As I work my way through this process of apply thoughts to letter, please excuse the fact that some of it may not make sense. I write this as I struggle with being fully drained and purely exhausted; no amount of coffee or chocolate in the world can perk me up today. So instead I decided to try to write something deep which is obviously a good idea when your head is filled with cotton balls.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about my vocation. Because I’m living it out 24/7 with no break, it’s kind of hard NOT to think about it. I suppose I have been pondering the deeper meaning behind washing dishes, folding laundry and changing diapers. A big part of this has to do with a Catholic Bible study I am doing that focuses on the vocation of wife and mother. This has led to deeper thoughts on being a stay-at-home mom and my conclusion that I love it.
I love my vocation as a wife and mother. I love that this is what I have been called to be and who I am. I love that God has called me to stay home with my children and that he has made this possible for us. This love is not filled with warm, gushy feelings – those feelings have not been present today. It does not bring me happiness every minute of every day (my two year old just finished a screaming tantrum and woke her brother – not. happy.), but it floods me with so much joy and intense love. The greatest examples of love that I have seen, have been from those who have sacrificed much for those they love. For me, that is what being a stay-at-home mom has done.
In the early years of marriage, I wanted to have children right away and become a working mom. I am embarassed to admit that I grossly undervalued stay-at-home moms and the exuberant amount of love it takes them to stay at home. When I got pregnant with Ben (surprise!), I was bitterly disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to do what I wanted and that was to work outside the home. God has slowly been working in my heart to show me that is not where he has called me. Others may be called to work outside the home, but not me. Gently, He was breaking down my walls.
After working 4 months before Ben was born and 3 months after, I learned that I could just not do it. I handed in my official, non-maternity leave, resignation and for the first time in 10 years, was jobless. When telling my sister why I quit – ‘They need someone who can devote themselve 110% to the work, and that’s just not me.’ – she told me, ‘Your kids need 110% of you too. You made the right decision.’
Now, 4 months later, I love being home full-time with my kids. I am the master of my own schedule and am aquiring far more perks/benefits than I ever would in a job outside the home. There is so much peace without having to worry about this deadline, that deadline, paying the sitter and watching my babies cry when I leave for work. I love that it is I who am their teacher, their leader, their example. It is me who wipes away tears and plays with them.
It’s not an easy job being home with my babies – hardest thing I have ever done – but I love it. I love it more than anything I have ever done in my entire life.