Growing up, I was surrounded by strong, dedicated, loving, successful women. My role models weren’t celebrities, politicians or educators. Whenever I was asked who I looked up to or who I wanted to be like when I grew up, I thought of those who were a part of my own family and shared my blood.
So of course, I thought I would be just as successful as them in my professional career and as a mother. Boy, was I in for a huge wake-up call!
The Long Road Ahead
There have been many times, in pageant and job interviews, where I have been asked “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” You would think by now, this question wouldn’t scare me… it still does.
I can see where I want my life to be. I can vividly see myself working from home, owning my own business and being the stay-at-home mom I’ve always wanted to be (I can already hear the “Skeptic Stacys” out there questioning my choice of profession: “You want to be a stay-at-home mom??” Yes, I always have). I can see myself attending every little league game, dance competition, soccer game, pageant or whatever it is our babies decide they want to do, without having to ask work for time off or worrying that my vacation time won’t be approved.
Why then does this question make me so scared?
Even though I can see it, the road there is far from a straight path. I have always known and truly believed that every person’s journey in this life is unique and that God has a plan. A plan that so amazing, we could never imagine it for ourselves.
I just can’t help but wonder if I have deviated too far from this life He had set out for me. Did I take a wrong turn somewhere? I have never questioned my life as a wife and mother. I will never question these two roles given to me because I know I was meant for this part of my life. What I do question is, did I take my family down a path we shouldn’t have traveled down and now we’re constantly trying to find our way back?
A Purpose-Filled Life
I am eight years post-grad, halfway through my graduate career and three years into motherhood. I feel like I’m far from the successful woman I thought I would be by now. Rather than feeling successful, I feel like I’m one more failed career attempt and tantrum before I begin questioning what my purpose is in this life.
Am I here to just jump from job-to-job the rest of my life or just here to manage the tantrums until they’re old enough to understand that life isn’t fair and you don’t always get what you want?
I have always put others’ needs and wants before my own. It’s how I was raised. I watched my mom do the same thing. Although she pursued her dream to earn her Master’s in Business Administration, I watched her constantly put herself last when it came to the dreams and goals my dad, sister and I had set for ourselves.
I feel like that’s exactly where I am today. The second things seem to get tough, excuses are flying from every direction, I immediately become discouraged and think that what I had dreamed for myself isn’t possible.
Maybe it’s just that. My purpose in this life is to help others towards their dreams and goals. Whether it’s to rise in the ranks at work, to live a healthier life or to be the best parent there is, maybe I was meant to help those in my life make these things possible.
A Journey Meant to be Traveled
So many people have said to me on my journey towards creating my own business, “Oh you’re one of those people now.” or “You’ll go crazy working from home.” What they don’t seem to understand is while some may feel trapped working from home or dealing with the wants and needs of kids all day, this is where I have always felt the happiest.
Yes, the days may run together and the quarantine hasn’t given us the option to leave the house, but I’ve never been happier to put in a few hours of work in the early mornings before the kids have woken up or at night when they’ve gone to bed! All that means is that I get the entire day to do whatever they want without having to worry that I’m not doing my part in providing for our family.
I know this journey was never meant to be easy, but it was meant to be traveled. Anything worth it, never came without hard work. There’s a part of me that wishes I had more support, but then there’s a part that understands that God sends us on some journeys alone so that when we bring others later, it’s a journey filled with less hardship and more joy.
I pray that God gives me the strength and persistence to do all that I can for my family. My journey as a wife and mother may not look the same as my role models, but I know that I am not weak because of who raised me.
To all the mommas out there who are struggling to find their way, know that while our paths may not look the same, you are never alone. You are strong and you are the foundation that your family needs to thrive in this world!