full time work

Motherhood, work and our identity

As a Christian woman, I often think about how the seasons of our life can bring about great change. Earlier this year, the church camp topic was family, and one of the classic questions asked was, “Can women work full-time and have kids?”  The answer, perhaps not satisfying to some, was “It depends.” Circumstances are different for each family, some may face more pressing financial needs that require both parents to work, or the husband may not have the faculties to be the breadwinner of the household. All the same, our pastor encouraged us to ask ourselves, “Why not give up full-time work to be a mother? In fact, is it really giving up?”

As someone who is unmarried, I have not made this choice, but spending time with those married with kids has given me many things to think over. One of these friends works part-time as a doctor and stays home with her two children. She admitted that it was a struggle to do things different to her own mother, who juggled full-time work and motherhood perfectly fine. In the end, my friend was convinced that there was no better full-time work than to bring her children up in God’s word and to model out the Christian life for them. Her reason for part-time work was not to appease her parents, but moreso to retain her skills if the need arose to work while her husband pursues full-time ministry.

An article on Desiring God particularly resonated with me as Carolyn McCulley looks into the apparent identity crisis for women. Simply put, when work is our identity, change shakes up that identity and it becomes plain to see if we have confused what we do with who we are

Mae-Ann Soh

2/6/15 Further reflections: If unclear, my intentions are not to offend or hurt women with my personal reflection. Upon receiving some feedback, I would like to clarify that both motherhood and work can become an idol, and if robbed of that particular identity, can cause an identity crisis. I would like to encourage women to consider how tightly or loosely they hold onto their current roles and to prayerfully ask for God's help as we continue to let our identity in Christ shape our lives as women of God.