They Do Exist.

Women In The Workplace: When All You Want Is To Be A Mom

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Courtney Fricke. She blogs at lovesmashesintoaheart.blogspot.com and tweets at @courtneyfricke. If you remember nothing else today, let it be that what you desire is okay. Don’t fight it, don’t run. You don’t have to. – Lauren

The excitement of living on my own and working for a missions agency faded last year as I moved back home after three adventurous years.

I was home. I was with family. Things felt right. I was happy.

But after all the unpacking and getting reunited with friends and family, I had to face the real world. I had bills. I had to grow up.

Photo by Shelby Savage / / Design by Lauren Dubinsky

I eventually got a part time job that I hated. If you haven’t had one of those yet, smile because you’re beating some statistic out there.

But I began quickly to throw a lot of questions at the Lord.

“God, how long am I going to be home?”
“Come on, God, seriously, what do You have next for me?”
“Well, if I’m only here for a little while, there’s no point to getting a full-time job, right?”

It’s hard making decisions when God is silent. And it’s even harder when the noise of life is amplified. I had just left working for something that I was passionate about. Bagging groceries wasn’t cutting it for me now.

Geez, something had to give. My heart was dying out there.

I had a faded image in my mind of what I’d want to do in the future. But how in the hell do you figure out the 10,000 steps that it takes to get there?

Something inside of me tells me that I’m not alone in this battle. Stories of friends changing majors left and right always reminded me of this lurking battle to figure out your ‘calling’, your ‘future’, your ‘destiny’, your whatever. My generation is buckling under the weight of the future.

I was 21 years old. I needed benefits. I needed a 9-5. I needed to build a career.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”  -Proverbs 19:21

I tried to build some 9-5 dream. I tried, but I failed. Why? Are 9-5’s bad? No, they aren’t. But for me, they weren’t in the plans right now.

I long to be a mother some day. Sometimes I dream of being called ‘mommy‘. I close my eyes when a kid yells ‘mommy,’ and I dream of what it will feel like when it’s the voice of my precious ones. I’m that girl that has an on-going collection of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books for my future children’s library that I imagine them having. I’m that girl that perks up and loses focus when a baby comes into the room. My Pinterest board for “the children of my future” is ridiculously full.

I know, shake your head, but I’m seriously that girl. It might not be your thing, but I don’t care. That’s why it’s my thing and not your thing. But what matters is that we find our ‘thing’.

One day, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember having talks with my mom, a successful business woman, about career choices. I considered a lot of options. Then I perfected my resume one more time. I realized that I didn’t want to be a bank teller or a personal assistant. My goal in life was not a successful 9 – 5, a specific career, or benefits. I felt like I was throwing my life away trying to pursue something that I wasn’t ever meant to pursue.

What I wanted was to be a mom. I was about to trade my passion in for other people’s dreams for me. I almost robbed myself of the joy that I now have.

I’m still at home. I’m still with family. Things still feel right. I’m still happy. And now, I have a little bit clearer picture of my ‘purpose’.

God intervened and opened doors for me to become a nanny to two of the cutest toddlers in the world. Seriously, they couldn’t be any more perfect for me.

I’m single, but I’m head over heels in love with a little 3-year-old boy. I’m an outdoorsy type girl, but this 4-year-old little girl has me memorizing Disney Princesses. I don’t have a college degree, but I’m getting the necessary training for my future occupation. I might not look like a picture perfect version of success, but I feel successful. I feel like a woman who is becoming a better version of herself.

At the end of the day, I still don’t know what I’ll be doing with my life in the next five or ten years, but I really hope that it might include a baby or two or twelve. But at the end of the day, those things don’t matter.

In the next five or ten years, I really just want to be someone who loves God and who looks to Him in the everyday moments. I just really want to be someone who is known not solely for her intelligence or her beauty or her riches or her fame, but for her love for God regardless of where He takes her.

I wish they would include “lover of God” as a career choice. Because even though some days I’m terrible at it, it’s what I was made to do.

So precious women, don’t give in to the pressure. Don’t rob yourself of joy trying to find happiness. Prestige is nothing if you don’t have passion.

Find that thing you were made to do and fall in love with the thought of doing it for the rest of your life.

You were made to love God and to love people.

