31 days of living free: behind the scenes of a working mom

Behind the Scenes: Living Free as a Working Mom // Many Sparrows Blog // 31 Days of Living Free: Rooted Love for Women Who Dream. Encouragement for working moms.

Living free: What does it mean, really? How can we really be women who live free when our hearts and our work and our homes weave us into sticky webs that can be so tricky to navigate? I’m so, so thrilled to introduce you to my friend Shelley of This Family’s Journey. We went to journalism school together, and her story about finding home-work-family-heart balance is so powerful, I just had to ask her to share a guest post. Many of us watch the news, but how many of us ever think of the woman, wife, and mom behind the screen? Shelley a talented storyteller and I’m thrilled to share her engaging, authentic words with you about living free as a working mom. Enjoy!

It’s Tuesday night.

Nine o’clock-ish to be exact.

I walk in the door, throw my keys on the table and race upstairs to kiss Olivia goodnight.

Chris was just putting her down for bed.

“Love you, baby girl,” I whisper as I watch her heavy eyes close, then half open, and close again slowly.

We shut her bedroom door and attempt to tiptoe into the dark hallway.

Damn you, hardwood floors, for being so loud…

Like usual, Chris and I go our separate ways.

He heads back downstairs to the kitchen.

[Gotta warm up dinner…]

I grab my PJs, head to the bathroom to start scrubbing off the mounds of HD makeup that have been caked on my face for 12-hours.

This was our routine.

Pretty glamorous, right?

From the outside looking in, we had it all.

Minus a few struggles hellish years with infertility, a lot of people may assume we had the picture perfect life.

The TV reporter and police-officer-turned-social-worker had a beautiful family.

They had careers they loved.

Their bank accounts weren’t overflowing with dollar bills, but they were financially secure, already planning for retirement [hey, we can dream, right…], and they had careers they threw themselves into…

We never saw each other.

But we had careers we found fulfilling.

The microwave beeped.

My leftover pizza was warm.

Bare-faced in my comfy PJs with my hair pulled back, I attempted to tiptoe down the hardwood stairs without waking Olivia.

Damn you, hardwood floors, for being so loud…

I considered it a small victory when I managed to get to the dining room without stubbing my toe on the toys scattered everywhere.

Chris and I sat down at the dining room table.

“What do you want to drink?” he asked.

I looked down at my soggy piece of pizza and tears started welling up in my eyes.

“I can’t keep doing this,” I said, staring at my plate.

By the time I mustered out those words, I was full-out blubbering mess.

“I never thought I’d walk away from this. I love this job,” I said.

How could I feel so fulfilled in my career yet feel so empty at the same time?

It was in that moment — while staring at that nuked piece of pepperoni pizza — I decided to leave my career.

But more than that, I decided to trust God – and I mean completely trust Him —  show me where to go.

I trusted Him to break me free from the chains that restrained me from being the mother and wife I so desperately wanted to be.

I had a few months left at work to fulfill the terms of my contract.

And in those months, I prayed like I’ve never prayed before.

In between deadlines and phone calls and lining up interviews, I muster up the courage and remind Him, “God, I’m trusting you to help me right now.”

And then it happened.

Right as my impatient self was about to throw my hands up and say, “I give up!”... 

It happened.

An email notification popped up for a job I was interested in.

God opened door.

After door…

After door.

And my heavy heart turned grateful.

My confusion and chaos turned into hope.

Because for the first time since I laid eyes on my daughter, I knew I would be free to be her mom.

I knew I’d be allowed to be the wife I so badly wanted to be.

Becoming a mom changed me.

I didn’t want to be known as the “TV news gal” anymore.

Because the best, most honorable role I have in this world is “Olivia’s Mom.”

Are the sweatpants and mild make-up with hair all a’mess as glamorous as taking home that Emmy award from a broadcast news association banquet?


I guess it depends on who you ask.

For me, being a mom is what God called me to do.

And it was trusting Him that allowed me to do it freely.

31 Days of Living Free: Rooted Love for Women Who Dream | Many Sparrows Blog

This part of 31 daily posts of living free. Living freely is something we do momentarily, but to fully live free? That’s a transformation — a total change not only in what we’re like, but in who we are. You can find all the 31 Days of Living Free posts here

4 thoughts on “31 days of living free: behind the scenes of a working mom

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I love hearing other women’s perspectives and stories — it helps us feel like we’re not alone, even if weren’t not necessary going through the exact same challenges.

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