I am the mother of an eleven-year-old son, who is adorable. I work, I study in the university, and I have a husband I must care for. I feel very divided and don’t get to concentrate on what I really want. I am obligated to work because of economic need, but I don’t like my job. I do my best in my studies, but I haven’t been able to graduate yet because of the lack of time. And I consider myself a bad mom because I feel that my son needs more of me. Even though I don’t overlook anything, the amount of time that I have left for him is not much.

Dear Friend,

Almost every mother who learns of your story will be able to identify with your situation. I have often joked that another word for mother is “guilt” because most mothers feel some guilt about their children. Good moms know that there is usually something more that could be done for the children’s well-being. There’s always another shirt to iron, dish to wash, or book to read with them. So just because you feel guilty does not mean that you are not a good mother.

There were a few years when I felt just as you do. I worked full time, studied at the university to be a marriage and family counselor, and had children and a husband. I never got everything done, and I always felt guilty about something.

From that experience I learned that there are seasons to our lives. Mothers who must work outside the home may have to slow down their studies until the children are older. Your son is eleven now, and in just seven short years he will no longer need you to spend so much time with him. He won’t need help with his homework, and he’ll be able to help around the house so that you can study. Seven years may seem like a long time, but it will pass much more quickly than you can imagine.

If you have no other options, you may have to keep doing a job that you do not like for those seven years. It will help if you focus on the good aspects of the work rather than the parts you do not like. Changing the way that you think about the job will very likely make it more tolerable.

The Teacher of the book of Ecclesiastes wrote that there is a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them.(1) When you do things for others, you are scattering stones. When you invest time and effort into your son’s needs, you are scattering stones. In a few years you will be able to gather stones. That is when you can put time and effort into your studies. You will be able to invest in your future then.

If you pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s Son, He will give you the strength you need to work each day and spend as much time as possible with your son. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”(2)

You can do it,

1 Ecc 3:5
2 Php 4:13