Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When Working From Home Isn't Working Out

More and more moms are choosing to either work from home or start home based businesses, and while they each have their own reasons for doing so, most have one thing in common: they want to be with their children and spend more time with their families.

A Christian mom may feel an even larger responsibility to be with her children on a daily basis. It’s easier to teach our children about God’s love for them when we are with them all day, every day.

But what can a work-at-home-mom do when working from home isn’t working out?
Perhaps a home business idea didn’t take off and a business mom thinks about returning to her old job to pay off some bills. Maybe a telecommuting job is ending and another one isn’t on the horizon. Sometimes the desire for a larger home, a family vacation, or the loss of the husband’s income can lead a work-at-home mom to wonder if it’s time for her to work outside the home again.

It’s a difficult decision to make, frequently fraught with feelings of failure, sadness, and wondering where you went wrong. A Christian WAHM who prays regularly for her business’s success may even question why God didn’t just make things easier for her.

At least, that was how I felt when faced with this decision two years ago. My husband had been hospitalized for several months, his paycheck had been cut back and our expenses had increased. My revenue from my new home business simply wasn’t enough to make up the shortfall.

At first, returning to work seemed my only option, but after spending many hours in prayer and discussing options with my husband and others whom I trusted, I believed God wanted me to stay home with our children and trust Him to meet our material needs.

Rebekkah Kogelschatz of Smart Moms-Smart Business, LLC,, recently faced this same decision when her husband’s health problems increased his time away from work. For Kogelschatz, though, returning to work was the right answer. It has been a difficult decision, but she says, "You truly have to look at your overall picture, pray, and have faith that God will lead you to the right answer."

For anyone who feels pressured to return to an outside job, it’s important to remember that God hasn’t forgotten about you, your family, or your business. Here are some steps you can take to find God’s purpose for this time.

Pray. Are you thinking of returning to work because of social pressures, or is it truly God’s idea?
Kogelschatz and her husband both "prayed for discernment, trying not to see only the financial aspects of returning to work, which would definitely improve, but also looking at how it would affect our children and our household."

During my own husband’s illness, the growing pile of bills seemed to scream that it was time for me to go back to work. But when I asked God what He thought, I strongly felt that He wanted me to stay home and trust Him, despite how things appeared.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure it’s God’s plan and not your own.
Trust. If you have sincerely sought God’s plan for your business, you can trust that God will protect and provide for you and your family. Though not always pleasant, and not always in the way I wished He would have helped us, God did provide for my family during my husband’s illness.

As a teacher looking for a job in late summer, Kogelschatz expected to find the bottom of the barrel in teaching positions, but she believes God prepared the way for her return. "There was a great resource position available that I applied for and I got it," Kogelschatz says. "It was the perfect position for the other events that are happening in my life… God provided the right position at the right time."

Work. A return to the outside workforce does not necessarily mean the end of your home business. Continue to work on building your business when you can. Kogelschatz works many evenings on developing her websites, posting on her blogs, and chatting on forums. "When I used to work 20-30 hours a week on building the websites, I know have to balance my time with my family time and do as much as I can when I get the opportunity." She plans to return to her home based internet business full time and is using this year to build foundations that will help her earn an at-home income equivalent to her teaching salary. Kogelschatz has some encouraging words for moms who, like her, return to working outside the home for a time:

"If you have to go back to work, plan your time so your family and your home based business do not suffer, but don’t feel like you have to spend all night and the weekends working on your home based business. It may not move at the speed it would if you were home, but it will move ahead." She adds, "I am truly at peace with our decision, even though I still miss being the one with my children each day."

‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’Jeremiah 29:11

Denise Willms is co-owner of, publisher of WAHM-Articles Ezine, and a ghostwriter for WAHMs who don’t like to write. She is author of the free eBook, Uncovering the Secrets of WAHM Article Marketing and A 30-Day Prayer Guide for Work-at-Home-Moms, scheduled for release in 2007. For more information, please visit or email .

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