Find your purpose and ‘destiny’ in that and watch Him bring definition and meaning to the rest of your life’s story.


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39 Responses

  1. Ella

    Gosh. Would it be a big deal if I printed this up and papered my walls with it? I think yes.
    Right now I'm at seventeen, a junior in high school, trying to decide what to do my future. I'm so tired of hearing "What about…" No.
    I really don't feel like college is a fit for my personality, but it is the safe decision and it's a given in our house. We do college like some families do sing-a-longs in the car. College seems so limiting to me, and I'm afraid it will water me down. My sister has changed courses five times in the last year, colleges twice, and it scares me because we're so alike. There are so many things I want to do. Thank you, Courtney, for saying that this is OK. I applaud you and this post.
    (Plus, I'm open to any womenly advice)

    June 27, 2012 at 6:28 am

    • Brooke

      I don't know you but reading your comment I wanted to share something with you that's taken me a while to learn. Your life is your life. You can do all the stuff that people advise you to do or you can do what you want to do, feel like you should do, what's going to make you happy. At the end of the day, you have to look yourself in the mirror and there's nothing worse than doing that and wondering what the heck you're doing with your life. One of the hardest things about becoming an adult is deciding to live your life for you rather than for your family. I'm not telling you to be disrespectful to your parents but to recognize that what they dream for your life may be different than what you dream for your life. And that may involve some serious and potentially painful conversations. But if you have those conversations, you'll probably be a lot happier in the long run.

      Don't know if this helps but I hope that God gives you wisdom as you begin making those major decisions.

      June 27, 2012 at 11:02 am

      • Melanie

        Wow, what great advice! I've 30 and still having a hard time with this. I have a very "people-pleaser" type personality and it is so hard to just do something for myself without worrying about what other people I love think about it.

        June 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

        • Brooke

          Thanks. I'm 25 and still learning this. Even with an incredibly supportive mom, I still find myself wondering what she thinks. Or what other people think for that matter. Every time I start to make a major decision I have remind myself of this. It normally doesn't make it easier but it helps me focus on what I actually want rather than what people or culture is telling me I want.

          June 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      • Ella

        Brooke this does help, it does. Thank you so much for your advice. Lately I've been asking that question, and praying about it, which is why I sense the Lord led me here. Maybe He is telling me, in that quiet nudge, "you don't have to feel guilty for dreaming about another path. These desires are not strange to Me."

        I started having one of those serious conversations today, with my mother. Gosh, she's supportive. Hesitant, but supportive. I just don't want to hurt her or my dad in the long run.

        Once again, Brooke, I really appreciate your response. Thank you.

        June 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    • Priscilla

      Ella, My oldest daughter is also 17 and a rising senior. She is college material but has NO IDEA what she wants to do. She is creative and has many passions but NO $ for college or direction for what to study when she figures out how to pay for it.
      Your generation is under extream pressure that we were not 20 short years ago.
      I would encourage you to take a break from school, buck the family system. Do missions, peace core, go on a road trip… whatever your passion is. Explore, travel, see things! You will NEVER have this opportunity as a young, single, foot loose and debt free time in your life to simply live. I have a friend who has a great saying, "You are a human being, not a human doing, so go & be!"

      June 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

      • Ella

        Honestly, reading your comment felt like my permission slip. I am also creative with many passions, but I don't know how to combine those passions in the future. I'm finally allowing myself to entertain the wild ideas I've had inside of me for years. What a thrill it would be to go after them. So many thanks for your advice, Priscilla, and give your daughter a squeeze and a cup of coffee from me- I know how hard it is, and how young she feels.
        (Great quote!)

        June 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    • Lauren

      Hi, Ella, I also feel your conflict about college. I am going into my sophomore year in college. Let me tell you, college is worth it. It will not water you down. You know why? There a hundreds of colleges to choose from and limitless programs and degrees. Think about it: they always tell us young people that there are jobs out there that haven't been invented yet.
      Yes, there is a lot of pressure to go to college, but there is also many more options to choose from degree-wise. Think about your three biggest passions in life. Ask God (if college is for you) if he could lead you to a certain school or program where you can follow those passions and make a life out of them!
      You certainly don't want to be limited by going to college, my advice is just to not give up on it before you try. Because on the practical side of things, you will most likely have more financial security as a young woman if you have some form of degree.

