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.