If you’ve known me for any length of time, you probably know that I sometimes struggle with working outside of the home.
My big dream was to be a stay-at-home mom.
I wanted to be a doctor, but didn’t really strive for pre-med studies and med school because I didn’t want to prioritize school/residency over family timing. I wanted a family early, I wanted several kids, and I wanted to stay home with them. I admired the women I knew who did the pre-med and doctor path. I was probably a little relieved to not pursue it because I’m kind of lazy and the idea of cadaver-cutting squicked me out.
Ha, ha – the joke was on me. Will and I didn’t get married until a month after my 29th birthday. Seth was born two months before my 31st birthday. I would have had PLENTY of time to get through med school before my first baby’s arrival. God had other plans and timing.
Those plans – obviously – did NOT include being a stay-at-home mom. For whatever reason, I’m the primary income for our family. Will was home most of the time with Seth and then Nora while he did his home inspection training and then started his business. My mom has been Jude’s primary daytime caregiver.
So occasionally I wallow around — you know, as you do — in the what might have beens. What would it have been like to be a doctor? What if I’d pursued a career I actually wanted? What if I could have been a stay-at-home mom?
That’s not really very healthy, you know?
And sometimes I think, “I’d give ANYTHING to be at home with the kids … ” and start to wallow some more.
(Hint: not healthy either.)
I’m trying to get out of some mental bad habits, and this is one of them. Because I WOULDN’T give anything.
I wouldn’t give up the dreams my husband has been able to pursue.
I wouldn’t give up having my mother live down here with us.
I wouldn’t give up the support we’re able to give to missionaries and other people around the world.
I wouldn’t give up the career that has been so obviously God-given, since I have tried over and over to leave it and yet it still remains constant.
I wouldn’t give up the world I’ve found with this career – a world of incredible teammates, working for an amazing organization, and parts of myself that I didn’t know existed.
I wouldn’t give up the friends I’ve gained through this job.
I wouldn’t give up the advice and counsel I can give to my husband (and others) as they go after their dreams, because of what I’ve learned in this serendipitous career.
I wouldn’t give up the time my babies have had with their daddy, learning French and being immersed in daddy love and learning to be fearless (something they wouldn’t have learned with me).
There are lots of things that are great about this. And I get to relish the time at home when I get it.
There are two verses that have meant a lot to me while I’ve struggled with this idea of contentment. If you’re not interested, it won’t hurt my feelings if you stop reading here. If you are, I hope they come to mind some day when they can help you, too:
“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”
Psalm 27:14 (NAS)
“God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NET)
I also love the NIV translation of this verse: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”