      June 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      • Ella

        Hey Lauren, thank you for understanding. I've looked into college, and I can honestly say that I've found a college that matches me, and a course degree that feels like a fit.
        But even as I write that, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I guess the biggest obstacle I'm facing is that I'm a missionary kid, and I'll have to move to the States to go to college. So, you see, it's not just a trial-and-error situation. There's too much money at stake to leave only to come back if it doesn't work out.
        I'm also afraid of putting my life on hold for four more years. I feel like I've been waiting so long for freedom from high school, I don't want to be pulled into another structure for a long time. I'm ready for life to start. I may have many misconceptions of college, so if you're finding it a completely different experience than what I just described, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks again, it's so good to hear the other side.

        June 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    • Ngaio May

      I feel you! My gosh figuring out what on earth to do after high school is so crazy!! There are so many options, so many opinions and some big decisions to be made!! I finished high school 2 years ago, and when it came to deciding, saying yes to this and no to other things I was an absolute mess. I felt that at 17/18 making, such a huge decision was too big, too much. But in the end, you figure it out. It's a rite of passage! You might have to just spend some time with God asking and listening. But please when you do start deciding DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU! No one else. You're the one who will live it out.

      In all honesty, follow your passions. I strongly believe God gave us gifts, passions and dreams for a reason. Like the main post says, they are GOOD! I ended up following my passion in Environmental Science and Geography and am now at university (in New Zealand, a little different to the States) but I love it. If you can follow your passions and they make you happy, then that's a pretty good sign you are heading for greatness!

      June 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      • Ella

        I am so thankful and humbled at your response. It's truly good to hear from someone who's recently gone through this and made it to the other side- decisions and all. I have this unearthed fear that I'm too young to make such a big decision. I thought I'd feel older by now.

        I have so many different passions but they never seem to intersect (art- particulary creative writing, modern slavery, children, and bakeries. Lots and lots of bakeries.) I know God will work it out, I'm trying not to worry, but there is a lot of silence. The kind of silence meaning it's my turn now, to make an action, to move. Thank you for your reply, I'm glad that you've found your niche!

        June 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

  2. This post is simply perfect. Thanks for putting your thoughts, Courtney, so beautifully into words. As a 29 year old woman, i'm basically in the same place as you, having discovered my true love as a mother's helper about 3 years ago, after 2 1/2 years in full-time Christian ministry. God is good, how He places "the lonely in families," not only with our own families, but as helpers of others. I have some friends who still have a hard time believing i am truly content and happy doing what i do, as a single woman. But, many more others who remind me so often how blessed i am to do what i do, have the opportunities i have, and to be able to love and serve and support precious families.
    So, thank you!

    June 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

  3. Priscillla

    Courtney, What a HUGE compliment to your Mom! Thank you for reminding us all that being a Mom (to your own blood or just a young life you are blessed enough to care over) is such an important job.

    June 27, 2012 at 11:43 am

  4. thehappilymarried

    This was so timely. Thank you, I really needed to hear this.

    June 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm

  5. not going to lie, halfway through this post i was like "oh dear God, is she going to say she quit everything and now she's just waiting around for 'prince charming' to make her a mom!??"

    so thankful i kept reading and you kept writing and moving forward!

    i love that you then found yourself in a role, a job, that allows you to play mom, prepare to be a mom, without waiting around for someone else. i wrote a blog post that is similar to this on my own blog. it's about singleness but mostly i'm trying to say you're exactly where you should/need to be for right now! dreams are funny like that in the sense that we want them so badly but we're not usually willing to wait for or work in unknown directions to attain them. i'm proud of you though. too many people do just sit around waiting for prince charming to make them a mom but i'm thrilled that you seem to be working towards it, not waiting for it!

    if you wish, you can read the post i mentioned here: http://www.alliespencerblog.com/2012/03/singeless

    June 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    • Linn

      I second Allie! I, being someone who has always just wanted to be a mom, have had to fight hard to not just give in to waiting around for that to happen. On the other hand, I ended up in the corporate world, which is exactly where I'm supposed to be. Don't get me wrong, I still long to be home with my future children, but at 32 and single and not really knowing if that will ever actually happen, spending too much time planning for it would have been very frustrating and painful. Instead I have the time and resources provided by my 9 to 5 to support my community, including plenty of children.

