Relish Your Role

This school year was one of the first times that "Working Mom Guilt" really hit me.
And it hit me. Hard. Really Hard.
Maybe it was the fact that I had another baby and the post partum hormones hit me harder, maybe it was the fact that Kate was going into Kindergarten, maybe it is the fact that I have a tough group of students, or maybe it was combination of all of these factors. 
The cold hard truth is that this school year I have felt SO, SO, SO incredibly guilty that I am a working mom.
 I feel guilty that I can't volunteer in Claire's preschool class or Kate's Kindergarten class or go on field trips. (I used all my sick days/personal days for maternity leave & don't have any days left this year)
I feel guilty that I am out of the loop with what is going on in their classes.
Kevin does the morning drop off (because I have to be at school) and I have 2 friends who take them home because they get out an hour before I am done teaching.
This means that I don't really know any of the mom's in either of the girls classes.
I don't know the kids in their classes.
I feel guilty that I have to rely on my friends to bring my kids home. 

Why do I have this guilt?
This question was partially answered to me on Sunday at church.
Our pastor gave one of the BEST sermons I have ever, ever,  heard.
I felt like he was talking to me. I have a love/hate relationship with sermons like that.
Here I am, FIVE days later and I am STILL thinking about what he preached on.
That hasn't happened in a long time.
His sermon had several amazing points, but two really stuck out to me.
(By the way, if you would like to hear his sermon, leave me a comment or send me an email and I would be happy to email you the video link of the sermon)

First point that stuck out with me:
1.  I have this "Working Mom guilt, because I am keeping "score".
(In the sermon, this was mostly directed at keeping score between you & your spouse, but I realized I was doing this with myself)
Most of my friends are stay at home moms and a lot of the time I envy that.
I feel guilty that I am not volunteering in their classes,  I feel guilty that I can't go on field trips, I feel guilty that I can't help out with the class parties, I feel guilty that my girls don't get to have after school playdates when other kids do because I am at school.
I feel guilty that my friends Kelly & Susan drive my girls home. I am keeping score...I am at zero and they are at 1 million. I so, so, so grateful for their willingness to help me out this year, but I feel bad that I can't repay the favor.  I need to stop keeping score and just accept their help knowing that they don't expect anything in return.  I am so blessed by them and thankful God put them in my lives.

Second point in the sermon that stuck out to me:
 I need to RELISH my ROLE. 
This is the big one. I need to Relish the role that I have been given.
As a working mom, I have MANY roles.
When I am at school, I need to Relish my Role as a Teacher. I need to give 100% to my students because I know that God has me there for a reason. Not only to teach math to these crazy middle schoolers, but to be a light. Middle school is a rough, rough, rough time. When I was in middle school, I KNEW I wanted to be a middle school teacher because I had an awesome middle school teacher. The reason I wanted to teach middle school is because I have a heart for these kids, middle school sucks (but I love it!) I want to be a light to them & a positive influence on them. I know 100% that God has me at my school for a reason. I do not doubt this at all. I do like my job and the people I work with. I do know that I can (and have) been a positive influence to those on
I need to relish my role. Even though I am a working mom, I am a part-time working mom, so I need to relish the fact that  I am lucky that I am done teaching at 1:15 each day, so I am able to home for the entire afternoon.
I need to relish in the fact that even though I am a working mom, my kids don't have to go to daycare. I am lucky that my mom watches Luke 3 mornings a week and Kevin's mom watches him the other 2 days.
God has put us into roles for a reason. We need to relish those roles, even if they aren't exactly the roles we want to be in.
Are you single but want to be married?
Are you trying to have kids and struggling to get pregnant? 
Are you a mom of young kids and wishing the crazy toddler years would be over?
Are you a stay at home mom, but wish you were a working mom?
Are you a working mom but wish you were a stay at home mom?
Are you feeling stuck in a life situation that you don't want to be in?
Know that you aren't alone. Sometimes roles just last for a season.
My prayer for myself (and for all of us) is that we can get rid of the guilt, stop keeping score and relish our roles.....Even if it's a role we don't want to be in.
I pray that God is using us in these roles for His Good and His Glory.


