by Leah Martorana
Proverbs 4:25 “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
It’s no secret I’ve been wrestling with whether or not I should stay home full time since before my son, Max, was even born. I was familiar with the moms returning from maternity leave. I saw their internal struggle as they sat in my office and filled out paperwork on their first day back. We would have casual conversation as if this would call less attention to the fact this was the day they had been dreading for three months. Don’t get me wrong. Many of these moms were successful women who had dreamed of being attorneys from the time they were little girls. The problem was, they had also dreamed of being moms since they were little girls. How were they to balance it all? Finances aside, why did they feel they were expected to balance it all?
For the first six months after Max was born, I tried to answer these questions for myself while I tried my best to make “balance” happen by splitting my time between work and home. Things were “under control” for awhile. Groceries? Check. Bedtime routine? Check. Dinner schedule? Check. Budget? Check. House cleaning? Check. Babysitter? Check. Work responsibilities? Check. The core of the problem was that at the end of the day I had no energy to devote to the people I was checking things off for. Wasn’t the purpose of being home to soak up time with my little one? To learn about being the best mom and wife I could be?
My husband, Mark, and I talked about this a lot. I prayed. We prayed. He prayed. After all that I still didn’t feel like I had a clear answer. One night my sweet husband sat down with me and said, “Leah, walk me through your reasons for wanting to stay at work.” I listed them off one by one.
1) I’m afraid you won’t be as proud of me if I am at home.
2) I’m worried I won’t feel fulfilled.
3) I’ll miss my friends.
4) I don’t want people to say I couldn’t do it.
5) What if we can’t make the budget work?
With each reason I listed it became more clear. Mark looked and me and said what I knew deep down, “None of those reasons are of God.” He was right. The things that kept me hanging on were fear, pride and worry. Things God wanted me to be free of!
So last October I decided to break up with my job. I cut the cord, ripped off the band-aid and didn’t look back. Things are much different, but now I know that different is okay. Actually, different is great! I’m seeing God in brand new ways because our new reality demands more trust. The more I trust, the more freedom I receive. Sometimes getting by just seems impossible. And then, it happens….God comes through in the way only He can and I am free to focus.
“Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
Leah Martorana has been married to her husband, Mark, for 4 years and is enjoying her new role as mommy to 1 year old, Maxwell. She is the co-leader of Beautiful Moms at Grace Family Church. Leah enjoys anything creative, from cooking to crafting.