      So, I guess what I'm saying is that just because you want something doesn't necessarily mean you're getting it soon, and you shouldn't automatically brush anything aside.

      June 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm

  6. acp1004

    I really enjoyed this! It even had my favorite verse in it. I feel I can definitely relate…the past few months I've been struggling so, so hard with "what I'm supposed to do" now that I'm done with college. Deciding on a college is hard, but once you're out it seems even harder. It feels like God has been pretty silent on the matter, but I just keep applying to jobs, and keep praying that he'll show me the way.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:02 am

  7. itsjesss

    Wow. Thanks for this, Courtney. That was really spot-on. I'm 20, fresh out of college and about to start my first "real" job. I've been struggling lately with the path I've chosen to take and the many other things I want to do with my life. Your post encouraged me so much. Again, thank you!

    June 28, 2012 at 8:23 am

  8. Courtney.. this is beautiful!!
    I am so pleased that you have found this perfect fit of a job. How sweet!
    Life will have many twists and turns for you and you will look back and see how God stretched and grew you into the woman He desires. I did not find my fit or calling until my 40's, with the exception of becoming a mama… which is wonderful and ridiculously exhausting too.
    I love your line, Lover of God as a career choice. we should all desire to live like that.
    You are a wise young woman. Keep seeking Him and He will give you the desires of your heart….. and they will be good.
    Blessing sweet girl.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm

  9. I love this. It was always my plan to go to college, travel the world & maybe get married at 30. When I started listening to what God actually had planned for my life, it was: get married young, have a baby & still travel the world ;) It wasn't the most popular decision, and goodness knows people still think I'm crazy–but I couldn't have planned it more perfectly. God's plan is bigger than our own.

    June 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

  10. Oh, how I love this blog post :) Thank you so much, Courtney for writing it and Lauren for publishing it here on GoodWomenProject!! You ladies are the bets.

    July 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  11. Beautiful Ladies,

    Reading your comments have brought a smile to my face, tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
    thank you. thank YOU. THANK YOU!

    Each of you are in different seasons of life – some still young & some tasting the joys of years to come.
    I am tempted to respond to each of you, but my words fail. They really are adequate at times like this.

    I wanted to respond somehow to let you know that I have read your comments, I have heard your stories, & that I care.
    You are precious, precious gems & my heart overflows with sweet prayers for each of you.

    I leave you with this passage in Scripture: Luke 24:13-35.
    It's my favorite interaction that Jesus has with people in the Gospels.
    I pray that each of you would have your own "road to Emmaus" with our sweet Jesus.
    To me, it speaks of His gentle leadership, His willingness to reveal to us and His ability to consume us.

    There's a Chinese proverb that says, "the journey is the reward" & I hope that you grasp even a little bit of that.
    Regardless, I pray that He becomes a sweeter reality to you with each passing season of your life.

    Sweet blessings to each of you, ladies!

    Because He is worth it all,
    Courtney Fricke

    July 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm

  12. Wow, Courtney I feel like you’ve been reading my mind. I never planned to have a career, since about 9 years old I dreamed of having my own family. I went to uni because there was no prospects and chose early education because I thought it was a good fit to prepare for being a mum one day.

    I have a job in early education because my situation means I have to support myself. I’m now closer to 30 than 20 and still no closer to being married/a mum than I was 10 years ago. And I have been questioning if my desires really are from God.

    I believe they are from God, but living now is hard. I don’t think I should stop what I’m doing to prepare for a future that may not be Gods plan for a long time (or ever). Yet I am desperately unhappy where I am at the moment.
    Thanks for at least making me feel im not alone.

    July 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

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  14. SELB

    Wow, what an amazing article – thank you so much for sharing, it gave a 22 year old Honours University Student permission to breathe. Thank you.

    September 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

  15. Amanda W.

    Thank you SO MUCH. I went away to college 2 1/2 years ago, and it hit me while I was away that really, I just want to be a MOM. I'm only 20, and have never had a boyfriend, but I know in my soul that that is where I belong. Ever since, I've been feeling like I am all alone in that opinion. My Dad really wants me to get a degree and do something with my life, and while my mom is accepting, I think she is at a bit of a loss of what to do with me. I've made the decision to move back home and attend a college not far away (commuting), and I am 90% percent sure that I will be changing majors, from Wildlife Studies to Communications. It's a HUGE step, but one I think I am finally confident enough to take. Thank you, for letting me know that I am not alone. :) Also, Merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  16. BethP

    I live in the UK and I went off to university over 2 years ago to study maths, but I dropped out after the end of the first year. I remember feeling that I had to slow down and look at my life. I was so fed up of education, so I tried working, but after a year I returned home to my parents.

