Dear Ellen,

Today will be one of the hardest days you’ll face. You’re leaving a job you love so you can spend more time with your children, those two sweet babies who bring you both joy and exhaustion in the same breath. Today as you pack up your classroom, close the door, turn out the lights, you might feel like a failure, but let me tell you –

You’re not.

You’ve failed at nothing. In fact, you’ve succeeded. You’ve succeeded at being a working mom and now you’re trying something different. You’re going to try being a mom who’s home full-time. Both are honorable. There’s neither right or wrong in either of them. You’re not leaving a profession, but simply hitting the “pause button” for this time in your life and that of your family.

You might feel like a failure because you see other moms who manage both work and home with ease. But you don’t know their struggle, and they don’t know yours. Only God does. So don’t look at others. Just look at what He is calling you to do for this time and season. Look into those eyes of the ones who call you “Mom” and rest knowing there’s a time and season for you to do both, too. Leaving your job now doesn’t mean you’re leaving it forever –  you have a lifetime yet to pour into other’s children – but you only have a few short years to pour into your own.

You might feel like you’ve lost part of yourself in the sacred walls you called your classroom. You might feel like you’ve lost part of yourself when you wake up day after day and you don’t seem to get anything significant accomplished. You’ve lost nothing – you’re actually building something new. You’re building a beautiful woman who’s giving herself time and space to be where she needs for now and you’re giving yourself new opportunities to do things with your children you’ll never be able to do again. Ever. You’re allowing yourself to have the time to use your gifts in other ways, whether they’re used at home or in other venues. Just because you’re not getting paid doesn’t mean your talents are gone. They’re still there. Don’t put them on a shelf.

Life may be different for a while with friends. Your peers will go from other moms who understand the struggle of working to moms who may not understand the loss you’re feeling of not seeing twenty five squirmy kids every day. You don’t have to choose sides because there shouldn’t be any sides. You’re all moms – the greatest calling of all.

There’s so much I can say to you, but what’s been echoing in my mind is that you know the truth the world may not tell you

You are enough.

Being a stay at home mom doesn’t diminish your value as a woman.

Being a working mom doesn’t add value.

There will be days you will feel like a failure on both fronts.  Your kids really don’t care about either. They don’t care whether you’re the new PTO chair or the CEO. When you’re with them, that’s all they care about. You are their rockstar because you’re a mom.

And not just any mom, you’re their mom.

So today when you say your good-byes, let the tears flow. Experience the grief. But don’t let any lies stay in your head.

You’re not a failure.

You’re not a loser.

You’re enough.

Whether you’re working in a classroom, at McDonalds, or mopping pee off of your kitchen floor,

You’re enough.

God created you woman, and you are good.

 

Blessings to you as you start your new journey.

Brenda

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