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Discovering Your New Identity as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Discovering Your New Identity as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Author Jen Babakhan offers encouragement to stay-at-home moms and women who are considering leaving the workplace to take on this role as she shares lessons she's learned from her own transition which have shown her why this is one of the best decisions her family has made.
Original Air Date: September 23, 2021

Teaser:

Woman #1: I went back to work for 2 months after my daughter was born and I quit because I couldn’t stand being away from my baby.

Woman #2: I was very determined to stay at home with my children because my mom had died when I was 3.

Woman #3: My husband and I always agreed that I would work, and I also had the benefit of my in-laws both being retired and agreed to watch my children.

Woman #4:  From our first child I was at home, worked from home, as well as home-schooled them.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Well, it might be that you’ve been through that kind of decision. And, uh, it’s not easy to make. Today on Focus on the Family, we’re gonna be exploring the life of a stay-at-home mom and some of the challenges they face your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I have such great respect for the women that have been closest to me, my mom, and then my wife, of course, and watching how they gave up, you know, the things that they were pursuing for their kids.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And I know most women have this struggle. And today, we’re gonna talk about that, that idea that, uh, you need to make a decision. And I know roles are all over the place in the culture today, where some men are choosing to stay home, too. And, I mean, that’s good, but there’s nothing like a mom being at home. Uh, there’s just such tenderness, and kindness, and gentleness that comes from mom. And I so appreciated the times that my mom, who was a hardworking single parent was able to be home with me. It just gave me so much of a good feeling.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And then watching Jean is a, you know, a biology major and then, and making a decision to hang up that career and be home with our two sons. It was awesome. And when you look at it, uh, man, you really need to understand, um, how important that role is. I know it’s underappreciated, like you said, but, man, raising the next generation, there’s nothing more important in my mind. And we’re gonna discover that today.

John: Yeah. We’ll hear from a guest who knows the joys and struggles of motherhood all too well. Jen Babakhan is with us. And, uh, she is still in the trenches of that, uh, that experience of being a stay-at-home mom with two young boys. And she’s written a great deal about, uh, the transition, the challenges, uh, going from career professional to stay-at-home mom, uh, in book, Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey from Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom. And you can get your copy at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Jen, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Jen Babakhan: Thank you so much. I’m, I’m excited to be here.

Jim: I’m thrilled for you to be here, too. This is a big topic. I mean, I think when women write, or email, or contact us by phone, this is one of the topics that is often raised. What should I do now? My husband and I have become dependent on two incomes, et cetera. We’re having our first child. What’s your best recommendation? It’s a bit (laughs) intimidating, right?

Jen: (laughs)

Jim: Because everybody’s story is a bit unique. Uh, l-let’s start by explaining how you never intended to be the at stay-at-home mom. I don’t even know what the politically correct statement is anymore. (laughs)

Jen: (laughs)

Jim: Work-at-home mom, stay-at-home mom. I mean, moms are busy when they decide to, uh, be home with their kids, there’s a lot going on. But you didn’t intend for that. What happened?

Jen: Absolutely. So I was a third grade teacher at the time and-

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: …absolutely loved my career. I worked really hard to get there. And, um, you know, teaching is a profession, but you know, it’s also kind of a lifestyle. It, it, you know, you incorporate it into so many aspects of your life. And so I had every intention of going back to work after my maternity leave. Um, you know, I told the parents of my students that I would be back. Uh, but what happened was that when I gave birth to my first son, um, I realized very, very quickly within hours of giving birth to him, that I just could not leave him. It was this, just this whisper in my soul of, “I cannot go back to work. I can’t leave him.” Um-

Jim: Let me, let me ask you about that-

Jen: Okay.

Jim: …before you finish the answer. Because I think that’s so amazing. I, that is a pull, that is a tug, there’s something beautifully simple and natural about that, but why do so many women struggle with that sense of, you know, this becomes my number one priority?

