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By Sabrina O'Malone / Tyndale House

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A Conversation with Mary Larmoyeux

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

This conversation addresses one of our most sensitive subjects: What if you don't want to be a working mom anymore and would rather stay home? Mary Larmoyeux, co-author of There's No Place Like Home lends her expertise to Working Mom™

E-mail to order an author-signed copy of
My Heart's at Home
or There's No Place Like Home
($12.99 each). Limited quantities available.

•  Tell us about your experience as a working mom.

As a working mom, I did not model contentment. I would often complain to my husband (nag would be a more descriptive word) how I wanted to quit work and stay home with the kids. Today, I believe I was very wrong in doing this. God calls us to be content. Philippians 4:11 tells us ". I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

God knows our hearts and He is sovereign. Regardless of our situations in life, I believe we are called to glorify God in everything we do. Complaining, (even if it is just to our husbands or loved ones) does not glorify God and does not esteem our spouses.

Although the decision to work outside the home is a personal one, God calls us, as women, to love our husbands and to nurture our families. Whether we work outside the home or just work in the home, the question is, "Where is our heart"?

When my husband, Jim, and I married, we thought I would stay at home with our children; however, we never made a real plan for this. Our first child, Chris, was born two months prematurely and I found myself working nine months after his birth to make ends meet. In my book, There's No Place Like Home, I share how a decision to purchase a second car began decades of working for me.

As a working mom, I realized "Super-woman" just does not exist. Knowing my heart was really at home, Jim and I did make decisions to maximize my time there. When our children were small, we hired someone to clean the house. I also arranged some creative working hours. I was a schoolteacher and then had a job with flexible hours. For many years I worked from 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. so I could be home with the kids after school.

I coauthored this book with Ethan Pope because I wanted to help moms who were like me-wanting to stay home with their children but not sure how to make this happen financially.

  1. What advice do you have for working moms who wish to leave the workforce?

First, know why you want to stay home. Is this a desire or a conviction? Prayerfully ask God to help you develop financial "PLANS" to enable you to stay home.

P (prepare spiritually),

L (list your priorities),

A (analyze finances),

N (negotiate solutions),

S (start using a money allocation plan).

I have seen many women quit work to stay home (and I did this myself), only to find themselves back in the workforce several months later. Developing a successful plan for Mom to stay home will require some work. But the result will be something which can actually keep her home.

I suggest you read There's No Place Like Home. In it, Ethan Pope describes so well the differences of a thought, dream, desire, and conviction.

•  What is the best use of the lag time between making the decision to stay at home and actually leaving the job? Specifically, what steps can be taken to avoid short-changing your employer or your family during a transition that could take years?

It's fun to look forward to holidays, vacations, and special events. Likewise, while Mom is transitioning from the workforce, it would be good for her to start planning for life at home with the kids. She might want to consider questions such as: What community activities are available? (There are often storytellers at public libraries, art programs, museums to visit, etc.) How much involvement will I want to have with the children's school? Do I want to homeschool the children? Etc.

Of course, it's a good idea for Mom and Dad to ask God to show them practical ways for Mom to make the transition home. There's No Place Like Home has many testimonies of God's provision to women who made the decision to stay at home.

In There's No Place Like Home Ethan Pope and I suggest a family live on one income for at least six months before she turns in her resignation.

Finally, whether at home or at work, God calls us to do our best for His glory. So, even if Mom is making plans to come home, she must remember her commitment to do her job with excellence.

•  Why did you write There's No Place Like Home?

There's No Place Like Home is written to a specific woman-one who has already made the decision to leave the workforce. It was written to encourage her through stories of mothers who transitioned from work to home, and also to help her develop a financial plan to make this possible.

I often felt convicted to stay at home with my children but I did not know how to make this happen. Talking with women, I realized many were just like me. Their hearts were at home, even though they spent much of their day at work. But, like me, they did not know how to get home.

•  Is there a question you always wish someone would ask in an interview, but no one ever gets around to? Respond to that question now.

"What do I do with any regrets about not staying home with my kids?"

Give any regrets to God. I love the saying, Yesterday is gone, and the future isn't here. All we have is the present. And today, the "present" is God's gift to us. When we focus on the past or the future, it's easy for us to forget that the decisions made today affect tomorrow.

The Bible tells us "all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). If we trust God and His purposes for our lives, then He will work even our mistakes for good. This is not based on feelings, but on fact. I believe we will find true contentment in life when we rest on the fact that God is sovereign in all things . He does work everything for our good if we truly love Him and want to follow His purpose for our lives.

Mary Larmoyeux is the author of My Heart's at Home and co-author of There's No Place Like Home . She is a writer, speaker, and conference leader. She and her husband, Jim, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have two grown sons.

E-mail to order an author-signed copy of
My Heart's at Home
or There's No Place Like Home
($12.99 each). Limited quantities available.

 

 

 
       
 

 

 

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