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Women have always worked, but today we find growing numbers of women who have to spend time outside the home, and many of them are reluctant to do so for fear of neglecting their kids.
But working outside the home can be a boon to a family, and not simply for the family finances. A woman’s professional and domestic life don’t have to be at war with each other, but can often complement and enrich each other. A mother who recognizes the value of her family — even if she works outside the home — can use her professional life to make a great contribution to her family.
Love and leave your mark on the world
Growing professionally is fulfilling because we can put our energy into achieving something. Using our gifts helps us to create spaces of personal and social enrichment, and it also helps us to keep our own identity and share it with others. When our work becomes a way to reveal what we are, it can impact our families in a positive way.
Motherhood shouldn’t be lived as a limitation, but as the greatest motivation. Mothers have a particular fortitude to carry through with life’s tasks.
Putting love into what we do is key to be able to enthuse others and show the dignity of work. The importance of achieving a good education, conceiving of work as a space of sanctification and sharing its real meaning not only as a means to earn a salary but also as a way to contribute to social progress and the good of humanity … these are concepts that we can teach our kids by example.
Prioritize and plan the day
Life requires us to set priorities. Goals help us to put each of our many activities in their place according to our hierarchy of values. Teaching our kids not to lose sight of what is most important, to be practical and to anticipate tasks, is a great help.
When we work, we can’t improvise. In the same way, we can only keep up our values and find a healthy balance in the midst of the rush of modern-day life if we have a plan that keeps us focused on our goals and yet allows us to be flexible with the unexpected things that come up.
Putting others first and working as a team
When a mother works, all of the members of the family have to support and cooperate in whatever is needed, like a good team. The family members need to think of the good of the whole. It’s good for everyone to learn how to set selfishness aside to help each other; this is also what helps big families get through daily life. When everyone helps out, teamwork makes the difference.
Prioritize being together in recreation
A healthy life requires taking time for recreation. We need to show our kids that life isn’t just about work all the time. But we need to look for recreational activities that we can share, that enrich and develop us as a family: discovering new places and people, making the most of time to be together without cell phones, computers, or work invading our time.
The key, as in all things, is finding the right balance so that we are present in our family’s life, because the strongest lesson of all for our kids is our commitment to be there for them when they need us most.
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This article was originally published in the Spanish edition of Aleteia and has been translated and/or adapted here for English speaking readers.