Saturday, February 12, 2011

Who I WANT to be and what this year might bring. A rambling post.

The internet has really changed a lot of things in our lives these days. One of those is the ability for us to take peeks into other people's lives via social networking and blogs. I'll admit that I'm addicted to both, although you might not think so if you read my blog and see how sporadically I post as of late. But yes, I'm addicted to blogs, or I should say, reading OTHER people's blogs. Namely, mommy bloggers who have it all "together" - or so it seems compared to my life.

I read their blogs and see all the things they accomplish and how clean their houses are and all the great things they do with their kids and the fact that they still have time to blog and look great! It's really something that I get jealous of...which I hate to admit! I don't like admitting to being envious of other mom's lives. I feel like if I do, it means I'm not happy with my life and that I'm ungrateful for all the great things God has blessed me with. And yet, I struggle with the green-eyed monster. I struggle with negative feelings towards those who are doing what I wish I could be doing - not working full-time and getting to be home more with my daughter (soon to be daughters). I'm happy here. I have no desire to move anywhere else. I can see us building a life for ourselves here and that gives me the warm fuzzies.

But.

I find myself at a cross roads. What AM I meant to do? I struggle with the desire to be a stay-at-home-mom and worry if that's really what is best for me and our family. Sure, there is the financial side to worry about but I have complete faith in God that if He does have planned for me to be a SAHM, He will provide a job for Waylon that will meet our needs (along with us being willing to sacrifice and be better stewards of our money). But I also wonder if staying at home with my kids will be something that I am able to do. I see the moms on the blogs I read who seem to run a household so easily and make it look fun. Yet, when I try to run my household (during long breaks or, during our 4 day snow-pocalypse break from work) I find it hard and frustrating and that it does not come naturally to me. I'm not a naturally organized person. I have a cluttered, messy home. I don't keep to schedules or routines well (unless it's a work routine). If I know I'm going to be home all day, I have no desire to put presentable clothes on, comb my hair, brush my teeth or wear an ounce of makeup. So does this mean I will be a failure if/when I get to be a stay at home mom?

I also struggle with the desire to find a new and interesting job/career and go back to school to take more classes. If you looked at my college record, you would see that I have had 6 majors and I graduated with 208 college credits - needing only 128 for my degree. I'm easily swayed into new fields of study and new career opportunities. My job history will also show you an array of different interests in jobs. Most of which I really enjoyed and was really good at! I always strived to become the best at whatever I was doing and could usually reach that goal and be amongst the top workers wherever I was working at the time. I took pride in that. Teaching is a whole different type of job though. There is no "ladder of success" to climb. All teachers are equal and there is no seniority or moving up - unless you're talking about going from teaching to counseling or being a principal, which involves more school and a master's degree. That aspect about my current job takes away one of my biggest drives when I have a job - pushing to see how good I can get at something and achieving the next goal. For someone like myself who is very task-oriented, teaching can be very frustrating. This is not to say that teaching has not been extremely rewarding to me and that I have gained no personal growth from it. That would be a huge lie! I've learned SO MUCH from my four years teaching. But I don't think I'm cut out to be a teacher long term. I see that now. I will miss the summer breaks and a week off for Thanksgiving and two weeks off for Christmas and another week off for Spring break and all the little days of sprinkled throughout the school year...but I don't think I will miss the job itself. It's just not me. I feel a void right now that is very disconcerting.

The good news is that I have 4 weeks of work left until I go on maternity leave for the rest of this school year. I look forward to it for many reasons. I was supposed to meet with my principal two weeks ago on one of the days we were out due to bad weather to tell him my intentions of resigning after this school year. I've already told my department head as well as our supervisor (one of the assistant principals). It felt really great to get that off my chest and out in the open! The possibilities seem endless right now. I know that for now I won't be able to be a full-time SAHM so I will have to find at least a part-time job until we are financially stable enough for me to quit working completely. But then there's that little question nagging me in the back of my head, asking me: "Do you really think you can handle being a full-time SAHM?" The answer to that is: I truly don't know. If I had to give a definitive answer right this second, based on my feelings, I would have to say No. I could not handle being home all day everyday with my kids. But I serve a much more powerful God than my little feelings. If God truly has plans for me to be home with my kids and become a full-time housewife, then He can change my feelings and my heart and my focus and make me into a housewife extraordinaire...or just a regular housewife who isn't perfect at everything and still struggles with day to day chores. That sounds more like it.