  1. Would love the link...shaunfarquhar at Comcast dot net

  2. Love this post! It's so wonderful when a pastor's message hits you square in the face. Love it!

  3. I would LOVE the sermon link, too! Thanks for this GREAT post! I, too, have 3 kiddos and teach kindergarten part time. I teach every other day, so it allows me flexibility. :-)
    I am sure your pastor will speak right to my heart as well.
    Thank you! :-)
    I love your blog!

  4. This is something I have been trying to keep in mind as well. Sometimes it's hard to remember to be happy with where you are at in the moment.

  5. Very well said! While reading your posts (you are one of my fave blogs) I usually forget you are a teacher because you are always going so above and beyond with your girls (and Luke). With each holiday, the parties you plan, crafts/baking, etc...you are a great example to me of a lady that has her priorities straight and the right focus! You are right in saying God has a plan for you at school. Your students need a teacher like you in their life. It might be the one class they look forward to all day. I'm sure there are many students that you've inspired to become teachers:) Satan wants you to feel guilt, and praise God you heard that sermon to help you embrace your role!:)

  6. Would love the link as well - kelly.zastocki [at] gmail.com

  7. I struggle with this as well. I know God has me back teaching for a reason, but I often feel SO guilty. Great reflection.

  8. I SO needed this. I am constantly struggling with guilt! Either I'm playing with my son too much and I feel guilty that our house is a mess, I'm cleaning too much and feel guilty that I haven't played with my little man enough, or I'm feeling guilty for being gone on photoshoots/weddings then editing during family time. It's a constant struggle. Love this post! Thanks for sharing!

  9. As someone who teaches math part time and has three kids I completely understand this "mom guilt." My youngest is now 4 and I have had time to come to realize that although I won't win PTA mom of the year, I am showing my kids valuable lessons as well. I am showing them that momma has some skills, she can go out there and make some money for our family, and help other kids who might be struggling.

    Take a moment and assess everything that you DO for your family whether you are a stay at home mom, part time employee, or full time employee. I may not be there for school field trips but I am there to read to them at night, cheer them on at sporting events, go over their homework with them, throw them a wonderful birthday party, show them my favorite movie, and let them "help me" when we shop.

    As moms we beat ourselves down and each other (regular school vs home school, breastfeeding vs bottle, lots of extracurricular vs no extra). Instead we should be supporting each other and cheering each other on.

    Great post and one we moms need to be reminded of again and again - didn't realize I had so much to say when I started in on this :)

  10. Very very well said.
    I don't feel that guilt because I know what we are choosing to do is the right choice for everyone in our family. Some days I feel a tiny bit of guilt when I hear the neighbor kids all running around together and my boys are at after school care, but they are happy. I am happy. Jon is happy. That is what matters.

  11. Wow! I so needed to read this today! I have had a rough week... Work..health..mommy guilt just to name a few. I would LOVE the link. {trent(dot)malinda@ gmail(dot)com} Thank you for being open on your blog.

  12. I would love the link as well. JessHBlackburn@Yahoo.com

  13. You are absolutely correct! I have this guilt too and go through stages where I am okay with working and then hate it when I can't go to all the things my friends are posting on Instagram doing with their kids during the day. But I know God has a plan for me and I am right where I need to be.

  14. Love this post....I love when you walk into church and you feel as if the message was just for you.

    I have been both a working mom and then became a stay at home mom. I do have to say that I have guilt being a stay at home mom...today my 5 year old had a field trip and I did not go...guilt...I stay at home why can I not go. Well I have two other kids.

    You are a wonderful, loving and caring mom! You are a wonderful mom and your kids love you.

