I can’t remember a time that I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I can remember the push-back I received from those in my life when I would tell them what I wanted to do. “Why would you want to waste your life doing that?” Those words still pierce my heart to this day.
So I chose a career path in college that focused on my passion for writing in the hopes that I could find joy in a career that allowed me to write… even then I couldn’t find who I was meant to be or joy in what I was doing.
Again, I went down another career path hoping that the opportunity to work with children each day would bring me the greatest amount of joy and accomplishment this world could provide. And for much longer than my journalism career, my teaching career brought more joy and a sense of purpose to my life…
Until I held Bryan in my arms for the first time, seconds after he was born…
That feeling of wanting to be home with him everyday and being there for
him without asking work for permission lingered in the back of my mind. I didn’t want to go back to work, but I knew I had to in order to provide a life for him that didn’t come with too much uncertainty, but instead safety and the greatest amount of care and love he deserved.
While I spent my days working and counting down the hours until Tory and I were home with Bryan, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something better than going to work everyday and waiting for the weekend.
Why were we, as kids, in such a rush to grow up? So we could go to work 5 days a week, for 10 hours a day, just so we could enjoy life on the other 2 days a week? Saving up for our vacation days so we could be with our family?
A Selfish Dream
What was so wonderful of working and being treated by your employer as something that was replaceable? There have been very few, if any, employers that I have worked for that didn’t treat their employees like another part of a machine that could easily be replaced when they had no use for them anymore.
But I continued to get up everyday and go to work because it was “the responsible thing to do.” As an adult it seemed irresponsible to have other dreams. Sure, you could have dreams for your children, but to dream of a better life that didn’t involve clocking into a work place, was just selfish and “burdening the family.” So, I put that dream of being a stay-at-home mom in the back of my mind, because it wasn’t fair to my family for me not to work, or at least that’s how I felt when I would tell people what I really wanted to do.
When Kennedy was born, the want to be home with them only grew stronger. While I continued to work, I settled for working 3 part-time jobs so that I could be home with them during their waking hours.
I was up most days of the week to be at work by 4 AM and came back home around 12 PM. When they napped, I studied for school because I told myself I was going to become an education administrator. When they went down at night for bed, I would clock in more hours remotely for work and study again until midnight. Go to bed and repeat it again at 4 AM the next day. I had no right to complain. Tory was working 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, an hour away… I had it easy, several people made that clear.
Then quarantine hit…
“Even when I don’t see it, you’re working.
Even when I don’t feel it, you’re working.
You never stop, you never stop working.
You never stop, you never stop working.
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper.-Way Maker: Caleb and Kelsey
Light in the darkness.
My God, that is who you are.”
As crappy as it has started, this year has already helped me realize that life is too short to keep wondering “what if” and working everyday while squeezing life into the cracks.
While others have hated quarantine and see it as a burden on their lives, I’ve taken this time to take back control. I have been trying to take the steps towards a life I’ve always wanted as a full-time stay-at-home mom. I want to be there for my husband and my babies the way I want to, not the way life and every negative person has told me I could.
I’ve watched so many people succeed at working from home who have no
responsibilities other than their own life and dreams, so why is it so hard and selfish for me to want to do the same so I can be here for my family? Why is it so hard for me to find a way to make this work for my family without feeling guilt and like I’m being selfish for wanting this life?
To the mama reading this, struggling with the same guilt, you are not alone! Your dreams for your family are not invalid! Your wish to be at home with your babies isn’t selfish!
I pray that God finds favor in our dreams to be at home with our families. I have never doubted that His plan for my life stretches beyond what I could ever imagine. I know He is working on my life, I just pray I have the strength and patience to overcome these storms.