Jen: Right. You know, it, it is a struggle because, in an instant, your life changes. You know, you were pregnant and then now you’re a mom, and you’ve got this baby in your arms and, and everything, my, my priorities, everything shifted. Um, and so I think it just becomes so real when you’ve got that little person in your arms that suddenly there’s this, this struggle of what do I do? I have these, this old life, this old set of priorities. And, and now I’ve got this brand new life ahead of me and before me. And especially if you were used to, depending on two incomes, that struggle internally becomes really incredibly difficult to navigate.

Jim: Would you say that as you battled through that and you considering it, did you vacillate? I mean, you’re looking at a tighter budget, and then you’re looking at the good things that are going on. The fact that you’re home, you’re able to make that physical, emotional, spiritual contact with your child. I mean, those are really important things.

Jen: Absolutely. And so, for me, the, the vacillation was real. I mean, I went back and forth, uh, for the first, probably, two to three months of his life. I didn’t know what to do. Although I felt that God was really, really calling me to be home, but I was fighting against it because I had worked so hard for my career and I thought I should go back to work. It’s those shoulds that get you, right?

Jim: Right.

Jen: I should go back to work. I have all these students that I’m responsible for. I promised them I would be back. But internally, I just knew God was calling me to be home. And then when my son was about three months old, he developed a really severe dairy protein, uh, sensitivity. And I knew in that moment that I could not allow any other childcare worker to be responsible for feeding him because he had to be on, um, a very strict hypoallergenic formula. And so that really drove it home for me, that I had to stay home. And we had to make it work financially, somehow. At that point, it wasn’t really a question. That doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle with it still, because I, I really did, but I knew in no uncertain terms that, that God was calling me home.

Jim: Yeah. And I think the summary of that is go with that sense that God’s giving you.

Jen: Yes.

Jim: That this is really critical important. And that’s what I took away from your book in that regard. Let’s move forward a couple of years, two, three years. You, (laughs) you have a great story about fighting with your, uh, toddler then.

Jen: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And I think, uh, this battle between staying at home or going to the park, what happened?

Jen: Yes. So, um, I was hoping to get ca- uh, Bryce in the car to go to the park. and I was going to take him to a local park that was absolutely beautiful, you know, huge trees and, and a lovely place structure. And so it was a warm summer day. And I had him in the car. And I told him were gonna go to the park. And he started, uh, screaming and stomping his feet into the car seat and, you know, digging his heels in. Every mom knows. You know, there’s that moment where you’re trying to get your kid in the car seat and he, you couldn’t get him to sit down. He was arching his back.

Jim: (laughs).

Jen: You know? And, and he kept screaming kwart, kwart, kwart you know. And, and I realized at that time that he wanted to stay home and he wanted to be in our backyard where the grass was, because that is what he knew to be fun.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jen: Right? And so I was trying to convince him, “We’re going to the park. It has big trees. It has a big slide. It has swings. You know, we wanna go to the park.” And he fought the entire time. And the more he fought with me on it, the more frustrated I got. And, um, and it was, like I said, a hot summer day. So we’re both sweating, you know? And I’m just like, “I just wanna go to the park.” Because I needed it too.

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: I needed-

Jim: A little more open space.

Jen: Yes. I needed a break from being within our four walls, you know? And, um, and in that moment, when he was fighting me and I was getting so frustrated, I heard the Lord speak to my heart, “You are acting no differently than your son.”

Jim: (laughs).

Jen: And it stopped me in my tracks. I mean, I stopped even trying to get him in the car seat. I just stopped. And if you’ve ever had, you know, the Holy Spirit speak to you that way, then you know, you know that, okay, this is a time that I need to listen. And he just told me, “You are having a tantrum, just like your son is, about giving up your career. You know, I am trying to take you to a place that is beautiful, but you only want what you know, just like he only wants what he knows.”

Jim: Well, that’s good.

Jen: He wants the backyard. You want what you know, you want your career. Because I just continued to try to find the loophole in God’s plan. I just kept trying to find, okay, can I work from home? Can I work part-time. I kept trying to find all of these different ways to hang onto that identity, um, that I had misplaced, you know, my true worth in, uh, for so long.

