometimes do what in my heart I don’t want to for a season.

But what if it’s not my dream? How do I not get resentful? How do I fully trust God? Why God?

All these questions flutter through my mind from time to time. No, I don’t know all of the answers, I just know I am on a journey.

You see, it’s not at simple as you are a mom, you should just stay home for some of us. Some of us make it work through hard financial circumstances, or even leave careers, but sometimes we have no choice. We have to work. It is where God has called us to be at this moment in time. We love the victory of living out dreams, but what about the process of learning, growing, failing, waiting, wrestling. In the process we are not wasting time; we are honing our skills.

At this time, in this season, I have been called to be a part of a big mission and vision, bigger than myself or my family. I’m waiting, growing, and learning to rely on the Lord more than ever before. Similar to a pastor’s wife or an military mom, sometimes you have to do things even if it’s out of our comfort zone or handle life in a different way than we would have intended or liked to.

For you, it could be your husband is out of work and you have to be the one to provide at this time. You are a single mom who would love to stay at home but that just isn’t in the cards right now. You have to work to make ends meet. You, like me, are supporting your husband’s dream. Whatever your situation, you would love to be a stay at home mom but for this season you have to work. It is part of your life’s process, your journey.

Luckily, I did get to stay home with my kids for most of their younger years. I got to nurse them, hold them whenever I wanted, didn’t have to bring them to a babysitter so I could go to work. I got to go to play dates, trips to visit family for weeks at a time, sometimes not even knowing what day of the weeks it was.

I flourished being a stay at home mom, something I had always wanted to do. I remember thinking to myself, if you have children, you should just stay home with them. I was ignorant to the reasons why others may have had to work or why some mothers would even want to work.

But that all changed. My husband had a vision; it came from the Lord. The vision is successful, and we have had to work hard. Very hard. Potential takes place when you, we, I allow ourselves to be placed under God, under His authority.

My typical day earlier this year went something like this: Monday morning: it’s early, dark still. I get up, get ready, frantically hurry to get my kids up and dressed, grabbing them some kind of organic breakfast bar, hoping that will sustain them for a little while. We head over to the office, thankfully a short distance from our home and start the day off greeting patient after patient, hearing people’s testimonies of being out of pain, losing 20 pounds, greeting new faces and showing people how to do their spinal exercises while hearing my kids in the other room screaming and fighting with each other, not always but to a mother’s ear only problems perk at work. I love these special families and patients that walk through the doors into victory over their health problems but in the back on my mind I lack. Lack as a mother being able to really be present with my kids and even losing battles with them because others’ needs had to be met, phones had to be answered, patients had to be helped. And I so long to be a stay-at-home mom with them, but for now, I work help save peoples’ health. This is where God has called me to for now, not forever.

And then I get a comment like this. Just growing pains I suppose in my process.

“So, you homeschool and they go to school, too? Do you take your kids to work with you? As a stay-at-home mom, I can’t imagine leaving my kids at daycare. I just feel that, as soon as I gave birth to them, it was my calling and duty to be there for them, raising and teaching them to live before God…not someone else’s. My husband feels that he is the provider for the family while I take care of our home and children. And taking care of two littles is quite the job in itself!

I want my children to remember Mommy being there for them, baking, crafting, cooking, wiping their little noses, hugging the hurts away and kissing their owies. 🙂

If you don’t want to work, then don’t! If your priorities are your children, then be with them. People say that it’s a money thing, but if you downsize (house, cars, etc) and cut a lot of unnecessary things out of your life (cable, satellite, data plans, high speed, eating out etc) you CAN stay at home with your little ones. The rewards are enormous, bettering relationships, and even improving physical and mental health – and you don’t miss a thing in your kid’s lives. Your children want you, not an extra paycheck. Something to pray about. Ask yourself, “What does God want me to do?”

Oh my dear commenter we’ll call Mary, your question is probably being asked by so many women and my answer is more than a couple of sentences. You see, even through your question, the Lord is continuing to mold me into the lady He is calling me to be, not meaning a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, but he is molding my heart. As is He is to your heart, too!

