4/04/2012

Motherhood and Moneyhood, part II

Monday's post in this three part miniseries talked about a little less than a year ago, after Roger was born, how I was trying to keep working but it wasn't going so well. I ended with talking about how my dream and calling has long been to be a stay at home mom and that's where I'll pick up today.

I have to insert a disclaimer: by no means am I about to underhandedly or passive-aggressively suggest that any mothers who work, ever, are inherently evil. I'm not here to argue or mitigate circumstances. I'm not about guilt tripping anyone. I can only speak from my heart about my life and our decisions. We have a clear conscience before Jesus, as filtered through scripture, and that's what matters, that each couple seeks Jesus and has peace with him about the choice they make. I won't apologize for ours nor am I seeking to wave a superiority flag over anyone else's. Done and done :)

Rog and me having a random, mid-day
photo sesh. One of many lovely reasons
I love being with him all day every day!

So, for me, I wanted to be a stay at home mom for one ultimate reason:

It's my calling. My identity is that of blood-bought daughter of Jesus Christ. His clear calling on my life, if now for no other reason that I'm living it, is that of wife and mother. To me, this is a high honor, not a femininity crusher. I've known pretty much my entire life that I would be a wife and mother and considered it the greatest thing I could do with my life, and then I met Jesus and believed worshiping him is the greatest thing I could do; again, though, a primary means of doing this is through loving and serving my husband and children. I knew it was my calling for a long, long time and now I am blessed to be living it.

[Side caveat / bone to pic: It drives me nuts when a woman aches to be married and have babies and the dripping-with-piety, typically raised by a married mother of many, question is asked: "How do you know that's God's will for your life? What if you're meant to always be single?" To be fair, no, not every woman will marry and not every one of those women will have babies. But most women will marry and the problem is not the ache--the issue is if the ache is more important to her than Jesus. Is she worshiping through the ache? Cleaving to Jesus through the pain? If not, let's lovingly walk with her to that place. Enough with the passive-aggressive accusations though. Sometimes we want good things and it's not Jesus' time and it hurts to wait. End rant.]

After this ultimate reason, there are two primary reasons:

1. I want to be the one to raise my children. Children learn their values, in my experience, about 10% from what they're told and 90% from what they see modeled by those in authority over them. If I'm the one with my kids in the preponderance of their daily life, especially in the very formative baby and toddler years, then they learn from me. I want to model consistent reliance upon Jesus and repentance when I sin. No amount of great research for the best nanny or the like can guarantee that my children see living a Gospel-centered life modeled in a way that can ever compare to them being with me every day.

2. I have some memories of some less than wonderful experiences in day care as a kid. This is not meant as anything against my mom so much as it is me deciding that I would choose a different path for my children if I could help it. That's why I'm married to a man with those same values, who finds my presence at home with our children worth far more than the $35,000 or so a year I'd likely be making if I worked outside the home, likely as a teacher were I to have the grace of finding a job.

There are a myriad of tertiary reasons. I feel I can best serve Jason, a role I adore and treasure, when I'm at home and not working outside the home. Then, there have been people who have voiced feeling that my intellect and education are, in effect, going to waste by my being at home and not out in the workforce. However, for me, I think there is no one better to benefit from how God has gifted me than my own children. And...to be quite blunt, I would like to see anyone, when my children are older, get down on a knee, look them in the eye, and tell them that their mother's intellectual capacity and gifts went to waste being focused primarily on them.


Look at him! Who wouldn't want to spend
every day with him?
Plus, I love Roger and the thought of ever leaving him with someone--anyone, no matter how great they are, no matter how much I love and trust them--makes me want to cry and I don't even have to do it! How my heart aches for the single mothers who have no other choice :( I remember some motherhood related boards that I was on throughout my pregnancy with Roger, and then when he was less than three months old women were posting about going back to work and how heartbroken they were. I cried just thinking about having to leave him.

In that vein, a huge reason I love being at home with Roger is that he's growing so fast. He's in a sweet phase where many times a day he walks up to me, lays his head on me--anywhere he can get to: cheek, chest, shoulder, leg, etc.--and just snuggles for a moment. But for a few months there he would NEVER let me hold him and was way more into playing. And I was pretty sad and missed those early days where, though sleep deprived, we could just snuggle for endless amounts of time. Yes, I know I'm pregnant and by God's grace can snuggle with Wiggles and possible other future babies, but those times with Roger when he was tiny are gone forever.

Snuggling newborns is the best :)

Other things are changing. Crawling is gone a little more every day. His face and body are a little different every week. And then he's always learning new things. I love teaching him new words and seeing him respond more and more. Watching him do simple things like play or eat or look out the window and watch birds is honestly mesmerizing to me. It's just amazing and the idea of being distracted while trying to work at home or being outside the home missing all of it is almost too much to bear!

And therein was the problem--sure, I had a flexible, at home, "perfect" job. But I was still not focused on motherhood and I was letting my fear about money rob me of my own dream. I needed to step back, trust Jason (who had reason to expect a raise; more on that in the final post), and, ultimately, trust Jesus that he is a good provider no matter how impossible the circumstances looked.

So, read about that in Friday's post, plus some amazing ways Jesus has blessed us!

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