Jim: You know, and it’s important that struggle’s real. And I, you know, one person’s solution may not be another person’s solution. So we’re not trying to be prescriptive today. We’re just trying to give you some perspective on how Jen faced her situation with her husband, Ed, and how they resolved it. And I, I think it’s very informative. So that’s the key here. Uh, I do want to touch on that identity comment that you made. You talk in the book about the importance of, of knowing your true identity. We talk about that a lot in this culture. And, you know, a lot of people are divided by their identity.

Jen: Yeah.

Jim: So what do you mean by momhood identity? Why is that? And what is it?

Jen: Um, you know, what I really think happens a lot for moms is that, you know, you have this baby and your life becomes all about the baby. You know, you’re taking care of the baby, you’re feeding the baby, you’re changing the baby. Your life is on their time schedule.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: Everything is wrapped up into your brand new child. And so I think when it comes to identity, for me, the struggle was that previously I had really found my identity in my job. I really, you know, equated my work with my worth. And so I really feel like God just took me through this time of separating those two things. You know, what I did was not who I was.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jen: And who I was, was a daughter of the king. And so it was a really, really difficult journey that he took me on, but it was a necessary one. And so when I finally extracted my worth from what I did, and instead placed it in Christ fully. You know, I’ve been a Christian for many, many years, I’ve had a relationship with Christ for many, many years, but it was really a time of breaking down of Jesus just saying, “Look, you know, that’s what you did. Who you are is mine.”

Jim: Right.

Jen: You know, that’s what matters. And so I, I really encourage moms to, to realize that their worth and their identity is in, in Christ and God, and, and not in what they do.

Jim: Yeah. That’s so good. And that applies to everybody. That’s not a mom issue only. That is a mom issue, but it’s a dad issue. It’s an everybody issue.

Jen: Right.

Jim: Who are you in Christ.

Jen: Yes.

Jim: And then moving from there. Uh, Jen, let me ask you, you had a funny story about being at a supermarket. I talked to my wife, Jean, as I was reading through the book and looking at the prep this morning about this, and we were laughing having our coffee.

Jen: (laughs)

Jim: This befriending of this supermarket checkout person.

Jen: Hmm.

Jim: I asked Jean, did you have an example like that? She goes, oh yeah, yeah. I mean, I was trying to find a friend anywhere I could find it to have an adult conversation. (laughs)

Jen: Yes.

Jim: But tell us about your checkout experience.

Jen: Yes. So I, at the out point in time, you know, I had turned in my resignation letter. I had, uh, I was only seeing my friends that I used to teach with, you know, during Christmas break, or Easter break, or whatever. Um, I really had no friends that were stay-at-home moms.

Jim: You were immersed in, in googoo and gaga?

Jen: Yeah. That was it. I had no-

Jim: And everything in between?

Jen: Yeah. You know, my husband would come home and, and I’d be like, to talk to me and you know, (laughs) he’s, he’s been in meetings all day, right?

Jim: He’s talked out.

Jen: So he’s talked out.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: And so, you know, one, one day it was, I think it was during Christmas time, um, I was going to make, um, some cake balls. I have this recipe that I make every year.

Jim: (laughs) That’s funny.

Jen: And, and they take forever to make. And so I had all the ingredients for cake balls, um, on the conveyor belt at the grocery store. And I in the line for the checker that, you know, she and I had had some conversations, um, previously, and she had this great sarcastic sense of humor, which I have, too. And so I’ve just always thought, you know, gosh, we would be the best of friends, you know. And so-

Jim: (laughs) Please, please.