And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. Isaiah 64:8

After reading your question, Mary, my flesh wants to cry out and even get defensive towards you. Oh how I long to be at home with my children and even have more children, Lord willing, but it isn’t that simple. You see, you cannot plan God’s plan. God has me in a process, a season right now to help my husband. And sometimes you have to work to fulfill a calling, to make ends meet or even just because a mother chooses to. It is all part of God making and molding us.

I am in a process now, a season as some call it, it isn’t forever and through it I will become stronger and be grateful for it when I am through it. I can even see the horizon, the goal of coming home full-time in the near future, and as it comes, I rejoice in the process.

So how do we embrace the process? Here are 3 suggestions to help you on your journey:

Spend Time in Prayer
This is a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget. Pray to align yourself in God’s will, to grow your faith and to help you to trust in Him. Sometimes in a hard process, we fight it, but truly if you pray and ask God to prepare your mind, to soften your heart, to the place God has you at this moment, you may find you are content because of your desire is to be in His will. Philippians 2:12-13 For me, I had to (and have to continue to) pray to be in His will because that is the only place I want to be, even if it’s not what I want because He is working within me and His plans are far better than mine! Ephesians 3:20

Schedule Quality Time
When you have to work, whether you want to or not, you have to schedule your time to make the most of the time you do have with your children (and your husband). Plan out times specifically with each child individually and collectively. When you go grocery shopping, bring one child along. You’ll get to spend some one-on-one time while doing something that has to get done. While folding the laundry, make a game out of it but setting a timer to see who can fold the most pairs of socks, etc. Schedule weekly family date nights (even if you just stay at home, play games and make pizza) and dates with your husband is a must. Distinguish a budget, get a babysitter, and go, and invest in your relationship. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. Spending time together communicates God’s love for us. Deuteronomy 11

Hone your skills
When you are waiting to do what you want to or feel you are called to do, (in my case to be back home with my kids full-time) hone your skills you are using so that you are not wasting time. I’m at the office, scheduling, organizing, planning, preparing, greeting, helping, this list goes on, and these are all things I need as a stay-at-home mom, even things I need to work on as a mom. While you are in your process, take the situation and learn and grow from it. When you hone your skills it forces you to pay attention to your weaknesses, helps you to discover your gifts, and builds your confidence. Romans 12:6

No matter where you are at in life, what season I pray that you, that I can embrace the process! Here is a song that encourages me while I wait, learn, and grow in this process.

Are you willing to go through the process?

Check out the other posts in this series:

  • Transitioning from being a Stay at Home Wife to a Mother
  • Being a Stay-at-Home Mom When You Can Barely Afford It
  • Meet a SAHM Without a Soul to Call “Friend”
  • Being a Working Mom When You Really Want to Stay at Home
  • Career Woman to SAHM
  • Leaving an Awesome Career to be a SAHM
  • About Rachel

    Rachel is a mother to four children and a wife to a wellness doctor. Her passions are faith, family, and health. You can find her writing about her family adventures and inspiring you to make healthier choices for your family.


    1. Okay, I am NOT the Mary referred to above. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart. I know how hard it is. I have always stayed home with my children. We are farmers. I have always taken care of the books but in recent months had to take over the raising of our 150 calves. When my brother is out of town, I have to take care of the whole 800 dairy cow operation and manage our employees. It is hard. Even though we live in the middle of the farm and my sons are older and adore the farm, I just want things to be the way they were. Just getting to be with them and have our days the way we treasured them. Even just having a routine, because animals that you are caring for rule. On cold winter mornings, I CRINGE at getting out very early and working in the cold when I want to snuggle by the fire. But this is the season we are in and our livelihood. Thankfully I am able to be in and out all day and don’t have to leave all day. I sometimes feel that I am suffocating trying to balance it all and not take precious time away from our children. Thank you for the wonderful reminders. I will be praying for you. It was so wonderful meeting you at Allume. You are beautiful inside and out!

    2. Beautiful, Rachel! Great advice, too. Especially the prayers part. And so TRUE about the Plan part. All of us have a different path, a different mission … even those of us with the same desires and values. Thank you so much for sharing your story! So honored to be in this group.