I feel like I'm rambling at this point so I want to stop writing before this gets really out of hand. I guess I just needed to get some thoughts out there into cyberspace for all of you who read my blog to know and pray about for me. This year is going to be a year full of new things for our family. To be honest, the reality of having a second baby simply has not sunk in yet. It hasn't become real to me yet. I have 2 months to mentally prepare and then it's game time. Waylon just started a new job and we don't know if this is THE job for him or if it's another transitional stepping stone job like his last one. Either way, we are so grateful he has one now and that his last job was a preparation for this new one as they are very similar. He also works for a very nice Christian man, which is always a plus!

So if you feel led to, please pray for us as we are coming into a new phase of our lives. I will no longer be the "bread winner" of our family - working full-time and failing at house-wiving. I will take my proper role in our marriage and Waylon will step up to take the reigns on the working front. He has been extremely supportive of me these last two years and has done his part in going to school to finish his degree (although he still has 4 classes left to graduate). I am excited, anxious and just a little petrified of what this year will bring for us. But I know God is in control and He's not going to throw anything at us that we can't handle with His help.

3 comments:

Lydia said...

I can completely relate to this!!
First I have to say that I've read similar blogs where it appears the moms have it all together and are awesome. Just remember that looks can be deceiving and they only show what they want to show. I doubt their lives are as together as they portray them.
I've been a SAHM now for almost 5 years and it's definitely a struggle to find the balance. I don't think being a SAHM automatically means you're supposed to be an immaculate housekeeper or gourmet chef. Trust me, my house is rarely clean. I've tried to just tell myself that my focus is on my kids right now. We do fun things, educational things, make memories, etc, and I clean and cook when I can (certainly not every day).
Also, I started working parttime for our church when I was pregnant with Cooper, took a year off when he was born, and I'm back at it again and I love it. I feel like it gives me a great balance of being out of the house, interacting with adults and away from my kids. Along with being able to contribute some money. So I can definitely relate with you! I hope everything works out for you to find a great parttime job that you love and I'm sure you'll find your rhythm with being at home more with your girls. But it will definitely take time and that's perfectly ok! Sorry for the long comment!

Stephanie said...

Thanks Lydia, I appreciate your comment. Sometimes it just seems that you have to be a perfect housekeeper to be able to be a SAHM and it's such a scary thought! I think I will have to be like you where, even if we don't NEED the financial aspect of it, I will need to have some sort of part-time job outside of the home. I wish our church were bigger and that I could work there! That would be awesome!

I also agree that while we have little kids, the focus really does need to be on raising them and not worrying so much whether the house is perfect and if I look presentable at all times. I doubt these mommy bloggers I follow look that good ALL the time, it just seems that way to those of us who usually are in a state of disorganization. I have read so many blogs and websites and books about how to run a house smoothly and how to make a schedule and how to get organized and stay that way but it just doesn't seem possible for me right now. It seems like something that would take as much time as a full-time job on top of taking care of kids!

I'll probably be updating my blog a lot more frequently once I'm home more and we'll see then how I take to taking care of the house! It will be interesting and definitely a new challenge!

Aileen said...

I agree with Lydia! I think it will take time for you to adjust to being at home more. With time I think you would begin to enjoy it. I wouldn't worry too much about it and take one step at a time. You can start with a part time job at least and go from there. That is if you all can get by with you just working part time. It's a process....relax and enjoy your girls while they are small. This time will be gone forever in a few years to never get back.