I have always been very career-oriented. From a young age I wanted to be able to provide for myself and prove to myself that things would be taken care of. That I was capable of independence and a successful career.
Nothing wrong with that but at my core, I was pursuing those things without giving God the glory for providing. I wasn't giving him credit for the amazing job I had. He had provided that job and given me the ability to excel in it. He is the one who gifted me with those abilities. I was blinded by earthly accolades and possessions. He just wasn't first.
Not by your might or your power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord!
When I was in the career-world, I experienced a high like no other. My ideas were sought, I faced challenging deadlines, I learned new things every day. I felt important.
Yet in the depths of my heart, I knew that my pregnancy with Wilder would probably, eventually, lead to staying home with him. I didn't know the number he would do on my heart until he was born.And, just as I thought, once he arrived, it became very apparent that I wanted to be his primary caregiver. At the time it seemed more for myself...I knew I would miss him. Granted, it was for his well-being too...I just didn't have a peace about the day care center we had lined up. It was a distraught time for me, because our budget just wasn't showing we could survive on one income.
But we took the chance anyway.
And now, now that I've been home over three years, I realize that I do this for the babies.
And I am proud to say that I wholeheartedly want to do this for the kiddos.
I am proud of what I do. I no longer feel ashamed or embarrassed by my vocation. I am investing in two lives that will go on to do great things. Some days are really hard. The babies don't obey or I don't get to do "my stuff." The house regenerates mess--oh, that vicious cycle.
But no promotion or atta-girl from the boss even compares to Wilder kissing my forehead, or Story stroking my hair. Or seeing them look at nature with wide eyes. Or my memorizing the placement of each new freckle. To see them dance nakey in the kitchen to the Beach Boys.
So, why, the drastic change of heart attitude, you ask?
Definitely the Lord refining my heart over the past year. Helping me to nail down selfishness.
And a book.
It arrived on my doorstep, with sweets, at Christmastime.
It is called In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger (award-winning talk show host and therapist). I had never heard of the lady. I don't normally read books like that. I breezed through it in a couple of days. If any other friend would've given it to me, I would have probably rolled my eyes or been offended. It embarrasses me to admit, that. But, God knew. He gave that specific friend the idea; I am so glad.
I grasped that book like a koala to its momma.
Here are excerpts that benefited me:
Another newbie SAHM wrote that I was the only one in the world who supported her and helped her believe she was doing the right thing. At first, she felt like less of a person, leaving her professional life to be "just" a mom. After listening to me day after day reinforce the importance of a mom to a child, she realized that in fact she had been brainwashed to believe that motherhood was beneath the dignity of an intelligent, independent woman. She would watch people's eyes glaze over when she told them she was a SAHM, and she felt like she had to rush in with a "but, before I left I was...," as if to prove her intelligence to them. (pg 38)
Children are minors for only eighteen years--after that, every parent is free and clear to chase any dream or fantasy that the marriage can accommodate. There is no reason that parents can't work around their family's schedule and personal needs to take on hobbies, part time endeavors, schooling, and so forth. It hopefully seems reasonable that children and family should not be pushed aside for personal ambitions; however, some personal ambitions can readily be experienced in the context of family and children when the two parents work together--dividing time and involvement--and keeping up the loving bonds with the gift of time, attention and priority. (pg. 117)
I hope people look at our family and say, "Gee, they're just ALL about their kids."
That is a compliment to me.
We didn't have our kids for our sakes, we had them for their sakes.
I am enjoying this season in our lives. I don't get much done during the day. If Wilder asks to cuddle both at nap and bedtime, I always say yes. There are so many things to do instead of that. But that can wait.
Because time, well, it won't.
Lord, thank you for bringing me to a place of contentment and joy as I embrace my position as the heart of the home. Thank you for doing that work in my heart. Thank you for the bonus part-time Thursdays gig at the boutique. Were you waiting for me to be at peace, so you could reward me like that? You make me smile.