I have been a stay-at-home-mom since my son was born in June 2001. For over nine years I have changed diapers, breastfed, wiped snotty noses. I have spent countless sleepless nights rocking and calming gassy babies, sitting in a steamy bathroom with croupy toddlers, and all night nurse-fests all in the name of the latest growth spurt.
I did not know what type of career I wanted when I graduated from high school. I graduated 20 out of nearly 300 students. I was a math nerd, an AP student, and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I once told my mom that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. My mom thought she had my best intentions at heart when she suggested I consider something else “because they don’t get paid very much.” Context: my mom was a single mom at the time truly struggling in the days before WIC and a more generous food stamp program. She simply did not want me to struggle as she was struggling.
So I go on to college with all kinds of scholarships and financial aid. I still had no clue what I didn’t want to do with my life. All I knew is that I was thankful that I had already received credit for my math classes (thank you AP test). Long story short, I did not finish college. I hold an A.A. degree and a handful of credits beyond that.
Somewhere in between then and now my husband and I were blessed with three children. The first one, a son, rocked our world and our priorities. We knew that I was supposed to be his primary caregiver. We made the leap, one of faith, to be sure, and have never looked back.
Two more children have been added to our family, both girls. Now that my youngest is four years-old, I find myself thinking about my unfinished degree and possible careers. And yet I am at the beginning of a new path: homeschooling. We began our second year of homeschooling this fall, and it has been great for the children and our family. At this point, we intend to continue homeschooling as long as it continues to work for our family.
This year I have struggled with where my path is leading. Is homeschooling where God is leading me? Is a career related to one of my many passions (which I am sure to blog about at some point) what God has planned? As I work through all of this, I am finding that God is showing me things along the way like this inspirational art by Donna Downey:
I am right where I should be. Home with my children raising young people who will eventually become meaningful, purposeful participants in this world. Volunteering my time to women and babies. All of these things are important. I don’t have to save the world. I don’t have to give up my dreams and pursuits in order to be present with my children. I don’t have to give up being with my children for my dreams and pursuits. Sequencing is something I am interested in learning more about lately. Understanding that there is a time and place for everything and that I cannot see the bigger picture that God can see has been pivotal, leading me toward contentment. I am right where I should be and I am thankful that God showed me what I was missing, which turned out to be nothing at all.