Should women work?
I get asked all the time about my thoughts on whether women should be in the workplace or at home with their families. I am extraordinarily unequipped to answer this question, yet I get it frequently. I think it’s because (especially in the Catholic women’s space) there’s a constant conversation going on: Should I be at home? Or should I be at work? Is it the “right” thing to pursue a career and chase my dreams, or should I be preparing to stay home with my future kids?
These are questions that I’m pretty sure every single woman thinks about and agonizes over at some point. It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I was 12 years old. I myself have a deep desire to get married, have kids, and be very present to them as they grow up, but I don’t know yet what that looks like… Because I’m not there. God is not asking me to make that decision right now. I can create countless little fantasies and hypothetical situations in my mind, but ultimately none of those will hold a candle to the decisions that will need to be made when I reach that point in my life. When I get stuck in these questions, I’m running into the future, and creating anxieties that are not mine to hold. And if you’re asking these questions, you may be doing the same thing too.
When I get overwhelmed and stuck in these questions, I find peace in focusing on what God is asking me to do today. When I felt a draw to attend business school, I applied. I wasn’t sure if it was what He wanted for me, but I received a generous scholarship, and my heart began to leap with excitement at the idea of moving to New York for school. I trusted this inspiration and the open door, and I went. Business school was one of the most impactful and formative experiences of my life, and I know that God was doing something really big in that. Does it mean He wants me to be a CEO of a massive corporation? I don’t know. Maybe? But the point is that at that moment in time, it was the right decision for me.
After school, I felt a pull to apply for consulting firms in DC. I went through the very intense application and interview process and was blessed to receive a handful of offers from great companies in DC. It was another open door, and I was excited to walk through it! But at the same time, I had people around me asking, “Do you think this is the right thing to do? What about your family? Do you really want to be climbing the corporate ladder?”
These were good questions, asked by people who loved me: but the reality is that we can only focus on making the next right decision. I know that God has led me here and will continue to lead me wherever He wants me to go. I hold my career with open hands, trusting that He is taking care of me and that I can trust Him to prepare me for what is next.
Let me be really clear: I do think that it’s important and prudent to think about the life you want in the future. I think often about the kind of work I would like to do one day when I (God willing!) have kids. I’d love to pursue work that is more flexible and enables me to be at home. But I also know that God will give me grace at that moment to make the right decision when the time comes. Right now, my biggest goal is to get to know the character of God and to build my relationship with Him so that when those decisions do come, I will have strong muscles of obedience, attentiveness, and prayer to follow His will.
So back to the question at the top: should women work? Or should they be at home? Each one of us has different gifts, and God has a unique plan for each of our lives. If I were to sit here and tell you the right thing to do in your situation, I would be speaking only from my experience, my opinions, and my own aspirations. And so if this is a question that is on your heart, or maybe something that you and your significant other are discussing, I would encourage you to turn to God to ask Him what will most glorify Him right now.
It probably won’t look like the person next to you, or like the Instagram influencer who is telling you that if you don’t choose her same choice, you’re a bad Catholic. I don’t know what my own life will look like; I’ve seen friends who are super career-oriented joyfully release their jobs to raise their families. I’ve also seen friends who wanted to be mothers their whole lives realize that they needed to be doing something outside of the home to be the best for their kids.
I cannot pretend to know what God is calling you (or me) to, but I do know that it is good, because in His infinite wisdom, He always guides, and He always provides. One thing I do know for sure though is that living in the anxiety of wondering what you’re supposed to do in the future is not of Him. Instead, I encourage you to join me and just choose the next right step. Trust that God is using every step forward, every act of faith, every moment of obedience, and every act of trust to prepare you and your heart for whatever He has for you. Please know my prayers, and pray for me!
What we’re loving lately:
Ep. 88 | Let’s talk about breakups
- This one has been in the cooker for a while, and I was so glad to have my bff Erica Carnohan join me for a wide-ranging conversation about surviving a breakup. We covered all sorts of topics, including how you know when it’s time to end a relationship, how to choose virtue and lean on God in healing, getting “through” and not “over” a breakup, and finding great joy in the midst of a pretty un-fun time. If you’re going through it at the moment, please know of our prayers, and also know that God has SO much more for you ahead! We hope that this episode gives you a bit of encouragement! Tune in here on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!
- I went to the Lauren Daigle concert on Saturday with some friends and it was AMAZING! She’s from Louisiana and had a whole brass band… it was the absolute best time. I highly recommend catching her if she’s coming through your city.
Reminder: Join our virtual Fall Book Club! He Leadeth Me
- We’re officially doing it: a SundayMonday book club!! We’ll be doing two Zoom book discussions (in person if you’re in the DC area!) on November 12 (ch. 1-10) and December 10 (ch.11-end!)! Please get the book and sign up here if you haven’t yet!
The fall is here yay!
- I get positively giddy when the fall leaves change. I hope you’re getting some color wherever you are, but I’m happy to share my little neighborhood:
- For the SundayMonday community!
If you or a loved one need prayers, just reply to this email or reach out and I’ll include them in next week’s newsletter!
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Some snaps from the Malvern Retreat Center- so beautiful!
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.