Jen: Yeah. You know, we would be such good friends. And so as she’s checking through my items, she, um, she says, “Oh, what are you making?” And I said, “Oh, I’m making cake balls.” You know? So then what, how do you make those? And so, you know, I’m, I’m telling her I’m going through the steps of how to make them.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: She says, “oh, you know, I’m gonna buy this stuff after I get off work and I’m gonna make them, too.” And I thought, “Well, this is my in. I’m gonna…” I said, “let me give you my phone number. And if you run into any issues, you just call me and I will walk you through the cake ball steps.” You know?

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: And she says, “Oh, okay.” So I pull out this crumpled receipt and write my number on it. And I leave. And as I’m in, you know, walking through the parking lot, it just like sets over me that I just did a really, really desperate thing. You know, (laughs) I’m like-

Jim: (laughs) What did I do to do?

Jen: I’m like, “This is a new low, even for you, Jen.” Like, this is, this is sad.

Jim: The cake ball fanatic.

Jen: Yeah. The cake ball fanatic that’s trying to make friends with this woman who clearly is just doing her job and I’m over here, like, you know, be my BFF.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: Um, so it was, it was really one of those moments where I thought, okay, I have got to find and some friends so I’m not just, you know, reaching out to strangers and, and-

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: You know? Uh, but it’s so important for moms to have friends.

Jim: Well, that, and that’s the next question? Why is it so important? And what’s a healthy way to go about doing that. (laughs)

Jen: Yeah. You know, um, it’s so important because you need to have an outlet that, that isn’t your children and isn’t your husband. You know, you need to have other moms that are in the trenches, that get it, that understand what it’s like to have a toddler that’s tantruming while a newborn is crying. You know, you need to have kind of that community around you. Now, as I say that, I wanna be very, very clear that that’s not always the easiest thing to, to do. It’s much easier to sit home and just think, you know, what is too scary to try to put yourself out there. And, um, you know, it’s easier to just sit and scroll on Instagram all day than, than go out and, and make friends. Um, but what I found personally for me was that, you know, although social media can get a bad rap, it’s also a place where you can find community. I, um, had a group of moms on group on Facebook that, um, our babies were all born the same month. And so we, um, had community that way, just online, um-

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: …you know, chatting with each other. And, um, you know, finding friends where you can, you know, through a Bible study or even, you know, just… Even if, if your friends live far away, I think text messages and phone calls and the FaceTime and all of that can do wonders.

Jim: Yeah. And I, I would just say to husbands, if you want a good marriage, I would encourage you to take the kids on a Saturday night, let your wife go out and be with her girlfriends. And be happy about it.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Don’t complain and don’t, you know, put up all the negative stuff that you had to deal with, with her being outta the house for a few hours. But what a great relief and what a great way to encourage your wife to have those friends outside the home. And let her have some adult time is the point.

Jen: Absolutely. You know, Ed has always been so wonderful with that. He was, you know, truthfully the one pushing me out of the house.

Jim: That’s great.

Jen: He’s like, “You need to go. You need to spend some time.” Um, you know, and so… I mean, because I was in a really, really sad place, I mean, I have to be honest. And, and so he would come home from work and I would just cry. “I don’t even know what to do.” You know?

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: And, and he, he, you know, got out his phone and he said, “Let me look at my calendar. We’re gonna find one wee- one night every week that you can go and I will make an effort to be home early so that you can get out of the house.”

Jim: Oh, that’s great.

Jen: And he did it.

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: I mean, you know, without fail every week.

Jim: Good for him.

Jen: You know, I think it was like Wednesday nights or something. He was home. I was able to go and have some time to myself.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

John: Yeah. That just illustrates the importance of being together as a couple, if you’re, uh, gonna have a stay-at-home mom situation. Uh, Jen Babakhan is our guest today. And she’s written this book, Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey from Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom. Uh, get your copy when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Jen, you urge moms to find something special that ignites their passion. So I would ask you, uh, why is that important? And how did, how’d you find that yourself?

