I have been wanting to write a post for moms who stay at home, but haven’t yet because I don’t want it to be guilt-inducing to those moms who don’t stay at home. However, I finally realized that it’s ok to target one group of women in one post and that it doesn’t take away from the good that a working mom does too. It is my opinion that deciding whether to stay at home or work is a very tough decision with no universal right answer. When I was trying to decided if I wanted to continue working after having Logan, I did have many people say, “If you can stay at home, then you should.” I don’t believe that either. It’s just my opinion. But, every woman has a different circumstance, and in some circumstances, I do believe that working can be more beneficial for a woman than staying at home. I say all of this just to give you a background of where I am coming from.
My first few weeks back to work were crazy. Logan was 3 months old and I was in the middle of directing a play which would be performed in front of the entire college student body. I was also having major nursing struggles that were consuming my life. Once, I walked into my office and completely lost it just (literally) minutes before I was supposed to walk into the classroom. My best friend eventually encouraged me to talk to my boss after she noticed how effected I was by everything. I sat in his office and basically said, “I don’t know why I am in here. I just feel like you should know I am falling apart.” His encouragement was just what I needed to keep pressing on, and things did get better from there.
You see, my problem is that I try so hard to be so good at everything God has called me to do. I think they call this a perfectionist? Haha. I think the moment I was in my boss’s office was when I realized how debilitating being a “perfectionist” can be. It’s ok to not be the absolute best at both working and being a mom. When I straightened out my priorities, things became worlds better.
However, the semester ended and I was told I wouldn’t be needed to come back to teach the next year. It truly is perfect how God works things out. As much as I still don’t want to be done teaching, it happened at a time when I could just transition into being a stay-at-home mom. If Logan were not around, I would have to find another job, and that is NO FUN. God made it clear what He wanted for me.
I am totally digressing.
August is coming. In-service is coming. Students are coming back. I miss it already. So, I want to think of a few things I am thankful for by being able to stay at home with Logan:
1. Friends. I was able to invest a lot of time in my students as a teacher. And although I still want to be able to do that now that I am away from school, I have much more time to invest in my mom friends. I have gotten to hang out with women that I rarely hung out with before Logan. I try to stay busy so I love to connect with different mom friends for an afternoon (let me know if you want to hang out!). And I love the encouragement we can be to each other. I would never be able to invest this kind of time in other women if I were working. This has been a huge positive to staying at home.
2. Less pressure. The school that I used to work for was very fast-paced. There were times that were very busy and there was a lot of pressure on me to get things done and to get them done correctly (mainly when I was directing). I miss it and I hope to one day get to act and direct again, but for now, it is nice not having that kind of pressure put on me while trying to figure this whole mom thing out.
3. Gives me time to find a new outlet. When I knew I would be staying at home, I was so worried that I would lose that creative part of me. That I would be so wrapped up in nap schedules, feeding schedules, and play dates that I would just slowly stop being a creative. I am learning that although finding my creative outlet is harder and different now, I still can find a new one. Even if it looks like enjoying planning my son’s first birthday party. Being a theater teacher didn’t define me. I can still learn and grow and even perform as a mom now too.
4. The obvious. Spending time with my son. Today, I was blowing raspberries on Logan’s neck and he was giggling like crazy. That’s when the idea for this post came to me. I love making him smile. I love spending time with him. Don’t get me wrong, I need breaks. Some days, I prefer him to take a loooong nap time. But, this is a new me now, and it involves investing in my son. I am so privileged to be able to do that. I don’t want to take it for granted.
God has called us all to different things. Please don’t let this be guilt-inducing to you, working mom. You are doing so much good for your family if that is what God has called you to do! I am jealous of you in many ways as you are probably jealous of the stay-at-home mom. One thing I am learning with this new mommy-hood thing is that motherhood is filled with unnecessary guilt. The Devil uses that for his advantage to harm our use for God. Jesus Christ has already conquered our guilt on the cross. Let’s try not to be a slave to what Christ already took care of!
So, it’s a new life now. But for the first time, I’m wondering if it’s going to help me evolve into an even better me.
I find joy in staying at home today, (remind me again in a few weeks?)