  15. Thank you so much for posting this. I am also a teacher, 5th grade, and struggle with this on a daily basis. I have a 3 year-old and a 6 month-old. I went back to work with my 6 month-old when he was just 8 weeks. Both of my kids are in daycare. It kills me. I try to cherish the weekends and my time after school. I also try to keep in mind that my daughter LOVES going to daycare. It is a private, in-home daycare that is for teacher's children. Many of my close friends send their children to the same home, so I remind myself that she is having fun and is well taken care of.

    Next year I will be in a job share, which means I will be home on Thursdays and Fridays. Financially it will be a struggle, but I am excited to be able to share in part of the daily routine with my kids. Your kids are lucky to have you at 1:15 and you are very lucky that middle school allows you to work that schedule. You sound like a wonderful teacher and wonderful mother!

  16. Love this! I, too, need to relish my role or many roles. :) Great post!

  17. I would love to listen to the sermon you mentioned! hannahbrown@usd475.org


  18. Hi Mel,
    Really good post! I'd also like the link to the sermon.

    Thank you!

  19. I can't tell you how much I struggle with this mom guilt! This is the first year that Palmer has realized (since he is now in kindergarten) that other kids actually have the summer off! I have beat myself up so bad and gone back and forth about working but we have to have me work and I have to be ok with that. I would love the link to the sermon, it sounds amazing! courtneyblaketempleton@gmail.com

  20. I would love the link as well! I am on maternity leave with my 4th and enjoying every minute, but I struggle with mommy guilt all the time when I am teaching (and I am lucky to be part-time also). Thank you for helping me to feel like I am not the only one! tarahees@gmail.com

  21. Thank you so much for posting this! Such words I needed to hear. I have been slacking majorly in my role as a student (about 3 semesters left til I graduate college and I'm done NOW) but like you said, sometimes we need to understand that it may just be a season in our lives. Right now I am a student and I need to respect that on a deeper level. I've definitely been taking my education for granted. Thank you, thank you, thank you for passing on those words! I too have a love/hate relationships with those messages you just really NEED to hear. ;)

  22. Great post! Thank you for sharing your heart, you have no idea how many people your words will touch. Helping them know that they are not alone and that we all struggle and don't have it all together all the time! I'd love the link to the sermon! kenzieathrone AT gmail DOT com

  23. Great post. I am stuck somewhere between a full Tim working mom that wishes she was a stay at home mom. Thanks for the encouraging words. Would love the link to the message you heard

  24. Most of my friends are working moms and I struggle with guilt from the opposite end! I love being a SAHM, so my guilt comes completely from comparing and keeping score.

  25. 2 Things
    1 Thank you for your post - My husband and I have tried to have children for years. I have been pregnant and miscarried several times. Fertility drugs aren't an option due to health reasons (and the fact that my dr can't even determine if they matter), and we aren't on the same page with adoption. However, my brother is a single dad to 2 teenage girls and we help care for them. I always thought I'd be a mom but I learning to RELISH MY ROLE as the aunt who is there for them, spoils them, teaches them how to be sweet, kind, caring young women, etc. It isn't the same as being a mom but maybe it's the role God intended for me.
    2 and I really hope this gives you a little comfort:
    Growing up both my parents worked. It was the only option. My dad had a fairly flexible schedule but my mom didn't. So when he could my dad helped. However neither of them could do field trips and things like that. It was just the reality of our situation. What you need to know is that I never really stopped and thought about my mom not going on field trips or helping out in the classroom, or driving in the carpool until this post. Probably because I always knew she was "there". She put notes in my lunches, she cut the crusts of my sandwiches, she told me every morning that my day would be amazing and asked every evening what the best (and worst) part of my day was. She took me on a monthly date (it was usually just for an ice cream cone, nothing fancy) and we talked about anything and everything I wanted to. I guess what I am saying is my mom may have been doing it all from the "sidelines" but in my mind she was the star of the show.
    I'll leave you with a quote I love:
    "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we often compare our behind the scenes, with everyone elses highlight reel"

    1. Thank you so much for your honesty & your comment. I will be praying for you and your husband. Also, I will be praying for you as you relish your role as Super Aunt. What a blessing you are to your brother's kids. xoxo.

