Funny isn't it, how in the span of a few moments you can be made to feel as if your life just isn't "up to par" with the expectations of the world! As a "stay at home"schooling" mom, this happens to me quite frequently.
There was a time that I always held a "job". In fact, I had my first job around the age of 15 when I went to work in the local dairy bar during the summer. I moved up to a restaurant, then factory work, back to the restaurant scene, and just kept right on going. I held jobs as a secretary in different types of offices. I have been a cashier, and moved up to managing aspects of the store. I have worked in the public school system as an aide and a substitute teacher. My list of "jobs" is rather long! During much of that time, I was also raising three daughters and trying to be involved in their day to day lives as well. That was, after all, how it was "supposed" to be done. In the eyes of others, my life had worth!
Now that I am staying home and schooling Michael, I have found that in the eyes of (most of) the world, what I do is of little, or no, importance! I really do find this quite sad, and not just for me, but for the countless other moms who are being made to feel this exact same way!
At a recent gathering of a group to which I belong, the "pedigrees" of those involved were being touted to the audience.... doctors, nurses, professional musicians, computer techs, artists.... the list went on.... and not once was a "stay-at-home-mom" (SAHM) mentioned! Now, I was not surprised by that in the least. But it did get me to begin thinking about how people view those of us who have made the choice (dare I say sacrifice!) to stay at home. We are viewed as being "less" by the world, but I believe that we deserve more than that!
When we made the decision that I would remain at home, it was a sacrifice of an additional income. That means that, while we have everything that we "need", we don't always get everything that we "want". I have had to become careful about our spending. I have learned to be on the look-out for deals and shop the clearance aisles. I have become knowledgeable about the best times to shop the meat department, and I've learned that there is nothing wrong with being frugal! While I do not "make" money as a SAHM, I have found creative ways to save money!
Our decision was a sacrifice of "alone" time. I am now with our son 24/7. That means that from the time that his feet hit the floor, until the time they lead him back to bed, he is by my side. From his first words of the day, to his last words of "good-night".... I get all the words in between. And let me tell you, there are a LOT of words! Occasionally, I will sneak away to Walmart while he stays with his Dad... it is kind of like a mini-vacation!!! Time for myself is not very plentiful!
Our decision was a sacrifice of career. You see, I had gone back to college, and had just switched my major to Early Childhood Education (from a medical field), having made the decision to finally go for that teaching degree I'd always wanted. When I was younger, I had dreamed of being a teacher, it just didn't happen. Having been a substitute teacher for several years, I knew that this was what I wanted to do, and I was determined to make it happen. God had other plans, and while I may not have my degree, I AM the teacher that I knew I was meant to be. Yet, if I had that degree, people would view my teaching in a much different light!
At times like these, when I am feeling that I am "less", I am learning to dig deep and remember WHY I am here. I remember that it was answering God's call on our lives that led us to adopt our son. I remember that He placed him with us because he trusted us to do what was in his best interest. I remember that God, who created me with this purpose in mind, isn't the God of "less", but the God of "more", and that my worth is found solely in Him alone.
I trust in that.... I truly do. And when I am made to feel "less", I just remember that God has "more" in store for me than I can even imagine. He has given us "more" so that I can stay at home and give Michael all that he needs. He has provided "more" patience than I thought it was possible to have! He has led me to "more"ways to help Michael learn, even at those times when I thought I was "less" than capable. God has led us to a church home, where I can continue to grow in Christ. We have become part of a Community Group, and even on those nights when Michael goes with us, I find that I am able to recharge by "adult time" batteries! I love the "more" than comes for listening to God's prompting!
I love being where God has planted me..... I am His child, I am a wife, I am a mom and nanny, and I STAY AT HOME.... which also makes me a doctor, a nurse, an office manager, a teacher, a cook, a custodian, a transportation expert, a personal shopper, an accountant....and the list goes on an on!!!
And before you say it.... this is NOT a slam to those of you who not only work, but do all of the above... I have been where you are!!! You are AMAZING!!! You deserve a huge pat on the back, because I know that it is hard to work and juggle a household. In fact, you deserve a standing ovation!!!
But.... to those of you what have chosen a different path... a path that has led you to become a SAHM.... you deserve the same affirmation. You are AMAZING!!!! Don't ever let anyone tell you any different!!!
YOU are MORE than enough!!!
Have a Blessed Day!