    3. I am a full-time working mom of four. My children are older – 21 (married), 18, 12 and 9. I have always worked, we just didn’t ever see how it would work otherwise. However, during the last three years, I have felt a pull to be home with my children, but my husband has been unemployed off and on for three years. I work for my Pastor and staying home is not an option for me now. We already lost our home and are on the verge of financial ruin. If I were to “downsize” as some would suggest we’d be homeless. I did begin homeschooling my 7th grader while working full time this year, because I just needed to. It’s a challenge. I pray every day that God would give me strength and make a way where there seems to be none. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s very encouraging.

    4. I have had seasons where I work outside the home and seasons where I am blessed to be at home with my children. I always treasure those times when I am free to be mom and only mom. Right now I am working from home and it is working for our family. I have noticed a big difference in stress. When I work outside the home, my children are stressed, I am stressed and my husband is stressed. While working from home, I am the only one stressed and the stress level is much lower. I can see how much my kids need me at home and it is a blessing to be here. Thanks for the post! I wish I’d read it six months ago but I’ll keep the words close to my heart as life is always changing.

    5. I love this series because it showcases that motherhood is a very different journey for all of us. Each of us has to make the choice that is right for our family or for that stage in our lives, and sometimes that’s a tough choice. Right now I am a stay-at-home mom, but I’m also a student, so I’m attempting to juggle my studies and my kids (not easy!). Before my second was born, I went back to work for 6 months because my husband didn’t have a job. It was tough for both of us, but it got us through that time. Blessings on you and your family in this season of your lives! 🙂

      • Bonnie, I am so glad you liek the series, we prayed it would be able to touch mothers, no matter what season, and to find community. Once you get through school, you will find that one day your kid’s will be so proud of you and the sacrifices you made.

    6. Honey, you are a great woman. I want to be like you when I grow up.

    7. I love your openness and honesty in this post, Rachel! Very well said. And I love how you just keep your focus on God. Way to go, girl!

    8. A friend forwarded this to me, knowing that this is a season of life that I’m in right now and have been really struggling with for the past 2 years. For a while, I felt like all I was reading about was how I’m supposed to be at home with my kids and that has been my heart’s desire, but not what God has called our family to. I started to become embittered toward my husband for not leaving our church where he works part-time, so he could get a full-time position elsewhere. Then I was challenged by my friend to embrace where God has me in this season, no matter how long it may be, and reminded me that I’m ultimately held accountable to God for my attitude with it all. And I’ve started to embrace where I’m at and have seen God’s faithfulness more and more, understanding little pieces of why He has me in this place in this season. Thank you for sharing some encouragement–it’s not often Christian women share from this perspective, without judgment. So thank you.

    9. I’m so very grateful for this series. I’m also grateful to be a part of this journey with you. It has been a testament to God’s grace to watch you grow in faith, grace, and compassion through this journey and trial. I’m so thankful to call you friend. Thanks for sharing your story!

    10. I have both worked and been a stay at home mom (which I am now)…and I can vouch for both sides of the working fence, that neither is especially easy. Shame on those who come from a judgmental point on either side. We moms have enough on our plates than to take doled out criticism from one another. I always say, “Do what works for your family for THIS season of your life”. Last season is past…we have to work on today, and tomorrow will come soon enough. Take one day at a time and enjoy the moments we have, thanking God for each moment (be it at work or at home) realizing we are doing what needs to be done for our families in the here and now. God bless on your endeavors to support your family in the best way you possibly can for today, and don’t feel an ounce of guilt. You are doing what’s best for YOUR family, and that’s what counts.

    11. I went back to work 3 years ago after 17 years at home also to support my husband in a big career change. My youngest was just starting 1st grade and I was not ready to leave her but believed in what he wanted to do. There is so little written on the topic and it was SO challenging and lonely to make the adjustment. I actually started my own blog to encourage women in this transition, don’t write there as often as I would like but hope women find it encouraging. Thanks for sharing your journey.


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