Jen: You know, because I feel that God has created us to be multifaceted beings. You know, we are never just one thing. We are daughters, we are mothers, we are friends, sisters, cousins, whatever. Um, we are so many other things than, than just mothers. And so I think that it is important not only for our children, but for ourselves that we, you know, look at something else that we feel God has gifted us to do. And so for me, I’ve always loved to write. Uh, that was, that was something only I could do, you know, and didn’t require, uh, anybody else. And so I encourage moms to find the thing that God has gifted them, uh, that makes their soul come alive.

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: That, that lights their eyes back up again.

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: And, uh, start small. It doesn’t have to be big, but, but do something just for you. And the difference that it makes in your family is astounding.

Jim: I was gonna say I hadn’t thought about it quite like that, but when, as you’re talking, I was thinking of intensity. You know, moms, because of all the demands on them, emotionally, you, you can have this intensity about everything. And I, I would think a distraction of, of doing something for yourself or a pursuit of your desire helps reduce that intensity or that tenseness around the home. It gives you an outlet.

Jen: Oh, absolutely. I, I, wasn’t the funnest person to live with, you know, prior to, to taking up writing again. I will-

Jim: Which made you feel guilty.

Jen: Exactly.

Jim: Right? I guess-

Jen: So then-

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: …you feel guilt, you feel shame, you know, you know that your kids are seeing you grumpy all of the time. And nobody wants to be… I say, in the book that that moms are, are kind of the temperature gauge of the home.

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: And so, you know, if, if we’re not taking care of ourselves, it’s really, really difficult to then take care of our families in the way that God intended us to. We’re, we’re not meant just to pour 110% into them. We need to, to, uh, refuel ourselves as well.

Jim: Yeah. I Kinda see it as a, like a tank of gas, right?

Jen: Yeah.

Jim: Three-quarters of the tank is used being a mom.

Jen: Absolutely.

Jim: Then you got like a quarter of a tank to figure out what to do, including all the household chores and everything else. And then, of course, husbands pulling on you for certain, you know, emotional and physic demands and-

Jen: Right.

Jim: You know, so you’re down to like fumes.

Jen: Yes.

Jim: You know, it’s when your gas tank says you got two miles to go and the gas station’s three miles away. (laughs)

Jen: Yes. Yes. And, and everybody knows when mom is flashing red. So… (laughs)

John: Well, I was gonna say, Jen, so yeah, there’s, there are women who are saying, I want what you just said, but I can’t get there. And there are husbands and even kids who are saying, yeah, mom’s not there. She, she needs something.

Jen: Mm-hmm.

John: What hope do you have? I mean, it, it doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t find your desire and suddenly feel free, right?

Jen: Right. No. You know, it, it’s one of those things where it really is a process. And so I would encourage moms to, to ask God what he has for you.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jen: It really is that, that simple to just, you know, be honest with the Lord and say, you know what? What is it that you have for me in this time? Because I am losing it. You know? Quite, quite frankly, it, it, a lot of moms just come to that point where they are just so run down and exhausted. And so I would start there. I would start with prayer, asking God what he has. And then just taking very small steps. Research what it is that you think you might like to do. You know, I encourage moms in the book to think back to what they enjoy doing as children. Because a lot of times what you enjoyed as a child is, is kind of the key to what your gifting is and what you’ll enjoy as an adult. You know, as a kid, I loved writing essays. I was the one in class that, that, while all the, all the other kids groaned about writing, I was the one sharpening my pencil and (laughs) you know, getting all excited about it. So I would encourage moms to start there. Start with prayer and then really just kind of reflect on what you’ve always enjoyed.

Jim: Yeah. You, you have a story about a mom who I, I think the way I interpret is kind of rescued you in a Target parking lot. (laughs) I’m wondering how many of these parking lot, uh, recovery stories are out there.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I think pretty, pretty many.

Jen: (laughs)

Jim: It’s quite a few. Anyway, the, uh, the idea is that she saw you in some kind of distress. What happened?

Jen: Yes. So it was my very, very first Target trip with both of my kids.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: Okay. So I had been dreading this trip for, you know, a couple of months-

Jim: We need organ music, dun dun, dun dun.

