I was just talking with a friend and neighbor. We were sharing our recent struggles with trying to juggle the duties of motherhood and ministry. (Both of us work in different capacities for the Archdiocese of New Orleans) Even though the ministry part is worthy and important, we must remember that God first called us to the vocation of marriage. Whether our job is a ministry, something we do to express ourselves creatively, something we do to keep our sanity, or something we must do to help support our families, we should recall that God first called us to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony – and all that it entails.
It’s difficult when work requires more and more of our time. It’s often very hard to say “No,” or to set limits – especially in these times when job stability in virtually non-existent. Still, we must set boundaries to protect the time needed to fulfill family duties and to nurture our children.
The devil is very busy trying to wreck families – and in many ways, he has been successful. We’ve got to carefully protect our family routines and special moments. There must still be time for listening to each other and sharing the events of the day. Bedtime stories and prayers must take precedent over reports, emails and paper grading.
It’s often very difficult to juggle responsibilities – we often feel as though we need a carbon copy of ourselves. It is not a clone we need, however. We need to re-focus on our first priority – our families.
As all mothers are keenly aware, our little ones grow up so fast. Our time for greatest influence in our children’s lives is limited. This job is too important to do half way.
I’ve sometimes thought that a vocation as a nun would have suited me better. I could be really holy spending my days in silence, reflection, prayer and praise. A vocation as a religious sister is noble for sure – and one path to holiness. Marriage is an equally important calling from God. It is the one through which all other vocations come.
“There’s a time and season to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 We must realize that some of the things we want to do, and some of the things we feel we have to do all have a season. If we are feeling totally overwhelmed, we must ask ourselves, “Is there anything I can give up for a time – until the right season?” Am I allowing unnecessary anxiety to creep into my life and into my household through these added responsibilities I’ve accepted?
There is no doubt that being a working mother in 2011 is harder and more stressful than it has ever been. As moms, we must keep our eyes on Christ, and remind ourselves of the importance of our vocation. Our primary vocation should be just that – primary – first – taking precedent. We can surely look to the Holy Family for much-needed direction and intercession! They want our families to stay strong in faith and strong in bond, so that the next generation will be holier and happier in service to the Lord!