God First, Family Second, Career Third

“I must trust and pray that God loves me enough to lay down the right path in front of me and believe that He’ll close the doors that lead down the wrong path.” (From my post Have Faith: Life Takes You Where You Need to Go)

Monday of Holy Week, God closed one of those doors.

More like slammed it, if I’m being honest.

It hurt. I cried. But then I realized something – God was doing me a favor.

You see, since I started having kids over a decade ago, work and career have been a sour subject. I chose to stay home and raise my kids when they were all babies, but this resulted in a staggered work history and a resume with many unemployment gaps. To make matters worse, my husband and I have packed up and moved over a dozen times settling in six states since moving out on our own in 2005.

I tell you my story not to complain, but to paint a picture – one that outlines for you my constant dilemma: what do I value more – my career or my family?

Going into every job I’ve ever had, I’m always asked, “What would prevent you from showing up to work?” and my answer has always been the same, “If one of my kids were sick.” I made sure I was an open book and that my prospective employers knew that I’m a mother first, employee second.

Yet, even when my cards were all out there, I was still punished for missing too many work days.

But, as I said in the beginning, this was God shutting a door.

When Did “Mother” Become a Dirty Word?

The way corporate America is structured, women with families must either prioritize their family or their career – not both. If a mother must call out sick to care for a child with a fever, her family becomes priority. However, our corporate structure doesn’t account for such situations – especially not for woman like myself who have several children.

As if it isn’t ridiculous enough that daycare fees are unproportionate to our income, it feels as though woman with kids are seen as less reliable, less dedicated workers. Unless we make arrangements for someone else to care for our kids when they fall ill, we are setting ourselves up for career suicide. And don’t even get me started on maternity leave…

Companies think they are doing us a favor by offering two weeks paid vacation every year, but it normally takes a year before you qualify. Plus, many organizations set a limit on the number of sick days allowed – a limit that isn’t enough for a woman who will call out to care for her kids.

I don’t know about your experience, but I’m just not convinced that corporations care enough about women’s rights to make it worth while for a woman to want to go to work. And don’t just shrug your shoulders and say to me, “But, Lauren, that’s just the way things are.” To that, I say, “Woman used to not have the right to vote…”

Turning Over A New Leaf

Because I’ve always been in between jobs, I’ve always been open minded about non-tradition means of making a living. Ideas such as blogging, network marketing, starting a small business, and telecommuting have all appealed to me at one point or another. Thankfully, while still employed, I decided to try “one more thing.” Because today, that “thing” is now my number one career focus and it is going to keep me from EVER having to tell any boss that I cannot come in because the baby is sick.

To some, this career move seems unnatural. It’s off the beaten path and few succeed, but I’m willing to take that leap of faith for my family and our future. For those who know me well and have been following my journey in recent years, this new path may seem like it falls out of line with the aspirations I have set in the recent past. However, I couldn’t disagree more.

My company is Christian based and teaches “God first, family second, career third.” My company empowers and motivates woman. My company’s products follow the strict EU chemical standards, which are way higher than American standards. My company gives woman the power to control their own schedule and income potential. My company gives back through causes such as domestic violence, cancer research, and environmental protection. My company believes strongly in the power of positive reinforcement and belief. We uplift and encourage one another. We acknowledge the growth, determination, and courage it takes to be different, do good, and live fearless. We pray! We believe in a God who wants to shower us with abundance. We shine light into the lives of others. We give hope. And we make woman feel beautiful!

I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing company and group of woman! I am looking forwarding to uplifting, motivating and encouraging woman from all walks of life. I know beyond a shade of a doubt that God put this company in my path at just the right time, just as He shut the door at just the precise moment.

You know how I know to trust Him?

Because that same day, only hours after being let go from my job, my rental property that had been vacant for over a month became occupied! I looked up to the ceiling and pointed a finger up and said, “Lord, I will never doubt you. Show me the way.”

What good will God do in your life when you start to believe?

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29 Replies to “God First, Family Second, Career Third”

  1. I completely agree with you and my family is very important to me. 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my second child after I had him I decided that I was going to be a stay at home mom. I have no regrets not continuing to work for my previous employer .

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  2. My husband and I don’t have children, but friends of us recently shared with us how expensive daycare is…holy crap! The thought of paying that monthly is certainly birth control for me…I couldn’t believe it.

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  3. God is and always will be first for me. He has kept me so strong and given me incredible strength after my late husband died and having to be a single mother working full time as an accountant raising them. I am now blessed to be remarried and begin chapter 2. I have God to thank for that.

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    1. I’m proud of you for sticking with God through such a trying time! I cannot imagine the pain that must have been for you and your children. May God continue to bless you and your family in Chapter 2.

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  4. Family comes before anyone and anything in my life. Always has been that way, always will be. But I understand that isn’t for everyone, and get it! It’s great you’ve got what works for you!

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  5. I have been so fortunate to work for an industry that values women and families. I have never been made to feel like I had to choose. My faith is strong like yours!

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  6. Well done you for finding one door closed and using it to create your own company that gives back and supports important causes. Go you, that takes some passion and skill which you clearly have in spades.

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  7. I lost my job when I was a few months pregnant with my youngest, and haven’t found anything yet and he is 7 months old. I got my Masters Degree, but it seems I still can’t get hired in my field. I too started looking into more unconventional means of earning income, such as blogging and I even have a part time gig evaluating ads for a google company.

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    1. I feel your struggle. It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it, to have a higher education yet unable to secure a job? Best of luck in the unconventional work world. I’m right there with you, sister!

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  8. There is so much pressure on the mother in today’s society. We are expected to both work and take care of the home and the kids. It is tough, for sure. If it comes down to it, though, family would have to come first.

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  9. it’s great that you have this path but it can be really hard striking up the perfect work/life balance! especially when it feels like you are failing at both!

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  10. Ahhh, trust, that is my word of the day today! I think it is so easy to try and push forward on our own accord, without first trusting that God has a plan and we need to let Him lead.

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  11. Family is very important to me as well!!! I wish there was a middle ground with all of this for mothers. One of the reasons I work at home is so I can take care of my daughter.

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