Jen: (laughs) So Bradley, my son Bradley, uh, was only three months old. Bryce at that time was three. And I was just gonna white knuckle this trip. Uh, we needed diapers and dish soap. So I was like, this is a non-negotiable trip. I have to go. And so I got them out of the car. Bradley was asleep. I put him in the front, uh, little carrier that I had that I wore on the front of me. Um, and he hated the carrier. So that’s, that’s very important.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: I, I knew that I had a limited-

Jim: This kid, I like this guy.

Jen: … I had a limited amount of time with this, with this kid on the front of me.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: And so I’m holding Bryce’s hand and I’m pushing the cart. And we get inside the store. And I kind of feel Bradley start to shift a little bit. I’m like, “Oh, this is not gonna be good.” And right at that time, Bryce asked to ride inside of the cart. Which ordinarily is not an issue. Uh, but now I had to lift up my toll for his age, three-year-old, into this cart with the baby on front of, you know, on the front of me.

Jim: Takes a lot of deltoid muscle.

Jen: Yes

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: And, and, you know, load him into this thing. And so I, I, I get him into the cart standing and I’m trying to instruct him on which foot to put in which leg hole in the cart. And so I, I’m telling, “Okay, buddy, put this one through this one.” And he would put it through the opposite, you know? And he was getting frustrated because he couldn’t figure out. And every time the opposite leg was going through the opposite hole, I was getting more and more anxious, you know? I could feel myself start to sweat. And I thought, I just need a head for the deodorant aisle before I do anything else, because I was really freaking out. So we did this. I mean, me begging him to put his foot through the right hole for probably a good three minutes until this woman, I call her an angel of mercy. She came up and she had a 10-year-old son. So clearly she was out of the phase of life I was in. And she just grabs each of Bryce’s legs and plunks them through the holes and says, “Thought you could use some help.” And away she went.

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: And I was just like, “Thank you.” I mean, I nearly cried because it was just so much emotion bent up. You know, here I was on this first track. And of course Bradley started crying. So I basically did like the Indy 500 through Target-

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: … and, you know, grabbed the stuff, put it in the cart and got outta there.

Jim: That’s every mother’s nightmare.

Jen: Yes.

Jim: But it’s true. Uh, as we zero in for the landing here, let me close with your thoughts about all of the sacrifices and serving that moms have to do. I mean, that’s one thing I see Jean constantly. You’re just giving, giving, giving, giving. And, uh, you describe a profound moment where you were (laughs) crawling on the kitchen floor-

Jen: (laughs)

Jim: …under the high chair.

Jen: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Uh, but what happened and what was God showing you in that moment?

Jen: You know, uh, so Bryce was at the stage where he thought it was hilarious to throw his cut up hot dogs over the edge at the high chair.

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: Uh, he would throw whatever I put down off his plate and onto the floor.

Jim: Because mom would reach out.

John: Watch, watch mum pick it up.

Jen: Right. Because I would get it, right?

Jim: This is a game?

Jen: Yes. Exactly. You know? And so I remember, uh, you know, it had been a tough day already and I was not finding his antics funny, you know?

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: And he, he tossed him over and he was giggling and having a great time. And I, I got down on the ground to, you know, pick up these, you know, greasy, hot dog (laughs) junks off the floor, uh, with the macaroni and cheese and whatever else was, was that was down there that, that had been on his tray. And I just thought in my, in my head, you know, it was… I can’t say that it was a prayer because I wasn’t brave enough to, to yell at God at that point, you know? And so I just thought, “Is this what I went to college for?

Jim: (laughs)

Jen: Is this, is this what I worked so hard for? You know, I was feeling so overqualified in that moment, you know?

Jim: Yes.

Jen: This is not what I worked so hard for. And I heard God whisper to my heart. “This is serving, you are serving me. This is loving me.” And it was in that moment that I realized what I was doing was so much bigger than just picking up hot dogs off the floor. I was serving God. We truly can serve him in whatever we do.

Jim: Yeah.

