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“If you drop out of the workforce to raise your children, you’ll never recover the skills and expertise you lost in your career.” Such ridiculousness.

As an older mother with children who are, mostly, teens and adults, I’m here to testify that you shouldn’t believe the lies.

My world is very different from when my children were little lap sitters. Now, I teach classes, serve on the Board of a pro-life organization and encourage women through retreats and workshops. The discipline and expertise that makes me very marketable and in-demand did not spring out of nowhere. No, indeed. I developed it as the desperate mom of a large family!

Those people who say that women who drop out of the workplace to raise a family are losing valuable time in their careers? They don’t have a clue. It’s true that women with highly technical degrees who quit their career to raise a family may lose out on specific knowledge and skills in that area but, they will recover them faster because of the wisdom and self-discipline they learned as a mom.

Here’s what I mean:

How to get to the bottom of a lie. Mothers develop wisdom and discernment with people. This is invaluable in any area of life.

Self-motivation when there is no recognition for it.  You just can’t put a price-tag on self-discipline.

How to think outside the box to solve problems.  There are no “one size fits all” solutions for motherhood so moms learn how to problem-solve creatively and to think critically.

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My skills in every area of life have grown exponentially over the years primarily because I am not paid. Any motivation has had to come from within…and that’s hard. The only reward I have gotten over the years has been the occasional, “You have a beautiful family” or “You’ve raised some great kids.” But, in-between those times? No paycheck, no quarterly review, no gold watch!images silhouette of children swinging

That’s what makes motherhood the absolute best training ground for any career. Mothers learn self-discipline like no one else! It just doesn’t look like self-discipline because moms have so many uncontrollable “variables” in their lives (such as constantly changing children). A mother can grow in discipline and apply all sorts of organizational techniques to her home and it can still look disorganized. This is when that oh-so-important self-motivation and discipline develops in the life of a mother so she doesn’t quit.

I have known women whose view of the home was so warped that they sat around doing nothing and crying into their vodka-laced coffee about how boring their life was but…the rest of us? We have our good days and bad days, we fight exhaustion and struggle to get out of bed but we keep striving because, by golly, we are building a family.

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Motherhood is an opportunity to learn and grow along with our children. Indeed, to survive and thrive in motherhood, most moms I know are constantly researching the developmental stages of childhood along with a myriad of other fascinating subjects. I breast-fed all eight of our children and always had a book nearby to read during that time. That’s a lot of continuing education!

Life is short. Embrace this season of motherhood knowing that rich blessings will come from it.