Accidentally at Home
Recently the thought, “I want to go to work. At a job. With adults” has run through my head a lot. Perhaps it is because I never envisioned myself as a stay at home mom. Or maybe it is because we have officially entered the tantrum stage with our 18 month-old son, who now stops breathing if you feed him a snack “wrong". Who knows?
It goes without saying that I adore my son, yet I also find value and connection through the work I have done in years past. Not to mention the financial sacrifice it is to rely solely on my husband’s income and my part-time work. It’s not easy, but our family believes wholeheartedly that hard things are worth doing and that they usually entail sacrifice.
I accidentally became a “stay at home mom” because of our circumstances living overseas when our son was born. As we moved back to Baton Rouge when he was 10 months old, we made the decision that was best for our family right now. But sometimes spending all day in the cycle of preparing food, cleaning food off the wall, changing bodily waste, reading books, handing toys, taking away things that aren’t toys, and folding laundry… I can feel stuck. Stuck and exhausted. Then I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated at just how exhausted I am doing things that used to be easy. It is easy for me to start to resent this season. But I am beginning to realize what a pity it would be to let this season of life sweep by in disappointment and miss the moments I am gifted with.
I believe women offer such value outside of the home and have often thought that staying home was less-than. Want an honest confession? I thought I had too much value to add to the working world to stay home. Yeah, I realize how judgey and gross that sounds. Well, here I am having my perspective shifted the hard way.
I am a Christian and believe God’s main purpose for our life is to know Him more deeply. He uses each and every circumstance we face to invite us to draw nearer to Him. As I adjust to this unforeseen role as a stay at home mom, my perspective is shifting towards something much healthier. In this unexpected season I am slowly gathering that my worth is not determined by the work I produce but solely on the woman God has made me to be. During this season, there is value on investing in the people in my life. This value will outlast a job title or my own pride about what I do (hopefully).
All of this to say, this is a season. And in this season, I recognize the gift it is to be able to spend my days raising my son. I am acutely aware that many women aren’t even afforded this option because if they don’t work their kids won’t have food on the table. Those women are superheroes. My own mother yearned to stay home with us when we were kids, but she was never afforded that opportunity and has long since counted it as one of the things she regrets the most. One day it will be my role as a mother to allow our children to watch me work outside the home, doing the work I believe I am hardwired by God to do, to put my hands to the vision I am refining now and utilize the skills I am honing in this unglamorous time. But until then, I’ll be over here reminding myself what a gift this time in my life actually is, and that teaching my son to use a spoon is indeed a noble a cause.