The Kids

The Kids

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who Are We?

Today in the car, Abby was talking about what she wants to be when she grows up. She had just passed a soccer field so that made her announce her most recent goal-to be a soccer player. Her exact words were...

"Mommy, I want to be a soccer player when I grow up! Well, I also want to be a teacher. But, then also a doctor. Oh Mommy, I just can't decide."

When I informed her that she had plenty of time to decide, she felt a lot better. I also told her that I always changed my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up as well. I saw by the look on her face that the thought that her mom wanting to be anything but her mom had never occurred to her.

I explained how I went to college to be a youth director. When that did not make sense, I tried to explain what a youth director is. When she continued to look confused, I said, "It is like Pastor Josh at church." Still confused, I said, "Remember Professor Power at VBS last year?"

That did it. She did not comprehend the list of what I did as a youth director, she did not remember the name Josh, but she remembered him when he was dressed up as a crazy professor with a red wig and a funny voice.

She now thinks I had the coolest job before becoming her mom.

It is interesting to think about how many moms I know who stay home with their little ones-I honestly cannot name their degrees or past job experience, but could tell you their preferred nap schedules or favorite parks. How does that happen? When did we lose that part of our identity? And how do we get it back?

I always knew staying home while the kids were young would be a financial sacrifice (not a huge one, mind you, I was working in ministry), but never considered that the longer I stayed home, the more I became simply "Abby and Caleb's Mom."

I would not change it for anything. But, there are days when I look at what I have done with my day and there is nothing to show for it. Every task I take on is almost immediately undone by the children (and on occasion, Nick). I rarely hear a thank you and never receive a paycheck. And even though I know deep in my heart that I will see the benefits of this as my children grow up, it is not easy to see that far ahead on days where all I do is break up fights.

I suppose it comes down to not having my identity wrapped up in what I wish I could be doing. I miss feeling valued and needed. I know I am both here in this home, but the selfishness in me wants immediate gratification. My excuse is that I miss being in ministry, but really-I miss feeling important.

God has a plan for every part of my life and I know this is where I am supposed to be right now. Taking care of these children is the most important job I have ever or will ever be given. And I know from the experience of being a daughter that I most likely will not feel appreciated until my children have their own children. I need to stop thinking of what I could be doing and concentrate on what I am doing and do it well.

I want my children to look back on this part of their lives and know that their mom was content and excited about staying home with them. Because I am.


Bev said...

I think every Mom has felt that way, especially today when most Moms work and where the world and sometimes the "christians" around you value prestige, jobs, ect. I once had a "friend" ask me if I didn't feel I was just wasting my life, being home with you guys. I know you know this, but looking back later in your life you will be glad of the choices you and Nick have made about this. NOTHING can take the place of Mom ( or Dad) actually raising their children. The sometimes tedious, frustrating time spent with kids when the outside world (and money) looks so good. I think too of how frustrating it must be to God to deal with us and how much easier it would be for Him to just forget it!! I know you know this- just wanted to leave a comment as I am going through the goodbye ( at Home) stage and wouldn't have changed anything. At one point I turned down a post office job right after Billy was born and the money was so tempting and everything would have been so much easier even now if I had taken it, but neither of us is sorry even now about that. God sees and understands and your Mommy prays for you all every day!

Anonymous said...

I agree with your mom!!! It may not seem like it right now but you are doing the most important job God could ever give anyone!! You are most valuable and important in your kids eyes and in the rest of the family! I respect your decision to stay home and raise happy healthy little ones and would have been disappointed to see you put them in daycare. God does have a plan and we are all doing our part especially when it seems that we are not. I think the "down times" are when God is most active. A Mom who loves the Lord is the greatest gift your children could ever receive.
Jeff and I think you and Nick are doing a fantastic job raising your children and pray for you everyday!
Love, Christi

Elizabeth said...

Just wanted to share some perspective from the grass on the other side:

As a working mom who is struggling to keep it all together, I want to help you love and appreciate the opportunity you have to stay at home. It's a blessing! I can totally see how it would be hard to maintain identity separate from being a mom - it's one of the reasons I chose to work - but your identity is still there. This time at home with your kids is so short compared with the rest of our lives. Before we know it, they'll be at school most of the day, not wanting much to do with us, and we'll have more than enough time "find" ourselves again. This is only a season, and a short one at that.

It's interesting to hear that stay-at-home moms feel undervalued within the Church, because I feel the same way being on the other side. I often feel judged for choosing NOT to stay at home. Like I value money and things and extrenal identity over my time with Caroline. All the mom groups talk about is stay-at-home stuff, which leaves me unable to connect!

Thanks for sharing this, as it reminds me that we all struggle with different things and need to encourage each other and not judge. God has a different plan for each one of us and no one is better or worse than another.

Tammy said...

Thanks for the comments! I really am content with my place in life right now-just sharing some thoughts that I figured a lot of moms feel.