Earlier this week, I was privileged to give a talk on “Effective Parenting” to a small group of parents who work at a call center. It was the first “corporate” talk I gave after birthing Titus, and — by God’s grace — I was able to speak while wearing/carrying/breastfeeding him at the same time!
During my talk, I asked the parents present to share some of their challenges when it comes to raising their kids. The majority of them said it was time — how to balance everything and give quality time to their kids even if their work schedules are so erratic and “strange.” I was reminded of how hard it must be to be a parent who works strange hours.
When most of your fellow parents are asleep, you’re working, doing your best to provide for your kids. When you come home from work, all you want to do is rest and sleep, but you can’t because you have your children to think of and spend time with. What a tough life it must be indeed!
So that’s why I’m writing this: whether you work at a call center, or a hospital, or a 24/7 convenience store or restaurant, or in the armed forces — whatever the case may be — this one is for YOU, my dear fellow parent who works at strange hours (because we work-at-home moms often work at the strangest hours too)!
Dear parent who works at strange hours,
You may not know me but I just feel called to reach out to you.
I know you must be tired right now. I know you must be wishing that you could have more rest, have more time for your kid (or kids, if you have more than one), and have more time for your self.
I know it is hard. Life can be hard. You know that.
But I just want to write this short note to you, in hopes that it will encourage you and bless you.
You can do this. Yes, you can.
This providing for your kid(s). This working at the strangest hours and coming home and being present for your kid(s) — fully present, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
This commuting to and from work, dealing with traffic, dealing with work issues, dealing with dirty dishes, dealing with the challenges that come with having children.
You can do this. Yes, you can.
You know why? Because HE can.
Say this to yourself right now:
“I have the strength for everything through Him who empowers me.”
Let Philippians 4:13 be your battle cry.
You can do this because God can do it for you.
You don’t need to be strong all the time.
Let Him be your Strength.
Let Him be your Guide.
Seek Him. Run to Him.
Ask Him to be there for your kid(s) when you can’t.
Ask Him to give you rest when you can’t.
Ask Him to help you keep it together, even when you feel like everything’s falling apart.
Ask Him for the grace to just.show.up. Every single day. Because showing up is already winning half the battle.
Ask Him to help your kid(s) understand why you do what you do.
Ask Him to open doors and windows for you and your kid(s) — maybe even give you another job opportunity, if that’s what He thinks is better for you.
Ask Him to help you be joyful at all times, even in a stressful environment.
Most of all, ask Him to stay in your heart, to fill it to overflowing, so that you may pour out His love to others — especially your kid(s).
You have my prayers (and my respect!).
God bless you and your family!
Are you a parent who works strange hours? Or maybe you know someone who is? Please feel free to share this with them, if you think it will be of help! Let’s pray for one another!