Are you a Catholic working mom? Do you struggle to fit in with groups of Catholic moms, most of whom are staying at home? Do you have a hard time hanging out with secular groups of working moms who may not share your values? JoAnna Wahlund wants you to know that you are not alone.
Wahlund is a married working Catholic mom of six children. In 2014 she started the Catholic Working Mothers Facebook group which has since grown to 5000 members. In The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life, she offers solid advice on how to manage your faith, your family, and your work.
She begins by offering role models of biblical figures and saints who were working mothers. These women include such notables as the Proverbs 31 woman, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Zelie Martin, and St. Gianna Molla. Wahlund also emphasizes the importance of discerning what is right for you and your family. She offers practical advice on finding childcare, negotiating for flexibility at work, managing a household, and caring for yourself while caring for everyone else.
The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life is so needed in our world. Whether you work out of necessity or because you feel called by God to have “a secondary vocation in addition to [your] vocation as a wife and mother,” you will find support and understanding in these pages. This book would also make a lovely gift for a pregnant woman who plans to return to work after giving birth.
P.S. I don’t know JoAnna Wahlund at all. Our paths have never crossed even in Catholic writing circles and reading this book was the first time I heard of her Facebook group. Anyway, I was sitting reading my review copy of this book, feeling pretty bad about myself (as I am prone to doing) because I’ve always struggled with the whole motherhood/work scenario. I got to page 75 and was surprised to find my own name! In fact, I did a double-take.
Wahlund quoted from an article I wrote years ago for CatholicMom.com on how housework is an opportunity to encounter God! Now, those who know me in real life will be laughing at the irony of that given my lack of aptitude in that area. If you go back and read the article, you’ll see that I was honest back then. Unfortunately, my relationship with housework has not improved in the intervening years. I guess God was trying to give me a reminder that housework is an act of love, in addition to giving me a bit of hope that maybe my writing has mattered to someone over the years.