Confessions of A Working Mother

Words really can be hurtful

Remember the nursery rhyme, “sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”? It’s a lie. Words are some of the most hurtful weapons.

A few years ago I overheard some ladies discussing working mamas. More specifically, they were lamenting the idea that women should do anything other than stay-at-home. Words like “irresponsible” and “motherhood as your highest calling” were tossed about. Obviously not meeting their standards, I continued to walk past.

Not specifically directed at me, their words still felt like an attack. Was I wrong for working? They thought so. Does it make a difference if I’m working with my husband? Not sure. Was it hurtful? Absolutely. Can I still recall the entire scene? Yep.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Prov. 12:18)

Remember, our words have power.

How it feels to be a working mother

How it feels to be a working mother—exciting, challenging, tiring, hard, defeating, fun… just like being a stay-at-home mama.

That’s the thing that gets missed the most. No matter what you choose, there’s good and bad in both scenarios. We don’t run away to work to escape motherhood — (Not most days). Working is our way to be true to God’s design for us. Being a good mama has nothing to do with whether you stay-at-home, work outside the home, or some combination of the two.

There are things about staying-at-home I envy. I see your day trips, playdates, and volunteering. As my kids get older, I wonder if they’ll resent the time I spent at work or the days they joined me in the office. We all worry about the best decisions along the way.

My kids got a working mother, as well as some “bonus mamas” who each bring something special to their lives. Some are in charge of fun and games, others share similar interests, while others offer a place to crash with friends. Together, we create the community our children need.

Working mama,

You’re not alone in your doubts. I worry too, but I’m learning to trust God more. The only correct answer is the one He gives you. Your worth as a mama is not determined by your job title or time spent at home. Go and do as He directs. You’ve got this, and when you don’t—He does.

As working mothers, we’re just trying to love our families well as we pursue God’s purpose in our lives.


A version of this post originally appeared at, published with permission.

Kelly Shank
Kelly Shank
Kelly Beckley Shank encourages women to pursue extraordinary dreams in the midst of ordinary motherhood. Her journey from “dream job” to writer includes some very unlikely stops in Guatemala and grad school that have completely changed her family. Her blog inspires unapologetic motherhood where women are not ashamed to talk about their dreams beyond motherhood while also offering helpful tips to lessen the chaos in our homes. Join her at, on Facebook,  or on Instagram @kellybeckleyshank.

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