Jen: Uh, and so that was a moment for me, for sure.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Uh, Jen, you point to the Old Testament story of Hagar. I mean, there’s so many ways you can derive a lesson out of that. How do you see the lesson of Hagar and how it applies to this topic of motherhood?

Jen: You know, there are so many applications that I found, or I, I shouldn’t say that I found that the Holy Spirit showed me as I was reading it.

Jim: Yeah. Right.

Jen: Um, you know, Hagar was in the desert alone, um, you know, facing death, basically, with her son. Um, and she felt God, you know, speak to her and, and God told her that, that he was going to, you know, create generations from her. And I think-

Jim: I think how that sounded like, “Really, God?”

Jen: Right.

Jim: “You gotta be kidding. You know, I’m out here in the desert, barely surviving.” (laughs)

Jen: And so I think about that, I think about the rejection that she felt from Sarah and that she felt, you know, pretty friendless and lonely in that moment.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jen: I think that’s really applicable to, to moms. Um, and, and the other thing that I really, really love about that story is that God… She named God. She’s, she’s the first person to name God in the Bible. And she says, “You are El-roi, the God who sees.” Because he saw her. And so-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jen: …I would just encourage moms that God sees you. He sees your details. You don’t have to be out in the middle of a desert for him to speak to you. In every moment of your day, he sees the baths that you’re drawing, he sees the lunch that you’re making. He sees all of those things. And so when you realize is that I just, I, I just feel like God just draws us closer into a hug and, and we can feel his presence that, that he sees all those things.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Jen: You know, he is the God who sees.

Jim: Yeah, that’s good. Caregiver.

Jen: Yes.

Jim: I think of that mom.

Jen: Absolutely.

Jim: You know, you’re being a caregiver. And I think the Lord’s heart is all over that.

Jen: Yes.

Jim: Uh, Jen, this has been great. We haven’t been able to cover everything. It’s a great book for moms who prepared for careers and then, you know, they end up marrying and, and having babies and decided, what do I do? So if you’re in that spot, this is a, a book for you and a resource for you. And, you know, as we often say here, if you can, uh, contribute to Focus on the Family in any way, a monthly contributor, it’s a great way to do it.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: John, you and I do it that way. But if, uh, if you can’t do that, a one-time gift of any amount, either way, we’ll send you a copy of Jen’s great book, Detoured, as our way of saying thank you. It’s one of those resources you need. If you can’t afford it, uh, just contact us. We’ll get it into your hands and trust others will cover the cost of that. It’s a beautiful way to describe the Christian community. But this is one of those mommy resources that you really need.

John: Yeah. Get in touch. And donate as you can, either a monthly pledge or a one-time gift of any amount and we’ll make sure to send this great book to you, Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey from Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom. Stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Jen, let me also mention into the moms. Um, you know, if you’re struggling, uh, and it’s more serious than the lighthearted approach that we’ve taken here, if you’re really in a tough spot, call us, we have caring Christian counselors who can talk with you. Maybe provide even more resources for you, or at least give you some guidance and direction, pray with you. Uh, it can be overwhelming. And we recognize that. Jen lived it. Uh, Jean lived it. Dena lived it.

John: Deanna lived it.

Jim: (laughs) So we get it. And if you need that kind of help, don’t hesitate. That’s why we’re here. Just get in touch with us. Uh, Jen, thanks so much for being with us.

Jen: Thank you so much for having me.

John: Yeah. Reach out to, again, our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And we’d be happy to help set up an initial consultation with one of our counselors. And coming up next time, teaching your kids to appreciate racial and cultural diversity.

Preview:

Trillia Newbell: Difference can be celebrated. It can be enjoyed. And so if your child points out a difference, you can acknowledge it. Yes. That person does have a dot on their forehead. Why don’t we go home and look it up.

End of Preview

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for joining us today for a Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, and finding you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Cover image of the book "Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey From Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom"

Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey From Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom

Receive Jen Babakhan's book Detoured for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

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