Sometimes being a stay-at-home mom can be overlooked as an occupation. While many stay-at-home moms know their work is vital, there are times the lack of validation can make them wonder, “Is there purpose in my day-to-day work?”
With the rise of the pandemic, the percentage of stay-at-home parents has increased throughout the country. Whether by preference or out of necessity, more and more parents are staying home full time with their children. In a recent article comparing states with the most stay-at-home parents, Texas made the third slot at 3.5 percent. *
Melanie, a wife and mom to four boys — ages 10, 7, 5 and 3 — worked as a Licensed Vocational Nurse for over a decade before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom. Most LVN shifts are 12-hour shifts at a time. While as an LVN, Melanie only worked 3 days of the week and was off for four. However, she shared, “I thought, since I am with them for four days, I can’t really be missing out on too much.” Yet just a few weeks into her new role as a stay-at-home mom, Melanie realized, “I missed out on a lot. Now, I’m just so appreciative of this time to see them grow and blossom.”
Melanie has now been at home with her children full time for over a year. Leaving her LVN job was “hard, new and scary,” Melanie admitted. But after taking the STCH Ministries Faith & Work course, she has now found a deep purpose in her daily work as a mom and homemaker.
Melanie and her family attend Summit Church in San Antonio, Texas. There she took the Faith & Finances course where she met, Tim Tolosa, Director of STCH Ministries Faith & Work | Faith & Finances. At the conclusion of Faith & Finances, Tim mentioned that the Faith & Work course would soon be available and Melanie’s interest piqued.
STCH Ministries Faith & Work touches on a lot of different topics over an eight-week period, such as Identity and Purpose, Effective Communication, Being a Faith-Work Integrator, and much more. Integrating her faith into her work was something Melanie thought she could learn now and use later. However, after completing the Faith & Work course she shared, “I had no idea I could use it now.” Melanie has been able to take the topics discussed during the Faith & Work course and learn to apply it with her children at home.
Before starting STCH Ministries Faith & Work, Melanie thought that only while at a paying job outside of the home could one really make an impact for God and His Kingdom. She shares, “I thought serving His Kingdom entailed having this super high position, a title, clocking in and out of a job, etc.” She goes on to say she never equated that to being a stay-at-home mom, raising a family or to taking care of the household.
Though she currently has no job out in the workforce, Melanie decided it was important for her to take the course and learn something new. “Knowledge is power, right? It can’t hurt me. I can definitely add it to my tool box,” Melanie thought, as she enrolled in the class.
After completing the eight-week course, Melanie exclaimed, “It definitely changed my outlook on being a stay-at-home mom.” She shared how STCH Ministries Faith & Work helped to validate her work in her home. “This is a calling and it made me more thankful for this,” Melanie shared.
“[God] gave them to me knowing I am capable and able to help them.” Melanie shared in regards to her four children. As a stay-at-home mom, extending grace when there is conflict as well as teaching and encouraging her children to share their faith with friends at school are just some of the truths she has learned from the course.
When asked about future plans to return to her LVN career, Melanie confessed, “I do miss it, I definitely love interacting with adults and the profession of nursing.” If she ever goes back, the truths Melanie learned through STCH Ministries Faith & Work will certainly go back to the workforce with her.
Melanie realized that one can work hard and serve God’s Kingdom “right in your own household with your children.” She continued by adding, “He gave you these children, so your job, your service, is raising them and doing so as well as you can.” Just as many jobs out in the workforce require sacrifice, learning to work well with others and extending grace and forgiveness when resolving conflicts, so does being a stay-at-home parent.
STCH Ministries Faith & Work does not simply equip participants with ways to follow Christ effectively through their everyday vocation, but it is also a way for participants to grow in their faith over all. “My faith journey has definitely taken an upswing,” Melanie shared. She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of STCH Ministries Faith & Work, “I’m just so blessed and thankful… because I’ve really taken a lot from it and it has really helped shape me and encourage me.”
When asked how Melanie would encourage other stay at home moms struggling to find purpose in their everyday work, she shared “I see them. I hear them. I know their daily struggles.” Even though it seems like there’s no glory in being a stay-at-home mom, “this course definitely gives you that right to feel that your position has glory in it and that you are called, you are seen and you are wanted.”
STCH Ministries Faith & Work is open to anyone looking to learn how to discover God’s purpose for their life and how to fulfill that purpose through their work. That work could be out in the workforce or, like for Melanie, in the home. If you are considering taking Faith & Work or Faith & Finances classes, check out more information at http://www.stchm.org/life-skills-training/.