    I understand that feeling of pressure coming from the people around you. I've always had a bit of a rebellious nature and I've never been able to follow a crowd :) But I think my friends and parents are really wishing that I WOULD. I'm at college right now (not the same thing in the UK, college here is hard to explain, it's sort of in between school and uni). I'm feeling pressured to return to uni again, but I don't feel ready. The desire is no where to be found in my heart, and I talk to Jesus daily about it and I feel him telling me to trust the way in which he's leading me, even if it doesn't seem palatable to those around me.

    One thing I have learnt recently comes from Ecclesiastes 11:4-6:
    "Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
    whoever looks at the clouds will not reap…
    …Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
    for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well."

    When applied to the situation of not knowing what to do with your life, I think these verses are telling us not to over worry about the harvest before you've even planted the seed! It's easy to overthink the way your life might go if you make certain decisions, and if you do that, you'll get put off by the obstacles and you may never sow any seed ever again.

    So scatter your seed!! And let God worry about the harvest :)

    xxxx

    January 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

  17. kelseygoestoafrica

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your wisdom with us, sweet sister. Your insights and struggles resonated deeply with me as I read your article this morning. May God bless you and guide you as refuse to settle for happiness in the pursuit of joy!

    January 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

  18. Sophie

    Courtney,
    I completely agree that so often there is so much pressure to get a job and have a wordly successful life, which of course we don't have to conform to. But don't you think that your 'destiny' as you call it, or objective in life is to share Jesus with the world. I that not the command He gives us and is that not where we will find satisfaction in life?
    Yes, we may be so lucky as to be given the gift of motherhood, and be able to share Jesus with our children, and that would be fantastic. But maybe God won't give us that gift, and if not, then won't we just be dissatisfied? And wouldn't that be tragic, to be so gifted with everything God HAS given us, yet not be happy because he hadn't given us children.
    I am currently at university and not sure what to do with my life, I am about to change courses and who knows where that will take me. Yes I'd far rather be a mother than have career, I really would. But here right now God has given me such amazing opportunities to share Him with some amazing and wonderful people around me. It is amazing to see what He is doing in their lives, and reminds me everyday of the wonder of His grace.
    Maybe I'll get to get married and be a mother one day and that would be amazing, but maybe God hasn't got that planned for me, maybe He has different people for me to meet and share Him with, and I know that would so amazing too!!

    March 27, 2013 at 7:33 am

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    November 13, 2013 at 1:59 am

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  24. This is a really good post for the women who is getting out f their collage life and deciding to choose career best fit for their personality and nature of their education. this article is really helpful in knowing the reality of well human being.

    November 28, 2013 at 6:15 am

  25. This is really a great idea and a good guideline for a girl who just complete her study and came into market for a job best suitable to her choice and educational background but if she did not find the proper one she must try and wait for the right one.. I like the way you think . This is a good post for a women just completed her study.

    November 30, 2013 at 4:59 am

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  27. Sarah

    I just googled "I want to be a mom but I'm in college" and this popped up. I am so thankful that there are other people out there in the world like me! I feel completely alone in my thinking that I want to be a mom. I feel that this is my calling…it is God's plan for me. I have a boyfriend of 5 years, I am a junior in college studying business, and all I want to do is be a mom. I feel that going to college to get a degree as a "back up plan" is a good choice for me, but for goodness sake…NO ONE UNDERSTANDS THAT I DON'T WANT A CAREER. I am more than willing to get a job to make money in order to achieve my goal of becoming an at-home-mom. But seriously, at this point in my life, it seems so far off. I can't put "I want to be a mom" on a resume. I'm all for women in the workplace, but I truly don't believe it's for me. I pray and pray and pray that I can be an at-home-mom….that God will bless me and my future husband with what we need for me to be what I want to be. Thank you for the post. It truly is encouraging. God bless.

    February 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm

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