Outside the Home: Part 2 {Tossing Cares}

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A Series on Moms Returning to the Workplace

This is the second voice in our series. {You can read Part 1 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.}

From Rebecca Shin, mother of two {Elisabeth, 6, & Noah, 2} and a full-time practicing dentist. Her husband is working on his post-doctorate work for his umpteenth doctorate at the University of Virginia. We joke that he grows ears on rats…but I think he actually does. In the meantime, Rebecca uses her skills as a dentist to share in the provision for their family and also as a ministry to those who can’t always afford it. Her heart is huge and I love her. Enjoy:

I had my oldest daughter, Elisabeth, six years ago. She was 4 days late and arrived the day after my dental school graduation. My second child, Noah, is now 2.5 years old. I took 4 weeks and 3.5 weeks off, respectively, for maternity leave.

Working in a small practice is much different than being in dental school. School had a definitive 4-year deadline for requirements, boards, and graduation. Now, our small practice requires my physical presence during business hours. I feel frequent moments of disappointment and guilt that I cannot be the best all-present and attention-giving mom to my little ones. I’ve had days when I would return home after a full day at the office and be amazed that they still hug my leg like a koala cub and call me “mommy” after being apart from me all day.

How do I get through those days?

  • First and foremost, God gives me the peace. It takes practice, but I’ve learned to give all the emotional and physical distress to him. People see me as pretty easy going, but sometimes I can be a raging dragon as I fight through the guilt of not being completely content while immersed in my family. So I make small choices at home to be engaged. I put my phone down, allow the kids to climb all over me when they want, and intentionally shift my mind toward them. This makes the moments at home special.
  • Second, genuine girlfriends refresh the soul. I treasure a spiritual sisterhood and a place to—not only vent—but also rejoice in being a woman. It helps to have other friends who understand the balancing of family, kids, and career.
  • Third, put a picture, or plaster your locker or office (which, I’m in the process of doing) with your kids’ and family’s pictures. I miss them tremendously throughout the day, but their innocent faces rev up my motivation to work harder so that I can do all I can for them. Most importantly, their faces make even the craziest or depressing day worth it.
  • Finally, I sometimes take time for myself, asking my husband to watch the kids for an hour so I can run, or just go and window shop. I need time of recollection and peace even in my own home.

These are the steps I’ve taken to become a happier and more engaged mom as I work outside the home.

Rebecca’s words on guilt and stress remind me of 1 Peter 5.7 – Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you. {And He cares for your children as well. What a precious reminder!!}

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3 thoughts on “Outside the Home: Part 2 {Tossing Cares}

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