  26. I feel like you are speaking to me! I struggle so much with the fact that I have to work and I cannot be with my kids like I want to. It is so hard. I would love to hear the sermon. I so need to hear this right now. My e-mail is erinstruitt@gmail.com. Thank you!

  27. Amen. Sometimes it's hard not to just "be" where we are. Getting out at 1:15pm will be perfect when all of your kids are in school and get out at the usual time (3pmish?). Being with them after school will be so good. And being home with them during the summers is a gift
    And just looking at your blog it seems to me that your girls know how much they mean to you. :).

  28. amen. mel, you truly inspire me and, selfishly, I'm so glad you're going to be a middle school teacher when tyler gets there in two short years. it's not about keeping score but do you know how grateful I am that there are middle school teachers like you that are going to nurture and love my kids???? what's more, you're exactly where God has called you. it's divine!

  29. I would love the link. Thank you! rundebriana at gmail dot com.

  30. Hi Mel- Another one here, NEEDING that link! Thanks! jenloorz at earthlink dot net.

  31. As mothers, I feel like we're constantly keeping score in our head. Do our kids have the right toys/car seats/clothes/snacks? It's important that we embrace the choices that we've made for our families, and know that we're doing what's best for us.

    I was a work-at-the-office mom, I hated it. Now, I work at home and work on my own schedule. I didn't relish the role working in an office, so I did something about it. I changed my path - or maybe just tweaked it a bit. Either way, this is what works best for US.

    I admire you for working outside the home, for giving yourself to so many other children. You're doing big things, and it's amazing. Embrace it, and enjoy it.

  32. I would love the link. I too struggle with this. Working part time as a nurse and raising three kids under five can make you wonder if you are ever enough for anyone.

  33. Amen! It is so hard NOT to keep score in many areas of our lives. As often as I tell myself I am very content with my life, the next moment I am wishing I was someone else--who didn't have to work full time, who was skinny, who lived in a larger home....but I am in this role for a reason and I am right there with you when you talk about your middle schoolers needing you. I teach middle school science to 7th and 8th grade and have to constantly remind myself why I love them so much and why it is important that I am in their life from day to day. Keep up all the great YOU things that you do. I think you are a great mom!

  34. Best post EVER, Mel! Amen!!
    So well said :)

  35. Mel, great post! I'd heard a few other ladies chatting about that sermon. I pulled it up online and LOVED it. Will forward link to the boys, too. Thanks for the heads up.

  36. Enjoyed the post, I believe we all have a little of that in us, at sometimes more than others. You are definitely not alone! Isn't ot something how God sends us those messages when we need them.Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose

  37. Great post!! I am stopping by with the DYWW blog hop.

  38. Great post Mel! I could write a book now that my kids are grown and the lessons I have learned......Love your blog..I would also like the link...email is ceddy@comcast.net

  39. Great post! I would love the link please. Rachael.Bagenstose@gmail.com. Thank you!

  40. I feel you, sister. Being a working mom is the toughest job ever in so many ways. You are doing great. :)

  41. hey mel, i'm behind the times but can i have the sermon link? jamekris at gmail

  42. This post gave me chills! I am there..on all fronts-playing the comparison (keeping score) game, not appreciating the role God has gifted me, and have fallen into the "going through the motions" funk. I attended a women's conference recently and they briefly touch on this, and preached on the idea of picturing Jesus and how he sees us as His daughters. He has a special vision and plan for us. That has given me so much comfort and a little more confidence in my multiple roles. I have started to pray that He allows me to do my best in all of the areas He has me going right now. Proverbs 19:6 :)

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